don’t know ourselves well but so what, we know each other

by on October 8, 2008

Posted in: Uncategorized

introducing: get to know yr rotation.
a weekly profile of a cd that i’m about to stick on rotation and thereby influence freshmen to play on repeat!

generally my ego sends out warning signals when a cd that i’ve never heard of crosses my (figurative) desk. clearly if i don’t know it, it must be awful! i’m not the first music director to feel this way, and part of my job is to throw out the bizarre CDs featuring microsoft paint cover-art or some suggestively posed teenage girl singing r&b ballads. its the albums that look good when judging by the cover but sound like the worst bar rock you’ve ever heard that start to jade you, and when you’ve heard the 45th solo-project of some wayward member of polyphonic spree you start to hate music in general.

i was therefore surprised that i instantly fell in love with dear & the headlights. the sophomore release from these boys on equal vision records did not inspire much confidence in me, stating that it was RIYL modest mouse, the walkmen and hot hot heat. although i deeply love modest mouse AND the walkmen, comparing an album to three such disparate influences is, in my experience, recipe for disaster. drunk like bible times is a rare album that can patch together those aforementioned influences and add a few more (think bright eyes, wilco, kings of leon) to craft 12 consistently great tracks. in my opinion every song on this album is worth at least a few listens. the first song, “i’m not crying. you’re not crying, are you?” is a jangly, catchy opener which leads into “bad news” – a track that swings back and forth between a slightly angular, modest-mouse-esque distorted guitar melody to a straightforward indie-pop refrain and back again, getting stuck in your head on the way. more raucous tracks like “saintly rows (oh oh)” are tempered by genuinely sweet ballads like “flowers for my brain”. some of my other favorites are the relate-ably titled “if not for my glasses” and the acoustic, off-key vocals on “willetta”. i could write a hundred more words about this album and sound more and more like any other snarky record review, so instead here are some treats.

also, in case re-introductions are necessary, i’m rachael, i’m the music director-ette at wrmc and my favorite wrmc-related activity is singing and dancing without shame in the station during my show and obsessively labeling things. i also like listening to the messages in the office when they are full of the transmitter talking. writing this has been ten times more fun than doing my russian homework.

dear & the headlights – saintly rows (oh oh)
dear & the headlights – if not for my glasses