EPs and Singles I Enjoyed, 2022 Vintage

In no particular order:

  • Paramore — This is Why
  • New Pagans — Rollercoaster
  • Ted Leo — For Coit and Killie
  • Steady Holiday — People Taking Pictures of Each Other (feat. Bedouin)
  • New Pagans — Better People
  • ACR — Healthy
  • Cop Funeral — What if Life Wasn’t a Problem
  • Storefront Church — Words (Low cover)

※ Phoebe Bridgers Releases Holiday Track “So Much Wine”: Listen

Phoebe Bridgers Releases Holiday Track “So Much Wine”: Listen:

Christmas covers queen (and soon-to-be Sally in London’s Nightmare Before Christmas concerts) Phoebe Bridgers is sharing a new holiday reimagining, as has become her annual tradition.

After recording covers of “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas,” Tom Waits’ “Day After Tomorrow,” Merle Haggard’s “If We Make It Through December,” Simon & Garfunkel “‘7 O’Clock News / Silent Night” (with Fiona Apple and The National’s Matt Berninger), and McCarthy Trenching’s “Christmas Song” with Jackson Browne, Bridgers has dropped a new cover of the Handsome Family’s “So Much Wine.” Proceeds from the track will go to the Los Angeles LGBT Center.

Jump to the article to get to the links. I already made my Bandcamp purchases.

※ Band To Watch: Fievel Is Glauque

Keen listeners might recall I played them on last week’s show, “the Perfect Idiot” off of last year’s God’s Trashmen Sent To Right The Mess. It’s a lofi jazzy number I find enticing listening.

Band To Watch: Fievel Is Glauque:

Even if you’re finding Fievel Is Glauque through the dystopian choices made by the algorithm of your choice, it still feels like you’re unearthing something archaic and unsung. The globetrotting duo’s output sounds like it should adorn the grooves on the type of long-forgotten LP you could stumble upon in the back of a dusty record shop. It makes sense why: The band was co-founded by Brooklyn-by-way-of-Brattleboro, Vermont avant-garde veteran Zach Phillips. He spent the 2010s using his anti-capitalist, no frills temperament to shape the label OSR Tapes while he also played in underground acts like Blanche Blanche Blanche, Grendel’s Mother, and Perfect Angels. Fievel Is Glauque finds Phillips building upon this unique background, teaming up with Brussels, Belgium-based singer Ma Clément for an enigmatic band that thrives on curmudgeonly spontaneity.

Phillips and Clément were introduced by their mutual friend (and soon to be collaborator) Eric Kinny back in 2018 during a moment of serendipitous chaos. Phillips was subletting a friend’s studio in Brussels for a spell, loosely working on some music but mostly on vacation. Things took an unexpected turn when Phillips hit his temple on a pole and knocked himself out for a second. Worried that Phillips might experience a head injury, Kinny called a coworker who’d studied nursing to diagnose him. That colleague ended up being (you guessed it) Clément, who, upon meeting them at a bar, decided Phillips didn’t have any warning signs of a concussion or hemorrhage. “We met because we needed to meet. That’s my interpretation of the events,” Clément cryptically tells me over Zoom.

Phillips and Clément hit it off and started working on music together, eventually enlisting a fluid crew of collaborators to flesh out their ideas. The end result was Fievel Is Glauque’s 2021 release, God’s Trashmen Sent To Right The Mess, a 20-track, 34-minute record issued in mono. “Some of those recordings are from, like, literally the first time we all hung out and played through some songs,” says Phillips. “It’s very unprofessional.” The record sounds a bit like it was recorded with a potato (I’ve fondly described the endeavor’s sonics as cardboard box-esque to friends before), but it inventively blurs the lines between bossa nova, mid-century pop, and freewheeling jazz nonetheless. And if you’re wondering what the hell the band name means, it’s fittingly haphazard and inexplicable. Fievel is a character from the children’s animated film series An American Tale (which Phillips and Clément refuse to ever watch) and “glauque” is a French word for a dodgy shade of bluish gray. Nothing about their early music is particularly polished or sensible. But it laid an intriguing blueprint for a band whose future was uncertain, given the constraints of impending distance.

