There are few things I like more than discovering new music. And by new music, I mostly just mean new-to-me music, as often the stuff I stumble upon is from years ago, decades ago. I’m one of those people who can only get to know a few bands at a time, and then love them insatiably for a few months on endless repeat through my ipod, then get so sick of them that I can’t bear to hear that song one more time for at least 2 years. I operate much the same way with many aspects of my life, case in point- ice cream sandwiches, Phillip Seymour Hoffman movies, and wiener dogs.
I mostly listen to the radio in my apartment – since Vancouver got a decent radio station (the Peak 100.5 fm), I can pretty much leave it on non-stop for hours and only hear one or two songs that I don’t like. This ratio is pretty incredible, considering the rampant crap that is normally played on the air, for pretty much as long as I can remember. The Peak plays a lot of old stuff that reminds me of my teen years – Violent Femmes, the Smiths, the Cure, Bad Religion, Talking Heads; they also introduce me to a bunch of music I might not otherwise have found myself – Dan Mangan, Vampire Weekend, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Black Keys. They play a lot of Canadian bands, which I think is pretty great – there are so many mind blowing local musicians, it’s about time they got some exposure. Those guys have got to stop slinging coffee somehow, right?
I also really love vinyl, despite it being somewhat inconvenient to have to get up and turn the records after 20 minutes. I love the weight of an album in my hand, the extra artwork, the delicate texture as I run my fingers lightly over the grooves (yes, I know I’m not supposed to do this, but it’s a tactile compulsion I have). I love heading to Red Cat Records on Main street and perusing the stacks to find something new. I recently bought Bob Dylan’s Nashville Skyline album which I have been looking for, for ages. It’s short as hell, but so, so amazingly awesome. I have a thing for the Beach Boy’s Pet Sounds, Broken Bells, and Rolling Stones Hot Rocks. I also discovered a great compilation of black soul country music from the 60′s called Dirty Laundry, which is outstanding. I dance a lot in my apartment – with soapy hands and pruning shears, doing chores with music just makes them seem less tedious. I would be embarrassed to know just how many people have witnessed my flailing limbs and off-tune voice during these times, but ignorance is bliss, and frankly I don’t really care. In my mind I’m totally alone, so that’s all that matters, right? My friends think I don’t dance – but I love to dance. Just not in front of anyone
Check out these tracks, I’m enjoying them very much right now:
- Band of Horses: Our Swords
- Black Keys: Next Girl
- Blitzen Trapper: Furr
- Bob Dylan: Tonight I’ll be Staying here with You
- Elliot Brood: Write it all Down for You
- Mumford and Sons: The Cave
- Sarah Harmer: New Loneliness
- Vampire Weekend: California English
- Hawksley Workman: Dance to Yesterday
- Otis Redding: You left the Water Running
I would love to hear of any new suggestions of great music that you’ve come across lately. It would be nice to hear from someone who isn’t leaving me comments about erectile stimulants or get-rich-without-getting-off-your-ass opportunities (which, in retrospect, might not be a bad idea considering my upcoming unemployment situation, coupled with my inherent laziness). Also, the people who leave comments like “I enjoyed reading your article very much, and would love to hear more” with links sending me to a prescription drug company websites – I appreciate you taking the time to read my blog during what I can only imagine is a grueling work schedule – your thoughtful feedback means the world to me, really. I will continue to write “articles” and cherish your spam comments forevermore.
On an unrelated note, I just wanted to add this photo because this artist blew me away – he was drawing a gigantic Mona Lisa on the pavement on Robson street – and the detail was immaculate. Incredible, and inspiring as hell. I think stumbling across art in unexpected places is one of my most favorite things in the whole world. Vancouver is awesome.