Finding new music is weird. You never know when something will catch your ear. Sometimes you hear stuff on the radio. Sometimes it’s a song from a TV show or movie. Friends with similar tastes will turn you on to stuff. The opening acts at concerts (remember them?) are another way to discover new artists, if you’re willing to pay attention to the band that you DIDN’T pay to see.

Sometimes finding new music is a complete, unplanned accident. That happened to me this week.

A couple days ago I was looking at Billboard’s list of new releases from last Friday to see if there was anything interesting. At the top of that list was Taylor Swift’s surprise new album “Folklore”, which came out with no advance publicity or warning. Although I’ve never been a fan of the pop star’s past work I was still willing to investigate based on the rave reviews I’ve been reading, including a couple from writers who I tend to be on the same wavelength with. I kept seeing phrases like “new adult sound” and “brave new direction”.

To be honest, I got four or five songs into “Folklore” and the phrase that came to mind was “Emperor’s new clothes”. I just didn’t get it and decided to bail. No harm, no foul… I went in with an open mind and gave it an honest shot, but it just wasn’t for me. I’m not under the impression that me not digging the new record will bring down The Swiftian Empire, so if you are a fan go for it. I do recommend the Netflix documentary “Miss Americana”, which focuses on Taylor as a human being, and she is a pretty impressive person… the world could use a few more like her.

Oh yeah. New music. I get easily distracted. Ohhhh look, a squirrel!!!

I went back to the Billboard list to see what else had come out, and about halfway down was an album called “Laugh” by The Gooms. For some reason the name of the band called to me. Who or what are The Gooms?

Well, their Bandcamp page shows me three guys and a gal making wacky faces and this description…. “The Gooms are a Los Angeles based garage rock band whose edgy and melodic sound derives from a die-hard love of surf, punk, jazz, and all that lies in between. Their off-kilter brand of noise rock coupled with catchy hooks and dirty instrumentation make them a force to be reckoned with. They won’t apologize for stirring a ruckus in your ear canals, but they will give you a hug.” Like I said, that’s how they describe themselves.

Ok, I’m in. I go to investigate their new release, but as far as I can tell it doesn’t really exist yet. I can’t find “Laugh” by The Gooms anywhere on the internet. I do find a brand new three song EP called “God’s Target”, and a six song EP put out in 2018 titled “With An M” so I listen to those. I love them. It’s the type of fun stuff that really pushes the right buttons for me. To expand on their bio I’ll call them “The B-52s meets X meets The Stray Cats if they played ska meets Lenny and the Squigtones”. I can’t get enough of these nine songs, and have listened to them multiple times. I really need this full length album that theoretically came out last Friday. Right now I’ll have to point you to “With An M.”

I do have to admit that a good friend who I thought would like The Gooms isn’t as entertained by them as me. I will just say caveat emptor… I learned that saying on the episode of The Brady Bunch where Greg bought a used car.

I guess what I’m saying is that every once in a while it’s fun to investigate music you’ve never heard before. You might find something you really like.

Stay safe everyone. If you’ll excuse me I have to go look for my Lenny and the Squigtones vinyl. -Billy

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