Wednesday, April 21, 2010 at 9 a.m.
Artist: The Apples in Stereo
Title: Travellers in Space and Time
Release date: April 20
I'd remembered seeing The Apples in Stereo open for Luna at Chicago's Metro in 1997 and was looking forward to hearing the band's new record, Travellers in Space and Time. At that show, they played guitar-based, mid-tempo, Beatles-esque psych pop.
Those days are long gone. I know, that was 13 years ago. And bands, especially the really talented ones, tend to evolve a lot over that length of time. Still, I was pretty disappointed to hear what amounts to a disco concept record that borders on camp.
As the record's title would indicate, the underlying theme of the record is The Future. And listening to the bouncy '70s pop songs (sample titles: "Floating in Space," "Strange Solar System," "Dream About the Future," "C.P.U.") and their synth flourishes and vocoder-aided "robot vocals" make me envision a bunch of people in white flight suits having a disco party on a space station.
I wish the record had a little more muscle to it and Apples dialed back on the cheekiness. But if piano-driven, lighter-than-air disco-era pop is your thing, you may find this album to be a lot of run.
Best song: "Dignified Dignitary," a Beatles-meets-Pavement pop-rocker, and the ELO homage "Next Year at About the Same Time."
Deja Vu: FM radio, circa 1977.
I'd rather listen to: Meco's awesome space-disco record Star Wars and Other Galactic Funk.
"Nothing Not New" is 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.
The "Nothing Not New" Archives
April 20 -- Jakob Dylan: Women + Country (D+)
April 19 -- Cornershop: Judy Sucks a Lemon for Breakfast (C)