A regular Thursday feature of this channel.

Peter Baird


Each week I make a conscious effort to introduce at least one new artist to the list, but some weeks the stuff my regular artists release is so dominant it crowds the new people out. This week is an example.

I had never heard of Bartees Strange, but his new album Farm To Table has now put two songs on the list. Mulholland Drive moves between glide and crunch modes effortlessly. It feels very LA—an undercurrent of despair tempered with determination.

Into the Twilight is just perfect ear candy. Jack White throws all the song form rules out and lets the groove dictate the next fun sonic event. Whacked-out gated snare/hats on the left, kick mostly on the right, background vocals by close-harmony chipmunky swingle singers.

Dammit, the new Calexico album did it again. Turquoise is an instrumental made for you to compose your own Tom Waits/Billy Gibbons peyote-inspired growl monologue about tripping in the Arizona desert. Great guitar and trumpet solos.

The Opposite Of Me has this really infectious chorus and is kind of frantic. Since Weezer refuses to do anything without a smirk, those elements actually function as camouflage for a really good lyric. “I’m gonna be somebody else/The opposite of me.” I never figured myself as a Weezer fanboy, but there you go.

Cover of the Week: Willie Nelson’s With A Little Help From My Friends. Willie somehow knows the song will work as a waltz, and takes you into completely different emotional territory with it. It’s a wistful take on a classic, and can be listened to over and over again.