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Ear Whacks Vol 2 Issue 4

Wolf Parade released their latest, self-titled EP, in May. It’s good. It got me listening to their entire catalog. Two things jump out: “Expo 86” is really good and “Apologies to the Queen Mary” is bordering on a timeless classic.

I’m not even sure how I came across Car Seat Headrest. I’m so happy I did and I highly recommend everyone do the same. My first listen was to 2015’s “Teens of Style.” I really liked the lo-fi approach and was dazzled by “Something Soon.” But I also heard something more in tracks like “Maude Gone” with a clearer audio mix and saxophone. This year’s “Teens of Denial” is tremendous. Gone is the lo-fi approach but the melody and the hooks are still there. It’s refreshing to find a band that makes great Rock n’ Roll. That’s what Car Seat Headrest is about. That is truly a great thing and the world is a better place for it.

Blur. I really had a hard time listening to Blur in the past. I never felt a connection to what they produced and let’s be honest, Song #2 has been so abused and overplayed I can’t listen to it without wanting to punch a toddler. I always respected what they did but I just didn’t get it. In 2015 they released “The Magic Whip.” I dutifully ignored it.

Somehow, a track from “The Magic Whip” got mixed into my rotation. I’m incredibly grateful to the cosmos for that. I then went and listened with an open mind and ear and found I really liked each track on the album. The funny thing is I went back to listen to their catalogue again and found, yeah, I still feel the mostly the same way about Blur. So either they’re a good band that has peaked with “TMW” and it’s their best or I just have a special connection with that specific album.

The fact is, I like every single track. The pop fun of “Ong Ong.” The feels of “My Terracotta Heart.” The pure rock of “Lonesome Street” and “I Broadcast.” And the thing is, “TMW” is still in my rotation. I still go back to it when I just want to listen to something I like. I’m glad I found this album and I can see myself listening to it for years to come.

Giacomo Puccini’s Turandot and Madame Butterfly. I re-stumbled on these two operas recently. I find them both really accessible and enjoyable. As far as how the story actually flow, Madame Butterfly makes more sense to me but I’m going to be honest with you, I just enjoy listening to the music and loosely following along.

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