The Well-Played List, 1-31-2014: The Black Belles, Temples, Nightmares on Wax & more

The most listened-to music of the week by the CL Music Team & local tastemakers; audio, video & Spotify playlist included.



January is winding down but the music is well underway, as per usual. Get hipped to the most listened-to, jammed-out songs, albums and artists of the week as submitted by the CL Music Team along with a rotating crew of tastemakers — local music promoters, record store and venue owners, music fans and scenesters, DJs, musicians, and a radio personality or two; check the past several week’s worth here. Audio and video included, along with any applicable show information. And on that note, what are you jamming this week? Tell us in the comments…

The Lemonheads, It's a Shame About Ray (1992) I woke up with "It's a Shame About Ray" in my head two days in a row, possibly because all that rain has sparked a desire for some grungy yet sunshine-y and jangly '90s alt rock nostalgia. So I gave into the urge to dig up the album of the same name. Or, in this case, made The Husband dig it up while I sang the titular refrain and did its accompanying riff on mouth guitar, over and over again, until he found it.

Queens of the Stone Age - I've pretty much gone through the catalog pre- and post-writing my story about the band (read it here), from their 1998 self-titled debut through 2000's Rated R ("Feel Good Hit of the Summer") and Songs of the Deaf (with best-known hit, "No One Knows"), 2007's Era Vulgaris ("Sick, Sick, Sick," "3's & 7's") and of course, 2013 latest, ...Like Clockwork. They're all so distinctive, I'm curious to see what makes it to the setlist of their show aside from the fresher stuff. Does the earnestness of Clockwork paired with the classy setting of Tuesday night's show translate to a more earnest presentation, thus more earnest song choice? I don't know, but I'll be there to find out... In the meantime, I'll be posting a bonus Q&A with bassist Michael Shuman here shortly, and a review of the show afterwards. Stay tuned for both.

Temples, Sun Structures (2014) A high quality turn-on that came by way of The Husband originally, then shortly after got my paws on the full length debut from this English foursome; their sound is vintage-scuffed garage rock with heavy washes of psychedelic sound, very much in the vein of Tame Impala. In fact, I hit a moment of forgetting what I was listening to, then thinking it was TI. Hopefully, a few more listens will yield more of the band's own personal subtleties and distinctive touches, because so far, what I've heard is promising. The album drops officially on Feb. 11 in the U.S. via Fat Possum. Check out the video for "Mesmerise" below.

Au Revoir Simone, Move in Spectrums (2013) I'll finally admit that I was being a stubborn jerk by rejecting Spotify. I'm an OCD listener, wanting to track my listening and keep it as reference - refusing to accept that not owning the bulk of my music just might be acceptable. I've slowly started to accept the streaming site into my ears over the last few weeks, and took the last leap of faith intro the digital service by trusting the recommendations it keeps pushing at me.

Not sure how I slept on Au Revoir Simone. I've heard of them, and am positive I've heard their music before, but never gave them any real attention. This 2013 album is definitely sucking me in with its soft, sad, simple electronica. With deeply personal lyrics hidden behind 1980's-influenced synth and drum machines, it's gorgeous and fun. Definitely intriguing enough for me to give their older stuff a spin this week, too. Check the video for the bouncy single, "Somebody Who" below:

The Black Belles, The Black Belles (2011) Fantastic noisy garage rock from groovy all-girl band, The Black Belles. One of the many intriguing acts on Jack White’s Third Man Records roster, The Belles make me think of what an all-female version of The Damned would sound like. The songs are all short, stripped down, fuzzy, noisy, distorted and completely infectious. Further proof that great rock ‘n roll doesn’t need to be bloated, drawn out and lumbering. The Belles look like they just stepped out of the Salem Witch Trials with their long black dresses and floppy hats, have plenty of attitude and pizzazz ... and they rock. Check out "Wishing Well" below.

JARED FAGER | music fan and scenester with discerning taste
Bibio, The Green EP (2014)

Temples, Sun Structures (2014)

This Will Destroy You, Live in Reykjavik, Iceland (2013)

JACK SPATAFORA | Founder, aestheticized presents; DJ, Soft Rock Renegades.
Can't stop listening to the new Hackman Change My Life EP (on Futureboogie)... especially the title track. Actually, I've been listening to a shit-ton of Futureboogie stuff lately. The VA — Futureboogie 10 compilation is a good place to start if you're curious.

Also... the most recent of Montreal LP (on Polyvinyl), 2013's Lousy With Sylvanbriar, is really good!!! AND... they're playing State Theatre on Tues. May 6. Tickets are on sale now.

JULIA STEWART / MoonGoddess Entertainment LLC
Nightmares on Wax, Thought So... (2008) I could jam N.O.W.'s entire discography for the rest of my days and it would never get old. Thought So has been the perfect down-tempo companion to this cold, rainy week. Chilled out, yet undeniably uplifting, it remains one of my favorites by the UK-bred electronica producer.

Snarky Puppy, Family Dinner, Volume One CD/DVD (2013) In honor of the Grammys actually recognizing great, independent music, I've had Snarky Puppy on heavy rotation. The Brooklyn-based quasi-collective took home the "Best R&B Performance" award for "Somethin’" featuring Lalah Hathaway. I would venture to say that the entire album is a masterpiece in its own right. Honored to be bringing this act to Crowbar on Feb. 24 via MoonGoddess Ent. Presents. Tickets here. A live performance of "Somethin’" off the release below.

ROBBY MCDONALD | Mojo Books & Records
Kurt Vile and The Violators, It's a Big World and I am Scared (2013) Kurt (I can call him Kurt because I spoke with him once, recently) loves to make fans squirm by releasing EPs on the sly and often only pressing limited quantities. I covet them like Babe Ruth rookie cards.

The Fall, Re-Mit (2013) Last year's release from The Fall seemed to be much overlooked and it's unfortunate, because Mark E. Smith is one of the few veterans of the field that definitely still has it.

Grass Is Green, Vacation Vinny (2014). These guys are on tour with Speedy Ortiz and played a hell of a show here last week. The Boston group combines the raw start/stop essence of post-hardcore with the style and clever wit of my favorite Pavement records. Simple. Honest. Golden. Click here to see the full video of that performance. All releases available at Mojo on vinyl.

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