Marquee Moon is one of those few albums you’ll always remember hearing for the first time. Now thousands of fans may remember where they were when they heard of Tom Verlaine passing. He was 73.
Music pioneer Tom Verlaine passing away comes as shock
Jesse Paris Smith, the daughter of Patti Smith, with whom Verlaine frequently collaborated, announced his death today after a “brief illness.”
Best known for his groundbreaking work in the influential art punk band Television, Verlaine was an immense influence on the punk rock scene and his death leaves a lasting impression on a generation of fans.
Tom Verlaine, born Thomas Miller on December 13, 1949, had a music career that stretched back to the early 1970s, when he co-founded the influential punk band Television alongside Richard Hell and Richard Lloyd.
The band made a massive impact on the punk scene with their influential albums Marquee Moon (1977) and Adventure (1978). Verlaine released a string of solo albums throughout his career, including the highly acclaimed Tom Verlaine (1979) and Dreamtime (1981).
Verlaine rose to fame as the front man of influential 1970’s band Television
Television formed in New York City in 1973, and quickly made a name for themselves with their unique blend of punk and avant-garde rock. Their debut album, Marquee Moon, released in 1977, is considered a classic of the genre. It was a major influence on the punk and alternative rock scenes that followed.
Verlaine’s guitar technique and lyrical style
Verlaine’s guitar playing was unlike anything else of his time. It blended elements of punk, blues, and jazz to create a sound that was both raw and sophisticated. His use of dissonance and complex chord progressions was a major influence on many guitarists who came after him.
Verlaine’s influence on the music world extends far beyond just his guitar playing. He was known for his poetic and literate lyrics. They often dealt with themes of alienation and urban life. He was also a major influence on the New York City music scene, helping to pave the way for the punk and alternative movements of the 1970s and 80s.
Tom Verlaine’s passing hard to believe
Before Tom Verlaine’s passing, I probably hadn’t listened to Marquee Moon for 15 years. Until about two months ago. I brought it back out to remind myself of some of the tonality that Television achieved.
Those opening bars of “See No Evil” are iconic to me as anything in rock music. Marquee Moon was as impeccable that November night in 2022 as it was when it transformed the New York scene in 1977.
With Tom Verlaine’s passing, he now sees the Torn Curtain. Rest in peace.
I made a deliberate decision to jump start 2023 by listening to the first great alternative songs new to January.
That’s what you’re going to hear below. While the first couple weeks of the year always seem to be catchup mode on Best Of lists for the year before, you will 100% fall in love with the new music already dropping in 2023.
Let’s have a listen!
Alternative songs new for your January playlist
Each of these songs shot out of the cannon in the first four weeks of the new year.
I haven’t finished listening to all the indie songs new to January, but these are the ones that caught my immediate attention. Each tune comes with a link to buy the song or album and support the artist. Make that a new year’s resolution in 2023! Support independent musicians by paying them for their art!
1. “Dark Moon” – GRMLN (Dark Moon)
We were just four days into the new year when Yoodoo Park of Kyoto, Japan, released Dark Moon and its tasty title track. Park’s GRMLN has been at this for a decade and doesn’t find these dream pop guitar lines by accident. I didn’t hear an entire album of these hooks on Dark Moon but the title track is one of the promising alternative songs new to January 2023.
2. “Mile Marker 29” – The Bad Ends (The Power and the Glory)
You know who you don’t hear a lot about in the year 2023? REM drummer Billy Berry.
Bill’s been taking it easy – the royalty checks probably still clear. After a health scare in the 90’s, Berry has been hay farming outside Athens the last 25 years. A chance meeting with Mike Mantionelead to new band The Bad Ends and Berry’s return to music. Have a listen to “Mile Marker 29.”
The Rills have a super dancy Franz Ferdinand thing happening.
It was especially clear on “Landslide,” which The Rills released last fall. Two weeks ago, they dropped “Falling Apart.” The Rills’ second EP, depending on where you get your info, will be available in February.
4. fine. – “New Skin/Good Life” (Love, Death, Dreams and the Sleep Between)
What I really dig about Boston’s fine. is this grade school choir sound they’ve perfected.
Bubblegum pop songs by Alice Kat and Liam James Marsh will wake you from your winter doldrums and get you dancing again. Although I’m including fine. in my January list of tunes…Love, Death, Dreams came out three days before Christmas, so sue me. Hit play and fall in love!
Let me tell you what I know about The Spooky Boys, which is close to nothing. They’re billed as “Portland’s premier indie/surf rock group featuring jangly dripping wet guitars, relentless driving rhythm, and insatiable catchy melodies.” Admittedly I didn’t know “jangly wet guitars” was a thing, nor that The Spooky Boys were Portland’s exemplar.
I DO KNOW superior power pop when I hear it. So check out one of the best indie songs new to 2023, “Past Tense.”
If Priestgate look miserable, their single “White Shirt” is a delirious balance of pop sugar and darker 80’s Cure vibes. I’m looking forward to hearing Priestgate’s second EP due on March 3. I have to say I love the rhythm and vocal desperation of “White Shirt.”
I get it, a band with a name and sound like Toronto’s FU is not going to appeal to everyone reading this post, and that’s a shame.
The arrangements and (honestly) melodies underneath Damian Abraham’s vocals are second to none. It is remarkable hardcore guitar rock. Hang with it for two minutes and think about what songs like “Huge New Her” would sound like with actual singing.
My FU collection goes back, if not to their origin, to their remarkable David Comes to Life. Abraham sang a bit more on David than on One Day. So, for context, a bonus track: “The Other Shoe” from 2011’s landmark David Comes to Life.
10. “Skeleton Boy” – Strange Neighbors (Party of None EP)
Let’s stick with the power pop sound. I bet Strange Neighbors are a fun show. Just look at them, having fun with a camera like good self-entertaining kids. The Party of None EP came out two weeks ago, and I recommend you download and inject one of the indie songs new to January that will get your party started.
This month Chicago singer-songwriter Maria Jacobson released her second album, Leaving. It’s sweeping acoustic folk with song titles like “Winter” and “God.” Those feel like difficult motifs to live up to. Much of this rests on Fran’s voice and lyrics, like Weyes Blood striped bare of the chamber orchestra.
Kelley Deal, Kim’s twin and most famous sister, delivers on R. Ring with partner Mike Montgomery.
Deal is involved in a ton of stuff in addition to R. Ring, including Breeders reboots and Protomartyr. I love Kelley’s comeback story, the Breeders’ icy cool baked into R. Ring and her indie rock confidence. Check out the payoff halfway through War Poems’ lead, “Still Life.”
I confess, another 2022 song but – come onnnn! — Denmark’s appleseeds! dropped this song on December 31. You were probably already asleep, so it’s officially one of the alternative songs new to January in my book. Too Good to be True Records indicates appleseeds! will release æblefrø on February 3.
Check out “Hungry Mouth” and get set for what promises to be an album of jangle pop perfection!.
Sabrina Teitelbaum is LA’s Blondshell, who writes about her toxic relationships with a candor that couldn’t care less. Dark indie rock echoing influences like PJ Harvey and Courtney Love. Some of it is sexualized, some of it is just dysfunctional emotion like “Sepsis.”
15. “Anglepoise” – The Happy Somethings (A Gathering of Sorts)
Let’s finish this list with 90 seconds of fist-pumping guitar rock. England’s The Happy Somethings roll the rhythm from Bow Wow Wow’s “I Love Candy” under bubblegum guitar fuzz and twee Bangles vocals.
You’ll be singing “Anglepoise” all day, and you’re welcome.
A bit more than a baker’s dozen, here are 22 alternative songs in 2022 out of a few thousand that I listened to this year. Most have streams of the full songs that you can play right from your phone. I hope you fall in love with them and buy them!
First things first, these are in no real order other than what I can readily find on my Best Songs list on Evernote and scrolling through downloads or discs I’ve already bought. It’s a mess, frankly, but I’m going to try and bring some order to the chaos. And for you, that means curated top shelf listening. Most, not all, are not from albums that will end up on my Top 10 or 20 list. But they’re all amaze.
