Music

Junior Boys - "Big Black Coat" (Singles Going Steady)

Junior Boys are returning February 5, 2016 with a new album, Big Black Coat, their first LP in five years. Singles Going Steady chats about the first single.

Kevin Korber: Junior Boys’ music always had contemplative qualities that revealed themselves over repeated listens, which is why “Big Black Coat” is such a surprise. This is as immediate as Junior Boys could possibly get, using tones of Detroit techno to craft something sinewy and sinister, which is something I never thought I’d say about a Junior Boys track. At its peak, it’s a straight-up banger, a shocking evolution from a group that clearly isn’t afraid to change things up. [7/10]

Brian Duricy: As the first offering by one of the most acclaimed electropop bands of the 2000s in five years, the warbling "Don't baby me" of the chorus indicates what kind of entry point this is for those new to the band: no babying listeners into an accessible point of cold dance synths, instead stretching patience across seven minutes of repetitive distortion that will undoubtedly sound better on the dance floor that it does coming out of laptop speakers. [6/10]

Dustin Ragucos: While it's no Caribou, Junior Boys do have something going for them with their jittery sounding "Big Black Coat", a track that shouldn't be as long as it is. It's fine music if you're waiting for your frozen pizza to prepare, and that's not meant to be an insult. All in all, "Big Black Coat" is music sneakily taken from nearly a decade ago and masked as something recent. [4/10]

Steve Horowitz: What a nice big bass. It grounds the song in a groove deep enough to sink a concrete mixer. There’s something dreamy about what’s on top, and the metaphor of a big black coat makes surreal sense. That said, when the bass leaves or at least becomes much less prominent -- the song flounders. The performances come off as perfunctory. This may be on purpose to give the feeling of ephemerality, but something more is needed to fill up the space. [6/10]

John Garratt: Now here's a conundrum -- the music itself sounds so sturdy and serious while the lyrics and the vocal track that deliver them are a flat-falling joke. All of this would be fine for experimental interludes but, at seven minutes in length, "Big Black Coat" just can't shut up. [4/10]

TOUR DATES

2/16 London, UK - Oslo *

2/17 Paris, FR - Point Ephemere *

2/18 Zurich, CH - Papiersaal *

2/19 Milano, IT - Magnolia *

2/20 Munich, DE - Ritournelle @ Kammerspiele *

2/21 Vienna, AT - Grelle Forelle *

2/24 Hamburg, DE - Uebel & Gefahrlich *

2/25 Berlin, DE - Berghain *

2/26 Malmo, SE - Babel *

2/28 Copenhagen, DK - Lille Vega *

3/03 Cologne, DE - Gewoelbe *

3/04 Zwolle, NL - Where The Wild Things Are *

3/10 Vancouver, BC - Imperial [tickets] *

3/11 Seattle, WA - Neptune Theatre [tickets] *

3/12 Portland, OR - Star Theater [tickets] *

3/14 San Francisco, CA - Mezzanine [tickets] *

3/15 Los Angeles, CA - The Regent Theater [tickets] *

3/18 San Diego, CA - Casbah [tickets] *

3/19 Tuscon, AZ - The Flycatcher [tickets] *

3/21 Dallas, TX - Club Dada [tickets] *

3/22 Austin, TX - The Mohawk [tickets] *

3/23 Houston, TX - The Warehouse Live Studio [tickets] *

3/24 New Orleans, LA - One Eyed Jacks [tickets] *

3/25 Birmingham, AL - Saturn [tickets] *

3/26 Atlanta, GA - The Loft [tickets] *

3/28 Carrboro, NC - Cat's Cradle [tickets] *

3/29 Washington, DC - Black Cat [tickets] *

3/30 Philadelphia, PA - Union Transfer [tickets] *

3/31 New York, NY - Webster Hall [tickets] *

4/01 Allston, MA - Brighton Music Hall [tickets] *

4/02 Pawtucket, RI - The Met Cafe [tickets] *

4/04 Pittsburgh, PA - Altar [tickets] *

4/05 Cleveland, OH - Beachland Ballroom [tickets] *

4/06 Chicago, IL - The Metro [tickets] *

4/07 Pontiac, MI - The Crofoot [tickets] *

4/08 London, ON - London Music Hall [tickets] *

4/09 Toronto, ON - Phoenix Concert Theatre [tickets] *

* w/ Jessy Lanza

The Cigarette: A Political History (By the Book)

Sarah Milov's The Cigarette restores politics to its rightful place in the tale of tobacco's rise and fall, illustrating America's continuing battles over corporate influence, individual responsibility, collective choice, and the scope of governmental power. Enjoy this excerpt from Chapter 5. "Inventing the Nonsmoker".

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