1. DMA’S pick Procol Harum’s – “Whiter Shade of Pale”
Every week we ask an artist that we love to tell us about a song that they love. This week we catch up with Johnny Took of DMA’S.
Justin Barney: So Johnny, what’s one song you can’t stop listening to?
Johnny Took: Do you know Procol Harum, the song “A Whiter Shade of Pale”?
Justin Barney: No.
Johnny Took: It’s this band from the 60s, and I heard that this was one of John Lennon’s favorite songs and it came on while I was watching TV just before we came over and a movie came on. It was called New York Stories and it was the song that was in the opening scene and I just wish I had written that song ever since.
Justin Barney: Oh! New York Stories by Woody Allen.
Johnny Took: That’s right!
Justin Barney: I’ve seen that movie.
Johnny Took: Well its three directors. I think Scorsese does the first one when he’s throwing the paint. (Sings)
Johnny Took: That’s it.
Justin: Oh, that is awesome.
Johnny Took: It’s a great tune.
Justin Barney: What do you like about that song?
Johnny: I like the way his voice has that kind of got like that Van Morrison kind of sound to it. And I love the chord progressions as well. Definitely going to steal it and write a song from it. I learned it the other day and it’s pretty cool.
Justin Barney: Perfect! Alright let’s hear it.
- “Whiter Shade of Pale” was released on Procol Harum’s self-titled, debut album in 1967.
- Listen if you like: DMA’S, the movie “New York Stories,” organ
2. NO/NO – “Whatever”
Milwaukee’s NO/NO released this song last week.
There are a lot of songs about relationships, but few are able to convey what it feels like to be in a relationship like this song does. The way that it starts, so simple, and as things happen, the way memories, and events, and words that are said, all lay on top of each other until you have something that’s complicated.
Complicated but beautiful, and perfect, and comforting. That’s what this song feels like, to me.
- NO/NO’s new album, “Sound and Light” will be out this spring on Gloss Records.
- Listen if you like: Milwaukee music, The xx, heavy synths, Gloss Weekend
3. Parquet Courts – “Berlin Got Blurry”
I was tying to figure out why it is that I love Parquet Courts so much, because I am obsessed with this band.
Parquet Courts are the next hash mark on the timeline of rock’s musical legacy. When I hear them I hear hints of Lou Reed, and bits of The Ramones and even Black Flag. They are a part of a though line across what has made rock music rock music. They are completely and utterly original. In a time where it doesn’t seem still possible in rock music. I think that in the future, when we look back to this period to see who really was original, we are going to pencil in a star next to Parquet Courts.
- Parquet Courts new album, Human Performance, is out now on Rough Trade Records.
- Listen if you like: Lou Reed, Marty Robbins, The Ramones
4. Black Honey – “Corrine”
Justin: From the music desk at 88Nine Radio Milwaukee, I’m Justin Barney and I listen to everything. This is 5 Songs We Can’t Stop Listening To and I’m here with our intern, Amy Upthagrove. Amy, what is one song you can’t stop listening to?
Amy: Corinne by Black Honey.
Justin: Why that song?
Amy: That song has kind of all of my favorite things all in one. It has very sultry, Lana Del Rey-esque vocals on top of layers of kind of shoegaze guitar tones, but with the melodic sensibility of surf rock.
Justin: That sounds like a lot of good things going on in one song.
Amy: It is, but it’s not overwhelming either.
Justin: So is it just the tones and the sounds you like or are there other things?
Amy: It has such a hook to it. Because of that, it’s always in my head. There’s like two lines that she repeats throughout the song but every time, she delivers it differently. Which keeps it interesting, and not as repetitive as you’d think it would be.
Justin: I don’t know anything about this band. Can you tell me about them?
Amy: Yeah, they don’t have a lot of music out yet, but I feel like they are about to kind of blow up. They just joined Catfish and the Bottlemen on their UK tour and I’m hoping they stay for the American tour.
- Corrine was released as a single last year on Foxfive Records.
- Listen if you like: Garage rock, Burger Records, Alvvays
5. Record Store Day special: Ol’ Dirty Bastard – “Brooklyn Zoo”
This Saturday is Record Store Day. If you are not familiar, Record Store Day is a celebration of brick and mortar record stores in your community. You would expect it to have deals and sales, but that’s not what collectors want, we want those rare, weird, hard-to-get-anywhere-else vinyl records. There is a list, of hundreds of albums that are being released specially for tomorrow.
And there is one album that I want more than anything else.
Ol Dirty Bastard was a legend. Part of the Wu-Tang Clan. ODB’s rhyme and flow was erratic, sporadic, raw. Remains unparalleled.
On April 16th, Record Store Day, they are releasing ODB’s jam “Shimmy Shimmy Ya.” And is being released as a single. On a 12”. Limited to 2,000. In the shape of his food stamp card.
It’s my must have. Happy shopping.
- Return to the 36 Chambers: The Dirty Version was originally released in 1994.
- Listen if you like: one of the greatest rappers in all of hip-hop, record store day, it raw
- Check my Record Store Day must-haves this year