These 22 alternative songs in 2022 are numbered, but just help me keep track of when I get to 22 tunes. They are not in order of preference or awesomeness!
1. “Wild” – Spoon (Lucifer on the Sofa)
How many bands can compare to Spoon, album for album, for almost 30 years? It’s rarified air. Having said that I liked, didn’t love, Lucifer on the Sofa. Several bangers, and Spoon remain an American original. Here is early single “Wild,” which I cannot be on drugs, is an absolute straight-up tribute to INXS.
I can’t imagine a better way to start a list of the best alternative songs in 2022.
2. “(Wishing I Had) Tickets for Saint Etienne” – The Photocopies (Holiday Romance EP)
Michigan-by-London songwriter Sean Turner has released probably 100 songs as The Photocopies since the start of the year. They come in batches of singles, b-sides, EP’s, full-lengths and remixes.
I’m feeling guilty enough not including the Holiday Romance EPamong my favorite EP’s of 2022 — an oversight — that I want to highlight “Saint Etienne” from that EP. Fuzzy jangle pop without fuss or needless ambition. Just a perfect pop song, like almost everything Turner does.
3. “Wrong Side of the Sun” – Best Bets (On An Unhistoric Night)
Voted by me the #1 song to see live in 2022, I present Best Bets‘ “Wrong Side of the Sun.” They must call the riot police and water cannons when the kids hear this insanely catchy chorus. Growing out of New Zealands’ Transistors, Best Bets rockin’ On An Unhistoric Night belongs on the shelf of every post punk fan of TheRamones or Replacements.
Has to be one of the catchiest alternative songs in 2022. Hit play and rock.
4. “Dressed in Black” – Ezra Furman (All of Us Flames)
I ultimately didn’t put All of Us Flames on my list of records to buy this year. You can’t own everything.
But I love this musky 60’s love song, “Dressed in Black.” Transgender woman Ezra Furman’s lyrics throughout reflect darker tensions of love, sex and gender. The album is sometimes distorted and menacing but still frequently reinterprets AOR.
5. “End of the Empire IV (Sagittarius)” – Arcade Fire (WE)
Arcade Fire’s 6th album WE adds to the Montreal legends’ nearly 20-year legacy since the influential Funeral, Neon Bible and The Suburbs. It will also inevitably be conflated with the allegations of sexual misconduct by founder Win Butler. When looking for top alternative songs in 2022, WE has moments, if not the consistency of their early records.
The instrumentation and art rock arrangements, like the 4-part “End of the Empire” sound very much like The Flaming Lips here.
6. “Old Picture of Ourselves” – The Boys with the Perpetual Nervousness (The Third Wave of…)
Next, a multi-continent jangle pop supergroup of sorts, The Boys With the Perpetual Nervousness may actually end up on my best album list. But I had to share one of their songs from The Third Wave of… TBWTPN are Scotland’s Andrew Taylor, also in Dropkick…and Spain’s Gonzalo Marcos, who plays in El Palacio de Linares. (Note to self: check out El Palacio de Linares.!)
For fans of Teenage Fanclub and lovers of all things jangle.
7. “Sick of Everything” – Gorgeous Bully (Am I Really Going to Die Here)
Daniel Johnston, exemplar of melodic sincerity to Kurt Cobain and Yo La Tengo, grew up in West Virginia and is revered in many circles as an Appalachian prodigy. An acquaintance of mine actually gave him a place to live in the late 80’s. This was either before or during some of Johnston’s drug use and increasing mental health struggles, which eventually saw him committed.
Does Manchester’s Gorgeous Bully mimic Johnston’s arch low fidelity cassette recordings? Mostly, no. GB builds more traditional song structures of bedroom pop. The lo-fi soundscapes and lyrics are relatively dynamic compared to Johnston’s arrested development.
And Thomas Crang recognizes a pop hook when he finds it. “Sick of Everything,” originally a 2021 single, is a cleaned-up version of Gorgeous Bully that leads off 2022’s Am I Really Going to Die Here. Just 90 seconds makes it one of the top alternative songs in 2022.
