Tuesday, November 30, 2021

It Starts With a Birthstone - Albums For November


It Starts With a Birthstone - Songs For November


Songs of the Year # 26 Alyssa Gengos


Albums of the Year # 26 Tronco - Nainoia


One of the most utterly charming records I've come across all year.

 Charming. Perhaps a one word review would suffice in this respect but this record certainly deserves to have more written about it. Songs sung, or perhaps better described as' harmonised', in Spanish by male and female vocalists called Fermi and Conxita and some of their friends. Gentle, strummed acoustic accompaniment. A Spanish band called Tronco. An album called Nainoia.

These sound like lullabies or candidates for the Hispanic remake of Juno. They also sound like the cutest, sweetest set of songs I've heard so far this year.

Tronco are on Elefant Records. This might give you some inkling as to where they're coming from. This is an indie sensibility but its one that prioritises fun and banishes earnestness. I'm more than happy to go along with that.

There's nothing demanding about this record but I'm not one to bow to the maxim that pain necessarily means gain. This isn't actually as easy to do as it sounds. Tronco do it very well.

Each song on here is light as a feather. Or light as a souffle. Or whatever your metaphor of choice for lightness might be. Trunco are fleet of foot and deft of touch. They take you back to childhood for forty minutes. For forty winks if you will. They remind you that we must never ever lose touch with our own childhoods and what it felt like to be lost in that limitless experience.

So all bound for morningtown, many miles away. Tronco gave me one of the most magical musical rides I expect to experience in this year, in fact in many years. It's an album I'll listen to many, many times over the coming months. A safe and wonderful place.

Best Ever Albums - Top 1,000 Albums - 806 Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - Push The Sky Away


The 500 Greatest Singles Since Punk & Disco # 490 Eminem


'Among the slapstickit uncovers the dark truths of growing up poor and alienated and inadequate and bewildered in America...'

Song(s) of the Day # 2,865 Pip-eye


Quite barmy collection of imaginary TV themes called Dream Themes. You might not want to listen all the way through but this might take you back to childhood days in front of the set when you were so small and the World seemed incredibly large.

Monday, November 29, 2021

Songs of the Year # 27 Julian Teakle


Albums of the Year # 27 Fog Lake - Tragedy Reel



One I've been waiting for, for a couple of months and it hasn't let me down. Fog Lake, essentially an outfit put together to present the vision and songwriting of Aaron Powell, first captured my attention with their wonderful album Captain back in 2017. They're back with another Tragedy Reel, and it refines and adds fresh brushstrokes and nuance to things they've already done.

The thing that needs to be understood first of all,  about Powell is that he hails from Glovertown, Newfoundland. An outpost of the civilised world that I'm sure has much going for it, but is certainly shrouded in arctic weather and limited daylight for much of the year. These conditions might incline a man to be in need of a good drink on occasion and certainly inclined to self-reflection and potentially painful introversion on others.

Once you know this, Tragedy Reel makes perfect sense. It's a shrouded record, that makes you feel like you're staring out of the window in the front of a bar, onto a bleak icy main street dreading the prospect of the trudge back home in darkness. This isn't the cheeriest album you'll hear this year, but it does offer some basic and fundamental consolation. At least you feel like you're on the inside looking out. Added to the fact that it's a damned fine record.

Powell is an experienced and able songsmith by now. This album finds him forging steadily fowrard within the remits that he has laid out for himself. You wonder at what the lyrical concerns of the record might be. Powell is not particularly helpful in this respect. For the most part his vocals are muffled, like he's nestling his mouth in the top of his sweater in refuge from the cold. Somehow, he manages to get his point across anyhow.

If there's an evident central musical influence on Fog Lake, I'd plump for Elliot Smith. Powell has something of Elliot's pain about him but also I'm pleased to report his considerable gift for melody too. One to consider re-reading Shipping News or watching that last episode of Breaking Bad again to or even dust off your copy of The Trinity Session and give it one more spin. Fog Lake triumph here making a potentially chilling experience a very warm and pleasurable one indeed. One of my favourite albums of 2021 thus far.

Best Ever Albums - Top 1,000 Albums - 807 The Strokes - First Impressions Of Earth


The 500 Greatest Singles Since Punk & Disco # 489 Aphex Twin


Realised belatedly that I'd lost track with the numbers on this particular journey number wise as it winds its way towards closure.

