You're used to hearing great new music on OpenAir and this week is no exception. Stay tuned to OpenAir, new music from Colorado Public Radio, to hear the latest from Superchunk, Mean Lady, and a new compilation from PDX Pop Now.
By: Dan Mescher
Superchunk- I Hate Music
North Carolina natives Superchunk have made a career out of writing cheeky indie rock, so it comes as no surprise that their tenth album is impudently titled I Hate Music. The longtime flagship band for Merge Records explores their complicated relationship with the musical vocation on “Me & You & Jackie Mittoo”, wondering “What is it worth?” before sighing “I got nothing else, so I guess here it goes”: not exactly a ringing endorsement for two decades as Superchunk, along with founding the record label responsible for the Arcade Fire, the Magnetic Fields, Neutral Milk Hotel, and countless others. Given singer Mac McCaughan’s proclivity for sarcastic and humorous lyrics, though, take I Hate Music’s dark undercurrents with a grain of salt. Heralded as 2010 reunion album Majesty Shredding’s “dark twin”, I Hate Music often spews with aggression, but a joyful aggression. Tracks like “Void” and “Staying Home” are rousing punk anthems, while “Overflows” and “Your Theme” call to mind the laid-back alt-rock Superchunk has crafted on past releases.
Standout track: “FOH”
Mean Lady - Love Now
You might be hard-pressed to name any notable music acts from Delaware. Sure, it was the very first state, it has no sales tax, and Super Bowl MVP Joe Flacco went to school there (thus exhausts my knowledge of Delaware), but as notable musicians go they are few and far between. Well, experimental pop trio Mean Lady have arrived to put the Blue Hen State on the indie-rock map. Love Now blends classic pop sensibilities with stabs of psychedelic sampler work: think Feist meets Animal Collective. Singer Katie Dill’s lyrics cover the highs and lows of growing older and wiser and falling in and out of love: opener “One Big Family” is a cheery romp about dreams of love and friendship, while on “Bop Bop” Dill’s very dreams turn against her to thoughts of loneliness and sadness. All the while, Sam Noble’s production gives Dill’s songs a modern edge that makes Love Now an intriguing and unpredictable listen.
Standout track: “Far Away”
Various Artists - PDX Pop Now! 2013 Compilation
The 10th Annual PDX Pop Now! Festival took place this month in Portland, Oregon. The free all-ages festival, curated by the collaborative Portland arts listserv PDX Pop, showcases and raises funds for the best of Portland’s vibrant and eclectic music scene. In accordance with the festival, PDX Pop has compiled a 2-disc album of over 40 tracks from the Rose City’s finest artists, including italo disco giants Chromatics, Latin-influenced indie rockers Y La Bamba, electronic soul outfit Radiation City, lo-fi synth-rockers Wampire, and many more. The 2013 compilation provides a healthy dose of the diverse and exciting artists of Portland, a city with plenty to offer to the national music scene.
Standout track: Radiation City- “Zombies”