Category: Weekly New Wonders Playlist

Weekly New Wonders Playlist # 17 !

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Yup, that will never get old 🙂 But hey, it’s time for the latest  🔥 WEEKLY NEW WONDERS PLAYLIST 🔥 featuring the finest new music we’ve heard in recent days. And this week was a good one full of epic pop guitar weirdness ( plus an excellent SWV cover) all of which I’m telling you is better than Gaga. You can listen on Soundcloud or Spotify below.

Listen on Soundcloud:

Picking Up Rocks · Weekly New Wonders Playlist # 17 !

Listen on Spotify:

https://open.spotify.com/playlist/7aNhnt0SvZy1pWEfotYvCQ?si=ZD0EK-AhQj-Whd4Zm4h_WA

Weekly New Wonders Playlist # 16 !

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Keeping it simple this week. Welcome to the latest Weekly New Wonders Playlist featuring our favorite songs from recent days. It’s a bit shorter than usual this week but that means you can give each one extra attention. All sweet, all swell, all🔥 !!!

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Weekly New Wonders Playlist # 15 !

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That is a photo of the actual kitchen in my childhood home in the ’80s. None more brown. And yes, there was carpeting in the kitchen because that’s how my Mom rolled (and still does so eat over the table please). The only thing missing from the picture is Daisy, our basset hound at the time…who was also brown. Just wanted to share something warm & fuzzy (literally) this week to help combat the restless mayhem for a minute. And with that, welcome to the latest WEEKLY NEW WONDERS PLAYLIST featuring the absolute finest new songs we’ve heard in recent days, all of them #1’s in a better parallel universe.

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Weekly New Wonders Playlist # 14 !

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“You should give him a chance, he really understands women”.

So said one 16 year old girl ( my friend) to another ( me) back in the early ’80s about the guy celebrating his 71st birthday this week, Billy Joel. This was a pretty commonplace topic for us. I would try to explain why The Police were the best & she would counter with her arguments in support of B.Joel. But nothing could change my mind. He had so many marks in the NO Column for me. He wasn’t British. He wasn’t rock star cute. A large part of his fanbase seemed to be grown ass adults. “Just the Way You Are” (ugh). “She’s Always a Woman to Me” ( make it stop). He was resolutely uncool & I was not interested in anything he had to offer.

At that point, avoiding him had become somewhat challenging. Not just because my closest friend worshipped him but because we were living on Long Island, Billy Joel ground zero, his birthplace. Make no mistake, on Long Island, Billy Joel was a God.

Back to high school. When Billy announced the tour to support his latest album at the time “The Nylon Curtain”, my friend bought tickets & then adamantly stated that we were going. The show was of course at freakin’ Nassau Coliseum meaning it was a “hometown show” so the hardcore, evangelical Lawng I-lind pride would be in full effect. It sounded slightly nauseating  but fine, whatever, I’ll go, jeezus.

My rejection plan remained in tact until about halfway through the show. Just like the infamous Simpson’s moment when Lisa spurned Martin & the exact point his heart burst was captured on national television, I remember the precise moment I started liking Billy Joel. There was a song on “Nylon Curtain” called “Goodnight Saigon”, an emotional reminiscence from the perspective of a Vietnam veteran. It’s a gigantic piano power ballad featuring the sound of helicopter blades over it’s opening notes. He started playing it & okay, it sounded kind of good. Then during the song about a dozen actual Vietnam vets came onstage, put their arms around each other & sang the pseudo chorus, “And we would all go down together”, swaying together from side to side. They were crying. Then, all of a sudden I was crying. I’d never cried at a show before in my life ( bad seats at Disney on Ice one year aside). It was embarrassing but also a little shocking to me. F-ing Billy Joel had infiltrated, he’d gotten to me. Boom.

That was it. I went out & bought the album the next day. Then, over time, welcomed the rest of his catalog into my life. Anyway, Happy 71st Billy, sorry I was such jerk to you as young one, I hope you can forgive me.

And now it’s time for the finest in new music. Welcome to the latest WEEKLY NEW WONDERS PLAYLIST, featuring the ABSOLUTE FINEST SONGS we’ve heard in recent days. Turn it up 🐝

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Weekly New Wonders Playlist # 13 !

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Hey Y’all, welcome to week 300 of this “thing”. I humbly offer a small, melodic salve in the form of this week’s WEEKLY NEW WONDERS PLAYLIST featuring the finest songs we’ve heard in recent days. You can listen on Soundcloud or Spotify (links below) & let it wash over you. I bow to all these artists as there are some particularly sweet things in there & it’s made this hell-scape seem slightly less hellish today which is an absolute blessing.

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Weekly New Wonders Playlist # 12 !

