“Strangers” – ACTORS
Ooooh, this is some good shit! Just expert dark, post-punk that sounds straight out of the transition from the ’80s to the ’90s. Sounds a little like…

“Cuts You Up” – Peter Murphy
…ACTORS definitely took a page out of the Peter Murphy/Bauhaus book. Since that book was written 30-35 years ago, it comes off as homage rather than ripoff. This song is a jam. If I made a mix tape of my favorite songs from my freshman year of college, this would be on it. It cut through – no pun intended – all the pop bullshit, R&B, and hip-hop I was also listening to and shone a light down the musical path I would eventually take.

“Bed Head” – Manchester Orchestra
MO has wild swings in the quality of their music. At least to my ears. They have songs I love (“The Gold,” my second favorite song of the 2010’s and a song I will still crank up every time I hear it.) and songs that annoy me. This lead track from their upcoming album is firmly in the Love side of that equation.

“knuckle tattoo” – girlhouse
I will describe this song like a fine wine: Up front there’s a strong Metric presence. I get elements of Flock of Seagulls, healthy notes of late-era New Order, with a hint of twitchiness from the mid-90s alterna-pop scene. Would drink (listen to) again.

“Ferris Wheel” – Nisa
I listened to several tracks from female-fronted groups that rock this week. This song, with it’s crunchy guitars and bouncy beat, was the best.

“Pale Kings” – Shearwater
Spotify has churned this out three times over the past week, so I think the music gods wanted me to share it again. This barely missed my Favorite Songs of the Decade list, and was my #9 song of 2016. I still love it. Although it now seems quaint that Will Sheff wrote an album about the weird feelings he had about protesting injustices of the world in the safe and prosperous America of 2015. I’m sure any qualms he had about the relative stability of our country were wiped out before 2016 ended.

“What This City Needs” – Sam Coffey and The Iron Lungs
WOW! I didn’t know music like this was still made. And in Canada, no less! This band sounds like if every rock band that put out an album between 1975 and 1985 was thrown into a colander, then sifted around until the essence of each group was left in a pile, and those elements combined into a new band. I told my brother-in-music E$ yesterday that I was going to listen to this album non-stop for a few days, then might never listen to it again. It will be a fun few days, but I don’t know that it’s going to connect in a meaningful, lasting way.