The Pains of Being Pure at Heart

"Say No to Love"

You don't need this band's permission to feel so billowing-chord good about feeling so guiltily bad because you don't wanna hold hands and walk around with anybody in particular right now. No, really!

Wild Nothing

"Bored Games"

Grainy electronic beats bumping like balls in a lottery hopper, little-lost-puppy-dog refrain, keyb chords New Order would've sharpened into weapons: Sounds like the Smashing Pumpkins' Adore produced in the bowels of an Atari 2600, but in a good way.

Kathryn Calder

"So Easily"

Can't quite remember the last time I've heard received cruelty rendered with such calm, unwounded acceptance. Sorta the equivalent of gazing dreamily into the eyes of the person who's slowly grinding a lit Marlboro into your exposed forearm.

Nine Inch Nails

"Theme for Tetsuo the Bullet Man"

Anybody seen a half-crazed cyborg monster around here? He'd have been wearing a vintage "now I'm nothing in ninety-nine" tee and there would've been a swarm of Steadicams in hot pursuit. (Obligatory music-related comment: The soft-to-loud-to-soft-to-LOUD formula is played out like Cross Colours, but as closing-credit filler for a Japanese horror movie this makes enough sense.)

Restless People

"Victimless Crime"

When I insist that this Brooklyn-based band is like "Vampire Weekend high on Pixie Stix-laced coke," it's not meant as an insult; Restless People probably get more of a blast out of life than me, you, and everyone else reading this sentence combined.

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