Arts & Culture

What's the Last Record You Listened To?

By Josh Feit March 3, 2011

I was talking to a press spokesman today and right in the middle of the conversation he asked me—what was the last record I listened to?

I was taken aback at his casual, conversational style in the middle of an all business call. In these up-tempo days of web reporting, it's getting less and less common to spend any extra time chatting with press people on the phone.

And to top that off—what a great question.

Answer: A band I'd never listened to before, The Neighborhoods—a Boston-scene band from the untouchable new wave power pop year of 1979. (Seriously, check your dates, '79 is the drop-dead year for early '60s Beatles pop done up as punk.)

I stumbled across The Neighborhoods on one of those YouTube scavenger hunts that started with a band I actually did dig at the time called The Beat ... not the English Beat ... but a band that came out of the same new wave guitar rock LA scene as the Knack.

Anyway, check the Neighborhoods' video (live on some Boston cable show or something). My word.

Meanwhile, I asked this spokesman what the last record he listened to was. He said the Spinners. Nice.

Speaking of music. Eric Grandy has an awesome cover story in this week's Seattle Weekly raising a red flag about Seattle's current penchant for blockheaded sincerity.

Grandy begins:
By the time you read this, Seattle rapper Macklemore will have performed the first two of three sold-out nights at Showbox at the Market. Meanwhile, super-earnest local folkies The Head and the Heart—signed to Sub Pop records in December amid a flurry of hype—will have returned from a successful tour of Europe to open stateside for The Walkmen.

These accomplishments are undeniable triumphs for both artists, and for one particular vision of Seattle's musical landscape. But they're also testaments to this city's apparently insatiable appetite for a spoon-fed form of "sincerity." Which raises the question: Is this a good look for Seattle?

Love it.
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