Pod Picks for March 7, 2013

March 5, 2013 

This week we recommend some top-flight mock-rock, honky-tonk soaked alt-country, and some alt-Brit-Pop for downloading (legally, of course) or streaming to our iPod, iPad, iPhone or other personal media device.

“39" By Tenacious D

Jack Black and Kyle Gass are back as The D and on their way to play the House of Blues in North Myrtle Beach on Saturday. The duo’s latest album, “Rize of the Fenix” (released in 2012) is a rocktagious dose of hilarity. This song is Black’s attempt to mash-up Jimmy Buffet with Neil Diamond with any creepy over-the-hill rock-star. Their new material not only claims they’re back to rip the stage a new-one, it also shows humility as they call themselves out on their last album and accompanying movie tanking. But Tenacious D has its bravado back because The D is some hard and hilarious badasses.

"Down in the Woods" by Richard Hawley

Once a member of both the British alt-pop-rock bands Longpigs and Pulp in the ‘90s and early aughts, Hawley has been releasing solo albums since 2001 and from the sound of his newest outing, “Standing at the Sky's Edge” and at the age of 46, it feels like he’s just hitting his stride. His style has always varied and this song comes on strong with a rock drone, brandishing sonic guitars and crooned vocals and a sly delivery.

"Hearts and Minds" by Son Volt

Oh, the sweet effect of a couple of Cajun fiddles is heavy here. Once upon a time, Son Volt’s bandleader Jay Farrar was a member of the groundbreaking alt-folk/country band Uncle Tupelo. Then the band split and co-member Jeff Tweedy created Wilco and Farrar formed Son Volt and both went on to experiment with folk music. Farrar dipped into a half-dozen other projects. But as the title indicates, this song off the band’s new album, “Honky Tonk,” is pretty straightforward pedal steel country. Farrar and Co. have revived the Bakersfield sound – this is a Buck Owens or Merle Haggard two-step – simple and beautiful heartbreak.

Derrick Bracey, for Weekly Surge

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