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This week, inspired by my brother’s recent fascination with the writings of brilliant author John Cheever, I decided to revisit a movie adapted from one of his stories that I hadn’t seen for years: 1968’s “The Swimmer” starring Burt Lancaster. And it totally blew my mind. It’s an otherworldly piece of art, about loss, delusion and the suburbs & is impossible to forget once you’ve seen it. It’s always been a ridiculously disorienting viewing experience & watching it right now made it feel even more so. The best quote I’ve ever heard about it came a few years back from actor Illeana Douglas when she said “If I had my way I would have a room in my house, all white & have this film playing on a constant loop, I would just walk in & get a few moments of Burt Lancaster in The Swimmer.  How can a movie be so enjoyable yet so disturbing at the same time ?”. Anyway, if you are looking for something to watch with the lights out & no other distractions, I heartily encourage you to check it out. It’s just like she said, dark & disorienting as hell yet crazily beautiful & f-ing amazing.

As if that weren’t enough, there were a TON of stunningly handsome new songs this week. Check ’em out below in the latest WEEKLY NEW WONDERS PLAYLIST featuring the finest tracks that crossed our radar over recent days. Also want to shout out the new altopalo album “farawayfromeveryoneyouknow” which is a damn fine record ( you can check that out below as well !).

*Quick FYI: The Laura Groves track, a brilliant cover of Bobbie Gentry’s “Courtyard” is only available on Soundcloud & Bandcamp as of this writing, so all you Spotify heads, please take a minute & check it out on those sites : it’s the best cover of the song I’ve ever heard and shouldn’t be missed !

Listen on Soundcloud:

Listen on Spotify:

 

And please check out altopalo’s farawayfromeveryoneyouknow”:

Listen on Soundcloud:

Listen on Spotify:

Weekly New Wonders Playlist # 11 !

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While rummaging around today I found this thing I drew about 10 years ago & it’s a real head scratcher. Not sure what I was trying to achieve. All I know for sure is that she is way, way cooler than me 🙂 But hey (!), it’s time for the latest WEEKLY NEW WONDERS PLAYLIST featuring a bunch of beauteous songs that are currently # 1 in some infinitely better alternate universe. They are all 🔥, check ’em out below, you can listen on Soundcloud or Spotify !

Soundcloud:

Spotify:

Weekly New Wonders #10 of 2020 !

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I drew a small creature to go with the latest WEEKLY NEW WONDERS PLAYLIST which is also small. There are weeks when there are so many good songs it’s difficult to edit the playlist into something lean & efficient…but this week we weren’t inundated with a lot of grand newies which is understandable. While there weren’t a ton of songs, there were definitely a handful of mighty fine ones. Check ’em out below….

Soundcloud :

Spotify:

PuR First Quarter Favorites⚡️!

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That bird up there is a Great Argus & it is by far the BEST bird I’ve seen in person in 2020 ( they have one at the Bronx Zoo) but I digress…..PuR is a very small & somewhat silly blog, so small it wouldn’t even qualify as a pin prick on the pinkie finger of Pitchfork…but I still get genuine joy from sharing new music & writing ridiculously self-indulgent essays about old “uncool” music  that require the patience of a saint to actually read all the way through. In other words, I love doing this.

In light of what is happening right now, in all the misery & uncertainty, it seems even more important than ever to say thank you & show some love even in the tiniest ways. With that in mind I wanted to shine a light on some of the most brilliantly wonderful songs & artists that have surfaced over the first quarter of 2020. I hadn’t planned on doing this, didn’t occur to me until last week but this stuff is medicine & I’m grateful it all exists right now. Hopefully you’ll discover ( or rediscover) something here that’ll warm your heart for a minute. Rock on y’all⚡️

🔥PuR First Quarter Favorites🔥

SONGS (in no particular order):

Talker: Personal Space

Talker aka Celeste Tauchar released an excellent EP titled Wax this year & “Personal Space” is an unadulterated highlight. A melodic marriage of vintage grunge, Julien Baker style crescendos & Avril Lavigne’s forever banger “I’m With You”, it’s a real stunner.

 

Clea: Soft Blow to the Head

If “Soft Blow to the Head” had been born in 1994, it would’ve been played in an endless loop on both MTV & the radio & would likely have found it’s way into a good old Gen X film soundtrack. It’s a sweet jangle with a defiant core & a bit of Belly, smidge of Sundays & ounce of Cardigans embedded in it’s memorable melody.

 

Laveda: L

“L” sounds like a tranquilized, dreampop version of the Smashing Pumpkins “1979”, it’s hazy, hooky & just so languorously lovely.

