Can we teach history in a social media world?

At a time where credibility is measured by how many upvotes you get, is it possible to teach one history and expect our students to accept this as credible?

I don’t have an answer to this question, but in a world where what is credible is often decided through community consensus I think this is a good question to ask. Jason Steinhauer asks this and other questions in History Disrupted: How Social Media and the World Wide Web Have Changed the Past. (2022)

History is no longer the purview of the professional historian or even the history teacher. Public history captures the imagination like no textbook ever could. Where do teachers go now to teach their students? It could be one of the Crash Course History videos by John and Hank Green. The course commits to help students to become more informed, engaged and productive citizens of the world. It could be Hip Hughes History whose videos are engaging forays into a vast collection of historically significant topics. History Cool Kids @historycoolkids on Instagram offers daily engaging photographs of the past with background information and links for more information.

From August 2020 post – For a small amount of perspective at this moment, imagine you were born in 1900. When you are 14, World War I starts, and ends on your 18th birthday with 22 million people killed. Later in the year, a Spanish Flu epidemic hits the planet and runs until you are 20. Fifty million people die from it in those two years. Yes, 50 million.

Steinhauer offers many examples of how social media offers so many sites, blogs and podcasts mostly produced by public historians who do not come from an academic background. But, any history teacher reading this post could offer a plethora of other sources of on-line historical information that they use to engage their students in recounting the past.

What is now considered credible is a community consensus on what holds value. History Cool Kids is credible because it has over 1.4 million followers. Wikipedia articles have credibility because there is a community that rejects what is unfounded and promotes what can be cited.

Xavier de Petta, one of the creators of @Historyinpics points out the importance of social media history – “you no longer need to read 140 pages, you can read 140 characters” and most importantly, “you don’t need expertise to be heard”. (Steinhauer, p. 47)

This is something important to note. How relevant are academic historians if they have no voice? The road to academia is a privileged one taking many years and thousands of public dollars to achieve. Once granted the Ph.D. the newly minted academic gains the right to produce material that is rarely read by the general public or educators charged with teaching history in our schools. Steinhauer points out that there is a deep and ever growing rift between academic history and the public history created on the web.

This is real and we should recognize this. When I taught history teaching methodology at the university, all the sites we looked at would be categorized as public history. Some were produced by academics like the Great Unsolved Mysteries in Canadian History series that is written by Canadian professors thus bridging the tenuous gap between the university and the public realm. I hope this is not the exception, but most of the material we looked at came from public, not from professional historians.

This leads me to another question based on Steinhauer’s arguments. Does the professional historian play any role in the education of students? Is history a subject that could actually be self-taught utilizing the material that is currently being used in the classroom. Has social media destroyed our traditional approach to teaching history textbook in hand or has the internet opened us all up to new interpretations and viewpoints outside the exclusive realm of the academic?

What is relevant, what is credible, whose voices do we actually listen to?

A diminishing respect for the truth

Have we become nostalgic for a time when it was simpler to discern what information possesses credibility?

Yes, I think so, but at the same time with so many different forms of information out there it has become more of a challenge to judge what represents a trustworthy source. There is no rulebook here. No one is going to guide you through the miasma of fake news.

These trends along with changes in the media environment such as the diminished role of gatekeepers and vastly expanded opportunities for circulation of both information and misinformation in the Digital Age make exposure to inaccurate information both more common and more difficult to detect.

Can you honestly say that what you read is credible? What the person next to you reads is trustworthy?

Barzilai & Chinn (2020) characterizes the new post-truth world as one with a diminishing respect for the truth. People give up trying to uncover the truth when confronted by overwhelming waves of information. In some cases, the truth becomes secondary to one’s political or social beliefs (Buckingham, 2019).

Maybe we can all hold to our own truths now.

