Do you like Atom & His Package?
I found this single for just 50p in the bizarro Bristol record shop “Head” yesterday. It’s not a split per se, it’s just Atom & His Package and Har Mar Superstar each recording a song with the same chorus, one song on each side and both are called “Shopping Spree”. Listen to it here.
For the uninitiated, Atom’s “Package” is less of a backing band than even Florence’s “Machine” and the act is in fact basically just Atom Goren, his synthesisers and guitars. In earlier songs this results in a sound that is sweetly immature and in-jokey without being gross, as in-jokes usually are. Later songs sound fuller and more professional but still pretty far off normal pop music, or even normal pop-punk. Note the YouTube periphery of this video: a sweet comment saying “This guy taught me chemistry. He a bawss” (Atom Goren is a science teacher as his, you know, real job) and the “related” All Time Low video posted by the same record label. Er, pop-punk downgrade.
Atom Goren went on to form the similarly awesome pop-punk band Armalite with members of bands such as Lifetime.
But who else loves Atom & His Package? As a matter of fact, Seth Cohen had their poster on his wall! (The orange one that is partially blocked by his dad’s crossed arms) Behold:
I have so many thoughts and feelings bubbling inside me about how music shopping in Head is a lot like going back to 2007. I didn’t actually buy vinyl in 2007 but the era of – roughly speaking – 2003-2008 was a sad one where I liked and cared about music better than most people. So stuff like downloading an Atom & His Package song or seeing The Holloways for free as a tentative bonding experience with uni mates feel really emotionally significant in a really loserish, but hopefully charming way! I have so many ideas that I want to write about thanks to the Proustian Madeleine of that Shopping Spree song, so expect more structureless babblings on the guitar music of the previous decade in the near future. If you have pleasant memories of taping Red Hot Chili Peppers videos off MTV2/watching the guy from The Automatic on Never Mind The Buzzcocks/using sarcasm to disguise your love for Fall Out Boy/holding a grudge against Zane Lowe/buying Sleater-Kinney’s “The Woods” at Spillers Records (just me?)/spotting Rich Fulcher at a Camden Crawl gig (just my boyfriend?) then please comment and share! That said, let’s not dwell on nostalgia, which is so redundant and sterile. On the other hand, love and a critical eye will get you everywhere.
Speaking of 2007, while in Bristol I picked up this Olsen twins book from Poundland:
I don’t think it would have been worth it for any more than £1? Back when this book came out I did see a number of fashion blogs oohing and aahing over it… and now I’ve got my own copy I’m going to gut it like a fish and use all the scraps for collages. Check out my new diary cover, Olsen fans, and despair!