Song(s) of the Day # 2,864 Julie Doiron


Vaguely Grungey stuff of the kind that is not uncommon in this day and age from female singer-songwriters. Julie Doiron, (also of Eric's Trip), hails from Moncton, New Brunswick and has a long track record going down the years. Her latest album, I Thought of You, does not particularly leap out at the listener but is a very pleasant gently rocking experience.

Sunday, November 28, 2021

Songs of the Year # 28 Fievel Is Glauque


Albums of the Year # 28 TEKE:TEKE - Shirushi



Like something Julian Cope might have dreamed of, or a band you suspect he may have even made up for his classic Japrocker. TEKE::TEKE have all the fun you could possibly imagine on their latest album Shirushi.

This is unshamedly Retro kitsch from the off. Surfy, spacey, funky, freaky by turns and utterly unpredictable from start to finish. It's sheer pleasure to hear where TEKE::TEKE um, take this.

Sounding like the soundtrack to a Sixties Japanese Yakuza movie of the kind that Tarantino reveres and that you probably need to see, the cultural juxtapositions on here are just spectacular. Plenty of variety of pace and tempo and always prioritising the pleasure principle, this is a total breeze, start to finish.

Coming hot on the heels of El Michels' wonderful Yeti Season, which took a similarly inspired, cinematic slant on things, this is a record quite unlike anything you will hear this year, or any other year for that matter. Frankly, just fantastic.

Best Ever Albums - Top 1,000 Albums - 808 Mogwai - Mogwai Young Team


The 500 Greatest Singles Since Punk & Disco # 479 TLC


Song(s) of the Day # 2,863 Pye Corner Audio


Pye Corner Audio, a great new personal discovery in recent weeks, thanks to a chance encounter with them in the Christmas Uncut issue. Essentially a one man production line of electronic soundscapes. 

The man in question being Martin Jenkins. For over ten years now he's been churning out dystopian futures, Sci-Fi soundtracks and haunted dancefloors, (sorry, I cut and pasted that bit but it's apt).

Latest album, Entangled Routes, released yesterdy, is a proper, end of November treat. Driven by an electronic pulse that evokes Tron, Logan's Run, Bladerunner and the like. Entirely instrumental, it's one to put on and drift off too, like laying back in a long warm bath, just as a well deserved holiday is about to begin.

The whole 'imaginary soundtrack' genre is one which has just exploded in The Internet age. The immediate access to just about everything allows us all to be instantly cultural literate and recognise themes and references as they emerge from records we're listening to. 

Entangled Routes offers Familiar, rather than Unknown Pleasures but they're no less welcome, and I'll definitely be listening out for what comes next from Pye Corner Audio.

Saturday, November 27, 2021

Stephen Sondheim 1930-2021


Nell Smith & The Flaming Lips - Where The Viaduct Looms


A late 2021 curio this one. But one worth taking notice of. Fifteen year old Nell Smith and The Flaming Lips cover nine Nick Cave songs and make something entirely else of them The resulting album Where The Viaduct Looms, is a proper treat and perhaps a late stocking filler, (you know what I mean, perhaps you own a particularly big stocking, if not just put it under the tree) , for a relative or friend who might appreciate it. They certainly won't be expecting it.

What you really get here, is the possibility to really hear Cave's songs without the presence of his encroaching and towering persona which I often find overpowers them for me, or at least imposes on my ability to enjoy them as much as I might do. I'm not really the man's biggest fan although I do recognise his staggering talent. Perhaps this is the Nick Cave album I've been waiting to hear all these years without knowing it.

Because I'm going to play this. A lot. Smith's voice has the purity and clarity you might expect from one of her tender age while the Lips arrangements are utterly buoyant and suffused with the most gorgeous and heavenly aspect. casting each of Cave's songs in a weightless light, contrasting remarkably with the way he and The Bad Seeds habitually present them.

None of this is intended to denigrate Cave or the Bad Seeds in any way. They after all wrote and performed these gorgeous songs in the first place. Where The Viaduct Looms is as I said, essentially a curio, but it's a rather beautifully realised one.

