Our six favorite local songs from August

Aug 30, 2016 at 5:00 pm
Our six favorite local songs from August

Doctor Girlfriend – “Photograph” It’s hard to attach any one sound to this band, as they are prone to jumping around from song to song. There are elements of Deerhoof on “Photograph,” but with more than a little Hail to the Thief-era Radiohead, as filtered through the manic insanity of Iggy Pop at his most gleefully weird. It’s a beautiful track that flirts with pop melody, without ever losing any of its punk charm.

Twenty First Century Fox – “The Fantastic Sorcerer of Zo” To listen to Twenty First Century Fox is to invite in the unexpected. From track to track, the band seems prone to reinvention in terms of their ability to seamlessly jump from style to style, but, at the same time, still always sound like the same band. “The Fantastic Sorcerer of Zo” is a good example of this, as the band explores (at least comparatively) straight-forward indie pop through their fractured take on the subject. The timing, at least in terms of the placement of notes and chord structures, is unique and one that difficult to replicate, but that nevertheless seems welcome and comforting. The lyrical content is, at least at a superficial look, as whimsical as usual, although it stands to reason that there is plenty going on here, given the melancholy atmosphere of the track, as opposed to other songs in their canon.

Midnight Channels – “Summer Ghosts” The chunky guitar work and bittersweet chord structures seem like relics from a bygone era — or, more specifically, an era that did not especially resonate with me. It doesn’t take long though to hear that there is more to this song than there seems at first listen, and that the “progressive” element to which the band self-identifies is a fair descriptor. There is a plenty going on, but it never overstays its welcome or gets played out. The obvious comparison is Don Caballero — or specifically the lineup that played on For Respect — but there is a lot more restraint from the players on “Summer Ghosts” than that band ever managed.

The Family Secret – “Outlaw” My appreciation for “Outlaw” by The Family Secret is equally attributable to my love for Johnny Cash or Willie Nelson — outlaw country, if you will — and my disdain for modern pop-country. Get out of here with that noise, 2016 country radio — I’ve got nothing for you. Apparently, The Family Secret agrees — or at least they play a style of country that takes me back to my grandma’s living room in the ’80s, blasting out George Jones from the eight-track deck, my mom and dad drinking some garbage beer and everybody pretty much having a solid Friday night. Country was never my bag, but it’s hard to think back on that time in my life and not get a hair nostalgic, which The Family Secret certainly inspires. This is the kind of thing you imagine in a dive bar filled with smoke and bad decisions.

Twin Sister Radio – “Hey!” Somehow Twin Sister Radio comes across like the best and boldest krautrock and, for some reason, the most-righteous arena rock. Think Neu! meets The Blue Oyster Cult or something like that, and there you are. That comes across in their newest single “Hey!,” from what is apparently a cassingle release by Gubbey Records. Did you know they make cassingles? Me neither, but here we are. Welcome to 2016, where everything old is new again. Given the context of the music and the genres that the band pulls from, no matter how disparate, this seems like the most logical vehicle for release and one that reflects a confidence in the music found herein. This is approximately four minutes of rock-steady beats and jangly guitar, replete with fantastic guitar hooks and pop melodies.

Dr. Dundiff & Friends (feat. Jim James) — “State Of The Art” (Remix) How could I possibly exclude what was perhaps the most noticeably absent number from the recent Dr. Dundiff & Friends album? State Of The Art,” the end cap to Dundiff’s milestone 2015 Forecastle set features not only the majority of the emcees, but also My Morning Jacket frontman Jim James. It would be inaccurate and unfair to identify that this track contains every great rapper in town, but it’s exactly apt to note that the talent is top notch and absolutely indicative of the amazing art going on in town, hip-hop or otherwise. Everyone has a time to shine here, from Dundiff to the variety of rappers — too numerous to name without running the risk of missing someone phenomenal.