* Ireland’s Therapy? has been quietly plugging away for almost 20 years now. Their 12th album, Crooked Timber, has just hit stores and it’s a doozy. Their blend of buzzsaw guitars, post-punk rhythms, and alcohol-fueled aggression has brought them some minor acclaim in Europe, but next to nothing in the US. In fact, they haven’t even toured here in over a decade. It’s a shame, though, because they’re just the sort of band that could find an audience here, if enough people had the opportunity to hear them.
* Jeremy Jay is an LA-based singer-songwriter with his feet planted firmly in a different decade. His second album, Slow Dance, is a lo-fi masterpiece that hearkens back to the new wave pop and post-punk of the 80s, with a touch of garage rock to complete the package. He’s sort of like a new wave-y version of Jay Reatard, which is a really, really good thing.
Gallop - Jeremy Jay
* Oh, hey, Frank Black and his wife, Violet Clark, have a band now and it’s pretty good! Grand Duchy’s debut album, Petits Fours, is out in a few weeks and it just has to piss Kim Deal off. I mean, could Frank Black have been any more hesitant during his Pixies years to let a girl sing? Violet Clark is all over Petits Fours and it’s a good thing. There’s just something pleasing about a female voice singing over Frank Blacks melodies.
Lovesick - Grand Duchy
* Depeche Mode’s Sounds Of The Universe leaked last week and, well, it’s totally awesome. I always found the hoopla surrounding new Depeche Mode albums to be interesting. For a segment of the audience, every new album is hailed as “the best Depeche Mode album since…” Then there’s that segment that immediately declares it the worst album of all time and thinks the band should crawl under a rock and die. I guess you can’t please everybody.
* Bloc Party was on Letterman last week. They’re coming to San Luis Obispo in a few weeks. If the stars align and a certain friend can get me a ticket, I’ll be there. I heart Bloc Party.