What is good pop music supposed to do? As soon as I finished my first listen of "I'm So High," I decided the tune had answered that question once and forever. First, and above all else, pop music forces fun onto listeners. Whether you've got moves like Jagger or not, the old-timey lo-fi girl-group garage-pop sound of Needlecraft (think Shannon and the Clams) makes it difficult not to bite down on that bottom lip and Ringwald away. Second, pop music should subversively tell the truth, usually by making the specific general. While "ISH" sounds innocuous enoughit could easily be played in a dental office, with nary a glance at the speakers from the waiting rooma close listen to the lyrics reveals a general reality that may blow some boys' minds: "Sorry baby I can't come over / I don't care that you've got a boner / I'm nodding in and out / I don't wanna make out." Finally, the chorus/hook should coat your brain the way melted sugar and butter coats pecans in a pie crust, and on this album it does. Double-finally, these songs invite you into Needlecraft's world, one that seems to be made with the same love as good pie.
Needlecraft plays the VFW Thu., May 10, at 9 PM, for free. They play at Zoo City Apparel Sun., May 13, at 8 PM, for $5. They play there again Wed., May 16, at 8 PM, for $5.