The infamous alternative facts interview with Kellyann Conway

The task of investigating the elements of post-truth stretches back well before the term was first used in 2016 (Buckingham, 2019). At the beginning of the millennium, Wineburg (2001) studied the responses of high school students and academics to a series of primary and secondary sources chronicling the Battle of Lexington. In ranking eight documents, the academics placed eye-witness accounts written at the time of the battle as the most credible. The textbook included as one source of information was ranked last

The students viewed the text as the most credible source of information on the incident (2001). According to one student, the credibility of the text came from its reliance on “straight information”. The text, one student explained, was “just reporting the facts – ‘The rebels were ordered to disperse. They stood their ground.’ Just concise, journalistic in a way, just saying what happened” (p. 68, 2001).

The difference between the students and the academics came down to their “sense-making abilities”, in other words, their ability to source or look at where the document came from, make efforts to place each document into context and compare the various documents with one another (Wineburg, 1991, p.77 ). For these students, authority came from the established text – it was the one source for accurate information. Unlike the academics in this study, they lacked the discernment skills that would allow them to ask important questions about their evidence (Wineburg, 2001).

These results are reflected in other studies that show students incapable of judging legitimate digital information from sites designed to confuse or deliver a particular partisan message (Chinn et al., 2021; Kahne & Bowyer, 2017; Macedo-Rouet et al., 2019; McGrew et al., 2017; McGrew et al., 2018; Pérez et al., 2018).

I am a teacher, I am not (or ever will be) an academic. Studying the problem without offering a concrete plan or path out of the swamp is not good enough.

Researchers suggest that students and teachers need to be taugh explicitly how to discern what is credible. McGrew et al. (2018) suggest that what is needed is civic online reasoning instruction. The components of this instruction include:

  • determining who is supporting or sponsoring the author of an article
  • investigating possible conflict of interest on the part of the writer or source
  • practice on how to evaluate evidence
  • learning to discern if a claim is supported by the evidence

I have not yet seen a program that actually does all these things for students and teachers. With even a hint of encouragement, this would have been a really interesting area to research. Traditional media literacy methods do not seem to be up to the challenges of the post-truth era. We need something else to develop teachers and students capable of identifying credible sources of information.

Without a new tool chest, the democratic values that underpin our society will increasingly be threatened. The freedom convoy and the January 6 assault on Washington are just two examples of where this leads.

So if we understand the problem – where do we go from here?

Old Fellas New Music Episode 35 Thursday, November 17

Episode 35, Thursday, November 17

This is episode 35 of Old Fellas new Music. Nine great songs all newer than 2015 along with fun conversation. We hope you give this a listen!

This week – Nine new songs!

Cedric Burnside – Get Down

Khruangbin with Vieux Farka Touré – Tamalla  (2020) – Austin City Limits & KEXP 

(2022) (CBC The Block)

Valerie June – Shakedown

Trinidad Cardona, Davido, Aisha – Hayya Hayya (Better Together)

Gwenifer Raymond – Sweep It Up

Beatrice Deer – The Storm

Buffalo Nichols – How to Love

Julian Taylor – Wide Awake

Joachim  Cooder –  Heartaching Blues

Cedric Burnside

Get Down  First up is a nice party track from Cedric Burnside. 

Burnside is an American electric blues artist. He is the grandson of late blues great R. L. Burnside. He even toured with the elder Burnside at the age of 13 as a drummer.  From the 2021 lp “I Be Trying”  

The National Endowments for the Arts has a nice feature on him  https://www.arts.gov/honors/heritage/cedric-burnside 

Hayya Hayya (Better Together)

26,827,786 views  Apr 1, 2022

This is the first single of the multi-song FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ Official Soundtrack. 

Artists: Trinidad Cardona, Davido and Aisha. Such a great song. I am sure you will be hearing this a lot over the next few weeks. Oh and make sure you watch the video!