“It’s great and it’s annoying at the same time,” Clément says, when asked about the impact that being an intercontinental project has on Fievel Is Glauque’s process. “Like, we cannot really get sick of each other because it’s so short when we meet, usually. But it’s so intense. It has to all happen during those few weeks when we meet. And then nothing happens, so it’s, like, waves. It’s very unclear.”

Fievel Is Glauque’s proper debut album, Flaming Swords, came to life while Phillips was once again living in Brussels. The music was written more gradually this time around. Clément would go over to Phillips’ space once or twice a week to write. They did this around 25 times, and these sessions yielded roughly 20 songs. Clément claims to be shy, so they occasionally tried a wordless process when working on this batch of music. Over tea, she would sing melodic fragments, which Phillips would try to match on the piano. They’d communicate nonverbally, embracing a faith-based mentality that Phillips describes as “arcane.” Slowly, the snippets would line up and the structures set themselves. It helped the duo not to get too caught up in debates over themes and vibes. Clément’s verse frequently takes cadence and harmony into account more than meaning. She fills in the blanks once the vocal patterns have already been settled upon. This element of abstraction infuses her singing with an essence of idiomatic psychedelia. “As steam stays under the lid/ Rumor stays right and grammar stays hid/ By parting the leaves you meet the sublime/ And there a fake you find/ Just a comedy of bogus touch,” she sings over a rollicking, fluctuating instrumental on the single “Save The Phenomenon.”

Fievel Is Glauque walked into the sessions surrounding Flaming Swords with a more defined outline than the one they had for God’s Trashmen. The recordings present a snapshot of the frantic-but-chill energy that birthed them. After getting approved for a residency at the Brussels workspace/venue VOLTA, Phillips and Clément asked a group of six musicians (guitarist/bassist Anatole Damien, bassist/guitarist Raphaël Desmartes, alto saxophonist Johannes Eimermacher, drummer Gaspard Sicz, studio wiz Ryan Power, and Kinny on pedal steel) to be a part of the record. They rehearsed nine full times on 20 songs, going off of charts that Phillips had drawn up. After playing a couple shows, they went back to the studio and laid these 18 cuts live to tape in a single block. “That was a really long day,” Phillips says. “I got there at, like, nine in the morning and we didn’t leave until 1AM.” As a tragic nightcap, Clément ate shit on her bike on the way home from the studio. When I joke that accidents seem to follow the band, both members laugh in agreement. “We love concussions,” Clément jokes wryly.

The songs on Flaming Swords move fast. The longest, the bubbly closer “Clues Not To Read,” clocks in at just under four and a half minutes. But the other 17 tracks all hover around or below the two minute mark. “Little Bad Miracle” plays like a number from some bizarre musical meant to be staged in an old burlesque theater. “4000 Rooms” is jittery and ornate, loungey guitar chops peeking out from behind funky horns. Meanwhile, the lush electric piano burbles on “Days Of Pleasure” land in between the stylings of Weldon Irvine and Mahavishnu Orchestra. The flighty curtness that underlines the record is probably just the logistical byproduct of an unusually speedy creation process. But it’s also what keeps things digestible and gripping – a necessary contrast to the album’s trippy aural murk.

Phillips and Clément claim to be hostile to the notion that they’re influenced by other contemporary bands. Instead, they point to travel, obscure Uruguayan music, and the natural ecosystem that has arisen from members of their ever-evolving backing band as their main sources of inspiration. (After our interview, Phillips emails me a sprawling list of 28 musicians who have played in Fievel Is Glauque’s lineup so far.) While the music certainly dwells in its own universe that feels intentionally isolated from current trends, it calls to mind the hypothetical outcome of Times New Viking and Sonny Sharrock co-producing an album from an indie pop band like Crumb.

The music itself comes over every other part of being a band for Fievel Is Glauque. When I ask a question based on the new record’s liner notes, at first both members seem sort of baffled that press materials accompany the album. Clément tends to be pretty elusive and reserved. But once she and Phillips start bantering, the nurturing chemistry between them becomes apparent. He often coaxes answers out of her, which typically end up manifesting themselves as flowery, poetic tangents. Clément lived a lot of lives prior to starting Fievel Is Glauque – she attended both nursing and architecture schools, lived in Germany and France, was a painter, and wrote some melodies for a defunct hard rock band – but she was never actually a performing musician. Over video chat, it’s easy to see how much Phillips believes in her talents and gently nudges her out of her shell. Her path into the world of experimental music might not have been conventional, but she’s a gifted autodidact whose lack of theoretical knowledge helps offset the headiness of the complex arrangements that support her vocals.

