Jerry Paper — Vol. I

Jerry Paper — Vol. I

Digitalis LTD; 2012

Can I be honest without sounding like a douchey elitist for a moment? It’s hard to find good music these days.

Deep breath.

To clarify, I mean really great music, with an all-around flair for instrumentation and mood and songwriting — oh man, how I love a well-written song. There’s plenty of people out there trying it, and honestly, they’re doing a very good job about it. There are albums out there that I crave sometimes, and artists whose output I’ve been waiting for on the edge of my seat. I mean, if it wasn’t good, I wouldn’t really listen to it, right? And I listen to a lot of music.

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Spotlight: Western Mirroring

The's - Golden Hits of the'sI’m no vinyl junkie, but I do enjoy the occasional record now and then. The more damage, the better. That punchy analog sound pairs great with a few years’ storage next to a leaky basement pipe.

But even without water damage, the sound you can find on some of the best shitty compilations is something a lot of newer bands have been trying to emulate over the last few years. (Listen to a little Dirty Beaches and see if you don’t get that vibe.) Some people call it inspiration, some call it theft, but whichever is closer to your opinion, it can’t be denied that this sort of “borrowing” is the foundation of a large part of the music culture. Where would Animal Collective be without the influence of tribal African percussion? Or how would the story of the Beatles have gone without the overt impact of Indian classical music?

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California X — S/T

California X — S/T

Don Giovanni; 2013

Being an invested music fan is an affair that involves repeated existential crises that come without warning and may linger with you for the rest of your life. Anyone who spends enough time paying attention comes up with their own preferences, guilty pleasures, and yes, an inevitable smugness that comes with loving one thing and hating another. There are always bands and albums you love, hate, love to hate, and hate to love, and those lists are always getting longer, shorter and revising themselves with age. The constant is two-fold: a love for the craft, and ostensibly more immediately, a love for how the music makes you feel. Continue reading

Spotlight: Bittersweet

Times Square after New Year's Eve

Photo by Gary Wong

A new year is here, and while 2013 brings untold promises of the future, even the brightest hellos often come at the price of bittersweet goodbyes. Couple that with the holiday season, when emotions run rampant among family and friends and the longest stretches of night rule the sky, and you’ve got a favorite time of year for those who like the occasional wallowing session. Every once in a while, everybody wants to listen to songs that make them feel worse than they really do.

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