Trenchant Music Criticism

by Belle Waring on September 29, 2015

Did you used to love the least google-able band in the world, Fun.? Probably you will also like the guitarist’s new (-ish) band Bleachers. I love this song right now. 80s synth riffs ftw.



D Franklin 09.29.15 at 11:43 am

I’m pretty sure The The were even less googleable than Fun. (Although for both, putting the band name into Google gives first hit band page; second, wiki page about the band)!


Belle Waring 09.29.15 at 12:47 pm



Sam Dodsworth 09.29.15 at 12:59 pm

It’s hard to beat The The for unsearchability but there was also the Witch House thing back in 2009, which used unsearchable names as a way to stay exclusive. (For a while, anyway. As I recall, they all switched to more readable names pretty fast once they started getting press attention.)

I’m still pretty fond of †‡† (later Ritualz).


x.trapnel 09.29.15 at 1:19 pm

The Bleachers guy was also in Steel Train, whose self-titled last album I really really loved. Thanks for bringing this to my attention!


Lynne 09.29.15 at 2:07 pm

Belle, so far when you talk about music our tastes haven’t coincided, but I keep hoping, and when I saw you were talking about Bleachers I thought this might be the time you like something I like. My son gave me this album for my birthday and I really like it. So I went to my playlist to see which song “Shadow” was…and it’s the only song on the album I have unchecked. Hmmm. Seems I like every single song on the album better than this one! Still, I count this as a near miss.

I like this album because it is coherent, and I actually play the whole thing (except “Shadow”), which has not been true for many albums. The end echoes the beginning with the Wild Heart Reprise. “Like a River Runs” is lovely but sad, being about Antonoff’s sister who died. He says it was the first song he wrote for the album. Personally, I could do without Yoko Ono’s contribution in Reprise but on the whole a really good album. I think I’ll leave “Shadow” checked for awhile, see if it grows on me.

By the way, the video for “I wanna get better” is really fun, directed by Jack Antonoff’s partner, Lena Dunham. Worth watching.


Belle Waring 09.29.15 at 2:44 pm

Lynne HOW CAN THIS TRAGEDICOMEDY OF ERRORS CONTINUE BETWEEN US? You don’t like the spare guitar riffs, like unto a Cars song? The uplifting “pew pew” rocket noises that accompany the chorus? The fact that only two things separate it from the Form of The Journey song “Only The Lonely”: one additional octave of “the drummer just shoved a stick up my ass” variety, and one section in which all the instruments cut out and there is only quad-tracked vocals, and then the band comes back? Which maneuver it basically does the lo-fi Cars version of in dwindling to the thin guitars at the end? Will you be happier if I tell you I like “Rollercoaster” and “I Want to Get Better” also, but it seemed way less likely people had heard this song, if we were to imagine they had heard only one? I know you hate literally ever band I like ever.


Belle Waring 09.29.15 at 2:50 pm

EVEN THE LATER ROLLING STONES?!?! Like, you don’t put “Worried About You” on repeat ever, just so on repeat? You don’t, do you. :3


Lynne 09.29.15 at 3:05 pm

Ah, Belle, you are so eloquent when you talk about music. I just googled “Worried About You” so I’m listening to it now. I’ve never heard it before, I don’t think. But you’re wrong, I don’t hate every band you like, I just have never liked a particular song you particularly like. :)

I’m glad you like the rest of the Bleachers album, too, or at least some of it—We have something in common here!—did you like the video for “I Wanna Get Better”, too? So good. But then, Lena Dunham directing and Jack Antonoff acting the part of the shrink, what’s not to love? (Have you seen her movie “Tiny Furniture?”)

Okay, Stones are finished, I’ll listen to Bleachers again, including “Shadow” in its rightful place.


parse 09.29.15 at 3:39 pm


(Which has two hits for the movie beating anything about the band when I google it.)


Kiwanda 09.29.15 at 5:33 pm

Search engine optimized: Chvrches


Belle Waring 09.29.15 at 11:39 pm

Search engine non-optimized: !!!


Mike 09.29.15 at 11:42 pm


Pretty hard to beat X for unsearchablity


js. 09.30.15 at 3:12 am

Clinic: I just went through five pages of Google search results without a single hit to the band.

(Tho admittedly, that is nothing compared to the extreme Google rarity I encountered when I tried “!!!”: No results found! Amazing!)


Belle Waring 09.30.15 at 3:52 am

And yet!


Scratchie 09.30.15 at 3:09 pm

Pretty sure that the least Googleable band in the world is Can.


js. 10.01.15 at 3:21 am

Belle — that’s super! It’s like the Gorillaz or some such, I was expecting something waaaaay more demented.

(PS. Type “Can” into the Google search box, and the first two hits and the sidebar are about the band. Can’s too big, man, Can’s fucking huge! Deservedly, of course.)

…Ok, some time has passed, it’s obviously not like Gorillaz. Dude’s vocals definitely remind me of Damon Albarn tho. (It’s still great.)


brandon 10.01.15 at 3:31 am

Pretty much every “ungoogleable” band I can think of comes up instantly when you google their name + band. Fun, X, The The, Can, even Tsunami and Come.

Youtube searches, that’s a better standard!


Belle Waring 10.01.15 at 3:50 am

!!! is actually a good band. I was trying to talk about them to my Amoeba Records store manager/DJ friend and I found myself at a loss as to how to pronounce it.
BRANDON IT’S FUN. WITH A PERIOD THIS IS SO, SO IMPORTANT. TO THOSE DUDES. APPARENTLY. I feel that you’re right about youtube, yet it was only there that I could get any hits for !!! But Can songs on youtube, hmmm.


js. 10.01.15 at 4:00 am

My search history on Youtube means I can’t actually conduct this experiment properly, but I know you can get at least Tago Mago and Monster Movie full length on Youtube—probably other Can albums too. And thanks Belle, I will be checking out more of !!!(!) in the very near future, is very much up my proverbial alley (unlike Fun! or the Bleachers, unfortunately).


JPL 10.01.15 at 9:41 am

Nice! I do like that guitar riff! It’s like that great guitar riff on Michael Jackson’s Black or white”, but with a brighter tone, which gives it a vaguely African feel, and which is why when I was trying to remember where I’d heard that riff before, along the way I remembered this song by Talking Heads. Make sure you get to the 3:50 mark or so, cuz that’s where it gets sweet. (And as usual, turn it way up when it does)


Barry Freed 10.01.15 at 5:18 pm

Unfortunately, when I moved I lost my some of my favorite Can CDs (Tago Mago, Ege Bamyasi, and Future Days) and YouTube bars streaming them in the country I’m living in.


Belle Waring 10.02.15 at 7:06 am

JPL oh mah. Gawd. I forgot how much I love that song; I haven’t listened to it in a bazillion years. African guitarists FTW. Thanks for reminding me and for the pleasure of just pressing the reload button in a second tab while I go about my writing.*

*I am doing something that requires cutting and pasting from online docs. I am not merely pretending to write.**

**I’m not just saying this because John might read the comments, either.

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