8. “Watercolours” – Neil Brogan (Things Keep Getting in the Way)
Irish musician, host of this year’s new music podcast Brogan’s Run and former Sea Pinks lead Neil Brogan writes perfect, economical guitar pop on his new album Things Keep Getting in the Way. Brogan will take you back to pristine 90’s indie pop like The Lucksmiths and Trash Can Sinatras.
9. “Our Songbird Has Gone” – The Chesterf¡elds (New Modern Homes)
Let’s stay in this tasty indie pop space for a moment so that I can share one of my very favorite songs of the last year.
Cult favorites The Chesterf¡elds reunited in 2022, despite the untimely death of their band mate Davy Chesterfield in 2003. This delightful tribute to Chesterfield namechecks and evokes everything about C86 bands that birthed The Chesterf¡elds nearly 40 years ago.
Clearly one of the best alternative songs in 2022. I have probably sung the chorus to “Our Songbird” in my car more than any other this year.
10. “Pana-vision” – The Smile (A Light for Attracting Attention)
In the winter and spring of 2022, I bought a clutch of new releases by well-known artists sight unseen. I rarely do that — I sample almost everything. However, a few artists I will buy on faith. As it turned out, I was unimpressed by many of them…including The Smile’sA Light for Attracting Attention.
This summer, a friend persuaded me to revisit The Smile and some of my other impetuous purchases. I can report, of the 4 or 5 discs, I was most glad to return to The Smile. I had listened to Attention probably a half dozen times on earbuds. This is a terrible way to consume dense production, particularly a Radiohead side project.
In the end, however, the sum is less than the parts.
Thom Yorke is one of the two or three most influential songwriters of the last 50 years, so I think it’s fair to hold him to a high standard. Attention is front-loaded and musical ideas are hit or miss after the first five tracks. Attention reminds me of Yorke’s debut solo The Eraser in some ways. Tom Skinner’s complex syncopation is a revelation and it is rewarding to hear Jonny Greenwood playing guitar again for God’s sake.
Ironically, though, my favorite songs are keyboard numbers…”Open the Floodgates” and April single “Pana-vision.”
Don’t let the absence of blog coverage of Maccabee’s singer Orlando Weeks dissuade you from buying his second solo, Hop Up. Brimming with the joys of fatherhood and watching his young son emerge as a new personality, it is far too loving and un-ironic for beat hipsters to tolerate. The album has been criminally ignored.
Light as air and irrepressible with new life, it is impossible not to hear Roxy Music’sAvalon on songs like “No End to Love.”
Thinking about settling up, Kicking off the dust, Removing all the rust that keeps me still. I think it’s my time to go. Say goodbye to everyone I know And I hope someday I’ll be forgiven For the bonds that I broke.
I wish I could take you with me, But this road I must walk alone. I gotta get out of the city. Good God, I gotta lose myself just to find my way back home.
Every song, like “I Wish I,” on This Mess We’re In is genuine and moving.
I’m a little late to the Perfume Genius party but was quite enthralled by his 5th album, 2020’s Set My Heart on Fire Immediately. For fans looking for relatively simple song structures after that album, Ugly Season may not satisfy. The album is a score to the dance performance The Sun Still Burns Here. Much of it reflects the abstraction of dance.
I try to post only audio streams but here you’ll need to rely on the video. The brittle melody and especially Mike Hadreas’ delicate falsetto are a marvel that place it among the top alternative songs in 2022.
San Francisco’s gazey power pop outfit Aluminum released the Windowpane EP about two months ago. Their guitar pop and electronica is smartly interspersed with pedals worthy of My Bloody Valentine. For examples, listen to “Solar” and early single, “Windowpane.”
15. “Celebran Por Nosotros” – Mañana el Espacio (Casi Nada es Para Siempre)
How have I gotten this far into my list of alternative songs in 2022 without a Spanish language tune? This is like my signature thing now, and I speak barely a word of Spanish beyond “carnita.” Stupid American.
This year I’ve absolutely fallen in love with bands like Mañana el Espacio (South America) and Torres Satélite (Spain). It is so connecting and universal — and something needed right now — to know that Mañana singer Ricardo José Vergara is creating these pop gems, possibly raised on the same Sonic Youth records as you and me.
