Cultural Consumption: 1/30/24

What kind of band name is "Los Colognes," anyway?

Cultural Consumption: 1/30/24
Los Colognes

Another late day here at Posh Jefito Manor. I've got dinner in the oven as I type this, so it may be the second in a series of Less Loquacious Posts from yours truly — let's see how fast I can type.

Due to a spate of back-to-back-to-back meetings in the middle of the day, this was a relatively inhospitable Tuesday when it came to exploring new music, but I can at least report that I'm glad to discover the Nashville band known as Los Colognes — specifically their 2022 album The New World, which does an absolutely miserable job of living up to their Allmusic description as a "jam-oriented, rock- and country-influenced outfit," but is actually quite a bit of fun if you're in the mood to imagine a world in which a group of talented musicians who hid in the studio while Fleetwood Mac was recording Tango in the Night and then emerged from the shadows after the band went home to create their own magnum opus.

I'm overstating the comparison a little bit. For the most part, The New World is simply quite '80s, albeit in a "this is really what these people want to sound like" sort of way rather than the "fairly accurate but also rather soulless pastiche" way that tends to be the case more often than not when a pack of younger musicians produces something that sounds as though it might have been written and recorded in 1987. I've never really been able to pinpoint or articulate the difference between the two, which bothers me, because I work with words; still, if you've listened to much of the type of stuff I'm talking about, I think you know what I mean. You can tell when an act or artist really has their heart in it, and I could be wrong, but I think Los Colognes just sort of sound like this when they sit down to play. And by "this," I mean "like they just spent 12 hours listening to Lindsey Buckingham and Christine McVie argue over synth patches and digital reverb settings." Look, here's what I mean:

(I'm aware that these embeds aren't making their way into the newsletter, but I started using them because I kept running into YouTube videos that would only play for people viewing them on YouTube. Technology is wonderful until it isn't. If you read these on the site instead of your inbox, you'll get the whole experience.)

I really like the cut of Los Colognes' jib based on what I've heard here, and I intend to explore further, although I have to admit I'm a little concerned after reading the word salad that is the opening paragraph of their most recent band bio:

One of the highest aspirations is to reach for the transcendental, to access the spirit, but in a postmodern world where the very idea of “transcendental” has been shattered, where does one look to find it? This is the apropos question asked by genre-bending, Nashville-based outfit Los Colognes on their latest record, “The New World.”

Okay, fellas. Just keep plugging in and playing and we'll be good.

Watching: Slow Horses S3 E2, "Hard Lessons," in which a member of the Slow Horses has been abducted and the rest of the team — including nominal main character River Cartwright, who spends a lot of the episode running like hell around London — tries to free their comrade from captivity before it's too late. While all that's going on, their leader, Jackson Lamb (the peerless Gary Oldman) strolls around knowing more than everyone and making sure they're all aware that he's aware how far behind they are. It's excellent television, although I should note that if you watch while running, as I do, it's that much more exhausting if you're watching multiple Slow Horses haul ass on foot from Point A to Point B. I suppose there must be some sort of psychology or physiology or some sort of other ology behind this. I'm not sure what that might be; I only know I was extra out of breath on the characters' behalf. Don't let this discourage you.

Reading: Getting close-ish to the end of William Diehl's 27. Our hero is hot on the trail of his Nazi quarry, although he's just been given the slip yet again by the resourceful spy who always seems to be able to find a weapon and a body of water to stash the body when he really needs it. I'm getting close to the point where I need to figure out what I'm going to read next. Any recommendations?

Around the Bend: I'm toying with the idea of introducing another recurring column for paid users. It'd be called The Nielsens, and it'd run down random chunks of random Nielsen ratings throughout the '80s (at least to start). Any interest among the readership? Let me know in the comments!