The Polyphonic Spree: “Wig In a Box”

That post on Casper and the Cookies covering a Rocky Horror song made me look around for a copy of Wig in a Box. It’s indie acts like Frank Black, Sleater-Kinney and Rufus Wainwright covering the soundtrack of Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Genius? You bet. Here’s my favorite Hedwig song being covered by a band that can do it better than no other.

MP3: The Polyphonic Spree – Wig In A Box (Hedwig/Stephen Trask)
The thing I love most about “Wig in a Box” is that it’s got the whole duality of Hedwig wrapped up nicely. No, I don’t mean that it plays with the masculine/feminine theme that runs through the musical (which it does), but rather that it’s expertly gentle and forceful. Despite being a bit of a headcase, Hedwig is a very sympathetic character, and the Polyphonic Spree do a great job of capturing the emotion that flows from that. Tim’s delivery is only topped by their excellent-as-always instrumentation.

Buy Wig In A Box

The new Polyphonic Spree album The Fragile Army will be out soon. Excited yet? Also, am I alone in thinking that sounds like the name of a Nine Inch Nails fan club?

Ideal Free Distribution: “Apples and Oranges”

Lexington band the Ideal Free Distribution just released their debut album on Happy Happy Birthday to Me Records, and I couldn’t be happy happier. Check ’em out if you’re a fan of the Zombies, Syd Barrett or The Beach Boys (which I know you are).

MP3: Ideal Free Distribution – Apples and Oranges
In order to properly explain the level of quality that the Ideal Free Distribution have risen to with their new self-titled album, I have to tell you about a wonderful phenomenon. Literally every time I’ve played the record at CD Central, someone – though sometimes two or three someones – approaches the desk with a stack of classic pop albums clutched to their breast, and asks with great interest who is it that delights their ears so. It’s then that I get to tell them that it’s no Zombies, Byrds, Barrett or otherwise; it’s a contemporary band, and one with which they probably share a postman.

It’s the Ideal Free Distribution.

Birthed over the past few years by principle songwriters Craig Morris, Tony Miller and Eric Griffy (among a host of other players), the Ideal Free Distribution are a music fan’s band. They’re retrospective without being derivative, and are able to recall heroes of the 60s and 70s without aping them. The album-opening “Apples and Oranges” could very well have been the fruit of The Zombies, just as easily as that of the IFD.

Ideal Free Distribution on Mypace
Order Ideal Free Distribution from HHBTM

I just saw Pan’s Labyrinth and cannot suggest enough that you see that movie. Best film I’ve seen in a long while.

Dr. Dog: “My Old Ways”

I’ve never really been bitten by the Dr. Dog bug, but We All Belong might be the album that does it for me. It’s loaded with folkified pop gems that I can’t help but go back to again and again. I’d intended to post on this back when the video came out, but it got away from me.

MP3: Dr Dog – My Old Ways
Like a vaudevillian Nilsson, Dr. Dog constructed a sly, piano pop piece that is sure to ring true with anyone whose path its crosses. It’s the kind of song you expect to be drunkenly sung just minutes after midnight on new year’s. Friends gather around a piano and lament their former ways, and avow — fruitlessly, no doubt — to amend their ways and grow as individuals.

Preorder We All Belong
My Old Ways music video

Casper and the Cookies: “Sweet Transvestite”

Big thanks to Rich over at Cable and Tweed for this cover. I stole it from his excellent recording of a Casper and the Cookies cover show. You can (and should) download the whole thing at his blog. They do covers of Joan Jett, The Zombies and tons more.

MP3: Casper and the Cookies – Sweet Transvestite (Rocky Horor)
I must confess that one of my longstanding secret wishes has been to be a member of a band that occasionally covers songs from the Rocky Horror Picture Show. Not one of those bands that does it as a shtick, but a group that stays true to the spirit and passion of the original. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’ve always wanted to be a member of Casper and the Cookies.

(Also, whoever yelled out “Say it!” from the crowd is my hero.)

Check the original on Youtube

Kentucky Area Shows

I know that sometimes it feels like good bands never visit your state. Kentucky residents, rest assured that this is not the case! Here are some sweet shows passing through our area.