“Celebran Por Nosotros” lyrics
Ricardo is a gifted lyricist and has been kind enough to send the translation for his lovely album Casi Nada es Para Siempre. He plans to post them on Musixmatch and Spotify as well. The translated opening of “Celebran Por Nosotros”…
We watch the stars mutliply. The city looks peaceful from here. The moment is unforgettable But I’ll have to wake up.
Color gets all over our faces. I’m sure better times will come And meanwhile, I ask myself,
Do they celebrate for us? Is that why they’re lighting the city up? Or is it my imagination? Is that why they’re lighting the city up? Or is it my imagination?
Okay I’m going to cheat on my 22 songs and drop an extra Mañana song here, because they range way outside of shoegaze to the most delightful indie pop. Check out the crazy flanged guitar at the end of “Yo No Ma Haces Falta,” (“I Don’t Need You Anymore.”)
16. “Dreamin of the Past” – Pusha T (It’s Almost Dry)
Kids I have to tell you.
As I wind into my 50’s, it is harder to find hardcore bands or rap music that I authentically connect with. Possibly, just possibly, I’m not the target audience. But I did find a few hip hop releases that I liked which specifically DID NOT include Kendrick Lamar. Both Radiohead and Lamar could publish 50 minutes of fax noise and the bloggers swoon.
“I begged for the beat,” he said. “It was just one of those ones that I kept going back to and was like, ‘Listen, man, I need this. I need this record.’ And I was like, ‘You know what? You should be on the record too.’ That’s the compromise.”
Here is “Dreamin of the Past” featuring a few bars of Kanye at the end as “the compromise.”
17. “Coke Jaw” – Infinity Knives and Brian Ennals (King Cobra)
Let’s establish up front that by posting two hip hop songs in a row, I am in no way implying I have street cred in urban music. But I really did sample a good bit of rap this year. Infinity Knives & Brian Ennals is one I want to spend a little more time with before the end of the year for my favorite albums list.
These guys have all the buzzy descriptions, experimental hip hop…fusion. It’s a bit hard to categorize but I kind of dig it. Infinity Knives (NPR’s Tariq Ravelomanana) provides the electronics and Baltimore’s Brian Ennals brings the rhymes. If there is a bridge too far, it is incorporating Infinity Knives’ orchestration into the album and not hearing them simply as interludes.
“Coke Jaw” is a good example of the mashup that makes them so different.
“Doers” is the maddeningly catchy portrait of modern life by Brooklyn punks Bodega. I bought Broken Equipment early in 2022. It was such a joy to come back to it tonight and hear the ramped intensity in “Doers,” the extension beyond sprechgesang.
If “this “Doers” doesn’t encapsulate work life in 2022, I don’t know what does:
Ten minutes : calendar 10 minutes : Bandcamp Ten minutes : wiki browse 10 minutes: planning my next ten minutes It’s all about auto bio of Benjamin.
Ten minutes: Ted talk 10 minutes: Notepad Ten minutes: Amazon 10 minutes : planning my next ten minutes To thine own shelf be true.
This city’s made for the doers. The movers. shakers. Non-connoisseurs. This city’s made for the doers. The humors. Tubers. entrepreneurs.
You didn’t know you needed Bodega until you heard “Doers.” An angry song for angry times, as we explore the best alternative songs in 2022.
Look, I’m not entirely crazy about the arrangement on “Backseat Politic” but behold Mike Ness fans, the locomotive of fun that Leeds’ post punk bank Eades creates on Delusion Spree. Give them just. one. minute. and dig the groove. More mathy than Social Distortion but HOLY CATS what a churning beat on that chorus!
Her songs are indie perfect, cagey and cynical. On Sometimes, Forever she has sharpened her hooks and her knives. Both “newdemo” and “Shotgun” show off the singer-songwriter who has emerged since 2018’s Clean. “Shotgun” also displays Allison’s sweeping hooks and Soccer Mommy at her most accessible.
