I have not heard much new music lately. I tend to stick with what I already know, meaning artists I already worship or specific albums I have made love to many times. That’s mostly because there’s not a lot out there that gets my juices flowing.
For the past few weeks I have been all about AC/DC. I played Stiff Upper Lip (and then I wrote about it here) every day for the first week, and this week it’s been Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap (here’s what I wrote about that one). I have also listened to a lot of AC/DC concerts on YouTube, especially their 1979 performance at the Oakland Coliseum and the show they did a week later in Cleveland. AC/DC is a band I did not grow up listening to, and when I became a fan when I was in my twenties I mostly listened to Back in Black (read my memories of that here). I didn’t really know much about the Bon Scott years, and now I am playing catchup.
Before AC/DC obsessed me for a fortnight, I was listening to Oasis. Again. They are one of those bands that will always get to me, and every time I listen to them I feel bold and happy and comfortable with myself. Most recently I was playing the deluxe reissue of (What’s the Story) Morning Glory?, particularly “It’s Better People,” a tune I had never heard until this set came out. It quickly became my favorite thing ever. I even wrote a public love letter to Noel Gallagher expressing my passionate desire to sing it with him onstage.
Before Oasis, I was obsessing over Queen again. Before that, I was rotating through Black Sabbath’s first album, the New York Dolls, and Motown, to name just a few that I make out with regularly. I learn something new each time I listen to anything I have heard a million times. Sometimes I remember something long-forgotten. Sometimes I see a connection between songs or artists I’d never put together before. These are among the reasons that I can play great stuff ad infinitum and never tire of it.
The last new artist I liked enough to pay to listen to was The Strypes, a brilliant group of Irish teenagers who sound like the early Stones. Their debut album is one of the finest collections I have heard in years. I am desperately craving more music from them, and I am listening hard for any other performers who can kick my ass that way. I want to be excited by new music! What a great feeling that is, hearing something for the first time and feeling it deep inside you. There are so few modern artists out there who turn me on this way, and I’m not sure why that is. I love all types of music, so it’s not that I’m picky, and I couldn’t give two shits about popularity. If it makes me feel something, if it fucks me hard and fast, if it brings tears to my eyes—that’s what makes me love it. I want to beg for more! That’s how I felt when I first heard The Strypes.
Where’s the next great musician hiding?