Le Sigh II Casette Compilation
Here’s a timeless piece of dead-eye post-punk called “Sweetie” by Tomboy on “The Le Sigh Vol. 1” from Brooklyn cassette label Birdtapes.
“Don’t you think I’m Fine? And don’t you think I’m nice? Well don’t fucking touch me. Let me give you some advice”

Who are the “arbiters of taste” in music these days? What even is an “arbiter of taste”? Surely we like what we like but we have to hear it first to make that decision. So anyone who can turn us on to something we will like, someone who we trust as a source of music recommendations, becomes that thing.

The internet has democratised the process of music discovery. Anyone can be an “arbiter of taste” and share recommendations. The internet, blogs and social media also neutralise the so-called “gate-keepers” of previous eras (those whose commercial label decisions or editorial music magazine decisions or radio programming decisions regulated most of what we heard or could find out about). Well, those gatekeepers are neutralised as long as we care to look and explore beyond what the mainstream media spoon-feeds us.

The most valuable thing a person can do with music doesn’t involve commerce/ money. It involves TIME. More important than buying it (which is still mighty important) is talking about music and persuading others to listen to music. We can do this through ‘social media’ (sharing links) or through a blog which cultivates followers and regular readers. Or we can formalise that dedication and passion and apply it to achieve a goal over time – an online music discovery website, a ‘zine, a record label. Or all of the above.

We can complain about what others are doing or not doing or we can do something ourselves. Blogs & websites are no/low-cost publishing options. And labels can utilise DIY/ DIT platforms like Bandcamp and low-cost, scale-able physical media like cassettes and CD-Rs.

It’s not EASY (or quick) to establish and maintain something others will value. It never was, and the internet just makes the production/ distribution part easier. It still requires TIME – dedication to the cause over time, a passion to communicate and engage interest with a community of readers/ listeners worldwide. And it requires that elusive matter of taste – having something others share and judgement others trust. It also requires an element of good luck and good will.

The Le Sigh is a great example of what that kind of dedication can produce. The Le Sigh is “a blog that highlights women in music and art” and the Le Sigh cassette compilation series released by Brooklyn cassette label Birdtapes is packed full of excellent grainy lo-fi DIY underground ‘pop-punk’.

Other highlights on Le Sigh Vol. 1 for me which highlight the quality and diversity of the music and artists here are:

r.l.Kelly – “see you soon”

Lizard Kisses – “Little Things”

Morgan Spaner – “Being Cool Is Super Hard”

“I’m stressing because you’re so underground and I just want to hear a song I know”