So. Social media and digital subscription services. Despite one’s attempts to avoid and not use them (I myself am anti-Twitter), both have infiltrated our lives to a point of being as common as a daily physical newspaper, which, ironically, 24 hour-a-day news-hungry public notwithstanding, has disappeared from some of the most lucrative of journalistic markets. When I mention a television program or a movie to my mother on the telephone and she’s like, “Hmm…didn’t see it. I’ll just Hulu it” one knows the Digital Age has crept into the lives of even some of its most (at one time) staunch critics. When my mom starts verbing website names? Right. You just know it (you go, mom).
For the most part, barring those addicted to porn or, even sadder, obese children, overly-round from hours in front of their laptops and iPads instead of running and jumping in the green green grass, the quest for information and entertainment has been positively simplified (exponentially) from 20 years ago. Anyone out there remember microfiche? The absolute DEVIL. Enough said. I do, however, find myself looking back at the days of hoarding music magazines, the extra-curricular side of print media utilization, with fondness. There is just something about the smell of a new magazine that’s warming. And it’s not like music nerds back in the day had a choice. It was either you read magazines (and listened to radio, sometimes) or not know what the hell was going on. I get sentimental about those days. Call me old fashioned. Probably wouldn’t be the first time. But I digress.
Recently, the chain of events which led me to my most recent obsession, band-wise, is the perfect example of how social media and online music (with a sprinkling of radio for good measure) works its recipe of magic. Indulge me.
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My friend Ben Cooper and his entourage toured UK and Europe last winter and Pale Seas supported them on at least one occasion. Though I didn’t go to that particular gig, this information was shared with me through digital exchanges. I “liked” Pale Seas on Facebook, because, I mean, did you listen to them? At any rate, in November, P.S. shared this video and I was in love. Friends, I give you Stealing Sheep.
Hailing from Liverpool, this trio of women are purveyors of the most hypnotic combination of twee pop-infused vocals and synthy beats I’ve heard in a long time. After a few listens of “Rearrange” and the rest of Into the Diamond Sun I was reminded of Miki & Emma and that was that. (Noteworthy: though I rarely talk about them, Lush is probably in my top 5 as far as desert island bands are concerned. See? I can talk about bands other than MBV. Good? Good.)
I shared my newly acquired knowledge with those who cared (up until now, about 4 people) and carried on throughout my days, falling back on traditional ways of stumbling upon new sounds: radio; like turn of the dial radio. Lo and behold, I heard Stealing Sheep along with an announcement that they were scheduled to play a radio sponsored festival right here in Munich a few weeks later, which I attended. They were amazing live, along with others included on the bill, particularly the incredible, Siouxsie-sounding Lower Dens, but that’s another band for another column on another day altogether.
That’s that. I would be remiss to not mention that I get a charge out of finding an all-female band that isn’t a troupe of angry feminists smelling of patchouli and disdain. Yeah, I said it. I’ll leave things at that. You can watch Stealing Sheep and the rest of the bands who performed at the ON3 Festival in December here. Keep an eye out, Europe. They are supporting Alt-J this February.
The Information Age: widening asses since 1990.
[Abby’s Road is a Knox Road feature published every other Friday.]