Hurry Hurry
August 17, 2012 9:22 AM   Subscribe

Hurry Hurry (YouTube) is the single on Boston band Air Traffic Controller's (Official Site) new album NORDO (SoundCloud). It's an insistent, catchy, exuberant anthem to all those who feel like no matter how fast they run, life runs faster. It absolutely nails the sensation of pushing oneself to the point of destruction while simultaneously feeling as though one is falling farther and farther behind. It will also lodge itself deep inside your brain and refuse to stop playing, so be warned.

Half of NORDO is available for free at the SoundCloud link above, and of course the whole album is available for purchase online through the usual channels. All the tracks from their debut album, The One, are available for streaming on the band's website.

Finally, here's an interview in Performer Magazine in which bandleader Dave Munro talks about working as an air traffic controller for the navy, discusses his influences, and explains a bit about NORDO's production process.
posted by Scientist (20 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Have Talking Heads sued yet?
posted by The Ultimate Olympian at 9:24 AM on August 17, 2012 [2 favorites]

What he said. Pretty well nails someones record collection.

Do people even say 'record collection' any more?
posted by ciderwoman at 9:29 AM on August 17, 2012

NORDO, by the way, is the standard ATC radar abbreviation for "NO RaDiO" It's either set by ATC when you're not responding via radio, or is automatically set if you set your transponder to 7600.

It's become a shorthand for such craft. In much of the airspace in the US, you do not need a radio to fly VFR.
posted by eriko at 9:35 AM on August 17, 2012 [1 favorite]

Is there like a city ordinance requiring Boston bands to do a song along these lines?
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 9:38 AM on August 17, 2012 [2 favorites]

Air Traffic Controller reminds me just a bit of Guster. I love it. Thanks for sharing :)
posted by Strass at 9:40 AM on August 17, 2012

I never said that it was original, people. ;-) It's totally a sound and a subject matter that's been covered before but I loved the song so much I had to share it anyway. Goes to show, I guess, that one person's Derivative Mediocrity is another person's Shit That I Like.

I mean, Talking Heads? Jim's Big Ego? Guster? Those are some of my go-to bands right there, finding a new band in that mold makes me jump up and down and clap my hands with glee!
posted by Scientist at 10:07 AM on August 17, 2012 [1 favorite]

Double word title reminds me of something.
posted by subdee at 10:18 AM on August 17, 2012

Sounds like Miles Fisher (previously) to me. Works in some, but not all, situations. I'm listening to the album on Spotify now and throwing it on the Summer Day playlist.
posted by knile at 10:32 AM on August 17, 2012

Do people still say "single?" Or even "album?" The idea of releasing a "single" off an "album" seems hopelessly mired in the days of broadcast rock radio, now a distant memory, and vinyl LPs, now a hipster status symbol but otherwise gone. When I listen to a band's new recording, I expect every song to be good. I don't want 9 pieces of filler and a "single."
posted by spitbull at 10:33 AM on August 17, 2012

Is there like a city ordinance requiring Boston bands to do a song along these lines?
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 12:38 PM on August 17

It's been nearly 20 years since that song was written. I've been meaning to listen to that song recently since the work has been piling up around me - but... you know how it is.
posted by Nanukthedog at 10:38 AM on August 17, 2012

Nice hats, baldie.
posted by ReeMonster at 10:41 AM on August 17, 2012

Well spitbull, I'm also quite partial to You Know Me. S'a very sweet love song about dealing with the imperfections of one's partner, with shades of Home by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes. The other songs that I've head didn't grab me quite as hard and fast, but I'm currently listening to them a bit and giving the album a chance to grow on me.

I hear you, though. On the one hand I feel like we're seeing a shift to a distribution system where people follow an artist and buy individual tracks as they are produced, and where artists don't feel obligated to release their music in 10-15 song chunks regardless of whether they are overjoyed with every song on the album. Electronica pretty much moved to this format a long time ago as far as I know, and I have a feeling that it's just a matter of time until other genres adopt the same strategy. The album as we know it is really just an artificial construct created by the constraints of obsolete media formats, after all. It's a pretty recent thing in the history of music, and there's no reason why it should outlive its usefulness.

On the other hand, a lot of smaller bands get a significant portion of their income through selling CDs at shows (which I for one always just go home and rip straight to mp3 format, leaving the disc itself as some kind of semi-useless artifact that I can't quite bear to throw away) and so I think the album format is alive and well in the live music scene. And the concept album is still alive and well, of course -- plus I think a lot of artists just find the idea of albums to be fairly natural, allowing them to encapsulate a chapter of their professional career and define their sound for that phase of their musical existance.

