A regular Thursday feature of this channel.

Peter Baird


Let your annoyance with trashy drums, audible saturation on the lead vocal, and slight program overcompression pass over and away from you, and revel in the power chords. The Black Keys still have it, and Wild Child fits squarely in the tradition of Foreigner, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and just-have-fun don’t-give-a-shit rock.

The OTHER side of Belle and Sebastian. Rocky and unpretentious (until the bridge when all the drums drop out and everything gets high-passed), Unnecessary Drama is joyous, driving, and has the best bass line so far this year.

Question of the Heart isn’t just the best lyric on the new Timothy B. Schmit album, it’s also the least slicked-up arrangement. “When it lingers near/I turn and tip my hat/So it knows I’m no stranger to illusion.” Mostly a stripped-down two-step, it falls into a calypso thing in the bridge with nice use of Hammond, dobro, and blues harp.

You may want to kill me for including This Is A Photograph in a best music list, but it belongs here. It establishes a premise in the first line and by the fourth you can’t stop listening to hear the rest of the story. It’s pretty gritty and uncomfortable, and Kevin Morby insists on reciting most of the lyric despite having more than enough facility to sing it.

I’ve really fallen for this new Calexico album. I may have to buy the vinyl, I’ll let you know if I do. Cumbia Peninsula has an undercurrent of sadness (along with a significant amount of Spanish lyric) and the best ooh melody in a chorus so far this year. Somebody needs to explain Cumbia to us anglos.

I hate the way Chris Carrabba sings All the Truth That I Can Tell. Unfortunately for me, the melody and lyric are unquestionably brilliant, so in the list it goes. Is it petty of me to want to hear someone else sing this song straight ahead with a rhythm section? “Some specificities/Some changed identities/And all the truth that I can tell.”