Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Today’s featured selection, chosen by Midday Show host Cheryl Waters is “Nowheres Nigh” by Parts & Labor from 2008 album Receivers on Jagjaguwar Records.
Not only has the Brooklyn duo of B.J. Warshaw and Dan Friel expanded Parts & Labor to include a second guitarist, Sarah Lipstate, and a new drummer, Joe Wong, but they’ve continued to develop their sound as well. Referred two albums ago by The Stranger to be the “Phil Spectors of Noise Rock” and one album ago by Pitchfork to be more “matur…” er, “diverse” than before. This time around, the catchphrase might be “conceptual.” Before recording the album, the band solicited fans for submissions of found samples, asking for sonic responses to their favorite (or least favorite) sounds, what they’re afraid of, what their parents like, and so on. Supposedly, Receivers incorporated all of those samples to a more or less degree, which might account for the songs’ greater diversity. Yet, the new album still doesn’t veer too far from the band’s original noise punk sound. Sure, there’s going to be comparisons to art rock and prog rock bands, due to the longer songs (only eight comprise the whole thing) and the randomness of the sonic elements, but if their music seems darker and more dynamic at times, it also seems overall catchier and more like “pop.” These are songs you can dance to, sing along with, maybe even hear backing a scene in a prime time action/dramedy.
Parts & Labor have recently completed a North American tour, but Boston-area fans can find them at the Hampshire College Red Barn in Amherst on Dec. 11 and at the Middle East Upstairs in Cambridge on Dec. 12. Then, they play the Oneida Fest at the Knitting Factory on Dec. 13. For more info visit their MySpace page and listen to the entire album on their website.
Here’s a great sounding live video of Parts & Labor performing “Wedding In A Wasteland” in Dallas just after SXSW: