Let the Beat Build #23: October 2014
Spotify: Let the Beat Build #23: October 2014
Diversions: LTBB #23 Diversions
“Toes” - Glass Animals
JW: So I says to myself, so I says, I says [, self] , “damn, we haven’t had any real smooth, low tempo playlists really.” But then I thought it might get too sleepy. So I was looking for something in the middle. A little Morphine. A little Mark Lanegan? I just heard this band, and I don’t know what to make of them. I like it. I feel like it’s a band I might not like forever. But right now, I’m digging it. It reminded me of the old days when the Notwist and the Walkmen were the anti-Strokes. I know know. That was a fuzzy time.
“Tears in the Typing Pool” - Broadcast
KW: Every year on Trish Keenan’s birthday, James Cargill drops some wicked unreleased Broadcast. This year it was a couple demos, including the phenomenal demo for “Tears in the Typing Pool.” I get amped when I hear Broadcast, even this slow waltz short film of a song.
“Si Tu Disais” - Calexico
JW: Calexico is one of my favorite bands. Their sound has not been easily commodified by fakers, they transport me into stories and they’re all around nice guys. I get amped when I hear them. I remember the time that Joey gave me a shout out from stage at Castle Clinton. I remember when the entire band helped us wrap set after a long day of promo shooting. They even pulled down the seamless paper. Anyway, I was listening to this song the other day, and it sort of felt like a prequel to Dylan’s Isis. Like the protagonist 15 years earlier, making his own adventures and mistakes, having no idea what was in store for him.
“Temazcal” - Monsters of Folk
KW: This could be that same guy, sobering up after another graverobbing gig. A little older now, slower, mostly keeping himself in line. But still transfixed by the girl, who might be Isis, or might as well be. Interesting times.
“Dear God 2.0” - The Roots, Monsters of Folk
JW: This song combines my deep love for the Roots with my deep like for Conor Oberst and Yim Yames. I like the deep, thoughtful Roots tracks that are emblematic of the 2000’s and this MoF sound which really is a folk supergroup. Also, I think this song, and the original Dear God came out at nearly the same time. You’re on your game when you’re referencing the thing that is happening right now. Here’s the video.
“Silk” - Giselle
KW: I wish there were more Roots + folk jams. I wish there were more Giselle jams too. After I heard “Crave You” I was searching for more, but she’s definitely not all over the place. Eventually I found “Silk.” This morning I found two more songs. It’s a big day for me.
"Over" - Portishead
JW: Why wasn't there more Portishead, I wonder? What genre is this? You know you're onto something when the nearest similar artists are not that near or similar to you. Though that "something" is rarely record sales. Site impressions. Such weird dreams. I had one last night about stealing diamonds, avoiding a car chase and bringing them back through the airport from Canada. KW: This morning I remembered a dream I had many years ago, that I had rented a hummer from Newark Airport, and I was driving down the Interstate feeling embarrassed but also feeling like “damn this actually is kind of baller.”
“Pursuit of Happiness (nightmare)” - Kid Cudi, MGMT, Ratatat
KW: It seems like it took more than a decade for pop music to catch up to artists like Portishead and Massive Attack. I can’t really back that statement up with any facts. But this track is steeped in their tradition.
“Ghostship” - Menomena
JW: My friend Josh was always really into this band. Especially the year I left LA to move to NY, he kept sending me these songs to remind me what I was missing in the LA music scene. The best post-Grunge rock is the stuff that doesn’t try too hard to define itself. This song could just as easily been written in 1995 as 2015. That’s a good thing.
“In My Room” - Yaz
KW: Let me start by saying I have this on vinyl, and I’ve had it on vinyl since about 1994. Making fun of Jon recently, I realized that I needed to get back into Yaz. Here I am, back into Yaz. Yaz got hip again a few years ago. Maybe they’re not hip again. I don’t give a fuck. Everybody’s into Lewis now. Whatever. This could be a brand new track and it would still be ballsy. Like King Krule ballsy.
“I Wanna Be Adored” - The Stone Roses
JW: All these guys make me think of cold, rainy, UK. It’s an alt-fantasy. I think it was for them too. This song totally holds up. I just saw their documentary. They seemed to have held up somewhat too. Though seeing behind the curtain took a little bit of the fantasy out. Doesn’t this sound like a Wake N’ Bake Pixies song? Or an Interpol song that doesn’t try so hard?
“Dream Baby Dream” - Suicide
KW: I would love to hear a bunch of Frank Black Francis style acoustic covers of stuff like Hüsker Dü and Suicide. I’ve looked for Frank Black Francis on Spotify a bunch of times and it’s still not there. Suicide came from one of those damn special moments in music, a group that was “some kind of high powered mutant never even considered for mass production.” I’m borrowing some (Hunter, not Charles) Thompson, but maybe Springsteen put it best: “If Elvis came back from the dead, I think he would sound like Alan Vega.” That’s a high compliment.
“We Used To Wait” - Arcade Fire
JW: Is it me, or do you hear Talking Heads, LCD Soundsystem, Suicide, Tom Petty, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and Bruce Springsteen? Do you think if we start a Kickstarter for that Frank Black album he’ll do it? Frank Black + MF Doom? KW: Tom Petty + MF Doom = PETTYDOOM. This is the future of Internet. Also, I just tried to start a rumor that AphexSwift is playing the Grammys because I want that to happen.
“The 13th” - The Cure
KW: As much as I’d like to drop some fictional rock hip hop mashup that doesn’t exist, I’m compelled to share one of my favorite underrated Cure tracks instead. This song wasn’t terribly well-received when it came out as the lead single for Wild Mood Swings. I used to call the local pop and rock stations requesting the hell out of this, back when you could do that sort of thing. It doesn’t really sound much like much else, not even terribly like The Cure. There’s just something so weird/slinky/romantic about it, even if it’s not a total success as a song.
“Wash” - Pearl Jam
JW: I’m thinking of songs that are not a total success. I’m thinking of B-Sides. I’m thinking of unreleased tracks. I’m thinking of the first time unreleased tracks were coveted bonuses. Gifts for people who cared enough to look. Or wait. It may have been Wash and Dirty Frank on the Pearl Jam Ten related EP’s. Chili Peppers had a ton. I had a grip of Soundgarden imports, live cd’s and singles. But why are these tracks so good? Ostensibly, they were “curated” OUT of the album. But by the sheer nature of being “other” they become special. And also, many of these bastard tracks are too genius for the radios. *Note* I’ve written thus far without choosing a song yet. It’s tough. I’ve always been a fan of All Night Thing. It’s even in Wayne’s World, and didn’t make the soundtrack. I think I’m going to go with Wash. This might be Pearl Jam’s best (last) chance at making it onto one of these lists. Enjoy. Embrace the hopeful melancholy that is Vedder.
“Bogusflow” - Beck
KW: This is one of my favorite Beck songs, which I heard on DGC Rarities Vol. 1 (but there were never any subsequent volumes). There are a lot of great songs on that one (The Sundays, Teenage Fanclub, Counting Crows, even the Weezer track is good). Anyway, I don’t know why this wasn’t on a proper Beck album. Maybe it’s just too fucking good. And it comes from that same moment, when everyone was obsessed with Pearl Jam and Beck and Nirvana. Looking back, I think the whole DGC Rarities thing might have just been an excuse to put Nirvana on a new release, which was probably a guaranteed “500,000 units sold” move. Oh snap, I just realized that the Clueless soundtrack is on Spotify. JW: Does that mean you’re going to play Mighty Mighty Bosstones?