Zack: 8/19 through 9/9
Can of Corn: 9/16 through 10/21
Philosopher: 10/28 through 12/2
I think Zack may have been thrown off by the site's vacation last weekend. I'm taking today; I can give you two weeks in December if you want them, Z.
I've been reading bits of Freaky Trigger's essays about every British Number 1. (They just finished 2001!) I've mostly 1990-forward about those about songs I'm familiar with. One of the most recent ones had this passage I really like:
What pop does better than anything else does is to take feelings and situations, and crush and simplify them, making them immediate and thrilling and useful. It applies no moral filter. People feel self-righteous and wrathful, and so ultimately pop will product songs that are diamonds of self-righteousness and wrath.
("Pop" sensu lato here.) I think I've tried to express similar thoughts (but much less succinctly) about pop and emotions (though not necessarily those emotions).
From the same review, I love this line, which is more particularly about the song in question: "a church-inspired song that celebrates the dark joy of excommunication."
With Jill Johnson, on Jill's Veranda, Somewhere in Sweden, Late 2015/Early 2016
(Here billed as Annika Norlin, which probably is easier because she sings songs in English as "Hello Saferide" and in Swedish as "Säkert!", but as Säkert! did an album of English translations of her originally Swedish songs.)
So until I found this, I hadn't seen anything visual from Norlin worth sharing. This makes up for that and more. Fantastic performance, awesome song. If she's not up for more writing in English, an album of Americana self-covers a la Bonnie 'Prince' Billy's Sings Greatest Palace Music would be equally cool. She hasn't toured the US since I learned of her. Would I drive to Chicago if she did again that was the nearest show? Probably, and this video strengthens that.
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New York, 2014
Half-jokingly, I called this the "Best kids' song I've heard in ages". It's not just that, but it works like that.
This band reminds me of Postal Service and Lamb. The Lamb comparison is probably because Amelia looks a lot like Lou Rhodes.
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Comin' down from the mountain
I have seen the high and mighty
I may go again some day
but for now I'm comin' down.
I think it's time for me to step aside from my role as curator of this place in the schedule, this "column".
I haven't written much here* for months, and I haven't gotten in to much new music besides. I'm kindof tired and bored with music right now and ready to stop hogging the space.
Who would like to take this for a few months on a trial basis? If at the end of some time, you want to give it back, maybe I'll want it back and maybe someone else does. If someone takes it and wants to keep it, I'm not going to want it back.
Let's not make this about whoever claims it first; if more than one person wants it, I'll either pick by next week Wednesday or ask for citizens to vote or something.
*meaning the lead of this "column". The writing isn't necessary; it's just a fun ritual and a place to talk about music. Yet I feel good writing can stir up good discussion. But: anything written as the "post" could just as easily be placed in a comment for the same effect.
I took advantage of my cold to listen to some new music. Aided by a Saturday trip to the library.
Some quick takes on passing listens:
Mitski Bury Me at Makeout Creek.
Mitski Retired from Sad, New Career in Business.
Mitski Lush (less about this one).
There's love for her around here, but I didn't have the same immediate reaction as everyone else. Her music reminds me a lot of Angel Olsen (I'm sure Will Oldham has already asked her to sing on an upcoming album), but more dangerous. I'm not sure her best songs hit the highs of Olsen's, but the albums are better overall. There's no drag at all... hit hit hit (as in "punch" or "jab"). I hear a bit of Regina Spektor in Mitski's vocal acrobatics, but Spektor could have turned each of these songs into 6-minute meanderings. I went to bed last night listening to "Shame"... uh, wow.
After a few years of feeling blah about most new music, I'm excited about some things again. Maybe it's that Random Access Memories is enough in my rear-view mirror that I don't hate music any more. Though that album couldn't have been the cause, it might have slowed my recovery.
My rules, you don't have to use them:
Songs from the album list are pretty much excluded from the song list.
Released in the calendar year.
This is some mix of "favorite" and a more objective "best", but "best" is just about how well things meet my (capricious) tastes.
I go until I don't.
Albums of the Year. 1. Lydia Loveless Somewhere Else
I expected something like this (though I feared I might not). You probably expected this. You may even agree with this. Lydia (and her band) continue to impress me with their songs and performances. This album was a change in style from a rockin' outlaw alt-country to something with a lot more pop songwriting built into it, while still sounding like Lydia. Love the songs I'd been craving for years, love the new songs. Whenever I decide a favorite, I change it to one of seven others. Right now, I think it's "Verlaine Shot Rimbaud", definitely the best love song told through the prism of French poet-lovers and their violent discharges of firearms at each other that I've ever heard. Continue reading Friday Music Day: Best of 2014→