Published on March 19th, 2014 | by Craig Silliphant


The Feedback Society’s Week in Music

A  list of what we’ve been listening to this week in The Feedback Society Lounge.  The Men, The War on Drugs, Cliff Martinez and more.



The Men – ‘Tomorrow’s Hits’

Brooklyn’s The Men made their bones as a noisy, post-punk psychedelic rock outfit, but they’ve been evolving with each album.  Their latest settles on a 70s blue collar country rock idea, with easily drawn comparisons to The E Street Band and Tom Petty.  I’d have to say that I like their older stuff better, or at least, the period where they were transitioning from where they were to where they are now.  However, this isn’t a knock on ‘Tomorrow’s Hits’ — it’s a great album, it just shows the band being less experimental than previous efforts.  Or perhaps, straight is the new experimental?  Either way, they’re great musicians and ‘Tomorrow’s Hits’ is worth a listen.


The War on Drugs – ‘Lost in the Dream’

Speaking of throwing back to Springsteen and Petty, Philly’s The War on Drugs are another band in this generation of modern indie music that’s digging back through crates to hang with The Boss.  Like The Men, moreso, in fact, they harness these influences and make them bend into their own brand of Bossgaze.  ‘Lost in the Dream’ is as big as the world, with spacious songs and meticulous production that doesn’t sound meticulous and overbaked.


Sun Kil Moon – Benji

Mark Kozelek’s work in Red House Painters and Sun Kil Moon is usually a little more drawn out and lyrically obfuscated, but on his last album, ‘Among the Leaves,’ he got bizarrely confessional, really spreading his songwriting wings into some great places, and some not so great places.  ‘Benji’ (named after the family movie about the little dog) finds him working in that vein somewhat, still going big and writing ‘true life’ songs about his family and other matters, but perhaps honing it into something a lot more palatable.  While the subject matter can get depressing (there’s an awful lot of death on this record), it’s actually one of the musically richest albums he’s ever delivered.


Real Estate – ‘Atlas’

Real Estate’s sound hasn’t really changed all that much, and yet, ‘Atlas’ seems like a watershed moment for them.  Is it the sound of growing up?  The album seems a lot more mature, sadder even.  Sure, they have always been bittersweet, but they were purveyors of melodic whimsy — lazy summer in suburbia, if you will.  Like I said, this album sounds similar, but a bit more reflective, perhaps leaning towards autumn.  A time to look back at summer and either shake your head or smile, depending on what you did, and what you learned.


Cliff Martinez – Solaris

When I saw Solaris in the theatre, it was empty, save for myself and two teenagers that thought they were getting George Clooney in a Star Wars movie.  I had to yell at them to be quiet when their conversation started ruining the beautiful, spacey drift that the movie was slowly building.  I love Solaris — Stanislaw Lem’s book, Tarkovsky’s movie, and Soderbergh’s version — each bring their own angle to the tale.  Cliff Martinez did the soundtrack to the Soderbergh take, and it’s a haunting and heartbreaking score that brings the melancholy of the movie rushing back each time I hear it.  Lost in Space, indeed.

“Man has gone out to explore other worlds and other civilizations without having explored his own labyrinth of dark passages and secret chambers, and without finding what lies behind doorways that he himself has sealed.”

– Stanislaw Lem (Solaris)

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About the Author

is a D-level celebrity with delusions of grandeur. A writer, critic, creative director, editor, broadcaster, and occasional filmmaker, his thoughts have appeared on radio, television, in print, and on the web. He is a juror on the Polaris Music Prize and the Juno Awards. He loves Saskatoon. He has horrible night terrors and apocalyptic dreams.

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