Vol. 1 Track 8 (August 2020)

This has been a busy month for me and this newsletter. You may have noticed that the July newsletter looked a little different than the previous versions. That’s because I moved it from TinyLetter to Mailchimp which gives you a little more created freedom with the templates and customizations.

Also this month I took a long extended weekend off from work for some very much needed PTO. I had the goal of working on this little project of mine, specifically setting up a website to act as an archive of this newsletter but also as a space for me to write more about music.

The time off and project worked wonders for me, I felt really relaxed and recharged after so much time off. Work during the pandemic and quarantine has been much more intense and draining, so if you haven’t taken any time off I strongly urge you to do so.

You can find the site at downbeat.fm. If you are a newer subscriber you can see the past newsletters and playlists there, or click over to Apple Music or Spotify to start listening.

August’s Playlist

This month’s playlist features Frances Quinlan, PUP, Deftones, Bartees Strange, and more…

Listen to this month’s playlist on:

Featured Songs

Ohms by Deftones – (Apple Music / Spotify)
I’ve been a massive fan of Deftones since the late 90s. They have a new album coming out in September. This is the first single off of the album and it, as the kids say, slaps.

Patience by Chris Cornell – (Apple Music / Spotify)
I feel like there has been a Chris Cornell related song featured in the past few newsletters which can only speak to the immense talent he had and the large hole he left in music with his passing. This song is a cover of one of Guns N’ Roses’ best songs and as usual, Cornell crushed it.

Manic Pixie Dream Hurl by Thank You, I’m Sorry – (Apple Music / Spotify)
This album came out towards the end of August and on a friend’s recommendation, I checked it out and proceeded to listen to it three or four times back to back.

How to Stop Caring by Park National – (Apple Music / Spotify)
There is a big emo revolution happening, or at least it seems that way to me. And friends? I am here for it.

Other Listening & Quick Links

August 25th marked the 45th anniversary of Bruce Springsteen’s Born to Run. It’s one of my all-time favorite albums and definitely, one I’d say is on the list of all-time great albums. Of course, I had to give it a spin to mark the occasion. I urge you to also check it out on either Apple Music or Spotify.

On the Bruce Springsteen topic, Steven Hyden from UPROXX ranked Springsteen’s top 100 songs (he has a lot more than 100). The order is not one I agree with (as the author noted no one fan will have the same list) but I am not shocked that the top song was from Born to Run. I am, however, shocked at the song from Born to Run that was in the top slot.

Speaking of New Jersey music and musicians… I’m a lapsed metalhead, but still a fan of all things punk, especially New Jersey punk. Earlier this month, Two Minutes to Late Night gathered a bunch of New Jersey punk musicians plus Max Weinberg of E-Street Band fame to cover and honor another legendary punk band from the Garden State, The Misfits. They also did a great cover of Billy Idol’s Rebel Yell (not of New Jersey fame).

Remember when we had a President who was not only competent but also kind of cool? Well, Barack Obama released his summer playlist recently. A lot of the music isn’t my thing, but the Leon Bridges & Khruangbin song Texas Sun is so good.

You’ve no doubt seen the viral videos of Nandi Bushell, a young girl who is a monster on the drums. A few weeks ago she played Everlong by the Foo Fighters and called Dave Grohl out. Dave finally responded. Dave finally responded and you can watch Nandi’s reaction video here. Her talent is huge and her smile and enthusiasm are infectious.

Music is my favorite form of art that there is. Movies would be a close second. Movies that have a huge theme of music intertwined? Oh, buddy that’s something I’m going to love. A movie that has that in spades is Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. The movie also combines another love of mine, comic books, plus video games which I also enjoy. Stereogum wrote an article celebrating the movie and its indie music soundtrack that is definitely worth reading. You can check the soundtrack out on Apple Music and Spotify. If you haven’t seen the movie I highly recommend it. The trailer in the article does not do it justice – it’s a fun movie in its acting, soundtrack and score, storytelling, filmmaking, and editing.

Since the quarantine started cellist Samara Ginsberg has been doing these arrangements of songs on the cello, some of them were 90’s cartoon theme songs and she nailed the X-Men cartoon theme song. It’s so good.

I’ve talked at length about my love of live music, and the number of shows that I should have seen this year if it wasn’t for the quarantine and lockdowns. NPR’s John Paul Titlow dove into live music in his article How Live Music Is Coping, And What The Near Future Will Bring.