Songs You May Have Missed #638

Blind Pilot: “Packed Powder” (2016)

Subdued, melancholic, and beautiful. From an album inspired by songwriter Israel Nebeker losing his father and ending a long-term relationship.

If there must be pain and loss in the world, at least it can sometimes beget transcendent work like this.

See also: https://edcyphers.com/2013/02/16/songs-you-may-have-missed-334/

See also: https://edcyphers.com/2013/01/12/songs-you-may-have-missed-291/

Songs You May Have Missed #637

Tonic: “Lemon Parade” (1996)

If you’ve ever felt protective of a child or a lover, this might be your anthem.

If the sound of clean, textured guitars appeals to you (or indeed zestful 90’s rock distortion), the underrated Tonic is a band you should dig into deeper than their scant radio hits.

If you’re susceptible to earworms of any kind, listen at your own risk: I’ve woke with this one in my head for three successive mornings.

I wish I’d seen you as a little girl
Without your armor to fend off the world
I would have kept you underneath my wing
I would protect you from everything
Make way for the lemon parade
Make way for my girl
Make way for the lemon parade
Make way for my girl
Did the boys all tease you when they had the chance
Always left standing when it came time do dance
Did you hide behind your books girl
Did you find your secret friends
Always I’ll want you
Always ’till the end
Make way for the lemon parade
Make way for my girl
Make way for the lemon parade
Make way for my girl

Songs You May Have Missed #636

Pet Shop Boys: “Home and Dry” (2002)

At the time of the Pet Shop Boys’ Release album’s uh…release in 2002, critics couldn’t agree whether it was the band’s death-throes or their brilliant reinvention they were hearing.

Time and continued artistic success (see their cracking 2009 Yes album for evidence) argue for the latter assessment.

Although this album saw the band move a bit from their typical electronic disco template to a more band-focused, guitar-infused pop sound (former Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr appears on several songs) there’s a depth and maturity to the songwriting that marks the record as more than a mere staving off of stagnation. Yes, it’s a change. But it feels like growth, not desperation.

“Home and Dry” charted at #14 in the UK, where the band’s singles success extended well beyond the 80’s. Needless to say, it did not trouble the US charts.

See also: https://edcyphers.com/2012/03/19/recommended-albums-12/

Songs You May Have Missed #635

Mariachi El Bronx: “NorteƱo Lights” (2011)

A bit of tasty Tejano from the punk band with a double major, The Bronx–otherwise known (when they don their sombreros) as Mariachi El Bronx.

Seriously, how fun are these guys?

See also: https://edcyphers.com/2015/01/16/songs-you-may-have-missed-519/

Songs You May Have Missed #634


Julian Lennon: “Saltwater” (1991)

Julian Lennon had his brief moment of pop stardom, then seemed to disappear.

But in truth he never went away but has continued in relative obscurity, crafting the kind of music that evokes his father’s work, both solo and with a certain foursome.

Check out the gorgeous lament “Saltwater” for proof that Johnny’s son was and is a valid artist in his own “write”.

Songs You May Have Missed #633

Guster: “Overexcited” (Extended Version) (2019)

Guster have gone for an 80’s nostalgia feel on their 2019 Look Alive album, and “Overexcited”, presented here in it’s non-LP extended version, evokes that British cheek and spirit of bands like Madness.

The lyric video will fill you in on the hilarious bantery bits.

See also: https://edcyphers.com/2013/03/17/songs-you-may-have-missed-364/

See also: https://edcyphers.com/2015/01/31/songs-you-may-have-missed-521/

See also: https://edcyphers.com/2012/03/01/recommended-albums-9/

Songs You May Have Missed #632

Steriogram: “Walkie Talkie Man” (2004)

Though dubbed Auckland, New Zealand’s smartass retort to Sum 41 by Allmusic, Steriogram are so much more. On their second album, the David Kahne-produced Schmack, the band combine pop punk with Beastie Boys-style white boy rap, Nirvanaesque riffage, Weezer’s gawky sense of humor, and classic rock reference all to glorious effect.

Tyson Kennedy’s snark rap vocals play against Brad Carter, who carries the chorus melody on “Walkie Talkie Man”, and it’s all pinned on a mighty Kinks-inspired riff and an exuberance that schmacks of too many energy drinks.

I recommend reading along to this one.

Well you’re walkin and a talkin
And a movin and a groovin
And a hippin and a hoppin
And a pickin and a boppin
Those bods are being bad
You better take a stand
You gonna wake up that thing in your hand
You’re looking all around
There is trouble to be found
Make sure when you find it you get to say it loud
Gotta code three
Need back up
Bring me my bright pink fluro jacket

He’s fat and he don’t run too fast
(Well you’re walkin and a talkin)
But he’s faster than me
(You’re my walkie talkie man)
Last night at the show we saw him
(Well you’re walkin and a talkin)
Going out of his tree
(Go Go Go Go)

Well you’re walkin and a talkin
And a freakin and a yellin
And a bossin and a speakin
And a lookin and a pointin
Always tell us what to do
With your high top shoes
And you wave your torch
With your black short shorts
Don’t let em get away
Don’t think they can play Nail ’em to the wall
Cause you really need to say
Gotta code three
Need back up Bring me
My bright pink fluro jacket

He’s fat and he don’t run too fast
(Well you’re walkin and a talkin)
But he’s faster than me
(You’re my walkie talkie man)
Last night at the show we saw him
(Well you’re walkin and a talkin)
Going out of his tree
(just the drums!)

He’s fat and he don’t run too fast
But he’s faster than me
Last night at the show we saw him
Going out of his tree

He’s fat and he don’t run too fast
But he’s faster than me
Last night at the show we saw him
Going out of his tree
He’s a walkie talkie man!

Well you’re walkin and a talkin
And a movin and a groovin
And a hippin and a hoppin
And a pickin and a boppin
Those bods are being bad
You better take a stand
You gonna wake up that thing in your hand
You’re looking all around
There is trouble to be found
Make sure when you find it you get to say it loud
Gotta code three
Need back up
Bring me My bright pink fluro jacket

The Grammy-nominated video is pretty yarn good, too:

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