Category: Certain Songs

Certain Songs #1427: Parquet Courts – “Instant Disassembly”

Album: Sunbathing Animal
Year: 2014

After an EP in 2013 which they released under the moniker Parkay Quarts, for reasons, Parquet Courts issued their full-length follow-up to Light Up GoldSunbathing Animal — in the middle of 2014.

In was on Sunbathing Animal where the primary influence behind the influences of Light Up Gold came more to the forefront. I’m talking of course, about The Velvet Underground, still freaking young people out with endless possibilities a half-century later.

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Certain Songs #1426: Parquet Courts – “Stoned and Starving”

Album: Light Up Gold
Year: 2013

One of the best American indie bands of this decade, Parquet Courts manage to combine the off-kilter two-guitar attack of Pavement, the “anything can be a song” aesthetic of Guided by Voices and the drive of the early Dream Syndicate into something new, original, and a helluva lot of fun.

After an initial cassette-only release in 2011, they made a big splash in certain circles — circles where the aforementioned names were big — with Light Up Gold, a record where nearly all of the songs were under three minutes long and ended just where they needed to.

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Certain Songs #1425: The Pale Fountains – “Jean’s Not Happening”

Album: …From Across The Kitchen Table
Year: 1985

One of those mid-1980s U.K. bands who could stand in as ersatz Smiths for people who either a) couldn’t stand Morrissey, b) loved their sound and wanted more or c) both, The Pale Fountains made two records: 1984’s Pacific Street and 1985’s …From Across The Kitchen Table.

If you’ve never heard them or can’t remember them, it’s alright: neither album was released here in the Colonies, and in fact, I’d never even heard of — or more likely forgot about — Pacific Street until I started writing this post, but somehow in early 1986, …From Across The Kitchen Table made it to KFSR, and with it, the stunning “Jean’s Not Happening,” an absolutely essential proto-Britpop single.

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Certain Songs #1424: The Pains of Being Pure at Heart – “Come Saturday”

Album: The Pains of Being Pure at Heart
Year: 2009

Hey Millennials! Wanna feel old? This album came out almost exactly a decade ago!

And in fact, 2009 just might have been the last year when indie musicians still strived to create jangly guitar power pop that balanced the roar of the guitars with twee vocals and candy-coated melodies. And so the debut album of New York’s The Pains of Being Pure at Heart was so filled with so many catchy songs about being young and horny that it didn’t even matter that the name of the band was “The Pains of Being Pure at Heart.”

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Certain Songs #1423: Ozzy Osbourne – “Crazy Train”

When Ozzy Osbourne left Black Sabbath in a haze of cocaine and hurt feelings after 1978’s moribund Never Say Die, fans of the band assumed that was pretty much it for all concerned. Instead, Sabbath recruited Ronnie James Dio and made their best record since Sabatoge and Ozzy — always a zillion times more savvy than he ever came across — found himself an early post-Eddie Van Halen guitar whiz named Randy Rhodes and recorded his solo debut, Blizzard of Ozz.

Interestingly enough, Ozzy’s U.S. record company must not have had a lot of faith in him at that time, as there was a six month gap between when Blizzard of Ozz came out in the U.K. in September, 1980 and when it finally came out in the U.S. in spring of 1981. Which jibes with a memory I have of first hearing “Crazy Train” on the radio on Good Friday, 1981. Or maybe I heard it on the radio after we got a whole half day off from work!

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