Valerie June

is an American singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist from Memphis, Tennessee.  The track, Shakedown come from 2017’s “The Order of Time “ album.  Rolling Stone magazine ranked the album at No. 24 on their “50 Best Albums of 2017”  Shakedown is a nice southern blues and gospel-based groove.  https://www.popmatters.com/valerie-june-shakedown-singles-going-steady-2495403955.html

Beatrice Deer’s ‘SHIFTING’ Is a Multilingual Merger of Darkness and Light (Exclaim)

By Jordan Currie

Published Dec 08, 2021

Montreal-based singer-songwriter Beatrice Deer understands how to merge opposite worlds to birth a fresh, inventive new one. A blend of modern folk tales with traditional Inuit ones serves as a landscape for her music, where the sounds of classic indie pop and rock are interwoven with Inuit throat singing. On top of this, the half-Inuk, half-Mohawk artist also sings in three languages: English, French and Inuktitut, at times switching between multiple within one song. Her approach to bringing these elements together is skillful and graceful on her sixth studio album SHIFTING, where she explores the emotions surrounding getting older and moving on to another phase of life.

On paper, SHIFTING may sound daunting and overly complicated for those who only speak one language, but Deer’s ability to craft a seamless flow between her songs and highlight universal themes of transformation and growth can lead any listener to enjoy the journey. “Emotionally, spiritually, and physically, the transition towards our authentic selves continues,” she shared of the album. “As I shift into the position where I’m meant to be, I want to keep using what I’ve learned to help others.”

CBC Q

https://www.cbc.ca/listen/live-radio/1-50-q/clip/15883464-beatrice-deers-album-combines-inuk-musical-traditions-modern

Canadian singer-songwriter Beatrice Deer joined Tom Power to talk about merging her Inuk-Mohawk heritage with indie rock sounds on her latest album, Shifting.

Aired: Dec. 9, 2021

Gwenifer Raymond – Sweep It Up  

https://guitar.com/features/interviews/gwenifer-raymond-welsh-acoustic-virtuoso-and-game-designer/

Gwenifer Raymond is a Welsh guitarist originally from Cardiff Wales but now living in Brighton, England.  Critics are categorizing her style as following in the  American Primitive genre like forbearers John Fahey.  In addition to being an accomplished musician,  she has earned an MA and a Ph.D. in Astrophysics. She also is a computer programmer, first in artificial intelligence, and later as an audio programmer for video games. She continued to study and play gigs in coffee houses and pubs.

From 2018’s You Never Were Much of a Dancer,  “Sweep it Up”   

Here’s more! Gwenifer Raymond at the Brighton Toy Museum. 

Khruangbin with Vieux Farka Touré – Tamalla  (2020) –

I saw this band first on Austin City Limits & KEXP 

Khruangbin and Vieux Farka Touré have announced a new collaborative album. Ali is in honor of Vieux’s late father Ali Farka Touré; the artists recreate and pay homage to his work across the new album. It’s out September 23 via Dead Oceans

Khruangbin is an American musical trio from Houston, Texas. The band comprises Laura Lee on bass, Mark Speer on guitar, and Donald “DJ” Johnson Jr. on drums.[2]The band is known for blending global music influences, such as classic soul, dub, rock and psychedelia.[3][4] Their debut studio album, The Universe Smiles Upon You (2015), draws from the history of Thai music in the 1960s, specifically from Luk thung, while their second album, Con Todo el Mundo (2018), has influences from Spain and the Middle East, specifically Iran.[2] Speer, Lee, and DJ also host “AirKhruang” radio shows on NTS Radio and Facebook Live.[5] In September 2022, the band released the album, Ali in collaboration with Vieux Farka Touré, featuring songs by Vieux’s father, Ali Farka Touré.

Buffalo Nichols – How to Love 

Blues performer Carl ‘Buffalo’ Nichols was born in Houston, Texas, but was raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Per Wikipedia,  Growing up in Milwaukee, Nichols found his place behind the guitar. In poring over records from other artists, he would sometimes listen to a song as many as 200 times to understand the chord or riff and play it. Nichols traveled across West Africa and Europe, discovering how tradition could be updated for contemporary listeners. That’s his mission in releasing Buffalo Nichols. “Part of my intent, making myself more comfortable with this release, is putting more Black stories into the genres of folk and blues”, he said. “Listening to this record, I want more Black people to hear themselves in this music that is truly theirs”.  From 2021’s self titled lp   

Here’s a nice comprehensive article on Nichols from Rolling Stone Magazine.

https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-features/blues-buffalo-nichols-1296676/

Julian Taylor – Wide Awake

Seeds by Julian Taylor

an excerpt that gives you some idea of the work Julian Taylor has done over the years.

