POTW #5: Wolfgang Amadeus Frattura

Yeah, that’s right. This is now a classical music blog! And we’re going to start this new era of blogging by celebrating the life, music, and all-around awesomeness of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, one of the greatest child prodigies ever known to man. The guy had such a good ear for music that by the time he was, like, five years old he could listen to someone play a piece on the harpsichord and then sit down and play it himself note for note. That’s pretty remarkable talent, man.

Plus, you know a classical composer is awesome when he’s got movies, ’80s one-hit wonders, and Simpsons parodies of said ’80s one-hit wonders inspired by his greatness.

I LOVE YOU, DOCTOR ZAIUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Okay, so I’m not actually going to start writing about classical music on this blog. It’s still the same rock/indie/metal/etc. blog as always. I’m just in a goofy mood at the moment. Not that you’d know this from looking at me, because I am sitting alone in my apartment on a Saturday night typing all this while the rest of the world is having fun without me. I’m 23 years old and I’ve already apparently forgotten what it’s like to be young… or maybe I just don’t feel like cramming into bars that are already so stuffed with people that I can’t get from point A to point B without taking a detour through points C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, and Z, not necessarily in that order and also allowing for possible repeats.

And yes, I only named all the letters between C and Z for additional effect. Just be glad I didn’t start getting into the Greek alphabet, or all those letters Dr. Seuss made up in On Beyond Zebra.

Not pictured: Spazz, Floob, Zatz, Jogg, Flunn, Itch, Yekk, Vroo, Hi!, and that one that combines all 26 "normal" letters.

Anyway, now that I’ve gotten my little mini-rant about the College Park bar scene off my chest, it’s time for my not-so-weekly Picks Of The Week! You can find them all after the jump.

Phoenix, “1901”

Not too long ago I picked up a copy of Phoenix’s album It’s Never Been Like That. I got it on the strength of songs like “1901,” which isn’t even on that album — it’s on their new one, Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix. That’s how good this song is — it’s made me check out albums from this band that didn’t feature this song before picking up the one it’s actually on!

In all seriousness, though, “1901” is pretty much a perfect indie-pop song, and it comes courtesy of a band that specializes in creating really good indie-pop songs. It’s so freaking catchy that it will burrow into your brain like —  to borrow a phrase from U2 — a MOLE digging in a HOLE, digging in your SOUL. Or something like that. Easily one of my favorite singles of the year so far.

Hopefully Cadillac won’t ruin this song for me the way they almost ruined Led Zeppelin’s “Rock And Roll.” And don’t even get me started on how sick I still am of John Mellencamp’s “Our Country.” I was damn near ready to boycott everything that guy’s ever done because of one really annoying Chevy ad campaign. Over the course of one football game, you’d hear that freaking song enough to last you two years. Now lather, rinse, and repeat that for every football game and any other sporting event you may have watched.

Grizzly Bear, “While You Wait For The Others”

Speaking of bands who have developed a knack for crafting perfect indie-pop singles, here’s Grizzly Bear, whose “Two Weeks” was featured in my last Picks Of The Week post. “While You Wait For The Others” is more guitar-driven and features a change in lead vocalists than Veckatimest‘s other single (“Two Weeks” had Ed Droste on lead vocals, while Daniel Rossen handles them here). It still showcases their Beach-Boys-esque flair for vocal harmony arrangements and also features highly hummable hooks (oh, the alliteration!), especially in the verses.

The Fall Of Troy, “Single”

This song has a pretty well-chosen title for a number of reasons. First, as singer/guitar virtuoso Thomas Erak explains, “Single” is a song about… well, being single. He also says it’s the first single from their new album In The Unlikely Event. It’s probably one of their catchiest and most instantly accessible songs to date, though my favorite part of this song is that muted guitar line Erak plays during the verses.

Another early favorite from this album is “Nobody’s Perfect,” which also features a memorable verse guitar melody and accessible vocal hooks. Then it suddenly morphs into a dark and angry breakdown-filled scream-a-thon.

Interpol, “Rest My Chemistry”

Our Love To Admire is generally considered Interpol’s weakest album by a pretty considerable margin, but it’s still got plenty of quality songs that make it worth a listen. “Rest My Chemistry” is probably my favorite of the bunch, primarily due to its simple yet incredibly infectious guitar work. I really like that jangly, shimmering guitar sound that Interpol gets in just about all their songs, but for some reason it sticks out to me even more with this one. It’s even more likely to stick in my head than the vocal melody in the verse, which I like a lot as well. Also recommended from Interpol is “C’Mere,” a single from Antics that gets stuck in my head whenever I hear it, though I haven’t listened to it in a while.

Minus The Bear, “Into The Mirror”

Cue the Dire Straits’ “Money For Nothing”: I want my… I want my… I want my MTB! NEW MINUS THE BEAR! WOO-HOO!

“Into The Mirror” wasn’t actually supposed to be released until the end of this month, but then the song popped up on Imeem a week or two ago. It’s like an extension of their Planet Of Ice sound, which is good news if you’re like me and you LOVE Planet Of Ice. The new MTB album comes out in early 2010 and frankly it can’t get here soon enough.

And as if that wasn’t awesome enough, they’ll be playing a show in West Chester, Pennsylvania on November 14. Why is this awesome, you ask? Because that’s where I’m from — the city that gave you Bam Margera, Viva La Bam, CKY (Bam Margera’s brother’s band), and… um… other things that may or may not be associated with Bam Margera. Oh, and guess who owns the venue MTB will be playing at in West Chester? That’s right… Bam Margera. The place is, like, ten minutes down the road from where I live.

So that about covers all my Picks Of The Week for this week. See you the next time I feel like picking some more songs, because given the history of this feature, it sure as hell won’t be next week.

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