Eventually someone will probably work out a way to sell individual mp3s at shows that works as well financially as selling CDs (people are working on it) but I don't think we're quite there yet. When that happens I bet we'll see "albums" start to fade pretty quickly, but I bet they'll stick around to some extent and artists will continue to use them as basically another stylistic choice regardless of the fact that there'll be no technical reason to do things that way anymore.
posted by Scientist at 10:57 AM on August 17, 2012

This artificial urgency must stop immediately!
posted by warbaby at 10:58 AM on August 17, 2012 [1 favorite]

This has just become my new theme song. As my life changes I update my theme song and hadn't yet found a good one for this phase. Thanks, Scientist! (I hope I never actually get as bad as the poor guy in the song, though.)
posted by Quietgal at 10:58 AM on August 17, 2012

Do people still say "single?" Or even "album?

Single means one. One song. An album is a collection of things, like a photo album.
posted by bongo_x at 11:13 AM on August 17, 2012

Was that a Metafilter post or a press release?
posted by davebush at 1:41 PM on August 17, 2012 [2 favorites]

Have Talking HeadsThey Might Be Giants sued yet?
posted by stenseng at 3:47 PM on August 17, 2012

...vinyl LPs, now a hipster status symbol but otherwise gone...

No, fuck that. We MUST not allow the "hipster" mentality to ruin vinyl. Vinyl was around long before ironic hipsters. True audiophiles understand that listening to vinyl is not about the "charm" of hisses and pops. Clean vinyl (not a $1 record from the bargain bin of the local flea market) sounds more real than digital; more three-dimensional than an mp3. Clean vinyl, read by a quality stylus attached to a reliable cartridge and perfectly balanced tone arm...the signal fed to a pre-amp then an amp and blasted through powerful speakers. That is one of the best ways to listen to recorded sound. If someone wants to spend $25 bucks on inferior vinyl pressings of the latest Arcade Fire album and play it on a "retro turntable" like they sell at Urban Outfitters through computer speakers, fine. But don't call vinyl a hipster status symbol. In my opinion, that refers only to the whole 180-gram vinyl reissue movement. Vintage vinyl is far superior if the vinyl is clean, and new vinyl is grossly overpriced, which feeds perfectly into the "hipster status symbol" remark. At the same time, one should not buy $1 dollar records with scratches and imperfections. If a listener truly cares about the quality of their vinyl, are they more hipster or less hipster?
posted by ReeMonster at 1:51 AM on August 18, 2012

When I listen to a band's new recording, I expect every song to be good. I don't want 9 pieces of filler and a "single."

Spitbull, I think there's a difference between filler and a single. What I love about buying an album is that it has allowed the artist to work though what interests them right now in a variety of ways. Some of those ways will be three minutes long and super catchy, the perfect single material, but some of it will be longer, less obvious but often these are the more interesting tracks over time. Sure some lazy artists just fill up an album with crap but there are a lot of other people making excellent music that needs the security of an album to exist rather than withering alone as a single.

(it's also whay I prefer vinyly released albums where more care was taken with tarck listings - fnish side one on a high, etc, as opposed to the current CD trend of hit, hit hit, les of a hit, less of a hit, er, don't undertand that track, etc)
posted by ciderwoman at 7:36 AM on August 20, 2012

ReeMonster, there is no scienific basis for your statement. It is purely subjective appreciation for noise, because analog does not exceed the sensitivity of modern digital recording on every dimension of audible sound reproduction withn the limits of human hearing, which is very well modeled at this point in its physical dimensions, and reasonably so in its cognitive (but not affective) dimensions. I get it, really I do. I am a musician, and was a DJ for years, and am now an archivist working with audio formats going back to aluminum discs and forward to PCM digital masters, with most historical formats in betweeen (I spent all summer redigitizing now completely obsolete DAT tapes from several collections). My ears are excellent and well trained, and I grew up with vinyl as my religion -- I still have about 500 LP records, and that was just the cream of my collection, culled 15 years or more ago. I know what you are talking about, but it's generational for people like us, which is why it's retro for hipsters.

Psychoacoustics, we has it. Check out Jonathan Sterne's The Audible Past or his widely known recent work on the mp3 format (all over the web, I'm mobile and can't post links). Come away shocked at how little science here is to statements about audio quality, and how much our technology history shapes the way we hear everything we listen to.

And yes, I know what "single" means in a literal sense. But in pop music it only makes contextual sense when it is juxtaposed with "allbum." I usually say "song" or "recording," and I find the still common usage in music marketing to be either anachronisic, nostalgic, or sometimes a bit indicative of cluelessness about the modern music market.

I too do not know what to do with my 3000 or so CDs now that they are all stored on hard drives as PCM files. I know I should give or throw them away (but they are also proof that I "own" my digital music collection, or, er, most of it) and my digital metadata for most of them is not as comprehensive as the inserts in the original CDs (my solution of late being to just save those, in binders).
posted by spitbull at 7:33 AM on August 21, 2012

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