Gated neighborhoods. Prefab houses. Minivans and manicured lawns. Think you know all about the suburbs? Think again. Indie rockers Cold War Kids hail from that ur-suburbia, the SoCal Valley, but the jolting barroom dirges on debut LP Robbers & Cowards make a persuasive case that the suburbs are the new bohemia. Songs such as “Hang Me Up To Dry” are gritty like the city, mean and pretty, and the perfect soundtrack to an alcoholiday with the fam. You can go home again. You know why? Because you never left.
Playlist’s Best of the Rest:
1. PONG. Screw the new Sony Playstation, version whatever. Video games reached their apotheosis with this Atari debut. Hypnotically simple, this digital version of table tennis is as addictive now as it was when you first played it.
2. JOHN CUSACK. This guy is at his best when he is subdivision slumming. Better Off Dead and Say Anything are the early career classics; Netflix Grosse Point Blank and make it a three-fer.
3. “DON’T STOP BELIEVING.” Ah, Journey. Has ever a band been so postmodern? Unabashedly cheesy, boasting some of the most cringe-inducing lyrics and undeservedly anthemic choruses ever written, it is hard to say whether you enjoy Journey so much as you enjoy your enjoyment of them. Or as much as you enjoy your enjoyment of them as a junior in high school.