Sound

When I first heard Park Hye Jin’s I Don’t Care, I was intrigued. I’d been listening distractedly on my new Bluetooth headphones as I performed household chores. I like sampling new music that way. Most tracks don’t interest me enough to pull my phone from my pocket. But this one made me think. (More…)

Even more than previous years in what has been a consistently stressful decade for me, 2018 was defined by the divide between what I absolutely had to do and what I felt I didn’t have time for. As a result – and I think this applies to a great many people, even ones who had relatively good years – I ended up prioritizing experiences over the pursuit of novelty. (More…)

My father called it “Mini-Paris.” “We lived in Brussels in the 1950s when it was still a wreck from the war,” he told me. “The only people who spoke French were the cops. Everyone in the neighbourhood was a refugee from Italy. Except us, of course.” (More…)

Natural disasters, mass shootings, constant political turmoil, and the sense that long-standing alliances might be irreparably damaged: 1968 was the year when everything seemed to be falling apart. And the eponymous double album The Beatles released near its end was the perfect mirror, a testament to the centrifugal forces that could break even the strongest bonds of fellowship. How fitting that it should be reissued now, (More…)

As a term for classifying popular music by genre, “dub” dates back to the late 1960s. In both this regard and others, its history intertwines with that of “punk.” Although casual listeners might struggle to detect any sonic similarity between your average “dub” track and the stereotypical three-chord fury of The Ramones, The Stooges and The Sex Pistols, the more one knows about the two genres, the more apparent it becomes that they represent opposite sides of a coin minted in an era of abandoned dreams. (More…)

‘It doesn’t cohere’. That was my first thought on hearing Chthonic’s new album Battlefields of Asura. In fact, it’s been my first thought on hearing all of their work. Taiwan – and Asia’s – biggest metal band don’t quite make sense. (More…)

Usually, if I walk in on a concert in progress, it takes me a while to pay full attention. I’ll go buy a drink, look for people I know, size up the crowd. This past Monday was different. Although I’d never heard of the band Lié before that moment, I knew I’d never stop wanting to hear them. (More…)

It is both easy and difficult to label The 1975. Easy, in that they are a pop band; hard because of the hyphenates that attach themselves to the band’s sound (alternative-pop, indie, post-punk-pop). (More…)

It’s no secret that Kanye West has been stirring up controversy again. Pushing buttons with the aplomb of Donald Trump – with whom he remains friendly –West has given every indication that he is positioning himself for future punditry in the right-wing media, if not a political career. (More…)

The thing about punk in Israel is that it’s basically just like punk everywhere else: kind of boring, mostly apolitical, and more often than not sung in English. Conversations about the root causes of (sub)cultural hegemony aside, I feel like that sort of thing is especially glaring in a place that is as … Israel, as Israel is. (More…)

Seeing this poster in Tel Aviv for a Don McLean concert, you might think, “I didn’t even know he was still alive,” then ponder the afterlives of music careers, how even one-hit wonders make good money playing resorts and fairs. Or you might think, “How incongruous!” and marvel at the strange feats of decontextualisation that the intersection of capitalism and culture makes possible. (More…)

The first time I saw The Fall live was also the last. I was under tremendous pressure, both at work and at home. The band was late. The club was hot. I tried to distract myself by drinking, but that only made matters worse. I wanted to leave, but knew I couldn’t drive home. It was my birthday. I was depressed. Conditions were perfect. (More…)