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HenryJames’ favorite new cassettes

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HenryJames sent me this post in a coded message via teletype, carrier pigeon, and aborigine courier. Apparently when you get to be a big time blogger you don't have time for dealing with the vagaries of Wordpress. Or maybe he's still just a lazy ass. Just as I finally sorted out this musical riddle meme, a smelly bespectacled editor from Pitchfork.com with requisite whispy facial hair and ironic jeans mysteriously appeared outside my door with a warrant to search the premises. No words were exchanged. He just gave me a stare that said "I can create you or destroy you. Your call." In the end I won the showdown by holding a gaze more fervent and dedicated than his for 30 seconds and because the song Mr. November by The National happened to be up next on shuffle. End game. This is like the equivalent of a hipster arm bar and caused whispy fag boy to backpedal slowly, Chuck Taylor's unfortunately tripping up on a well placed garden hose. Until next time, Bjorn. On to the Best Music You've Never Heard (keep in mind he grew up in a south Texas town of 4,000 people).
~ V.

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I rarely find any current music that I like nowadays, and by nowadays I mean the least ten years or so. Typically I just follow Robert Quine’s advice to Lester Bangs and just listen to old music. I mean, there’s a lot of stuff I’ve missed. But there’s nothing happening now. It all seems to be lame folk, whiny indie ‘rock’ or hipster electronica. The dirty little secret about indie music is that just like independent films, most of it is flat out horrible. Absolutely dreadful. But it’s an Emperor Has No Clothes situation in which we find ourselves today. If you say that you hate Grizzly Bear, then the hipsters will come after you with their pitchforks. Or Pitchfork will come after you with their hipsters.

But somehow I’ve manage to find five songs I’ve liked in the last couple of months or so. That’s a lot. Especially since all I have is a tape player.

The Sounds are a new wave band that’s been around over a decade. I’ve read the comparisons to Blondie which I certainly understand, but when I listen to this song it reminds me more of Missing Persons. The singer is of course hot and can be risqué at times. New wave seems to fit the Swedish character. I like the song, and I like the album. Their last album cover wasn't bad either:


Hot friends, imo.

Surfer Blood have been compared to early Weezer, the Beach Boys and Built to Spill. Early Weezer was louder, the Beach Boys were better and I’ve never listened to Built to Spill. [Pause.] Ok, I just listened to a Built to Spill song. Meh. I like this song, but after only a single listen I don’t like the rest of the album as much. Maybe you will. Not that I care or anything. Lots of reverb, but I like the guitar parts.

The Ettes are a garage rock band originally from Los Angeles, but now they live in Nashville. You know, where country music gets aborted. The drummer sort of looks like she should be on the cover of an Ohio Players record, and the bass player looks English. But they rock. At least on this song. I haven’t listened to any of their other stuff yet.

White Lies is English, and this song is about flying. Maybe because they used to be called Fear of Flying. I’ve only listened to the album once, but I like it.

Ida Maria put out my favorite album in 2009.

But CloseToJumping, have you listened to Animal Collective?!

Wrong thread, and yes. My girlfriend bought a dvd that was supposed to give our dog something to watch when we’re not home. You put it on, and it’s like an endless loop of squirrels and a repetitive voice saying things like ‘good dog.’ So the dog’s on the couch when she puts the tape in. After a few seconds, the dog glances at me nervously, slowly gets down off the couch and slinks out of the room. That’s how I feel about Animal Collective. That’s how your dog feels about Animal Collective. Dogs can sense fear and bad music.

Now back to Ida Maria. She’s from a small town in Norway, wasn’t into death metal so she released an album that didn’t have any death metal. Because that stuff is everywhere. She has a great punk aesthetic and has self-destructed on a couple of live performances. She may cut you. She may cut herself. Rock and roll needs more of that because it has become way too safe as a genre. Too many former NYU students, imo.

If you hate all of this music, that’s cool. I just don’t want any of it to end up on mix tapes like the ones Vasherized tries to give me ...