Sitting outside on this sunny Sunday, listening to old Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band, I feel gluttonously at ease. This 1967 track off Safe as Milk will soothe you over, relax your muscles, and put you in the nostalgic shoes of all the alumni on campus this weekend. Don Van Vliet’s tender, bluesy voice sings of good times, gratitude, and loss while his Magic Band coos behind him. The constant tempo keeps a groovy vibe, perfect to put on repeat while swaying with a friend, taking a walk, or doing a problem set on this fine weekend.
I’m a big fan of the first few weeks after an album is released. No matter how famous or underground the artist is, for a glorious fortnight I can toss their music on the aux and watch as everyone in the room reacts. People will bob their heads and tap their toes, running through the iTunes libraries of their mind trying to figure out who the hell sings this song. In that moment, I feel like god, holding the power of a great song as well as the holy knowledge of its origins.
Ariel Pink’s latest album has been on the airwaves long enough wear its novelty thin, yet his music always has a similar effect on a room. Nostalgia confronts experimentalism in songs like “Death Patrol,” leaving listeners in a frustrating state of deja vu. Dreamy disco melodies combined with Pink’s eclectic vocal range make this track familiar yet uncontrived. “Death Patrol” is a perfect song for parents’ weekend, as music fans from any era can recognize something likable in it.
October is a nocturnal month where the stars are illuminated, always putting me in an astrological mood. So far my October has consisted of nightly readings of the book Sextrology with friends, which I HIGHLY recommend if you have astrological inclinations. Pharoah Sander’s “Moon Child” has been an obvious go-to song during these rituals. It’s a cosmic tune perfect for a witchy, mystical October.
Damn. Almost forgot to post this one. Very minimal sleep was had this week. This is the howling tune that I’m going to use to power me through the weekend. It is a pop-punk jam by A Giant Dog off the 2016 album “Pile.” Enjoy.
An R&B and funk band from the 70s and 80s, The Gap Band is sure to make you groove. I heard this song “Burn Rubber On Me (Why You Wanna Hurt Me)” while watching an episode of one of my favorite shows, Insecure. From its motorcycle-noise intro to its funky synth melodies, this song’s a jam! One day, I hope to have a dance party like the one in this music video.
Image credit: billboard.com
Over this past block, I made an episode of a podcast. It’s not completely about music, but it’s on how sound makes meaning, so I figured I would post it on here. In it, I interview two really wonderful members of the CC community, Jake Sabetta and Jane Hilberry (and if you’re on this website, you will likely at least know of Jake).
Hope you enjoy!
“Witness” is an awesome gospel tune featuring the great Mavis Staples. Her voice combined with the soulful raspiness of Benjamin Booker makes for an awesome song.
Chance the Rapper has been a collaborator since the start of his career. Kids These Days, an indie hip hop group from Chicago, includes among its members Nico Segal (later known as Donnie Trumpet) and Vic Mensa, both of whom frequently collaborated with Chance after the band split in 2013. “Wasting Time” features Chance crooning between horn interludes with typical emotional eloquence, “Damn I love you/ Don’t know what the means now/ but I love you.” The sobering lyrics and rich variety of sound and tempo make the track incredibly potent.
Get your daily punk fix. You know you need it.
Before there was MF Doom or King Geedorah, there was Zev Love X. Rapper Daniel Dumile got his start as a part of the group KMD, which he formed with his brother in 1988. The group released their first studio album in 1991, when Dumile was only 17 years old. For longtime Doom fans, the rest is basically history.
Hearing a young Dumile spit on a track like “Peach Fuzz” is one helluva trip. Zev Love X’s raps have the same unique timbre of a typical Doom song, but the high-pitched pubescence makes it something entirely unique. You can hear the same savvy rhyme schemes, wacky references, and vintage samples on KMD’s music as you would on any of Dumile’s recent work, but with a distinctly old-school vibe. So kick back, revel in the ’90s slang and bump this blast from the past on repeat.