18 jan 2016
- David Bowie – When I was a callow young thing, for a while I refused to listen to any popular music older than 1980. This was a reaction to the calcification of nostalgia, and musical taste frozen in time, but it was dumb, and it was an enforced listen to “Ziggy” that shook me out of it. Most of this week hasn’t been listening to the Bowie albums dear to my heart, it’s been listening to some of the (unfairly, I’d say) maligned later records. And Blackstar, of course.
- My Sydney Riot – Shows up in my listening diary thanks to tagging error; it’s not a band, it’s a blog devoted to promoting the Sydney punk scene, which has a big mess of free compilations on the My Sydney Riot bandcamp page. I listened to a few of ‘em, need to go back and research about half the bands further, almost all new-to-me, mostly middling-to-very-good. Inclusive vs. orthodox punk.
- Tin Machine – (See above re: unfairly maligned Bowie records.)
- Bitesize – Indie rock with punky energy, appealingly unsteady cross-sung male/female vocals. Reminds me a bit of New Grenada, which means I like it quite a bit.
- Wolves – I’m gonna bet these guys loved Spiderland, but while the influence is prominent, Wolves don’t sound derivative to me — instead they evolve a Slint-ish sound in a more hardcore direction. One of the most willfully obscure bands I know, Wolves refused to title their songs, and didn’t last long. (I think members went on to play in the likes of Transistor Transistor, Ampere, and Orchid.)
- Flowers – Mostly melancholy, acoustic-guitar rooted indie pop, and unabashedly gorgeous vocals from Rachel Kenedy. I get a strong Julie Doiron vibe from this, also recalls Nat Johnson of Monkey Swallows the Universe.
- Chairlift – If you ask me right this second, I would say that these folks, Polica, and Purity Ring are my current favorites among the artists working in the long shadow of Portishead. (By the time I’ve hit “publish” I will have probably remembered 3 more. But still, these three understand that creepy is as important as cool and catchy.)
- Saintseneca – Kicking myself for not paying attention to this band sooner, but better late than never. Smart folkish indie with a dash of roots-rock. Murder by Death and Decemberists might be reasonable signposts.
- Krill – Revisiting A Distant Fist Unclenching & still pretty sure it’s my #3 of 2105 (behind Beauty Pill and Speedy Ortiz). Wondering why so many others snubbed it in year’s best lists – wonder if some of it is down to being pissed at them for breaking up.
- All Dogs – One of the reasons it’s a bit startling that I didn’t listen to Saintseneca sooner is that I like Meryn Jones’ other band, All Dogs, a lot. Definitely makes sense for them to be sometime labelmates of/tour with Swearin’/Waxatachee etc.
Tags: 2016 · weekly top