Just some things that got onto my radar screen this month. Not always music. But yeah….
1. Whiteout Conditions – The New Pornographers
I should start out by saying that Carl Newman et al. have never made an album that didn’t simply dazzle me. I am a major fan of this Canadian (for the most part) collective. Despite the absence of Dan Bejar (Destroyer) this go round, the album is maybe their best yet with more hooks than a hanger factory. Newman is also criminally underappreciated as a lyricist. As someone who loves words I frequently find myself thinking damn that was good at various turns of phrase. I have often said about New Pornographers songs that they’re so good its almost not fair. First they get you with the catchy hook, then the interesting lyric, and right after the bridge? Yep, five part harmony that would make Brian Wilson proud. Oh that backing vocal, that’s just Neko Case, no big deal.
You can expect to see Whiteout Conditions on my top ten list at the end of the year. I suspect it will be somewhere near the top.
2. Oh Susanna – A Girl in Teen City
This remarkable album from this remarkable Toronto based songwriter is a heartfelt reminiscences of growing up, dealing with adolescence, new adulthood, boyfriends in bands who don’t sing as well as you do and being the girl in the corner KNOWING you could front the band . Regular readers of this site will recall me gushing about the song “Tickets on the Weekend” a song about adventures on the way to see DOA. Who among us can’t identify? This album is as much a memoir as it is a folk/rock album.
3. President* Козыри entirely bonkers interview with the AP.
People voted for a guy, to be the most powerful man in the world, who was not only wildly ignorant of what the job entails, but also so narcissistic that he boasts of his TV ratings on Meet the Press being “the best since the World Trade Center fell” In the words of David Letterman, this guy needs a diagnosis and prescriptions, not the White House. God help us all with this psychopath. Read this thing. It will scare the shit out of you..
4. Broken Social Scene on Colbert
This was something else. I think it’s been seven years since Brendan Canning’s massive all star group of friends last assembled and I couldn’t be more pleased to see both Amy Milan (Stars) and Emily Haines (Metric) in the fold on this performance that absolutely fills the theater and your screens with sound. Exhilarating and wonderful.
I’m not going to give any of this away in case any of you haven’t heard it yet. Compelling, addicting and fascinating. Investigative journalism? Storytelling? True Crime? Whatever you call it its worth the 7 hour investment. I wont say another word about it. Just take me at my word. I’ve already said too much.
6. The Flashcubes at Bop Shop Records for Record Store Day
Do I really have to tell you about this band AGAIN? The band that wouldn’t die kicked off it’s 40th anniversary year with an appearance at this Rochester record store and blew the doors off the place. I hear there is to be an official 40th anniversary show on the actual 40th anniversary of the day the band played that legendary show at the Brookside in that most magical of all rock n roll years 1977. The show is September 1st at Funk n Waffles. You really need to be there. This is going to be something. Are you getting the message?