21. “Fatal Folly” – The Silent Boys (Sand to Pearls, Coal to Diamonds)
A late entrant on my best music dashboard this year, Sand to Pearls, Coal to Diamonds came out November 4. Richmond, Virginia indie pop veterans The Silent Boys’ ninth album is getting tons of recognition that it rightly deserves. A little twee, a lot of jangle, The Silent Boys hit on just about every song here.
If you don’t fall in love with the simple joy of “Fatal Folly,” then we have nothing further to discuss.
Finally, my last song for you is a bit of a cheat. I found out this weekend it was originally released a decade ago.
Still, I could listen to this November single by Semiwestern 1,000 times and still feel teary about it. The haunting guitar on the chorus to “Velvet Sea” hearkens to Dean Wareham’s post-Galaxie 500 luminaries Luna. The transcendent line hits at 1:15. It is guaranteed to be the best five minutes of your 2022.
That said, I learned from The Google that this is a remix of an earlier “Velvet Sun” released in 2012 by Austin’s The Vliets. Semiwestern is the new incarnation of The Vliets(pronounced VLEETS).
I’ll touch on two things. First, by any measure this remix is a superior, more mature and elegant version of the original. BUY IT! Second, ten years later, it begs the question: Why now? Should we look forward to a longer release from Semiwestern soon? No word yet from California lo-fi label Spirit Goth but I will let you know!
Before I post some favorite songs from 2022 or rank my top albums, let’s spend some time with the little-appreciated category of EP’s. If there are too many songs for any human to listen to in the modern world, there are also too many EP’s, extended singles and “mini-albums” (WTF?). But you’ll miss some serious tunes if you don’t at least sample some of the releases on my list of 2022 best alternative EP’s.
A couple of caveats, the EP is not my preferred release — ultimately, to me, too short for a sustained musical statement. Also my batting average finding great EP’s is not great. Possibly terrible. So my list is just that, a list. Only roughly catalogued in order of badassery. There are just too, too, too many EP’s out there that I didn’t or couldn’t take the time to sample. I don’t presume here to rank the very best.
Having said that, dear reader, these EP’s are absolutely worth your music dollar this Christmas.
Shoken Boys – The Shoken Truth EP
Something about Shoken Boys being an indie band from Israel seems super-exotic AMIRIGHT?!
The truth is, Tel Aviv is a city/metro of almost 4.5 million people. So rock is probably pretty urban and looks not unlike a show in LA. What are the chances Shoken Boys grace our shores playing this delicious shambolic jangle they’ve been putting out since 2019? A tour or supporting role in ‘Merica? Maybe not great. But what a treat to know kids 6,968 miles from Utah are falling in love with the same Shoken Truth EP as you and me.
Not a little akin to 90’s ikons Lush, CIEL crushed it with their 2022 Not in the Sun, Nor in the Light EP. From Brighton, England — but also all over Europe — CIEL mixes Michelle Hendriks’ voice with gorgeous power pop, lite shoegaze and moments of four-on-the-floor beats. Invite your friends over, crank Not in the Sun and remind yourself 2023 only gets better from here!
Here is the bangin’ title track, “Not in the Sun, Nor in the Dark.”
Can someone help me with Theo Tudor’s exquisite voice here? I cannot quite place the Manchester band Tudor takes me back to. From Christchurch, Senica is 100% at the top of my EP list this year. I love everything about Senica’s evocative, desperate sound. And they’re shape-shifters. Although I’m dropping “Now Crystalline” here for you to sample; other songs from the Passing Tide EP are dystopian indie Radiohead.
Like almost every year since…oh, 1993 or so…2022 wasn’t a real triumph for the shoegaze movement. How about a light in the darkness, Healees from Paris, France. They’re not doing anything terrifically groundbreaking here. Just creating tight harmonies around a wall-of-sound that make you want to cry. Also I would cynically note this EP is like 33 minutes long, so basically an album.
London’s indie pop The Sundries turn up the sunshine on September’s Full of the Joys of Spring EP. Full of pop nuggets and indie handclaps, The Sundries’The Joys of Spring EP four songs burst with life. Their breakout in 2022 was the sardonic “David Letterman,” speaking to 80’s kids everywhere.
“I stopped taking my pills. They told me I was ill. What did they know? They were just making me fat. David would not like that, He likes me just so.”
