I know we just crossed the threshold into summer (as my very sunburned thighs will attest) but I want to do a little spring cleaning this week, shed some of the excess weight I have clogging my “Maybe Write About?” Evernote, and go into the summer fresh. New me starts today and all that fun stuff.
Here we go.
But please follow the Tunes You Should Fucking Know Spotify Playlist.
Now here we go.
- Panama – “How We Feel,” “It’s Not Over,” “Always”
You know how there are some songs that you immediately fall in love with? They suck you in, and you’re immediately sure that you’ve found a group of kindred spirits?
Panama was not that band for me.
I’m pretty sure between the months of March and April, I would without fail ask, “Who is this?” every single time Mollie played them around the apartment, but my brain just didn’t want to grasp that I liked this band.
Maybe because no two songs of theirs really sound the same (and not in that eclectic way but more in the “this is the same band?” kind of way)?
Maybe because they aren’t really doing anything new?
Maybe because there’s already that band Panama Wedding?
Maybe because the building of the Panama Canal seems like it had an unnecessary high mortality rate?
However, despite all of that, it’s now the end of May and I still find myself enjoying it when songs like “How We Feel” and “It’s Not Over” pop up on Mollie’s Spotify or when I put my phone on shuffle, and that’s got to mean something right? There is something with this band that gives them staying power, even if I can’t exactly place what it is.
I at least hope they make it longer than Panama Wedding.
- Lovelife – “Your New Beloved”
If Panama was the band I could never remember no matter how hard I tried, Lovelife is the band I can’t forget no matter how much I want to.
If Panama was my guilty conscious band, Lovelife is my guilty pleasure.
I have gone through every single song Lovelife has on Spotify, and with the exception of “Your New Beloved,” there’s nothing that I have the urge to hear again (though a strong case could be made for “Invisible” based purely on its cool production).
But there’s just something about “Your New Beloved.”
It makes the lines “Remember staying up all weekend/Didn’t eat, didn’t sleep yeah” sound sexy not cheesy. It’s like they’ve temporarily harnessed that scary/sexy/ultimately harmelss vibe that Savage Garden milked for so long.
And after having made a positive comparison to Savage Garden, I’m just going to stop, even if I can’t quit “Your New Beloved.”
- Jungle – “Busy Earnin'”
Hey remember back when I wrote about Jungle last July when he released the fearsome twosome of “Platoon” and “Drops”? Yeah, it’s kind of fuzzy for me too, but not much has changed for the reclusive Londonite except he’s now a household name for most music nerds.
Since our Aural Pleasure With Friends is pretty long this week, let’s just leave it at that. Cool? Cool.
And now, it’s time for another very special edition of…
AURAL PLEASURE WITH FRIENDS!: Ramtin Arablouei Edition
Editor’s Note: Ramtin is a member of the DC band Drop Electric and an outspoken activist when it comes to this city and its arts scene. He did an interview with Alex Tebeleff earlier this week and said some things that deserve to be reprinted here (with his permission of course). For a soundtrack, here’s ACME, one of the fabulous DC bands Ramtin mentions.
“…But now, my frustration is that a lot of the bands that are held up as the best bands by the local press are bands that all sound similar, look the same, are friends with the same people, and that frustrates me because there are groups like Laughing Man, or Black Hills, that are some of my, and a lot of other people’s, favorite bands, but don’t seem to get the proper recognition. I can’t figure out why this is the case. Are the acts I like not in the “in-crowd”? Are they making music that is too challenging? Are they not pre-packaged enough?
I guess I just prefer music that’s a little weird and original, and the local press doesn’t like that. Why? You aren’t Pitchfork. You can write about challenging, original music in a positive way.
For example, the City Paper recently put out a staff picked list of bands from DC that people outside of DC are paying attention to nationally, and someone asked me, why isn’t Drop Electric on the list? Drop Electric released a record on a national label, was well received by national press and European press, our music was featured in a major Hollywood movie trailer. In that article, they are basically implying that bands not included in their list are not being paid attention to outside of DC. Well, for the most part, that’s just false. They intimate that they have done research and that somehow their list is definitive.
Forget my band, we are relatively small time. If their list is definitive then why isn’t Red Gold Green, who are signed to a major label and touring the country, on that list? What about SOJA, who are from NOVA, and are selling out big venues all over the country? Somehow Deleted Scenes isn’t on that list? Deleted Scenes has been a band for 10 years, have gotten amazing reviews in Pitchfork and other national publications and they didn’t follow the trends of the current times. Is that not enough of an accomplishment in itself to end up on that list? Or what about awesome up and coming acts like ACME or Chomp Chomp. None of these acts end up on “top acts to watch” list? It doesn’t make any sense.”