“Nowhere/Dead Alive” — Nowhere
Nowhere is not only one of Cleveland’s hardest working bands, having just announced the release of their new album “Diamonds” this week, but they are also one of the best psych-pop bands currently playing in the United States. The warm synth blurs, galvanizing bass and distorted guitars that permeate these tracks are so good that Tame Impala should be jealous. This pick is a two parter by necessity; “Nowhere” and “Dead Alive” are perfect compliments, flowing seamlessly into each other. Nowhere will be playing at the Grog Shop’s upcoming free 22nd anniversary concert on Sept. 13.
“Call Me in the Day” — La Luz
Working its way into a relaxed groove of doo-wops and reverb-heavy guitar, “Call Me in the Day” is a shimmering and steamy pop tune. La Luz, Seattle Washington’s premier surf rock band, will also be playing in Cleveland this upcoming week; they’re headlining a show at the Beachland Tavern on Sept. 17. Also on the bill are local favorites The Insurance Salesmen and The Village Bicycle. Tickets are $8, and doors open at 7:30 p.m.
“Anywhere” — Interpol
Worthy successors to the moody guitar work and solemn lyrics of Joy Division, Interpol are back with their latest album “El Pintor,” released Sept. 9 on Matador Records. “Anywhere” is a short tune that boasts a single-worthy hook, driven by a lethargic and beautiful wall of guitar. Above all, this track shows why many crowned Interpol the new kings of post-punk revival back when they debuted in 2002. As evidenced by the regal tone of “Anywhere,” they won’t abdicate the throne anytime soon.
“Needle and a Knife” — Tennis
“Needle and a Knife” is a groovy piece of pastoral poetry from Tennis’ latest album, “Ritual in Repeat,” released on Communion Records Sept. 9. The layered vocals of Alaina Moore melt beautifully into the organic piano and acoustic guitar work of bandmate and husband Patrick Riley, basking this track in musical sunshine. This album is a must-listen for fans of indie music; you’re not likely to hear a better work of dream-pop this year.
“Never Catch Me” — Flying Lotus Featuring Kendrick Lamar
“Step inside my mind and you’ll find curiosity, animosity, high philosophy…” promises Kendrick Lamar on Flying Lotus’ latest single “Never Catch Me.” Based on the game-changing track records of these two titans of West Coast hip-hop, we shouldn’t doubt it. Flying Lotus’ new album, “You’re Dead!” is set to come out Oct. 7 and this song is a tantalizing preview that melds Flying Lotus’ immaculate jazz production with spitfire verses that evoke Lamar’s stellar debut album “Section.80.” Anyone convinced hip-hop is dead need just listen to this track. They couldn’t be more wrong.
Retro Pick of the Week:
“Introduction”— Chicago Transit Authority
Chicago Transit Authority (later renamed Chicago due to legal action from the actual CTA) put out their self-titled debut album in April of 1969, forever changing the sound of rock music. “Introduction” is a monumental piece of jazz-rock fusion that combines the brass attack of a marching band horn section with virtuosic soloing from the mighty guitar of Terry Kath. As far as debut albums go, few possess such an eclectic songwriting approach or adventurous track listing, as the group samples excerpts from the 1968 Democratic National Convention and lifts lyrics from the Beatles without missing a beat. Put on a pair of headphones and enjoy the wildest public transportation of your life.
Teddy Eisenberg is a third year programmer at WRUW-FM 91.1 Cleveland. He hosts The ’59 Sound, an exploration of rock music, every Thursday morning from 8am-10am and co-hosts the variety talk show Max and Teddy in the Morning at Night (Sometimes) on Mondays from 5pm-6pm. The crackle of vinyl warms him on cold Cleveland nights.