When you work at a record label, you get to listen to all the music you could want, not unlike when you work at a pizza shop, you get to eat all the pizza you want (or so legend says). But there’s still that same monkeys paw effect where the once gooey warm goodness of a fresh pepp pizza becomes a symbol for all of the salads you should have eaten; we listen to so much music for work that sometimes it can become difficult to just enjoy. Luckily, you can pivot from the scalding heat of active listening to the casual consumption of letting any ol’ album just spin in the background and see what happens. Here’s what filled the air in the FU:M offices for the month of October.
Skye Wallace – Bison Bison
Original lofi Skye Wallace. She references some of the field recording she did on this album in our recent Q and A.
Pixies – Trompe Le Mon
I know they don’t care, but man Pixies were awesome. I missed out on the original run of Pixies love (as did… well everyone but artists I guess?) and only manged to tap in via contemporary covers like Weezer’s “Velouria”.
The Inbreds – BSides
If this is your first exposure to The Inbreds this is kind of like watching the directors commentary version of a film before the movie. I’m not sorry, because I still love it, but I figure you deserve the context dear reader. I owe Mike O’neill of the Inbreds a beer for being really nice and sending me a tab for “Yelverton” hill via Instagram many moons ago. May finally get a chance to beer him at the TUNS show in Vancouver later this month.
LVL UP – Return to Love
WHY WON’T YOU EVER TOUR TO VANCOUVER LVL UP?! This new record is on Sub-Pop, get your Seattle overlords to get the cross border road trip happening! This new record is a master class in contemporary rock tones.
Sister Rosetta Tharpe – Gospel Train
It was incredibly hard to find an album that wasn’t a 20-40 track digital version of a 2 disc CD. I honestly don’t know enough about the history of this incredible woman to try and prove that statement, but there was some prolific rock on the go here and I can’t wait to delve deeper and learn more.
Bran Van 3000 – Glee
Say what you will about Can-con requirements, but I forgive all of its evils for enabling moments of magic like this to rise to prominence among the biggest hits of the era. Sure, “Drinking in LA” is the only song everyone knows, but start to finish this album is an experience unlike any I could have possibly accidentally discovered from Nova Scotian suburbia. As I recall the name of this band is in reference to a whack of money the lead Bran Vanian got for a film project with Marlo Brando, which he used to buy a ton of recording a music making gear which now exists in our smartphone with 30 dollars worth of apps. A collective rose to make use of the buttons, and this album is the result.
Pill Friends – Child Sacrifice
Look we eluded to the release of Pill Friends’ “Holy Like You” as a part of One Song at a Time! Aren’t we sneaky? Favourite track: Bleed.
Weezer – White Album
I don’t hate it. This puts us in the + column of my decades long abusive relationship with Weezer. California Kids was cowritten by Dan Wilson of Semi-Sonic, who fun fact, co-wrote Adele’s “Someone Like You”. So maybe I just like Dan Wilson? LA Girls is also awesome. Stay tuned for “San Francisco Dudes”.
Apollo Ghosts – Landmark
Queued this up after seeing Friday night of Japandroids residency at The Cobalt. Adrian Teacher and the Subs opened up, and 2/3 of that band used to be Apollo Ghosts, possibly my favourite Vancouver band of them all. This was their last record, and the track Landmark is a gift for all mankind.
The Hollies – The Hollies’ Greatest Hits
One of a handful of CDs I stole from my dad that I listened to in the rain via the old blue Dodge Caravan’s stereo through the tape adapter connected to my discman.
Preoccupations – Preoccupations
The Calgarians are post Viet Cong and back to the business of making me wonder if a song is too long or not.
Ryan Hemsworth – Alone for the First Time
I didn’t get a chance to really listen to this one. It’s a category of music I’m horrendously under-versed in – it’s not exactly electronic, it’s not straight up production ala Girl Talk … I don’t have enough coffee or time to really walk through this filing process with you but I like it’s pop bloops and beeps!
The Strokes – First Impressions of Earth
I have a strange relationship with The Strokes records. Though they all definitely have the same hundreds of hours of play time via my university roommates, I know every word to the first one, 80% of the second one, then it plunges to maybe 30% for this one, and on towards zero for the next 2 (8? I have no idea…). Yet every time I listen to First Impressions of Earth I’m right back in the zone, humming along to every riff, finding a near perfect balance. But upon completion it just fades away. The same thing happens to me when I listen to Phoenix’s “Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix”. Any doctors able to weigh in on this?
Johnny Foreigner – Johnny Foreigner vs Everything
While my on ramp to the Johnny Foreigner superhighway was the video for “Salt, Peppa, and Spinderella” in 2008, it’s this record which almost completely passed by unnoticed in 2012 that has solidified them in my musical pantheon. It’s gigantic, it’s cohesive, it’s got the tunes to get the night started, or come down for a bad week. Was absolutley thrilled to be able to work with JoFo on their One Song at a Time release for Flooding.
Eels – Shootenanny
Another episode of “Do I prefer Shootenanny or Souljacker?”, going into its 11th season.
Jeff Rosenstock – WORRY.
Only just been exposed to Jeff Rosenstock aka Bomb the Music Industry in the last year. This blast of amazing indie rock pop through me through a time tunnel to the likes of pre (and now finally post) breakup Reggie and the Fully Effect.
James Blake – The Colour in Anything
Didn’t really pay attention. Had heard earlier an anecdote about the James Blake record vs James Blake live experience and while I should have seen it coming, listening to this only got me half way to understanding.
Lady Gaga – Joanne
Gaga can still sing. Also didn’t really pay attention… was I actually working this day?
Rheostatics – Melville
“Record Body Count” is another one of those CanCon anomalies I mentioned above. This was the first time I ever listened to the record and now I definitely understand the Rheostatics legendary status.
Wait a Minute – Wipers
Put this on explicitly to listen to “Mystery” 10/10 would put on album for one song again.
Misfits – Walk Among Us
Phoenix – Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
One of my favourite records I always forget is a great record. One day I’m going to really pay attention and figure out what it does so successfully that other records don’t. I think it has something to do with the balance of vocals and drums vs everything, but I wouldn’t want to get in an internet fight about it yet. Was thinking about The Strokes thing I wrote above after hearing it at the coffee shop. Connected the experiential dots to Phoenix. Not quite the perfect little bow to wrap this recap of the months tunes as it would have been if The Strokes were in the lead of position but that’s the way life goes.
November’s Office Album playlist is already up and rolling. Check it out now on Spotify!