Old Fellas New Music Notes for Episode 39

https://www.mixcloud.com/paul-mcguire3/old-fellas-new-music-episode-39-jan-25-2023

Episode 39 – our notes!

Bob’s notes

Martin Courtney – Sailboat

Martin Courtney is a member of the Brooklyn based band Real Estate.  This track is taken from taken from his second solo album,  “Magic Sign”.   Pitchfork always a Real Estate supporter, gave a fairly positive review of the album.

https://pitchfork.com/reviews/albums/martin-courtney-magic-sign/

“Sailboat” is reminiscent of 80’s REM  

I also include one of my fave Real Estate tracks   

Nina Nastasia – Afterwards

Nina Maria Nastasia is an American folk singer-songwriter. I first came to know her from legendary British DJ John Peel’s online archives.  She is prominently featured on his radio shows from the early 2000’s.  As of 2022, Nastasia has released a total of seven studio albums.  The latest, is “Riderless Horse”  Much of the writing on this album was apparently influenced by the suicide Natasia’s partner in 2020. 

Stereogum has an excellent interview with her regarding “Riderless Horse”

Gwenno- Anima

This is a first for old fellas.  We have a song in Cornish!  Gwenno Mererid is a Welsh musician, known by the stage name Gwenno. . Tresor is her third album from July 2022.  All the songs on this album are entirely in Cornish except one song, “N.Y.C.A.W.” which is in Welsh.  The album’s name comes from the Cornish word for “treasure”. The album was shortlisted for the 2022 Mercury Prize.  The video is very cool as it is reminiscent of  Terry Gilliam’s animation work in Monty Python’s Flying Circus.  

For all her mysterious Cornish esoterica, it’s surprising to me that Gwenno used to be a member of The Pipettes!   

MJ Lenderman – SUV

Jake Lenderman goes by the moniker as MJ Lenderman.  He is an American singer, songwriter, and musician based in Asheville, North Carolina. In April, 2022, Lenderman released his third studio album, Boat Songs. He has been compared to John Prine, Neil Young  and The Drive-By Truckers’s which is always a good thing.  Here he is playing the crunchy little number SUV,  live in Austin Texas. 

Let us get to know MJ Lenderman!  https://fortherabbits.net/2021/03/25/get-to-know-mj-lenderman/

This week’s playlist

Gord Downie, Bob Rock – Is there nowhere

Martin Courtney – Sailboat

July Talk – When You Stop 

Nina Nastasia – Afterwards

Master KG, Burma Boy, Nomcebo Zikode – Jerusalema

Gwenno- Anima

Andy Shauf – Wasted on You

MJ Lenderman – SUV

Fast Romantics – Outta Love

Gord Downie, Bob Rock – Is there nowhere

This is totally new to me, but it is not every week that we get to feature a Gord Downie track!

By Alex Hudson

Published Nov 22, 2022

Late Tragically Hip frontman Gord Downie and mega-producer Bob Rock made an album together that never saw the light of day, but that is finally about to change. Following the single “Lustre Parfait” last month, Arts & Crafts has now shared two more songs and confirmed the details of the full-length. Lustre Parfait will be out May 5.

As a taste of the album to come, A&C has released the three-song collection The Raven and the Red-Tailed Hawk. It includes the title track, plus last month’s “Lustre Parfait” and the B-side “Is There Nowhere.”

The sessions for Lustre Parfait followed the two Hip albums produced by Rock, 2006’s World Container and 2009’s We Are the Same. According to a press release, Downie asked Rock if the producer had any music he could write lyrics for, and Rock created these raucous arrangements for the vocalist to accompany.

Rock said in a statement, “First and foremost Gord was my friend, and having the opportunity to work with him on these songs was one of the biggest highlights of my professional life. I am grateful that I got to witness his genius in such close proximity.” 

Exclaim

Premiere: July Talk’s ‘When You Stop’ captures everything about the band that we love

Great to see July Talk featured on NPR. The band will be here in Ottawa at the NAC. Looking forward to this!

I included extra video material. The second one – After This is terrific!

Almost a decade ago, World Cafe went to Toronto for our Sense of Place series in search of new music discoveries. We found one in the indie rock band July Talk. At the time, the band had just released its self-titled debut album. We became instantly enamored of the band’s music. With co-lead vocalists Leah Fay Goldstein and Peter Dreimanis, the energy has always brought about an equal balance of beguiling tension. The twin guitar playing of guitarists Ian Docherty and Josh Warburton, and double drummers Danny Miles and Dani Nash, round out the band, who release their new album, Remember Never Before, tomorrow.

Today, World Cafe is premiering, “When You Stop.” From the band’s new album, it captures everything about this band that we love: the decadelong relationship between Goldstein and Derimanis that has brought about both light and darkness in the way their vocals work together, the co-mingling and interlacing of the guitar playing, and the understated yet powerful push and pull of the rhythms.

It’s been three years since their last album, Pray For It, and we asked them how the pandemic affected the making of this record. In an email, Goldstein said: ” In a lot of ways we feel we already released our pandemic album in July of 2020. Pray For It was written between 2017 and 2019 and was our way of processing the reality of a very uncertain new world. One that saw what felt like a global shift toward darkness, baseless hatred, intolerance, bigotry, fear-mongering, climate doom, etc.”

July Talk – When You Stop [Official Lyric Video]

July Talk – After This [Official Music Video]

Master KG, Burma Boy, Nomcebo Zikode – Jerusalema

Jerusalema” is a song by South African DJ and record producer Master KG featuring South African vocalist Nomcebo. The upbeat gospel-influenced house song was initially released on 29 November 2019 after it garnered positive response online, with a music video following on 21 December. The music video of the song has generated half a billion views on YouTube. It was later included on Master KG’s second album of the same title, released in January 2020.[1]

What is so interesting is the viral challenge the song has created

Some examples below

The #Jerusalemachallenge has finally arrived to Jerusalem! During these challenging times of social distancing we have all gathered to dance together, so we can reunite. 

Holocaust survivors, elementary school students, youth from both east and west of Jerusalem, university students, and municipality workers along with the mayor, Moshe Lion. Watch how good we dance during times of social distancing ♥

#jerusalema #jerusalem #dance #challenge #happy #socialdistancing #viralvideo #15M #dancing

Master KG – Jerusalema Remix [Feat. Burna Boy and Nomcebo] (Official Music Video)

Jerusalema Challenge in Jerusalem!

Jerusalema Dance Challenge – Ärentunastallet Uppsala Sweden #jerusalemachallenge #horse #stable

Andy Shauf – Wasted on You

This is such a great sone – hard to believe he has eight albums out.

May 20, 2016 by ROBIN HILTON • Saskatchewan singer-songwriter Andy Shauf is the kind of guy you’d find laying low at a party, maybe tucked into the corner of a room with a drink in his hand, keeping to himself but taking everything in. He’s soft-spoken and reserved, more comfortable delivering the news than being a part of it (though “comfortable” may be too strong a word).

Shauf’s latest album is, appropriately enough, called The Party. It’s an emotionally remote collection of character studies and bent observations made during a gathering of drunken fools, smooth operators and the painfully self-aware.

Andy Shauf recently brought The Party to the NPR Music offices for this quietly affecting Tiny Desk performance. His set opens with “The Magician,” a song about a poser schmoozing his way through a crowd, followed by “To You,” a slightly comical but awkward confession of unrequited love. Shauf closes with the relatively propulsive “You’re Out Wasting,” a meditation on greed, selling out and late-night anxiety; it’s from his 2015 album The Bearer Of Bad News.

“Wasted On You” was the lead single for Andy Shauf’s eighth studio album, Norm. The lyrics are from the perspective of the Christian God, who asks nonbelievers upon their arrival to heaven “Was all my love wasted on you?” In A 2016 interview, Shauf says he grew up Christian but became nonreligious in his twenties. He has touched on religion before, such as on his 2022 single “Satan”, usually with a dry sense of humor.

Major tour – Ottawa – 04-28 Ottawa, Ontario – The Bronson Centre

Andy Shauf – “Wasted On You”

Andy Shauf has announced a new album: Norm is due February 10 via Anti-. The Canadian singer-songwriter has also shared the lead single, “Wasted on You,” along with a music video directed by V Haddad. Check it out below.

Spanning 12 tracks, Norm follows Shauf’s surprise-release album Wilds from last year and 2020’s The Neon Skyline. He performs every instrument on the new LP himself and shaped the lyrics around an invented, eponymous person. “The character of Norm is introduced in a really nice way,” Shauf explained in a statement. “But the closer you pay attention to the record, the more you’re going to realize that it’s sinister.”

Shauf will hit the road early next year in support of Norm. His 2023 North American tour will kick off on February 21 in Columbus, Ohio and see him stop at major cities across the United States and Canada. Find the complete list of dates below.

