Spring For Tunes 2017

After what seemed to be an endless winter this year, Spring is finally here. On the West Coast of Canuckistan, we’re used to bragging about spring flowers in February, posting Facebook pictures to torment our friends and family back east. Goshdarn it, it’s a tradition! Not so this year, though. In fact, it was balmy back east when we were still shoveling sidewalks. Thanks, global climate change!

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Still, even if winter didn’t take the hint that it was time to hit the road as fast as I would have liked, what remains is the music. For every thing, said Pete Seeger (or was it the Bible?), there is a season, turn, turn, turn. And so as if to fall in line with that as the buds on the trees are finally making good on their promises, here is a collection of new tunes just for spring 2017.

Lend an ear and drink in the life-giving splendour of each. And as always, tell me all about your favourites in the comments section, Good People.

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Spring For Tunes 2016

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After a particularly bitter winter on the east coast, and a pretty rainy one here on the west coast of B.C, a sense of renewal is required, whatever the weather. Everyone likes that feeling of moving on to the next phase. And when it coincides with the arrival of a new season, then all the better, right?

Even if you find yourself still entangled in winter’s morass, renewal can still be a thing. Of course (and you knew I was going to get to this) new music helps with that. Lately, I’ve been thinking about how lucky we are living in this age, when so much great music is being made, and being made so readily available. Our playlists are our own. But, perhaps this new list of tunes can help you form your own playlist for a new season, and for a new season and era in your life, too.

Take a listen, Good People.

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Fall Into Tunes 2015

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It’s been a dry and hot summer; the hottest on record, ever. On this coast, we’ve spent the summer watching lawns die, and breathing in the smoke of forest fires. As I write this, it’s raining, sending down life-giving waters as a new season dawns; fall. Or autumn. Whichever you prefer.

In any case, like the rains that are currently quenching the thirst of a parched West coast landscape as I write this, it’s new tunes that help to bring life and health to our spirits during a season when the natural world is thinking about turning in for a long night of winter. For that, as usual, the ‘Bin has got your cure right here.

Here are sixteen new songs to let trickle down into your thirsty souls. Read, listen, and as always, let me know your favourites! Read more

Spring For Tunes 2015

spring fairies

Winter has been hard, Good People. I know. I know. Well, I would if I didn’t live in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia. Don’t hate me.

The world has been blanketed in white, which was pretty at first. But, it got old real fast.  Some of you have had to tunnel your way to the car, or from it, sometimes using nothing but your ice-crusted mittens to do so. You have suffered that thing when you step into deep snow and it gets in your boots and soaks your socks.

Old Man Winter is a jerk.

Things (hopefully!) are getting green where you are, and a new and lush season of spring has by now sprung in your neck of the desert. If not, then maybe all you need are some new tunes to warm up your world while you wait! Well, as is becoming a custom around here at The ‘Bin, I have just the thing; a list of new songs from acts across the musical spectrum and the world.

New music is like the sunshine and April-ish showers for the soul. Drink it in, Good People!

Take a look! Or more accurately – a listen! Read more

Belle And Sebastian Plays “If You’re Feeling Sinister”

Belle_And_Sebastian_-_If_You're_Feeling_SinisterListen to this track by super-studenty Scottish pop band with a fey streak a mile-wide Belle And Sebastian. It’s “If You’re Feeling Sinister”, the title track to their 1996 sophomore record of the same name.

When I say “studenty”, I’m referring to a common, totally made-up sounding adjective often used by the British music press that describes bands who could otherwise be described as bookish, a bit earnest, full of musical loose ends, or in fact formed while in university. Sometimes, it’s just that last one, which certainly describes this band. Belle And Sebastian not only formed in university, but they submitted their first demos to the school’s label!

