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STAP Lives On

I’m always on the lookout for good new music.  It’s not easy to wade through the crap to find the gems.  There’s the basic problem that if someone you don’t know says “This is the greatest band in the world”, it could be (a) they’re the greatest band in the world, or (b) they suck.  Fortunately, I have my daughter to ask about new bands, and maybe some of you eventually, to supplement what I find on my own.  So I have some recent Stand There And Play performances.

Death Cab for Cutie

My daughter introduced me to Death Cab for Cutie.  I understand that Ben Gibbard is seen as a romantic singer by many, and that some may see Death Cab as Ben and his backup band.  I like Death Cab because the four of them play so well together.  This video of I Will Possess Your Heart is a good example:

I like that they work their way into the song (4:30 until the singing starts).  Great bass riff, rock solid rhythm section, and I particularly like Chris Walla’s guitar work, filling in around the edges at first and becoming more prominent as the song progresses.  The following performance of We Looked Like Giants comes from the film Drive Well Sleep Carefully, and also includes some interview footage.  They really explode into the song at about 0:30.

Built to Spill

My daughter’s boyfriend gets credit for introducing me to Built to Spill.  A musician’s band, like the Meat Puppets and NRBQ before them – no great commercial success, but popular with musicians and cited by them as an influence (like Death Cab for this band).

The build-up in Goin’ Against Your Mind is terrific – two minutes of adding layers of sound before the singing starts.  Good variety in the guitar work.  I got to see them in San Francisco in October 2010, and loved the show.  Here’s a video for Conventional Wisdom, also from the You in Reverse album.  I love the fuzzy chords in the main riff for this song:

For all their great music, all you have to say is ‘Thanks’ (like Doug Martsch does).

White Stripes

Is Jack White the best guitarist of his generation?  May well be.  The amount of noise that two people can make is impressive in this video of Seven Nation Army:

I had heard of the White Stripes, but I learned long ago that just because a band gets a lot of attention doesn’t mean they’re worth listening to.  What prompted me to check them out was seeing the documentary It Might Get Loud.  It is a history of the electric guitar featuring Jack White with Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin) and The Edge (U2), and is well worth your while.