Songs of the Year # 29 Van Mary


Albums of the Year # 29 Elephant Micah - Vague Tidings



Joseph O'Connell, the man behind Elephant Micah, is an interesting artist. I first came across him via a Record of the Month review in Uncut Magazine a couple of years ago. This led me to his previous record Genericana in and now he's back with a new one, Vague Tidings, just out. It's another fascinating document.

The musician O'Connell is most obviously reminiscent of is the unhinged Neil Young of On The Beach and Tonight's The Night. As with Young on those records, Elephant Micah, (probably best to refer to him by the name he goes out into the marketplace with), sounds alternately as if he's about to burst into tears, slit his wrists or mainline heroin to dull the pain.

Vague Tidings is probably less unhinged than Genericana. But that's not saying much. Genericana was an extraordinarily unhinged record. This one is just about back on the rails in terms of conforming to the basic conventions of structure and melody, but only just. 

It's still pretty bleary eyed and wasted. There's an awful lot of emotional bloodletting going on here and it all comes together to fashion a damned strong album which I already can't wait to come back to and get to know better.

There are very few precedents for records and statements like this in the Rock and Roll canon. The Young ones I mentioned come immediately to mind. Also a few of Dylan's, Big Star's Sister Lovers, Skip Spence's Oar, Townes Van Zandt. 

Vague Tidings fits in nicely with these great records and it's not necessarily shamed by the comparison. A voice from the wilderness trying to find its way home. An altogether staggering record, not one that will necessarily fill your heart with joy, but one that should make you glad you've heard it. The west is the best. Not always Jim. But it's definitely got something going for it if it can summon forth albums like this.

Best Ever Albums - Top 1,000 Albums - 809 Aphex Twin - Selected Ambient Works Volume II


The 500 Greatest Singles Since Punk & Disco # 478 The Divine Comedy


'For Hannon, the only thing that is certain is chaos and the ultimate triumph of fate.'

Song(s) of the Day # 2,862 Leonie Pernet


If in doubt, turn to Bandcamp. As we approach December and new releases for the year on the surface of the lake appear to dry up, there's plenty of fresh and worthwhie stuff still appearing  in the murky depths, and musically Bandcamp is often the best place to encounter new pearls.

Like this for example. Le Cirque de Consolation, the second album from young Frenchwoman Leonie Pernet, definitely deseving of that description and  Bandcamp album of the day just a couple of days back. 

It's a rich, mysterious and evocative record from the off. It covers an enormous amount of musical territory over the course of its eleven tracks. Kitschy Eighties synth classics, Trip Hop otherworldly nuance, Serge seduction, Afrobeat overdrive.

This strikes me as an album that would richly reward repeat plays. A very fine record indeed. Tres Bien Leonie. Tres Bien.

Friday, November 26, 2021

Songs About People # 1,315 Jorge Luis Borges


Another from The Forms, whose back catalogue I've had great pleasure exploring over the last few days. This one for the great Argentinian puzzle maker.

Songs of the Year # 30 La Femme


Albums of the Year # 30 James Yorkston - The Wide, Wide River



So January is running its course. And the weather, in my part of the world at least, is making some kind of recovery. This is good news. As is the arrival of several excellent new record releases which offer scope for optimism for another good year for music, despite all the obstacles and difficulties that the music industry, and more importantly, musicians are beset with right now.

Take James Yorkston's latest The Wide, Wide River. one of the best things I've heard thus far in 2021. Yorkston is something of a wizened stalwart by now, generally tagged with a Folk label, not altogether innapropriately, but his records have a lot more to offer. This one in particular is grained with a subtle and nuanced pop sensibility that reminded me at various points of The Beatles and Blue Nile as well as more obvious forbears like John Martyn, Van Morrison and Leonard Cohen.

Much of the record has the delightful sense of travel and momentum. Taking a cross country train on a fresh spring day and watching the countryside pass outside the window like a dream. Yorkston has gathered an ensemble made up of like-minded musicians and companion backing vocalists. The guitars often have the gentle, ringing timbre that The Byrds added to the mix. Every track seems to have an assured conviction a clear sense of where it's going that we, in the words of R.E.M's Driver 8, will reach our destination.

Yorkston himself is at the heart of the mix. This is a team effort for sure, but there is never any doubt as to who is conducting operations.But he's a benevolent dictator and there is little doubt as song follows song about just how much reward and recompense everyone here is getting from the experience.