It’s rare in this era to see an artist build slowly and reach a new level of widespread acclaim two decades into their career. But Julian’s ethos, work ethic, and artistry has always had a timeless quality to it. And so, he’s built things slowly in a DIY fashion, withstanding highs and lows along the way, ultimately reaching the peak of his powers with his latest solo work. Fans and critics have noticed, granting Julian the Solo Artist of the Year honour at the Canadian Folk Music Awards (and nomination in the English Songwriter category), plus two Juno Award nominations in 2021, as well as a Polaris Music Prize nomination. 

https://juliantaylormusic.ca/about

Joachim  Cooder –  Heartaching Blues  from 2020’s On That Road I’m Bound

Joachim Herbert Cooder is a  percussionist and keyboardist best known for his collaborations with his father, Ry Cooder. His primary instrument is the electric mbira, a variation on the traditional African thumb piano. This gives you an idea of what he plays.  

 Here, Cooder covers an old Uncle Dave Macon song  Heartaching Blues. 

For comparison  here’s Uncle Dave Macon version   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Msk98ITgJG8

What is credible? How do you know?

In an increasingly complex post-truth world, people in general – students and teachers in particular – struggle to discern credible sources of online information. Their ability to judge multiple sources of information has and will have a major impact on their collective ability to make decisions in a modern, democratic society.

This is the area of research I have been working through over the past month.

We need to better understand the challenges presented by a post-truth. As a term, post-truth is relatively new. Most of us probably became aware of post-truth with the 2016 election of Donald Trump. He didn’t invent post-truth but Trump and other politicians have used alternative facts as an every day tool with impunity.

What strategies and techniques can be developed to provide educators and students with appropriate tools to effectively evaluate what is credible and what is baseless information? Is this even possible to do?

In a world that possesses an abundance of information, more readily available than at any other time in history, we swim in a sea of disinformation, suspicion, and confusion (Chinn et al., 2021). Accordingly, our ability to make decisions that affect our everyday life is severely hampered (Barzilai & Chinn, 2020). This is the world of post-truth; here, the forum of political debate can be filled with half-truths and outright lies. What is ‘true’ is up for debate on every news channel (Buckingham, 2019). The challenge of acquiring information has been complicated by several factors including the increased prevalence of misinformation; the outright rejection of established claims; the discrediting of facts over personal beliefs; a declining trust in the institutions that provide us with information and the fragmentation of that information (Barzilai & Chinn, 2020). 

 

This is not a new situation. Many generations have had to contend with information sources designed to distract and misinform. Thomas Jefferson witnessed the increased flow of political pamphlets brought about by the advent of movable type. While this technical innovation allowed for the spread of cheaply produced rhetoric and opinion, it also opened the door to a more questionable collection of reading material. Jefferson’s solution then is as relevant today. Rather than ban the half-truths and false claims of the pamphlet, Jefferson argued that people needed to be taught to discern truth from fiction (Wineburg & McGrew, 2019).

What are some features of a post-truth world? One common theme focuses on the inability of people to spot unreliable information. They may rely on a single source for their information or have little experience with fact-checking sources (Chinn et al., 2021). The widespread availability of digital information can also make it a challenge for people to decide who possesses expert information (2021). It cannot be taken for granted that the public has the skill set required to assess the trustworthiness of the experts they are reading. There exists the tendency for people to ‘choose’ their own expert opinion, especially when the information confirms previously held beliefs (Barzilai & Chinn, 2020).

This is an area that I would love to learn more about. Authors like Sam Weinburg and Jason Steinhauer who recently wrote History Disrupted: How Social Media and the World Wide Web Have Changed the Past are writing for a non-academic audience. Both, I think, would call themselves Internet entrepreneurs (Weinburg, p. 8, 2018). Both write for a general audience because it is this audience that needs to acquire the tools to assess what is credible information and what is a potentially dangerous fantasy. This is not an academic debate.

