Today’s Song of the Day is “I Wanna Boi” from the queer punk duo PWR BTTM. Liv Bruce and Ben Hopkins met at Bard College and spend their playing shows on the Bard campus. Their raw punk sound is reminiscent of something heard at a house party somewhere around CC. However it is their unconventional lyricism that works do break down norms of sexuality and music makes PWR BTTM worth a listen. If you love the song email ob8419@Bard.edu.
Brian Eno is one of the most prolific, innovative, and influential musicians around. His first four solo records are all fantastic, he was a pioneer in the field of ambient music, and his collaborations with Robert Fripp, David Byrne and Cluster are excellent. From ’73 – ’83, Eno was killing it with each and every release. He even developed a way to help musicians break creative blocks, called Oblique Strategies. Now, you might think you’ve never listened to a song by Brian Eno. And you’re probably wrong about that. Eno collaborated with David Bowie for his entire “Berlin Trilogy” (Low, “Heroes”, and Lodger). He also produced three Talking Heads records: More Songs About Buildings and Food, Fear of Music, and Remain In Light, which are all fantastic. If you’ve ever aggressively sung along to “”Heroes”” or “Once in a Lifetime”, you were belting out songs Brian Eno helped write.
But I digress. I could go on about Eno for days, but if I had to pick one favorite Eno record it would be 1977’s Before and After Science. “King’s Lead Hat” is the lead single from BaAS, and it’s a seriously great track. “King’s Lead Hat” is an anagram for “Talking Heads”, even though Eno recorded this song before he had recorded with the Talking Heads. Still, as the name would seem to imply, “King’s Lead Hat” is very reminiscent of Eno-produced Talking Heads. This song is infectiously catchy, unique, and has a killer groove. Eno’s lyrics are sharp and clever, and the synth part at the end kills. Just listen to it, it’s really good.
lol don’t we know this by now? SMART is cool! KIND is cool! DUMB on purpose is NOT cool.
If u smart, listen to this song. It is from Ben Aqua, who has worked with PC Music (audio gold), DFA Records (unknown to me) and has his own “experimental electronic music and art label #FEELINGS”. Despite the questionable but likely satirical naming of that label, I am often fond of this kind of music. Which surprises me. Isn’t electronic music #MINDLESS? I’m starting to think not!! Imagine the landscape of this track in physical space with every beat and type of sound possessing a different line — how complex and calculated!
This being said, Ben Aqua and those that he might associate with (AG Cook of PC Music) are getting a lot of attention for what is being called “The online underground: A new kind of punk?”. An article/podcast of this name from Resident Advisor explores this concept using Ben Aqua as a main talking point (find at residentadvisor.net/feature.aspx?2137). Even though the nuances and specifics of this comparison are beyond me (I will read the full RA article and get back to you), the idea is not far fetched. With a record label that contains a “hashtag”, successful sales of a T-shirt with “NEVER LOG OFF” printed on it, and a proliferation of ideas manifested aesthetically across some sort of media is undoubtedly similar to the progression of the punk movement.
“signs and connotations of the digital medium are appearing all around online music in the same way that punk wore its gritty origins on its sleeve” (RA).
don’t play dumb, b as smart as u can b
In honor of the 5’3″ phenom lost to the hip hop community, A Tribe Called Quest classic is an easy pick for this Song of the Day. Malik Taylor a.k.a. Phife Dawg passed away yesterday at the age of 45 due to complications from diabetes.
Known for their funky production and clever verses, A Tribe Called Quest has been making waves in the world of hip hop for over three decades. 2016 will be remembered as a bittersweet year for the group, as Phife Dawg’s key partner in rhyme, Q-Tip, was recently named the JFK Center for Performing Arts’ first-ever Artistic Director for hip hop.
Not only does the 1991 hit “Check the Rhime” showcase both Phife and Q-Tip’s lyrical prowess, but the track features one of Phife Dawg’s most iconic opening lines: “Now here’s a funky introduction of how nice I am / Tell your mother, tell your father, send a telegram.” Phife’s passing is certainly a tragedy for the music world, hip hop and otherwise. Yet this legendary rapper is immortalized in Tribe’s music, and his legacy will surely live on for generations to come.
I don’t think I’m alone when I say that the music of Neil Young has dotted many times in my life. When I was really little I used to hate his voice, not understanding how meaningful and personal that sound was for my parents.
His music will always be so tied to the time it was made in whether it be about heroin in the 1970s or his current campaign against GMOs and monocropping. This song is in response to his grief over the loss of more than one close musician friend to the “needle”. Neil seems to always have been able to translate intense personal tragedy into something beautiful, without compromising the inherent pain of the situation.
This from Neil in a recording of “Live at Massey Hall 1971”:
“Ever since I left Canada, about five years ago or so… and moved down south… found out a lot of things that I didn’t know when I left. Some of ’em are good, and some of ’em are bad. Got to see a lot of great musicians before they happened… before they became famous… y’know, when they were just gigging. Five and six sets a night… things like that. And I got to see a lot of, um, great musicians who nobody ever got to see. For one reason or another. But… strangely enough, the real good ones… that you never got to see was… ’cause of, ahhm, heroin. An’ that started happening over an’ over. Then it happened to someone that everyone knew about. So I just wrote a little song.”
“Every junkie’s like a setting sun”
Earlier this week, Top Dawg hinted that a new project would be dropping this week from an unnamed TDE artist. Last night, an album by the name “untitled” appeared on Kendrick Lamar’s Spotify page. The album is a collection of some unreleased songs, and others that Kendrick had performed only live. Unitled 3 was debuted by Kendrick last year on the Colbert Report. The song is driven by an urgent and energetic beat that complements Kendrick’s cadence well. In a sort of call and response style he spits 6-8 bars and is interrupted by a woman’s voice: “what does the black man say?” “what does the white man say?” “what does the indian say?”. Her questions are addressed by Kendrick, and he provides some answers, but more than that he gives the listener an enjoyable ride through a complex and rich piece of music. The internet allows artists to drop projects with virtually no warning, and while “untitled unmastered” is not a complete album in the way that good kid, m.A.A.d city or TPAB both are, it is worth giving it a listen or twenty when you get a chance.
Whenever I see an artist from Minneapolis making waves on national music websites, I always feel a little swell of hometown. Even if I’m being a total bandwagoner who just discovered said artist through Pitchfork or Spotify, I’ll make up for it by creating false memories of listening to their music before they got big. I might even convince myself that I’ve got mutual-mutual friends with the bassist, or that I saw them open for Of Montreal back in 2009. Something like that.
That said, I can’t exactly remember if Night Moves is a band that I first heard on my local NPR station or if I found them through a more mainstream source. In any case, I’m going to pretend that I’m a #dayone fan of this band because not only is their music a freak-folk dream, but they also grew up in the same metro area as I did. The newest single from their forthcoming album, “Carl Sagan,” is laden with beachy guitar hooks and falsetto vocals, an ambiguous sound that could easily hail from another decade. Major music outlets like iTunes and Entertainment Weekly recently brought Night Moves to my attention again after a brief hiatus, which is also why I’m promoting their music to overcompensate for sleeping on these hometown heroes. If this track strikes your fancy, stay tuned for Pennied Days, which is set for release March 25!