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Oct. 20 | 5 Songs We Can't Stop Listening To (with guest King Tuff)

We do 5 Songs We Can’t Stop Listening To because we want to tell you why we love the songs that we love. Sure, you could go to Spotify or Pandora and listen to songs that sound like other songs you already like, but Pandora doesn’t get to tell you what makes that song special. With something else you may choose King Tuff as an artist that you like and want to hear more of, but on 5 Songs you will get King Tuff himself telling you about a song that he loves, why he loves it, and then you get to hear the song too.


Ariel Pink- “Put Your Number In My Phone”

Getting someone’s phone number is just one of the most awkward things you can do. You are showing your cards, the hidden intention. This whole conversation was really not just to have some nice idle chatter. It’s saying, “I’m interested, and I would like to take this relationship from polite niceties to mild commitment.” And here is the awkward part, you have to ask. By asking you ceding power, and putting the power in their hands. You are now opening yourself up to the possibility of rejection. And that is scary.

Personally, I avoid this interaction at all costs. There are people that I work with, family members, and people that I consider decent friends, whose phone numbers I don’t have, because I fear the rejection that I could face in that moment, and I don’t want to go through that. In this song, Ariel Pink explores this weird territory in this beautiful way.

Ariel Pink’s new album, Pom Pom will be released by 4AD on November 18.

Listen if you like: beachy sounding stuff, airy late 70’s vibes, samples of old voicemails.

iLoveMakonnen-  “Wishin' You Well”

iLoveMakonnen is a musician who is based out of Atlanta. He is 25 years old. He went to cosmetology school. Even though he’s really just started making music he recently signed to OVO Sound, and has been getting a fair amount of “buzz” in the very insular on-line music community. And I think for good reason.

Makonnen is understated. He’s not in your face, and he puts an emphasis on creating melody. And he is strong lyrically. This song is a reminder that just because a relationship comes to an end, it doesn’t mean that it was a failure. And that you can see the time that you had together as a beautiful thing even though it didn’t quite work out. Makonnen’s voice is kind of off pitch, but it doesn’t come off as upsetting, but rather endearing.

Listen if you like: reflective R&B, Rome Fortune, Mike Will Made It.


The Dead Weather- "Buzzkill(er)"

This is a 5 Songs We Can’t Stop Listening To exclusive. Third Man Records is Jack White’s vinyl centric record label. In addition to recording artists and hawking their wares, they offer an exclusive subscription service called The Vault. If you are a member of The Vault, at a cost, every three months they send you packages of rare and exclusive vinyl releases. These releases never go on-sale for commercial release. Luckily, your friend Justin Barney is a member of this club. I just got my vault package in the mail, they sent me a new, unreleased 45 from Jack White’s band The Dead Weather. So I brought the 45 to the station at 6 o’clock at night, and I put it on our turntable and now, I’m so excited to share it with you. This is a 5 Songs We Can’t Stop Listening To exclusive: The Dead Weather’s "Buzzkill(er)."

Listen if you like: Jack White, rock ‘n’ roll, Third Man Records.


Weezer- “Cleopatra”

So, admittedly, I have a rather strong history with Weezer. They were the first concert I ever went to, I memorized every word of their first four albums, and once, as a heartbroken 14 year old I vowed to only listen to Weezer for the rest of my life. So take that with a grain of salt.  

The odds are that you have some kind of musical history with Weezer as well. Assuming that you have listened to any radio station in the past 20 years, you probably already have an opinion of them. Love, hate, or indifference.  And I might not be able to change that view.

But I can tell you, even as a Weezer fan, that they had a bunch of bum albums, and that this one is different. It’s legitimately a great album. The forward momentum that the instrumentals in this album are better than nearly any band currently making music with guitars. And their power chord wall of sound overlayed with harmonizing guitar riffs are some of the best that Weezer has done in years. And finally, Rivers Coumo’s lyrics don’t pander, they are narrative, honest, and self-aware.

Weezer’s new album, Everything Will Be Alright In The End, is available now.


King Tuff picks David Peel and the Lower East Side- "Lower East Side"

King Tuff played at the Cactus Club last Friday. I knew we couldn’t get him to perform in our studio because we were having a fund drive, but I asked my boss if we knew someone at SubPop Records who might have his contact info. He did. I e-mailed his manager and King Tuff stopped in at 88Nine HQ to have a conversation with me. You can listen to our whole talk by clicking here.

I asked King Tuff to pick a song for 5 Songs We Can’t Stop Listening To and introduce it. He picked David Peel and the Lower East Side’s “Lower East Side.” Like King Tuff it is clever, catchy, and makes a little innocent trouble. Listen to his introduction and the song itself below.