These few paragraphs were written as part of a doctoral paper. The more time I spend with academics, the more I am convinced that we need to have this debate outside of the academy. Over the next few posts, I will include more from this paper in the hope that someone finds this discussion important. Maybe this will encourage more discussion. Otherwise, what value does this piece really have?

This is a problem for everyone, but for educators how we develop 21st-century critical thinking skills is becoming an essential feature of their professional lives. How well do we understand this?

Old Fellas New Music Episode 34

This week

Week 34

Aysanabee – War Cry 

Allison Russell /Brandi Carlile  – You Are Not Alone

Born Ruffians  – I Fall in Love Every Night 

The Heavy Heavy –  Miles and Miles

Rosa Linn  –  SNAP 

Darling Congress  –   Lazarus

Breeze:  – Come Around ft. Cadence Weapon

Yot Club –   U Dont Kno Me

Bells Larsen –  Double Aquarius

Aysanabee: War Cry Exclaim!

In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, Evan Pang made sure to check in with his grandfather in Thunder Bay.

“It was important for me to record some of this, because not only were there outbreaks happening, but his health wasn’t so good at the time,” he said.

But soon, those conversations became deeper, uncovering family stories and setting Pang on a new journey of personal reclamation. So, with his grandfather’s blessing, he started recording their chats.

“We spent the first year kind of getting to know each other in a way that we never had before,” the Toronto-based musician told Unreserved host Rosanna Deerchild. “I basically spent the first year of the pandemic interviewing my grandfather.”

A lot has changed since then. Pang now goes by Aysanabee, after reclaiming his family’s name. He left his career in journalism to become a musician. He’s so far performed at nearly 100 shows and festivals, and signed with Ishkōdé Records, an Indigenous, women-led record label.

CBC

Allison Russell /Brandi Carlile – You Are Not Alone

Montreal native makes a second appearance on the Old Fellas podcast. At this point, “You are Not Alone” is a standalone 2022 release.  After having a fairly traumatic childhood, Russell sings songs of strength and positivity. She is joined on this song by American multi award winner Brandi Carlile.    

https://www.killbeatmusic.com/media-releases/2022/8/18/allison-russell-sharesnbspyoure-not-alone-featuring-brandi-carlile

Born Ruffians: I Fall in Love Every Night (2020) Verge – Juice

“I Fall In love Every Single Night” is the opening track from Born Ruffians’ new LP, and is their first single since their 2018 album Uncle, Duke & The Chief.

Guitarist and vocalist Luke Lalonde says of the new single, “When the darkness isn’t fully engrossing me, I feel very fortunate for the world we live in and the people I have in my life. It’s easy for me (and I think for a lot of people) to take things for granted. There’s a constant narrative I’ve noticed being pushed that the world is a big, mean, scary place. We’re constantly being drilled by bad news, perpetual fear. You can forget how beautiful the world is and you can forget to even notice the person right next to you… I’m feeling a renewed sense of love not only in my relationships but with the world in general. There is an overwhelming amount of love in the world, you just have to focus on it every once in a while.”

The Heavy Heavy – Miles and Miles       

The Heavy Heavy:have described their sound as the “The Rolling Stones meets The Mamas & The Papas”. The band reminds one of Bob Welch era Fleetwood Mac as well.  The track “Miles and Miles” is taken from the Brighton UK based group’s sole ep.  The tune sounds as if it could be blasting from an AM radio station circa 1973. Here they perform on Stephen Colbert’s Late Show Me  website. 

The Heavy Heavy are creating a stir in the music press as well.  https://www.theguardian.com/music/2022/jul/16/one-to-watch-the-heavy-heavy-life-and-life-only

Rosa Linn:SNAP (2022) Verge

Snap” is a song by Armenian singer Rosa Linn, released on 19 March 2022.[2] The song was written and composed by Linn, with Larzz Principato, Courtney Harrell, Allie Crystal and Tamar Kaprelian.[3] The song represented Armenia in the Eurovision Song Contest 2022 in Turin, Italy. (Wikipedia)

It’s not those numbers that count towards the chart, though – but users are going on to streaming platforms – which do contribute to the figures.

“Everything is going crazy and it’s a dream come true,” the 22-year-old told BBC News.

