Pod Picks for May 31, 2012

May 29, 2012 

Check out some retro cool, another rocking duo and some sassy hip-hop we recommend for downloading (legally, of course) or streaming to your personal media device.

"Signs and Signifiers" by JD McPherson

It’s immediately obvious that McPherson is a student of Buddy Holly and early R&B. The album this track is from could have been released in the mid-‘50s. The song grooves along at its own pace, introducing different elements of sound along the way. Starting with the echo of McPherson’s guitar and a set of maracas, a piano comes and goes, while an upright bass and a rim-shot snare keep time for McPherson’s voice – which fits the ‘50s theme like a glove. But as retro as it is, there’s newness to it because there’s no slavery to the style – it just sounds so authentic and so cool when it’s played this way.

"The House that Heaven Built" by Japandroids

Here comes another duo that makes a really big noise. A wall of guitars, the deep thud of anthem-like drums, screamed verses with layered vocals, a repeated refrain of “Oh! Oh! Oh! Oh! Oh! Oh! Oh! Oh! Oh!” – this is a noisy rock doing its job. Plus, the group has a kickass name – a bit misleading for a straight-up rock band but kickass all the same. And all this from a couple of Canadians, with this type of beautiful angst, you’d think these two were from New Jersey.

"Fuck Up the Fun" by Azealia Banks

Get ready for this description…This sounds like the most foulmouthed girl in school hijacked the drumline of the marching band and throws up two minutes of crazy-in-your-face, chaos rap before being ripped off stage by the assistant principle while spouting obscenities to anyone who will listen. This is a musical version of “The Basketball Wives.” That is, if “The Basketball Wives” had any talent whatsoever. It’s two-and-half-minutes of what the hell is this? It’ll make you feel guilty for liking it. And even if you don’t like it, it’s fun to hear the music being made in the room where Missy Elliot kicked in the door back in the ‘90s.

Derrick Bracey, for Weekly Surge

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