Photo by Cassie Marketos
Lazy us, right? Once again, self-titled has outsourced daily content to Mom and Dad (coming up with brain-tickling witticisms every day is tough, guys). Equipped with a batch of new music–songs by Islands, Ducktails, Girls, Japandroids, The Drums and Yacht–we tasked contributor Cassie Marketos with getting her parents reactions. Says Cassie, â€œMy parents must really love me; they’ve willingly submitted themselves to yet another round of torture by indie music. I tried my best to trip them up this time (we all remember how well they did last time), but they refused to be beaten. Dad comes out swinging, as usual, and Mom pretty much just wants to dance. Parents! Can’t live with ’em; can’t live without their outsider perspective on contemporary culture.”
Islands: “No You Don’t”[audio:http://www.self-titledmag.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/islands-no-you-dont.mp3]
Cassie Says: A catchy, surprisingly cohesive pop song–pleasing, but maybe a little too clean for me. Also, I’m hung up on how remarkably similar one sound effect is to the noise my old Apple II made when it crashed.
Her Mom Says: I love the beat. Good vocals and lyrics. Gets me moving. I liked it a lot, but then it got messy. The music’s not clear and overpowers the voice too much. Overall I liked it, though.
Her Dad Says: It’s what you might expect from a guy who looks like this. Techno all the way. Predictability of style does not necessarily portend bad, but “No You Don’t” plays to image predictably. Stays pretty techno, but the style is varied enough and production is good. I might buy this.
Ducktails: “Welcome Home”[audio:http://www.self-titledmag.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/04-welcome-home-im-back.mp3]
Cassie Says: It goes out of its way to be sonic wallpaper. Not unappealing, but also–who cares?! As somebody who knows more than me once said about it, “There’s just something missing.”
Her Mom Says: Repetitive. I don’t care for this. Sounds like someone just messing around on a computer keyboard. I keep waiting for the song to take off, and it doesn’t. Boring.
Her Dad Says: Defined as “Psychedelic/Pop” on their Myspace. It’s not. Wow is this unimaginative and boring. Makes me wanna eat my desk. No reason to own this. I can make the same quality with tissue and a comb.
Girls: “Lust for Life”
Cassie Says: Music meant to be listened/reacted to straight from the gut, and my gut says: I love it. I love everything about it. I love that it’s just as messy and sloppy and dumbly carefree as I am… Cue the handclaps and lilting echoes of harmonium. It’s borderline destructively ramshackle (those vocals), but in the end it stays duct-taped together long enough to cross the finish line triumphantly–the scrappy kid’s entry in the box-car race. Ya know what I’m saying?!
Her Mom Says: Dreamy but, again, repetitive. Tinny-sounding music.
Her Dad Says: A cacophonous, nonsensical attempt at creativity. The production is poor. The group doesn’t even play in a coordinated effort. Avoid like an outdoor toilet. Save your money.
Japandroids: “Young Hearts Spark Fire”
Cassie Says: Ehhh. This sounds too much like the music that jerks would blast from their SUVs after cutting me off in traffic when I was in high school. But I respect their energy and dynamic. This song is a mini-anthem.
Her Mom Says: Too head-banging and loud for me. I like the name, though.
Her Dad Says: The first thing they need is a lead singer. The one they use gets washed out by all the fuzz from the guitar. Speaking of which, shut the pedal off once in a while. This is not enjoyable music, and music should be enjoyable.
The Drums: “Let’s Go Surfing”
Cassie Says: Criminally poppy. And how good is that bass line–just chug-chug-chugging through the whole song–giving a cotton-candy tune a bit of back-bone? I would rock out to this in my underwear in the living room, just like I did when I was eight years old and obsessed with Danny and the Juniors, and then my dad would yell at me for dancing on the coffee table.
Her Mom Says: This group is right up my alley. Variety. Good vocals. Great music.
Her Dad Says: These guys combine the Beach Boys and the Four Preps (Beach Boy mentors, actually) with the Pipettes. But the trouble is that their songs finish just as they start. Linear. Where’s the rush? They need lessons from Neil Diamond.
Yacht: “Summer Song”
Cassie Says: Oh, yeah. I’ve pretty much been waiting my whole life for somebody to say this to me: “Come on over. We’re having a party for you.” Yacht is great for spacing out to, which, as my boss will tell you, I love to do.
Her Mom Says: This is very different. I like it, but for the life of me I can’t find the words to describe why. It’s very easy to listen to, and it being so different made me really want to pay attention.
Her Dad Says: They love the synthesizer and drum kit for sure, but then the vocals start and mix well with the sound. They may be accused of over-producing it, but like the weather in San Francisco, if you don’t like it now, wait three minutes.