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.
Artist: Lightspeed Champion
Title: Life Is Sweet! Nice to Meet You
Release date: February 16, 2010
Mama (and Martin) told me there'd be days like this. I'm only 6 1/2 weeks into this project and it's taking its toll. It's not that I don't enjoy being exposed to all this new music. I do, and I've found a handful of stuff that I really, really like. But I certainly do miss my favorite music.
And I have to be honest you, dear readers, I slipped over the weekend. I was watching Goodfellas for the 2,000th time on AMC and, of course, there's so much great music in that movie, including a couple of songs by one of my all-time favorite acts, The Shangri-Las. But during the movie's final act, when a coked-up Henry Hill is driving all over Queens with a trunk full of silencers, a chunk of the Stones' incredible song "Monkey Man" can be heard.
Well, that was the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back. I needed a fix. So, I rounded up the missus and yanked Let It Bleed from a dusty CD rack and blasted "Monkey Man" and "Live With Me" and "Midnight Rambler" as we drove around doing errands. I think you know that feeling of hearing your favorite songs after not hearing them for a while. You're probably thinking about favorite song right now as you read this. Anyway, it felt good. Then, I put the CD away and turned my back on the past for Week 7.
Best song: "Faculty of Fears," one of the least Queen-sounding songs on Life Is Sweet! Nothing against Queen -- I like 'em as much as the next guy -- but they're one of the few bands that is pretty much inimitable. No one's ever gonna beat Queen at their own game. I don't think Lightspeed Champion is necessarily trying to top anything Queen's done, but you can sure tell the one-man band is heavily influenced, almost to a fault, by Freddie and the gang.
Rotation: Medium-low. There's nothing really wrong about Lightspeed Champion. The production is excellent, the arrangements are smart, and the songs (think flowery, Baroque, dramatic pop) are decent. But it's like these songs belong in an art museum. And, of course, you can't take the shit in an art museum home with you.
Deja Vu: Seemingly all indie pop from 2006-2009.
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