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.
It was Vincent Van Gogh’s 168th birthday last week (!) and so there were a lot of news stories about the two touring virtual shows of his work. Both feature massive wall projections of paintings and are going for that complete physical immersion thing. The actual painting of “Starry Night” lives at MOMA in NYC. It is surprisingly unassuming in person being only 2′ 5″ x 3′ 0″ in size. But it’s also a superstar with a full time guard keeping an eye on it as endless “Starry” fans/stans take turns standing reverently before it and communing.
I took the pic above about 10 years ago at MOMA, of this couple spending a minute with “Starry”. Just before I took it, the companion of the woman in the wheelchair had pushed her up next to it and taken a photo of her smiling alongside it. She was ecstatic. Her companion then took her to view it from the front where she stared at it for a few minutes with complete, unabashed love. It was beyond moving and nearly made my heart explode (okay, I almost cried but held on and thankfully spared everyone). To this day, whenever I hear Van Gogh’s name, this is the first thing that pops in my head. Right, I hope you are feeling as misty as me right now.
Speaking of gorgeous and heart-squeezing art, it’s time for the latest WEEKLY NEW WONDERS PLAYLIST featuring the best new music that crossed our path this week. It was a very plush, lush, neon lit, glow pop kind of week. Come get immersed below…
While I wasn’t ever an ’80s glam-hair-pop metal hater, I was definitely never a fan. There’s only one song from the era I could say I ever spent genuine quality time with; the windblown, overwrought, mountainous power ballad “Don’t Close Your Eyes” by Kix which is slathered in all kinds of genius (watch here). “Don’t close your eye-eee-eyes!”. Anyway, I was one of those elitist new wave people back in the day (ugh) and could not have been less interested in the rest. Yet here I am immersing myself in the new book “Nöthin’ But a Good Time: The Uncensored History of the ’80s Hard Rock Explosion” by Tom Beaujour and Richard Bienstock. It features all the usual suspects including Mötley C, Poison, Ratt, Quiet Riot and yes a fair number of triumphantly offensive incidents are recounted (I’m 100% here for that). What’s weird is that it hasn’t made me want to listen to or revisit the actual music (though, okay, I like to watch the Mötley video for “Home Sweet Home” at least once a year just because). Still, I’m only halfway through the book so I suppose there’s still a glimmer of hope. “Don’t close your eye-eee-eyes!”
Welcome to the latest WEEKLY NEW WONDERS PLAYLIST featuring the finest new songs that have crossed our path over recent days. I know every week I say the songs within it are amazingly, heart-squeezingly good but I especially mean it this week. They are all surely occupying the # 1 spot in another galaxy. Listen below on Soundcloud or Spotify.
This is the last weekend of existence for the RoughTrade Shop In Brooklyn before they make the big move to NYC this summer. Over the years I’d scribbled a bunch of chalk drawings on the extremely bumpy walls there like a Rock and Roll cave person & wanted to post ’em one last time before they get hosed down forever. And there’s never a bad time to honor Poly Styrene (1st pic), Prince (2nd pic is lyrics to ‘I Would Die For You’) & smoking sheep (my spirit animal). And hey, it’s time for the latest WEEKLY NEW WONDERS PLAYLIST featuring the finest new songs that have crossed our path over recent days. They are handsome & lustrous heart barnacles & currently tied for # 1 in a glorious alternate universe. You can hear ’em all below on Soundcloud or Spotify.
Right, that’s one of my actual grade school spelling tests from when I was already a staggering 10 years of age. Troubling indeed. I also misheard my 7th grade Health teacher use the word “hores” instead of “pores” and naively, innocently and absolutely wrote an essay about skin that was basically full of whores (that I wish I still had). I’m trying to do better I swear…though if I ever form a band we are definitely gonna be called The Wendsday Whores.
But hey, it’s time for the latest WEEKLY NEW WONDERS PLAYLIST featuring the best new songs that have crossed our path over recent days. This weeks batch is simultaneously ethereal, dirty and windblown and righteously beautiful in every way. Listen below on Soundcloud or Spotify.
Back in the ’90s, like many nerds, I spent an exorbitant amount of time making mix cds. Once the 21st Century arrived and the glorious iPod was introduced into the universe, my indulgent compilation factory pretty much ceased operation ( unless of course there was someone new to “impress”). Now part of the fun of creating these oh so painstakingly curated little monsters was getting to create a spectacular cover to represent their contents. Something iconic like say Sticky Fingers or Sgt.Pepper. An unforgettable image that perfectly captured all the emotion and the intensity of feeling within the disc. I recently came upon this little diamond (circa 199?) which, I don’t know, lands somewhere between Van Gogh and Andrew Wyeth maybe? While the cd itself leads off with New Order’s bouncy “Regret”, it closes with David Sylvian’s handsome, funereal pop dirge from 1987, “Let The Happiness In”, which after careful lyrical analysis appears to be the inspirational source of the sad, sloppy, sharpie cover art. Here’s an actual verse from the song:
I‘m waiting on the empty docks Watching the ships come in I’m waiting for the agony to stop Oh, let the happiness in
I know. It just got dark in here. But I swear it really is a beautiful song. My messy depiction of “sad” in no way represents its genuine majesty. But hey, I tried.
Right enough of that, it’s time for the latest WEEKLY NEW WONDERS PLAYLIST featuring the finest new songs that have crossed our path over recent days. They are the height of loveliness and currently topping the charts over on Earth 2. You can listen on Soundcloud or Spotify below. Let the happiness in…
That is the Svalbard Global Seed Vault in Norway. It is the world’s largest seed storage facility and was built to withstand nearly any type of global disaster. It contains duplicates of all the world’s seeds in case food production needs to be restarted if the supply is in peril. It is in a state of permafrost so even if all the power goes down, the seeds stay fresh. Crates of seeds are sent to Svalbard from all over the world to be stowed safely and securely in cold, dry vaults. Right, I am inexplicably fascinated with this place, both the building and the premise behind it. I have actually fantasized about what it would be like to work there which is incredibly weird and frankly I don’t understand either. And yes, I have used pictures of this thing as wallpaper. No sunsets or mountains for me, nope, give me a Norwegian seed storage facility built for doomsday scenarios any day. And so yeah, you can research after you read this and join my one person SGSV fan club where all we do is read about and look at pictures of it, as well as watch video tours, for reasons we can’t quite pinpoint.
Hey! It’s time for the latest WEEKLY NEW WONDERS PLAYLIST featuring the finest new songs we’ve heard over recent days. They are beautiful starlit anthems to the last and all are currently tied for #1 on the PuR top of the pop chart. You can hear ’em below on Soundcloud or Spotify. I also attached a link for the new Julien Baker album Little Oblivions, which is equal parts intense, rockin’ and tuneful and just plain good.