Via Skatterbrain, the sad news that Australian band Sodastream is calling it a day after 10 years. The duo of Karl Smith and Pete Cohen built up an impressive catalog of songs that are mostly elegaic in the best way - full of nostalgia and sorrow but never mawkish or sentimental. The most obvious distinguishing feature of the band was always Cohen's double bass, and the sound it of anchoring sweet, resigned melodies sung by Smith is truly distintive. It's dignified moping of the highest order.
They made it to America once, in 2004, and even stopped by the local micro-venue Galaxy Hut, but I was out of town for some reason or another and missed what turned out to be my only chance.
I've gotta agree with Matt that their finest moment was "Fitzroy Strongman", from their 1999 debut LP Looks Like a Russian: "cause there’s no higher ground/there’s too much trouble here/i wish these days would leave this town/and I have brittle bones/i wear my shallow grin/and spread my wickedness around."
Also classic is "Devil On My Shoulder" from follow-up The Hill for Company, even though the Washington City Paper nearly ruined it for me by comparing it to an Ozzy Osbourne ballad.
MP3: Sodastream - Fitzroy Strongman
MP3: Sodastream - Devil on My Shoulder