Music Picks of 2011: Twilight Singers, Fitz, Jenny (serif Johnny), and Foster the People

Twilight Singers | Dynamite Steps: During a five-year record release hiatus, Greg Dulli went to the dark place, for the umpteenth time, and came back with Dynamite Steps.  I love when he goes to the dark place – after all – that’s how Gentlemen was born. Dynamite Steps is different though. It’s not about vindication – it’s about a mid-life crisis, and entering a new stage in life, with much reflection of the previous stage. It’s deep, and good, and I can’t wait until Greg Dulli enters his later years, and does a mock-Christmas album like Bob Dylan. Brilliant!

Fitz and The Tantrums | Pickin’ Up The Pieces: I have a real soft spot for white boy Motown, and holy shit, does this album deliver. The lead singers weird Jarvis Cocker (Pulp) quality, mixed with a little ska and soul is a music formula that works. I bet that Quentin Tarantino is flippling out over this album, and if “Moneygrabber” doesn’t make you move, then you’re in paralysis and denial of accepting one of the catchiest tunes ever made.

Jenny and Johnny | I’m Having Fun Now: Oh, this album is so fun and kind of 50’s romantic – think Roy Orbison, not Grease. Jenny and Johnny are like the grittier, more experienced, distant cousins of She & Him’s M. Ward and Zooey Deschanel.  You go to Starbucks and listen to She & Him (Not that there’s anything wrong with that). You have all-night binge drinking sessions listening to Jenny and Johnny.

Foster The People | Pumped Up Kicks EP: One of my “I’m awesome because I’m an intern at Columbia Records” friends told me that this EP was released over a year ago, as a joke, but became so popular amongst DJ’s, that the band ended up signing a contract, and are in the process of producing a full-length album. My awesome friend then flew away on his purpled winged unicorn, and sprinkled magic dust on all the Pinkberrys of the world, making their product taste the way that frozen yogurt should taste – sweet (and good).

God, that stuff is crap. And regardless of the relevancy or origin of the above story, I believe it. Songs like “Pumped Up Kicks” are not born from research and creative thinking – they’re born from ego and drugs. Plenty of that going around in LA.

And damnit, get rid of  Pinkberry already.



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