This week’s “Single Play,” is actually the post I intended for last week, but things fell by the wayside, and I dropped the proverbial ball. Okay, all “the dog ate my homework” excuses aside, let’s just on with the good stuff, shall we?
Foo Fighters, “Congregation”
Love ’em or hate ’em, there no denying the absolute dedication the Foo Fighters have to hard rock. Dave Grohl is quite the evangelist for the genre, and with “Congregation,” he’s certainly more than just a member of the church of rock n’ roll, he’s right up there preaching a daily sermon. While I do like the HBO series the Foo’s current album is based on, my issue with Grohl as a musician in this series is that while he is certainly interested in the cities he visited, has a deep respect for the musicians featured in each episode, he never embraced the styles of non-rock/non-punk in a way that could weave it into the Foo Fighter’s music. As it stands, “Congregation” could have been written and recorded in L.A. and no one would have known the difference. Still, all the quibbling aside, I absolutely love this song. And it’s clear that others do as well since it peaked in the top 15 of the Rock charts.
Nita Chawla, “How It Feels (featuring Joe Maye)”
Nita Chawla is a pop songstress whose style intersects with the likes of Colbie Caillat and Sara Bareilles. There’s a kind of Hot Adult Contemporary/Triple A sound to her upcoming release “Grace.” And while I did enjoy the songs I was sent to preview, I kept coming back to “How It Feels.” It’s has an instant likability that fits right in with the lighter side of pop music. And having co-vocalist Joe Maye add a musical counterpoint to Chawla’s soulful style makes the song even more appealing.
The Juliana Hatfield Three, “Ordinary Guy”
My Popdose colleague, Annie Zaleski, was able to interview Juliana Hatfield for Salon. After reading the interview, what got me excited about this new album is her group, The Juliana Hatfield Three, is back together. I mean, “Become What You Are” was one of the those early ’90s albums I had on high rotation back in the day, and with the release of “Whatever, My Love,” it’s clear that while the group is older, they still retain the energy of their salad days — as you can hear on “Ordinary Guy.”
The Love§trange, “Hey Now, People” (Listen)
With the success of bands like Neon Trees and Imagine Dragons, it seems part of the pop musical terrain has shifted…to Provo, Utah. Hard to believe that an area known more for Donny and Marie, Robert Redford’s ski resort and, oh yeah, Brigham Young University is also the home of a vibrant alt rock and pop music scene where The Love§trange made their debut in February of this year. Fronted by Karl Strange, the band formed in Salt Lake City where Strange practices patent and trademark law (Hey, gotta make some dough first if you want to follow your musical passions later in life). Anyway, Strange sent me a copy of the band’s new album and my ears instantly perked up when “Hey Now, People” came on. The music is just so damn catchy that you may miss the lyrical content of the narrator questioning his upbringing and faith. Overall, this is a fine debut from a band that’s more than ready for prime time.