This week’s band of the week has been around since the 90′s, but they’re still great, and they’ve still got some dedicated fans who love them, and that’s all you need to know. But not really. The rest is down below and the band of the week is…
So, this Scottish, 90′s power-pop band will likely go down in the history books for one shitty reason, which is that their 1991 album Bandwagonesque beat out Nirvana‘s Nevermind, My Bloody Valentine‘s Loveless, and REM‘s Out Of Time for Spin‘s 1991 album of the year. Talk about pulling a Kwarka (oh, snap!). Yeah, all of those other bands have since gone on to cement their legendary status, while last week Teenage Fanclub played…The Horseshoe.
Alright, I’m being a little harsh. Greatness is clearly not defined by popularity or popular opinion otherwise Lady Gaga would be about ten billion times greater than Big Star, and hopefully, if you’re reading this, you know that’s not the case. And to TF’s credit, a lot of people were psyched about that Horseshoe show, as my twitter wall proved.
Fact is, Bandwagonesque is a very solid album, though it’s no Loveless (not by a long shot). And it’s not like Teenage Fanclub just made that and one or two other albums then disappeared, lost their frontman due to his committing suicide, or sucked for ten years like some bands. Their 1993 follow-up, Thirteen, is probably just as good if not a little better than Bandwagonesque, and 1997′s Songs From Northern Britain is also very legit. Sometimes they’re a legit too cozy and cushiony for me to really get into hardcore, but it’s never hard to enjoy their songwriting.
Also cool, Teenage Fanclub‘s post-millenial stuff has the added benefit of not sounding like it was made in the 90′s, which is probably also why recent albums by Dinosaur Jr. and Robert Pollard are in many ways their best work; 90′s production was just really, really lame. TF’s latest album, Shadows, in particular, really does sound like a band continuing to move forward rather than just juicing the past for all it’s worth. So yeah, that’s really good. Check it out.
Lately I’ve been obsessed with this new song, “Strange Feeling”. It’s just him with electric guitar and maybe a little synth or sample padding in the background and it’s gorgeous, and then there’s the lyrics, which are so simple and innocent that they send shivers down my spine: “I knew a man/who was shaking some hands/I tell everybody, oh what a man/I met tonight/He was smart and very kind.”
Sometimes you find out about a band and you’re like, “uh, why aren’t these guys super fucking famous?” This week’s band of the week is like that. They just made an album that’s a total fucking masterpiece and it rocks and you should hear it NOW! The band of the week is… SUNSET!!!
Carrying on in the tradition of walking the thin line between classical music and psychedelic rock (see: The Moody Blues‘ Days of Future Past or The Rolling Stones’ Their Satanic Majesties Request), the album is a swirling haze of baroque pianos and violins, but they’ll put a bitchin’ stuttering beat behind it or something and it’ll be just perfect, like in the song “Late Night Dawning”. Unlike the two albums referenced above though, there’s nothing heavy handed about Loveshines…, rather it feels like a very intimate, even fun album, and there are moments of chaos, discordance and random instrumental forays that distinguish it is as such.
You need to listen to this album now. If there is justice in the world, this album will find it’s audience and they will rise from the underground. No work of art as great as Loveshines… should go unappreciated to the extent it deserves, so buy it, dl it, stream it off bandcamp, just hear this fucking thing, please.
BIGCOLOUR is the shoegaze project of one Brian Brissart of Chicago. As far as bedroom-gazers go – and it’s getting to be a pretty common occupation – BIGCOLOUR‘s stuff is definitely some of the most inventive I’ve heard, with effervescent samples lighting up the soundscape like fireflies in the night…Check out the two free EPs on his Bandcamp page. Gooooood stuff.
It’s also interesting that he uses the Canadian spelling of “colour” rather than the American…
One of my favorite lo-fi bands, previous band of the week Cloud Nothings, are releasing a split album with noise-rocker/Bridgetown Records owner Kevin Greenspon, with each party contributing five songs. Check out one of Cloud Nothings‘ contributions, the manic “You’re Not Good At Anything”.