Gonna keep it brief today because I’m working on some lengthy, rambling essay things for this place that’ll be coming your way this very week (uh oh). And so with no further ado, I present to you the latest WEEKLY NEW WONDERS PLAYLIST featuring the finest new songs that have crossed our path over recent days. I need to warn you, it’s kind of big. It was just one of those weeks where we were gifted with a whole lotta good ones. And so think of it as a melodic journey. A blessedly wordless podcast. An opportunity to meditate on some gorgeous pop music. Just something to get invested in and hell, you might find your next favorite song or band amongst ’em. You can listen below on Soundcloud or Spotify!
Hey, I want to recommend a book ! “You’re History:The Twelve Strangest Women In Music” by Lesley Chow is not so much actual ‘history’ as it is a celebration and appreciation of sounds. Literally. It’s about songs and artists infiltrating our hearts not via literal, linear lyrics but rather through idiosyncratic improvs, ad-libbing, glitches and off the charts weirdness. Here is her description of the book’s inspiration in the intro:
“What lifts a song into greatness may be the singer’s impulse to lengthen, slur or skip over a note, or an incorrect turn of phrase that nonetheless becomes iconic”.
It’s about how Chaka Khan’s glorious “oohs” on “Ain’t Nobody” and Rihanna’s emphasis on the “ella” in “Umbrella” embody life itself. How lyrics that say “nothing” can be everything. The book features chapters on several of my personal and forever Queens ( Sade, Kate Bush, TLC, Chaka), breaks down the endless wonder of Janet Jackson’s lustful, obsessive “If”, offers the absolute best take on Tom Tom Club I’ve ever read in my whole nerdy life and closes things out with her own list of “The Greatest Oohs in Modern Music”. I was endlessly nodding as I read it, all the while marking pages with freakin’ post-its so I could re-read them and nod again later.
Look, it’s cool to read a music book and get some validation once in a while, to discover that someone else is experiencing songs like you. And it’s rare to hear someone taking the angle Chow does in “You’re History”. Never mind that I am always down for deep analysis regarding TLC. It’s inexpensive, paperback and is only 162 passionate pages long so it’s easy in every respect. If you are the kind of person who actually enjoys my meandering blog, then I think you might like it 🙂 Okay, onward !
And now please join me for the latest WEEKLY NEW WONDERS PLAYLIST featuring the best new songs that’ve crossed our path over recent days. All are lush, tuneful, anthemic and beautiful. You can listen below on Soundcloud or Spotify.
Back in the ’80s, the Museum Of Modern Art curated a show of what they felt were the most innovative and exciting music videos available up to that point. It was called “Music Video: The Industry and Its Fringes”, a title which while it did not scream FUN, intrigued me. I was a young, obsessed MTV watcher at the time which meant I just had to see it. I went in knowing that they probably wouldn’t be featuring my beloved Duran Duran or Culture Club, this was an art museum after all, but hoped there would be a song or a someone I’d never seen that I could potentially fall in love with ( hopefully British with a big, fat synthesizer and frosted tips). That didn’t happen. I was instead confronted with this disturbing, well, something. Amongst the slate of videos was one for a song called “Frankie Teardrop” by the NYC duo Suicide ( neither of which I’d heard of at the time). I found both the song and video supremely unsettling.
“Frankie Teardrop” was not a pop song. It was a sinister, repetitive electronic drone with a creepily fey vocal about a guy who’d finally reached his breaking point and committed an unspeakable act. It was 10 minutes of blood curdling screams and menace and a very long way from my favored musical candies like Men At Work and Madonna. The video, which you can check out above, with its blurry images of child mannequins, James Dean, crabs, rats, desolate streets and anonymous faces went a long way to maximizing the terror of the song.
It rattled me. It gave me the chills and blotted out all of the videos that came before or after it. No new pop babes for me. All I could think about after watching the 30+ clips on offer was “Frankie Teardrop”. It lingered and haunted. Frankie, Frankie, Frankie.
Something about “Frankie Teardrop” turned my head around. Even though I wasn’t sure I’d ever want to play it, I bought the Suicide album it came from. For some reason I had to have it. And a week later I decided I had to see the video again and so returned to MOMA for that sole reason.
The world’s most popular Suicide fan boy, Bruce Springsteen, once said about “Frankie”; “Oh, my God! That’s one of the most amazing records I think I ever heard. I love that record”. Bruce loves Frankie.
