11 hours ago
Saturday, June 17, 2006
Poptastic! Too: Absentee, Casper & The Cookies, The Bees (U.S.)
More songs to put a spring into your step and a hum into your heart! (Yes -- hearts can hum. Some of them are often off-key, though.) This time, instead of solo artists, it's a buncha bands. If three can be called a buncha.
First, you must go here and download "You Try Sober" by Absentee. It sounds happy and jaunty -- and Dan Michaelson's ridiculously deep voice is a treat -- but listen to the lyrics and they tell a tale of a relationship fucked up by alcoholism. "You can't just come here when you're drunk," Michaelson grumbles; and keyboardist/vocalist Melinda Bronstein answers (I love boy-girl tradeoff vocals in pop songs, btw) -- "I wanna make things right." "Why don't you try sober, if you're so sure?" Michaelson retorts. Great stuff.
Then go here for the 70s-sounding "Learn How to Disappear" by Casper & the Cookies. Yes, I know, horrible name. Good song though -- like "You Try Sober," the tune will get your toes tapping while the lyrics get your brow furrowing. "Better learn how to disappear, get yourself away from here. Change your name and your address, and get a brand new face. Erase the memories from your head and act like someone else instead." It's so catchy you'll be singing along to the paranoiac chorus as if it were "You Are the Sunshine of My Life."
Finally, my current favorite -- go here and get "The Country Life" by The Bees. No, not those Bees -- The Bees U.S., apparently. This piano-enhanced country-pop-rock song has even more of a 70s vibe than "Learn How...", and it rollicks. It is rollicking. It will have you hand-clapping and harmonizing and forgetting you are a city boy (or girl). "I just wanna sing my song. So long to city lights, so long to neon signs -- I'm gone!" Sweetness. Over much too soon. Hit the repeat button.