Monday, April 19, 2010

"Bands You Should be Listening To" Volume 3: the telephones

Today's Subject: the telephones
Looking through the titles of all the songs that comprise the telephone's creative output, you may notice that the word "disco" comes up. A lot. I don't know if disco is quite the right word for describing the telephone's sound; you say disco and you think of that unique '70s sound, composed of not just a danceable beat and synthesizers, which the telephones admittedly have plenty of, but oftentimes brass and orchestral backings as well. There's no denying that the telephones make pop music, but it's pop music with a healthy dose of punk attitude, humor, and an overwhelming need to get your ass on the dance floor (another important phrase in the telephones vocabulary).

They also make amazing music videos.

Where to Start: See that Youtube video right above? I personally would recommend the EP from which that music video comes from, the Love&DISCO E.P. (you guessed it). I may just be an EP kind of guy; I think there is something in my pop-culture-lovin' nature that responds to shorter, tighter pieces of pure craft than something with more (in my mind, sometimes unnecessary) volume. For me, the perfect sized novel is roughly 200 to 250 pages (for example, Sputnik Sweetheart, my all-time favorite), and some of the best TV shows are the ones that get out (or are forced out) before the creative well runs dry (i.e. Freaks and Geeks). But I digress.

I think the other place to start is where I started, their first full-length Japan. "Sick Rocks" is what started it all for me anyway. Dance Floor Monsters, their second full length and their first on a major record label (to which I say "Sell-outs!", to which I actually I mean, "Good for you, the telephones; you deserve the resources to expand your audience. Just don't let The Man change you too much." Hmm, this might be my longest aside yet!), is a solid album, certainly not a bad one, but maybe not my favorite, besides the infectious singles. Speaking of which, here's their newest, which comes off the brand-new Oh my telephones!!! ep that just came out a not even a week ago. I literally can't stop playing this song.

How to Get A Hold of 'Em: It's your lucky day! The US iTunes Music Store has both Japan and the Love&DISCO EP for download. They also have an exclusive live bundle for sale, but I wouldn't recommend it at all. I'm not sure what live show they taped it from, but it has terrible sound quality and is generally just not worth the four bucks when you're otherwise not getting anything new.


  1. Having enjoyed your prior recommendations, I shall be giving the telephones a listen asap. You're turning into a bit of a tastemaker for me.

  2. Glad to hear it! I just love sharing awesome things, so I'm glad you (and maybe others) are enjoying them.