As always, your biweekly hit of the best in new left-field pop from Canada, Australia and beyond. This week, though, with a couple of thematically appropriate non-new tunes, one from ATR all-timers Pet Shop Boys and another from Toronto’s Leslie Spit Tree-o. I’ll never understand why these guys weren’t so much huger than they were. They sound as good in 2019 as they did when this song came out, what, almost 30 years ago. #thatcantberight
What’s new? How about some punk energy courtesy of White Dog and Batpiss? And Danko Jones! Pop-wise, Gold Fields and Yothu Yinki and the Treaty Project establish a nice groove. Also in here: BBQT! Fritz! Holiday Sidewinder! Just go listen.
Yothu Yindi & the Treaty Project
Pet Shop Boys
In the Night
In the Night
Hard to Kill
I’m In a Band
Storm the Streets
Eagles of Death Metal
Long Slow Goodbye
Syrup, Go On
Don’t Go (Riding Down the Cosmic Drain)
As always, the best new left-field pop, mainly from Australia and Canada, but if it’s from elsewhere and it sounds good, I’ll play it. Hello Seahorse! marks 10 years with a live album, Batpiss returns, Confidence Man follow up on a terrific first single (and get signed to a label!), and we check back in with the remarkable Fog Lake. And so much more.
So I recorded this on January 20, a day that will live on in … etc., etc. Don’t know if you watched the inauguration, but I didn’t bother. I had a pretty good idea of what to expect, and we have four years to deal with it, so no need to catch the speech (I watched it later, for professional purposes. Verdict: I made the right call).
While the new US president was doing his thing, I spent my time putting together this podcast. Music and art: it’s a cliché, but they’re good for the soul. Lots of good tunes this week, as always, including a few political-leaning songs, cuz why not? Enjoy.
Brisbane, Australia’s, Confidence Man has exactly one song to their name. But my god, what a song. I really can’t improve on Triple J Unearthed’s description of the song as “like Tom Tom Club partying with LCD Soundsystem.”
This is the party song to end all party songs. If I’d heard it before this week there’s no question that it would’ve been near the top of my year-end best-of list. Hilarious, deadpan vocals courtesy of Janet Planet detailing all of her boyfriend’s shortcomings (basically, he’s just sooooo sensitive) and an insanely infectious beat make this a keeper. I can only imagine how fabulous their live show must be. Shame they’re a 24-hour flight away…
For my final podcast of 2016, I’ve turned the sacred setlist duties over to The Mysterious Natasha. I think you’ll agree it looks (and sounds) pretty damn good. I’m also taking a break from the mic this week, so this is (ahem) all rock (all pop?), no talk, and it gave me a chance to try out my Christmas present, a Denon MC4000 DJ controller. It’s pretty sweet so far.
My one contribution is Stars’ No One is Lost, the existentially perfect way to close out the year: