There's the usual batch of indie rock goodness this month -- Comet Gain and Kurt Vile are two of my most anticipated area performances of the year, for sure -- but there's also some disco delights from Lovefingers and Lee Douglas, electro-tango fusion from Bajofondo and rugged folk from Damien Jurado. As usual, five here and 15 more after the jump.
"Rebel Side of Heaven" - Langhorne Slim (April 2, Iota)
The up-and-coming folkie has a serious knack for memorable vocal melodies, while the organ and horns on this tune make it a seriously rollicking romp.
"X-Ray Man" - Impossible Hair (April 2, Black Cat)
A galloping indie-rock tune with echoing backing vocals; maybe this is what Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid would have listened to if they lived in the era of iPods.
"City Lights (Days Go By)" - Bob Mould - (April 7, Birchmere)
Mould wasn't just a post-punk pioneer with Husker Du or a '90s alt-rock stalwart with Sugar, but the dude also wrote wrestling scripts for WCW! That's a legend, folks. He also sounds as tuneful as ever on this track from his new album.
"Love Without Lies" - Comet Gain (April 8, Black Cat)
Comet Gain plays songs about everything falling apart that, appropriately enough, always sound on the verge of falling apart themselves. This one is actually a relatively tight sing-along that would have sounded perfect at Mousetrap back during its Metro Cafe days.
"Istanbul Mix" - Lovefingers and Lee Douglas (April 10, Comet Ping Pong)
If you're gonna be down with this whole disco revival thing, then you may as well do it right. Lovefingers and Lee Douglas will turn a Chevy Chase pizza place into a sweaty, funky dance club. That's a guarantee. The link above is a recent DJ set by the duo in Istanbul. Party like it's 1979.
"Pa' Bailar" - Bajofondo (April 11, 9:30 club)
My Spanish is pretty rusty, but I do remember that bailar means "to dance." And this song by the South American collective best known for combining elements of tango and electronica does the trick. Wikipedia also tells me it's the theme song for a soap opera. Neat.
"Strictly Game" - Harlem Shakes (April 11, DC9)
If all Brooklyn blog buzz bands had songs as intricately detailed and catchy as this up-and-coming group, there'd be no need to be so skeptical of them.
"Frankie's Gun" - The Felice Brothers (April 15, Birchmere)
Do you love Dylan and the Band's "Basement Tapes"? You're not a communist, of course you do! But you don't love it as much as these guys. They made an entire album of Americana hoedowns that sound like they were also recorded in Big Pink. Hard to resist.
"Black Gold" - Southeast Engine (April 18, The Red & the Black)
Sadly, it's not a Soul Asylum cover. But the Athens, Ohio, band's original is a revved-up rocker that offers plenty to like, without those Dave Pirner dreadlocks.
"Titus Andronicus" - Titus Andronicus (April 19, Black Cat)
A name so nice they used it twice. It's an appropriate theme song, since it captures the chaotic, going-for-broke sound this New Jersey band favors.
"Gillian Was a Horse" - Damien Jurado (April 19, Jammin' Java)
The hulking singer-songwriter has officially graduated from "overlooked" to "criminally overlooked." Jurado's knack for pop hooks shines on this song, which features some perfect female harmonies throughout. One of these days he'll get his due.
"Spirited" - Laura Gibson (April 19, Jammin' Java)
Gibson almost sounds like she's afraid to sing. Only once every few syllables does she get above a gentle chirp, but that just serves to make you listen more intently.
"Te Mando Flores" (YouTube video) - Fonseca (April 22, Black Cat)
The Colombian singer already sold out one Black Cat show, so the club quickly added another. This could be your only chance to see him before reaches Juanes-levels of fame.
"Freeway" - Kurt Vile (April 25, Velvet Lounge)
Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the next Indie Rock Idol. It's like Neil Young meets bedroom recording meets the best song I've heard in the past year. His set is bound to be one of many highlights at the second annual DNA Test Fest.
"Epiphany" (Video) - Chrisette Michele (April 27, Birchmere)
The nascent R&B star knows her way around a sultry relationship tune. This one was written by Ne-Yo, so that's part of the reason it sounds so good.
"Welfare Bread" - King Khan and the Shrines (April 29, 9:30 club)
A seriously funky and surprisingly heartfelt rock-soul number that proves King Khan has more tricks up his sleeve (on the rare occasion he's wearing a shirt) than simply garage rock stompers.
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