by Dan Gibson
In the second part of our twice weekly music recommendation service, our writers (and some blogger) suggest songs by the Beach Boys, Blitzen Trapper, X, and the Dartmouthaires.
Beach Boys, "Heroes and Villains"
Like many music obsessives, I have recently been poring over the official release of the Beach Boys' 'Smile' sessions. If you want proof that there was something in the LSD at the time, listen to these sessions with the Monkees' 'HEAD' playing in the background—I particularly recommend "Psychedelic Sounds: Brian Falls into a Piano." Or, just watch this animated music video for the kaleidoscopically pop psychedelia of "Heroes and Villains."
One of my favorite hometown bands is Blitzen Trapper, who played a blistering set a few weeks ago in Phoenix capped by a spot-on cover of Led Zeppelin's "Good Times Bad Times". "Love the Way You Walk Away" is far more downbeat, but it's a pretty little tune. The video is sort of a NW hipster dream day with guns and beer and whatnot, and I would deny my roots by saying I didn't like it a lot.
X, "I Must Not Think Bad Thoughts"
The morning firsts are full of echoes on this day after the day after elections, when everything, and yet perhaps very little, is different. The first news is that Rick Perry had a brain freeze (Ho hum. Look how that ruined Jan Brewer.). The first Facebook post is from former Weekly> freelancer Will Shilling who used to live here: "I must not think bad thoughts." Always good advice. In this case, it comes from the band X's 1983 album More Fun in the New World. It happens that X comes to the Fox Theatre Saturday, Dec. 10, no doubt as powerfully pissed and punk as ever. You can get the idea Friday, Dec. 2, when the Blasters, co-founded by X guitarist Dave Alvin, perform at The Rialto Theatre. Opening for them is the Supersuckers; some early Tucson fans of X and the Blasters will recall the Supersuckers used to live here.
The Dartmouthaires, "Queen Medley (from The Singoff)"
I used to think of myself as a discerning consumer of pop culture, listening to great music, going to see important films, and only watching the stuff on TV that was acceptable for the intelligentsia to view, but at some point, I ended up with a DVR full of reality shows, episodes of Burn Notice, and the Thursday night NBC comedies that every one who writes for a blog is obligated to enjoy (and for good reason). I try to avoid TV's array of singing competitions, but I can't help myself with The Singoff, which I might be the only person watching on Monday nights. Although a capella performances can often be a little too precious by a bit for my tastes, the performances end up shining through for me, mostly because everyone's just so talented. The Dartmouthaires performed a medley of Queen hits a few weeks ago that still gives me chills, even if it was watching it happen on a reality show.