Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Club MySpace: 2009 Year-End Edition, part I

While other media outlets neatly compile all the albums, bands and songs they've loved throughout the year, The Typing Monkey has realized that we missed quite a bit of music during the past 11 months. Part of the problem is our consummate laziness in making our marginally regular column, Club Myspace, marginally regular.

So in an effort to chew all our cabbage at once, we present an all "What Did We Miss?" themed entry of Club MySpace. There will be at least one more of these before the year is over, three if we can manage it. So laugh an point as you scroll through, we'll ignore you and revel in the discoveries we've made as we played catch up with the year that was.

Sweet relief. A New York band that's not trying to be something "other" and instead succeeds brilliantly at being a rock band. A quartet of young men playing rough-edged pop that is unapologetically fun and catchy.

The Delfields
This New Jersey trio will draw comparisons to The Shins, and there's nothing wrong with that. It's the vocals primarily. But their pure pop (guitars, bass, drums, cheap-plastic keyboards) excavates pleasant memories of The Housemartins and The Connells -- lovely.

Mungolian Jetset
Helmed by two Norwegian DJs, this collective's work has been around for several years, only recently compiled into a two-disc set from the Smalltown Supersound label. They craft psychedelic murals of electronics, percussion and the odd divergence into guitar territory. It's an ideal headphone voyage for fans of KLF, The Orb and similar fare.

Crazy, messed-up melodies sung in a nearly disengaged alto. It's like two 78 rpm records found in an antique store, playing simultaneously. Some folks presume electronic music from Germany is weird crap for art students and this is why. If Niobe doesn't tickle your brain, you are one of those presumptuous folk. We'll listen for you.

The Penelope[s]
Likewise, French electronic musicians take a lot of abuse for crafting club-oriented disco for coke-whiffing snobs. With that in mind, this duo makes strange electronic pop with good no-wave bass and guitar. Would it sound good pumping from the soundsystem of a sweaty discotheque? Mais, oui.

We can't possibly keep up with techno. Nobody can. But when the form is handled this well, The Typing Monkey pays attention. The cold, disorienting sounds match nicely to the horror theme Voodeux uses -- mood, not sound effects. An American duo flexing solid genre muscles on both sides of the equation.

Wild Beasts
That voice! Hymn-like, methodical pop from a UK quartet that understands dynamics should be rendered in shades of gray, not strictly black and white.


Drums of Death
If this special edition of Club MySpace had a "Get Drinks" section, Drums of Death would be in it. We include the skull-faced electroclash/hip-hop fellow because we want to make sure you understand he's not a high-concept comedy record, even though you'd be forgiven for thinking the "Got Yr Thing" video was a Lonely Island/SNL digital short.