When a friend told me about Discover Weekly on Spotify, I thought it was one of the better ideas of online music services. A playlist tailored to your music preferences, including songs from artists you probably don’t know? Every week? All the work of finding new music now done by a computer for you. How unbelievably convenient!
Thirty-four years ago, Swans hit the underground in New York with their self-titled EP. Now (thirteen studio albums, ten live albums, a heap of EPs and compilations, dozens of members, and a thirteen year hiatus later) the band is finishing up work in the studio on what is, according to the band, going to be the final work from this incarnation of Swans. After this album and its subsequent tour, Michael Gira and the rest of this current six-piece form of the band are ending a historic reunion run the likes of which just don’t happen.
Possibly one of the most notable things about Death of a Bachelor is that it is the first time Panic! at the Disco wrote an album with only one member. After the departure of drummer Spencer Smith in April 2015, Brendon Urie was left to carry on and write what actually may be the band’s best album yet. Already, it has done much better than the previous four. In its debut week, it sold more than 190,000 album units and scored a spot as number one on the US Billboard 200, the first album by the band to accomplish such a feat.
When I was in high school, a close friend of mine introduced me to the hilarious and often ridiculous wonder that is Ezra Koenig’s twitter. I initially dismissed his posted jokes as self-indulgent banter with a worshipping fan base. But, admittedly, I was intrigued, and started listening to Vampire Weekend. I got almost immediately hooked, and rapidly transformed into a person who listened to their self-titled album and Contra every day after school.