Monday, October 10, 2005

Making time with Star Time

Play it: Star Time International
Download: dios (malos) "Feels Good Being Somebody" [from new album dios (malos)]

In anticipation of the new dios (malos) release tomorrow, I thought I'd take a look at their label, Star Time International, which has been churning out great music for the past four+ years now.

I'll start with the release that got most folks familiar with Star Time (including myself) The Walkmen's debut release, Everyone Who Pretended To Like Me Is Gone. Born of the ashes of the popular (and short-lived) Jonathan Fire*Eater, The Walkmen's first proper release was an instant classic, and immediately put Star Time on the map.
Play it: The Walkmen Everyone Who Pretended To Like Me Is Gone
Standout track: "We've Been Had"
Download: "Rue the Day"

Star Time Int. got huge points in my book for re-releasing Brendan Benson's previous two releases, Lapalco and One Mississippi. I've already written about them, and will dedicate more binary to them in a future post, but just know that these are nearly perfect power pop that were lost in the shuffle in the 90's post-grunge grab, and absolutely need to be heard.
Play it: Brendan Benson Lapalco
Play it: Brendan Benson One Mississippi/The Wellfed Boy EP
Standout track: Too frickin' many to mention!

The band dios recently had to reluctantly undergo a name change, thanks to a cease and desist order from lawyers representing Ronnie James Dio. Seems like there should be a joke in there somewhere, but I don't believe dios (malos) find it particularly funny. One thing it does for them, though, is make them the rare bird that has two self-titled releases... that are titled differently! Their first album, Dios, was a revelation in sound and promptly found itself on The O.C., (no doubt making pimply kids accidentally buy an album from Ronnie James Dio's band Dio. "Holy Diver" should set them straight.)
Play it: dios (malos) Dios
Standout track: "Starting Five"
Download: "You Make Me Feel Uncomfortable"

Portland's The Joggers come at you with an angular, dissonant two guitar attack that's at times reminiscent of the glory days of Chapel Hill's Polvo and Archers of Loaf. Noise pop at it's finest.
Play it: The Joggers With A Cape And A Cane
Standout track: "Wicked Light Sleeper"
Download: "Era Prison"

The French Kicks, like The Walkmen, originally hail from D.C. and cut their teeth on the capital's post-punk sound. Lately, though, their sound has been moving further and further away from those influences, especially on last year's The Trial of the Century. The band invokes a nostalgia for the 80's without sounding like they're trapped in it, by enveloping it in a different context, they escape those traps that other bands (like Stellastar) fall into.
Play it: The French Kicks The Trial of the Century
Standout track: "Was it a Crime"
Download: "One More Time"

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1 comment:

drake leLane said...

Star Time International

* "We've Been Had" - The Walkmen
* "Tiny Spark" - Brendan Benson
* "Starting Five" - dios (malos)
* "A to B" - The Futureheads
* "Was It A Crime" - French Kicks
* "Wicked Light Sleeper" - The Joggers
* "Watch This House" - The Natural History
* "Trinity" - Northern State
* "Saving Your Life" - Team USA