So here we are finally on our knees waiting for the world to shake us off like a bad case of the fleas
With “The Fleas”, Frank Turner & Jon Snodgrass released a new song for the apocalypse. The song is from “Buddies II: Still Buddies”, a lovely, conversational record made by friends. It’s out now on Xtra Mile, and I think the vinyl is already sold out. Guess we’re all looking for friends who can soundtrack our apocalypse.
Last week, on election day, Phoebe Bridgers promised to cover Iris by the Goo Goo Dolls if Trump lost. He lost (even if he doesn’t agree yet and Trumpists are busy smashing into the guardrails of democracy) and Phoebe Bridgers made good on her promise. She recorded the cover together with Maggie Rogers, and the song is available today only on bandcamp, and proceeds go to Stacy Abrams’ voting-rights and advocacy organization Fair Fight.
In other words, the songs ticks all the boxes of this blog’s wishlist.
Lydia Loveless released a tremendous new record, Daughter, last Friday. It’s sad, twangy, rootsy and near perfect. Her voice is the beautiful match to her songwriting. There are many great songs on the album, including the singles Love is Not Enough, Wringer, and the album closer Don’t Bother Mountain. The stand-out track for me is September, a piano ballad about her childhood and teenage years. Loveless commented to Stereogum: “It allowed me to let go of a lot of pain, finally recording it, as it is a fairly old song I’ve never felt comfortable releasing.”
That feeling is palpable in the song. It’s the kind of song about being stuck in the wrong place with a right person, longing to leave the hellish place, and in that way made me think of the best moments of Bruce Springsteen, Tracy Chapman and Bright Eyes.
The addition of Laura Jane Grace’s voice in the chorus add extra depth and makes it perfect.
New(ish) John K. Samson song about fantasy baseball, fascist fuckers, the end of the world, demolished hope and helping “to organize something better, something beautiful”. So basically about the summer of 2020.
I highly recommend the debut novel by Olivia Wenzel.
“Etwas, das damit einhergeht, eine neue, gesunde Angst in dein Leben zu lassen – eine Angst, tief, wärmer und zerreißender als jede Angst um dich selbst, dein Leben, deine identitären Beffindlichkeiten es je sein könnten: eine Angst, gebunden an eine Liebe, so stark wie alles, was du bisher kanntest, mal 1000.”
“Something that goes hand in hand with a new, healthy fear in your life – a fear that is deep, warmer and more tearing than any fear of yourself, your life, your identity sensitivities could ever be: a fear bound to a love, as strong as anything you knew before, times 1000.”
1000 Serpentinen Angst is the great first novel by Olivia Wenzel. While browsing a bookshop recently, a friend recommended the book to me, especially referring to the book’s treatment of racism experiences of a Black person in Germany. And the novel is about that – in part. It’s also about (Black) life, (Black) joy, (Black) insecurities and (Black) fear in Germany. I was most impressed by the passages on the main character’s struggle with anxiety and the impact the disorder had on her normal life, her friendships and love. I recognized some of it, but the experience of being a Black queer woman in Germany adds extra layers of fear and complexity to the illness.
The story is told through constant dialogues between the main protagonist and a constantly shifting counterpart. The narrative form is fantastic, slightly experimental and really successful in transporting these complexities, more so than an omniscient narrator or inner monologues could. This narration of the protagonists life and her complex relationships, particularly to her loving yet racist grandmother and her ill and mostly absent mother, creates a tremendous pull. Fantastic.
I’m just going to go out on a limb here: You or Someone You Know by Worriers is my favorite record of the year. Such a perfect punk/power pop record – I listen to it when I’m happy, when I’m sad, when I’m sitting in the sun on my balcony, when I have to work too long once again. Headphones, speakers, smartphone – it always sounds great. The production is flawless. So warm, so smart, so great. The opening track, “End of the World” is the song of 2020:
Set my sights on the life that you get when you put the hard work in. Only to be told, keep your fingers crossed that they vote you a person. I apologize; you’ve been trying to go with the safer bet. It’s true I didn’t think that far, but how do you plan for the death of a safety net?
What can I possibly say, is it me or the end of the world? Cover your eyes and ears and hope I don’t notice and nothing hurts. It must weigh on you a bit, but it’s not me that has to fix it. Could you just hold on to me for now?
And their account is one of my favorites on Instagram, too.
“A Hero’s Death” is the new single by Fontaines D.C. The video is a great downward spiral with a Birdman-vibe, starring Aiden Gillen. The song is really terrific, and it soundtracked my end of the workweek yesterday. Sometimes hearing a postpunk reminder that
Life ain’t always empty Life ain’t always empty Life ain’t always empty Life ain’t always empty Life ain’t always empty Life ain’t always empty
Muff Potter released a new single and I’m so excited, I even reactivated my blog.
Last year, when I stood in the crowd of a frenetic, fantastic reunion show in Munich, I realized just how much I missed Muff Potter. I swiped away a tear or two and desperately hoped this wouldn’t be a one time thing, and there would be new literary, angry pop music by my favorite band.
A bit more than a year later, here is a new great single “Was willst du” and I’m so excited, I even reactivated my blog.