I remember a book that was in my household during the Nixon administration called “The Wit and Wisdom of Spiro T. Agnew.” The pages were all blank. That was worth a chuckle. Well, some of the music that is currently popular among the masses in the U.S. is great, some is ok, and much is of the Spiro Agnew variety: vapid, synthetic, or annoying/cloying. Nothing to see here, please move on.
So that begs the question: what is good out there right now? Well, I’m glad I asked on your behalf, because I have some opinions in that regard. This subject requires a lot of posts, and I’ll revisit this subject in future articles. And if I’ve already devoted considerable blog space to a band, such as DIIV, Parquet Courts or Courtney Barnett, I’m not going to include them here (but being a lawyer, I always reserve the right to apply an exception to this rule, so sue me if I write about a band a few times).
Some bands are new, some are simply new to me, and some are probably only liked by idiots who write music blogs in the Philly suburbs. For each band, I’ll try to link to a sample song on youtube that you can listen to at your leisure and see if you agree or disagree. But I do this under one condition: if you know a band that I should check out and that isn’t mentioned here, let me know.
With that, here we go. For now, let’s go with three bands that are burning up my iPod as I write this, and making me go back and listen over and over.
An indie band from Brooklyn with one album out. Great power pop/punk with a female lead singer. They rock, and they have terrific lyrics, too. For instance, in “December is the Longest Month,” they sing “I had so many things I want to say/instead I’ll help myself to more champagne.” We’ve all been there, right? Here’s a link to a song that I can’t get out my playlist, “Hot 97 Summer Jam.”
Low Cut Connie
Get ready to worship: on your knees! This band is out of Philly, but could have been out of Memphis in the late 50s/early 60s with a detour through New Orleans. They have a piano they named Shondra that they drag to every show. That might not sound like much of an effort if you are traveling like the Rolling Stones, but for an indie band trying to make it, they put it in a van, drive from show to show, and then act as their own roadies, too. Anyway, I’m going to see them in Philly at the Trocadero at the end of September and I am psyched. Want to hear them? Of course you do, and here’s the ticket: “Shake it Little Tina”. Sweet!
I’m going to confess that I’m quickly becoming this Detroit band’s number one fan. I don’t expect anyone else to like them, but I keep going back and listening over and over. Their most recent album, The Agent Intellect, is on heavy BillyRocksPhilly rotation. Warning: Joe Casey can’t sing very well. But he writes great songs, and the band behind him plays with passion and the songs pop hooks in just when you’re getting ready to say “nah.” I saw them with Ryan at Underground Arts in March. They aren’t the best live act around, and yet, if I get the chance to see them again, I’m there. I wonder if they need a roadie? A sample song? Sure, here you go: "Why Does It Shake"
See you next time. As always, thanks for reading.
My name is Bill, and I live in the greater Philadelphia area. I love music, and I have a lot of opinions. This site is primarily focused on music, but sometimes I get off track. I hope you enjoy.