New Music Thread - 2017


Someone over at GAF just posted about this band Brutus and thought it worth a mention. They dropped their debut in February, it’s sort of mishmash of genres but probably mostly post-Hardcore. Notable in that one of the rare bands where the drummer is also the lead singer. It’s pretty good. @ArmandoPenblade maybe most likely to enjoy.


See Through Dresses - Horse of the Other World is a serviceable Shoegaze/Dreampop album. Nothing exceptional but worth a spin or two. They sound a bit too much like other bands at times, Violet musically is maybe ripping off Pictures of You a little too much.

But I find Lucy’s Arm to be a pretty decent track where they rock out a bit more.


I cannot stop listening to Roger Waters’ latest album. Without doubt, his best solo work. Very reminiscent of The Final Cut, and you can hear the foundational Pink Floyd along with a healthy sprinkling of Radiohead/Thome Yorke sonics (thanks to Nigel Godrich). As you would expect from Waters, rather than a collection of songs, the tracks are tightly threaded around the modern political climate and choice to either stand “silent and indifferent” or to “resist”.

Also recommend catching his tour if possible - best show since seeing GbV at Canal Street.



So Ben Gibbard has just released a full-album cover of Bandwagonesque, and without trying to be too much of a dick (or being a dick like usual, perhaps) I’m kind of trying to parse around…why?

I mean, if you tell me “Ben Gibbard is going to cover every song on a great record and release his version,” I think I’d be interested in hearing that. And now I’ve listened to his version of Bandwagonesque a couple of times, and it sounds very nice.

But it is also almost a note-for-note imitation of each original, right down to the arrangements that include Gibbard harmonizing with himself.

And so it’s nice and all…but to what purpose? If he’s just going to play these songs exactly the way the Fannies played them 25 years ago… (insert ascii of me shrugging). I mean, I guess if it gets a legion of adoring Gibbard fans to go discover Teenage Fanclub, that’s a good thing. So maybe that’s it.

But I’ll also point out that I never really realized how sadly desperate and gorgeous Norman Blake’s vocals were on the original until I heard Gibbard sing the same lyrics in the same upper vocal register. Gibbard’s “Alcoholiday” sounds like some rando doing a karaoke version of that song. There’s something about the way Blake strains his way through “I don’t know…if THEY WILL BE with yooooooouuuuuu…” that’s just so majestically post-adolescent and sad. Gibbard just sounds soulless trying to imitate it. I bet he didn’t even lean into the mic with his eyes closed when he sang that.


I’m just not a fan of exactingly faithful covers. I want some twist or personal stamp on it. It doesn’t need to deviate wildly but there needs to be something to it to justify its existence.


Heh. You’re right about the benefit of introducing some new kidz to the Fanclub, but otherwise it sounds like the same lesson everyone learned when Gus Van Sant remade Psycho…


Yeah, that’s basically my take. I mean, kudos to Ben for loving that record and wanting to play those songs…but it’s so close to the originals that I just dunno what’s up.

I guess maybe I’m guilty for sort of thinking “A Postal Service cover of Bandwagonesque would be really interesting to hear.”


Ariel Pink is very and hit or miss for me, track by track nevermind album by album, but for me this track off the upcoming new album is one of the hits.


Blimey, I can’t wait for this album.


Boston to Brooklyn Shoegazers Infinity Girl have a a new album out Sept 8th, which will also apparently be their last as they’ve announced they are calling it quits and their record release gigs are also serving as their farewell shows.


When Scott Miller died suddenly in 2013, he had been planning a new Game Theory album, the first new material he’d release under that moniker since 1989. His idea was to enlist a bunch of collaborators who were friends and like-minded musical folks to work on individual songs with him. He’d written some lyrics, recorded some stuff…but that was it. And he was gone.

And so when it was announced last year that folks were going to try to finish this record – which he was planning to title Supercalifragile, which is fucking genius, by the way – I was a little skeptical. It sounded like it might be a bunch of folks basically trying to mimic Miller’s uniqueness, but not cohesively. Still…I’m a fan, so.

