Doris & The Daggers
Rating: 7.5 wizard balls out of 10
Spiral Stairs aka Scott Kannberg aka the other dude from Pavement who sings occasionally doesn't appear to be in any hurry when it comes to music or life in general. His last release was "The Real Feel" in 2009, and since then he's moved around the world and seemingly just enjoyed life without worrying about any music industry bullshit. I'm not sure if that time off was a necessary recharge that was needed to produce this damn fine record "Doris & The Daggers," or if I should be mad I had to wait nearly a decade to get another recording from him, but I guess better late than never. The Pavement pedigree is clearly there in most of these songs, especially if you've listened to that band as much as I have, but it's mixed with a mature Kiwi-pop vibe, be that intentional or I'm just imagining shit because I've been listening to a lot of New Zealand pop lately. You know, the Verlaines and the Bats and the Clean and all those other amazing bands that all your favorite musicians love but don't get nearly enough recognition from the general public. "The Unconditional" is probably my top jam here, followed closely by "AWM" and "Dance(Cry Wolf)"...it's all pretty much gold though. Scott had a ton of well known musicians show up on this, folks from the National, Shudder to Think, Broken Social Scene, Kelley Stoltz, and plenty more.
Spiral Stairs was great live too, when I saw him recently. If he happens to play in your town I would get my butt to the venue because god knows when the next time will be that he decides to record and tour again...might be next year, might be in 2030.
Also: it's never been clear to me if Spiral Stairs in this case is intended as a nickname for Scott, since he went by it in the early years of Pavement, or if it's the name of the band. I'm treating it as his name, but given my track record I'm probably wrong.