Pitchfork = Andy Shauf Announces New Album Norm, Shares Video for Song “Wasted on You”: Watch

Fast Romantics unveiled new single & video for “Outta Love”

Just love this band – I think this is the first time we have featured them on our show. I have included a 2020 recording at the height of the Pandemic – interesting to see what we were doing just a few years ago. This is a great concert to watch if you have a few minutes.

Toronto-based, Fast Romantics have been waiting patiently for 2023. Since 2017 they’d been traveling as a six-piece band, fronted by Matthew Angus and Kirty, around North America as unrelenting road warriors. NPR had declared their hit Julia “triumphant,” and they found themselves unexpectedly in Apple Music’s top ten. In those ensuing years of touring and radio charting, they perfected a larger-than-life live show, endearing fans to their unique brand of irresistible pop hooks and frontman Matthew Angus’ personal and emotive approach to lyricism.

They returned with their first new music in three years via a big and buoyant new sing-along single, “Outta Love,” that cleverly serves up a sublime sleight of hand with cutting lyrical cynicism belying the celebratory chorus vocals and lush instrumentation. The accompanying video was directed and produced by Raven Shields at Cheval Studio.

Fast Romantics – “Outta Love” (Official Video)

Fast Romantics – “Live From a Pandemic” (Full Show, Live from Dakota Tavern)

Fast Romantics – “Live From a Pandemic” (Full Show, Live from Dakota Tavern)

On August 20, 2020, Fast Romantics faced an empty Dakota Tavern in Toronto, Canada. Lights went up, director Jared Raab started filming, and the result was broadcast live to hundreds of people streaming it from their houses and backyards.

It was the thick of the pandemic. No audiences allowed. But the band gathered some close friends to join them in celebrating the release of their also pandemically-released album “PICK IT UP.” A year later, we’re releasing the entire concert, uncut from its original live broadcast.

And here is a shorter a clip from the concert – Julia

Old Fellas New Music Episode 38

Episode 38 

Julia Jacklin – I was Neon  

Arctic Monkeys – There’d Better Be a Mirrorball

Men I Trust – Billie Toppy

Michael Head & The Red Elastic Band – Grace and Eddie

OMBIIGIZI, Status/Non-Status, Zoon – Cherry Coke 

Sister Ray – Visions

The Handsome Family – Gold 

Lizzo – About Damn Time

Fontaines D.C. – Jackie Down the Line

Bob’s Notes

Arctic Monkeys – “There’d Better Be a Mirrorball”

The Arctic Monkeys are a band formed in Sheffield, England in 2002.  They are sometimes mentioned as one of the first bands who gained their initial buzz and popularity due to the internet.  As a result in 2006,  “Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not” became the fastest-selling debut album in UK history.  The band became a Brit. fave winning numerous awards but it wasn’t until 2013 that the band became more universally known with the release of its 2015’s album AM. The song featured here is taken from The Car, the seventh studio album. 

Lizzo – “About Damn Time”

Lizzo, is an American singer and rapper from Houston, Texas.  She attained immense popularity with the release of her third studio album, Cuz I Love You (2019), which peaked at number four on the US Billboard 200. About Damn Time” was lead single from the album Special released earlier this year. The song was nominated at the 2022 MTV Video Music Awards for Song of the Year, Best Pop Video, and Song of Summer. The song also received three nominations at the 65th Annual Grammy Awards for Record of the Year, Song of the Year and Best Pop Solo Performance.  Here she is performing “About Damn Time” on SNL. 

Fun fact- Lizzo is also a classically trained flautist.  Back in September, she caused the American right to get all huffy when she played James Madison’s silver flute.  

Michael Head & The Red Elastic Band – “Grace and Eddie”

Michael William Head is an English singer-songwriter and musician from Liverpool, England. He is most famous as the lead singer and songwriter for Shack, The Pale Fountains and Michael Head & The Strands. Some have described him as a lost genius and among the most gifted British songwriters of his generation.  In 2013 he formed Michael Head & The Red Elastic Band. In 2017, Michael Head & The Red Elastic Band released an album called Adiós Señor Pussycat. It reached No 1 in the UK independent album chart and No. 57 in the UK Albums Chart.  The new one, Dear Scott was released in June 2022.  The tile is apparently inspired by a note F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote to himself.

  

The album peaked at number 6 in the official UK chart, making it Michael Head’s highest-ever charting album.  Here’s a version performed live.  I don’t know who Grace and Eddie are.

Flash back to the early eighties! Michael Head in The Pale Fountains 

Sister Ray – “Visions”

Sister Ray is the stage name of Ella Coyes, a Métis singer-songwriter. They were born and raised in Sturgeon County, Alberta. Their debut full-length album Communion was released in May 2022.  Exclaim explains:

Also, though four years old, this interview provides excellent background to Sister Ray.

Here’s the strangely beguiling video.  

Paul’s Notes

Julia Jacklin – I was Neon

This is her third album Pre Pleasure – “Pre Pleasure is an easygoing album from a mind that rarely stops racing.

One of the songs from the album, not the one I am playing, is #94 on Pitchfork’s 100 Best Songs of 2022

The Australian songwriter’s empathetic, understated rock songs sift through a litany of relationships and beliefs, seeking a balance between thinking about life and actually living it.

“I Was Neon,” in which she wonders if a version of herself has been lost to time. “I quite like the person that I am/Am I gonna lose myself again?” she repeats, voice roiling with equal parts anxiety and excitement. If she could reach through the photograph and make contact with that incarnation of herself, what would she say?

It seems like many of the artists I am choosing are writing about being lost.

Julia Jacklin (born 30 August 1990) is a singer-songwriter from the Blue Mountains, Australia. Jacklin’s musical style has been described as indie pop, indie folk, and alternative country. from Wikipedia

Men I Trust – Billie Toppy

(singe 2022, last album Untourable Album 2021)

The information about this band is somewhat dreamy, and so is their music. It is interesting that the two founders of the band actually played with a rotating series of lead singers, settling on Emma Proulx, the face of the band some time in 2015.

From their dreamy Bandcamp article:

Mixing dreamy atmospheres, wistful extended chords, and funky, low-key dance grooves, Men I Trust was the brainchild of then-Laval University music students Dragos Chiriac and Jessy Caron. The Montreal, Canada D.I.Y. project made its full-length debut with Men I Trust in 2014. While the duo’s first two albums employed a variety of guest vocalists, singer Emmanuelle Proulx has been an official member since 2015. Their third studio album, 2019’s Oncle Jazz, was long-listed for 2020 Polaris Music Prize. Untourable Album followed in 2021 and was ultimately accompanied by a tour.

In June 2021, the band announced the release of their 4th album “The Untourable Album” along tour dates to support the release. Men I Trust posted on their social medias about the release and the tours, elaborating on their context:

Cherry Coke – OMBIIGIZI, Status/Non-Status, Zoon

Another song I like more every time I hear it. I think we have played Status/Non-status before, but Zoom is new to the show.

Zoon and Status/Non-Status have shared a new single, “Cherry Coke,” under their collaborative project, OMBIIGIZI. The track comes from their forthcoming debut album, Sewn Back Together, out February 10th via Arts & Crafts.

“Cherry Coke” is a dreamy, shoegazy tune with smooth instrumentals that allow OMBIIGIZI’s smooth vocals to take the lead. Lyrically, the song is about Zoon’s Daniel Monkman’s childhood.

“I used to get into a lot of fights at school when I was younger,” the band’s Daniel Monkman explains. “One of the schools was called ‘Happy Thought’ which ironically was filled with racist rural farmer type folk. I think as a type of punishment my Mom sent me to live with my Dad on the Rez, so he could show me how to be a ‘man.’ Although my Dad was a very complex human, he was very compassionate towards me, especially when I explained how the kids would tease me for being Ojibway. He’d always let me stay home with him and oftentimes we’d go to the Rez store for chips and pop; I’d get Cherry Coke or Vanilla Coke. The lyrics and song title are inspired by these memories of my childhood and of my father.”

Indie 88 FM

After quoting 88FM, I had to look them up. A very interesting station from Toronto. They are doing some interesting work featuring indie bands.

and the OMBIIGIZI video for Cherry Coke

Gold – The Handsome Family

I heard about this band last week when Bob played a Phoebe Bridgers cover of their song So Much Wine.

The Handsome Family is an American music duo consisting of husband and wife Brett and Rennie Sparks formed in Chicago, Illinois, and as of 2001 based in Albuquerque, New Mexico.[1] They are perhaps best known for their song “Far from Any Road” from the album Singing Bones, which was used as the main title theme for the first season of the 2014 crime drama True Detective. The band’s tenth album, Unseen, was released on September 16, 2016, the first new release on the band’s own label Milk & Scissors Music[2] and through long-time label Loose in Europe

(Wikipedia)

And, to top all this off, Rennie Sparks is an artist. She has done a wonderful series of dog paintings – I have included one here.

