Roundin’ Up The Strays: The Virgins, Valerie June, Jagwar Ma, Matt Nathanson

Straight to the point. So grab your chaps and your lasso, and mount your trusty steed. Time to round ’em up.

Virgins - strike-gentlyThe Virgins – Strike Gently

In the five years since their excellent debut, The Virgins apparently went through some heavy stuff, becoming less power-poppy and replacing 75% of the band. They’ve also absorbed the sounds of their New York heritage, echoing The Velvet Underground, Television, and The Strokes. (And sometimes Mark Knopfler, the outlier).

Have a fire extinguisher ready.

Valerie June - pushin-against-a-stoneValerie June – Pushin’ Against A Stone

Harry Smith’s Anthology of Folk Music as played by the Hi Records Rhythm Section. A twist on soul, folk, blues, and R&B from a truly unique voice.

Decades of Memphis musical roots recombined to free your mind.

Jagwar Ma - HowlinJagwar Ma – Howlin 

If the Madchester scene was filtered through Simian Mobile Disco. Day-glo dance pop with guitars, and big, bouncin’, rubbery beats that reverberate inside your skull until nothing is left but jigglin’ brain jelly.

Do your stereo speakers complain about not partying enough? Problem solved.

Matt Nathanson - Last of the Great PretendersMatt Nathanson – Last Of The Great Pretenders 

Life in San Francisco. The lyrics of Nathanson’s album are almost too specific. It’s not always easy to identify with someone singing what sounds like parts of their diary. But if he’s going to keep writing songs as catchy as “Kinks Shirt” then I’ll just shut up.

(You can find me in the corner dancing like Molly Ringwald in The Breakfast Club.)

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