Simple Machines Working Holiday: March

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Simple Machines' Working Holiday series marches on with another unlikely but wonderful pairing: slowcore pioneers Codeine and lounge-pop pranksters the Coctails. Codeine's "Ides" employs the assassination of Julius Caesar as a springboard to explore issues of media sensationalism and accountability -- weighty themes well suited to the band's ponderous, large-scale rock. Not written with any particular event or tradition in mind, the Coctails' jaunty "Working Holiday" simply celebrates celebration itself, and essentially acts as a theme for the entire series. Though obviously written as fill-in in case another act failed to deliver their song as promised (this means you, Liz Phair), its breezy fun that's pretty much impossible to dislike.