Gather round C86 lovers! The indie twee pop super group, Swansea Sound (which features members of Heavenly, Marine Research, Talulah Gosh, The Pooh Sticks, Catenary Wires and more), have just released a brand new song, “Music Lover,” and it is perfectly in line with the members’ extended body of work sonically as well as their cheeky humor and political wit. The song is a peppy, jangly takedown of Spotify’s creepy CEO, Daniel Ek, a man known and loathed the world over for being so out of touch with what it actually means to be a working musician; the depths of his tech bro douchery truly know no bounds and Swansea Sound isn’t going to let him off the hook like so many others have.
Following earlier work like “I Sold My Soul On eBay,” this song is another pointed jab at the world we currently inhabit which yeah, can feel pretty damn soul-less at times, given over to the technocrats that track our every move and make it feel near impossible to escape. The lyrics are a glorious tribute to Ek (aka a hate song) told from “his” perspective and leave absolutely nothing to the imagination:
I’m a music lover / I’m a music lover / Sony to the right of me Warners to the left of me / We’re like brothers
Yeah we’re music lovers
Every single note they sing subsidizes podcasting
Free speech lover / I’m a free speech lover
Fascists are ok with me if they pay subscription fees
I just love it all
I just love it all
A hilarious animated video accompanies the track, featuring a billionaire boy band “playing” the song with Ek on guitar, Bezos on drums, and Zuck presumably providing backing vocals as he stands off to the side. Later on to really round out the elite jerk appeal, Elon Musk makes a dancing cameo before the avaricious foursome takeoff in Bezos’ space ship. Or is it Musk’s? I can’t keep track of all the space penis vanity projects these days. I mean, who can?
The song has been packaged as Music Lover EP which includes two holiday songs, the previously released “Happy Christmas To Me” and “Merry Christmas Darlings,” which the band notes is “a Cheap Trick cover version in a kind of glam rock style.” The cover is only available on the CD though, but that comes with a Christmas card you can have signed by the band or unsigned to add your own message so it’s worth picking up. Both versions are available via Bandcamp.
On a recent Sunday night, a group of musicians came together at Bushwick’s Cobra Club to raise money for The Center for Human Rights in Iran in response to the current feminist uprising and to help raise awareness and money for the cause. The events organizer saying on Instagram: “Western media has given little coverage to what has become the largest feminist movement in our lifetime. Join us in amplifying those voices.”
The bill was an eclectic mix of local acts ranging from the experimental piano compositions of Smiling Beth, hard driving indie rock from SAVAK, art indie post punk from Creek and Kills, and a solo set by Lola Johnson of Fisty who played a brief set of stripped down Fisty songs along with two covers- Lead Belly’s “Where Did You Sleep Last Night” and X Ray Spex “The World Turned Dayglo.” The show also happened a day after the tragic Club Q shooting and Johnson took a moment during her set to acknowledge the victims and led the room in a moment of silence to honor them.
And though this was just one rock show on a cold night in Brooklyn, and the mood was somber at times, it’s so important to keep showing up, even when times are hard and things feel impossible. As Fisty said on their Instagram when posting about the show “It’s just one step of many, but it’s a helluva lot better than none at all.”
Indie pop greats Bad Bad Hats have announced a special edition of their debut EP, It Hurts, that will coincide with the tenth anniversary of the album on 1/27/23. The new edition compiles the five songs from the original release, now remastered, along with the demo versions of the songs as well. It will also be the first time this release is available on vinyl. Pre-orders are available now.
They have also released a new animated lyric video for “Super America” which will give you a nice fix of some sweet indie pop gold. Watch below:
Tropical Fuck Storm just wrapped up their North American tour and now have announced a new 12″, Submersive Behaviour, due out 2/3/23 via Joyful Noise. Pre-orders are up now.
Submersive Behaviour collects three songs from their recent Moonburn EP, “Ann” (The Stooges cover), “Aspirin” (Slight Return Cover) and “Moonburn” as well as the addition of a new song “The Golden Ratio” and an epic 19 minute cover of Jimi Hendrix’s “1983 (A Merman I Should Turn To Be).”
Band leader Gareth Liddiard pulled no punches when he described their version of the Hendrix song saying “Our version of ‘1983 (A Merman I Shall Turn To Be)’ is an attempt to right the recent wrongs perpetrated against Hendrix’s classic “Angel” by some idiot from One Direction doing a karaoke-style ‘tribute’ for Jimi’s 80th birthday” in reference to Zayn Malik’s recent cover of Hendrix. Art punk vs pop singer beef may be brewing here so be sure to grab your popcorn!
The band will return to the States for a West Coast run in early 2023 with Michael Beach as support. See below for dates:
1/19- San Diego, CA @ Casbah
1/20- Phoenix, AZ @ Rebel Lounge
1/22- Las Vegas, NV @ TBA
1/23- Reno, NV @ Holland Project
1/24- Boise, ID @ Neurolux
1/26- Portland, OR @ Aladdin Theater
1/27-Seattle, WA @ The Crocodile
1/28- Vancouver, BC @ Wise Hall and Lounge
1/31- San Francisco, CA @ The Chapel
Tropical Fuck Storm at Music Hall of Williamsburg (photos by Kevin McGann)
I love Los Bitchos not only for their catchy as hell music, but for their love of all things cheeky. Following the hilarious trio of videos for the songs “Las Panteras”“Good to Go!” and “Pista (Fresh Start)” that were on their stellar debut Let The Festivities Begin!, the Bitchos are back to let the holiday festivities begin and are ready to stuff your stockings with a ridiculous (and awesome) 80s themed Christmas video for their holiday song, “Los Chrismos.”
The video sees the band skiing and prancing around a winter resort at Holiday time, trimming the tree and exchanging gifts before cutting to the foursome jazzercising on an over the top soundstage (aka green screen) and hamming it up with their instruments 80s MTV style. All complete with giant teased Aquanet hair, bright bold eye makeup, and all the jumpsuits, shoulder pads, metallic lamé fashions and Spandex you can imagine circa 1987.
Along with the video, they also have Christmas themed jumpers and a special edition of their debut album, Let The Festivities Begin!, which has been pressed on a limited run 180gram red/green/white vinyl and comes with a flexi picture disc featuring “Los Chrismos,” and its b-side “Tipp Tapp,” along with a sticker sheet; the package and shirts are available now via their Bandcamp page.
And while I personally have never been much of a fan of holiday music, “Los Chrismos” just might be the song to finally thaw this grinch out a bit because it is an ear worm which fits perfectly into their existing body of danceable work and will sure to be a hit at the club or the office holiday party.
Watch the video below and check out pics from a recent gig I caught in the UK.