OK, dudes, while I strongly advise against togging skinny jeans –– only works if you’re female, cuz! and hot! –– and/or wearing guyliner, I whole-heartedly encourage the expansion of musical palates to include awesome, mind-bending, soul-enriching new (or new-ish) shit. First up: Richard Ashcroft’s “Are You Ready?,” a charging, Rocky-symphonic anthem built around majestic strings. In the video (below), however, there’s no sight of a string section. There’s just fake concert footage of Ashcroft and his band. The disconnect is off-putting and doesn’t make aesthetic sense: You’ve got strings in your ears but not in your eyes. Anyway, the song’s weird sonic DNA of orchestral maneuvers and Ashcroft’s aching hipster croak is winning, even if the lyrics are a little Christian-y and apocalyptic –– the part when Ashcroft says, “I ain’t Christian, ooooo” has been edited out, but his reference to “ah, Jesus, sweeeeet Jesus” remains. Whatever. Briton Ashcroft used to be lead singer of The Verve.
Speaking of former frontmen of popular ’90s-era indie rockers, Greg Dulli, after his Afghan Whigs disbanded at the tail-end of the ’90s, started his current project, The Twilight Singers. The song for the video below, “On the Corner,” can be found on the Singers’ February 2011 release, Dynamite Steps. And, uh, the area overrun by cats. Weekly peeps, remind you of someplace special?
And since we’re on a frontman kick, there is no Edward Sharpe of Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeroes. Instead there’s an Alex Ebert from Los Angeles. In light of the previous two sweeping, majestic songs, ES&TMZ’s “40 Day Dream” fits perfectly. Great tune. “Bitch, I swea-AY-er I’ll go cray-zay.” Ah, hippies.