Jason Matthew is the lead singer of indie-rock group the Nuclear Children, which is busy finishing up their latest EP, 10 Sordid Tales of Schaden & Freude.
The Impossibles, "Anthology"
This now-defunct band from Austin, Texas, released a great album in the mid-'90s that has gone highly underappreciated. It's witty power-chord pop, in the same vein of Weezer. Unlike their nerdy counterparts, The Impossibles were a little more upbeat, with a ska influence. Anthology takes me back to a different time and place, and that's all you can really ask of an album.
The Dandy Warhols, "Thirteen Tales from Urban Bohemia"
Thirteen Tales was made for audiophiles, stoners, headphones or some combination of all three. The music is intricately layered and texturized. Courtney Taylor-Taylor has a knack for utilizing incredibly effective ambient noises. The album is warm, full and always keeps you interested.
David Bowie, "Hunky Dory"
I can't say anything about David Bowie that hasn't been said before. The ability for someone to release such a large volume of work while reinventing his persona time and time again is impressive enough. The arrangement for "Life on Mars?" haunts me with its pure pop perfection. The string composition is so good, it makes me want to be a better songwriter and composer. If you haven't heard it in awhile, have a listen and float away.
When these guys came to town, I wasn't sure what to expect. The trio set up on the floor of Skully's, only used two vocal mics and ran their own sound. From the first electronic drum hit, I knew I was in for a good show. Starf---er is an electro/dream-pop band from Portland whosounds like a blend of Ratatat and The Unicorns. The perfect backdrop for sitting around and relaxing on a nice spring day.
Howlies, "Trippin' with Howlies"
This debut album, produced by analog masterKim Fowley, is a modern retro-pop masterpiece. Borrowing heavily from pop music from 40 to 60 years ago, the music feels very familiar. However, the Howlies manage to take those classic elements and shape them into their own thing. The tones on the album are just right and the melodies are spot-on.