Still, the title track “Full of the Joys of Spring” best encapsulates The Sundries sound.
Don’t be fooled by the “EP” label from a band that you’ve fallen in love with. Even if it’s not a full album, it may still top your list of 2022 best alternative EP’s. For good measure, here are three more EP’s that you can’t go wrong with!
The Black Watch – The Neverland of Spoken Things EP
The organizers behind the Kilby Block Party SLC have knocked a home run with a lineup next year that will rival some of the best in the country. And right here in the 801! With bigger names come a bigger venue. The Utah State Fairpark at 10th West will host the event May 12-14, 2023. Here are some FAQs on the Kilby Block Party 2023 lineup.
How do you get tickets and which bands do you prioritize? Read on, and listen to songs by the 3 bands you need to put at the top of your list. They may not be at the top of the bill, so keep reading and listening below!
Kilby Block Party 2023 lineup
Maybe you’ve seen the headliners, a Who’s Who of indie rock stardom. In somewhat deliberate order:
Pavement. Started playing their reunion tour this year after 12 years on the sideline. It has been 30 years since Slanted and Enchanted put Pavement on the map as one of the 90’s arch indie influencers.
Yeah Yeah Yeahs. The comeback kids of 2022, with their bracing single “Spitting off the Edge of the World.” Cool It Down is the YYYs first record in almost a decade. Already topping many Best Of lists in 2022.
The Strokes. Remember when The Strokes were going to save rock ‘n roll in 2001 (did it need saving?!) with This Is It? It is a genuinely legendary album but reviews of this year’s live appearances are mixed. New album rumored.
Bookmark this page for Kilby’s daily schedule of headliners:
Additionally, as a testament to the strength of the show (and perhaps their eroding legacy), The Pixies get second billing. Along with Brooklyn stalwarts Parquet Courts and San Francisco’s Deerhoof, you can’t go wrong with any of these decisions.
3 bands you CANNOT MISS in the Kilby Block Party 2023 lineup
Beyond the headliners and these rock legends, though, which bands should be at the top of your list?!
Run the Jewels
First, if you weren’t already planning your Kilby Block Party 2023 lineup around Run the Jewels WHAT ARE YOU EVEN DOING?!
Their four releases are modern classics, RTJ4 booming as the outraged soundtrack of the 2020 protests over the death of George Floyd. Remember, too, the songs on RTJ4 are still relatively fresh material for El-P and Killer Mike. Because of the Corona, they’ve only been playing them live for a year.
Second, don’t be dissuaded by the Grammy buzz around Michelle Zauner and Japanese Breakfast. There is so much to like about 2021’s Jubilee. Zauner earns every indie pop hook on Jubilee, and they emerge in the most delightful and unexpected ways. Her arrangements, like on opener “Paprika,” bubble with joy.
This is one I tried to convince my Swiftie daughter to listen to, and with some success. I’m always trying to brainwash her with alternative music and “Tactics” is now a regular on her Spotify playlist. Parenting success!
Third, besides RTJ and Pavement, I’m probably most excited to finally see The Walkmen, and you should be, too! Hamilton Leithauser and company recently reunited after nine years working on solo projects. I have waxed poetic before about 2010’s Lisbon, and the raspy, soaring vocals on “Angela Surf City.”
Here’s how to get tickets to the Kilby Block Party 2023 lineup
Finally, ticket costs for the Kilby Block Party 2023 lineup are…not insignificant.
Single day tickets haven’t gone on sale yet. But if you have the wallet for it, 3-day passes, VIP passes and super-ultra-crazy VIP passes are now on sale here.
The basic 3-day pass is $234. For premium seating and access to a private bar, you can buy a VIP pass for $328. And if you want onto the premium viewing platform with Jon Huntsman*, access to private food trucks and the VIP bar, you’ll need $432 for the weekend.
Kilby says several bands, including a major supporting act, haven’t been announced for the Kilby Block Party SLC yet. They invite you to watch their Instagram page for updates. Also, I didn’t even get to Cuco, who almost made my list of Must See’s but honestly I need to get to bed at decent time. More to come!