Tag Archives: You

January 25, 2018 — “You” by Stef Chura

Stef Chura

If you only listen to one song today, make it “You” by Stef Chura (2018, from the forthcoming album Messes).
Stef Chura is a DIY indie rocker from Detroit. She’s from one of those tiny towns in northern Michigan just a stone’s throw from the Canadian border, but she moved to Ypsilanti, and later to Detroit, where she’s been writing songs and playing in other people’s bands since 2012. She took her songs to the studio where Fred Thomas out of Saturday Looks Good to Me mixed the album and played on some of the songs. It took a long time, but her debut album Messes was released digitally last January and will enjoy a physical release on February 2 via Saddle Creek Records.
If that story about being from a small Michigan town, moving away to go to school, moving to Detroit, writing lot of songs and making lots of four-track recordings while playing in local bands, joining forces with Fred Thomas, and having a debut album out on February 2 sounds familiar, it should. That’s the same story I just told when I wrote about Anna Burch the other day. But there’s more…. Two years ago, Stef Chura and Anna Burch released a split EP with Stef’s songs on side A and Anna’s on side B.
The label emailed me about the forthcoming release, and although I had never heard of Stef Chura, and there wasn’t anything in the email that screamed out at me, I clicked straight through simply because it was from Saddle Creek. They were actually repping the video for “Speeding Ticket”, which is pretty great, but I just like this song more.
“You” by Stef Chura

According to her bio, Stef’s influences include Liz Phair, Stevie Nicks, Cat Power, Bikini Kill, Elliot Smith, and many others. I’m hearing something different. I’m hearing, especially in her vocal style, a very young Kristin Hersh. She sings with a bit of tremolo, and a lot of grit. That gets me thinking of Throwing Muses’ sophomore album House Tornado (1988). More specifically, I think of “Mexican Women”, “Run Letter”, and “Downtown”. To be fair, one of the guitar parts in this song reminds me of Kristin’s guitar parts on House Tornado. It’s a little uncanny, actually. And I’m really surprised that I didn’t see the Muses listed as an influence.

You can already buy a download of Messes via Bandcamp here. You can also pre-order your choice of physical format, which comes out next Friday.

November 26 — “You” by TV On The Radio

TV On The Radio

If you only listen to one song tonight, make it “You” by TV On The Radio (2011, from the album Nine Types of Light).

TV On The Radio is an indie/experimental rock band from Brooklyn. They formed in 2000 and have released four proper albums since 2004. The lineup has changed a bunch over the years, but they started off as the duo of Tunde Adebimpe and David Andrew Sitek. They’ve added members and they’ve had some high-profile people contribute to their albums. High profile people like David Bowie, Trent Reznor, Peter Murphy, saxophone genius Colin Stetson, and the girl from Blonde Redhead. Speaking of Trent Reznor and Peter Murphy, in the summer of 2006, Nine Inch Nails embarked on a tour with TVOTR and Bauhaus in tow. It was probably my only and last chance to see Bauhaus live, and I passed it up. I didn’t know TVOTR at the time, but I would have been really pleasantly surprised.

Actually, I didn’t know TVOTR until some time last year when I got their newest record Nine Types of Light. Although the release of that album was met with critical acclaim, it ended up being a tragic time for the band. Bassist Gerard Smith (second from right in the photo) passed away nine days after the album hit stores. He had been fighting against lung cancer.

I still don’t know the rest of the TVOTR catalog, but I like Nine Types of Light a lot, and this is one of my favorite songs from the album.

“You” by TV On The Radio

It’s about the demise of a relationship. Specifically, it’s about a woman giving up on a relationship. Not a perfect relationship, but she stopped trying to make it work.

True, we’ve demolished a thing or two
But it seemed like the thing to do
And you’re the only one I’ve ever loved

But you threw your hands up and walked away
Strange I should feel this way
And you’re the only one I’ve ever loved

I love the infectious beat, even if it is synthetic. There’s a lot of synthesized stuff in this song, but it really works well in conjunction with the live instruments.

For some reason, I can envision Stars doing a cover of this song, with Amy on lead. I’d actually love to see that.

I think this song needs some space. Play it through a real speakers in a big room. Or maybe use it as a night driving soundtrack.

Check out the official video, which is actually pretty funny. There’s the not-so-subtle nod to Prince early on, which is made much more obvious late in the video. The band has always been fond of Prince, and especially of his legendary album Purple Rain.

This year, TVOTR released a DVD companion to the album, which you can score here. Get the album here.

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