Saturday five, 5/3/14.

My two bits of content from ESPN.com this week:

* The mishandling of Bryce Harper
* Klawchat

I’ll have an updated top 100 ranking for this year’s rule 4 draft up on Thursday, May 8th, followed by a projected first round (aka a “mock”) on the 15th.

Now, in keeping with the original idea for the Saturday five posts, here are five songs I’ve been listening to lately, outside of the albums I’ve been reviewing:

* The War on Drugs – “Red Eyes.” Everyone seems to love their latest album, Lost In The Dream, but after multiple listens no song has grabbed me like “Red Eyes,” which is the only track on the album that doesn’t sound like a band trying to imitate Bob Dylan. “Red Eyes” reminds me more of Lord Huron or the Head & the Heart, bands that also draw inspiration from Dylan and other folk-rock artists but without coming off as in any way derivative of their influences.

* Thumpers – “Unkinder (A Tougher Love).” Yet another heavily New Wave-inspired English synth/rock act … but the offbeat rhythm of all of the vocals, both verses and chorus, sets the song apart from the dozens of similar tracks that have been coming out of the UK over the last few years. Their debut album, Galore, came out in February.

* Broods – “Bridges.” My daughter loves this song, so here’s her review: “I like the way she sings, and the words sort of, but I mostly like the way she sings.” Works for me. For all the raves Grimes got for her 2012 album Visions, Broods mines similar high-pitched territory but with a far more pleasant vocal style. Their debut EP Broods came out in January.

* Gap Dream – “Fantastic Sam.” The song reminds me of Django Django’s last album, but with a more melancholy, hypnotic tone, and less interesting lyrics (which even my daughter picked up on). Their debut album, Shine Your Light, came out in November.

* La Sera – “Losing to the Dark.” The solo project from former Vivian Girls member Katy Goodman, La Sera put out this lead single earlier this spring, and it’s a near-perfect tranche of bright punk-pop to contrast with its downtrodden lyrics. Her third album, Hour Of The Dawn, comes out on the 13th, and it’s probably my most-anticipated album of the month.

And now, this week’s five links, heavier on science this week…

Also, two bonus links this week that may be relevant to your interests, since you’re here… My ESPN colleague Ramona Shelburne wrote an amazing, thorough story on the Donald Sterling imbroglio from inside the Clippers’ organization. Also, fellow Parks and Recreation fans will enjoy Alan Sepinwall’s post-season-six interview with Michael Schur, covering everything from the changes ahead for season seven to the evolution of the running Cones of Dunshire gag. I’m convinced part of Parks & Rec‘s success came from embracing the show’s essential nerdiness, both the eccentricity of its central characters and the writers’ willingness to make references (like Settlers of Catan) that wouldn’t normally appear in a network series aimed at a mass audience. Or maybe it’s just that they let Chris Pratt do more dead falls. Those work too.

Comments

  1. Hi Keith – where do you typically discover new music? I feel like we have similar interests but a lot of the songs you post are bands I’ve never heard of before.

  2. Junior Ortiz

    Music is subjective, obviously, but saying that “Red Eyes” reminds you of Lord Huron and The Head & The Heart is rather embarrassing. As is the oft-used claim that anyone with the least bit of a folk sound must of course draw inspiration from Bob Dylan. Your frame of reference is very shallow.

    • @Junior: I don’t appreciate your tone; if you want to be a prick, go do it somewhere else. As for the War on Drugs record, the two founding members, Kurt Vile (now departed) and Adam Granduciel are both huge fans of Dylan’s work and have never hidden the fact that much of TWOD’s music derives from his influence.

      @Kyle: all over, really, but much of it is from listening to Sirius XMU and Alt Nation, from reader suggestions, and from contacts I’ve made in the music industry. I try to share everything I hear and like with all of you.

  3. Junior Ortiz

    Keith, the Dylan comment was directed at your claim that TH&TH and LH draw inspiration from him.

    • @Junior: I’m not sure how that excuses your choice to insult me in your first comment. This isn’t a review of Lord Huron or TH&H. If you have proof that neither band takes any influence or inspiration from Dylan, let’s see it. Otherwise, you are overreacting, and out of line.

  4. Similar to the Montana case is one from Minnesota where a 64 year old man waited in his basement for some burglers and shot two teens multiple times when they tried to break in. The Minnesota tragedy brings to mind the Bernard Goetz case from 20 years ago, where the shooter kept shooting even after initially hitting the perpetrator.

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/04/24/minnesota-cousins-killed/8135371/

  5. Keith, are you klawbaiting us? You don’t like junior’s tone? You have 20 tweets a week that are equally rude in tone.

    • @Mike: No, I don’t, nor will you see me being rude to anyone who wasn’t uncivil himself first.

  6. My ex-wife works in the music industry, which has no shortage of know-it-all musical snobs like Junior Ortiz.

    • @chris: I don’t allow Liking of comments here, but if I did, I’d Like that comment many times over.

  7. For what it’s worth, I totally agree on your assessment of WOD “Lost in the Dream”. I LOVE “Red Eyes”, but have struggled to enjoy the rest of the album nearly as much.