Songs that gather and mount and bloom with perfect and bonteous grace. A record that offers rich pickings indeed. An album of eight songs, all journeys of sorts, that has taken me into reverie, listening to it on headphones on a Sunday morning, bright sunlight splaying patterns on the desk in my living room. 2021 might not be so bad after all.

Best Ever Albums - Top 1,000 Albums - 810 Godspeed You! Black Emperor - Slow Riot For New Zero Canada


The 500 Greatest Singles Since Punk & Disco # 477 Mercury Rev


'Gently funky, subtle and then sweeping, anthemic but full of off kilter details with its chilling,  submarine peals and underlying organs and harpsichords.'

Song of the Day # 2,861 Alyssa Gengos


Gothenburg English is the second song release by LA based Alyssa Gengos, ahead of a debut album early next year. Given that fact, it's rather extraordinary. A melancholy, twisting trip, seemingly about the end of a relationship, achingly melodic. If only all pop songs sounded like this.

Thursday, November 25, 2021

Songs About People # 1,314 Igor Stravinsky


A couple of songs from The Forms back catalogue in this particular series. Starting with one for Igor from 2007.

Songs of the Year # 31 Hamish Hawk


Albums of the Year # 31 Cassandra Jenkins - An Overview on Phenomenal Nature



New Yorker, Cassandra Jenkins is an artist who has been attracting a fair bit of notice of late. Features and reviews in the likes of Uncut Magazine ,glowing reviews and repeated plays from DJs such as 6 Music's Gideon Coe, who know their stuff.

Jenkins' latest record An Overview of Phenomenal Nature, from what I can gather, her second, has been out a couple of weeks and I've played it a few times and it's a very impressive album. Full of space and light and thought, reflection on life and loss, intoned with calm phrasing reminiscent of Laurie Anderson, Margo Timmins and Suzanne Vega.

Some background detail might be helpful with regards to getting a feel for this. Jenkins is a very close friend and musical associate of David Berman, Of Sikver Jews and Ourple Mountains), who lost his struggle with life and passed in dreadfully sad circumstances less than a couple of years back.

This was a death that affected a lot of people who had been moved and stirred by Berman's work over the years. But clearly it must have had a particularly unnerving impact on those who knew and worked with him. 

An Overview is a record in gradual  transition from pain to somewhere more hopeful. In short, a reflection on life.The grief, the mourning is palpable, but so too  is the plapable resolve to push on to somewhere more positive.

Beauty is probably an overused and abused phrase but I find this a really beautiful record and one I suspect will endure. It's just seven tracks long but by no means insubstantial. One to return to and work out what you liked about it and why it resonated first time round.

Best Ever Albums - Top 1,000 Albums - 811 Deep Purple - Made In Japan


The 500 Greatest Singles Since Punk & Disco # 476 Cher


'true disco glory...'

Song of the Day # 2,860 The Forms


Brooklyn band who've returned after ten years. Judging by this, that return is a really good thing. This is produced by Steve Albini but has none of the characteristic sleazy charm you might associate with the man. Instead this is verdant folky stuff that made me think of Vampire Weekend, The Feelies, Fleet Foxes and the early Chills. All great reference points.This will certainly make me investigate the band's back catalogue further. 

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Songs of the Year # 32 Tony Allen, Ben Okra & Skepta


Albums of the Year # 32 ABBA - Voyage


I've been listening to ABBA's back catalogue over the last couple of weeks as part of an immersion based music listening group on social media that I'm part of. Firstly, through the Seventies, when virtually the only records my parents bought were ABBA ones. Then into the Eighties when they stopped buying them, except perhaps for the Best Of  ones on CD. It's been an interesting ride through my childhood memories.

Of course ABBA's initial run was always going to be a finite one though they made the very most of it, because my god, they were talented. But their subject matter was fundamentally love, desire and relationships and there are only so many variations on those themes on offer, fundamental as they are.You can't keep making records about that stuff all your life, or at least ones worth listening to, no matter how good you are. 

