Nothing is worse than being outside in the rain. Unless of course you're walking a stupid fucking dog who walks into the biggest puddle in the field and lays down and will not come when you call so you have to wade in there to collar him again and get soaked up to your fucking ankles. I would've been in way more of a foul mood had it not been for the new Stills to keep me musical company. I'll admit, I rolled my eyes when I opened the envelope that this came in. I had seen these dudes open for Echo & the Bunnymen a couple years ago and was thoroughly unimpressed, and really could've cared less for their last album. So I listened to it thoroughly preparing to hate it, but what I heard when I pressed play was quite a pleasant surprise. It didn't even sound like the same band. Where their debut seemed overly somber, calculated, and derivative, their follow up disc Without Feathers has a completely updated sound. It actually reminds me a bit of The Jesus & Mary Chain's "Stoned & Dethroned" album. The opening cut "In The Beginning" starts off with a chugging rhythm, then adds a marching cadence of a drumbeat, and swirling organ chords and guitar licks that turns it into a triumphant psychedelic pop rock tune, complete with a false ending to assuage your disappointment when you think it ends too early and say "Awww, man, that's IT?". While not a perfect album by any means (some of the slower songs seem a bit tedious and "The House We Live In" is sort of a weak tune to end on) the good far outweighs the bad. "Oh Shoplifter" and "Baby Blues" especially stand out.
The new Whirlwind Heat record "Types Of Wood" has also been in heavy rotation over here lately. I don't think these guys get enough credit. At it's best moments "Types Of Wood" will make you feel like you're seeing Erase Errata after they fired their guitar player and got Mark Mothersbaugh to play with them at a crowded house party with a lot of shitty beer in kegs in the basement and everyone's good looking and horny and going nuts and swinging from the rafters and sweaty bodies flailing everywhere. Take a listen to "My Electric Underwear" if you don't believe me. It's that kind of party. Porno funk basslines, brain frying Moogs, and stupid lyrics. That's not a bad thing either by the way, just listen to "Gene Pool Style" to see what I mean. They also have an awesome, hilarious, self-directed video for the spastic "Air Miami" that has more edits than that movie "Spun" but it's a lot more fun and you don't have to see Brittany Murphy.