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Today’sHits’ self-titled debut LP is being released on Randy Records this July, but the story really began over 6 years ago, when a young man by the name of James Swanberg came up with the completely brilliant and simultaneously idiotic idea to write, record, and upload a song once a day, everyday, in perpetuity. He gave this project the self-explaining title of “Today’sHits”, and uploaded his first song to his website,, on March 20th 2011. And while most people would likely give up on such an foolish endeavor after a few weeks, or at most a few months, through a combination of perseverance and stubbornness, James kept up this ritual for over three years, writing 1037 songs without missing a day. He composed and recorded most of his songs while working as a clerk at the local liquor store – there was enough downtime during the 12-hour shifts for James to sneak off to use his “super computer,” as he calls his macbook, and record his daily composition. Indeed, his streak was only broken when, on January 14th, 2014 the super computer broke down and James had no means to record his latest composition. James did not quit, however, and has written another 317 songs since. By this time he had already moved to Chicago and formed the band featured on this album, and they quickly established themselves as one of the best live bands in town. Now, while all of this amounts to a very interesting story, you may ask, why should I care if James wrote all these songs? I mean, are the songs any good? And the answer, to be frank, is no, not really. The fact is many, if not most, are awful, terrible, and just plain no good…except, of course, on that rare occasion where they are actually good. And when they are good, they are usually much better than good. In fact, his best songs are nothing short of perfect rock n roll pop ala Tommy James – always catchy, always clever, and always sincere. You see, there are some bands that, though I have seen them play countless times over the years, if you asked me to hum one riff or sing one line of one of their songs, I wouldn’t be able to do it. This is simply not the case with Today’sHits. Every time Today’sHits plays Chicago, everyone in the crowd is singing along with every word, because James is able to do something that so many cannot. He can write songs that are memorable, songs that stick with you and follow you home, songs that you find yourself singing in the shower the next day, songs that are bonafide hits. A lot of the appeal of his songs is a natural result of his dedication to the song-a-day format. The best way to become a better songwriter is to practice, and what better way to practice than to write over 1300 songs? And James was forced to adopt a certain economics in his songwriting. There is no time to flesh out an idea across multiple verses when the song must be done today, so he had to learn to express whatever idea he had as simply and efficiently as possible. And so his writing naturally evolved and soon each song became a simple, beautiful, punk rock haiku, like if The Ramones were trying to write Buddy Holly songs using as few words as possible. Keeping in line with the Today’sHits ethos, for their debut LP the band chose eleven songs from their catalog, and proceeded to record, mix and master this debut album in exactly one day. And the results are incredible – eleven heaping servings of ramshackle, reverb drenched, sloppy pop that will stick to the roof of the mouth of your subconscious for days on end. If you have never listened to Today’sHits, I implore you, listen to this entire album at least once in its entirety without skipping any songs, go to sleep, and when you find yourself singing these songs into your cereal in the morning, you’ll understand the power of these songs and this band. So open up your ears, open up your heart and remember: though yesterday is gone, and tomorrow is not promised, there will always be… TODAY’SHITS!!! (Randy Records)
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Format LP