So the Best of Year mixtapes have been made, the top albums/songs lists have been made, and the new year is upon us. No new albums have dropped — at least none of import other than a few playlist EPs and one or two reissues — and it’s probably going to be another week or so before any major releases hit the internet shopping carts.
I’m always torn between wanting to listen to new things or reminiscing with older releases. Sometimes there will be a few late-in-the-year releases, like 2019’s Everyday Life by Coldplay or last year’s McCartney III that became favorites. But more often than not I’ll just stick with the mixtapes and the internet radio.
Quite often when I do this, I’ll stumble across a release I somehow missed over the last few years, and those are always a great discovery. I rarely have those nowadays, considering how musically plugged in I can be. In my high school and college days, I spent just as much time discovering new bands as much as I did catching up with old releases I should know about. Sometimes that will garner a download or two, or if I’m really drawn to the music, I’ll do a discography deep-dive.
So it’s not as if I’ve run out of things to listen to…I just get a bit untethered about it. Which is not necessarily a bad thing.
Intense walls of shredded guitar noise? Check.
So much reverb you could drown in it? Check.
Unconventional time signatures? Check.
Otherworldly feminine vocals? Check.
Dream pop melodies for days? Check.
Pretty much everything that makes Jonc a blissfully happy listener? Check.
Pinkshinyultrablast comes from St Petersburg, Russia, and they’re absolutely amazing.
I’m finally getting around to reading George Clinton’s autobiography Brothers Be, Yo Like George, Ain’t That Funkin’ Kinda Hard On You? [BEST. TITLE. EVER.] and it occurs to me that I don’t own any Funkadelic (or Parliament, for that matter).
This really needs to be rectified.
I’ve known about them for years, of course. I probably first heard of them in a few of those rock history books I used to take out from the library back when I was a preteen and already obsessing over music trivia. I’m pretty sure I’d heard some of their jams in the background of some 70s movie or something. I knew George Clinton had an extremely out-there stage persona. They weren’t a band you’d find in the music bins at K-Mart or one of those mall stores, though, so they weren’t always on my radar. It wasn’t until my freshman year roommate in college played me part of their 7th album Let’s Take It to the Stage that I got what they were about. One listen to “Get Off Your Ass and Jam” and I knew what I was in for… I liked it, but it didn’t quite gel with me at the time.
Reading his book, though, I finally figured out what they were about. They weren’t merely a weird funk band from the 70s…they were much more than that. Part soul, part psychedelic rock (I can definitely hear that now — the above track is reminiscent of those long-ass psych rock jams that early FM radio loved so much), part political, and part party. There’s a lot going in this band’s music, and now I’m intrigued.
That said…given that their early work is available on eMusic, I’m going to download me some of this cosmic slop and do a bit of immersion. Wish me luck!