June 24, 2008

Today's Hotness: Darker My Love, Shannon McArdle

>> We give a resounding "yes" to the new Darker My Love video, despite the frustrating tempo. The song would be much more forceful with heads-down, four-on-the-floor drumming, but instead -- and somewhat surprising, in a good way -- DML's drummer lays down a loping mom-ma dad-dy with paired snare strikes on the twos and fours. That coupled with the echo on the vocal and a somewhat unsynchronized playback of the audio and video of the stream above makes the song somewhat disorienting. We just streamed "Two Ways Out" again with headphones on and realized that we must have had a bad stream before, because everything synchs up and makes a lot more sense. Weird. And we haven't even discussed the visual shtick, which takes that great Doors album cover, pulls it apart and reconstitutes it as a loose mobile of faces, hands and instruments. It's particularly neat-o when the band suddenly looks as if it is falling (reminds us of the great Cars video). As we reported here late last month, the L.A.-based quartet will issue its second set 2 Aug. 5 on Dangerbird. Between now and then the band has lined up a smattering of tour dates on the west coast. Darker My Love commences a tour supporting The Dandy Warhols Sept. 9. The acts play The Wilbur Theater in Boston Sept. 16. All tour dates are posted at the band's MySpace hacienda right here.

>> As we are still eagerly awaiting official word from Bar/None Records about the purported reissues of The Feelies catalog, we excitedly scanned an email from the venerable label this morning. Alas, there was no Feelies news. However, we were surprised to read therein about a forthcoming solo set from former Mendoza Line principal Shannon McArdle, whose debut long player Summer Of The Whore will be released Aug. 5. The set was realized last summer in the wake of Ms. McArdle's split from The Mendoza Line and ex-husband/bandmate Timothy Bracy. Bar/None characterizes the set as emotionally raw, which is really saying something, as the final Mendoza Line release 30 Year Low [our review here] was widely received as a "break-up record." Two tracks from Summer Of The Whore are posted here at McArdle's MySpace dojo and they sound terrific. Mendoza Line collaborator Adam Gold engineered the project and collaborated on arrangements, and so there's no big shift in tone or style -- the tracks sound, for lack of a better term, Mendoza-esque. The strident strummer "This Longing" is, however, relatively lush, and "Poison My Cup" hinges on some nice reverbs and murmured vocals. Brooklyn-based McArdle's set will be heralded as part of a triple record release party Aug. 19 at Mercury Lounge in Manhattan; Bar/None acts Starling Electric and Hotel Lights will also be celebrating new records.

>> You can get two things done today. You can buy the new Camper Van Beethoven set Popular Songs Of Great Enduring Strength And Beauty, which concatenates hits, near-hits and should-have-been hits including re-recorded versions of classic numbers from the band's Virgin Records releases. And then you can also write your congressman or Sir Richard Branson or EMI or whoever it is that won't return to the band the rights to said Virgin records. And when you write or call or email you can tell them to get their crap together and make it so that Our Beloved Revolutionary Sweetheart and the crucial (CRUCIAL) Key Lime Pie get reissued. Preferably expanded, too. Anyway, if you do those two things you'll have had a pretty full day. Anyhoo, one of the re-recorded jams was "When I Win The Lottery." Here's an MP3 of a great version of the number from the Live Music Archives at Archive.org.

Camper Van Beethoven -- "When I Win The Lottery (Live)" -- Live At Pipeline, Oct. 4, 1990
[right click and save as]
[buy Popular Songs Of Great Enduring Strength And Beauty here]

>> Wow.

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