In this week’s Voice I wrote about the recently flipped 101.9 FM, which—after an abortive effort at being an FM news/talk hybrid—is back to playing commercial “alternative” rock. I listened to a lot of the station’s programming during its first seven days on the air, and while I was often pleasantly surprised by the choices of recurrents and the quality/low yarl quotient of the newer songs played I kept thinking that there were songs that could have slotted into the current (and pretty decent!) playlist very easily—or, at the very least, be elegantly swapped out for every third play of the noxiously “funky” likes of Sublime, 311, or the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Seven suggested tracks, both from the new arrivals stack and the recent alt-rock archives, after the jump.
7. MS MR, “Hurricane”
There’s a distinctly ’90s vibe about the way the vocals were recorded on this moody track by this local duo—they ring out clearly from the gloom, with lead singer (who’s the “MS”) singing all too plainly of the toxic machinations made by her romance-choked brain. If you played this song within earshot of people who are still mourning the terrestrial-radio loss of WLIR it would be like putting out a nice ripe hunk of cheese for a starving mouse. (Critical bias, to borrow a phrase: I have listened to this song upwards of 15 times in the past 24 hours)
6. Interpol, “Obstacle 1”
Like I said in my piece, if you’re playing RHCP’s “By The Way” and getting peoples’ hopes up with those deep guitars, you might as well throw the slap-bass-averse a bone once in a while and play this track from New York’s own Dukes of Dour. Hometown pride, people!
5. Deap Vally, “Gonna Make My Own Money”
This rip-roaring track from this gutter-blues LA duo should satisfy those people jonesing for another White Stripes album and make those people who think the Black Keys are an acceptable substitute think twice.
4. Phantom Planet, “Big Brat”
2003 was a pretty good year for rock, and this barnburner from the band that unfairly got tagged with the “those dudes who did The O.C. theme” scarlet letter was a part of its extremely strong finish.
3. Icona Pop, “I Love It”
If my hours of listening are any indication, Alex Clare’s dubstep-tinged breakup anthem “Too Close” is in ultra-heavy rotation on WEMP, so why not flip the script with this just-as-aggressive-and-dancey, if a bit more gleeful, breakup anthem from the Swedish duo Icona Pop? (“Bitch” seems to be OK for FCC-sanctioned daytime listening now, so you’d only have to figure out what to do with the “shit” on the opening verse.) I’d also suggest adding “You’re The One” by Charli XCX, who co-wrote this track, although that song’s goth gloss might make it more appropriate for an early-autumn add.
2. Arctic Monkeys, “RU Mine?”
When I saw the Monkeys play a frenetic, satisfying set at the Orion Festival a few weeks back, I was surprised at how robust the crowd they attracted was—and how so many of the people in attendance knew a lot of the words to even those songs that hadn’t broken on radio on this side of the Atlantic. Their newer material like “RU Mine?” has more of a weathered stoner-rock edge, but the band’s combination of swagger and pep is still gloriously intact.
1. Dead Sara, “Weatherman”
Because it’s by the best new rock band of 2012. I swear, if you put this into rotation, guys, I won’t groan audibly every time 311’s “Amber” manages to sneak into my brainspace. (Or you could just give me a Sunday-morning show! Hint hint.)