It’s the second-highest charting song from this year’s competition, behind the United Kingdom’s Sam Ryder, who got to

At the grand final in Turin, in May, Snap finished in 20th position out of 25 – receiving no points from the UK in either the public or jury votes.

“That was my first time on a big stage but it felt so right. It felt like home,” Linn explained.

(BBC)

Darling Congress – Lazarus from album Jubilant Blue 2022

Taken from the 2022 album Jubilant Blue, Lazarus, was a long time in the making as COVID interrupted the album’s production.  Darling Congress is Peter van Helvoort bassist for The Glorious Sons and one time a member of Teenage Kicks.  “Lazarus” apparently deals with that bands break up seven years earlier when the song was actually written.

Breeze: Come Around ft. Cadence Weapon (2021) Verge


Toronto-based producer and artist, Josh Korody (Nailbiter, Beliefs) who works under the moniker, Breeze is sharing his new single, “Come Around” which features a guest appearance from the tipped Canadian rapper/artist, Cadence Weapon who found acclaim from Stereogum, FLOOD, Brooklyn Vegan, Bandcamp Daily, Exclaim and more for his recent album, Parallel World – listen below. The new single arrives in line with the news of Korody’s second album under Breeze titled Only Up, set for release via Hand Drawn Dracula on August 26, 2021.

Yot Club -U Dont Kno Me 

Yot Club is a lo-fi bedroom pop project from Mississippi. The band is solely old Ryan Kaiser, writing and recording everything.  Kaiser came to the public’s attention withe Tik Tok viral sensation, YKWIM?,” (You Know What I Mean). Apparently it’s had over  two million streams on Spotify. “u dont kno me” is the first single off his forthcoming debut album Off the Grid. To quote, “The song is about outgrowing one’s environment—a feeling that Kaiser knows well, having relocated from Mississippi to Nashville last year.

The video is good deadpan fun.   https://floodmagazine.com/104526/yot-club-u-dont-kno-me-first-listen/

Bells Larsen Double Aquarius (2022)

Bells Larsen (they/he/il) is a Montreal-based singer/songwriter. Larsen’s songs weave together deeply cathartic lyrics and memorable melodies, distilling the personal within the universal. In the fall, Larsen will release their debut record, which was made possible with support from the Canada Council for the Arts. This music explores the theme of queer loss in its many guises.

Old Fellas New Music Episode 33 – notes

Welcome!

St Vincent –Candy Darling

Booter –  10/10

Divine Comedy – Don’t Look Down

Rostam – 4Runner

Maria McKee- Let Me Forget

Alyona Alyona – Дикі танці – Wild Dances

Father John Misty – Things It Would Have Been Helpful to Know Before the Revolution.

Dear Rouge – Small Talk

Local Natives ft Sylvan Esso – Dark Days

Alyona Savranenko was born in Ukraine. She holds two bachelor’s degrees, one of which comes from the Gregory Skovoroda Pedagogical State University of Pereiaslav. Before doing rap, she worked as a teacher at “Teremok” kindergarten of Baryshivka, Kyiv Oblast. Alyona then headed the kindergarten of the neighboring village of Dernivka.In total, Alyona worked for four years in kindergartens and left the job once she gained popularity.

Even though Russian rap music is very popular in Ukraine, Alyona Alyona chose to rap in her native language. (While both languages are spoken in the ex-Soviet state, Ukrainian has become more widely spoken since the 2013 Euromaidan protests.)

To her, it’s a celebration of her national culture: “I want to rap about everyday life, in my own language.”

From – EURO POP

By THE NEW YORK TIMES MAY 22, 2019

European music is more than just the glitz of Eurovision. Turn on your sound to hear 15 of the region’s most important acts, musically and socially, right now.

“We didn’t have any huge fresh names like her in rap music in Ukraine before,” said Ivan Dorn, a popular Ukrainian singer. Alyona Alyona’s early videos, some of which have several million views on YouTube, have a down-to-earth quality, showing her rapping in snow-covered, graffiti-filled landscapes, often dressed in tracksuits and sneakers.