HOLLOW, their tenth studio record, is planned to be released in 2023 with live touring hopefully to follow.

Website

Jackie Down the Line – Fontaines D.C.

The Irish post-punk band’s most demanding and musically adventurous album is also its most open-hearted,  striking a perfect balance between tough and tender.

The year 2019 already feels like the distant past for most of us, but for Fontaines D.C., it really must seem like another lifetime—and that has less to do with the pandemic than their own skyrocketing success in spite of it. Pretty much everything that defined this band three years ago, when they dropped their debut LP, Dogrel, has already changed. Once the scrappy underdogs who ironically declared “I’m gonna be big!”, the Dublin-bred quintet have headlined arena shows for crowds of 10,000 in the UK, appeared on CNN, scored a Grammy nomination (outside the Alternative category ghetto, no less).

Pitchfork

Fontaines D.C. are an Irish post-punk band formed in Dublin in 2017.[1][2][3] The band consists of Grian Chatten (vocals), Carlos O’Connell (guitar), Conor Curley (guitar), Conor Deegan III (bass), and Tom Coll (drums).

The band’s debut album, Dogrel, was released on 12 April 2019 to widespread critical acclaim; it was listed as Album of the Year on the record store Rough Trade‘s website,[4] voted Album of the Year by presenters on BBC Radio 6 Music,[5] and was nominated for both the Mercury Prize and the Choice Music Prize.[6]

The band’s second studio album, A Hero’s Death, was written and recorded in the midst of extensive touring for their debut, and was released on 31 July 2020. A Hero’s Death was later nominated for Best Rock Album at the 2021 Grammy Awards. Their third album Skinty Fia, released in 2022, became the band’s first to reach number one on the UK Albums Chart and Irish Albums Chart.

Its title refers to an old Irish saying that drummer Tom Coll’s great-aunt used to say. The phrase “Skinty Fia” translates to “the damnation of the deer”. Both the title and the cover art allude to the extinct Irish elk, also known as the “giant deer”

Wikipedia

Old Fellas New Music Episode 37

This is our 37th episode and the music is staying interesting for sure

show 37 link: https://www.mixcloud.com/paul-mcguire3/old-fellas-new-music-episode-37-dec-16/

  1. Jim White and Mary Margaret O’Hara – And the Angels Sing (Rising Singles Club)
  2. Panda Bear, Sonic Boom – Edge of the Edge
  3. CMAT – Every Bottle (Is My Boyfriend)
  4. Cole Pulice – City in a City
  5. The Beths – “Expert In A Dying Field
  6. Weyes Blood – Grapevine
  7. Porridge Radio –   Birthday Party
  8. Ethel Cain – American Teenager
  9. Phoebe Bridgers – So Much Wine https://www.mixcloud.com/paul-mcguire3/old-fellas-new-music-episode-37-dec-16/

This is our 37th episode and the music remains always interesting. This show is a little bit longer – the tracks were mainly 5 minutes of more.

As always, I am including the notes we used to put together the show. Bob’s first, then mine.

Bob’s Notes

Jim White and Mary Margaret O’Hara – “And the Angels Sing”

First up is a sort of Christmasy tune from Mary Margaret O’Hara and Jim White.  Jim is an Australian drummer, songwriter, and producer.  He has worked with Warren Ellis in the Dirty Three and collaborated frequently with Nick Cave.

O’Hara is from Toronto and of course, is the sister of comedy legend Catherine O’Hara. O’Hara made a huge splash in 1988 with her album “Miss America”.  This song is their contribution to the Rising Singles Club. Rising is an annual festival that takes place in Melbourne Australia. 

MARY MARGARET O’HARA & JIM WHITE / RENA ANAKWE

The song they tackle was first recorded in 1939 by Benny Goodman. here are both versions:

CMAT – “Every Bottle (Is My Boyfriend)”

Ciara Mary-Alice Thompson is  known professionally as CMAT, is a singer, songwriter, and musician from Dublin, Ireland. Her debut album, If My Wife New I’d Be Dead, was released in February 2022 and entered the Irish Album Charts at number one.  The Guardian wrote of her music; “Her songs are mournful yet accessible, emotionally literate and cleverly crafted, but, crucially, with a huge sense of humour…” She is a little reminiscent of Jann Arden.

Porridge Radio –“ Birthday Party”

Porridge Radio are a British indie rock band formed in Brighton in 2015. The The Guardian listed them among their top 40 new artists of 2018. Birthday Party is a track taken from the 2022 album, Waterslide, Diving Board, Ladder to the Sky”.

The All Music Guide discusses : https://www.allmusic.com/album/waterslide-diving-board-ladder-to-the-sky-mw0003677449

here they are performing the song in Manchester. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2EVReNd0NAM

The Beths – “Expert In A Dying Field”

This is the third or fourth time The Beths have made an appearance on the podcast.  The Beths are a New Zealand powerpop group. Formed in 2014, the band consists of Elizabeth Stokes (vocals, rhythm guitar), Jonathan Pearce (lead guitar, vocals), Benjamin Sinclair (bass, vocals), and Tristan Deck.  This is the title track from their 2022 release.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-KACt6YhOyY

Both Rolling Stone Magazine and  Paste Magazine love them.   So do we….  https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-features/beths-expert-in-a-dying-field-1234584653/

https://www.pastemagazine.com/music/the-beths/expert-in-a-dying-field-album-review/

Phoebe Bridgers – “So Much Wine”

Phoebe  Bridgers is a Grammy nominated singer/ songwriter. Bridgers is also a member of the musical groups Boygenius (with Julien Baker and Lucy Dacus) and Better Oblivion Community Center (with Conor Oberst)

Here, Bridgers tackles The Handsome Family 2001 Xmas song, “Too Much Wine”.  Bridger’s version is a one-off single to benefit the Los Angeles LGBT Center.

https://pitchfork.com/news/phoebe-bridgers-covers-the-handsome-family-so-much-wine-listen

Here’s the original 

Paul’s Notes –

based on some of the reading I did for the show

Weyes Blood – Grapevine

her real name is Natalie Mering from California. Big article in the most recent Exclaim! Magazine.

Her first album 2011. She also did an interesting cover of Your No Good (Linda Ronstadt)  for the movie Minions: The Rise of Gru soundtrack.

had to put this in here

some of the recent writing

Weyes Blood Reflects on Life’s “Sublime Violence”

Songwriter Natalie Mering talks her new album ‘And in the Darkness, Hearts Aglow’ and why “California is a little bit like the canary in the coal mine”

By Kaelen Bell

Published Nov 17, 2022

Opening the door to Weyes Blood’s And in the Darkness, Hearts Aglow, you’ll encounter the king and queen of loneliness, angels and dueling flames, an Emotional Cowboy looking to kick the moon’s ass. It’s a wonderland of sorts, a world awash in deep purples and reds so bright they blur white. 

Possessed of a grounded warmth that pulls the cosmic swirl of 2019’s Titanic Rising somewhere closer to a slowly burning Earth, Natalie Mering’s latest opus dresses modern terrors — climate disaster, digital disconnection, apathy and fear for a future that may not come — in great swathes of velvet, silk and bloodied chainmail.

Exclaim

Video for Grapevine

Panda Bear, Sonic Boom – Edge of the Edge

Album Reset 2022

I think this is Pitchfork – interesting article, the guys are neighbours in Portugal – didn’t see them though

Panda Bear and Sonic Boom Wring Joy Out of Terrible Times on Their Collaborative Album Reset

When the Zoom window opens, giving me a peek into Noah Lennox’s basement studio in Lisbon, Portugal, the psych-pop pathfinder best known as Animal Collective’s (Animal Collective is an American experimental pop band formed in Baltimore, Maryland. Its members consist of Avey Tare (David Portner), Panda Bear (Noah Lennox), Geologist (Brian Weitz), and Deakin (Josh Dibb). The band’s work is characterized by an eclectic exploration of styles, including psychedelia, freak folk, noise, and electronica,[5] with the use of elements such as loops, drones, sampling, vocal harmonies, and sound collage, alongside complex production techniques.[6] AllMusic‘s Fred Thomas suggests that the group “defined the face of independent experimental rock during the 2000s and 2010s.”[7])Panda Bear and journeyman producer Pete Kember (aka Sonic Boom) sit in semi-darkness, a single mic stand casting a stark shadow on the wall behind them.

 Shot through with Beach Boys harmonies, sleigh bells, and toy-like synths, it’s infused with a naive, almost childlike spirit. “It’s one of those records that’s for children of all ages,” Kember says.

The two men clearly share a strong bond: After multiple work trips to Lennox’s adopted home of Lisbon, Kember—a lifelong resident of the English market town of Rugby—moved to Sintra, on the outskirts of the Portuguese capital, in 2018.

