Five Songs, 1/6/2018
Five Songs

Five Songs, 1/6/2018

Spastic noise punk, power pop, third wave ska, rap, bombastic post-rock: this is just about the full gamut for Five Songs!

UFO Or Die, "0 Or 1ers"

Uh, yeah. UFO Or Die isn't exactly random noise, but it's not THAT far from it, either.

The New Pornographers, "Centre For Holy Wars"

We've heard from A.C. Newman before with Zumpano, but here he is with the band he's best known for, the New Pornographers. Started as something of a supergroup with Newman, Dan Bejar (Destroyer), and Neko Case (all of whom we'll hear from with their other acts), the New Pornographers took a while to turn from a lark into a real band. But, they finally put out their debut album, Mass Romantic, and it's a corker. Fully embracing power pop, it's one of the catchiest and most fun albums in my collection. And, sorry, if you don't love "Letter From An Occupant", you're dead inside.

The Scofflaws, "Lost To The T.V."

Another cut from Record of Conviction, when the Scofflaws were past their sell-by date.

The Beastie Boys, "Song For The Man"

You know, I've never really given Hello Nasty much of a chance. I'm not really sure why. I should probably fix that.

SWANS, "Jim"

We've had the Beastie Boys and SWANS in the same set before. Nobody else cares.

Anyway, I've mentioned in the past the fascinating career path of SWANS. Michael Gira broke up the band after Soundtracks for the Blind after an impressive career, one that still would have left them with an important discography and a ton of influence. Turns out he wasn't done, though, reforming the band 14 years later and creating the tremendous My Father Will Guide Me Up A Rope To The Sky (which this song comes from), a fantastic comeback and one that somehow turned out to be arguably the worst of the four post-breakup records.

After the break, the band is now more atmospheric and post-rock than they were prior to the hiatus. It's almost like their sound just kept developing during their time off, it's just that the intervening half-dozen albums don't exist. I heartily recommend all four of the albums, though.

(NB: on capitalization, I've tended to adopt the band's capitalization from whatever comes up first, and stick with it. Hence, "SWANS" here.)

Joshua Buergel
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