Cultural Consumption: 1/31/24

Rambling about the musical memory hole, sons of a glorious nature, and more

Cultural Consumption: 1/31/24
Glorious sons or something, I guess

One of the reasons I started cranking out Cultural Consumption posts on the daily was simply to force myself into creating a written record of the stuff I'm consuming, because otherwise I end up forgetting at least half of it almost immediately. As of 2024, I've even started keeping a spreadsheet of the complete albums I've listened to this year. If you're reading this, you're online enough — and you care about music enough — to already be painfully well aware of how much fucking CONTENT (I hate that word being applied to art, but the battle's been lost) we're being hosed down with at any given moment.

Anyway, I've written at length many times about how I think the advent of streaming has helped further loosen the bond between music and the listener, so I ain't gonna do that again in this space right now. My point for the purposes of this post is simply this: For me personally, it's dangerously easy to hear something, kinda (or even seriously) like it, and then completely forget the name of the track or the artist. I've employed a series of tricks to help me backfill the memory hole over the years, but there's no getting around the tension inherent between the effort that active listening requires and the frictionless ease that streaming platforms strive for.

Tonight's case in point is the Glorious Sons, a Canadian band whose full-length 2023 release, Glory, happened to cross my transom recently — and when I went to the artist page to find out more, fucking Spotify told me I'd already favorited the entirety of their 2019 album, A War on Everything. This experience, and subsequent admission of said experience, fills me with a purplish-crimson shade of chagrin. I share because I care, and also because you might be going through the same thing on a semi-regular basis. Spreadsheets are here to help you! Also daily writing, if you're a total chump like me and you're into that kind of thing.

ANYWAY. Glory is pretty great, at least if you're in the mood for lightly anthemic, feel-good pop-rock with lyrics that often read a lot like half of a therapy session. Not too terribly dissimilar to acts like Judah and the Lion or Gang of Youths, both of whom I enjoy a great deal (enough to remember I enjoy them, even). All in all, even though it was released last fall, it's still one of my favorite records of the year thus far.

Watching: Slow Horses S3 E3, "Negotiating with Tigers," in which poor River gets his ass beat for sneaking into a secure area in what turns out to be an unnecessary attempt to save the life of a colleague. We've got twists! Turns! Double-crosses and rogue agents! Also, I'm already halfway through the fucking season! There are a lot of great things about the era of TV we're living in, but six-episode seasons are ass!

Reading: The finish line is on the horizon with William Diehl's 27. The Nazi sleeper agent our hero is chasing has fucked all the way off to New Mexico after skiing through miles of a hellish Colorado snowstorm, murdering an entire family, and chartering a flight south. Keegan's about to lose his security clearance, but the government's willing to let him stay on the case if he agrees to undergo spy training or something. Whatever happens between now and the end of the book, we know he's going to get his man, thus bringing my four-book experiment in testing literary teenage nostalgia to a close.