Listening through to the original albums one by one, it's interesting to see them coming up with various takes on those themes though. The themes? Isn't it great falling in love. Isn't it awful falling out of love and having to divide up your possessions. Slightly dubious jailbeat dancefloor and schoolyard stuff. One that appears to be about sex addiction, (Gimme Gimme).Then the ones that are not directly about these things. I'm on the stage, look at me. Rehearsals for the West End musicals that Bjorn and Benny were always destined to deliver. Boom bang a bang schlager songs. And, I'm not actually a person, I'm really an animal or a bird. There are only two of those. Shame really, they're two of their best. Delightfully, there's one about insects on Voyage, (though I'm jumpling slightly ahead), and it's another delightful one in Bumblebees. They're older now and quite content to stand at the kitchen window and watch what's going on in their back gardens.

So, miraculously in 2021, ABBA are back. I'm pleased to report that they're still very, very good. As good as they ever were really. Well they would be. They're ABBA aren't they? They've also found an appropriate new theme. Getting older and slightly wiser and reflecting. Like The Beatles albums and ABBA's old ones, this is a grab-bag of styles. Something for everybody. Everybody that is except for people who don't like ABBA. They're highly unlikely to convert any in that particular camp at this late stage.

Because this is ABBA, as you remember them. Except that now they're ABBA in their Seventies. It suits them really. We'll all get old. I'm well on the way myself. But if you get old like ABBA, you've not done badly, because they still remember how it's done and on Voyage, their new, and we're told, their final act as recording artists, they definitely do it.

I like it all really. The ones that I don't like so much, because they're not so much aligned with my own personal taste, I still recognise how good they are. There are precious few artists in Rock and Roll history, (if you conside them part of that and I would), who can move you and make you tap into specific, deeply ingrained, fundamental emotions as well as ABBA do. They do that one last time on Voyage.

So, they do ageing, they do Christmas. ABBA were always bound to do Christmas at some point or another and this is certainly good enough to be this year's John Lewis Christmas ad soundtrack. They do West End musicals. They do love.They do it all in that measured, stately, graceful, and ever so ever so slightly sentimental way, (OK, really sentimental), that only they can really do. 

They save the best 'til last with Ode To Freedom, which is one of the best things they've ever done, an altogether glorious and moving last hurrah, (classically arranged, ABBA's understanding of the classical was always extraordinary), before they take their final bows and leave the stage. It's appropriate really giving that they first appeared onstage in a brilliant flash in 1974 in the Eurovision song contest with Waterloo an anthem to Europe, and it seems they're finally leaving the stage with another one and astonishingly with a song that's just as good as Waterloo was and is.

Now to milk it. To put their feet up and watch their own virtual concerts next year and wait for the applause, and, thinking more cynically, for the cash tills to ring. Boy, do they deserve both. One of the most surprising and successful musical returns I can think of.

Best Ever Albums - Top 1,000 Albums - 812 Arctic Monkeys - Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino


The 500 Greatest Singles Since Punk & Disco # 475 Lauryn Hill


'Lauryn's music is all about her talent and voice.'

Song(s) of the Day # 2,859 UV-TV

So interesting to find what you can stumble over these days. Pretty much anything you might want to hear is out there somewhere. Gainesville, Florida band UV-TV for example, seem to be carrying the torch for the great lost American alternative guitar sound of the Eighties. 

On their latest 9 track album Always Something you get Blondie, Go-Gos, B52's, Let's Active, Swimming Pool Qs. It's nice that they evidently want to do this so much because they're very good at it. There's not a bad song here. There are several damn good ones. Listening to it I felt like I was watching MTV in the early days and one of these came on after Billie Jean.

Never stepping out of its lane Always Something made me feel like I was seventeen again, and I'm always very thankful for a record that makes me feel that. I find it slightly strange that there are bands around like UV-TV and The Exbats, (reviewed on here a couple of days ago and who operate in a similar field), doing what they are,  but I'm glad there are.

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Songs of the Year # 33 Dillon Warneck


Best Ever Albums - Top 1,000 Albums - 813 Black Sabbath - Heaven & Hell


Albums of the Year # 33 Ishmael Ensemble - Visions of Light



I don't consider myself an expert on Jazz. I listen to it a fair bit and it often moves me in ways I find difficult to describe, but it's definitely a mainstay of my life now. An album I've taken to rather over the past couple of days is Visions of Light by Ishmael Ensemble.

I think this falls in some ways and sometimes into the 'Jazz' category. But Miles Davis, one of the central figures of that form always resisted the categorisation. 'I don't like the word jazz...'  he said once. He was one of the 20th Centuries greatest musicians and great musical seekers and explorers, so why wouldn't he resist easy categorisations. Why would he wanted to be contained?

