Sleeping People

Looks like I’m just in time to have missed the press onslaught, CD release, and U.S. tour (with The Locust) of San Diego’s Sleeping People. I missed their release show at the Belly Up with Pinback (Kenseth, their newest member, also plays in Pinback and Howard Hello). But I’m in time for the band’s downtime as they regroup for their first European tour in March and April. Yes, I’m late. Pardon the pun….I’ve been sleeping! (No, really I have. I woke up at 6 A.M. this morning to jump start the ‘hive after a long weekend). But let’s get real. Very few people can keep up with record labels’ small windows of marketing. And very few people need to (although I admit I sort of try). That said, it’s never too late for great rock and roll. And if you like your with more rock, less talk, and a dash of prog set your alarm to Sleeping People and start your day with a jolt.

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Rob Crow

An indie monagamist he ain’t. Pinback’s Rob Crow has, like, a gazillion side projects so that he always has some kind of outlet for making music. (Even more reason for the Sebadoh/Lou Barlow parallels – see Pinback entry.) That’s OK though because Crow is what in the business they call “solid.” Pinback have quietly become one of the standard-bearers for indie/college rock, and when Crow steps out for a side/solo project, he’s hardly Roger Daltry or that Mike guy from Genesis. His latest album is called Living Well. The cover shows him in front of his house with a cup of coffee, some Halloween pumpkins and wearing a shirt with a Pentagram. If that isn’t living well, then I’m a monkey’s uncle. And “I Hate You, Rob Crow” is quite catchy for a, uh, kissoff? hatemail sendup? self-loathing anthem? Tell us, Rob.

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After shunning major labels in her native Japan, Caroline Lufkin made her way back across the Pacific (she went to college in Boston) to California to begin work on an album with a wide array of producers (the producer in question here is Norway-born Andreas Bjorck). Maybe it’s because the weather has finally dipped below 50º here in L.A. but the shimmering, icy cool textures of “Where’s My Love” just warms the toes and has kind of ushered in the holiday season for me. It’s knocked me out my frantic rush of daily life and I half expect to see snowflakes falling during a perfect, sunny day here. Her voice, it’s magic.

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Explosions in the Sky

We were watching Friday Night Lights and digging on the soundtrack. I was all, “This sounds like Mogwai” and Heather was all “Yeah” and I’m all “But Mogwai in a football movie?” and Heather’s all “Yeah.” Then we froze the credits and had to pick up our jaws from the floor. It wasn’t Mogwai. It was Explosions in the Sky, from Austin, Texas. These two tracks pack a big wallop. Kind of like Texas. Almost sweet at first, once the build hits you, it’s like senior year all over again.

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UK post-rock trio, not unlike Tortoise, prone to toy with electronic and sometimes jazzy improvisations. Although Fridge can sometimes resort to experimentation for experimentation’s sake, these tracks are a fine sampling of their more accessible work. FYI: Fridge has spawned two solo projects, Four Tet (Kieran Hebden) and Adem (Adem Ilhan).

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