I was starting to get into a rut where I was only listening to one of four records on my iPod, so I did the


What I'm Listening To

I was starting to get into a rut where I was only listening to one of four records on my iPod, so I did the ol' "musical recharge" and hit the shuffle button and rediscovered some amazing gems that justify that expensive little zone-the-world-out bugger.

Jellyfish; Spilt Milk: First instinct after listening to this record a bajillion times over the past few weeks; absolute and total frustration. It's a genius record, both in terms of lyrical content (it's essentially a self-fulfilling prophecy, a rock opera about the fall of a rock star) and musicianship (the band outdoes Queen, Ben Folds, and Joe Jackson at their own game), yet it's one of those records that few people have actually sat down and spent time with. Released in 1993, the production values on Spilt Milk still sound fantastic, the songs are incredible ("Joining a Fan Club" may be one of the best rock songs ever written), and it's one of those sublime alignments of melody and wit, combining familiarity and smart (but not too cerebral) songwriting into a timeless piece of music. If we can get the Pixies, Dinosaur Jr., and Pavement to reunite, is it that hard to get Jellyfish together again? Are we even smart enough to understand and embrace them 16 years later?

Beulah; The Coast Is Never Clear: At first glance, this record sounds like an amazing record for coasting around with the windows down, soaking up some rays. After a few listens, you realize it's a bittersweet breakup record about the end of a relationship and the end of the summer. As the leaves are starting to change colors and we're slipping on hoodies and sweaters, it's a perfect record for the melancholy summer/fall transition where we wax nostalgic about our summer freedom and adventures and prepare for the captivity of the coming indoor months.

Apples in Stereo; New Magnetic Wonder:

I admit; I slept pretty hard on the Apples in Stereo after their first couple records. In hindsight, maybe they were just TOO consistently shiny and happy in their pop charm. New Magnetic Wonder is as diverse and solid a pop record as I've heard in the last few years, with the band embracing more of their 70's love and making a bit spacier record that sounds more like ELO on a summer holiday and less like a well-adjusted Zombies. It would also compliment the aforementioned Jellyfish record, especially the pop genius of "7 Stars". New Magnetic Wonder is a great sugar rush; perfect getting out of bed music for those mornings that you just can't seem to drag your bones out from underneath all the blankets.

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