Jan 31 – The Rapture @ Headliners
Feb 5 – The Essex Green w/ Kim Taylor @ Southgate House
Feb 8 – The Apples in Stereo @ CD Central (Instore)
Feb 8 – The Apples in Stereo w/ Casper and the Cookies @ The Dame
Feb 9 – The Apples in Stereo w/ Casper and the Cookies @ Top Cat’s Club
Feb 15 – Alexi Murdoch @ Headliners
Feb 20 – The Annuals @ Southgate House
Feb 21 – Mastodon w/ Priestess @ Headliners
Feb 24 – Wax Fang w/ The Features @ Headliners
Mar 8 – Page France w/ Canada @ Southgate House
Mar 10 – RJD2 w/ Busdriver @ The Dame
Mar 10 – Takka Takka w/ Land of Talk @ Alchemize FREE
Mar 12 – The Walkmen w/ The Broken West @ Southgate House
Mar 13 – The Walkmen w/ The Broken West @ Headliners
Mar 17 – Do Make Say Think @ The Dame
Mar 19 – Ratatat @ Southgate House
Mar 20 – Of Montreal w/ Loney, Dear @ Southgate House
Mar 22 – Saturday Looks Good To Me @ Southgate House
Mar 23 – Blood Brothers @ Headliners
Mar 28 – Battles @ The Dame
Mar 30 – Aqueduct w/ Youth Group @ Southgate House
Mar 31 – Black Angels @ Southgate House
April 6 – Sebadoh @ Headliners
April 6 – Long Winters w/ Broken West @ Southgate House
April 9 – Page France w/ Headlights @ Mecca
April 14 – Andrew Bird @ Southgate House
May 15 – Animal Collective @ Southgate House
May 16 – Animal Collective @ The Dame
May 24 – Tapes ‘n Tapes @ Southgate House

Wet Confetti Release Album, Tour

Wet Confetti are touring in support of their new album, Laughing, Gasping, with a few Californa dates. Check ’em out if you’re a fan of You Say Party! We Say Die! (or even not!).

MP3: Wet Confetti – Sorry Dinosaur

Wet Confetti Tour Dates
1/31 – Arcata, CA @ the Green House (860 11th St.) w/ TBA
2/01 – Oakland, CA @ The Uptown w/ The F*cking Ocean and Leaders of Men
2/02 – San Francisco, CA @ The Hemlock Tavern w/ The F*cking Ocean and Fierce Antler
2/03 – Oakland, CA @ the Bus w/ The F*cking Ocean and TBA
2/04 – Sacramento, CA @ Fools Foundation w/ The F*cking Ocean and The Tangles

Wet Confetti on Myspace

Black Daniel: “Gimme What You Got”

Homework’s piling up faster than the first real snowfall of the year. How unfair. Luckily I’ve got Black Daniel to make me feel slightly better about having to stay inside. Still, I have to admit that it would make a sweet soundtrack for a snowball fight.

MP3: Black Daniel – Gimme What You Got
There’s something to be said for temporary fun. Is “Gimme What You Got” the next chapter in rock and roll? Hardly. But like the aforementioned snowball fight, it’s a rollicking good time for all of its three minutes, even if it doesn’t stay with you long after it’s over. Of course, it could be said that Black Daniel have an unfair advantage here, they’ve got a keyboard melody, and there’s zero chance of being hit in the ear with a snowball.

Black Daniel on Myspace

Stream: Flaming Lips, Cat Power Yoko Covers

I’m really very unfamiliar with Yoko Ono’s musical work, but I might have to remedy this before Yes, I’m a Witch comes out. It’s the reworking of some of her material by bands like The Flaming Lips, The Apples in Stereo and Cat Power.

Cat Power – Revelations WIN | Real
The Flaming Lips – Cambridge 1969/2007 WIN | Real

Cat Power’s is beautiful as always, but the Lips? It’s certainly wild, I’ll give them that. Here’s what Wayne had to say about it.

To be able to play with a track as uncompromising and confrontational as John and Yoko’s “Cambridge 1969” is ,for any curious artist, a rare treat. We took Yoko’s primal screams and John’s moaning feedback and turned them into a kind of Ornette Colemanesque melody…I fear we may have de-fanged rocks’ most disturbing performance/art/jam.

Read more at Astralwerks