Planet Music (OK, it's been called fye for years, but I prefer to reference the place by its former name) in Virginia Beach produced some interesting finds in the 2-for-$3.00 bin last Sunday (1/22/2012). I'd seen Lava Love's Whole Lava Love in discounted piles for nearly a decade without taking it to the register. What an idiot move! The female-fronted jangle-pop rings as clear as any prior Mitch Easter production. Now that LL's other album is on my list, it'll probably never turn up at Planet again. Flop were spotlighted in the Northwest-themed "Hype" documentary, but I'm having trouble recalling their scene. (Side note: My friend Holly bought the film on VHS for a buck at said store in 2002) World Of Today is stuffed with the sort of crunchy guitar-pop favored by famed knob-tuner Kurt Bloch (Fastbacks/Young Fresh Fellows). Led by vocalist/guitarist Don Fleming (formerly of Norfolk's own Citizen 23!), Gumball spat out several discs agreeable to fans of peer groups Sonic Youth and Dinosaur Jr. Super Tasty was the one I bit on BACK IN THE DAY (TM), but Revolution On Ice blows a bubble that's just as big. The prime artifact from the Planet visit, however, comes in the form of a wonderfully squishy slab based out of Harrisburg, PA.
Possessing the winning wordplay of early Elvis Costello, the sensitivity of Material Issue, the down-at-the-pub punch of The Figgs and the radio-friendliness of Matthew Sweet, The Jellybricks' Soapopera might've only cost me $1.50, but its true value is akin to a moon rock in NASA's display case. A manly man like Victor Newman would never have to seek female companionship at a laundromat, but a dollar-changer like the dude in the title track should Bounce at such an opportunity ("She got me through my color separation/Was this my chance to ask her out, or just idle conversation?"). Once hook-ups by the machines become painful routines, "Fingernails" might claw in the direction of that factory reconditioned washer/dryer combo at East Coast Appliance ("Mouth to mouth in sight/Nothing else seems right/Thirsting for this pain/Unwashable blood stain"). Clogged with lint from the dryer trap, "Speechless" requires a service call to restore sweet sentiments ("I love you when you're miles away/I'm speechless in your presence/I'll think about you twice a day, and smile through my sentence"). How many cups of Gain would it take to coat the loads of cynicism in "Martyrs"? ("You can beat yourself 'til you're black and blue/Maybe Elton John will sing for you") "Bone-crunching, blistering, bad-acid bowling for premature pregnant teenagers with no soul" crams the Kenmore by explicitly defining a "Prerequisite Rocker."
According to the message on the CD's back cover, "the music found here is an appropriate accompaniment for dancing, staring at the walls, light snacking and many other activities." It's time to place a clean pillow over my face, dream about that one woman with a fresh scent and play Soapopera at a volume exceeding a washer pumped by the blood of yearning hearts.