Getting sick in the opening days of 2016 is never particularly fun – but it beats getting sick during the closing days of 2015 every time. The song I’ve continued to go back to more and more these last two weeks isn’t on Spotify and I’ll get to that in a moment. The song is “Cigarettes” by a band called The Lonesome Wilderness. They’re a Phoenix, AZ based band and for whatever reason, being a local product still means something to me.
Living in California has made me appreciate whatever art comes out of Arizona even more. Maybe I wasn’t in tune enough with the culture when I was living there, but from what I could recall there weren’t a lot of buzz worthy acts coming out of the area. We had Calexico from Tucson, Jimmy Eat World of course, some burned-bright-and-fast Warped Tour acts like The Maine, The Summer Set, and, in a different vein, Authority Zero. And then the classics: Gin Blossoms, Meat Puppets, Rodger Clyne/The Refreshments. The days of “indie” acts making it big never came when I was in High School though – we made it close with The Format but it never quite came.
The thing about this song “Cigarettes” is that it’s hard to find. And by hard to find, I mean it’s on BandCamp and I would never have heard it had it not been for a wonderful Phoenix New Times article on the 50 best songs to come from Arizona in 2015. I’m thankful lists like this exist – how else would I discover a song like this? Certainly not on Spotify.
No one is a bigger fan of Spotify but much of its all seeing eye is on acts that are much larger than a group like The Lonesome Wilderness. I don’t mean they can’t get on Spotify, anyone can if they want. I have friends bands that are on Spotify. But I mean that in a discussion about Spotify not having Neil Young or Taylor Swift, we often forget that some of the great things coming out of music exist on other, more hidden, parts of the internet. BandCamp especially. Or maybe SoundCloud. Or DatPiff. For Arizona hip-hop act Injury Reserve, would I have sought out their incredible debut mixtape Live From The Dentists Office had it not been on Spotify? I don’t know. I need to be better at doing that, and that’s one of my pledges for 2016. Thanks for reading this site, friendos. It always means a lot.