Posted August 9, 2006 by Mike Mineo in Features


People go to Lollapalooza only to check their e-mail… surprising? Nah. Researchers are blaming music for the increase in teen sex, even though the cause is just more meat products and porn. Linda Kay continues the trend that female bassists that played in the early 90s (see: D’Arcy, Kristen Pfaff) all turn out to be freaks. Here is what is randomly playing:

Switches – No Hero


Switches – Lay Down The Law


Call me crazy, but I think Switches were heavy fans of Brit-pop. I don’t know much about this song other than it’s pretty damn catchy. Sure, it’s as repeatitive as songs get but I would assume it’s quite fun to dance to, and I know everyone likes dancing. Actually, I think the song would fit in quite well on a western Dance Dance Revolution soundtrack. I am really enjoying the sequence in the song where the bass eventually layers in with some very nice dance synths. I see their popularity rising as they are playing with Graham Coxon. ‘Lay Down The Law’ is just as fun with familiar elements. Sure, Switches isn’t bringing anything new to the table, but they are definitely fun. Check out their myspace for some more material.


Elvis Costello & The Attractions – Pretty Words


A classic song from a classic album, ‘Pretty Words’ is one of my favorite songs from Costello’s Trust. The vocals during the chorus get quite emotional, and Costello hits the notes naturally. I’ve been listening a lot of Elvis Costello lately, and his first eight albums seem to be nearly untouchable. Though the song is somewhat slow in tempo compared to the album’s other songs (such as the throwback ‘Luxembourg’), it is one of the strongest. The album is one of Costello’s most diverse, mixing bits of soul and jazz with 70s rambunctious punk. It’s most definitely worth a listen.

Erasure – Boy (acoustic)


I found the effort in Erasure’s recent release Union Street to be great, but few of the songs touched the originals and were too mediocre to be remembered significantly. The album was entirely acoustic for the flamboyant synth-pop duo, as they covered their own songs (mainly of heartbreak and despair). ‘Boy’ was the opening track on the album and is surely the best, and I actually enjoy the original. I especially like the bridge to the chorus, which shows off Andy Bell’s tremendous vocal range.

Swan Lake – All Fires


Though this has been on every musical-related web site imaginable, I’m still listening anyways. The trio of Dan Bejar (Destroyer, New Pornographers), Spencer Krug (Wolf Parade, Sunset Rubdown), and Carey Mercer (Frog Eyes) really make for an interesting “supergroup”, so to say. They all have very similar vocal and musical styles, though Bejar seems to incorporate more folk into his elements than Krug’s electronic experimentations or Mercer’s falsetto vocals. I am not sure of the involvements on this particular track, though. I find the track to be listenable, but as a fan of all three, I am not finding anything particularly new or eyecatching here. The repeatitive structure of the song seems to hide behind their traditional production. All three have done better.

Bel Auburn – Blind Ward


Bel Auburn – Metropolitan


Despite their name, Bel Auburn aren’t some new electronic group from Europe. They are a very melodic and smooth indie rock band from mid-Ohio who have been around for three years and are just recently starting to get known. Their sound reminds me quite a bit of Sunny Day Real Estate, and I am particulary fond of Bel Auburn’s production as well. They mold a consistant sound throughout each of their songs, as each repeating verse eventually seems to be hypnotizing with the certain distortion and aura their guitars implement. The overtone of the keys are used well most of the time as well. Their second album, Lullabies in A & C, releases next week.

Bad Flirt – Head On


Bad Flirt – This Song Is Romance


Another indie band from Montreal? I don’t know what’s in the soup there, but it seems that a large amount of bands I post these days are from that part of the world. It’s good stuff though, and Bad Flirt seems to be another up and coming band. Two gals and two guys front the band, with the female vocals really setting it apart from the rest. I am quite fond of the single ‘Head On’, which gets pretty catchy after a few listens. You can tell that a band is pretty damn independent when their official web site is hosted on Geocities. Nice.

Mike Mineo

I'm the founder/editor of Obscure Sound, which was formed in 2006. Previously, I wrote for PopMatters and Stylus Magazine. Send your music to [email protected].