Shut in sounds: Richard Thompson—1952 Vincent Black Lightning

1952 Vincent Black Lightning is a song that makes me think about fresh starts, old habits, love and loss—topics that we all currently have way too much time to ponder, just now. Read the rest

Shut-in sounds: 33 of the best industrial albums

Here's another musical round-up to keep you occupied while holed up in your pandemic command bunker. The Pitchfork title of this piece is "The 33 Best Industrial Albums of All Time," but homey don't play that horse race. Your mileage may vary. My mileage varies. What would you add to this list?

27 Chris and Cosey Heartbeat 1981 “Industrial music for us was about being industrious,” Cosey Fanni Tutti reflected of her time in the pioneering group Throbbing Gristle. “It wasn’t about industrial sounds.” Her point was proven when she and bandmate/partner Chris Carter formed a new duo after TG’s dissolution, veering away from the group’s harsh textures into lighter, more melodic territory. The music that comprises Heartbeat, their debut album, spans multiple genres—minimalist techno, spacey synth-pop, stretches of eerie ambience—while maintaining a rough, corroded edge. From the grinding pulse of opener “Put Yourself in Los Angeles” to the dazzling sci-fi title track, its vision and melding of textures influenced scores of electronic artists; it also provided a path for fellow industrial musicians to maintain their intensity while learning to lighten up and evolve. –Sam Sodomsky

20 Swans Greed/Holy Money 1986 Desecration, self-loathing, flesh, power: This is the scripture of Swans, the infamously loud and transgressive New York noise band led for decades by Michael Gira. By Greed/Holy Money, they had blown up their sound—two bassists, three drummers, the vocalist Jarboe—to become a chamber group of hulking, post-industrial aggression, marching against the bull market of New York’s cocaine decadence in the mid-’80s. Read the rest

Shut in Sounds: Warren Zevon—Splendid Isolation

It's been an anthem for cheeky introverts and hermits, for years. Now, it belongs to us all. Read the rest

Shut in sounds: Devotchka—Done With Those Days

This little ditty from Devotchka's 2018 album This Night Falls Forever, is both beautiful AND timely. The masks. The coming storm. the promise to be there for one another.

Love it.

Image: YouTube Read the rest

Shut in sounds: Ryan McNally—Cold to You

With the spooky times that we're living in, chances are pretty good that you're staying at home as often as your responsibilities and level of health allow.

14 days ago, I had to head into the hospital: blood was coming outta places where blood's supposed to stay put. The only thing that's kept me from going insane wondering whether or not I may have been infected with COVID-19 while my bits were being inspected, has been good music. One of the new-to-me-acts I stumbled upon while I was losing sleep over the past two weeks is Ryan McNally. Raised in rural Quebec and, from what I gather, now based out of northwestern Canada, McNally's sound is a delightful mishmash of influences that I could listen to for hours at a time.

If you dig what you hear, you can show McNally some love by plunking down a few bucks for one of his two albums, over at Bandcamp. Read the rest