I think 'social music' was the term he used to describe what he did. Something beyond race, colour, social class and geographical location. Perhaps 'social music' is also a better description of Visions of Light.

Ishmael Ensemble hail from Bristol and that makes sense too. They remind me of Massive Attack, Godfathers of that city in many ways and one of my favourite all time musical things.

Ishmael Ensemble pick up the baton from Massive and run with it to terrific effect. Visions of Light is full of that kind of 'vision' if you'll forgive me, full of the eclectisism and invention you always find on Massive Attack records. Beats, voices and rhythms all pursuing new states of consciousness and being.

This is an altogether great record and one I'll certainly come back to in the future months. Moving through August and with the darkness of Autumn and Winter coming on soon, I couldn't recommend a better record to accompany you through those weeks and months.

The 500 Greatest Singles Since Punk & Disco # 474 Hole


'Love has a singing voice like a moose getting its bollocks squeezed..'

Song(s) of the Day # 2,858 The Exbats


Now this is defiantly odd. Not the kind of record you really expect to hear in 2021. An album called Now Where Were We, from Arizona band The Exbats which feels like the biggest dose of unremitting cheesiness since the last time you sat down and watched The Partridge Family or The Brady Bunch.

A band formed around a father and daughter team, which, let's face it, is not something you come across every day. Exbats also seem to take inspiration from bands like The Go Gos, The Waitressess and Martha & the Muffins, from back in the day when bands were carefree happy, and didn't bother to hide the fact. I also heard some of Black Lips goofy harmonising here on occasions. Also of course, no end of the Sixties.

Because Where Were We is certainly goofy. It's as All American as apple pie, and corny as a field of maize. There's a song called I Don't Trust Myself Around Jesus here. All wholesome as can be you can be assured. Though I did think I heard some liberal use of the 'f' word at one point. Surely an abberation!

Determinedly retro but the tunes stand up just as Partridge Family or Brady Bunch ones did way back in the day. You may not make it all the way through the record, you should get the idea a few tunes in. But you can be fairly sure that the songs you don't hear are just as sturdy as the ones you do. I stayed with it and can certainly assure you of that. Neat record.

Monday, November 22, 2021

Songs About People # 1,313 Georges Pompidou


Probably named after the centre, not the French President, but a chance of a bit of tasteful Portico Quartet is too good to miss.

Miles Davis


Waiting For the Sun by Barney Hoskyns # 10 War


The Eagles, oh no.... But also Motown moves to LA. Sly & The Family Stone and War. This song seems to fit the general mood.

Songs of the Year # 34 Sunny War


Albums of the Year # 34 Dummy - Mandatory Enjoyment



Late, high entry into my Top Hundred Albums of the Year. This will be posted on here again in that rundown in a few days. It's probably cheating as I only chanced on this record yesterday, but hey, I make the rules round here.

LAs Dummy do familiar things in a fresh way. Taking a quick glance at  where they're coming from, on their playlist of influences for their debut album Mandatory Enjoyment on their Spotify page, is a good indication of what they're trying to do as anything else; 

There you get, Silver Apples, Sun Ra, Stereolab, Psychedelic Byrds, Yo La Tengo, My Bloody Valentine. Just about enough for me, and Mandatory Enjoyment more than lives up to this exciting billing.

There's no evidence of anxiety of influence here.Just the sheer thrill of mixing up things that you love and spooling them out in a wondrous act of creation. Mandatory Enjoyment motors forward with wonderful carefree momentum. 

Along with Jane Weaver's Flock, Golden Apples' Shadowland, Spirit of the Beehive's ENTERTAINMENT DEATH and Vanishing Twin's Ookie Gekkou,  it's the best record of its sort I've heard this year and shows exactly what you're capable of if you use great taste and love and understanding of the things you love and are drawing from as your starting point. It also has the best actual song titles of pretty much any record I've heard this year. These things are important, at least to me.

Mandatory Enjoyment got an unusually enthusiastic response from Pitchfork when it came out at the beginning of the month. It's fairly rare for that august, self-regarding site to get hot under the collar about anything these days. But for once they get it entirely right about Dummy. They're an exciting band and a band to get excited about.