※ Gladie’s Augusta Koch Got Sober And Made An Amazing Album About It

Gladie’s Augusta Koch Got Sober And Made An Amazing Album About It:

The album was produced by Schimelfenig, whom Koch originally met when he produced Cayetana’s two full-lengths. “It’s funny, because I’ve always been like, ah, I don’t wanna be in a band with my partner,” she says. “But it’s really nice, ’cause I’m very self-conscious and pretty hard on myself, and it’s nice to have someone where you can feel comfortable enough to share a song [that is] very vulnerable. It’s been a very safe place for me.” She explores their relationship across the album, on tracks like “Soda” and “Hit The Ground Running,” on which she sings: “I wanna love you in the way that you still feel free” — a mantra inspired by bell hooks’ All About Love.

“Especially since I got engaged during the pandemic and I never thought I would get married, I was like, how do I want to love people, and how do I want to be loved?” Koch explains. “After reading that book I was like, I wanna create my own ethic, and especially before I commit to marrying someone. [“Hit The Ground Running”] was me thinking about all these things, and the ways in which we show up for each other in these huge shifts. This is so funny, but I think the most romantic thing that ever happened to me was when I got sick, Matt did all of my injections for me. I really [have been] able to take a look at my relationship and how my partner does show up for me, and how I wanna be better.”

Underscoring all of these life changes, and the entire album, was Koch’s newfound sobriety. Drinking was a problem she had always been aware of, particularly having spent her adult life in the alcohol-heavy world of punk music. Since she was no longer going to shows or working behind a bar, the pandemic felt like a perfect opportunity to give quitting a try. “I think it’s mostly what all the songs are about at their core, because the one thing I wish I knew when I stopped drinking was that you would just have a lot more feelings,” she says. At one of the first shows Gladie played post-lockdown, opening for Slaughter Beach, Dog, Koch had a panic attack on stage. “That straight up had never happened to me before in my life. It was horrible, but it was like, at least I’m living in my reality,” she says. “I’m a very, very anxious person, and that’s definitely why I drank a lot, I realized. So trying to play shows again, and now I’m back working at the bar — doing that and not drinking anymore was like, holy shit, this is like a whole new person.”

She adds, “[Drinking is] a tool to get through life, and when you don’t have it you create new tools for survival. Like, never in a million years would I think I would be the type of person to read before bed and drink tea and wake up and do yoga — I would laugh hysterically at that version of myself, but I’m happier doing those things now. I always talked about mental health in Cayetana, and I think in my heart I knew that I would never be able to really work on my mental health if I was still drinking. And since I’ve stopped and I’ve found the best therapist, I’ve been able to work on my mental health in the way that I needed to for years.”

With the release of Don’t Know What You’re In Until You’re Out, Koch feels ready to embrace a new vision of her life and career. “I feel a healthier sense of self, that isn’t tied to music; I’m more secure in [myself], and feeling a better sense of personhood,” she says. “I am trying to appreciate things as they happen, instead of worrying about what other people think as much. I remember Cayetana being on best of the year lists, and I was so depressed at the time. And now I’m like, ‘I wish people liked my new band, and I wish I could be where I used to be,’ but none of that stuff really matters in the long run. I love making music, music is what saves my life, music is what makes me feel good. I wanna make music that makes people feel any type of way, and not worry about all the stuff that really doesn’t matter.”

I preordered the new album and listen to the two early release tracks on a regular basis. Happy to have the whole album in my hands.

Papa Jojo Radio Show for Thursday 10 Nov 2022

Dear Friends,

Welcome to another edition of the Papa Jojo Radio Show on WAWL.org! Pleased as punch to be back with y’all!

The show pays tribute to some artists recently lost: Loretta Lynn, Mimi Parker from the band Low, and Jeff Cook from the band Alabama.

