Sounds like: Fantastic, psychedelic sophomore from the young Perth-born Aussies who make excellently nuanced chugging tracks of foot-tapping druggy rock.
Free association: Volume and weirdness prevent any lump-in of Brooklynization.
For fans of: Spiritualized x Youth Lagoon + Legendary Pink Dots, scuzzy stoners. (Bill Chenevert)
Come of Age
Sounds like: An excellent sophomore from the over-it Brit guitar rock foursome that doesn’t so much as build on their debut as sustain it and keep them moving forward.
Free association: Ironic smart-assness with thrash and reverb from the U.K. like old times.
For fans of: Young Prisms x Kaiser Chiefs, the Strokes/Franz Ferdinand, young snark. (B.C.)
Matt & Kim
Sounds like: The sad truth is that this record’s totally whack and boring, an extremely disappointing follow-up to Sidewalks. Weak hooks, repetitive, bland shout rock.
Free association: Let’s agree to disagree, AllMusic: You got this “Album Pick” wrong.
For fans of: Mates of State/The Ting Tings, a 2-piece, Brooklyn-based The Go! Team. (B.C.)
(Mom & Pop Music)
Sounds like: The pleasant-but-mild sophomore from Queens folksy indie rockers is another batch of cute, charming tracks that lack real bite or hypnotic sonic charm.
Free association: These songs might as well be about God or kittens or knitting.
For fans of: Sufjan Stevens, Los Campesinos! x Rilo Kiley/The Shins, potluck brunch. (B.C.)
(Temporary Residence Ltd.)
Sounds like: Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich puts together a foursome that perfects Krautrock-influenced synthpop that’s peaceful, rhythmic and perfectly ambient.
Free association: Not a ton of variety, but loads of pleasant, listenable atmospherics.
For fans of: Grimes/Lykke Li x The Knife, Chromatics/M83, background music. (B.C.)
Sounds like: Local heroes! This is a fantastic record of ambient and dreamy synth pop that’s dense, complex and worthy of constant listening and year-end best lists.
Free association: The kind of creativity that firmly plants Philly on the national arts map.
For fans of: Neon Indian + Philip Glass, Delorean/Tanlines/Dale Earnhardt Jr., PA rock. (B.C.)
Parks and Recreation Thursdays, 9:30pm, NBC
Captive audience: Mockumentary nerds, political satire fans, former watchers of The Office who just can’t deal with that shit anymore.
Moment of truth: The best sitcom on network TV (Yeah, you heard me, Modern Family fans!) continues to get better in its fifth season, as newly elected Pawnee City Councilwoman Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler, best actress on TV, period) fends off City Hall corruption while maintaining a long-distance relationship with her boyfriend Ben (invaluable straight man Adam Scott), who’s working in D.C. Meanwhile, the Parks Department is now being run by that grumpy Libertarian Ron Swanson (Nick Offerman, best moustache on TV, period), which means things will get even more ass-out funny.
Emmy or phlegmmy: Emmy. Please! (Craig D. Lindsey)