Weekly Obsessions: Dec 18



alexchiltonEvery week is an adventure, Rocknuts reader. This week, I started a new day job (yes, we still have those), ate a delicious lobster bisque, and stood up to a bully on the Chicago elevated train! I also obsessed about various songs and albums, as I am wont to do. Here’s a few “choice nugs,”  as the kids say.

1. “Things that Are Bad for Me (part 1)” – Colleen Green

If I were a shittier music journalist, I would say something like “2015 was really the year of the badass female rocker, what with the number of strong releases by artists like Sleater-Kinney, Courtney Barnett, Waxahatchee, Hop Along, etc.”

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The truth is that there are badass female rockers every year, and the fact that these artists are female really shouldn’t have anything to do with an assessment of their quality. That being said, it’s nice to see diversity among yearly “best-of” lists. Colleen Green mixes power pop, stoner rock and new wave to produce something delightful. Her album I Want to Grow Up is packed to the brim with mega-hooks and guitar licks, and it’s infinitely listenable.

2. “Thank You Friends” Big Star

Speaking of power pop, you know how you’ve always wanted to hear a power pop icon unraveling on record? You haven’t? Why the hell not? Check out Big Star’s third and final album Third/Sister Lovers. Alex Chilton’s years leading the group (not to mention the Box Tops) were beginning to wear on him. The resulting swan song for Big Star veers between unbridled joy and catatonic, mind-destroying depression. It’s fascinating, maddening, and you can draw a direct line from this record to other classics like Wilco’s Yankee Hotel Foxtrot.

3. “Are You With Me Now” – Cate Le Bon

Though this song is recent, it sounds positively vintage. The dueling guitar lines recall the next-level melodics of punk guitarists Robert Quine (Voidoids) and Richard Lloyd (Television), and Le Bon’s icy vocals owe a great debt to Nico. That’s rock music for you! Combining and recombining elements and ideas into infinite permutations! God knows I love it!

Photo: Alex Chilton; credit: “Big Star at Hyde Park 2” by Marcelo Costa – Big Star @ Hyde Park. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Big_Star_at_Hyde_Park_2.jpg#/media/File:Big_Star_at_Hyde_Park_2.jpg

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