The Joup Friday Album: Courtney Barnett – Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit

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As someone whose preferred style of music (noisy or jangly guitars with catchy hooks) is deeply out of style at the moment, it’s rare that any artist comes along who catches my attention enough for me to even learn their name. I can’t think of an artist who has better managed to catch my attention in the last few years than Courtney Barnett. I heard her first single, “Avant Gardener” on the radio and liked it enough to turn it up every subsequent time I found it on the dial, enough to tell myself, “I should really download that EP so I can listen to it in the car,” but not enough to actually get around to downloading it.

The Joup Friday Album: Catholic Action – In Memory Of

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I listen to music all day long. Terrible, terrible music. My workplace plays a “lite hits” satellite radio station all day, making sure that I’m well-acquainted with the latest by Kelly Clarkson, Maroon 5, and Jason Mraz. I wake up with these terrible songs stuck in my head every morning. I get excited when they play some 80s wuss rock trash like Kenny Loggins or REO Speedwagon because it’s still a million times better than the contemporary stuff. I look forward to December every year because I will gladly take Christmas music over this crap.

Endless Loop: Vomit

girlsHave you ever had one of those songs that gets stuck in your head for days…weeks…years? Sure you have. These are the songs that always make the cut. The songs on repeat. We all have them. I have a ton. Welcome back to Endless Loop.

“Vomit” by Girls

“Nights I spend alone.  I spend ‘em running ‘round looking for you Baby.”

Basement Dwelling// Diiv: Is The Is Are

Heroin: For such a horrible substance, a lot of great art has been influenced by it. The Velvet Underground wrote a song about it (“Heroin”) The Flaming Lips made their best record under the influence of it (The Soft Bulletin) Acclaimed books which have been translated to acclaimed movies have been made about it (Trainspotting) Diiv’s new record Is The Is Are is a record about you guessed it… heroin addiction. Created in light of the arrest of Zachary Cole Smith and his girlfriend Sky Ferreira for drug possession Is The Is Are is a 17 track concept record that documents addiction in Diiv’s hazy white washed indie rock sound which in this context creates a literal soundscape to being strung out on smack. It’s a grim listen, but a highly rewarding one from an indie act that had a lot riding and a lot to prove with this album

The Joup Friday Album: The Radio Dept: Clinging To A Scheme

“People see rock n’ roll as youth culture, and when the youth culture becomes monopolized by big business what are the youth to do? Do you have any idea? I think we should destroy the bogus capitalist system that is destroying youth culture.” As a 16 year old who had been getting deeper and deeper into the world of music, hearing that quote (Spoken by Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth) and the music that followed is the kind of moment that sticks with any music fan. Hearing a song that is so damn perfect, so well written, means so much to you at that time that it sticks with you forever; that you never want it to end. That’s the experience I have anytime I hear the second track on this record: “Heaven’s On Fire.” The entirety of The Radio Dept’s third record Clinging To A Scheme  (2010) is just as joyful of an experience.

The Joup Friday Album: The Jesus Lizard – Blue

TJL_BlueIn 1998, I was working in Ohio at the Dayton Daily News as a page designer and copy editor. I was also just starting to dabble in music writing and criticism, thanks to the encouragement of the features editor there. His office was always full of promotional releases and cool freebies — this was in the music industry’s last Golden Age, so it was almost as though every day was an episode of “Storage Wars” based on the bounty you could find in one small office. He would invite me in and allow me to pick through the hundreds of CDs that would arrive each week, and I would select a few to review for what now seems like an obscenely large weekly entertainment guide, considering a lot of mid-range markets produce only an A- and B- news section these days. Ah, the ’90s.

New Music Enthusiast’s Club: i am Love

i am Love.coverarti am Love – i am Love

Think of all the kids you grew up with.  The ones taking music lessons after school.  The kids tinkering away on the piano, practicing their recitals.  The kids spending their afternoons learning the cello, or the violin, or the trumpet.  The band dorks.  The punk brats making a ruckus in their parents’ garages, banging and strumming away on their beginner’s drum kits and electric guitars.  The younger brothers and sisters rifling through their older siblings’ record collections and singing along in their bedrooms.  Think of those kids gathering together to create music, a circus folk rock troupe with flashes of Americana, post-punk, classic rock, new wave, and the Avant Garde all playing harmoniously like a choir of art school misfits.  A saxophone here.  A viola there.  A grand aural collage of different sounds, textures, instruments, and influences.  How glorious it must be.  And so we have the self-titled debut album from Philadelphia’s i am Love, a collection of pop songs created by a vast array of instrumentation and open, bleeding hearts.

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