And I’ve had this record now for about a week, and frankly I’m gobsmacked. Literally, it’s one of the best records he ever did, and it sounds like nothing as I’ve described so far. It’s cohesive, smart, and well-tied together. Somehow they managed to get most of Scott’s own vocals onto a lot of these tracks, and then folks like Aimee Mann, Ted Leo, Will Scheff, et al did yeoman work providing backing vocals, guitars, keys, whatever. Ken Stringfellow of the Posies produced this both at Abbey Road and at a few studios in the States, and did an amazing job of making this all flow together. It isn’t ghoulish, it isn’t weird-sounding…it’s like this amazingly triumphant, artistic shout from the other side.

First track for non-album backer consumption is up for listening at Tidal, his collaboration with Aimee Mann. It’s a song called “No Love”, and believe me when I say that:

  1. It’s a a great song, and
  2. It isn’t the best song on this record.


All three of the pre-release Alvvays tracks are absolute winners. The newest one (“Plimsoll Punks”) especially so. New album Sept 8th.


Yeah, both those new Clientele and Alvaays albums are shaping up to be terrific.

And pretty amazing to hear a new Game Theory song. Looking forward to the whole shebang.

I just found this awesome track courtesy of the NY Times:


KLF has returned.

The Justified Ancients of Mu Mu will have completed their The Twenty Three Year Moratorium on 23rd August 2017. The Justified Ancients of Mu Mu will be marking this completion in a number of ways…

Terrible shaky cam of the famous ice cream van in Liverpool:


Aren’t those the guys who set fire to a million quid, and then had to sit down and have a long think about it?


Yeah, and that’s the subject of today’s “Public Hearing” event. FTA:

Why Did The K Foundation Burn A Million Quid?

A Public Hearing, The Black-E, Liverpool, 23rd August 2017

In the early hours of 23rd August 1994, Jimmy Cauty and Bill Drummond, then operating under the name The K Foundation, burnt £1,000,000 of their own money, in an abandoned boat house on the Isle of Jura. The money was all the cash they had left from their careers in the music industry. The burning was filmed by a man named Gimpo, and written about in the Observer by a journalist named Jim Reid.

People wanted to know why the K Foundation burnt the money. Cauty and Drummond did not have an adequate answer. Cauty and Drummond felt it was for others to tell them why. Cauty and Drummond signed an agreement to stop trying to explain the burning of the money for a period of 23 years. This was done to provide adequate time for others to tell them why they burnt the money. The agreement took on the name The Twenty Three Year Moratorium, and was backdated to the night of the burning. This moratorium will be complete on 23rd August 2017.

On the evening of 23rd August 2017 a public hearing is to be held at The Black E in Liverpool, to find out if there is an answer to the question. This public hearing is to be chaired by the artist Tom James. A panel of five people will be brought together, to each explain why they think the K Foundation burnt the money. The panel includes: Jeremy Deller, artist; Ann Pettifor, economist; Tom Hodgkinson, editor of The Idler; Annebella Pollen, art historian; and Clive Martin, journalist.

Various witnesses to the original burning and subsequent events will be called for testimony. These witnesses include: Gimpo, Jim Reid, Mick Houghton, Chris Brook, Angie Sammons, Craig McLean and John Higgs. Note: neither J Cauty nor B Drummond will be amongst the witnesses, as they have nothing further to add.


The final Game Theory/Scott Miller album, Supercalifragile, is out now. And it’s really, really great.

The plan all along was for Scott to collaborate with friends around the music biz on this, for them to take some lead vocals, to share some songwriting, etc. And so that’s what this is. Miller sings on about 9 of the 15 tracks. There are some standout vocals turned in by others here, too.

For instance, Ted Leo fucking brings it on “Oh Death”:

And Will Sheff of Okkervil River thankfully takes the lead vocal on “Kristine”. I say “Thankfully” because:

  1. He nails it, and
  2. If it was Scott Miller’s actual voice from beyond the grave singing this song and these words to his wife, I’m not sure I could get through this song at all.


Sweet! Thanks for the update… I just ordered the vinyl.


I never cared much about The War on Drugs before but the new album A Deeper Understanding out today is just impossible to resist. So damn good!


We must be entering the back-to-school music glut because new records are dropping out of the sky. New albums from The Fresh and Onlys and Thee Oh Sees on the same day!