(NYT)


St Vincent –Candy Darling

St Vincent –Candy Darling

St Vincent is the stage name of Ann Clark. She has been releasing albums to both popular and critical acclaim since 2007.  The track “Candy Darling” is from her  sixth album, 2021’s “Daddy’s Home”.  The song is an homage to Andy Warhol transgender “Superstar” Candy Darling who was immortalized in Lou Reed’s “Walk on the Wild Side” and the Velvet Underground’s “Candy Says”  Candy died tragically died at the age of 29 from lymphoma. To quote St Vincent,  “ ’Candy Darling’ was the last song I wrote for “Daddy’s Home.” I can’t explain it, but I felt like Candy was guiding me through writing it all, so it only made sense for me to send her home on that last uptown train with a bouquet of bodega roses.”

https://www.smh.com.au/culture/music/how-andy-warhol-s-darling-muse-inspired-st-vincent-s-next-move-20210608-p57z3f.html

The Velvet Underground  “Candy Says”  

   1969


Booter 10/10

Article in Exclaim!

8 Emerging Canadian Artists You Need to Hear in August 2022(Exclaim!)

Meet Exclaim!’s latest New Faves, including an East Coast heartbreaker and some scrappy power pop by way of Manitoba

On “Crushin’,” Booter’s Alannah Walker (one-half of indie-pop duo Cannon Bros.) sings hyperactive musings about continually falling for the straight girl, never catching that unattainable person’s eye. It’s a theme touched on throughout the quartet’s debut record, 10/10: “There are songs on this album that are clearly gay,” she says of the album, on which she writes queer lyrics openly for the first time. Joined by Tunic frontman David Schellenberg on bass, Hut Hut drummer Ian Ellis and guitarist Brendon Yarish, the Winnipeg-based project’s debut arrives September 9 through Midwest Debris

About (Manitoba Music)

On Booter’s debut album, Alannah Walker sings queer lyrics openly for the first time. Inspired by women writing love songs about women, the Winnipeg musician formerly known for her acclaimed duo Cannon Bros shares sarcastic slacker laments with a universality stretching far beyond the prairies. Joined by members of Tunic, Hut Hut, and Animal Teeth, 10/10 sets her stories of breakups, make-ups, and crushes on straight girls to the nostalgic strains of ’90s indie-rock. Drawing on the time-tested influences of Sloan, The Breeders, and Guided By Voices, each track is packed with hooks while maintaining the quartet’s homespun charms. Producer Cam Loepkky (The Weakerthans, Constantines) and mastering engineer Philip Shaw Bova (Kiwi Jr., Land of Talk) give 10/10 a vibrant boost with its dreamy synths and incandescent guitar solos bursting through Booter’s understated arrangements.

RELEASED Friday, September 9, 2022

Divine Comedy – Don’t Look Down

Divine Comedy – Don’t Look Down

The Divine Comedy are a band from Northern Ireland. Formed in 1989 and fronted by Neil Hannon. Hannon has been the only constant member of the group for all these years. The band has released 12 studio albums. Between 1996 and 1999,  nine singles released by the band made the top 40 in the UK.  “Don’t Look Down” comes from the album Promenade which was released in 1994.  By honest error, the Old Fellas New Music rule of no music older than 2015 has been broken!  Hopefully a severe penalty will be applied. However, here is Hannon performing the song in 2017.


Local Natives ft Sylvan Esso – Dark Days

Local Natives is an American indie rock band based  Los Angeles.  Their debut album, Gorilla Manor, was first released  February 16, 2010. The album received mostly positive reviews and debuted on the Billboard 200 and at No. 3 in the New Artist Chart.

Los Angeles band Local Natives have combined with Sylvan Esso on a new version of an older song, “Dark Days.  Sylvan Esso is an American electronic pop duo from Durham, North Carolina, formed in 2013. They took their name from characters in the video game Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery.   https://floodmagazine.com/78111/listen-local-natives-share-dark-days-collaboration-with-sylvan-esso/

The collaboration first appeared on the Kimmel Show during the pandemic…  

Rostam – 4Runner

I love this song!

