New Music Thread - 2017


Of all the Russian dreampop shoegaze bands, I think Pinkshinyultrablast is my favorite.

Kidding aside, this just rules:


There are a few really good songs on this record. My favorite:


Love this song.


The Albini-Tweedy buddy cop show is the TV show our troubled times demand.


New Belle & Sebastian EP out today! I was excited until I read this paragraph near the end of the Pitchfork review and got sad instead.

Twenty years ago, the release of a new Belle and Sebastian EP would send stateside fans rushing to their local record store and hounding the clerks to order an import copy; failing that, they’d have to hassle a relative in the UK to drop a copy in the post. Now, they can just drag and drop it into a Spotify folder along with the other 50 records they’ve dragged and dropped this week.

Oh, well… even if dragging and dropping is a drag, at least music is still music. Last night I spent some time working on my big year-end playlist of favorite songs and found a couple of cool-sounding albums I’d missed. Thanks, Mojo!

And Noel’s full album hasn’t grabbed me (yet?) but this song is hard to resist…


How pretentious is that Pitchfork bit (I know, it’s Pitchfork, but still)?

“Collecting your new music is so EASY these days. Remember when it used to be difficult? Weren’t those more special times?”

No, Pitchfork, living in the future is nice because I can just listen to my music when I want to instead of jumping through arbitrary hoops. Maybe it removes some of the “magic” of music discovery, but I’ve discovered a hundred bands and a thousand songs I never would have known about otherwise, and that’s a way better deal.


It didn’t strike me as pretentious, merely true. For me, no band sums up the romance of the record store experience more than Belle & Sebastian. Obviously this is based on one’s age and personal experience. We all know digital music is not just convenient but mind-blowingly awesome.


Yeah, it’s pure sentiment, but I miss that romance, too.

Heck, I’m right now pondering how much to shell out for the 1987 4AD “Lonely Is an Eyesore” compilation. Limited edition box? Or just the LP? A playlist would be trivial—if Spotify didn’t have all the tracks, I could create most of it myself from my collection in iTunes. But I want the thing; the object that encapsulates what went into its creation.


New The Midnight has been doing hard rotations on my Play Music this week while I’ve been suck as fuck. It might be the drugs talking, but I’m super onboard. But my gf says it’s like what would happen if Michael Buble humped a synthesizer, so, you know, there’s that.

TBH it’s not actually my favorite track on the Nocturnal, but the lengthy sax passage near the end is sure to be right up @KevinC’s alley, just like his favorite song, “Careless Whisper!”

“Shadows” is more my speed, so sharing two :)


I mean, yeah… it’s no Careless Whisper, but it ain’t too shabby.


There’s still plenty of records being made and record stores to hang out in, if that’s your bag. It is mine, so there’s lots of beautiful artifacts still to collect and chortle over even if some of the thrill of discovery is lost.

The loss of the “record store romance”, though, is hard to deny On the other side of the ledger, there’s never been more varied kinds and amounts of music to consume at virtually no cost to the listener. On the other other hand, the ease of posting digital music has led to a glut of pretty poor quality music crowding out the good stuff as every bedroom musical project gets tossed up onto Spotify or Bandcamp with virtually no thought or effort.

All in all, though, I think I prefer the new world to the old.



Remember, I’m the guy whose favorite record store closed on the day that would have been my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary if only my dad hadn’t died two months earlier. So perfectly tragic. The kind of mood vintage Belle & Sebastian would totally nail.

I was thrilled when I saw a Newbury Comics pop up in the Westchester mall not long ago. Barnes and Noble in Union Square and the NYU bookstore both have a decent selection of vinyl when I’m down near work and in the mood to browse.


I think it goes a bit beyond that where once you veered off the mainstream music taste used to be a bit more tied to identity and friendships were often forged around similar tastes. There was effort involved in liking stuff outside the mainstream. Remember how upset people would get at a band for selling out and signing with a major label, what arguably was a good thing for the band?

There’s sort of another side to this problem in that there’s too much decent music accessible now. A lot of stuff that I would qualify as pretty good but not great. TV has this same content overload problem right now.

Same, but there has been something that has been lost.


'Twas ever thus.


Here, have some of this. Holy shit.


Also, unsurprisingly, I am indeed digging the hell out of that Noel song, and probably like the album more than I should, but there you go.


Oh, that’s fun. “Think Björk fronting the Bangles” indeed.


My friend Annie described them on Twitter yesterday as The Sugarcubes meets Elastica and Kenickie, and I realized that I really wanted to listen to exactly that.


I’m lucky enough to live a block away from the Polyphonic Spree’s studio/living quarters, and they own an old-school record store here on the street. It’s a fantastic shop where lots of the visiting bands stop in for little acoustic sets.

But it ain’t the same as the old days when it took serious hunting to find obscure imports. And I miss that. I pop in from time to time and buy something on physical media to support Tim DeLaughter, but just the knowing I have all music ever at my fingertips at home really wipes away most of the luster.

I wouldn’t go back in time, but it’s sure not as exotic as it once was. Edit: and yeah, I used to be one of those Belle & Sebastian guys at the record store.