Good morning, The RockATeens, Sixth House. Of all the unbelievable 2018isms, this new album is the most welcome. The crooked cracked vocals, bombastic showtune anthems dredged through broken reverbed amps, soothe any aching-hearted optimist. A welcome addition to a band as American as there’s ever been: outcasts, underdogs, heroes.
Good morning, Joan of Arc, 1984. Appalachia amateur aurals crossed on a Chicago street with indie experimentalism. Echolocating in from childhood games among abandoned backyard cars, Punk Kid punches languid JOA exceptionalism. Maine Guy is a story told and re-told w/a dreamtrack unfolding during and after. Never for the easily-annoyed.
Good morning, Shellac, Dude Incredible. Twenty-plus years Shellac have pushed against convention with gentle force. Music still hasn’t caught up or fallen back yet. Songs about math, founding fathers, ocd, primal struggles, unions—these our histories, futures, aren’t these all thèmes américains? Universal themes? Themes for all earths, all times? Delivered with humor, unexpected twists, bludgeoning riffs, screaming clang—it shouldn’t be feared. Learn from the past, lean into the future. Every scene needs its own Led Zeppelin, after all.
Good morning, Pitchblende, Au Jus. The problem with being outré geniuses a decade or two (or more) ahead of your time is, when the public is ready to give you money, your albums are out of print & the band members can’t get their payday. Indie rock falling through the Crab Nebula into a blender.
Good morning, Rodion G.A., Rozalia. If you don’t have a favorite Romanian pop star from the 70s/80s already, then I nominate Rodion G.A. Gritty tracks DIYed from other studio sessions, guitar crunching, early synth, inspiring your daily side hustle. Foreign language fresh harmonies in a cave of yesteryear. If Rodion could do it, maybe you can to.
Good morning, The Sea and Cake, Any Day. The easy breeziness of Sam Prekop’s voice should have a statue erected for it in a hall of monuments. The Sea and Cake are more than that—light rhythms, breezes on patios, parasols, rainy summer afternoons, sad early hours—but they’d be less without it. Which mood today? Too early to know. Better, with this.
Good morning, E, Negative Work. Post-long weekend we may feel negative work, but you should feel Negative Work. Microtonal lines haunting the slashed ferocity of Zedek’s guitar and voice, over menaced drums. The work for this second album shows, an even fuller blend of their Come/Neptune/Karate/etc backgrounds. All those bands end with E, this week starts with E. Get negative.
Good morning, David Bowie, Diamond Dogs. 44 years old, and still confused after all this time. Birthed during dystopian 70s, dreaming of a 1984 musical, its birthday falls into a similar milieu (or worse). Always seems an autumn album, spring gives it a different cast. Hope? Maybe. Sweet Thing/Candidate/Sweet Thing (Reprise)’s dark politics all too fitting. Let’s all be Rebel Rebels this Memorial Day!
Good morning, Unnatural Ways, s/t. Back into more Unnatural Ways. Unsettled times demand unsettled music. Throbs and incantations— ev-ry-thing-is-be-ing-re-cord-ed—reverb vaults, hammondy pulse, syncs with train-morn shake-rattle of transport, escape. Then waltz into our electrified past, ok?