It’s the End of the World as We Know It (and I Feel Fine)
The Dashboard Confessional frontman re-imagines R.E.M.’s amped-up jangle-rock classic as a slow-burning, dusty-highway country twanger. Yes, you just read "Dashboard Confessional", "R.E.M.", and "country" in the same sentence.
Cult Boyfriend (Rough Trade)
Jeffrey Lewis sings about himself in this ramshackle indie-folk ballad, but substitute the name of Roky Erickson, Paul Westerberg, or Jonathan Richman and it will ring just as true.
Cuff the Duke
Always Looking (Paper Bag)
Speaking of countrified cover versions, Cuff the Duke gives "Always Looking" such a convincingly laid-back, setting- the-woods-on-fire overhaul that you’d never peg it as a Dum Dum Girls number. (Unless you already knew it was, that is.)
The Big Pink
Hit the Ground (Superman) (4AD)
The Big Pink’s latest samples Laurie Anderson’s "O Superman", a fact that will probably get Anderson’s 1981 vocoder opus more YouTube hits than it’s had in the past five years. As you might guess, the Big Pink’s song is the catchier of the two.
Conditions of My Parole (Puscifer Entertainment)
Part crossroads-blues jam, part ’70s- vintage rocker, "Conditions of My Parole" makes you want to grow a mustache, pull on the bell-bottoms, and hit the road to Mississippi in a 1970 Dodge Charger.
Funny Girl (Warm Electronic Recordings)
Wielding burbling sequencers and robotik drum-machine beats, Athens, Georgia’s finest musical export (argument-starter alert!) proves just as adept at sparkly synth pop as it is at lush shoegazing.
Spills Out (Brah)
Move over, Black Angels: you aren’t the only band in town with a taste for the Velvet Underground and mind-altering psychedelics strong enough to fuck up a horse.
Lissy Trullie does her best Nico here, giving us an alternative to listening to the Velvet Underground yet again—which is nice, because we still can’t stand to hear anything with Lou Reed on it after that heinous Metallica fuckery.
Star Fucking Hipsters
The Spoils of War (Fat Wreck Chords)
Landscape-scorching hardcore that—right up until the mid-song ska breakdown—will give you a great idea of the kind of punk that used to land your grandparents in the hospital during the mosh-pit wars of ’82.
So bloody ’80s—from androgynous vocals to sunny synths and electronic drums—you can practically smell the mousse and taste the nail polish. Take that, Human League!
Gathering Stories (Columbia)
We have Cameron Crowe and his forth- coming flick We Bought a Zoo to thank for this, which appears on the soundtrack. If the layering of ether-hazed vocals, shiver- ing strings, and music-box chimes is any indication, it should be one dreamy film.