Category Archives: music

Robbers & Cowards

robbers and cowards

Cold War Kids. (2006). Robbers and liars. New York: Downtown Records.

Annotation

Robbers and Liars is the first full length album by the indie rock band Cold War Kids. Their soulful tunes are incredibly catchy, and are obviously influenced by artists like Bob Dylan, Velvet Underground and Jeff Buckley. Hang Me Up to Dry, the album’s single, charted at #57 in the UK and is an track that truly encompasses the full range of musical stylings.

Genre

Indie Rock

Curriculum Ties

n/a

Reading Level/Interest Age 

15+

 

Reason for inclusion

This album is full of earworms. I included it because I really like it and think any indie rock kid who listens to Death Cab, Spoon, or Modest Mouse would also enjoy this band.

 

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Something About Airplanes

something about airplanes album art

Death Cab for Cutie. (1998). Something about airplanes. Seattle: Barsuk Records.

Annotation

Something About Airplanes was Death Cab for Cutie’s first studio album, released in 1998. It is quintessential of Pacific Northwest indie-rock, the melodic tunes and perfect harmonies echoing the romantic loneliness so often felt living after nine-months of rain. The album is obviously influenced by other PNW indie-bands such as Built to Spill. The opening track, Bend to Squares, is particularly magnificent, as well as my personal favorite, track three, Champagne from a Paper Cup.

Information

Death Cab for Cutie frontman Ben Gibbard has been a stalwart in the pacific northwest indie music  scene from its early days. He well known not only for Death Cab, but also his side projects The Postal Service, All Time Quarterback, and his first band Pinwheel. The band released 7 full length albums and numerous EPs and singles. Barsuk Records is releasing the band’s entire early discography on 180-gram vinyl in January 2013.

Genre

Indie Rock, 90s Slowcore

Curriculum Ties

n/a

Reading Level/Interest Age 

14+

Reason for inclusion

A seminal band of the 1990s, no emotional teenager’s musical identity is complete without having heard DCFC at least once.

References

Cohen, I. (2008). Death cab for cutie: Something about airplanes. Pitchfork. Retrieved from: http://pitchfork.com/reviews/albums/12466-something-about-airplanes/?utm_campaign=search&utm_medium=site&utm_source=search-ac

Lungs

lungs album art

Florence and the Machine. (2009). Lungs. Jamaica: Island Records.

Annotation

Lungs is the first album of British indie rock band, Florence and the Machine. The band is fronted by the vocal stylings of Florence Welch and Isabella Sommers, who are accompanied by various other musicians to lay down the instrumental tracks. Florence’s sound is bluesy and intense, obviously influenced by the vocals of Amy Winehouse and PJ Harvey and telling some of the same kind of gruesome stories as one might expect to find on a Nick Cave album. Kiss with a Fist (track five) is the album’s big single and along with Cosmic Love is one of the best tracks on the album.

Genre

Indie pop, art rock, English baroque

Curriculum Ties

n/a

Reading Level/Interest Age 

14+

Challenge Issues

Florence’s music is sometimes dark and violent. Kiss with a Fist sounds like it is about domestic violence, though Florence denies it vehemently. Should parents or users object to it’s inclusion to the album in the collection a clearly worded collection development policy should offer some protection.

Reason for inclusion

I found that when I was researching this project that I mostly know nothing about modern music and am listening to the same stuff that I was listening to ten years ago. I asked my 17 year old sister what some of her favorite bands were and this one was one of the only ones I could stomach.