I'm still in self-imposed football exile, despite the flurry of columnists weighing in on the current coaching staff. And since I went to the TV on the Radio show Wednesday night - a great show by the way - I figured I'd toss out a couple of North Carolina bands and albums with music appropriate for this year's season so far:
I'll start with a member of the band I used as a metaphor earlier, Eric Bachmann, who's taking a break from his once-solo project Crooked Fingers for, um, a solo-er project, To the Races. It's more stripped down and less poppy than the Crooked Fingers releases, but upbeat cheery songs wouldn't really be appropriate for Fall Saturdays this year anyway, would it?
(Not that the Crooked Fingers albums aren't worth picking up as well. I'm fond of "Big Darkness" off Red Devil Dawn and the cover of "Under Pressure" from Reservoir Songs, both of which aptly sum up the football season so far.)
Bachmann also has a track on one of my favorite albums of the year, Songs for Sixty-Five Roses, a benefit album for the National Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. I'm not sure how much press it got back in NC, so I apologize if I'm treading on ground already covered, but with the exception of one or two miscues, it's a great album of songs from North Carolina artists being covered by other North Carolina artists. I'm particularly fond of Caitlin Cary's version of "Battleground Park" and Southern Culture on the Skids take on "Everybody Wants My Baby." They haven't left any mp3s lying around, but they have a Myspace page and have the album for sale on iTunes, if you want to hear some samples.
Continuing the theme of Chapel Hill bands from the '90s doing solo albums, Jule Brown of the late, lamented Jennyanykind put out a new album this month, Smoke and Mirrors. It's a bit fuller than Bachmann's album, with more of a roots-influenced. Does it fit my Carolina football theme? With these song titles, what do you think?
And finally, a band who was only in grade school in the '90s, the new internet sensation and difficult-to-Google Annuals. They're often compared to The Arcade Fire in reviews, but with the exception of the orchestration on "Brother" I don't really see it. It's just good indie pop music, with lush harmonies and a sense of urgency woven in. Their album Be He Me comes out in October, but they have quite a few mp3s floating around at the moment.