 

HEBE: Out Of Sight

Bit of a vintage Zero 7 vibe to this sweet pop groove that explodes into something special when it hits the bridge; things get quiet, HEBE’s lustrous voice hovers over a spare backdrop & then it’s boom, boom, boom hands in the air for a semi-manic all too brief coda.

 

The Satellite Station: Phantom

A theme song for driving in circles in an empty parking lot at 2 in the morning feeling alone, alone, alone, the type of thing there can never be enough of, especially if they’re as fine this.

 

Eliza Shaddad: Pure Shores

It seems wrong to exult this cover of All Saints 2001 megahit “Pure Shores” as the finest Eliza Shaddad has to offer since her original stuff is so freakin’ good…but gotta love how she toughened it up, turning the electronic pop anthem into a vintage 90s alt rocker with a sweet Liz Phair/ Juliana Hatfield vibe; it’s just sublime.

 

Snowgoose: The Making of You

Sandy Denny, the late legendary vocalist of Fairport Convention & Fotheringay as well as incredible solo artist in her own right, could make traditional centuries old folk songs sound like pop songs & pop songs sound like traditional centuries old folk songs. Glasgow’s Snowgoose make music that is cut from that same glorious cloth. “The Making of You” is regal, rustic & handsome & hearing a band doing songs in this vein, this well in the pop-infested universe of 2020 is revelatory.

 

Charli Adams: Cloverland Drive

Adams is a truly gifted country singer and songwriter & this evocative reminiscence brings to mind peak Trisha Yearwood namely 1993’s “The Song Remembers When” & it don’t get much better than that.

 

ALBUMS:

Ellis: Born Again 

One of the more striking characteristics of Ellis’s debut album is how nearly every track starts off quietly standing in the corner then invariably erupts into either a wall of stirring shoegaze or a melodic twanging tearjerker…which is a very roundabout way of saying there isn’t a single weak track on it and it’s a total treasure.

 

Steve Reidell: Duke (40th Anniversary)

Steve Reidell of Air Credits, The Hood Internet & Black Moth Super Rainbow covers nearly every track from Genesis’s pop-prog masterpiece from 1980, Duke with complete, unabashed love. The fact that it even exists is wondrous enough but that it has the audacity to be as good too, well, that’s just a beautiful bonus.

And for the millionth time, Phil Collins Genesis > Peter Gabriel Genesis

 

And lastly, my favorite video:

HULA are a super duo featuring Bktherula & Hook & this is an unbelievably simple video, created by the digggers that so perfectly suits & celebrates the song ( & HULA themselves), it’s impossible to separate the 2. Whoever chose the mall setting is clearly some kind of super genius 🙂

 

Weekly New Wonders Playlist # 9 !

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When things are chaotic & uncertain, it can be calming to follow a routine, as in get up at a certain time, eat at a certain time & so on. I’ve been doing this but have found my calm disrupted by an unexpected intruder, namely Questlove. For the past several weeks he has been doing live DJ sets that run from about 10pm to 130am ( or later !) every night & transmitting them via all the socials. In the short time he’s been transmitting, I have come to truly LOVE these things & have officially found myself at the “I can’t ever miss one” stage. My preferred way to watch & listen is on Instagram, mostly so I can see all the endlessly scrolling loved up, crazy comments of everyone else listening ( last night during his Bill Withers tribute there was extended conversation about grits happening).

You should probably know that being of the same deranged species As Questlove, namely HARDCORE MUSIC NERD ™, I have always longed to be his friend, have imagined detailed scenarios involving the two of us eating chips & sitting in front of a stereo with LP’s spread all over the floor yelling deranged hyperbolic things at each other about how the Five Stairsteps were really more gifted than the Jackson 5 or how everyone has slept on Tears For Fears “Seeds of Love “ album & they’re idiots.

His DJ sets are ridiculously eclectic, spanning all genres, & he often gets on the mike dropping in facts, anecdotes & opinions. And listeners respond to him at a furious pace; the scrolling never stops. And naturally when a song or opinion hits I too weigh in, secretly hoping he “recognizes” me & responds ( though nothing short of “I love your blog” or “let’s hang out” is going to satisfy me). The sensation of being ghosted in realtime when you can actually SEE the other person is both disconcertingly funny & soul crushing. Still I live in hope that Questlove will eventually come to his senses & realize that we are kindred spirits & will therefore continue to devote my every night to his endless sets. By the way I did that drawing of him up there with my ballpoint pen because I clearly care waaaaaay too much 😉

And with that, I invite you to head to the blog (link in bio) for the latest WEEKLY NEW WONDERS PLAYLIST , featuring the MOST HEARTSTOPPINGLY WONDERFUL NEW SONGS we heard this week. I genuinely hope you find a new friend.

Soundcloud:

Spotify: