<5K: Volume 9
FAQ: In case you drop dead soon, what should we do at your funeral?
Asher:Good question, friend!
I want my funeral to be a party. I want fireworks. Sparklers, Catherine Wheels, fizzling sparks of firepowder. I want pink elephants. I want coffee and chocolates and baguettes to be served. Good coffee, not Starbucks. Good baguettes, with the crust buttery and crisp and the inside soft and steaming. And chocolate pralines, with the richness still tingling in your mouth long after they’ve been eaten. I want wine from ‘92, since that was a good year. Mellow. Earthy. Play CTY canon. Play death metal. Play Thom Yorke and Bob Dylan. Play the songs of humpback whales.
Let me whisper away. Spread my ashes along the rotting canals of Venice, the scintillating brothels of Copacabana, the smoky roads of the Rockies.
Then forget me. Don’t even try and mourn.
Have a question? Email me! (Info below.)
THE OLD STORY OF THE NAMESAKE//JUST WHAT’S GOING ON HERE
There’s an xkcd comic that exposes the secret coalition to make certain YouTube videos go viral: they have to get exactly “300+” likes from the committee, and are then certified to spread like the plague onto innocent newsfeeds worldwide.
In that vein, I present you with <5K: exposition on bands that have less than 5,000 likes online. Perhaps one of them will be the next to pass that mysterious threshold into the world of fame and fortune… after all, once you get 5,000 likes, you sell out every show and your records go gold. That’s how it works, right?
New Canada (31 likes) are half musical absurdity and half kill-em-all rock n roll. Their new full-length Nova Nova Scotia is a mind-bending compilation of sounds, thrown together in a deliberate sort of madness that evokes the psychedelic-noise-folk-rock of bands like The Flaming Lips and Apollo’s Din. Every fill is a burst of colorful noise; every lyric reads like a surrealist poem, read straight at the listener with overpowering emotional weirdness. Some of the cuts, like the irresistible “Julia’s Real Orthodox”, lean closer to the melodic side of things, balancing out the alienating chaos with a dose of sweet accessibility. The entire album is saturated with overdubs, and with epic songs like “Space Blues”, it snowballs into a heaving, multi-headed beast of sound that threatens to overrun everything in sight. Damn, son.
Recommended tracks: “Julia’s Real Orthodox,” “Space Blues”
I don’t even know where to start with Shirt/Pants (115 likes). The facts about their live show seem more important than my subjective opinion. One guitarist had his pedals on a skateboard; the other guitar was covered in AP Test barcode stickers. They played an incredibly tight set of garagey surf rock, built on upsettingly good riffs and self-referential lyrics about hating school. Two of their members are seniors in high school. They transformed a room of weary listeners into a crowd of dancers getting loose. They reminded me a little bit of Chain & The Gang, whom I love. They said the band is called Shirt/Pants because no one would go see Pants/Shirt. They want to rule the world. They deserve your attention. Stay tuned for more recordings. They’re going to be good.
- Listen to Nova Nova Scotia here.
Ghost Hotel (1,104 likes) are doing something that a bunch of people are doing, but they’re doing it differently, and they’re doing it better. In a time when “bedroom pop” usually means blurry, half-realized melodies, Ghost Hotel are making polished music that warms your heart on a cold night. Their most recent EP, Night & Day, is wonderfully melodic and lighthearted. “Night & Day” bounces on a shimmery hook full of tambourine, intimate and instantly memorable. “Blue Christmas” is the perfect soundtrack to an old-school slow dance, with sleigh bell guitar lines and lovely male-female dual vocals. The choral fall to seventh, then fourth, is what heartwarming music is all about.
- Listen to Shirt/Pants here.
- Recommended tracks: “Oxford Feet,” “Bluebird”
Alice Boman (3,907 likes) is an upcoming Swedish singer-songwriter on her first official US tour. She and her band make music that’s refreshing and clear, like clean water. Alice’s voice lends itself to exactly the type of songs she writes: simple, pure. The softened drums and synths behind her work perfectly to accentuate her sound, and her flugelhorn player matches her with midrange harmonies better than a human voice could. Her US debut, the double-release EP II & Skisser EP, are collections of musical sketches, powerful in their quiet potential, which is exactly what gets tapped in her live show. It’s airy and heartbeat-paced, leaving you relaxed and slightly entranced by the sweet melodies.
- Listen to Night & Day here.
- Recommended tracks: “Night & Day,” “Blue Christmas”
- Listen to Alice Boman here.
- Recommended tracks: “Burns,” “Lead Me”
-Asher Meerovich is a writer and musician in College Park. He likes to be near water. Read more of his musical explorations at hire-me-rolling-stone.tumblr.com
If you’re in a band, your friend is in a band, or you just know a band with less than 5,000 likes that deserves to be heard, send a link to email@example.com. If I like it, I’ll put them in an upcoming edition of <5K No inquiries about Tomato Dodgers, please.