8:04 am: In the car on the way to hit some balls, Dick Clark's "rewind" Top 40 is on the radio—the week of August 14, 1965. The Ventures' theme to Hawaii 5-0 is #6, followed by #5 Tom Jones' "What's New Pussycat?", #4 Herman's Hermits' "I am Henry the EighthI Am", #3 Gary Lewis and the Playboys' "Save Your Heart for Me", #2 the Rolling Stones "Satisfaction". I arrive to the courts before I hear what #1 is.
- The Rolling Stones: Satisfaction
11:30 am: Back at home, both my son and my wife are sleeping, so I have a brief moment of time alone, which I spend writing while listening to For the Sake of the Song's Wild Weekend playlist. (Bookmark that blog if you don't already - Ramone's always got great playlists.)
- Buck Owens: Under Your Spell Again
12:00 pm: I try streaming Low's C'mon when it occurs to me that a week has gone by and I still haven't heard it in full. Once again, however, I'm interrupted around track 4 or 5—Coop is awake.
1:28 pm: Driving with wife and boy to Versailles for lunch. B.o.B. on the radio and some other pop songs I don't recognize.
2:33 pm: More pop radio as we drive from Culver City to Venice. I finally get sick of it and ask my brilliant wife to put something on. She chooses the Radio Dept.'s Clinging to a Scheme but we only make it two tracks before we arrive to our destination.
- The Radio Dept.: Heaven's On Fire
3:15 pm: Standing in line at Intelligentsia on Abbott Kinney, Broken Social Scene's most recent album is on. We hear probably five songs in the time it takes to wait in line, then wait for our coffees to be made. Over the course of the next couple of hours as we browse in various stores we hear Dave Matthews Band, Maroon 5, Fleet Foxes, the Cure, and the Smiths. Possibly other things but if we did they didn't register.
5:00 pm: Driving home, we finish out the Radio Dept. album. Once home I wake up the computer and see the NPR Player still open, so I play Paul Simon's So Beautiful or So What. When it's finished, C'mon starts playing and I finally hear the album in full! Though I'm also giving Coop a bath and reading him stories so I don't totally process what I'm hearing. He's become very insistent about stories. He picks the book he wants to hear, walks over, puts it in my hand, then climbs right into my lap. There's no arguing with him.
7:16 pm: After putting Coop to bed, and while wife is out running an errand, I finish off the NPR trifecta and stream Panda Bear's newest. I still think "Last Night at the Jetty" is one of PB's best songs—it's got three different hook-filled choruses in a row, after all—but overall Tomboy is really monotonous. I've never been hot on the entirety of Person Pitch either, but that album seemed to stretch out in different places. Noah Lennox's multilayered vocals are ever-present on Tomboy. It becomes suffocating after a while.
9:15 pm: Spoon is on Austin City Limits. Man, Spoon. No other band working today has as confident a hold on their sound while at the same time never sacrificing quality songs. They somehow manage to be cutting edge and traditional at the same time. Part of that is because everyone in Spoon is clearly a serious musician—a thinking musician. Song for song they know which instruments, chords, and notes to use, which not to use, which they could use but needn't. It's dazzling to hear and to watch. No band of at least the last five years is as smart or as sophisticated as these guys. Watching them on ACL unintentionally makes me think of Tomboy as total amateur hour. Spoon's restraint and subtlety underscore everything that irritates me about Panda Bear—it's too piled on, all the time. It's as if Noah Lennox identified all of his weaknesses as a singer and a musician and found a way to mask them with sonics; whereas Spoon, if they ever had any weaknesses in the first place, simply removed them, replacing them with air and silence.
- Spoon: Who Makes Your Money