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Sonic Youth: “Sacred Trickster”
For a while there Sonic Youth was becoming a band that your dad could maybe get down with. Well, as long as your dad was a baby boomer with a taste for Bare Trees-era Fleetwood Mac. No more, though. “Sacred Trickster”, from the band’s forthcoming record The Eternal, brings back the diminished chords and the heavy bashing. Those dads are just going to have to buy-in or get out.
Dave Matthews Band: “Funny the Way It Is”
Give Dave Matthews a little credit. He’s the guy who brought pathos to the jam-band world. While Phish’s Trey Anastasio was singing about tires, worms, and mango-footed children, Matthews was giving Teva-wearing Americans a glimpse of the darker side of his psyche with songs about addiction, death, and sleazing your friend into a one-night-stand. On “Funny the Way It Is”, Matthews grapples with the fact that even while he’s kicking back with a jimi thing at a palatial estate built on a foundation of Bonnaroo ticket stubs, somebody, somewhere is suffering. Which brings him down. On the bright side, Boyd Tinsley doesn’t rap.
Deerhunter: “Rainwater Cassette Exchange”
For some reason, indie-rock bands either want to be all commune-pastoral or American Apparel-urban. No band wants to let the lonely, washed-out, emptiness of the suburbs into its aesthetic. But Deerhunter really nails the psychedelic strip-mall vibe, though. Maybe it’s because they’re from Atlanta and not Brooklyn. At any rate, the ambling, clattering space-rock of “Rainwater Cassette Exchange”, would make a perfect iPod soundtrack for a stroll around an abandoned ShopKo.
The Bats: “Castle Lights”
Don’t let Flight of the Conchords fool you, New Zealand has more to offer than garish synth-pop send-ups. No, there’s also some pretty good jangle-pop. For instance, this new song by The Bats, which maintains all of the mumbly, three-chord, goodness of the band’s heyday.