When you actually pay attention to the lyrics, they’re singing about the fact that they can’t get tea and they can’t get rice, and the police and the gangsters are indiscernable, but they do it in this really awesome way. I think we were trying to—”

Lennox interrupts him: “Make lemonade out of lemons.”

Video Go On from the album

Cole Pulice – Scry

Cole Pulice is a composer, saxophonist and electroacoustic musician from Oakland-via-Minneapolis. Following their debut album “Gloam” and two duo collaborations with Lynn Avery and Nat Harvie, Cole Pulice returns with their sophomore album “Scry”. 

It’s a record that, for me, resonates strongly with this sort of “between-ness:” it began in Minneapolis, and was finished in Oakland, bridging pre-pandemic life with the “new normal” of current times; being genderqueer and navigating the spaces between and outside of the masculine and feminine binary; wandering through a musical interchange station that is interconnects improvisation, “song,” and collage experiments . . . multidimensional yet woven together by similar aesthetic threads.

“To scry” defines the practice of foretelling the future through gazing into a crystal ball or other reflective surfaces.

Bandcamp

Ethel Cain – American Teenager

From what I could find, here earliest published material came out in 2019

From a Pitchfork interview – I am not sure how much I have learned about this musician, but I think we will hear more from her in the future…..singer, songwriter, and producer Hayden Anhedönia discusses her witchy alter ego Ethel Cain, her stifling Baptist upbringing, and her desire to soothe listeners even as she unsettles them.

Though Anhedönia was raised in a tight-knit Southern Baptist community—her dad was a deacon, and she and her mom sang in the choir—at this point, the 23-year-old’s relationship with religion is complicated. She left the church at 16, a few years after she was first ostracized for being gay, and a few years before she would come out as a transgender woman and start making harrowing music under the name Ethel Cain. She insists that her choice to live in a former place of worship—and to sometimes explore the nightmarish side of Christianity in her work—was made not out of spite but rather in the spirit of… 

Here is American Teenager – great song

Episode 36 Old Fellas New Music

This week’s episode

And our Spotify playlist!

Episode 36

here are our songs for this week:  

1. Benjamin Clementine – Difference

2.Alvvays – Belinda Says

3. Bria – Where have all the Cowboys Gone

4. Alex G – Runner

5. Tierra Whack – Dora

6. Bad Bunny, ‘Titi Me Preguntó

7. The Sarandons – Letting On,

8. Steve Lacy -Bad Habit

9. Busty and the Bass – all the Things I Couldn’t Say to You

Bad Bunny

BOB’s Notes

Alvvays 

Alvvays – Belinda Says   # 1 Pitchfork

has been probably been featured on Old Guys as much as any artist.  They are a Canadian band based in Toronto.  The track, Belinda Says is from their third album, Blue Rev, was released on October 7, 2022. Pitchfork Magazine named this song #1 in its top 100 songs of 2022. To quote “ Alvvays frontwoman Molly Rankin recently cited the Canadian short story master Alice Munro as an influence, noting the way the writer’s work can “knock the wind out of you.” Rankin and her band offer their own bracing wallop with “Belinda Says,” a heartbreaking sketch of an unexpected pregnancy that’s also a modern power-pop classic. She only needs one line to render vivid scenes: a warm vodka cooler chugged behind a hockey rink, a tense phone call with a would-be father, a forlorn move to the countryside soundtracked by Belinda Carlisle’s “Heaven Is a Place on Earth.” Like a heroine in one of Munro’s timeless stories, the narrator’s life is altered forever by a single choice of impossible magnitude”

Allvays are a Canadian band who are clearly creating a stir outside the borders of their home and native land.  The Blue Rev album is showing up in many end of years best of lists.  here is the MUCH Music parody video for Belinda Says

Alex G – Runner

Alex G is an American musician who has recorded 9 albums.  He started releasing his stuff on Bandcamp.  He later signed to Domino in 2017.  His ninth lp God Save the Animals was released last September.  A track from this album, Runner was considered by Pitchfork Magazine to be the #4 song of the year.  You be the judge.  Watch him perform the song on The Tonight Showhttps://pitchfork.com/news/watch-alex-g-perform-runner-on-fallon/

Bad Bunny, ‘Titi Me Preguntó  Pitchfork #9  Rolling Stone #1

Bad Bunny is Benito Antonio Martínez Ocasio. he is a Puerto Rican rapper and singer. After doing a little research, this Old Fella has discovered that right now,Bad Bunny is one of the most popular performers on the planet.  He became the first non-English language act to be Spotify’s most streamed artist of the year twice.A brief translation of the opening lyrics:

Ey, auntie, asked me if I have a lot of girlfriends, a lot of girlfriends

Today I have one; tomorrow I’ll have another,

hey, but there’s no wedding, there’s no wedding, auntie

Auntie asked me if I have a lot of girlfriends; he, a lot of girlfriends

Today I have one; tomorrow I’ll have another

The song title roughly translates as “Auntie asked me”

This song is Rolling Stones #1 song of the year while Pitchfork placed it at #9. Here’s Bad Bunny performing 2022’s VMA’s.

Though not my cup of tea, I can see how the energy and sass of Bad Bunny works for others.  Here’s an interesting take from one of my fave blogs, Burning Wood , on why possibly new music isn’t as good as old music.

https://burnwoodtonite.blogspot.com/2022/12/not-bad-is-new-amazing.html

Steve Lacy -Bad Habit   Rolling Stone #3  Pitchfork #27

Steve Lacy is an American singer, musician, songwriter, and record producer. He has worked with Frank Ocean,  Solange Knowles and Kendrick Lamar. The song “Bad Habit”  became Lacy’s first song to reach number one on the Billboard Hot 100 after going viral on TikTok.  He received two Grammy Award nominations for Record of the Year and Song of the Year. Rolling Stone called in the #3 song of 2022.

The NME has good primer to Lacy.  https://www.nme.com/features/music-features/steve-lacy-best-tracks-bad-habit-3344101

Paul’s Notes

Benjamin Clementine – Difference

Difference, meanwhile, is a meditation about making a difference in the world, a song that’s as rueful as it is catchy.

After winning the Mercury prize with his 2015 debut At Least for Now,

From his newest album

His last release was as the Clementines, a duo with his partner, Flo Morrissey. Written, played and produced exclusively by Clementine, And I Have Been is a more straightforwardly elegant listen than I Tell a Fly. Melodies abound, orchestral elements trade off with electronics, and Clementine’s still-startling voice, an elastic tenor capable of shock and awe as well as succour, is front and centre.

 Bria – Where have all the Cowboys Gone

Set for release on 24th February 2023, Bria (Salmena) has announced her new ‘Cuntry Covers Vol. 2’ EP, sharing her take on Paula Cole’s 1997 single ‘Where Have All The Cowboys Gone?’

Also plays with Orville Peck and the covers EPs were done with Duncan Hay Jennings

Original by Paula Cole 1996 (best new artist 1998) 25 year career with 10 albums out

“Physical space and environment have greatly informed each iteration of Cuntry Covers” shares Bria Salmena. “With Vol. 1 (2021) we had acres of beautiful farmland in summer to explore. With Vol. 2 we had a small apartment in Toronto during the dark winter months that created a kind of claustrophobic creative energy.”

Speaking about ‘Where Have All The Cowboys Gone?’, she adds, “the song stuck with me – I found Cole’s delivery to be both brooding and chilling. The lyrics all together are confused; discovery, disillusionment, despair. I wanted to make it even more dystopian by turning it into a dreamy dance track. This track became the first song to inspire the “Homage” approach to these covers, embracing the spirit of experimentation. We wanted to stretch this song as far as it would go while honoring the elements of it that make it memorable.”

I had to include this video too – sends shivers up the spine

The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore (original The Walker Brothers)

Tierra Whack – Dora 

Dora

I like my nice things
Buy me nice things
Give me compliments
Please have common sense
Open the door, tell ’em that you ready to explore
Yeah, Aventador, yeah, I had to chalk him, I got bored
I need support, like a sports bra, bae, I need support
I say less is best but I need more
Shoulda took me shoppin’ to the store

A school poetry assignment sparked Whack’s interest in writing for herself. Being given the choice to write about whatever she wanted (“just to express, freely”) was a revelation. She resolved to write every day, filling notebooks so quickly her mum began to buy in bulk, to save herself multiple trips to the store. From her obsession with Dr. Seuss books, Whack already knew she loved the feeling of reading rhyming verse aloud; then, she had an epiphany. “I’m in the backseat of my mom’s car. She was playing rap music: DMX; Jay Z; Biggie, she loves Biggie so much; 50 Cent – and I’m like, ‘Oh, they’re rhyming. Rhyming is rap. Poetry is rap. Rap is poetry’.” Whack asked her uncle to burn her a CD of beats, and she began to write bars.

