June 3, 2010


A weekly sampler of what we're listening to (new and old), and what we think you might like, too.


R.E.M. -- Radio Free Europe"
Truly rollicking. This is real punk rock.

(Also, check out this weird early interview and performances on Nickelodeon circa 1983. Great on so many levels.)

Karen O and company seem to do exactly what they want. That standard -- setting a goal, whatever it may be, and meeting it -- is one I think about pretty often. So they've moved from a shrill and gritty debut album, which was tough to play in social situations, to a richer follow-up, and most recently to a synth-heavy dance barrage. I like the trajectory.

I find all three band members mesmerizing, which is good for them, although I'm admittedly sometimes mesmerized in a bad way. Karen O has the best and worst "rock moves" around; Nick on guitar could be an anime model for Hot Topic / little Goth boy in the children's cartoon Rugrats; and Brian on drums ... sometimes has long hair ...

I was not especially familiar with "Down Boy," so I share it for the guitar crunch (wait for it, wait for it), and as a sample of Karen O's rock moves. It also reminds me that the YYYs have really done some excellent EPs and other one-shots that are as rewarding to discover as any other band's. And Karen O covered Daniel Johnston's "Worried Shoes" for the soundtrack of Where the Wild Things Are, which inspired legions of covers and fan-made music videos.

BAND OF HORSES -- "No One's Gonna Love You"
I've been thinking a lot about Charleston, South Carolina lately, and how I might not oppose living there someday. Of my three internships, it was definitely my favorite. And even though Music Farm is one of the worst music venues I've ever visited, even though Millie and I had to leave the Band of Horses show early that summer, I can't help but think fondly about riding our bikes away from the show, pleased and ready for rooftop drinks.

MARVIN GAYE -- "What's Happening Brother"
Socially conscious Marvin Gaye for Memorial Day.

FLYING LOTUS -- Cosmogramma
My entry this week is the whole album Cosmogramma. (See Wikipedia page for info and reviews). I couldn't pick just one song so here's a mashup of the whole album. You'll see why. I guess Flying Lotus seen as this bridge between free jazz, electronica, hip hop, ambient music, etc. I first heard about it on NPR and was talking about electronic music with a dude who, strangely, works for the bank and is actually really cool/out there music.
He recommended it, so I had to check it out. It's really cool, because he's really not the focal point of the track - his voice just becomes another element/piece in the soundset. He just makes really fascinating soundsets and atmospheres.

PIXIES -- "Bone Machine"
This video introduced me to the pixies. It convinced me that music didn't need complexity to be good. (My favorite classical music did not convince me of that.) Since then, Pixies have been a favorite.

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Blogger JHitts said...

Some thoughts:
-That whole YYYs EP (IS IS) is solid. I was actually really disappointed when Its Blitz came out, mostly because I was expecting there to be more songs like that on the album.
-I somehow didn't even realize that Band of Horses sang that song. I feel like it was in a commercial or something and that's the only reason why I know it. Which is a shame, because it really is a good song.
-The world needs to hear more Marvin Gaye.

June 3, 2010 at 5:41 PM 
Blogger Tony said...

Jack did you find that R.E.M. clip in the Bands on Letterman mix? Some rock moves they have.

June 4, 2010 at 12:27 AM 
Blogger JHitts said...

Actually, I found it a while ago. It's been a favorite for a while. But I'm sure it's on that mix. It's gotta be.

June 4, 2010 at 1:45 AM 
Blogger M. Perkins said...

Good mix.

Last night I flipped over to Fallon a little early and instead had the pleasure of hearing Courtney Love sing fronting the rebooted Hole on Leno. It was a pretty awful performance, and provides quite a contrast to these two Letterman performances (and also to the Roots intro'ing Fallon shortly afterwards).

I think Karen O's moves crack Letterman up. I think Tony nailed it: best and worst "rock moves." She is awesome and cringe-worthy.

That Flying Lotus stuff is really intriguing. Fuck Buttons has sort of been my catchy bridge into this noise stuff. Probably why I really like the section starting at 2:45

June 8, 2010 at 7:12 PM 

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