Midlake: The Courage of Others, in "Nothing Not New"
Welcome to "Nothing Not New," a yearlong project in which New Times editorial operations manager Jay Bennett, a 40-year-old music fan and musician, will listen only to music released in 2010. Each Monday through Friday, he will listen to one new record (no best ofs, reissues, or concert recordings) and write about it. Why? Because in the words of his editor, Martin Cizmar, he suffers from "aesthetic atrophy," a wasting away of one's ability to embrace new and different music as one ages. Read more about this all-too-common ailment here.
In the first 14 days (only 236 days to go!) of listening to CDs and downloads of new and upcoming releases by a variety of mostly indie artists in this "Nothing Not New" project, I've yet to completely turned off by a record. Sure, I've listened to a few that I didn't really care for (Editors, Vampire Weekend), but nothing that's truly been a chore to get all the way through. (Side note: I saw today on pitchfork.com that Contra, the new Vampire Weekend record, was the bestselling record of the week, according to Billboard magazine. It sold 124,000 copies in its first week, outselling far more commercial acts like Black Eyed Peas, Lady Ga Ga, and Taylor Swift. Obviously, VW is one of the more hyped indie-rock acts around, and clearly, people loves these guys, but I still don't get it. I've listened to Contra a few more times since I wrote about it on January 5 and I still think VW's music is awfully precious.)
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