The two or three songs that appeared on each Pavement album by full-time guitarist and occasional singer/songwriter Spiral Stairs always seemed to be these little secret pleasures, three-and-a-half-minute chunks of rocking-out energy blended beautifully with randomized weirdness. His hard work continues (and his creativity grows) on two Preston School of Industry albums, full of rootsy, poppy, noisy, sloppy tunes, all of which Spiral Stairs got to write and sing.
Lord only knows if the Ohio basement legends are still relevant, and only the same lord knows if relevancy is still relevant. Alls I know is that the adventurous stew of riffs, hooks, and twee vocals will cause an involuntary reaction from me as long as my feet can tap and my head can nod. There are a ton of archived MP3s at both Matador and gbv.com, so stick around for a while.
The New Pornographers resident pop auteur lead singer guy puts together his own set of finely polished gems that have the get-up-and-go (“Miracle Drug”) of his best efforts with the “supergroup” and the jaded sunshine (“Drink to Me Babe, Then”) of the late-great Zumpano. A few more like these from Newman and Ben Folds will have to work harder to get our attention.
Like the Scottish tongue: lots of burrs and still a great listen.