As opposed to our favorite songs, or songs we'd like to think define our listening habits, taking a look at what a person actually listens to can be far more revealing. With that in mind, every so often we'll ask an artist to take a look at the most-played songs in their iTunes libraries and share with us the results. We do this on the honor system, and we ask our subjects to share a few words about each song.
With irrepressible pop tendencies like The Shins, perky harmonies like our very own Hoot Hoots (see "Lions" here), and a synthy backbone that elevates their music beyond simple hook-driven jingling, Nashville's The Features have a sound any indie rocker would love. And love they have--they're widely embraced across the pond, have a loyal following in their native South--and attention Chris Kornelis: they're signed to Serpents and Snakes, a Kings of Leon imprint--but since forming in 1994, the group has yet to spring from these shadows to a further-reaching fan base.
Things appear to be changing with the release of the band's third album, last year's Wilderness, a boisterous, indie-meets-garage rock affair guided by frontman Matt Pelham's assertive (even Caleb Followill-y) vocals that's been getting high marks from every rag from Paste to Spin. Here, drummer Rollum Haas (above left) shares the top ten songs in heavy rotation on his iTunes and lends further insight into the band's complex trove of influences.
The Features play Chop Suey tonight with Vanaprasta and The Good Hurt. 8 p.m. $10.
1. "On Your Own Again," Scott Walker: I feel like his albums are all spotty but when he's on it's amazing. His originals usually end up being my favorites.
2. "Dancing With The Moonlit Knight," Genesis: Selling England By The Pound is my favorite record of theirs top to bottom. Being a musician into prog rock kind of makes you feel the same way as being an avid Star Trek fan in middle school. I know that feeling.
3. "Stop It," Pylon: Vanessa [Briscoe] is one of my favorite vocalists from that era. So much neat music like Pylon, DBs, R.E.M., B-52s, etc, came out of the South at that time.
4. "Mother Of Pearl," Roxy Music: Probably my favorite Roxy song. There's no traditional arrangement to it. Just an intro where [Brian] Ferry has a weird dialogue with himself and a verse that builds gradually.
5. "Poor Moon," Canned Heat: Love song to the moon/hippie environmental message. Good stuff.
6. "Skipping," Associates: They seem to be a love it or hate it band, like Rush. I've never heard anything else like it.
7. "The Chauffeur," Duran Duran: They're the first band I got really into. They also led me to Roxy Music which led me to a lot of other good music.
8. "The Classical," The Fall: This song encapsulates everything I think is good about The Fall.
9. "Nothingface," Voivod: I've just started listening to them. It has everything I like about metal, science fiction, and prog rock. It's pretty over the top. A lot of the artwork is awesome. It's like he never changed the things he drew since 4th grade, he just got amazingly good at it.
10. "Hero," Neu!: I think talking about who did what first in music can be a little silly. Like did Sabbath invent metal, who invented punk, etc. I do think this song is pretty ahead of the curve though.