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Soundtracked: Music, News, and More Week of July 15

So, for better or worse, I’m going to be taking the wheel on this column for Alex. Let’s have some fun and try to forget the impending heatwave, yeah?


I stumbled across Speedy Ortiz on Pitchfork recently and decided the favorable review warranted a quick listen. I’d never heard of SO before, so I wasn’t sure of what to expect, but one grungy punch in the gut later and my curiosity was piqued.

Major Arcana, released on July 9th, is a modest 34-minute journey that flashes by in equal parts noise, pop, and grunge. It opereates as an even-keeled discordancy, teetering between chaos and cohesion, with singer Sadie Dupies’s vocals shimmering pretty above the frenzy. Fair warning: this is far from summery, feel-good vibes, so be prepared for a dose of morose. I think I need to spend more time with the album to fully articulate how I feel about it, but my initial recommendation is to give it a spin.


One of my favorite current acts is the ever-eccentric Man Man, who’ve arrived on the scene by way of Philly. This past week they released the new track “Head On” on Spotify and an accompanying music video on YouTube. The song is not as zany or maximal as you might expect (if you’re at all familiar with the troupe), but it’s still some of their catchiest and most compelling work to date. It’s impossible to tell, just from this, what direction the rest of their upcoming album, On Oni Pond, will take, but I’m fairly optimistic about the September release. Scratch that — I’m pretty stoked.

A little insight from frontman Honus Honus in a recent press release about MM’s latest efforts has gotten garnered a little buzz on the internet. Check it:

“This is a strange and beautiful record but it’s also head on and fearless,” says Honus Honus.  “It’s not a record that’s going to flirt with you, this is a record that’s asking you out. If you get into bed with us there’s going to be a relationship.”


It looks like our friends the Yeah Yeah Yeahs are having a little singing contest amongst their fans. All you have to do is submit a video of yourself singing their newest single, “Despair,” and see if the community digs your vibe. Manage that and you’ll be entitled to a “very special YYY prize.” Submissions end August 9th. Good luck!

Though I’ve never really watched the fantastically popular musical dramedy, it’s sad to hear Glee star Corey Monteith was found dead in his hotel room in Vancouver this past weekend. A tragedy for family, friends, and fans alike. 31 is far, far too young.


I was looking for something new to listen to during one of my runs this week but decided to take a chance and throw it back a bit after a few minutes of frustrated scrolling through my library. I can’t remember the last time I said hello to the Blue Album, but I’m glad I did. All of that middle school angst, isolation, and nerdom came flooding back as waves of motivation. Can you believe that next May marks the 20th anniversary (what!) of its release? I wonder if the guy on YouTube who posted this video is making any money in advertising since it’s reached over a million views at this point…


by Justin Davis

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