1-UP: Giving music a second life

In the past week, I’ve been inundated with music that I had written off. So, a new feature: 1-UP, where we fess up to hatin’ on bands that shouldn’t have been hated on.

Alex Bleeker and the Freaks
There was nothing wrong with Real Estate’s album. It just didn’t capture me, Pitchfork’s 8.5 seemed ridiculous, and I wrote them off as just another wave in this year’s tsunami of beach rock. But their side project, Alex Bleeker and the Freaks, will have me giving them another look. Imagine Yo La Tengo and Neil Young forming a classic rock band. Or really, forget that critic speak: just imagine really chill classic rock.

Alex Bleeker and the Freaks, “Animal Tracks”

I’ve never disliked Kraftwerk, but I’ve always put them in the formative but not for me category, and skipped them for their off-shoot Neu! (who really are the best). After reading about Philly’s newest Fishtown watering hole, I put onTrans Europe Express while walking home, and damn was I wrong. Sorry, legendary electronica weirdos: my bad.

Joanna Newsom
Nope, I was right. Still unlistenable. Someone needs to hold an intervention for Andy Samberg.

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5 Responses to 1-UP: Giving music a second life

  1. material lives says:

    You’re still wrong about Joanna Newsom, but I suspect you won’t figure that out until you pay the $$$ to see her live. How can you listen to “Sadie” and not feel it? That one always jerks the tears right out of my eye sockets.

    • David G says:

      Someone offered me the chance to buy their extra tickets to one of her very sold out Philly show last week. I refused because until Pennsylvania recategorizes “homicide due to extremely annoying vocal styling” as a type of involuntary homicide, I can’t risk the jail time.

      • Material Lives says:

        That’s how I felt until I saw her live. I always experienced her voice as put on. When you see her live, any sense that this is a performative style dissipates. She apparently grew up hating her voice, and finally gave in so that she could make music. Her show was probably in the top 3 I’ve ever seen, if not the best. She’s amazing with her harp. The whole room (the Great Hall in the Memorial Union) was packed and silent.

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