I swear to God that even though I like this I’m not a hipster…

December 2011:

“Jane’s Well” by The Rangers

“The Rangers,” if I remember correctly, are actually comprised of just one guy who plays all the instruments in their recorded music.  Anyway, this is from “Pan Am Stories,” his/their 2011 album of trippy, psychedelic lo-fi guitar music.  Almost all of the tracks are instrumentals, and it’s a good thing because I don’t like the weird-sounding vocals on the songs that have them.  I get sucked into the more gorgeous instrumentals on the album — like “Jane’s Well,” “John Is the Last of a Dying Breed,” and “Luncheon Ghana”. In fact, I liked “Jane’s Well” enough to include it in one of my mixes (bridging the Meat Puppets’ “Up on the Sun” and the Arcade Fire’s “Sprawl II”).

January 2012:

“In India You” by The Brian Jonestown Massacre

In 1996, the BJM released an album entitled “Their Satanic Majesties’ Second Request.”  The whole thing was an homage to the Rolling Stones’ (in)famous stab at psychedelia, “Their Satanic Majesties’ Request,” which was itself recorded in order to keep pace with the “Sgt. Pepper’s”-era Beatles.  Listening to the whole BJM album, which is a whopping one hour and 13 minutes long, can get to be a bit much (unless perhaps if you’re very high throughout).  However, there are several very good songs on the record which are worth listening to, high or sober.  Among these:  “Anemone,” “Miss June ’75,” and “In India You,” the last of which is almost humorously faithful to late-’60s psychedelic rock.

February 2012:

“Medal Around Your Neck” by Sparrow & the Workshop

This indie rock band, hailing from Glasgow, is pretty obscure, but they also happen to be pretty damn good.  At least, I think they are, and so do two different reviewers who work for Drowned in Sound (see here and here).  This is a band that writes songs that are simply cool to listen to, especially in terms of the interplay between the instruments; I like to listen their songs repeatedly to hear what each musician is doing.  The lead singer, Jill O’Sullivan, is one of the few female rock singers I can enjoy listening to.

March 2012:

“Four Score and Seven” by Titus Andronicus

Who wouldn’t love a concept album about moving from New Jersey to Boston, drinking, discontent, Bruce Springsteen, and the Civil War? Seriously though, these guys are great on record and they were great when we saw them on Sunday night. I daresay they’re the best indie rock band in New Jersey.  (Listen to this loud.)