The Smoking Popes (a long-time favorite band of mine) meets ska. Thanks to a band called The Pomps, who recently released an album of ska covers of Smoking Popes songs. Ska has never been my preferred musical genre, but it is fun to hear these songs re-imagined. So if you happen to be a fan of the band or the genre, don’t miss The Smoking Pomps.
While I’m sharing re-imaginings of old favorites, I would be remiss if I didn’t direct you to Shoegazi (Fugazi songs done in the shoegaze style). Seriously worth checking out. Of course, shoegaze is my preferred musical genre.
How could you not love the feminist pop-punk that is Tacocat? If the “feminist pop-punk” didn’t hook you, how about these song topics: cat-calling, mansplaining, menstruation, and late public transportation? Seriously. Some of those topics might make you mad, but Tacocat will make you have fun.
Here’s a video of a song from their latest record, Lost Time, because we all love Dana Katherine Scully, right?
Adam Levy has been mostly known to me as part of the Bunny Clogs since I had taken my daughter to a few of their performances as local events, but he is best known for being the lead singer of the Honeydogs. In the last several years, though, Levy has added another role to the list of things he is known for in the Twin Cities: Mental Health Advocate.
In 2012, Levy lost his son to suicide. Since then, he has become a vocal part of the mental health community pushing for a world that works for mental health rather than attempts to respond to mental illness when it becomes a crisis. His new record, Naubinway, delves deeply into the loss of his son. The songs are personal and, at times, quite raw. It is a tribute to loss and the healing power of art and sharing.
You can hear him speak about the record and listen to the title track from the record in this video:
I am very glad that people like Adam are sharing their experiences with mental illness, and I hope that this openness leads to less stigma and more people getting the care they need.
For my fellow librarians: I will be reading the Mental Health in YA Lit series at Teen Librarian Toolbox in 2016, and I hope you will be too. After all, as quote from TLT:
“According to the NCCP, approximately 20% of adolescents have a diagnosed mental health issue. Most mental health disorders begin to present in the adolescent years. Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death among adolescents. According to NAMI, 50% of children who present with a mental illness will drop out of school.”
This is too important to leave unspoken. Thank you to all those speaking out and all those listening.
I didn’t drive for years, and I loved it. I loved not having to deal with other drivers or finding parking or any of the other hassles that come with driving. But in the time that I have resumed my status as a driver, I realized what I missed. Yes, there is the convenience of driving your own vehicle versus planning around a bus ride, but that’s not what I’m talking about. I missed listening to music while driving. I had forgotten that the car was the place I ended up connecting to music most often, and it feels so good to have that space again. My latest driving soundtrack has been Matt Latterell. He has a new record out now, and the release show at the Cedear Cultural Center was fantastic. But I’ve been stuck on his 2011 release Life on Land.
As I said in this post, his songs tell stories. They are full of sincerity and the truth as he sees it. Both records are well worth the listen.
“All the best things in my life have started with a Dolly Parton song.”
So begins Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy, which is easily one of the best teen novels this year, in my opinion. Willowdean Dickson is a girl whose story is well worth being read. Even if you (like me) don’t have any interest in beauty pageants, give this book a chance.
In honor of Dumplin’ now being available for purchase (and I do recommend you do purchase it), here is some Dolly.
My partner and I don’t agree on everything. But we do agree on post-rock. Friday night we were out together without the five year-old for the first time a what felt like a long time, but it wasn’t really a date night. His band was playing that night and celebrating the release of a split EP, so he was busy with last minute details for the show and networking–the life of a local rock star is a glamorous one–while I enjoyed the music.
Falcon Arrow, a local post-rock duo, opened the show. They have been around for a couple of years, but they were new to me. And I loved it. When I re-connected with Chad later in the evening, he had procured a Falcon Arrow CD. It seems we still have something in common, after all. :)
Check out Falcon Arrow on Bandcamp for their latest. Here’s a video from the album:
My partner says I have a type when it comes to music. He’s probably right. Look at some of the artists I’ve blogged about: Haley Bonar, Zoo Animal, Lucy Michelle. I can’t deny it. I like female singer-songwriters, especially those who write folky indie pop. For the record, I’ve also blogged about totally different music (See Bloodnstuff, M83, and GY!BE), so I’m not completely stuck in a genre bubble.
I bring this up because Caroline Smith and the Goodnight Sleeps is so my type. The recent documentary about the Minneapolis-based singer-songwriter, My Way Back Home: Caroline Smith, highlights Smith’s evolution as a songwriter, her relationship to her family and hometown of Detroit Lakes, Minnesota, and finding her voice.