You know that thing where you’re minding your own business, and you randomly stumble on music from a band you hadn’t heard before, and then you discover that they’ve got well over a decade’s worth of interesting music, and song after song comes up gold, and you realize that the last time you really got heavily into a new musical artist was before the Obama administration, and it feels like there’s this huge wealth of creativity and talent available online that you just haven’t been paying attention to, and so you pledge to seek out music that’s new to you and share it once a week, but even into the second week of that pledge you remember that you find 99.99% of popular music boring, and you’d much rather just keep listening to your favorites over and over again?
Yeah, turns out I always underestimate how rare talent and originality are, and over-estimate how much I’m missing out by not staying up to date. I’m still pledging to keep looking for new stuff — since it’s such a thrill to find it, even if everyone else has already heard it by the time I do — but I’m concerned that in three weeks I’ll be reduced to being the middle-aged guy who goes online to say “Hey have you guys heard about this new band Vampire Weekend?!”1Just for purposes of illustrations. I’ve tried multiple times to get into Vampire Weekend, and they just don’t do it for me.
So I’m not expecting this to turn into a Dirty Projectors fan page — although really, would that be a big loss? — but I’m finding more stuff I love even as they’re putting out new EPs for me to look forward to.
Two favorites at the moment: “Gun Has No Trigger” from 2012, which sounds kind of like they were doing a James Bond theme on spec, and ended up with something better than most of the actual James Bond themes. I like the part where they scream.
Slightly newer is “Cool Your Heart” from 2017, which also has a remix by Ludwig Goransson that, unlike any other remix I can remember hearing, turns a weird, somewhat experimental song into an even more conventional version. The video for the official version is perfect, as if they’d wanted to make a traditional hip hop video and decided to film it at the entrance to the Black Lodge.
- 1Just for purposes of illustrations. I’ve tried multiple times to get into Vampire Weekend, and they just don’t do it for me.