Music and Mutterings of 2015

Well, here we are at the last day of 2015. And it’s been an interesting year, as in “may you live in interesting times.” There’s nothing that can be said quickly about what’s going on around us, except that you have to hope that more people are taking a personal role in speaking out against bigotry, ignorance, and hatred, wherever it shows up. Positivity and compassion, may those ideas fill us all and shape our so-called reality.

Musically, there’s been the constant flow of new material, although to look at the charts, you’d find it hard to believe that besides a small handful of people in the eye of the media, anyone else is actually doing anything. Step away from the mainstream though, and there’s a lot of people out there, fighting the good fight and struggling to get heard in the flood of what’s available.

Someone said to me that artists who have achieved success should stand aside, and let the new come through. I really don’t agree with that, for many reasons, not the least being that to say to someone they no longer have a reason to create is to kill them, early. Let’s be grateful for the people out there who want to keep going, and do, right to the end.  

We just lost a fine example of living life on your own terms, not to a mediatized schedule. Lemmy (RIP) said “If you’re going to be a fucking rock star, go be one. People don’t want to see the guy next door on stage; they want to see a being from another planet.”

May you find your planet in 2016.

2015 Video Playlist

Top Ten Albums of 2015

Drenge – Undertow

Dave Gahan and Soulsavers – Angels and Ghosts

Duran Duran – Paper Gods

Jamie xx – In Colour

Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp a Butterfly

Spector – Moth Boys

Wolf Alice – My Love is Cool

American Wrestlers – American Wrestlers

Dilly Dally – Sore

Mew – + –

Top Ten Songs of 2015

Dave Gahan and Soulsavers – All of This and Nothing

Duran Duran – Paper Gods

Drenge – Standing in the Cold

Kendrick Lamar – How Much a Dollar Cost

Spector – All The Sad Young Men

American Wrestlers – Wild Yonder

Mew – Water Slides

Jamie xx – Hold Tight

Dilly Dally – Desire

Bang Gang feat. Keren Ann – A Lonely Bird

Special Mentions

DTCV – Uptime!

Lull – Bubble Tea EP


Watching the DTCV

Renaissance man and musician meets French philosopher and musician. Together, they form a bande à part – a band of outsiders. Fitting, really, as they borrowed their name from one of Godard’s lesser appreciated films, Detective. Together, through his love of crunching garage guitar and her starlit vocals and stylings, DTCV produce a gently ironic blend of Velvet Underground meets Blondie via grunge. They record under pseudonyms – Vivarock and Fiat Lux, according to their press release. On the run? But while we know their real names, James Greer and Guylaine Vivarat, we’ll just focus on their brilliant songs, like “Early Alone”, “X-Water”, and “Miley Cyrus Wins the Race”, spontaneous pop gems forged from the heat of their post-punk transatlantic collaboration. Their newest release, Uptime, out on multi-colored vinyl and download on Unsatisfied Records and cassette on Lolipop Records, has just come out, and while you might want to keep this as the soundtrack to your own tragically misunderstood film, the music is just too good to hide away. Northern Transmissions needed the backstory. Alice Severin spoke to DTCV, Jim and Guylaine, about the good things that come out of being drunk, irony, and the lack of subtlety on the internet.

James: And I’m vintage myself. (they both start laughing) I know how those records were made because I was there. But we’re just not interested in doing that. We’d much rather see what comes out. I don’t understand, and this is just me, or whatever, but I don’t understand what the point of that is, of reproducing something that’s already been done.

More DTCV? Mais oui!…