B-Side: Life Without Buildings

Life Without Buildings

A Quick Personal Note: if you’ve been keeping up these past few weeks, you’ve probably noticed some issues with the episodes lately. While the artists have been universally fantastic (and, I think, the discourse has mostly kept up), our audio quality has varied wildly, we’ve been putting up episodes late, and I’ve been neglecting summation duties. It sucks, and we’re deeply sorry to our regular listeners for that. Life has been pretty chaotic lately, with major shifts in jobs and living situations (all good!), and in the midst of all of that it’s been difficult to keep up the level of production quality we aim for. This episode, on Max-Favorite One Album Wonder Life Without Buildings, is a step in the right direction, but the audio quality on Andrew’s track is still a bit rough and, due to an un-undoable editing mistake, there’s like a minute cut out of the beginning (nothing important happened in it, but it’s an awkward jump). I still think it’s a good episode in spite of that, and for what it’s worth things are finally settling down. Thanks for sticking with us, and I hope you enjoy the episode.

Summer’s back, and with summer comes rerun season, which sucks, but also means it’s time for our annual “If I Haven’t Heard It, It’s New to Me!” month! Which, yes, is starting in late June and will end mid-July. But hell, the Summer Solstice was a couple of days ago, so let’s just ignore the Gregorian calendar and enjoy ourselves for once.

Anyway, this month, Andrew and Max are each bringing two artists that the other has never listened to—one with a full discography, and a one-album wonder. For this B-Side, we’re covering Max’s one-album contribution: Any Other City by Life Without Buildings.

Life Without Buildings is sort of the quintessential one-album wonder—they existed for three years, released one incredible album, and broke up when the band became more trouble than the members were interested in. It started as sort of a lark—three art school students started making their own brand of Don Caballero-influenced math rock, and eventually brought on painter Sue Tompkins to yelp over their songs. Somehow, this alchemy resulted in one of the best albums of the early-oughts. They made moving music, the kind of sound that’s tailor made to long commutes and city walks. They’re fun and beautiful and weird and hilarious, and their single published work is pretty much a masterpiece

And hey, Andrew ended up liking them too. So, cool stuff. Also: mondegreens, memes, and Fallujan Streets.


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