Daze

The Sarandons – Letting On

 The Sarandons hail from Toronto. Influences like Wilco, The Band, Kurt Vile, Dr Dog, Dylan and The War on Drugs percolate through their brand of rock & roll, which spans neo-psychedelia, roots rock, Americana and indie rock. Formed in early 2018, The Sarandons is the fully collaborative endeavour of Toronto music stalwarts Damian Coleman (vocals, bass), Edmund Cummings (vocals, keys), Craig Keeney (lead guitar), Phil Skot (drums) and Dave Suchon (vocals, guitar). With strong ties to Toronto’s west end music scene, The Sarandons are vying for the title of official band to The Junction.      

Busty and the Bass – all the Things I Couldn’t Say to You

Busty and the Bass

is a Canadian electro-soul and hip hop band from Montreal, Quebec. The band is known for its unique brand of music, which incorporates two vocalists, a horn section, and a diverse range of musical genres.

Having met while attending college at McGill University, seven of the nine founding members are still with the band: Evan Crofton a.k.a. Alistair Blu (vocals, keyboards, synths), Scott Bevins (trumpet), Chris Vincent (trombone), Louis Stein (guitar), Milo Johnson (bass), Eric Haynes (keyboards, piano) and Julian Trivers (drums).[1] 

Part of the reason for the diverse sounds on the album has to do with the sheer size of the band, who originally met at as students in the jazz program at McGill University. Video –

Busty and the Bass, STS – Everything Comes In Waves

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

Old Fellas New Music Episode 32

Our latest show

Our full playlist – 32 shows

This is our first show in about a month. Lots of things getting in the way of putting together a show, but we are back on Mixcloud Wednesday, October 26 at 4:00 pm.

Here are a few notes on this week’s music.

Week 32

Lenka Lichtenberg – What is this Place?

Kiwi Jr – Unspeakable Things

Alvvays – Very Online Guy

Dry Cleaning – Scratchcard Lanyard

Tanya Tagaq – Teeth Agape

Us Girls – So Typically Now

Peter Kwenders – Kilimanjaro

Jungle -Truth 

Rosalía & Tokischa – Linda

Lenka Lichtenberg – What is this Place?

Premiered Jun 26, 2022  The Czech poem ‘Chtěla jsem tě proklít, hořká zemi’ (I wanted to curse you, bitter land), here with English subtitles, was written by Anna Hana Friesová while she was imprisoned in the concentration camp Theresienstadt (1942-1945). The song is a part of the project ‘Thieves of Dreams‘. Truly beautifyl music – this video is not the track we are featuring, any song from this project would work.

ABOUT THE PROJECT ‘THIEVES of DREAMS,’ a “haunting set of musical gems” (The Bangkok Post, June 9, 2022)

This project is about women. Creative, strong, breaking social taboos, and in some ways… invisible. My maternal grandmother Anna Hana Friesova was a stunning, well-educated woman from an entirely assimilated Czech Jewish family: assimilation was fairly common; in her case, it was based on fears of pogroms witnessed by her husband. She was an accomplished artist both with a pen and a brush, and nobody took her seriously – I suspect not even herself: she never mentioned her art to me. Only when my mother recently passed, I discovered two worn notebooks among her possessions: poems Anna Hana wrote between the years 1940 and 1945, just before and during her two-and-a-half-year incarceration (1942-1945)  in the Terezin (Theresienstadt) concentration camp during WW2. I was stunned by the intensity of her words, the erudite vocabulary, the raw and often disturbing honesty. I find her words just as poignant today as they were eighty years ago. 

Even more shocking were the details of the poems. “These were her dreams and nightmares from inside the concentration camp, the stories she never told me when I was growing up,” Lenka added. “Most of us, if we’re lucky enough, have a brief window with our grandparents. That time isn’t typically spent listening to their traumatic stories.”

Lenka Lichtenberg decided to embark on an ambitious project, to bring her grandmother’s voice back to life in the best way she knew how: as a music project, spanning eight decades and three generations. Anna Hana’s poems rarely mentioned the horrors of the camp explicitly. Perhaps this was self-censorship in case her writing was discovered.

(Roots Music Canada)

Lenka co-founded, with Isabel Fryszberg, the Yiddish swing all-female group Sisters of Sheynville, with whom she performed across Canada, in the U.S. and Europe. The band won the Canadian Folk Music Award for Vocal Group of the Year in 2008 for its Sheynville Express disc. 

Kiwi Junior

Kiwi Jr – Unspeakable Things

Originally from Charlottetown, now based in Toronto these guys have not taken a misstep as demonstrated by this track lifted from their third album Chppoer. Pitchfork Magazine loved it.

https://pitchfork.com/reviews/albums/kiwi-jr-chopper/.   The video features goalie masks and several familiar faces!  

Rosalía & Tokischa – Linda

Great song. I can’t remember where I first heard this, but the track is full of great Dominican energy. This song introduces me to dembow and trap music – a new genre that is new to me. More below:

As Dominican dembow and trap continues to spread internationally, the rest of the industry would do well to pay attention to the label’s artful and off-the-wall concoctions. To better understand its place in the movement, check out some of the best Paulus Music releases below.(Guardian)

Dembow is a Dominican musical genre[1][2] that can be traced to a riddim that originated in Jamaican dancehall.[3] When Shabba Ranks released “Dem Bow” in 1990, it did not take long for the dembow genre to form. Riddims were built from the song and the sound became a popular part of reggaeton. From there it took off in Dominican Republic creating the sound UNDERWORLD (“Bajo Mundo” in Spanish). It hit the streets of New York and from there it made its way to all of Latin America. The Dominican Dembow sound keeps evolving and has been fusioned with Trap music since 2016 and it’s also fusioned with Bachata and Merengue from the Dominican Republic. Dembow artists are called “Dembowseros

Tanya Tagaq – Teeth Agape

I decided to play a Tanya Tagaq song after hearing here on the Strombo Show. I couldn’t play particular track – 2014, but this is great. Raw, dark energy. Polaris Prize winner in 2014.

More on Tanya Tagaq:

“I will never stop being surprised that people like my music,” Tanya Tagaq tells me seriously before roaring with laughter. “I can feed my children because people are freaks!”

Even down a bad phone line from her home in Canada, the singer is brilliant company; passionate, political and hilariously foul-mouthed – a world away from the earnest associations that spring to mind when she is described as an “Inuit throat-singer”. “When people hear that, they think my concerts are going to be ‘just darling’,” she agrees with another shout of laughter. (Guardian)

Instead, the 40-year-old wrests the indigenous female tradition – with origins in a vocal breathing game played when men were out hunting – into a medium for pure, unleashed emotion. Her ghostly chants, guttural growls, gasps and moans are enough to make Björk, her sometime collaborator, sound as demure as a choirgirl.

Her latest album, Animism (which fought off competition from Drake and Arcade Fire to win the Polaris prize (2014), Canada’s answer to the Mercury), fuses her musical roots with everything from punk to electronica: the result is sometimes haunting, sometimes orgiastic, and always extraordinary.

Us Girls – So Typically Now

U.S. Girls is a Toronto-based  American musician Meghan Remy.   

Pitchfork can explain the song better than I can. https://pitchfork.com/reviews/tracks/us-girls-so-typically-now/

Pierre Kwenders

Has Won The 2022 Polaris Music Prize For The Album ‘José Louis And The Paradox Of Love’’

This is Pierre Kwenders’ first Polaris Music Prize win. He is on a good deal now thanks to his Polaris win. Great music, hope to keep on hearing him.

More:

“This is crazy, I don’t even know what to think. This is for all the kids from the diaspora, the African diaspora, moving in Canada. Sometimes you feel like you don’t know what you’re running into, or what you’re coming into. But there is hope, there is a place to live and dream and be yourself. This album, especially, is about being yourself and telling your own story. José Louis And The Paradox Of Love is there for you, you know, if you feel you can connect, connect! Let’s talk! Let’s have fun! Let’s be ourselves! Let’s love each other, while we are alive. Bisou!” – Pierre Kwenders

Truth – Jungle

Jungle is a British duo founded in 2013 by producers Josh Lloyd-Watson and Tom McFarland.  They have released three albums. In 2014,  Jungle was shortlisted for the prestigious 2014 Mercury Prize in the U.K. Their second album was 2018’s For Ever through XL Recordings.  The track Truth, is found on their third album, Loving in Stereo, released in 2021.

The song manages to sound contemporary and 80’s synth pop at the same time.  https://acidstag.com/2021/07/jungle-truth/

This is the second time we have featured Alvvays. It makes sense, they continue to come up with catchy energetic songs. This track is from their third album.

