April’s Picks: December 2013

April MoseleyApril Moseley, our resident new music expert, is back with her December picks for you. It’s a killer list, and I’m not just saying that because I owe her twenty bucks.
1.)  “Desire,” The Winery Dogs (The Winery Dogs).  “Is this just something we call desire? Stop me if I’m preachin’ to the choir.”  This track begins with a chunky guitar riff and rotund bass line.  The Winery Dogs are a supergroup of sorts, featuring Billy Sheehan (bass), Mike Portnoy (drums), and Richie Kotzen (vox, guitars).  These guys are professionals and you’ll hear it here.
2.) “Devil On My Shoulder,” MODOC (MODOC).  “I sold my soul in a crooked deal. And I coulda had more – now I beg and steal”.  A brooding, darkly plodding piece that tells a tale of crawling in bed with the things that we know are no good for us.  This track showcases the tight musicianship of the up and coming group out of Nashville, TN.
3.) “Play It,” Victory (Victory Is Music).  “That boomin’, soothin’ music ain’t no reason for the po-lice to roll right in.”  This tune is anchored in lo-fi guitar hooks and seductive synthisizers, but is upbeat and punchy.  An ode to everyone who has ever found themselves living in too close proximity to others to properly pump one’s music.
4.) “Retrograde,” James Blake (Overgrown).  “Suddenly I’m hit, it’s the starkness of the dawn.”  Sparse landscape of a song that features a smooth as butter Sam Cooke inspired croon.  This cut rises slowly to a wall of sound.  If you listen to this on a good system with the volume sufficiently loud, it will part your hairs.
5.) “All Who Remain,” Beware of Darkness (Orthodox).  “Tell the one above he’s a criminal for takin’ and given’ life like marble candy.”  A beautiful track which laments the loss of a loved one.  Delivered  without sap but with emotion.
6.) “The Outsider,” Shooter Jennings (The Other Life).  “And the higher I climb, more I see design-how they keep us all confined, robbin’ oysters of their pearls.”  A gritty anthem to seeing things differently as one ages.  Shooter is the son of Waylon.
7.) “Blues Ain’t So Bad,” Black Star Riders (All Hell Breaks Loose).  “Hand on the knife, finger on the trigger-one less soul is just one less sinner.”  This song starts with a stealthy bass line and progresses into a sexy rock n roll track puctuated with haunting guitars.  Black Star Riders are comprised by former members of Thin Lizzy and Brother Cane.
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8.) “Don’t Get L`a,” Misteur Valaire (Bellevue).  A driving piece constructed from heavy electronic thump with a healthy dose of 1920s sampling (!).  I have no idea what this song means but once you hear it, you won’t forget it.  Misteur Valaire is a group out of Montreal, Quebec.  (Great cowbell at the 2:10 mark!)
9.) “Born to Die,” King Khan & the Shrines (Idle No More).  “Leave your soul in this, if all else fails, just leave…with a kiss.”  A multifaceted ’60s psychedelic rock influenced track that progresses from rock to a bright Motown brass fade out.
10.) “All Along,” Crash Kings (Dark of the Daylight).  “If I could see right through it, maybe this would be easy.”  This track builds beautifully to a powerful, soaring chorus.  Everytime I hear this song I can hear Elton John in his early years belting this out!

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