The 6 O’Clock Hour

  • R.E.M. – What’s The Frequency, Kenneth?
  • Angel Olsen – All The Good Times
  • Sharon Van Etten – Mistakes
  • Shovels & Rope – St. Anne’s Parade
  • Alabama – Song of the South
  • Elle King – America’s Sweetheart
  • Loretta Lynn – You Ain’t Woman Enough to Take My Man
  • Soccer Mommy – Feel It All The Time
  • Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Maps
  • Low – More
  • Sundays, The – Here’s Where The Story Ends
  • Alvvays – Pharmacist
  • Paramore – This is Why
  • Beatles, The – One After 909
  • John Hammond – 2:19

The 7 O’Clock Hour

  • Jonathan Coulton – Ikea
  • New Pornographers, The – Brill Bruisers
  • A.C. Newman – Encyclopedia of Classic Takedowns
  • Neko Case – People Got A Lotta Nerve
  • Low – Monkey
  • Jack Johnson – Don’t Look Now
  • Alabama – Mountain Music
  • Courtney Barnett – Write a List of Things To Look For
  • gladie – Born Yesterday
  • Loretta Lynn – You’re Looking At Country
  • Kathleen Edwards – Back To Me
  • They Might Be Giants – You’re On Fire
  • Parquet Courts – Walking at a Downtown Pace
  • Brandi Carlile – Broken Horses
  • Band of Horses – Crutch
  • Avett Brothers, The – Slight Figure of Speech

The 8 O’Clock Hour

  • Smithereens, The – Out of This World
  • Alabama – The Closer You Get
  • Jocelyn and Chris Arndt – Popcorn
  • Dazy – Crowded Mind (Lemon Lime)
  • Loretta Lynn – Harper Valley, P.T.A.
  • Tori Amos – God
  • Wilco – Taking It Out On You
  • Low – Holy Ghost (Live on KEXP)
  • Richard and Linda Thompson – I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight
  • Waterboys, The – The Whole of the Moon
  • Fievel Is Glauque – “The Perfect Idiot”
  • David Bowie – Young Americans
  • Syd Barrett – Effervescing Elephant
  • Wet Leg – Wet Dream
  • Japanese Breakfast – Slide Tackle
  • Beths, The – Expert in a Dying Field

Papa Jojo Radio Show for Thursday 29 Sept 2022

Minor studio chaos, but the show goes on!

The 6 O’clock Hour

  • Guadalcanal Diary – Pray for Rain
  • Courtney Barnett – If I Don’t Hear From You Tonight
  • Brendan Benson – Spit It Out Now
  • Duran Duran – Notorious
  • Pet Shop Boys – Opportunities
  • Carolina Chocolate Drops – Hit ’em Up Style
  • Matt Bohannon – Dew Drop In
  • Postal Service, The – Such Great Heights
  • Jenny Lewis – Wasted Youth
  • Aterciopelados – Uno Lo Mio Y Lo Toyo
  • Maggie Rogers – Want Want
  • Phoebe Bridgers – Motion Sickness
  • Björk – atopos
  • They Might Be Giants – Cloisonne
  • Haim – Lost Track

The 7 O’clock Hour

  • Kinks, The – The Village Green Preservation Society
  • Steady Holiday (feat. Bedouine) – People Take Pictures of Each Other
  • Kinks, The – Picture Book
  • Ditty Bops, The – Ohh La La
  • New Pagans – Better People
  • Angel Olsen & Sturgill Simpson – Big Time
  • Breeders, The – Happiness is a Warm Gun (Beatles cover)

The remainder of the hour was played off of CD while troubleshooting issues. I’ll try to resuscitate the listing.

The 8 O’clock Hour

Played Throwing Muses’ 1986 eponymous release. See this post for more information. Tracks marked ※ are from the Doghouse demo or the Lonely Is An Eyesore compilation.

  1. Call Me
  2. Sinkhole ※
  3. Green
  4. Hate My Way ※
  5. Rabbits Dying
  6. America (She Can’t Say No) ※
  7. Fear
  8. Stand Up
  9. Raise The Roses ※
  10. Soul Soldier
  11. And A She Wolf After The War ※
  12. Fish ※
  • Belly – Feed The Tree

New (To Me) Music: New Pagans

Somewhere in the miasma of my music news fire hose someone [Stereogum, it seems – pj] mentioned New Pagans, a guitar forward & drum driven punk-ish rock band out of Northern Ireland. I listened to their two recent singles, fell in love, and bought both and their latest release.