More on Alvvays:

Alvvays (pronounced “always”) is a Canadian indie pop band formed in 2011, originating from Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, and currently based in Toronto, Ontario. It consists of Molly Rankin (vocals and guitar), Kerri MacLellan (keyboards), Alec O’Hanley (guitars), Abbey Blackwell (bass), and Sheridan Riley (drums). Their self-titled debut album, released in 2014, topped the US college charts.[3] Their second studio album, Antisocialites, was released on September 8, 2017, and won the Juno Award for Alternative Album of the Year at the Juno Awards of 2018. Both albums were short-listed for the Polaris Music Prize. Their third album, Blue Rev, was released on October 7, 2022.

Dry Cleaning

Dry Cleaning are an English band that formed in 2018. They are unusual as they employ spoken word rather than sung vocals.  Their debut album New Long Leg was released in 2021

which contains the song Scratchcard Lanyard.  The words are odd, fun and fascinating.   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4SfOi6rIHeA&t=5s 

Can’t decipher the lyrics?  Check this out.

Old Fellas New Music Episode 31 Notes

This week’s poster

We are back again this week on Friday at 4:00 PM. Certainly hoping for fewer tech glitches, but all things considered, it was OK.

You can hear last week’s show here on Mixcloud https://www.mixcloud.com/paul-mcguire3/
This week we have another great setup.

The Beths – Knees Deep
Orville Peck, Shania Twain – Legends Never Die
Glorious Sons – Pink Motel
Blue Stones – Shakin’ Off the Dust
Blue Rodeo – When You Were Wild
Crystal Eyes – 2000 years
Rosie Tucker – Barbara Ann
Sudan Archives – Selfish Soul
Cheap Trick – So it Goes

Our latest show on Mixcloud

Here are some notes that will grow as we get closer to the show.
The Beths – Knees Deep

Beths  – Knees Deep

New Zealand indie rockers The Beths have already released 2 albums of snappy power pop.  Their latest is  Expert in a Dying Field,  from which Knees Deep is the lead-off single.

It’s a peppy,  tune about trying to summon personal courage. In the song’s video, various Beths blow off band practice to go bungee jumping.  It’s included here in a review of the song from Consequence Sound

In a press release, Beths leader Liz Stokes has this to say:    “I’m the kind of person who wants to go swimming but takes like 10 minutes to get all the way into the cold water, slowly and painfully. I hate this about myself and am kind of envious of people who can just jump straight in the deep end. In a shocking twist, this is also a metaphor?! For how I wish I was the kind of person who was”

Here’s a nice interview regarding their latest release.   https://greatdarkwonder.com/interview-blue-rodeo-many-a-mile/

Glorious Sons – Pink Motel

Kingston Ontario’s The Glorious Sons have achieved remarkable success scoring the Juno for top rock album 3 times and having 2 number 1 hits in the US Billboard Charts.

Pink Motel is the closing track on their 2019 release A War On Everything. The song has very early 70’s Stones vibe to it.  This is a clip of them performing the song at Queen’s University’s Richardson Stadium in hometown Kingston in 2019.


Orville Peck, Shania Twain – Legends Never Die

Orville Peck and Shania Twain

I don’t know anything about Orville Peck, but I will work on this. Everyone knows Shania Twain and her story is worth reading about. This is a woman with a great amount of courage and it is really great to see her in my ‘duets section’ for this week.

I am adding this track on Karen’s suggestion. She is coming to see them this week at Cityfolk here in Ottawa. This is a great duet, you really need to give it a listen.

Blue Stones – Shakin’ Off the Dust
Here is a band that I was only vaguely aware of before Cityfolk. This is a two-person band from Windsor and their music is powerful. The band consists of a drummer and a guitarist. I could have chosen any of their tracks, but I stuck to the show format and chose Shakin’ Off the Dust.

a little grainy, but taken live at CityFolk

I had to add the video for this track, a little strange

Blue Rodeo – When You Were Wild

What can one say about Blue Rodeo?  A Canadian institution since the mid-eighties, Blue Rodeo released their 16th studio album Many A Mile this year. 

When You Were Wild is a Greg Keelor number

Here’s a nice interview regarding their latest release.   https://greatdarkwonder.com/interview-blue-rodeo-many-a-mile/

Crystal Eyes – 2000 years

This track I heard this week off of CBC Radio 3 and I had to add this. I find this is the best way to choose tracks for this show. The song was immediately appealing, now I need to go back and find out a little about who these folks are.

Crystal Eyes

and a little bit about them

Alberta psych-rockers Crystal Eyes are back with a video for their new track, “Don’t Turn Around.”

Today’s release comes from their forthcoming sophomore record, The Sweetness Restored, out April 22nd via Bobo Integral. “Don’t Turn Around” is a brooding track with bold vocal lines, driven percussion, and pulsing synths. The accompanying video for the track comes packed with vintage clips of people parasailing at a picturesque beach.

and this great quote “Crystal Eyes describe the forthcoming album as a “feel-good self-help record for the age of existential dread.”

all from Indi 88 FM

Rosie Tucker – Barbara Ann

Rosie Tucker is an American musician from Los Angeles.  This track is taken from their third and latest album entitled Sucker Supreme.  The album was listed on Pitchfork’s list of “29 Great Records You May Have Missed: Spring 2021

The record opens with one of its finest moments, and “Barbara Ann.” Apparently the song is about Tucker’s grandmother and spending time inside the American monoculture of the Midwest.

The Alternative provides a nice review of the album. https://www.getalternative.com/album-review-rosie-tucker-sucker-supreme/

Sudan Archives – Selfish Soul

This music has a really unique sound. I did look up something about Sudan Archives and her music is influenced by Sudanese violin style.

Here is an excerpt from her website

Sudan Archives is a violinist and vocalist who writes, plays, and produces her own music. Drawing inspiration from Sudanese fiddlers, she is self-taught on the violin, and her unique songs also fold in elements of R&B, experimental electronic music, and beat-making. She signed to Stones Throw Records in 2017.

Sudan Archives grew up in Cincinnati where she “messed around with instruments in the house” and took up violin in the fourth grade, teaching herself how to play the instrument by ear. When she discovered the violin playing style of Northeast Africa her eyes opened to the possibilities of the instrument.

Here is an early video from 2016 when she was just starting out

Sudan Archives – Queen Kunta
In this live performance video, she flips Kendrick Lamar’s “King Kunta” with just her voice, a violin and a loop pedal.
Video and photo by Eric Coleman. Cameras: Mike Park, Dominic Macias, Chris Gutierrez and Eric Coleman. Editor: Laith Majali. Special Thanks to Red Gate Recorders.

Cheap  Trick – So it Goes

Cheap Trick is an American rock band from Rockford, Illinois, that originally formed in 1973. In 1978 Bob and his brother bought Cheap Trick’s third album, Heaven Tonight.  After that it was only a matter of time before they went and got the first two albums as well.  The band seemed to bridge the gap between new wave, power pop and grand stadium rock. They  exploded in popularity in 1979 with The Live at Budokan album.  Here’s the poster from when at their height, they played the Montreal Forum.  (Paul See attachment)

After more mainstream and less interesting releases in the 80’s their output became more sporadic. However this track come from their 20th lp  which became their first #1 record.

Also, a blog Bob follows Burning Wood loved it as well.  https://burnwoodtonite.blogspot.com/search?q=CHEAP+TRICK

Here’s a comparison- Cheap Trick 1977  

vs. Cheap Trick 2021   

You be the judge…

Here is the updated Spotify Playlist

Our Playlist is up to 31 shows now!

My Academic Life (so far)

When I put things down on paper or in a blog I make a public commitment. Right now I am working on developing an academic schedule that will take me through the next four years. Yes, this is an assignment for one of my courses, but this is really a letter to myself. I understand the importance of committing to a plan. When I was working as a  principal I would plan ahead all the time, even though the job by its very nature, was unpredictable. Despite the chaos in running an elementary school, every week I would write weekly plans in a school blog to parents so that they would know what was intended to go on at the school. On some Sunday afternoons, this writing would take hours. I never resented the time. This was an opportunity to reflect on what had happened the week before and plan for upcoming events.

My last school blog post – December 2016

I never worried that the school schedule did not follow what was set down on Sunday. Writing was a  way for me to take a longer view and celebrate what was going on with our parent community. This also made the learning more visible for the community.

Six years later I find myself planning again: this time for a Ph.D. which will consume my time for the next four years.  The first year in a Ph.D. program is probably the most straightforward. I am in the process of taking six courses – two last semester, three right now and one in the spring. After this I will be starting work on my comprehensives. This begins with the development of my bibliography and continues on following the schedule below:

StepsExpected completion
Courses completed Spring, 2022
Committee Member List 
Comprehensive Exam: Bibliography
Written component
Oral presentation
1) October
2) spring
3) fall 2022 
Thesis proposal  winter 2023
Ethics approval spring 2023
Recruitment and data collection summer – fall 2023
Thesis winter 2024
Defense December 2025
my first draft at a long-term schedule

To get to 2025, I need a detailed schedule. I am sure this will evolve as I learn more about the Ph.D. process. However, on this cold January afternoon in 2022, there is comfort in editing a draft schedule that sets a future path and supposes order to a very busy four years.

