here they are:
"Long Emotional Ride" by Graham Parker: Once upon a time, in Britain, during the late 1970's, there were four musicians who attempted to mix the anger of punk rock with the catchy, clever qualities of pop music - Elvis Costello, Joe Jackson, Nick Lowe, and Graham Parker. All four of them, it turns out, are still active in the music biz! Elvis Costello was active throughout the '00s, Joe Jackson turned more to piano pop towards the end of the '00s, and Nick Lowe released a country-rock album just last year. So where does that leave Graham Parker, best known for the Costello-esque mid '70s rocker, "Local Girls"?! On a "Long Emotional Ride", that's where! It seems the angst that Graham once had has been lost in the haze for now, and the electric guitars have been toned down from rock to more of a soulful flavor, but "Long Emotional Ride" is still quite a welcome comeback for Graham Parker! Don't worry, Graham, we're here for ya, riding through all your emotions with you!
"Up Against the Wall" by Fiction Family: Along with Nickel Creek, Fiction Family were a band from the '00s who were predecessors to the now prevalent "bluegrass-rock" movement in indie/alt music. Their first song, "When She's Near", had a unique chord structure and a bubbly, upbeat sound, both of which are lacking in "Up Against the Wall", which is a sad song with standard chord changes. Perhaps Fiction Family just felt like they couldn't keep up with more successful bluegrass-rock acts like The Civil Wars and The Avett Brothers, so they just figured that they might as well come up with something more "regular" sounding to avoid competition. Even the lyrics (e.g. "Our love is a puzzle that can't be solved") seem to cry out in desperation for someone to listen. However, there's definitely something to be said about the melancholy nature of "Up Against the Wall", I just can't figure out what else to say about it at the moment.