Published on March 17th, 2021 | by Robert Barry Francos


The Feedback Society’s Week in Music

Robert Barry Francos goes through some of the indie singles he’s been listening to, bringing you some hot recommendations to throw on the old stereo.

Adrian Younge
Jazz is Dead
Younge takes a few different styles and successfully mixes them together. The song starts a bit like The First Poets, arguably the first – and I believe best – political rap groups, with sharp lyrics over atonal music. This flows into a 1970s style rhythm and sound of bands like the O’Jays, but with a sharper tone and a jazzy piano thrown in (amusingly ironic considering the name of the label that put this out). The lyrics the first part are a bit drowned out by the noise in the mix, but the message still comes through, especially on a second listen. This is the right time for this strong imagery by musician, composer, producer, and ex-Law Professor Younge, considering what is going on across America with the re-rise of a culture of hate of the “Other.”.

Dots Per Inch Records

I hear a lot of people being nostalgic for the British-pop music of the 1980s. Most of that, I don’t understand. It was all synthetic beats, nonsense lyrics, and downer messaging. A lot of the videos, though, were pretty interesting (Human League’s “Don’t You Want Me,” for example). If you are one of those, you are going to love Jack Whitescarver’s output as much as I did not. Yes, I found the video stunning and odd, but the music is such a throwback to the ‘80s that I almost immediately glossed over and wanted to go turn on a garage band (perhaps the Tryfles or the Outta Place?) or some Heartbreakers (Johnny Thunders’ band, not Tom Petty’s) to cleanse my palate. Please, if the ‘80s were your thing, you’re probably going to love this, and you should give a listen. It comes from their debut album, The Beach.

Arms of Kismet
“Potter’s Field”
Wampus Multimedia
I have been listening to AoK for a few releases now and have always enjoyed them. So, why should this be any different? The ballad here is light and airy in tone, with an almost dreamlike rock of the cradle in the breeze. It has a ‘60s garage tone, without the farfisa, relying on a triple time waltz of schmaltz. It’s not as zoned out as some meditation music, due to its razor sharpness buzz, but I found it soothing and quite beautiful. There is a lot thrown in there, from harmonious and soaring choruses to the electronic sounding reading near the end (apparently, it is taken from the final comments of Louis XVI as he was to be executed). Definitely worth a listen if you like garage influences with a modern car in the structure.-

Ashley Monroe
Mountainrose Sparrow/Thirty Tigers
Off her fifth studio album, Rosegold, this single is a bit confusing to me. Hailing from Nashville, the video looks like it would be a nice country pop song, but the music itself is merely a modern, overproduced pop ballad. It brings nothing new to the table. Don’t get me wrong, Monroe has a good voice, as far as I can tell; I have no idea if it is autotuned, but this is the kind of sound (not that ridiculous T. Pain electronic tone) I find with a lot of modern recordings, which I try to avoid as much as possible. Being off her nearly half-dozenth full release, I am going to assume she has a following, and my opinion hopefully will not matter a hill of beans, but this is the kind of material that lead to why I stopped listening to country. If this is the style of material she is releasing, I don’t need to hear more, but wish her well.

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About the Author

has lived in Saskatoon for over a decade, having spent most of his life in New York City. Part of the New York punk scene from nearly its inception, he has been known to hang out with musicians, artists and theatrical types. His fanzine, FFanzeen, was published from 1977 through 1988, giving him opportunity to see now famous bands in their early stages. Media, writing and photography have been a core interest for most of his life, leading to a Masters in Media Ecology from New York University. This has led to travel to Mexico, England, the Netherlands, Germany, Poland, Israel and Egypt, and recently he taught a university class in media theory in China.

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