It would be so easy to become that guy, the old man yelling at kids to get off of his musical lawn. “BACK IN MY DAY THEY MADE REAL MUSIC!” One way to combat that aural malaise is to live with a tween girl. While not an expert, I’m fairly well-versed in what the youngs are listening to. I genuinely like some songs by Katy Perry, Taylor Swift and their ilk. A good pop song is a good pop song. But when I’m alone in my car with a phone that can hold every song I ever loved as a 15 year old, it’s entirely too easy to only listen to music that was relevant to me when I was a teenager. I might even have a half dozen REM playlists.
About a year ago I realized that I was in a musical rut – my sonic horizons needed a proper broadening. And as much as I love my daughter, I was never going to become a major fan of boy bands or girl power pop songs about getting even with the boy who dumped me. What I needed was some vibrant new media to guide through the fractured new world of music. The simple answer was – PODCASTS. A little research and trial and error pointed me in the right direction. Shows like NPR’s All Songs Considered, Sound Opinions and KEXP’s Music That Matters made me realize that the stuff that resonated so strongly with me in the 80s and 90s was out there in the form of new music. So I pledged to buy at least one new song every Monday. It worked. I’ve discovered dozens of new artists in the last year, and it’s not just REM clones. I’ve found country, hip hop, hard rock and punk – so much good punk.
This week’s New Music Monday artist is Courtney Barnett, an Australian singer/songwriter/ROCKER with a track called Pedestrian at Best. She sings with her accent, which I find very compelling. She’s a little garage and a little alt-punk and a lot of rock and roll. Her new album Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit is out in March.