Saturday Video Roundup: some of the best of 2011 so far, part 2

A few weeks ago SVR featured some of the top CDs of the year to date, and I suggested that maybe I’d be back with some more of the best so far. And what do you know, here I am, just in time to help you put together your holiday weekend cookout playlist. So without further ado…

I’ve mentioned Baron Bane a time or six to all my Facebook friends, but I’m not sure I’ve shared the awesomeness of this Swedish indie outfit with the wider S&R audience. Consider them shared – this disc is simply remarkable. Go listen to the rest of it.

Over the past three years The Pains of Being Pure at Heart have emerged as one of the world’s best indie bands, combining a deft ear for a hook with a decidedly fuzzy musical ethic that echoes the best of Shoegaze and Dreampop. At a glance, Belong might seem too light and happy to be taken terribly seriously, but this is a legit candidate for CD of the Year. It’s really that damned good.

Esben and the Witch has been one of the most critically hyped acts going over the last few months. Violet Cries is by no means the feel-good hit of the summer, but if you like moody, dark, atmospheric psychedelia that proves somebody remembers the Airplane, you’re going to want to give this one a spin.

I’m not a Foo Fighters expert – huge respect, but sometimes I lose track of them for a year or three. A lot of critics are calling Wasting Light the best thing they’ve done in years. It is indeed a superb record.

Nicole Atkins’ latest is a little rougher around the edges, a little bluesier than the polished girl-groupish wonder that was Neptune City. Guess what? She can still sing the absolute hell out of it.

It’s not unusual for bands from yesteryear to get together for a glory days reunion. Maybe a CD, maybe a dinosaurs of rock tour, whatever. What is unusual is when, after all those years, the band manages to remain as vital as they were when they were important. Wire was one of the more influential bands of the New Wave and they still gots it. I wish they’d spend a few bucks on a real video, but here’s a live performance of “Please Take” from Red Barked Tree.

That’ll do for now. We’ll keep listening for cool new music for you, but for now, everybody here at Scholars & Rogues wishes you a great 4th of July Weekend.


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