Monday, February 15, 2016
Cassette Review: Public Spreads the News "Newport Pleasure!" (Illuminated Paths)
[$6 // Edition of 25 // https://illuminatedpaths.bandcamp.com/album/newport-pleasure]
Even though my first time listening to a cassette from Illuminated Paths wasn't by Public Spreads the News, I did hear "Treat Yourself" eventually and in a lot of ways I began associating PSTN as kind of like the face of Illuminated Paths. I used to just fall back on calling everything from Illuminated Paths "vaporwave" and as such if I heard something which was outside of Illuminated Paths I'd say something like "This sounds like it could be on Illuminated Paths so it must be vaporwave". There are a number of artists right now with cassettes released on Illuminated Paths who I do not consider to be vaporwave and, sure, maybe some of them over time weren't really vaporwave either and it was just my fall back, but can we all at least agree that Public Spreads the News is vaporwave?
Through funky electro music comes perhaps glo-fi or some sort of 1980's synth based soundtrack. For my money, there is no better soundtrack to music than from the 1980's. I actually grew up in the '80's so a lot of my favorite movies I watched as a kid come from there, but one of the ones which has always stuck with me is called "Gleaming the Cube" and it features Christian Slater trying to track down his step brother's killer using skateboards. No joke, a young Tony Hawk is in it. And now when I think of kids skateboarding I always go to what the Warped Tour *used* to sound like, but back then they'd have these scenes where they'd be skating and this is the type of music they'd play. I love it. I have such a special place in my heart for it because any time I was home from school sick or bored or whatever I'd always seem to find "Gleaming the Cube" on Showtime and watch it. (And though it cannot be said for all of his movies, there are certainly a number of Christian Slater movies which follow this pattern of music as well. And yes, I do like Christian Slater)
The music can come out as triumphant and there are also those keys which remind me of Doogie Howser. It also has that closing credits feel for some reason, where at times when listening to it you can just imagine the freeze frame and the names and titles scrolling up the screen. Bass lines can take over just as easily and when you listen to this there are songs streaming on the Bandcamp page from Side A only and Side B you can only hear on the cassette which I do enjoy because I don't mind the artists or labels giving up a sample online but I've always felt like giving away the whole thing was less incentive to buy the cassette.
It should also be worth noting that Public Spreads the News has a song on here called "Mia Sara", who most people might remember best for her role in "Ferris Bueller's Day Off", but she later went on to appear in films such as "Timecop" and also she was Harley Quinn in the short-lived television series "Birds of Prey", which I absolutely love and own on DVD. I consider it to be an essential piece of the DC Universe. But she just has that same star power as Christian Slater in ways where you might consider that what they are both best known for was a long time ago but they're still working (Well, Mia Sara doesn't have anything new on her iMDB page since 2013, but still I watched a Christian Slater movie the other night called "Guns, Girls and Gambling" because it was about to go off of Netflix)
The point of all of this is that I love Public Spreads the News because this music takes me to a place when I was a child and when I just overall felt like movies and maybe even everything in general was just better. (Yes, I'm old and talking about the good ol' days) But at the same time I feel like it's this form of music which shouldn't have died off after Guns N Roses or whoever came along but it should be more prominent today simply because of the technology we have it should be bigger now than ever before. And I think putting Public Spreads the News at the helm of that would be an excellent idea because I feel like PSTN is at the helm of Illuminated Paths and, well, that has brought them nothing but good fortune so let's go out and start a new old scene, people.