So what’s new?

Heard anything good lately?

It used to be that you never needed to ask that question, at least not back when radio was more diverse. But that was a long time ago.

Much of what’s written about here comes from that time — the ’60s to the ’80s — but I haven’t given up on finding and digging new sounds.

It’s harder to find that next great thing, but I keep looking and listening. I don’t want to be one of those crabby old farts who keeps saying everything was better back then. Because that just isn’t so.

I recently was sent an advance copy of the new album by Carbon Leaf, an alt-rock band from Richmond, Virginia. Even though they’ve been around for 17 years and eight albums, I wasn’t familiar with them or with most of the bands cited as their peers.

But I gave it a few spins. Though their publicists talked up several cuts, a different one hit home with me. And that’s all you can ask for, really.


“X-Ray,” Carbon Leaf, from “Nothing Rhymes With Woman,” 2009.

Turns out even the five young guys who collaborate on everything in Carbon Leaf have wistful memories of summers gone by.

How can you not dig a song with a timeless chorus that reminds you …

“I used to live there. I used to live there …

Save for the melting of Boba Fett in one verse, this tune is about the summers of my youth. I used to live there, too.

It’s the first memorable song of my summer.



Filed under May 2009, Sounds

5 responses to “So what’s new?

  1. Oh, a new Carbon Leaf album. Good. The last one left me cold, but if you’re not too familiar with their stuff, seek out their track “What About Everything”, from around 2003.

    • Andrew

      This is a fantastic album – X-Ray is one of the better tracks off the album, and I agree with halfhearteddude – it’s better than Love Loss Hope Repeat.

  2. Liz

    “I don’t want to be one of those crabby old farts who keeps saying everything was better back then. Because that just isn’t so.”

    I often get lazy and am in danger of being one of “those crabby old farts” at the age of 24. Oops. Thanks for the reminder. 🙂 And thanks for sharing this one. 🙂

  3. Shark

    You’re 24? I was 24…once. I was poor and broke then…but it was okay. Wait a minute…I’m poor and broke 26 years later. Aaaauuugh!

  4. bamabob

    Never heard of Carbon Leaf—but I am borderline old & cranky. I often check out for new music & new bands. I have found many groups that are new that I do dig, a lot of bands that sound like some other band, and jam bands (some of which remind me of my college days…). Maybe check that out too—ya never know what you will find inside.

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