Colin Wessman

Condition Critical

The New Pornographers – Whiteout Conditions

The New Pornographers are a good band.

This is probably as close to an irrefutable a fact as– ah shit. I already did this intro for my Spoon review. But, basically I’d say the same principals that guide how a longtime indie rock fan like myself processes a new Spoon album is about the same as how I process a new New Pornographers album. Continue reading

License To Illness

Aimee Mann – Mental Illness

I know, I know. I should probably be writing about the new Kendrick album instead of a month old Aimee Mann album. Oh, see what I did there? This album isn’t even a month old yet and feels way older. In fact, it’s not even three weeks old (our culture is screwed btw). But either way, these past couple weeks, Mental Illness has been a great “early morning” album for me, as it makes no attempt to hide its melancholy, but for that reason is a nice warm-up for whatever anxiety each day may bring. Continue reading

Girls No More

Going into its final season, there seemed to be a lot of thinkpieces characterizing Girls as the show that launched a million thinkpieces (if you can wrap your mind around that). That said, I really didn’t do a ton of writing about Girls on this blog (apart from a season 3 review) despite being a fairly unabashed fan of it from nearly the beginning. And maybe it’s that unabashed fandom that oddly enough deterred me from writing about it. Continue reading

Hurray For The Navigator

Hurray For The Riff Raff – The Navigator

I’m a little hesitant to say it, but Hurray For The Riff Raff’s The Navigator might be the first album to come out of 2017 that I truly love. Granted, at first I was hesitant to give this album even a listen, due to a number of factors that now seem trivial. First of all, the sort of gimmicky name behind this project led by Alynda Segarra (which I’d never listened to). Then the fact that Segarra’s songs have been described as roots rock or Americana, which can’t help but remind me of all the Mumford wannabe’s of the early ’10s. While that kind of music usually can’t help but feel overly quaint or archaic, especially when we’re being forced to live so much in the here and now these days. Continue reading

Stuck Between Same Things

Craig Finn – We All Want The Same Things

Here’s the thing. I have a number of albums piled up that I’ve been enjoying, and I thought about just doing a long music catch-up post, in which I just do a bunch of short, uninvolved reviews, since apparently that’s perfectly acceptable now. Which of course comes from streaming being the norm now, and the fact that album’s that are more than a month old feel like relics of the distant past. Continue reading

Spoonful of Spoon

Spoon – Hot Thoughts

Spoon is a good band.

This is probably about as close to an irrefutable fact that is not actually a fact but a mere opinion that you’re going to get from any 21st century rock music fan. Well, other than that Radiohead is a good band. But unlike Radiohead, Spoon have actually rocked since the 21st century began, or at least in their own conventionally unconventional way. And perhaps that’s what’s made them one of the great bands of the last two decades – their willingness to embrace rock tropes while undercutting and reconstructing what those tropes are in their own image. Continue reading

Debuts of Sorts

Among other similarities, Jay Som and Vagabon just released debut(ish) albums that make me feel old and obsolete in a good way. What I mean by this is that both Jay Som (aka Melanie Duterte) and Vagabon (aka Lætitia Tamko) are both indie rock artists in their early 20’s, and also happen to not be white males. I know, my first instinct as a white male that has an affinity for the last 20 years of indie rock – which of course has been mostly dominated by white males – should be to feel completely alienated.

But fortunately, this seems to have been the way my music listening habits have been leaning in the past few months, for fairly obvious reasons. Looking at the albums I’ve responded to from this year so far, other than the one-two punch of my last Compare/Contrast, it’s mostly been female-led. But I realize I probably sound like an over-compensating male wannabe feminist libtard, who has all of the sudden made a cultural conversation about himself. And since no one wants to hear that, I’ll just proceed to talk about what makes Jay Som’s Everybody Works and Vagabon’s Infinite Worlds pretty great, regardless of whether you care about what perspective they’re coming from. Continue reading