The challenge will not only be managing a busy writing and reading schedule, it will be finding ways to balance this work with many other interests. The foundation of the week will remain exercise. If I have learned anything through the Pandemic it is the importance of keeping body, mind and spirit healthy. The activity can change from the Peloton to hiking to biking, but this is where I have to start, I simply can’t afford to let this go no matter how busy things get.

one thing we did regularly during Covid was to take walks and photos

At the heart of all this will be the thesis and defense. These are the end goals and I have to keep these in mind all of the time. Over the past summer I started to collect articles and write summaries of what I was reading. This has fallen off with the amount of work I have been doing, but now I need to get back to the process of preparing for my end goal. To do this, I will reserve one morning a week – Wednesday for reading and summarizing articles that I can start using for my comprehensives and beyond. It is a challenge to block out time for a goal that is so far away, but by the fall I plan to produce a bibliography of 20-30 pages that will prepare me for my comprehensives.

Every article – one-page images – can be single entry or represent a folder with hyperlink; text in different fonts – synthesized big ideas; icon for connections – your own and/or other articles or sources; photo scan – original written notes; ideas – applications for your own teaching.


content or topic with matching photo article on gallery walk – pedagogy
  




 text – big ideas/concepts


                   ← other resources







applications for own teaching/inspirations
the summary chart I started using last summer – designed by Heather Swail

The summary chart above was really helpful last summer and I plan to start using it again this Wednesday. I have known for a long time that I write best in the morning, especially after an exercise session, so I am going to reserve time every day for writing – summary notes, assignments, reflections, and revising.  I plan to put in two hours in the mornings each day to get something down. This semester, my goal is to improve my academic writing. Last semester I learned that while I write well, I am a little careless with my grammar and I need to brush up on my APA and academic style.

This leaves afternoons free for reading –  a highly necessary Ph.D. activity. Right now, I am working through Wounds of Passion: A Writing Life by bell hooks (hooks, 1997). She writes that when researching her first book hooks would read up to three books a day, sometimes getting only one line she could use for her own writing (p. 102-103). That will not be me. I am a slow reader; sometimes I need most of the day to absorb one article. I will read every day, otherwise, I will never keep up.

bell hooks (Anthony Barboza/Getty Images)

It is one thing to write a schedule, it is another to live it. I will need to weave in the work I continue to do at the university and for Discovery Education. I won’t give up my work with Discovery, I love working with them. The assignments are always different and interesting. Whether I am writing or editing for one of their digital science books, there is a great sense of accomplishment in getting this work done. Without doubt, they are the most positive and affirming people I know, so why would I leave that behind? It is hard to add this work to my growing schedule as I never know when another contract will come up. When it does, I can easily put in 15 hours a week working on their material. Because there is always a deadline, I will have to estimate and portion out my hours throughout the week.

Right now I have one meeting a month with the graduate student committee for Thinking Historically for Canada’s Future. I am definitely the junior member of this group, but I am starting to meet some great people, so I need to find ways to become more involved.

I also want to keep up my teaching at the University of Ottawa. Right now the responsibilities are light: we work as faculty advisors to second-year teacher candidates, but we haven’t been able to visit their schools since the beginning of the Pandemic. Next year I hope to get either another section of this course or even better, a section of the history methodology course that I taught three years ago. I am certain that this experience led me to this PhD journey. I can’t really schedule this time yet, but when the fall comes I will have to restructure my days. For now, I will reserve one morning a week to work on our current course.

SundayMondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFridaySaturday
exercisexxxreading for
comps
xxx
writingAMAMAMAM
readingPMPMPMPM
DEwhen
available 3-4
hours daily
when
available 3-4
hours daily
when
available 3-4
hours daily
when
available 3-4
hours daily
when
available 3-4
hours daily
when
available 3-4
hours daily
when
available 3-4
hours daily
University
work
AM
classes5:30 – 8:30pm11:30 – 2:30 pm
free
time
6:00 pm – 9:00 pm – 6:00 pm –6:00 pm –6:00 pm –6:00 pm –6:00 pm –
My schedule – first draft

There will be adjustments to this schedule over time, but the daily reading and writing will remain the foundation of my schedule. I am leaving some events out like meeting with my supervisors and committee work, but as these become more frequent I will have to find space.

My schedule is seven days. Since my days as a principal, a seven-day schedule made more sense. There is less pressure and at times when there is no Discovery work I can get ahead on my assignments. I really hope to keep my nights free – there needs to be time for fun, just as bell hooks said (p. 122).

What is missing right now is something I love to do. If I mention it here I know I will get back to it – our regular radio shows – Old Fellas New Music. Bob Kennedy, a very long-time friend and I started doing this show in the spring. Work took over and we gave the show a bit of a rest. We got two episodes done over the holiday break and we hope to get another one in next week. This is a great creative outlet and I am determined to work this in, let’s say Wednesday afternoons for now.

You can find our shows on Mixcloud – https://www.mixcloud.com/paul-mcguire3/

What is also missing are some of the activities that were so important to us before Covid. In 2017 Heather and I developed a fundraising campaign for Christie Lake Kids, an Ottawa foundation that provides recreation programming for children throughout the year. Our campaign – Climb for Kids has raised over $100,000 over a three-year period. We raised this money by carrying out group climbing trips in Peru and the Alps. Our next trip was to be Mt. Kilimanjaro, but this has been on hold because of the Pandemic. Our whole family has been involved in this venture and all of our children have worked for Christie Lake Kids. The family is not on the schedule, but in all things, family comes first.

Our first Climb for Kids trip – The Ausangate Region of Peru

If I write it down, I will do it. If I publish this, I have to do it! Thanks professor for giving me the push to get all this down. I am writing again and it feels great!

References

hooks, b. (1997). Wounds of Passion: A Writing Life. Holt.

A reset for 2022

I did a really challenging Petoton class today with Denis Morton. He is tough and I really got a great workout from him. His theme was resetting in a new year and it resonated with me. I think I have been on a mental and emotional reset for most of this year and it is good to look at what this means to me as we enter 2022.

Dennis Morton

A reset is a good thing. To me, it means recasting, rethinking, and learning from experiences that are unique to me. The first reset for me has been the struggles I have had as a result of Covid. I have written about these in the blog and I am still in the process of recovery, but I am writing now to tell you that recovery is part of the process. It does come and we need to persevere.

This whole period of pronounced anxiety is not a loss, there is so much to learn while you are in such a state. For one thing, I am much more mindful of how I am doing and what I can do to further my recovery process. So many people go through periods like this, it is really important to take these opportunities to learn. Learning seldom happens when everything is going well – there is little motivation for reflection. There vis little real growth.

One of the infographics I made that record some of the wisdom I have gained through conversations with my therapist. Good to read this on a regular day.

The resetting process has many components. One big one for me has been the work I have been able to do on my Ph.D. at the University of Ottawa. I have completed two graduate courses and am beginning to start work on three more. This has been such a wonderful learning experience and I find new vistas are opening up all the time as I begin my training as a researcher. Maybe this semester I will find the time to write about what I am learning – reflection through writing is a great way better absorb the experience.

I have also gained much through Noom. I started this last January and have kept at it throughout the year. The psychology behind the program is what keeps me with them. So much of what they write can be applied to other aspects of my life. This is a very positive approach to examining life and how you want to live it. I have also lost 30 pounds and am much more aware of what I need to do to stay healthy.

I have returned to daily meditation practice using another app, Headspace. I have taken a bunch of their courses and am working on the Pro level. This is now part of my daily practice. It is only 10 minutes a day, but I feel like I am learning more about the benefits of the practice.

An on again off again part of the reset has to be Old Fellas New Music. If you read this blog, you will see a number of posts having to do with the music show my friend Bob Kenndy and I have done since the spring. The latest episode is a New Year’s Eve edition. The show had to take a back seat for a few months as I worked through my assignments, but I am hoping in the new year that Bob and I can do this on a regular basis.

Our latest poster – you can listen to our entire playlist here

So, where does the resetting process take me in 2022? All these elements plus a few others will remain important. Another part of the process has to do with learning to live post-pod with my wonderful partner Heather. Our children are all again on their own with one daughter now in the Maritimes – lots of learning here and having time together is a wonderful reset.

After a challenging year, it is important to reflect on what one is learning. No experience is wasted, everything we do has its purpose. Resetting for a new year means reflecting on the old and setting sights on what comes next. It has been a remarkable year in so many ways; we honour the time by pausing to reflect on all this.

