It was absolute music: you can take Bach and play his music with a steel-drum band and it will sound like Bach. And you can orchestrate Monk’s solos and accompaniments for a salsa band and it will sound like Monk.

From a good article on Thelonius Monk and his music by jazz pianist and composer Fred Hersch on the Paris Review blog. It made me want to listen to Underground.

I guess I’m officially a bougie 30someting now. 

“Let’s hear it for your third attempt at trying to hack it in the real world”

“Snitch Jacket” is a great new song by Two Inch Astronaut, offering, as Lars Gotrich for NPR Music puts it, “real talk – whether you’re a 20-something or just endlessly haunted by past failures.” Two Inch Astronaut is post-punk in the same way I’m post-graduate. Potentially professional, perennially yearning. 

Two Inch Astronaut’s new record  “Can You Please Not Help” will be out June 2nd via Exploding In Sound Records

“Feel It Still” sounds like Portugal. the Man’s version of a Bruno Mars hit while being subtly political. The interactive video makes it more explicit and links to a number of ~progressive causes. The opposite of political sublety is of course the right-wing extremist conspiracy site InfoWars, and they decided to comment on the song.  As Stereogum sums up: 

In the case of that InfoWars scene, there’s a link to AdStrike, a site dedicated to boycotts that hopefully will cause advertisers to stop supporting right-wing sites like InfoWars. The InfoWars article includes reference to “an embedded ‘toolkit’ for social justice warriors” and ends with this delicious kicker: “Che Guevara and Karl Marx are proudly smiling up from hell.”

I assume Infowars thinks the references are insults. Anyway, I’m now even more excited about new music from one of my favorite bands. Thanks, InfoWars.

What’s Making Me Happy This Week: Alex Lahey

Alex Lahey’s EP B-Grade University is the brightest indie rock soundtrack of a post-college quarter life crisis I’ve heard in quite some time. Whether it’s the “9-to-5 headache”of “Ivy league,” the romance of “Wes Anderson” and the exploration of relationships in “Let’s Go Out” and “You Don’t Think You Like People Like Me“ Lahey’s songs are consistently charming, anthemic and on point. And her music videos are hilarious! The video for “You Don’t Think You Like People Like Me” is the best sports-themed rock band video since Jimmy Eat World’s Lucky Denver Mint. “Ivy League” is a louder version of Bob Ross. “Wes Anderson” is appropriately quirky. “Let’s Go Out” (above) is the broke, kalsarikännit expansion of Courtney Barnett’s “Nobody Really Cares If You Don’t Go to The Party.”

B-Grade University is out on Dead Oceans and a full length album is in the works for 2017.  The EP unfortunately isn’t available on Spotify in Germany yet, but buying it for the price of a Biergarten pint or a fancy coffee is cooler, anyway.