“Light Years Beyond”—Electric Citizen
Hailing from Cincinnati, Electric Citizen pumps out the kind of galloping, riff-heavy rock that will send you back to the 70s in a leather-clad time machine. With an accompanying music video on the psychedelic side of Black Sabbath’s “Paranoid,” “Light Years Beyond” is essential viewing and listening from the group’s year-old debut album, “Sateen.” Ozzy wishes he were still as cool as vocalist Laura Dolan and her banshee wail. Look for Electric Citizen at Happy Dog at the Euclid Tavern March 27. Tickets are $8.
“Pedestrian At Best”—Courtney Barnett
Courtney Barnett’s first full-length debut album, “Sometimes I Sit And Think, Sometimes I Just Sit” is a rare piece that at once honors the sounds of underground garage rock without feeling at all beholden to them. Barnett’s thick Australian accent is indisputably the star of the urgent “Pedestrian At Best,” giving an extra punch to each of her sly lyrical lines. “Sometimes I Sit And Think, Sometimes I Just Sit” is available on Mom + Pop Music March 24.
“Joke” in many ways can be used to describe Chastity Belt’s understated approach to punk rock. Hiding humor and sarcasm under waves of Sonic Youth-esque guitar and vocalist Julia Shapiro’s unrefined croon, “Joke” is one of the many standout racks on the all-girl quartet’s latest album, “Time To Go Home,” building over the course of five minutes into an explosion of guitar bliss. “Time To Go Home” is available March 24 on Sub Pop Records.
“Can’t Deny My Love”—Brandon Flowers
It doesn’t take Sherlock Holmes to deduce that the Killers’ frontman Brandon Flowers is a fan of 80s music. The sounds of Duran Duran and The Cars have always been elementary in Flowers’ songwriting, and his new single, “Can’t Deny My Love,” is no exception. Blending the smooth funk of disco with gospel influences, this song is a thoroughly enjoyable homage to the lasting effects of Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky” on pop music. Flower’s second solo album, “The Desired Effect,” will hit record stores on May 19.
“How Can I”—Laura Marling
Of all the voices in contemporary folk music, Laura Marling’s is perhaps the most unique, emphasizing character over ability in a way that recalls a younger Bob Dylan. The similarities to Dylan don’t stop there, with “How Can I” weaving an intricate narrative of travel and love over breathtaking lines of acoustic guitar. Look for more Laura Marling on her latest album, “Short Movie,” available March 24 on Ribbon Music.
Retro Pick of the Week:
“I’m Going Home”—Ten Years After
Live from Woodstock, Ten Years After’s “I’m Going Home” is one of the most electrifying performances ever caught on tape thanks to the singing and guitar-playing prowess of Alvin Lee. In an era before “shred” guitar, Lee was the fastest around, racing through this iconic riff at lightning speed. The true magic begins however when the crowd takes over and claps all the way through a medley of rockabilly classics that includes “Blue Suede Shoes,” “Mean Woman Blues” and “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On.” Music, live or otherwise, has rarely sounded better, and “I’m Going Home” is just one of many reasons Woodstock is remembered the way it is.
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 8-10 a.m. and co-hosts the variety talk show Max and Teddy in the Morning at Night (Sometimes) on Mondays from 5-6 p.m. The crackle of vinyl warms him on cold Cleveland nights.