The family in 2021 so many experiences, so much to learn

New Years Pop Up Old Fellas New Music

This week’s Promo

This week, we are getting out our blog early so you can read up on the bands we will be playing. Again, we will try to live stream through Mixcloud using OBS software this time – last week, the live stream dropped all the time so I am hoping this will work better. Here is the link to use if you want to hear and see the broadcast – https://www.mixcloud.com/live/paul-mcguire3/

here are our selections for this week – some of this year’s best songs

Kiwi Jr – Only Here For a haircut
Jenna Esposito – The Other Side of Forever  – Guardian
Quivers – Gutters of Love
Olivia Rodrigo – Good 4 U – Guardian – Best music of 2021  # 6
Wet Leg – Too Late Now

Low – Days Like These – Pitchfork # 3

James Clark institute – Little Powder Keg
Mitski:  Working for the Knife – Pitchfork # 7
Silk Sonic – leave the Door Open

Kiwi Jr – Only Here For a haircut


Kiwi Jr.
 is a Toronto-based band.  This is the third song from the album “Cooler Returns” that has been featured on this podcast twice already.  Released in Jan. 2021, this hasn’t left  Bob’s turntable since he bought the album.

   

More info on Kiwi Jr here from their website

Jenna Esposito – The Other Side of Forever

I thought this was a great song, but when you read the incredible story below from the Guardian, I think you will agree we needed to include this one.

The best songs of 2021 … that you haven’t heard

It’s the heartbreak and hopefulness of a turbulent 2021 from the mind of a songwriter who knows them all too well. Ernie Rossi, owner of century-old gift and music shop E Rossi and Company in New York City’s Little Italy, was sidelined by health problems after reopening following the long city-mandated shutdown. Margaret, his wife of 51 years, knew the neighborhood icon might not stay afloat if doors closed once again and solely took over duties with the couple’s best friend, Freddy. Then this past spring, both Margaret and Freddy caught and died of Covid-19. In the wake of their consecutive deaths, Rossi wrote The Other Side of Forever, a heartfelt tribute to the bond the trio shared and the immense loss he feels. Recorded by the New York indie artist Jenna Esposito, the earworm ballad with a momentous opening and climatic finale was produced in the Italian folk style the store was known for being a chief importer of nearly 100 years ago. And today, Rossi is continuing his fight to stay in business.

Rob LeDonne

Quivers

Quivers – Gutters of Love

This Australian band via Tasmania are an absolute delight.  We had to be satisfied in listening to this album on Spotify as it is darned near impossible to snag a physical copy unless one is willing to pay a ridiculous price.  The NME calls “Gutters of Love” an instant classic.

From NME

As the 2010s drew to a close, Quivers found themselves on the ascent. They’d established a new lineup, and permanently relocated to Melbourne from their native Tasmania. They’d released two acclaimed singles, ‘You’re Not Always On My Mind’ and ‘When It Breaks’, which balanced a summery jangle-pop exterior and melancholic inner turmoil. American broadcasters NPR and KEXP co-signed their music, while at home they crossed a rare divide by getting played on both Double and triple j.

Olivia Rodrigo – Good 4 U

This is another one from the Guardian. I hadn’t heard of Olivia Rodrigo, and this really isn’t my type of music, but this is a really great song. So, why not. More from The Guardian below. They rated her album Sour the 8th best album of the year.

Having essayed one end of heartbreak with the piano lament Drivers License, Rodrigo’s mood swung like a wrecking ball towards this equally massive hit (between them, they spent 14 weeks at UK No 1). From its sarcastic title downwards, Good 4 U’s recrimination has the kind of bitterness that softens with age and only a teenage palate can truly appreciate, as Rodrigo rages against her blithely happy ex. The ways the chords shift through different shades of hurt is riveting, as is Rodrigo’s delivery, as if writing in a journal with the nib piercing the paper. BBT

Released in January, Drivers License sprang (almost) out of nowhere like a heaved sob. Four days later, it broke Spotify records for the most single-day streams (Christmas songs exempted). The next day, it broke that record again. After 10 weeks at No 1 in the US and nine in the UK, it has been streamed 1.9bn times. Next Tuesday, the California-born songwriter makes her live debut at the Brits; the following weekend, she does Saturday Night Live; a week later she releases her debut album, Sour, a grippingly well written – all by her – collection of balladry, pop-punk, bitter diatribes and euphoric taunts that dwells on this romantic treachery. Even in an era when virality powers pop, Rodrigo’s is a fast rise.

The Drivers License singer reflects on turning her first big breakup into the year’s biggest hit – and how songwriting saved her from the anxieties of being a Disney star

My second source for the best music comes from Pitchfork Magazine. I chose their #3 and #7 choices – both great songs by artists that are new to me.

By Pitchfork

December 6, 2021

In another trying year, many of the best songs—from “Like I Used To” to “Pick Up Your Feelings” to “Hard Drive” to “Good Days”—were about picking yourself up, dusting yourself off, and trying again. These tracks gave us a shoulder to cry on, but also, crucially, a kick in the pants when we needed it most. They were the soundtrack to our 2021, and we have a feeling we’ll keep turning to them in better times yet to come. These are the 100 best songs of the year.

Wet Leg

Wet Leg – Too Late Now . 

Old Fellas featured Wet Leg’s catchy “Chaise Lounge” a while back which is one of four single releases in their small but impressive output.  An album released is anticipated for spring 2022 so listening to the last single release “ Too Late Now” will have to do until then.  Great bathrobes! 

Low – Days Like These

Alan Sparhawk spirals through a series of escalating horrors as he offers a summary of his mindset over the past five years: “Holy crap, this guy’s going to be our president. Oh crap, he’s our president. Wow, things have been horrible for a long time, and it’s getting worse. What, we’re sick? We’re all going to die now?” Eventually, the Low singer and guitarist shifts from a cartoonish hysteria into a gruff acceptance as he makes a broader point about American life in 2021 as well as his band’s combustible new album, HEY WHAT. “Look at where we are,” he says, zooming to the present tense. “We’re still looking in each other’s eyes and going, What the hell?”

Along with his bandmate and wife, Mimi Parker, Sparhawk has long found inspiration in this type of unlikely perseverance. Nearly three decades into their career, and on their 13th album, Low are making their strangest, strongest, and most fearless music to date. On HEY WHAT, the duo is once again joined by producer BJ Burton, known for his work with Bon Iver and Charli XCX, who helped them explore abrasive digital effects and alien vocal manipulation on 2018’s Double Negative. The new album presents these abstract textures with even more intensity, as Sparhawk and Parker’s gorgeous harmonies pierce through a vertiginous landscape of glitches and static that may make you wonder if your speakers are imploding while you listen.

“Days Like These” is a song in the form of an eclipse: the first half made of blinding light, the second an uncanny, disembodied stillness. Singing into a static blur that sounds like wind noise on video, or like someone’s sawing through the tape, Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker describe a vast and subtle longing, a desire for a kind of transcendence not found on Earth. “Know that I would do anything,” they cry, their fried-out vocals taking on the call-and-response pattern of a hymn. But in this strange, desaturated grief, there’s no action to take. Even the song doesn’t end, really; it just stretches out, twinkling in the distance, a lone satellite pressing on toward the edge of space. –Anna Gaca

James Clark Institute

James Clark institute – Little Powder Keg

To quote The Pursuit of Happiness’ Moe Berg, ““James takes the power pop traditions of The Beatles, Jellyfish and Split Enz and combines them with the high IQ lyrics of Elvis Costello and Joe Jackson. The result makes him one of Canada’s greatest unsung songwriters”

Also, here’s great version of the Badfinger classic “Baby Blue”

Mitski: “Working for the Knife”  #7

The saying goes that if you do what you love, you’ll never have to work a day in your life. Mitski would like to have a word on that. After a long and grueling world tour supporting her breakthrough album Be the Cowboy, the singer took time off in 2019, saying she needed a break from the “constant churn” of performance. “Working for the Knife” is her brooding, melancholic first major single back from this respite, and acts as an incisive warning about how much of our identity we give to our life’s greatest undertakings, and who we’re giving it up for. The song unfolds as a balancing act of vulnerability and expectation, of altruistic self-expression and the vanity of wanting to be seen, or even adored. There’s some humor to it all; forlorn, she recognizes that the world never stops turning, and that it’s fine to lie to ourselves if it helps pass the time. It’s a one-act play of existential malaise and a sardonic anthem for those who can’t help but seek out the spotlight. –Puja Patel

Pitchfork  

Silk Sonic

Silk Sonic – Leave the Door Open

Silk Sonic is an R&B superduo composed of singer Bruno Mars and rapper and singer Anderson .Paak. The duo released its debut single, “Leave the Door Open”, in March 2021, and its debut album, An Evening with Silk Sonic, in November 2021.  This song veers close to a parody of 70’s soul but it’s just too good to be considered so. 

 You can hear all our music right here on Spotify