Grant Swift – Sunshine
Having record collecting as a hobby is an interesting and challenging thing both for the hobbyist and his closest acquaintances. People watch sports, but they hardly ever put down their beer cans and try out their skills with a ball. Others love visiting old buildings, but they’re unlikely to start drawing their own, improved plans for a gothic church.
Record collecting is immensely satisfying, I know. But, that’s only true for the person doing the collecting. Those watching from the sidelines see a person using much of their energy and resources.
Besides this, and perhaps this is the upside, most people that develop an affection for developing their record set, are also tempted to try making their own music. This, again, could be hard to explain to others who’ve not been bitten by the same bug. However, by and large, it is the reason why the world continues to be fed so much great, life-affirming art.
Grant Swift resembles a person that might reserve a large portion of his house and apartment for the sole purpose of holding his numerous records. Sunshine sounds like the work of someone that has grown up on bands like Vampire Weekend but also could not draw himself away from the charms of Paul Simon and Bruce Springsteen’s folk rock. Mr. Swift goes to prove just what a consistent obsession can help one achieve.
Iraqis in Pajamas – Suffer
Take a stroll down Seattle music’s back alleys, and you are bound to hit a wall of depression. I know, I listen to the more and less famous bands, grouped by some under the monicker of grunge, on a daily basis. Their honesty and artistry, for the most part, cannot be understated. They did not possess an ounce of cynicism about what they were doing. But, wow, is this the wrong kind of music to play at a party.
It would have been interesting to witness the original lineups of these groups grow into adulthood. For one reason or another, the majority of these bands broke up right after their initial success. Would they have taken their sound in a political direction? Would their music have echoed despair and suffering on an even grander scale?
The cleverly named Iraqis in Pajamas show a possible route of evolution for the grunge bands. Theatrical and uncompromising, Suffer is as much a post-punk single as it is performance art of the most extreme kind. The band is brazen about pointing towards life’s biggest challenges and shouting in the face of misery. One can’t help but feel that Iraqis in Pajamas is as much an exercise in rocking out as it is a healing ceremony.