1. “When I Get Back” by The Handsome Furs [2011, Sub Pop] ::: new release
Handsome Furs’ new release is truly a great album and I’ll positively be listening to it for years to come. These are anthems made for right now. This is the kind of record that stirs up grand emotion, connects you to the present, and makes you feel like something of great importance is happening– aaaand it’ll make you dance like a maniac.
Many artists have covered this tune, but something about this version by The Supremes always hit me in the gut. When I was in high school, I inexplicably had it on the same mix tape as The Cure and The Smiths–a tape I listened to endlessly. I prefer it to the Righteous Brothers recording, which–thanks to the movie “Ghost”–only conjures up the disturbing image of Demi Moore’s and Patrick Swayze’s hands intertwined in clay. Not hot.
3. “I Can’t Sleep” by The La’s [1990, Polygram] ::: under-appreciated
Most people know the song “There She Goes.” (I still grieve when I hear Six Pence None The Richer’s cover version in the grocery store. Pain in my belly.) The La’s had other terrific, timeless pop songs–such as this one–on their one and only album. It’s a bummer the band couldn’t follow through with putting out another record and realize their full potential. (For about five minutes, some people thought it was funny to make their Facebook profile pic a close-up of their eye, and I’d say, “Hey, it’s just like the cover to that album by the La’s!” They didn’t know what I was talking about. Inconceivable!)
4. “Police On My Back” by The Equals [1968, Magic] ::: gem
A friend turned me onto this band not too long ago. Vibrant and joyous, but also a little gritty, these fantastic retro recordings would not be out of place on a Tarantino movie soundtrack. Fun fact: “Police On My Back” (made famous by one of my top-favorite bands of all time, The Clash) was originally by them! Joe Strummer sings “What have I done?” with defiance, but Eddy Grant sing-speaks it with such desperation. Kills me every time.
5. “Welcome To Lunar Industries” by Clint Mansell (Moon OST) [2009, Black Records] ::: music placement-love