We have to force ourselves to do stuff
This week from Sam and Josiah (and sparkling Caleb)
I’m gonna be honest with you. Sam and I both forgot to do the newsletter this week. It’s straight-up dinner time right now, and I’m a busy bee working drone normie. The last thing I want to do is do the newsletter. Sam said there’s no new songs yet this year. I am tempted to agree and say let’s just eat dinner and Netflix and chill (not with each other). But we’ve also been trying to have lunch together for like 3 months and it keeps getting pushed. And I have a million projects I want to do but they keep getting brushed aside so I can do things like “rest” and “relax” and “work at a job.” It’s disgusting. We have to force ourselves to do stuff. And if there’s one thing I’m good at, it’s forcing us to do stuff.
Here’s what we’re listening to this week.
Ghostwork “Godspeed on the Trail”
Jos: Since Sam is likely molars-deep into some wet chicken right now, I figured I’d make his picks for him this week too. There’s actually tons of new shit already this year, and it’s so easy to find because there’s a bunch of other 40-year-olds just like us, trying to stay on top of new music if you look at Stereogum or BrooklynVegan. Easy as. Apparently this band features members of Seaweed, Minus the Bear, Milemarker and Snapcase, which makes it either a supergroup or a beer league. Sounds quite bad to me, but not my problem. This is Sam’s pick.
Sam: “You don’t even have to pick any songs. You’ll see.” Josiah, my good friend, you’ve done it again. This is sick! Thanks, man. When I said there was no new music I just meant I had no time to consciously listen to anything new besides the stuff I had missed from 2023 that I queued up over the break (this Kicksie album rocks but it’s from last April so I can’t write about it I don’t think?). But look at this, the world keeps turning.
Grey Skies Fallen “Knowing That You’re There”
Jos: See Sam, it’s not so hard… there’s some Staten Island melodic doom metal from Profound Lore. You must be on the Profound Lore mailing list, no? This starts kinda cool with some slow drones, and a music video that looks like one of those graphic novels that’s “indie” but not in a cool Drawn & Quarterly way, more like a stinky steampunk guy way. Okay the man has started singing and I desperately need to end my blurb so I can switch tabs and turn it off. But do you like it Sam?
Sam:Oh wow that’s a way of singing isn’t it. I knew from the drum sounds that this was not for me, but this hoarse baritone sealed the deal. Josiah, you’re still batting .500 which is great! You’re a thoughtful guy.
Flesh Tape “Gargoyle”
Jos: Damn you can find out about all kindsa stuff on these music blogs. Flesh Tape is playing the kind of shoegaze-adjace punk that is incredibly popular right now, but what’s funny to me is how much it sounds like the Alberta of my 20s. I know so many people who were riffing with this kind of explosive and jubilant rock, so many cool bands that were getting mad pass-agg with one another over who got to play second to 20 people at Broken City. But instead of making me mad, I just kinda love it. This band has a great drum sound, some creative and chunky riffing, and best of all the vocals aren’t trying to do anything special.
Sam: We were having dinner with some family over the break when my mom started describing a distant cousin who had quit their job to play in his “shoe staring” band. Took us all a second, I felt like I was in a sitcom, it was so beautiful, I love my mom. I don’t love this as much but it’s also really good!
The Lemon Twigs “My Golden Years”
Jos: Speaking of Alberta, there was this one musician from there who briefly became quite internet famous before becoming incredibly cancelled, and in that middle period I remember seeing his music opinions on Facebook. I remember him chastising people for listening to the Lemon Twigs, like it was some kind of normie-trying-to-be-hip Urban Outfitters music. Well, ____ ______, you’re not making music anymore because you are sketchy as all hell, so it’s not my problem! The Lemon Twigs are so good because they do have mass appeal, but they also have insane chops. Everything Harmony was awesome, and this tune is a huge power pop hit with a really fun video to go along with it. I love these little guys.
Sam: Oh wow I wish you could have put this in my picks but I get that I would never pick it. These harms! So lush! Love this (not as much as my mom) but will listen to it a lot now (probably more than my mom).
PREMIERE: sparkling Caleb The ghost doctor
Jos: Look, I think I’m softening on music writing for some awful reason, but one thing I still hate is the concept of publicity. (I even avoided listening to a known Cancon band that I would probably like who have a new song because their singer is a publicist.) But here’s something truly special — the debut album from our Discord mod and all-around too-cool-for-the-pod wiseman sparkling Caleb. I’ve been listening to The ghost doctor for a minute, and I’m lowkey in awe of the Title case magic that Caleb and his crew have crafted. There’s plenty of addictive looseness and even occasional jankiness, bits of Tim Kinsella and Dave Matthews and Nick Long, but it’s also just a clever and classic album of guitar pop that really makes me feel lowkey proud to have done any of the stuff we’ve done. Seriously, give it a listen. It’s out now on streaming services like Apple and Spotify and YouTube. “Go outside” is my favourite shit right now.
Caleb says, "Please consider taking a moment to visit https://www.gazaesims.com and purchasing a virtual SIM card for someone in Gaza before checking out the album."
Sam: I haven’t listened to this yet, so I’ve done what Caleb suggested - just purchased a SIM card and subsequently put on the album. And I’m pleased to report the album rocks, and I feel good about the other thing. Thank you for everything you do, Caleb. You are very talented and a good and kind and generous person.