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.
Let's hear it for the Canadians. Yesterday, it was Montreal metal band Priestess. Today, it's London, Ontario singer-songwriter Basia Bulat. Stylistically, these acts couldn't be further apart on the musical spectrum, but they do have one big thing in common: They're both incredibly earnest. It must be something in all the acid rain we dump on our friends to the north. Canadians are painfully sober when it comes to popular music. From Neil Young to Joni Mitchell to Chilliwack to Bryan Adams to Anne Murray to Rush to Triumph to D.O.A. to that "Isn't it ironic?" singer to a whole bunch of others I don't have the wherewithal to list, Canadian musicians are a serious lot (Paul Shaffer notwithstanding).
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