We have all heard that old critic’s tale of the rock group the Velvet Underground: while they did not sell very many albums, everyone who bought one formed a band. Without all the hyperbole that is unavoidable in such a grandiose romantic statement, it is more than fair to say that a few people who heard the dissonant noise pop of the Velvet’s debut LP felt the anarchic thrill of music that wasn’t afraid to push boundaries. This planted the seeds for punk rock’s joyously angry takeover of a generation of musicians. Punk hit people hard. You could not be a part-time listener. You kept your passions safety pinned to your nostrils for the whole world to see. You can tell that it was really a groundbreaking cultural moment by the way the music became watered down and within a decade or two became an inescapable part of the popular music landscape. There was a time though, in the beginning, when punk was pure and real.
Every last note presented on the Dawn of the Little Jerks E.P. screams: PUNK ROCK. Continue reading
Hey Friends of Folkways,
It’s another trip down memory lane as our writers list their favorite albums of 2011. Just because we didn’t write many reviews this year doesn’t mean we didn’t listen to music. Please have a safe and happy holidays and enjoy your new year responsibly. Now have a nice read!
Most of the music I tended to lean towards in my formative years was music that I deemed “cold weather music.” Like all of the seasons, fall has a specific feel to it, a distinct atmosphere about it. It almost breathes with tiresome age; it seems to be slowly closing its eyes, resting and waiting for a long sleep while the lilting hands of death are outstretched and grabbing for the remnants of the scarce signs of life remaining within the light and the color. Not only do these feelings influence my musical choices but they have also provided some of my more enjoyable life experiences. This list attempts to portray the feeling, and soundtrack the progression, of the autumn season while providing personal experiences that have influenced the development of each of our appreciative, personal musical evolutions.
In the beginning of this year there were a few select albums that I found myself consistently coming back to and seemingly not growing tired of. Now that the year is growing to a close, the albums that I started the year with are still favorites. I might not be listening to them multiple times a day, or everyday for that matter, but I do tend to find myself putting the album on and it being somehow fitting at that moment. One of these albums is Kurt Vile’s new release Smoke Ring For My Halo. I have continued to return to this album throughout the year since it’s release in March. His songwriting and playing seem so effortless, while at the same time sounding so ramshackle, sloppy (in a good way), and careless, in the same vein as Dinosaur Jr.’s style. The music sounds like it was recorded by a bunch of friends hanging around, reminiscing, having a couple drinks, and jamming out on their instruments. There’s a laid back feeling that is infectious because it is pulled off so well; it immediately calms your nerves and drifts around you, fitting perfectly like your favorite hoodie.