ALISON STEWART, host:
All right, let's go at this again. If you were listening to the first hour of our show, you know we had a little producing issues with New Music Tuesday, but I understand unless they're playing with me, oh, I got two thumbs up, I got four thumbs up from the control room, that Lizzy Goodman from Blender Magazine is on the line, and her phone is working. Hooray! Lizzy, are you there?
Ms. LIZZY GOODMAN (Editor, Blender Magazine): I am, yes.
STEWART: Ah, I'm so glad you didn't tease me. They gave me the list of new music, I got so excited, Destroyer, Be Your Own Pet, The Kills, and of course Flo Rida. We need to talk about this. Are you ready?
Ms. GOODMAN: I am so ready.
STEWART: All right, a new one from Destroyer called, "Trouble in Dreams." Explain Destroyer.
Ms. GOODMAN: Yeah, this new album, "Trouble in Dreams" is - it's his eighth record. And most people know the person behind Destroyer, Daniel Bejar, I think is how you say it, from his slightly more-famous band New Pornographers.
But I really prefer his solo stuff as Destroyer and this, like I said, this is his eighth record. He's been doing this forever. And the last album and this album are both sort of way more listenable than some of the stuff he's done in the past. So I'm very excited about him becoming famous this time around for being the guy from Destroyer as opposed to being the guy from the New Pornographers.
STEWART: All right. So when you talk about Destroyer, we talk about it as a him, one-person project.
Ms. GOODMAN: Yeah, I mean, he works with different band mates, but yeah, the sort of central character in the Destroyer story is Daniel. And it's just so gloriously wacky. I love this music. It's just truly odd in the best sense.
STEWART: Well, apparently, maybe you knew this, that there's a Destroyer drinking game?
Ms. GOODMAN: Oooh!
STEWART: Did you know that?
Ms. GOODMAN: No. Speaking of drinking...
STEWART: Exactly. Now we're going to do orange juice, because it's the morning. Apparently you drink once for every reference to the way a woman moves, once for a mention of death, one drink for an archaic or ostentatiously formal or foreign language term, one that references weather, meteorological phenomenon, sun or snow, drink for the use of a woman's name. OK, let's play "Leopard of Honor."
(Soundbite of song "Leopard of Honor")
DESTROYER: (Singing) Jenny fell like a ton of bricks.
STEWART: One, drink.
DESTROYER: (Singing) She travels in and out of your like some shape-whistling Dixie.
I didn't know why, I guess I was high. Sick mansions freckled the sky. Same for Christ's sakes, inhabit me.
STEWART: We're up to three.
DESTROYERS: (Singing) I was dead on my feet.
I sleep for days. I stranger to the sun's brutal ways, I....
STEWART: Five drinks, I think that's enough. I don't know if people can take that much liquid in, in that short a period of time.
Ms. GOODMAN: That's a lot of Vitamin C there we just got, yeah.
STEWART: I understand why there are comparisons to Dylan.
Ms. GOODMAN: Yeah, I know he's - it's a good sign when you're an artist, and you get the sort of big comparisons. You get Lou Reed. You get David Bowie. You get Dylan. So I think he has sort of the kind of wittiness of some of the fantastic '90s indie rock bands like Pavement and Guided by Voices. But when you're getting Dylan and Bowie comparisons, you kind of think, all right, I win. Yay me.
STEWART: Somebody else is getting comparisons. For people who want a stripped-down boy-girl duo who are not the White Stripes you might like The Kills. "Midnight Boom" is the new album. Let's listen to a track called "Sour Cherry," and we'll talk about it on the other side.
(Soundbite of song "Sour Cherry")
THE KILLS: (Singing)
Shout when you wanna get off the ride. Shout when you wanna get off the ride. 'Cause you crossed my mind, you crossed my mind. I'm a penny in a diamond mine.
We could be movers, We could be shakers, If we could just shake something outta the blue we could get off the ride. I'm the only sour cherry on the fruit stand, Right?
Am I the only sour cherry on the fruit stand, Right? Am I the only sour cherry on the fruit stand, Right? Am I the only sour cherry on your fruit stand? Yeah.
STEWART: I've got to say, I like The Kills, and this sounds like it has a little more texture than some of their other, more stripped-down sounding material. Is that true of the whole album?
Ms. GOODMAN: Yeah, exactly, I mean, it's, "Midnight Boom." That phrase apparently refers to that moment the moon comes up and everyone else goes to bed. Which is very much like a Kills vibe. They're sort of this apocalyptic oh-the-world-is-ending-but-we-still-look-beautiful-and-are-chain-smoking kind of band. And yeah - but this record, you're absolutely right.
This record is more listenable. It's more melodic. It's a little more electro and less sort of willfully garage-y than some of their earlier albums. And it's a little more varied. That song doesn't necessarily sort of reflect the entire senses of the record. There's a lot of variety on this album whereas their other albums tend to be a little sort of stick to one theme and then go with it. So this is definitely a step forward for them.
