"Stevie Nicks: Me and a bunch of my friends were in my house in Phoenix; we were up all night doing lots of cocaine and watching that movie Risky Business. That's one of my favorites. And I just made a call and that Porsche was delivered.
Courtney Love: You said, 'I want a rose Porsche?'
Stevie Nicks: I said, "I want the same Porsche that's in Risky Business.
Courtney Love: There's a rose Porsche in Risky Business?
Stevie Nicks: Yes, there is. And I bought it that morning."
I share Courtney Love's resulting "Wow." You know, weirdly, the thing about that anecdote that makes it must look like the 80s in my mind is that it took place in Phoenix.
Anyway, here, now, the present:
To this point, Ramona Gonzalez' Nite Jewel project has been content to project a faded after-image of slick synth-pop. It hasn't been urgently catchy, so much as it's been tastefully evocative. And while "One Second of Love," the title-track to her just-released new record, isn't quite destined to be blaring out of car radios come summer, it at least feels present in the moment. With that title, it sort of had to. Given Gonzalez' sweet voice and always-present strength with warm tones and city-at-dusk moods, the upped immediacy makes this probably her best ever composition. (Julia Holter sings backing vocals, btw.) And we should really talk for a second about the above video, because it is something. Pagan goat god with accompanying hipster sister wives is not the order L.A. Hunkx usually gets, but they aim to please, dammit.
Liz & Laszlo - "Rien à Paris"
French vocals and analog synths go together like brie and baguettes. This digital single from Xeno & Oaklander's Liz Wendelbo and Automelodi's Xavier Paradis, is surprisingly warm rather than aloof, adding, I dunno, some crisp apple slices to the metaphorical sandwich we starting building earlier? "Rien à Paris" translates to "Nothing in Paris," of course, so we can definitely assume that some aloofness is held behind a language barrier. (I think there might actually be something in Paris? I read that anyway.) There's a clattering industrial element to the percussion, and it wouldn't be a Wierd Records' release without some eerily warped synths sounds creeping in and out, but the engaging call and response, even just the sound of the lilting Francophone interplay there, is quite inviting. The B-sde is a Françoise Hardy cover, which, perfect.
Evans the Death - "Telling Lies"
Wait, wait, you're telling me this slice of winsome jangle-pop came out on Slumberland Records??? Now I've heard everything! Seriously though, Slumberland fans continue to be right in their beliefs. The above video, for the single released yesterday, turns from fey sweetness to weird violence on a dime. Don't fall for that heart-wink, gents! Murder awaits! (Also, given the Crayola box of blood colors on display, this band might secretly be made up of Skrulls. Which is yet another romantic red flag.)
Belle and Sebastian - "Crash" (The Primitives cover)
(streaming at P4K)
I almost feel like I'm being way too easy on this. It doesn't do much but be breezily pleasant, hit a hazy late-80s nostalgia button for a better-than-it-had-to-be-but-c'mon-not-terrific original. Man, with the sun shining and spring seemingly in reach, this can't help but fill still-cold but slightly sun-warmed ears with benign sweetness. "Na na na na na na na na na na na-ah-ah." I have no rebuttal. Oh, Belle and Sebastian. The Storytelling soundtrack is still the only thing I am mad at you about (1996-2012).
Also Check Out:
- Am I a jerk for getting super psyched about this 13-minute version of the Andre 3000 and James Murphy Gorillaz song in theory, and then just wishing it was a Goldilocks middle-short length when presented with the real thing? "Generation X on a bloop-de-bloop" though. They can't take that away from us.
- Black Dice return with the typically squealing, "Pinball Wizard," the making of which actually probably did include at least one supple wrist.
- Atlas Sound did a totally reverent, concise cover of The Knack's "My Sharona" that in no way suggested any degree of instability.
Follow Jeff on Twitter @jeff_klingman, if you want to.