Anyway, I was talking about “Frankie” to a friend last night and the weird sensation of revering a song, being fascinated by its every molecule but not really wanting to hear it (or see it) often, if at all. All these years later I still vividly recall the shock and surprise of it, how it shook my pop music perceptions around, discovering that a song could actually scare you, make you feel so weird. It was unnerving…and totally amazing.
Right, enough stream of consciousness craziness 😉 I now invite you to check out the latest WEEKLY NEW WONDERS PLAYLIST featuring the best new songs we’ve heard over the recent cold and rainy days. It was a very POP week, full of hooks and swoon-worthy sugary tunes. All great and all surely occupying the #1 spot on the chart over on earth 2. You can listen below on Soundcloud or Spotify. We’re all Frankies.
I don’t have any weird anecdotes to offer today, just gonna offer you the latest WEEKLY NEW WONDERS PLAYLIST featuring the best new songs that have crossed our path over the past week. It is big and it is especially, gloriously melodic. You can listen below on Soundcloud or Spotify !
For anyone interested, there’s a bunch of stuff on the way here at PuR (!) including a terrifying, topical mega-artist album breakdown ( oh it’s a big one ), new essays on under-appreciated albums and artists in our ongoing and questionable “That’s Their Pet Sounds” series, as well as some deep dives into particular years in pop music history that will be full of nonsense, hot takes and cringe-worthy coming of age musical related memories ( uh oh ).
And so please stay tuned ( and subscribed ) for all the self-indulgent craziness coming soon ;)!
Don’t be scared. That’s just Sadie the small stuffed bird who hangs over my desk. My Mom gave her to me a few years ago after finding her at a yard sale. I have no idea why she is dressed like a spoiled Victorian child. And while she’s not as menacing as one of those terrifying antique dolls whose eyes follow you around the room, I can confirm she does give off a pretty impressive cute-creepy-demonic children’s choir vibe in person.
But hey, it’s time for the latest WEEKLY NEW WONDERS PLAYLIST featuring the most heart-squeezingly handsome songs we’ve heard over the past week. They are all 🔥 and tied for the #1 spot on the chart over on Earth 2. You can listen on Soundcloud or Spotify below.
Yes it’s Mom’s day but did you know that Saturday, May 8 was Motörhead day ? It is the official day for fans to unite online ( and maybe in-person) in assorted places to share memories and wave their devil horns as one in honor of the legendary rock behemoths. The reason it takes place on the 8th of May is because of the date’s phonic relation to the band’s classic song/album “Ace Of Spades”.
The 8th of May. Yeah, you get it 🙂
I met Lemmy back in 2008 and he greeted me with a “Hello Luv” that I still cherish to this day. The sounds of Motörhead helped get me through one of the most frustrating and stressful years of my entire adult working life. During that time span there occurred one particularly spectacular day when I’d so had it with the bureaucratic goings on at my job, I listened to 8 straight, non-stop hours of Motörhead. Just one song after another, turned up to 11, alone in my tiny office. “Iron Fist” 👊, “Overkill” ☠️, “Love Me Like A Reptile” 🐍. I left work that day feeling like I could kick the world i.e.head office, in their collective ass. Meet my iron fist bitches 😈 (well, sort of). And so Happy Motörhead Day everyone, turn it up🤘 (and maybe pour one out for the guys that are no longer here; Lemmy, Fast Eddie, Philthy Phil and Würzel🌹).
And now it’s time for the latest WEEKLY NEW WONDERS PLAYLIST featuring the finest and foxiest new songs that have crossed our path over recent days. They are all # 1. Check ’em out on either Soundcloud or Spotify below.
Double up or quit, double stake or split, the Ace of Spades…
That’s just another ten trillion year old drawing from my teenage sketchbook.Yo-Yo ma(n). I don’t have any weirdness to offer this week apart from him. But hey, it’s that time again, time to gather all the most transcendently wonderful tunes that have surfaced over the past week (or so) and bring them together as one. And with that here is the latest WEEKLY NEW WONDERS PLAYLIST, you can listen on Soundcloud or Spotify below.
One last thing: I’ve started writing short love letters to trashy pop music over atMedium. When I post new stories over there I will make sure to attach a link at the end of each weeks WEEKLY NW’s. I promise you short reads and complete ridiculousness. You can check out my first and latest piece of work right HERE. Hopefully you will still trust my judgement after you read it.
