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Fatitaph Music for Fatitaph People

1:55 is a weekly newsletter for Patreon Gatekeepers.

One more week! Pretty excited about what September has in store for us all, but after this week’s episode we’re closing our EpiFat month with a bang (not really, the band are staunch pacifists). It’s been hot as hell in Montreal and Toronto and therefore the perfect time to be sitting around listening to Lagwagon. But summer is almost over, and it’s time for us all to grow up and head back to school. But not yet.

Let’s go.

Wednesday “Handsome Man”

Sam: My very “born in 1985” opinion on “90s alternative” is that the songs mostly suck. Every time I try to listen to Sonic Youth because someone who seemed cool to me as a teen was super into them, I am forced to admit that I don’t care for it. Same with Slint. Slint seems so cool! But I don’t care! Thankfully cooler young people have been excavating those sounds and adding, like, decent songs. Wednesday seem to be pretty straight-up about who they’re aping sonically, but this songs is verrrrrrry poppy and therefore, actually good.

Josiah: One of the worst things about getting old is not realizing that I was always right, because that’s obvious. It’s realizing that the Sams of the world are right sometimes too. Slint and Sonic Youth are undeniably boring… the latter was only good on Gilmore Girls, the former only good when jamming with Billy Corgan. Unfortunately, the new bands Sam is describing are also usually lacking in the tunes as well in my opinion, often coming across like a ‘90s Kids Remember Pinterest board. This band Wednesday seems like they’ve got some tunes, though. And some very strong vibes. I’m loving the basketball jersey’d laptsteel player and the singer’s low-high blouse/tracky bottoms combo. Respect.

Helado Negro “Sound and Vision”

Sam: I only just learned about this compilation from BBE, created to highlight David Bowie’s sometimes-overlooked connection to soul, R&B, gospel and jazz. The entire album is a beautiful treat but as a bigtime Lowman, this minimalist reimaging of the closet thing that album has to a pop hit is my easy favourite. The whole album is worth checking out if you, too, have longed to hear a vibey jazzed out cover of “Where Are We Now” or genteel Brazilian folk interpretation of “Panic in Detroit,” but I will never apologize for thinking Low is untouchable perfect art.

Josiah: Damn okay. This is pretty vibey. I always forget that there were other artists on Asthmatic Kitty, and I’m not sure I ever even heard Helado Negro. But Castanets was so sick, Shapes & Sizes had some moments and I really fucked with Chris Schlarb due to his sick Christian label I Heart Lung (who released some perfect Soul-Junk records) before he went full new age. Anyway I’m also just trying to avoid talking about David Bowie who, to me, is bordering on Bill Murray levels of oversaturation at this point.

The Killers “Desperate Things”

They’re trying to divide us with something called “Foxing,” but it’s not going to work. I simply choose to not get involved, and simply continue following my best friend Brandon Flowers and his best buds the Killers. The guitarist who looks like Val Kilmer is back in the band for Pressure Machine, a new album that no one is taking seriously because it doesn’t have any big karaoke moments. But fuck karaoke — instead, it has some ‘90s Neil Young/U2 Pop deep cut Americana like “Desperate Things.” Val is picking away on his axe with such beautiful Dead Man-esque tone, and then the drums start building and it feels like one of those mediocre yet lovely Wim Wenders/Sam Shepard movies that no one’s seen. And then, to open it up even more, there’s some nice free jazz bursts toward the end. It’s just a lovely sadsack alt-country tune from my sweet babies.

Sam: I have seen some posts about how this is the Killers’ Nebraska and while that is clearly a massive stretch, damn this is fucking sick. I think this is the year I finally get into the Killers non-karaoke cuts. The world has worn me down. Oh man this song keeps getting better eh. I heard “Somebody Told Me” last night on a patio and it’s incredible that this band escaped the pull of being a highly forgetably novelty 00s synth rock band and continue to make interesting music that people like Josiah love. Wow the end just happened this song fucking rules holy shit.

The Killers “Sleepwalker”

Josiah: I always forget that there’s also a bassist in the Killers. Like, Brandon eats up all the eyeballs with his charmingly princely little face, and then there’s the My Name Is Earl guy playing drums and the Val Kilmer guitarist. I can’t remember who the bassist is, what he looks like or whether or not he’s even in the band. But whoever’s playing bass on this song is absolutely nailing it with some plodding daddish post-punk, like finding a Factory Records shirt at H&M. It’s so strummy and iconic that it almost sounds fictional, like the biggest hit from Where’s Fluffy? with a pinch of Tom Petty. But then the song builds and builds with some more transcendent synths. It’s so cool to listen to bands that keep getting older and evolving, particularly when no one else seems to care anymore.

Sam: That’s exactly it - the Killers don’t have to do this! No one is demanding it, they could just go out there and play “Somebody Told Me” and sure I’d hate it but they could still play festivals and probably make the exact same amount of money. We talked about this a lot on Blink-155, but bands this big are a business, and there is basically no financial incentive to release two albums back-to-back for an audience of dwindling hardcores. And yet here they are! And now I like them? Like truly I think this was the moment. Cool. 

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