When Rostam Batmanglij was a kid growing up in Washington, D.C. — “must have been 13 or 14,” he figures — he used to ride around in his older brother’s car listening to a collection of Bruce Springsteen’s greatest hits. So it was probably inevitable that the musician and producer (and former Vampire Weekend member) would end up decades later with a song like “4Runner” from his mesmerizing new album.

A sexy-dreamy bop about two lovers’ road trip up the West Coast, “4Runner” carries some big Boss energy — the propulsive tempo, the images of “stolen plates” and a “blanket on the backseat,” the very “I’m on Fire” falsetto at the end of the tune. Asked if he hears it too, Rostam smiles and reveals that it wasn’t just that formative experience at play: Throughout the process of making his “Changephobia” LP, he was listening intermittently to the audiobook of Springsteen’s memoir, “Born to Run.”

Rostam’s craftiness and his analytical thinking — not to mention his interest in music history — are all over the meticulously rendered “Changephobia,” which mingles fuzzy rock, aquatic R&B and 1940s- and ’50s-style jazz. The album, his second solo disc, arrives after a few years in which he primarily wrote and produced for other acts such as Clairo, Maggie Rogers and Haim, with whom he earned a Grammy nomination for album of the year with 2020’s “Women in Music Pt. III.”


Dear Rouge releases new album, Spirit

By Jenna Melanson on April 8, 2022

Vancouver alt-rock duo Dear Rouge have shared their long-awaited third full-length album, Spirit, via Pheromone Records.

As the band wrote of the record,

“Spirit is the most vulnerable and raw side of Danielle’s inner thoughts, and the line being thrown from these questions and deep reckonings within oneself, urging you to grab hold and hang on for dear life.”

The band recorded Spirit secluded away from busy cityscapes. Drew and Danielle took up residence in a lakeside cabin shortly after the release of PHASES, their sophomore record. The duo found themselves spending their days alone together, and Spirit began to take form over the winter months.

“I had this epiphany,” Danielle shared, “that we needed to come back to ourselves and the joy and comfort we found in each other when we began writing music together.”

Maria McKee- Let Me Forget


Spotify

Maria McKee  is an American singer-songwriter. She is best known for her work with 80’s cow punks Lone Justice and her song “If Love Is a Red Dress (Hang Me in Rags)” from the film Pulp Fiction. Last year she recorded the album

La Vita Nuova which was met with generally favorable reviews from critics.

https://daily.bandcamp.com/features/maria-mckee-la-vita-nuova-feature

Father John Misty

Father John Misty – Things It Would Have Been Helpful to Know Before the Revolution.

Joshua Michael Tillman is better known by his stage name Father John Misty. The chosen song comes from the 2015 album “ Pure Comedy”.  Originally, Tillman included an 1800-word-long essay about its symbolism and meaning in the release announcement email to his fan club. “ Pure Comedy is the story of a species born with a half-formed brain. The species’ only hope for survival, finding itself on a cruel, unpredictable rock surrounded by other species who seem far more adept at this whole thing (and to whom they are delicious), is the reliance on other, slightly older, half-formed brains. This reliance takes on a few different names as their story unfolds, like “love,” “culture,” “family,” etc. Over time, and as their brains prove to be remarkably good at inventing meaning where there is none, the species becomes the purveyor of increasingly bizarre and sophisticated ironies. These ironies are designed to help cope with the species’ loathsome vulnerability and to try and reconcile how disproportionate their imagination is to the monotony of their existence”  Okay…. It is rather catchy though….  Pop Matters assesses….

https://www.popmatters.com/father-john-misty-things-it-would-have-been-helpful-to-know-before-the-revo-2495383263.html

Some lyrics...

It got too hot and so we overthrew the system
'Cause there's no place for human existence like right here
On this bright blue marble orbited by trash
Man, there's no beating that
It was no big thing to give up the way of life we had, oh
My social life is now quite a bit less hectic
The nightlife and the protests are pretty scarce
Now I mostly spend the long days walking through the city
Empty as a tomb
Sometimes I miss the top of the food chain
But what a perfect afternoon