I never do this but as a lifelong, long-suffering but now and forever Mets fan, I kinda have to today. If you hate baseball you can skip these few sentences, I swear I’ll understand. Right so last night Jacob DeGrom (or as we call him around here, the degrominator) pitched a complete game shutout, got 15 strikeouts as well 2 hits of his own and the Mets blessedly won. It was a pretty spectacular thing to watch (especially as we’d gotten shellacked in the previous 3 games). Last year the franchise’s greatest all-time player, pitcher Tom Seaver passed away so this season the team are wearing commemorative patches with his # 41 on their sleeves. As a sentimentalist I found it to be pretty poetic that as DeGrom was sealing his own legend, offering up one of the all-time greatest Met performances, there was a physical tip of the hat to his legendary predecessor right there on his arm. Anyway, it was awesome. Okay, time for tunes.
Welcome to the latest WEEKLY NEW WONDERS PLAYLIST featuring the finest new songs that have come our way over recent days. There are windblown epics, loved up laments plus a bit of dirty ol’ rock. They are all beauties. You can listen below on Soundcloud or Spotify.
I miss the pop world of the ’80s. I was absolutely entrenched in at as a teen, consumed with both MTV and WLIR radio, spending every nickel of my pocket $ on records and questionable clothing (neon baby neon), waiting outside all day at to get into those general admission shows at the Pier in NYC so I could be as close to Boy George or Richard Butler as humanly possible. I long for a time where when you saw someone on the street with blue hair you knew they were into the same music as you (now that’s some passive-aggressive “get off my lawn-ing right there…sad, truly sad).
And so unsurprisingly I still find myself drawn to sounds that remind me of those from that time. Songs with synths and guitars. Fat chorus’s and massive hooks. Vocalists who just plain wail. Tunes that exude color. Which brings me to Caroline Kingsbury whose debut album Heaven’s Just A Flight was released this week. When I first stumbled upon her stuff a few years ago I was staggered by how freakin’ good it was. Her songs possessed those aforementioned nerve-center triggering elements but they still sounded “now”, not remotely dated. They brought to mind ’80s pop Madonna (the best Madonna), Cyndi Lauper (who could wail and pop), Missing Persons (underrated), Human League (genius) and New Order (better than Joy Division) in various combinations. Every single song had that familiar, wondrous, shiny and okay, neon heartbeat, every one sounded like a single. Caroline’s “In My Brain” is one of my absolute favorite tracks of the whole freakin’ 21st century. Crazy but true. I sometimes fantasize about Madonna finally getting off her interminable dance tip and making magnificent pop songs again and Caroline writing them with/for her.
And with that I welcome you to the latest WEEKLY NEW WONDERS PLAYLIST featuring the finest new songs we’ve heard over recent days. This week was stuffed with stuff, sonically scattered with blinding pop, bombastic anthems, behemoth beauteous prog and epic heartbreakers. What I’m saying is there were a lot of great songs this week. Not only can you check them all out below ( on Soundcloud or Spotify) but you to can also hear Caroline Kingsbury’s exquisite album Heaven’s Just A Flight, just below those playlists. Open your heart…
Listen on Soundcloud
Listen on Spotify
Listen to Caroline Kingsbury Heaven’s Just A Flight
There’s a moment in the video of Fleetwood Mac’s thundering chant “Tusk” (circa 1979), where Stevie Nicks struts around the Dodger Stadium infield and serves up some truly ace baton twirling (go to 3.40 of the video’s outtakes right here and join in the worshipful basking). While all of us children will get older, watching Stevie march around twirling that thing never will. It may well be the ultimate GIF. This past week saw the release of the deluxe version of Fleetwood Mac’s 1980 “Live” album which as a completist nerd I had to buy whether I really wanted to or not. Listening to it in all its remastered glory invariably pushed me back in the arms of the live Mac experience and led to the creation of an extravagant playlist with no less than 17 different versions of the song “Sara”. Which is excessive and sick…but you know, it’s “Sara” so…
And know what else, there was also wondrous new music to compliment the stunning sounds of the Mac’s 1980 tour. Welcome to the latest WEEKLY NEW WONDERS PLAYLIST featuring the sweetest and finest new songs that have crossed our path over recent days. You can listen below on Soundcloud or Spotify. Never change, never stop.