“Do you hear that thunder? That’s the sound of strength in numbers!”
“Let’s sieze the day, All hold hands, chase the pricks away.”
If The Clash wrote began writing the punk gospel, then the latest record from IDLES, Ultra Mono, feels like one of the late epistles written by an apostle of punk awaiting trial. A letter to the punks of the world in dark times insisting still “If you want to beat the machine, keep your teeth clean and kill ’em with kindness”.
There’s a lot more to cover this week. New records from Fleet Foxes, Bob Mould, and Sufjan Stevens, the title track from the final album by Toots & The Maytals (RIP Toots Hibbert), and new singles from Pixies, Black Thought, and Janelle Monae. Of course, It’s been 3 weeks instead of my usual 2 since I last posted, so there’s a lot of music to share.
Marika Hackman – Realiti IDLES – Kill Them With Kindness Mark Lanegan – Daylight in the Nocturnal House Throwing Muses – St. Charles Pixies – Hear Me Out Nation of Language – Gouge Away Dave Hause, Amethyst Kiah, Kam Franklin – Your Ghost David Wirsig – March Local Natives, Sylvan Esso – Dark Days Sufjan Stevens – Run Away With Me First Aid Kit – Come Give Me Love Chuck Prophet – Love Doesn’t Come From the Barrel of a Gun Toots & the Maytals – Got To Be Tough Black Thought, Pusha T, Swizz Beats, Killer Mike – Good Morning Pete Rock, Camp Lo, Talib Kweli – Ladies & Gentlemen Janelle Monae – Turntables Sault – Fearless John Vanderslice – lure mice condemn erase Bronson – Foundation Aesop Rock – The Gates Eddie Vedder, Nick Zinner – Cartography (Nick Zinner Remix) Matt Berninger – One More Second Fleet Foxes – Going-to-the-Sun Road Bob Mould – Forecast of Rain IDLES – Ne Touche Pas Moi
I have this desire to always keep including new and different sounds here. What I always say is this: “You probably won’t like everything I include, but you’ll always find something you like.” This tends to match the feedback I often get, so I think it is working. This blog has been going for nearly 4 years, and the playlists go back another year before the blog. Looking back at some of the early lists this week, I realize that how the process of just paying attention has evolved and broadened my own musical preferences.
Missing live music has certainly been a feature of 2020. The last show I went to was back on January 18th. I saw Dessa and Monakr at The Crocodile in Seattle. I don’t really recall the last time I went over 6 months without going to a show. If you count every local gig at every coffee shop, then it would probably go back to before I could drive. There’s a few artists in the list this edition that I’ve seen live. Sarah Jarosz, Deep Sea Diver, and Naked Giants (x2). I sure hope 2021 holds live music again.
I wanted to point out Mark Lanegan this edition. Lanegan was frontman for Screaming Trees their entire run. They didn’t see the kind of success that some of their fellow Washington bands did through the ’90s, but Lanegan, in particular, has shown himself to be a lasting talent. He’s thankfully also very prolific. It seems now that we can just expect an album every year from him, and we can also expect it to be excellent. He also published his memoir back in April, and I’ve heard it is a very difficult but good read. It’s on my booklist for sure.
Other favorites of mine in this edition are Fantastic Negrito, Hinds, Throwing Muses, Barbi Recananti, and The Harlem Gospel Travelers.
tracklist: Sondre Lerche – Patience Fantastic Negrito – Chocolate Samurai Nicola Cruz – Yeva Disclosure, Fatoumata Diawara – Douha (Mali Mali) Chong the Nomad – On Fire Lila Ike – Stars Align Blu & Exile – The Feeling Gregory Porter – Faith in Love Deep Sea Diver, Sharon Van Etten – Impossible Weight Mark Lanegan – I Wouldn’t Want to Say Throwing Muses – Bo Diddley Bridge Bibio – Sleep On The Wing Sarah Jarosz – Empty Square The Harlem Gospel Travelers – Fight On! Wyatt Waddell – Fight! Gordon Koang – South Sudan Bronko Yotte – Galvano Barbi Recanati – Que No Hinds – Take Me Back Mourn – Call You Back Naked Giants – Take a Chance Son Lux – Last Light