Needless to say, groupies, blow, and throwing T.Vs out of hotel room windows would not be in this band’s future (that we know of!). So, where were they heading? Well, for one thing they were headed to critical acclaim. Read more

Stereolab Plays “Three Women”

Stereolab Chemical ChordsListen to this track by Anglo-Gallic drone-rock analogue synthesists with a flair for retro-pop texture Stereolab. It’s “Three Women” as taken from their 2008 debut record on the 4AD label, Chemical Chords. The record hooked into principles Tim Gane’s and Laetitia Sadier’s interest in pop music of all kinds, including ’60s soul-pop, as it dovetails with krautrock, The Velvets, lounge music, and various retro-futurist sources.

And apart from the aforementioned analogue synth textures and their patented detached melodicism, In this song, we get to hear something of the band’s playful side. Yet, in their way, they’ve always been playful, taking discarded textures and set pieces from time’s past, and blending them together just to see what happens. An artistic environment in the ’90s when they debuted helped to encourage this kind of approach. That was a decade when sonic materials hitherto looked upon as being uncool seemed to be just old enough to be new again. By the 21st century, this approach is de rigeur across the board where experimental pop and indie music in general goes.

So, some things have stayed the same. But, what has changed? Read more

Fall Into Tunes 2014

Fairy's Banquet

Fall is cool.

I mean things are cooling off from a glorious summer now gone, sure. But, fall really is cool, especially when you add new tunes to the mix. This is what I’m suggesting, as I did last year. Because this is the second annual Fall Into Tunes, a selection of new songs that you must hear this autumn season.

So, here are 16 songs to help you build your autumn playlists, from different points of the musical spectrum, and from near and far.

Lend me your ears!

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Morphine Play “Cure For Pain”

Mophine Cure For PainListen to this track by three-piece “low-rock” innovators from Boston, Morphine. It’s “Cure For Pain”, the title track to their 1993 album of the same name; Cure For Pain, arguably their strongest statement as a musical unit.

There are many examples of rock music innovation during the 1990s. As I’ve mused elsewhere, I really think this decade was an artist’s decade, with many bands empowered to push the boundaries while signed to major labels in the wake of Nirvana’s achievement of selling loads of records while also hanging onto college radio audiences. And, no other band was doing what Morphine was doing.

Everything about them was unconventional, from the instruments they used, to the way those instruments were played, to the musical references that define their sound. And yet their music doesn’t just appeal to some intellectual notion of originality. It socks you in the gut, too.

I think this comes from groundwork they laid which not too many bands decide upon from the get-go; a cultivated group identity.  Read more

Black Box Recorder Play “Andrew Ridgeley”

Black Box Recorder PassionoiaListen to this track by British ironicists and synth-pop fans from way back, Black Box Recorder. It’s “Andrew Ridgeley”, a paean to an ’80s icon and to an era too as taken from the band’s 2003 record Passionoia. For those of us who also were brought up to the sound of the synthesizer, and who learned to dance to the beat of electronic drums, this is an instant connection. The wrench in the works is the object of affection at the center of this song, possibly.

That’s what this band was always good at – undermining expectations, and making you wonder where they’re coming from. Is Andrew Ridgeley cooler than we thought? Is this a song coming from a sincere place? Is it just an exercise in subversion for the sake of it? Is it as black and white as all that? And is there more here than the lyrics may be telling us?

Well, of course. This is Black Box Recorder.

So, what is this song trying to say exactly? Well among other things, I think it’s a song about growing up. Read more

June Tunes Digest 2013

Summer is nearly upon us! And so, summer tunes are required. There have been a lot of requests from cool bands from all over to get their songs included here on this here pop music blog. It’s a huge honour to be asked!

Dancing June Tunes

In the spirit of the oncoming summer season, I thought I’d present a digest of tunes from a few acts who’ve turned my head in the last few months. So here are some highlights for the Delete Bin’s June Tunes 2013!

Usually, I try and make lists of 10. But, I’ve kicked that format to the curb this time around. I just couldn’t say no to any of these. So, there’s 14 big tunes to savour, good people! It’s like a ready-made summer compilation album!

What do you think ? Read more