Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Musical musings

Now that I've spent a few years plumbing the depths of obscure music, I'm beginning to see a few bands I knew when they were unknown start to get some bigger exposure. Strangely enough, what really hammered this home was the season premiere of The O.C.. (Yes, you can shut up. Thanks for asking!)

Now, I was delighted enough last season when I heard an A.C. Newman song start up, but imagine my surprise when, in the first scene after the credits, Beretta by Manishevitz started playing. Now, this is a really great song, and sounds like a Psychedelic Furs b-side from around the time Pretty in Pink came out; it worked wonderfully in the show. But I know this song because it appears on the Hideout Worker's Comp, which, true to its name, is a compilation of songs by bands whose members work at the eponymous bar. Half the bands on that comp weren't signed; the most famous person on there was the bassist for Wilco, who did a track with his sister. Hearing a track I've been putting on my mixtapes for two years blaring on Fox was a little strange.

Speaking of tracks I've been putting on mixtapes for two years, I believe I've been crowing about Richard Swift's The Novelist for about that long. Roy from Parasol (who may have known Swift through a band they'd both worked with) told me to buy this when it was out in a 600-disc printing from a tiny, tiny label. Fast-forward two years and one vinyl-only single later. All of a sudden, Swift is on Secretly Canadian, is showing up on Salon, Stereogum, PopMatters, and Pitchfork, and goes on his first nationwide tour. He's not exactly showing up on The O.C. yet, but he's a bit of a belated overnight success, in a very independent label sort of way.


On a similar theme, I have a list of songs for the tournament. They are being vetted by my obscurist friends, and I'll need to find some mainstream friends to go through and point out the bands they've never even heard of before. (Volunteers?) Seeding after that. With any luck, should be up and running by the weekend.