STEWART: All right, let's get a full disclosure about our next group. You love this band, Be Your Own Pet, out of Nashville.
Ms. GOODMAN: Yes.
STEWART: And why do you love Be Your Own Pet?
Ms. GOODMAN: I think that they are the best young rock band out there. I mean, they're very young now. They're all kind of - I think one of them may have turned 21 so that's very exciting. But they've been around at this point for quite a while, at least a couple years. And they're on Thurston Moore's label Extactic Peace and they're sort of, that's how they first came onto the scene. But I just think that they write incredibly simple, spare, aggressive punk rock in a really traditional sense. But it also has so much spirit and personality that it feels really fresh, which is the ethos of punk. I mean, that's - they're kind of doing it again and they're doing it right.
STEWART: If you can be fresh in 2008, I'm for you.
Ms. GOODMAN: Yeah.
STEWART: Let's listen to "Creepy Crawl."
(Soundbite of song "Creepy Crawl")
BE YOUR OWN PET: (Singing)
Just the same four walls that have always been. Just sitting in my room that I haven't lived in. And I feel so completely changed, But everything around me is exactly the same.
I'm not the girl that I was before. I feel like I'm lying each time I walk through the door. Sleeping in my own bed feels like a sin. It's hard to sink back into my life again.
Walls are empty, floors are messy...
STEWART: It reminds me of Veruca Salt.
Ms. GOODMAN: Yeah.
STEWART: A little bit.
Ms. GOODMAN: Yeah, that song, that song sounds totally - I hear that. This album, "Get Awkward," which is their second record.
STEWART: That's a great name.
Ms. GOODMAN: Isn't it great? I know. It's very witty. They're very - I love them because they have a lot of - they have a good sense of humor about themselves, they have a sense of humor about how young they are. But they also take themselves very seriously. You see a lot of young bands who are either super arrogant or kind of obnoxiously bashful, oh, we're just so young and naive. And they're just the perfect balance of being neither of those things. They have a lot of confidence, but they aren't sort of hedonistic party kids.
They're sort of very, they really have a strong sort of rock - a strong appreciation for what they're doing. I think that song in particular reflects what they're doing on this new record, which is change from the earlier record. It's more melodic, like you never would have said they sound like Veruca Salt before. You would have said they sound like, you know, D.C. punk rock. So it - they are becoming more listenable, which I hope means more people will actually listen to them.
STEWART: And finally, the rapper Flo Rida. But I'm going to spell this, that's F-L-O-R-I-D-A.
(Soundbite of laughter)
STEWART: Let me guess. He's from a southern state on the bottom of the East Coast. Florida?
Ms. GOODMAN: Yes, exactly. You're a genius.
(Soundbite of laughter)
Ms. GOODMAN: He's - there's a lot of - the whole southern rap thing is obviously a huge part of contemporary hip-hop right now, and in particular, Florida has produced a lot of interesting artists in the past couple years, T-Pain, Rick Ross. It's so funny because whenever a new person comes on the scene they're always associated. It's like a big rap family. They all seem to work together, work on each other's albums together, and help each other get exposed. And Flo Rida is the new guy, the new Florida rapper. And when Taylor Swift, who's currently on our cover, this country artist, this fantastic new country artist. She mentioned to me during the Grammy weekend, oh, my God, I met Flo Rida backstage.
(Soundbite of laughter)
Ms. GOODMAN: And I was like, oh, man, the worlds are colliding in all kinds of crazy ways. If she knows who he is, then he's huge.
STEWART: All right. His new track is not downloadable yet. It's going to be on an album called "Mail on Sundays." So Lizzy Goodman, as we say goodbye to you, we'll listen to the song that was a big hit, top of the charts really recent. It's Flo Rida's "Low." Lizzy Goodman from Blender Magazine, thank you for guiding us through New Music Tuesday.
Ms. GOODMAN: Thank you for having me.
(Soundbite of song "Low")
FLO RIDA: (Singing/rapping)
Shawty had them Apple Bottom Jeans [Jeans]. Boots with the fur [With the fur]. The whole club was lookin' at her. She hit the flo' [She hit the flo'].
Next thing, you know. Shawty got low, low, low, low, low, low, low, low...
STEWART: That's it for this hour of the Bryant Park Project. Thanks so much for joining us today. We hope you'll come back tomorrow. I'm Alison Stewart. Please do come visit us on the web at npr.org/bryantpark. This is the Bryant Park Project from NPR News.
FLO RIDA: (Singing/rapping)
I ain't never seen nuthin' that'll make me go, This crazy all night spendin' my dough. Had a million dollar vibe and a bottle to go. Dem birthday cakes, they stole the show.
So sexual, she was flexible.