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Five Albums You Should Be Listening To Right Now
'80s college-rock revivals, a still-awesome R.E.M., and the best concept album you've never heard.
Every two weeks, titans of the mediasphere give Nerve their music recommendations. This week: Aaron Driggers, who celebrates the weird, wonderful, and beautiful through photos, zines, and music, at tsurufoto.com, nudiezine.com, and tsururadio.com respectively.
1. Mother Mother, Eureka
This album's quirky, and not in a Zooey Deschanel-wearing-a-sequined-American-flag-unitard-while-playing-the-tuba-in-a-empty-high-school-football-field way. Eureka's more like the oddball music you might have caught in the late '80s, but with a decidedly modern feel. What I mean is, this ain't Devo, Dead Milkmen, Violent Femmes, or They Might Be Giants, but if you liked those twists on "alternative music," you might find yourself grinnin' and bobbin' to Eureka. On top of that, the lead-off track, "Chasing It Down," gets a little proggy in the middle, and that just warms the cockles of my heart.
Listen: "Chasing It Down"
2. My Morning Jacket, Circuital
I haven't noticed a lot of love out there in the internetland for Circuital by My Morning Jacket. I have no idea why. I've only been mildly into these guys, liking a song here and there over the years. But when Circuital came out and I casually pushed play on my metaphorical tape deck, a literal gong rang, my ears perked up, and seconds later I was hooked. Sounding like a long-lost classic-rock album, it's slow-cooking, yet badass.
3. Summer Fiction, Summer Fiction
Bandcamp creepin' is a favourite pastime of the missus and me. If you're a band and you're still using Myspace as your landing page for potential new fans, tsk tsk. Bandcamp's prettier and makes it so much easier for me, the listener, to purchase and share your awesome songs! No brainer. Baby found Summer Fiction while cruising about, and their sweet melodies, perfect harmonies, and lovely imagery have soundtracked our warm spring and summer days.
Listen: "By The Sea"
4. Hard Drugs, Hard Drugs
Hard Drugs is the best little concept album you've never heard. Cracker meets The Rocky Horror Picture Show to tell a story about a drug dealer, his prostitute girlfriend, and their plot to kill her pimp and start a new life away from Terminal City. It's a rootsy wild ride of drugs, death, angels, guns, and, of course, true love. I'm not going to give away the ending, but it's a story you'll listen to again and again.
Listen: "The Proposal"
5. REM, Collapse Into Now
Well, Chris DeLine took my real fifth pick: Let England Shake by PJ Harvey (possibly my album of the year). But it's cool. This is the year of the old farts bringin' the heat. For all your Yucks and Odd Futures sucking up bandwidth over at Pitchfork, you've got your wrinkled up and greying old-timers I grew up listening to showing these kids how it's done — PJ, David Lowery, Cake, and today's pick, R.E.M., with Collapse Into Now. Note: If you're about to post a comment saying something like "REM's sucked since Bill Berry left," dude... it's been fourteen years. Get over it.
Listen: "Oh My Heart"