Stevie Weinstein-Foner – Promised Land
I like novelty songs. And, I don’t just mean Disco Duck. Frankly, I think that all bands should strive to write novelty tunes. The greatest kind of music is the one that can surprise. This is the reason why, for example, Steeler Wheel’s Stuck in the middle with you was chosen to soundtrack one of the most violent scenes in a Quentin Tarantino film.
And, for all the intelligent lyrics and personal, home movie approach to Bob Dylan, many of his 1960s oeuvres can be categorized safely as “novelty” music. Again, it’s not the Macarena. But, it is the sort of novelty music written by a highly intelligent songwriter that knows how to easily get bored and how to learn to avoid it.
Stevie Weinstein-Foner’s Promised Land feels like a song cut from that cloth. Yes, there is something absolutely classic about the folk-rock approach, the upbeat tempo, and the smart lyrics. But, it also feels like the sort of tune that the songwriter may have come up with on a dare, or as a way to satisfy a director friend asking for material that could soundtrack a strange nature documentary. It’s quirky and conservative at the same time, and we enjoy it.
Portland August – Mosquito
Ever felt like pummeling something? If you routinely feel that way, it’s unlikely you will make many friends. You might consider becoming a rocker then. Other than combat sports, this is one of the only professions where people, myself included, admire those that feel that way and showcase it in bulldozer sort of rock n’ roll.
If anything, it will help justify your early actions to former teachers and peers. Remember when you got an F, detention, or had your parents called up to school because you threw some chairs down the stairs? Clearly, those were not the actions of a confused young person, as initially believed, but preparation for a clear sonic vision.
Portland August’s Mosquito possesses such a vision. They sound like a confident rock band that meets in craft beer bars and records on cassettes for the sake of purity. The result is a recording that sounds like a long-last 1970s punk classic that only fell into the hands of a limited, fortunate of people. Lucky for you that you were chosen.