Wild Moccasins: Zahira Gutierrez's Top 10 New Wave Songs

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Have you seen the Wild Moccasins? Rocks Off is starting to get a little worried.

Just kidding. Houston's favorite indie-pop quintet has been strangely scarce recently, working their day jobs and getting ready to head out for a month of dates with Michigan don't-call-them-emo crew Saturday Looks Good to Me. They've even got a treat for fans at their tour kickoff Saturday at Fitz with LIMB: "Gag Reflections," a limited-edition 7" that is the first new music the group has released since 2009 debut LP Skin Collision Past.

It's true. If it seems like it can't have possibly been three years since the band has had a record out, that's because New West Records re-released Collision last summer. After the Saturday tour and their appearance at Free Press Summer Fest, keyboardist and singer Zahira Gutierrez says the Moccasins want to spend as much time writing and hope to start their next album in the fall. ("Reflections" will be on it, says Moccasins manager Aaron Danger.)

The B-side of "Gag Reflections" is one of Gutierrez's favorite B-52's songs, "Summer of Love," part of a set of the kooky Georgians' material the Moccasins did at a show a few years ago. "We already knew the song, and had fun molding it into our own style in the studio," she says. "There are some things we did on that song that would be hard to duplicate live, but it was sort of the intention."

Since the band has already been thinking that way, Rocks Off asked Gutierrez to come up with a list of her favorite New Wave songs. We have a soft spot for this kind of music, especially recently, so it's good to know the younger generation is still listening.

Also, we've often watched Wild Moccasins onstage and wondered if they were as into Blondie and the B-52's as it sounded, so it's good to know we weren't imagining things.

No particular order, Gutierrez says, but we put numbers on them anyway:

10. Blondie, "Slow Motion": "This song is on my favorite album by Blondie (Eat to the Beat). I first heard it when I bought the album a few years ago. I like this song because of the clever lyrics."

9. B-52's, "Summer of Love": "I first heard this song when we did the cover set, they have two versions of this song, but I like the second version better. There's a good amount of reverb and echo on the vocals and I love it!"

8. New Order, "1963": "I love this song because the lyrics are SO dramatic...or maybe it's just the way he sings them. I don't think that he remembers, but I heard the song for the first time in [guitarist] Andrew Lee's car, and I thought it was funny how he described the lyrics to Nick and I."

7. Echo & the Bunnymen, "Over the Wall": "Heaven Up Here is my favorite album by them. I like to listen to this song/album when I have a long drive."

6. Talking Heads "Girlfriend Is Better": "Cody [singer/guitarist Swann] listens to this song a lot, so every time I hear it, I just picture him singing it really loudly."

5. Tom Tom Club, "Genius of Love": "I don't remember when I first heard this song, but it's a good song to get ready to in the morning."

4. Television, "See No Evil": "This song recently became one of my favorites. Everything about the album Marquee Moon is so amazing."

3. Blondie, "Atomic": "BASS SOLO!! That's all I have to say about that one."

2. The Smiths, "William, It Was Really Nothing" "The first time I heard this song and the jangly guitar, I knew it would be one of my favorites."

1. B-52's, "My Own Private Idaho": "I really like watching videos of the B-52's performing this song. Kate looks possessed, and it makes me want to keep watching her."

With LIMB, 8 p.m. Saturday at Fitzgerald's.

Follow Rocks Off on Facebook and on Twitter at @HPRocksOff.

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