“Sprinkles” — We Are Scientists
With a name like We Are Scientists, these indie rockers might as well be Case students. “Sprinkles” sports a hook that you’ll be humming after just one listen, complete with a bright, harmony-laden melody. We Are Scientists will be at the Grog Shop on April 23, promoting their latest album “TV En Français.”
“So You Know” — Bleeding Rainbow
Originally named Reading Rainbow, this noise pop group from Philly changed their name to gain a little more notoriety. Now two albums into their already stellar career, “So You Know” is a song that has all the urgency of a great punk record mixed with a fantastic pop sensibility. For fans of My Bloody Valentine and Sonic Youth.
“She Used to Love Me a Lot” — Johnny Cash
In the now familiar tradition of dead artists releasing new albums (thanks, Hendrix) comes “Out Among the Stars,” a record of previously unreleased material that Johnny Cash recorded in the 80s. “She Used to Love Me a Lot” is everything you could want from The Man in Black: his deep baritone narrating a tale of heartbreak. This is country worth listening to. “Out Among the Stars” was released on Legacy Recordings last Tuesday.
“Spinners” — The Hold Steady
Building on the huge sound they conjured on 2010’s “Heaven is Whenever,” the Hold Steady are back with “Teeth Dreams,” released last Tuesday. Craig Finn’s signature talk-sing drawl is utterly charming as he fumbles his way through the lyrics of “Spinners.” “Teeth Dreams” is a record that rocks from start to finish, but not without feeling laid-back and accessible. This album is highly recommended study music; it’ll make homework much more interesting.
“Sex Machine” — James Brown
Tate Taylor, director of “The Help,” is bringing the Godfather of Funk to the big screen this summer in “Get On Up,” a biopic starring Chadwick Boseman. The lyrics of “Sex Machine” inspired the film’s title, and the excellent new trailer features this song. Can ya dig it?
Retro Pick of the Week:
“Somebody To Love” — Jefferson Airplane
Folk, rock, and psychedelia meet in “Somebody To Love,” a slightly offbeat pop gem. A Top 5 hit in 1967, Grace Slick’s wailing vocals soar over percussive, echoing layers of guitar. “Surrealistic Pillow” is one of the quintessential albums of the 60s. Jefferson Airplane never made a better album, and few other artists from the Woodstock era did either.