I think it is safe to say that we all had that one band at one point in our lives that really got us into music. The one band that made us go, “Wow, so that’s how listening to music is supposed to feel.” For me, it was Arctic Monkeys. When I was in high school, I used to go to my local library to rent CDs and burn them onto my computer (sorry, iTunes). One of the first albums I obtained was Arctic Monkeys’ first full length debut, “Whatever People Say I am, That’s What I’m Not” (among other gems, including “Is This It?” by The Strokes and “The Queen is Dead” by The Smiths). That album, and the subsequent ones that I devoured later, became the soundtrack to my high school experience; my go-to answer to the feared “what’s your favorite band?” question.
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.