Crows are assholes.
A murder just moved into one of the trees in our front yard, and they have proven themselves to be, thus far, some of the worst neighbors we've ever had. Our poor cat, Nina, has suffered the worst of these jet black jerks' wrathful choruses of caws and fly-by strafing as she attempts to lounge in the yard she's claimed as her outdoor refuge for three years now.
In the last week alone, it has become a familiar routine of Nina beg-demanding to go outside, the crows squawking at her furiously and our girl sprinting in a few minutes later, meowing for dear life. Had these obnoxious rasping avian assholes known Nina suffered a barbaric de-clawing under previous management and could care less about their daily goings-on, I'm sure they would be singing a slightly less harsh tune. But as it stands, they see her as a threat to their young pups - one of which already died due to falling out of the nest and splattering to the road below (and subsequently being run into the asphalt by passing cars multiple times).
Yes. Besides being loud-mouthed twats, these crows are absolute shit parents.
So as we count the days until their remaining gangly young learn to fly the coup (not a promising prospect given the death of one, and the reluctance of the other two to do more than skip around on branches as the elders yell indignantly at them - "Caw-rist! Why aren't you airborne yet?!?"), we are stuck with these obnoxious neighbors yelling at each other, day and night.
"Black and White" (mp3)
From the album Sunbathing Animal
2014, What's Your Rupture?/Mom and Pop
Parquet Courts' follow-up to 2012-13's Light Up Gold promises more of the same flesh-rubbed-punk-raw-k we've come to know and love from this Brooklyn band. Andrew Savage's pleading yell-vocals float over the chugging single "Black and White" like glass shard-infused marinara sauce poured atop barbwire noodles. And once again, we're graced with more homemade album artwork, which I personally cannot get enough of (I LOVE this guy's stuff, and really hope he gets a solo exhibit sometime in the near future). So, yeah: more, please!
"Bad Love Is Easy To Do" (Soundcloud)
From the album Cool Planet
2014, GBV Inc.
Being the product of a father I've never met (yes, I am both a figurative and literal bastard), I have a running list of menfolk I'd like to adopt me and teach me how to be a man. A real man. Guided By Voices' Robert Pollard is on that list. He could teach me to drink, do high kicks, twirl and catch a microphone, write multiple catchy songs at furious pace, collage art pointers, throw a no-hitter, etc. You know: all the things he does with his own kids. This is what, the 111th album by GBV? Adoptive Bob Dad could teach me his secret to longevity, too. Ah, dare to dream kid. Bad love may be easy to do, but it's certainly better than no love at all.
"Colours to Life" (Soundcloud)
From the album Sun Structures
2014, Fat Possum
Remember Noel Gallagher? He of Oasis fame, Britpop, Cool Britannia, and all that back in the mid-90's. He's pretty keen on this band, Temples, reportedly calling them more important than his own band. Wow! How is that for high praise? And the humblest of human beings might be on to something here, given the languid and palatial pace of this gem by his fellow countrymen called "Colours of Life" (what with it's English-y extra "u" and all). Despite Gallagher's gleaming recommendation, I'm inclined to give Sun Structures a gold star, as well. Breezy vocals, chiming guitars, glacial rhythm section - it's all in there, placed just right. Now all we need is for Damon Albarn to tout a contemporary band as being more important than Blur, and the battle of the Brit Band Stars is back on again, mate!
"Follow Me" (YouTube)
From the album Suck My Shirt
2014, Suicide Squeeze
Atlanta's Coathangers are the type of women I used to go all bee's knees for. Tough-as-nails attitude lasses that smoke, drink, give off "the vibe," and, themselves, most likely crush hard on Iggy Pop. All vintage T-shirts and sleeve tattoo's, these rawk-n-rollers are all about TCB. This song, "Follow Me," is one long raspy, sneering heart attack-inducer; more a brick-through-the-window-of-the-past than a throwback. This song oozes a sweet menace all it's own, daring you to indeed follow these knife-wielding women and see what happens, punk. And the rest of this album does not disappoint. The Coathangers will most certainly love and leave your boy toy ass behind, but believe me, you'll thank them for it.
From the album More Than Any Other Day
If Talking Heads and Fugazi had a kid, it would be Ought. Now, I know what you're thinking: "This dumbass doesn't know what I'm thinking!" And: "That's really lazy music reviewing, distilling the sum of a bands parts by comparing them to two other noteworthy bands." On that second part, you're absolutely right. But, c'mon! Listen to this song. Tell me you don't picture David Byrne croon-talking his way through one of Dischord Records' mainstay's more quieter moments. I mean this as a compliment, seeing as how this song has been wedged in my head when not on repeat play via my iPod. Yes, this song is (*ahem!*) habit forming (sorry).