New Pagans remind me of The Breeders and Silversun Pickups in all the best ways.

Forthcoming: WAWL 220929 Edition

UPDATE: The show this week is postponed to next week due to unforeseen circumstances. Do tune in next Thursday, 29 September, at 6pm EDT.

Thursday’s show @ 8pm highlights Throwing Muses’ ‘86 LP Throwing Muses, originally untitled & was 4AD’s first US release, from the ‘98 compilation In A Doghouse. It’s a 2-CD collection that includes the original demos, sadly out of print but might see a rerelease soon. Don’t confuse this album with the very different 2003 record, also self-titled.

Dear friends, in the 6 and 7 o’clock hours I’ll play new music from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Beths, Matt Bohannon, Maggie Rose, a live song from Courtney Barnett, and other tasty aural treats.

Tune in to WAWL.org at 6pm EDT and look here at PapaJojoRadio.com for the track list. Requests are welcome at +1.423.697.4406 and at @papajojoradio on Twitter.

 

※ Hear This: Death Cab For Cutie

Check out Asphalt Meadows.

In Here to Forever, a single from Death Cab for Cutie’s brand new album, Ben Gibbard sings, “In every movie I watch from the ’50s / There’s only one thought that swirls Around my head now / And that’s that everyone there on the screen … Well, they’re all dead now.” It’s a classic line that instantly defines a common feeling we experience as we get older. The band’s new album hits many of these notes by taking aim at our communal experiences such as living through the pandemic. Add that to one of the best voices out there, and it’s a winner.

(via NextDraft)

Papa Jojo Radio Show for Thursday 15 Sept 2022

This is being updated as we go:

The Six O’Clock Hour

  • Rock Lobster – The B-52s
  • Ana Ng – They Might Be Giants
  • Shotgun – Soccer Mommy
  • Siouxsie & the Banshees – Kiss Them For Me
  • Better – Cowboy Mouth
  • Lost Track – Haim
  • Silence is Golden – The Beths
  • Near Wild Heaven (R.E.M. cover) – Death Cab for Cutie
  • Baby I’m Coming Home – The Black Keys
  • Superstar – Beach House
  • Bad Habit (Steve Lacy cover) – Wet Leg
  • Little Red Corvette – Prince
  • Jubilation Day – Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers
  • The Getting By II – The Killers w/ Lucius
  • You’re On Fire – They Might Be Giants

The Seven O’Clock Hour

  • Lucky – Two Doors Cinema Club
  • Grace – Marcus Mumford
  • Color of the Blues – John Prine w/ Susan Tedeschi
  • Ships In The Harbor – Tommy Prine
  • I am the Moon – Tedeschi Trucks Band
  • Lucky Ones – Julien Lennon
  • Naked – Finneas
  • Kissing Lessons – Lucy Dacus
  • Need to Know Basis – Ben Harper
  • Records – Weezer
  • My Babe – Spoon
  • Collateral Damage – Shovels & Rope
  • Dougou Badia – Amado & Miriam w/ Santigold
  • Disparate Youth – Santigold

The Eight O’Clock Hour

  • Big Time – Angel Olsen w/ Sturgill Simpson
  • Raised by Wolves – The Interrupters
  • Horizontal Mambo – Here Come The Mummies
  • Photosynthesis – Frank Turner
  • A Tip From You to Me – Jack White
  • Never Say Never – The Linda Lindas
  • Moonlight Drive – Blondie
  • For What It’s Worth – Stevie Nicks
  • Best Left – The Beths
  • Walking at a Downtown Pace – Parquet Courts
  • Re: Your Brains – Jonathan Coulton
  • Never Be a Cool Girl – Phoebe Katis
  • Supernatural – Barns Courtney
  • Burlesque Desert Window – Trampled By Turtles
  • Love Me More – Mitski
  • If I Don’t Here From You Tonight – Courtney Barnett