April has been a tough month. I had one of my worst depressive episodes in the last two years. I struggled to even get out of bed every day. If you know the spoon theory, I was short at least one spoon every day. On the plus side, my struggle felt easier not fighting a lot of my old gender identity issues and I got to see a good friend who I hadn’t seen since 2002. That would be P-Mag’s Sara Habein. Music has continued keeping me going. Thanks to crate digging on Record Store Day and a few days later, I had rediscovered a few of my old favorites that I had forgotten about.
1. Jets to Brazil – “I Typed For Miles”
I discovered Jets to Brazil through the magic of the internet. Though I had been a Jawbreaker fan in high school, I had not learned that Blake had formed a new band until the release of Jets’ second album, Four Cornered Night, I prefer the first album, Orange Rhyming Dictionary, which this song comes from. Like all Blake bands, the lyrics are crisp and biting and the music invokes the emotions of the lyrics.
2. Braid – “A Dozen Roses”
Braid was a band that I discovered in 2001. I remember going to college in Spokane and using audiogalaxy to download anything in the emo and post-hardcore categories. I got some amazing stuff then. Remember this is when emo was still being applied correctly as a genre and not to mean pop punk bands that wrote about sad stuff like Fall Out Boy. I was surprised to find out Braid was back together and have a new album coming out, which I will definitely be picking it up in June.
3. Boysetsfire – “When Rhetoric Dies”
Another post-hardcore band, Boysetsfire is what set me off on this list. On Record Store Day, digging through crates, I found the very first Boysetsfire album from its original print run. This song is actually taken off the second album, which happens to be my favorite.
4. Broken Social Scene – “I’m Still Your Fag”
My favorite song from my favorite BSS record, You Forgot It In People. Hearing this song for the first time, I was hooked. I was late to the party, not hearing them until 2006 or so. There is something hauntingly sweet about this song.
5. American Football – “But The Regrets Are Killing Me”
A Chicago-based band from the Kinsella family, American Football was a one off album band that impacted how I viewed indie rock. Though I had heard Cap’n Jazz, another Kinsella family band, American Football’s album spoke a lot more to me. This was during my “I love haunting guitars and slowly sung lyric”s phase. Which is actually a phase I haven’t grown out of.
6. Pedro the Lion – “Bad Things To Such Good People”
I had the pleasure of seeing Pedro the Lion on the tour for this album. David Bazan is a pretty amazing songwriter. Winners Never Quit might not be his most well-known album, but it is my favorite. What I appreciated about David’s songwriting was his lyrics were simple but complex at the same time.
7. ¡All-Time Quarterback! – “Send Packing”
A side project or solo album depending on who you talk to, ¡All-Time Quarterback!, are some home made recordings by Ben Gibbard. This is some of the most low-fi jangly sounds ever recorded by Mr. Gibbard. It has a eerie sound that just grabs me.
8. Regina Spektor – “You’ve Got Time”
My only Record Store Day purchase was the 7-inch of the awesome Orange is The New Black theme song. I cannot wait for season two to come out. Hurry up and be June, damn it.
9. Sleater-Kinney – “Dig Me Out”
Riot Grrl for the fucking win. I really like the live video even with its pooresque quality because A.) you can see how much fun they are having and B.) 924 Gilman is one of the premier punk clubs in the country and I used to live right around the corner from it. I was always on the Sleater-Kinney side of the Riot Grrl divide. I never got into Bikini Kill as much. Plus Carrie Brownstein is awesome!
10. Pansy Division – “Dick of Death”
It’s a catchy song that I cannot get out of my head. I love me some Pansy Division.
I know May is going to be a lot better for me than April was. Star Wars Day is May 4th! Plus lots more sunshine, I hope.