Good gravy, it’s the week of Thanksgiving. This year we are thankful that there is so much incredible music being made every day. There are a couple tunes that have been grabbing our ear recently. Five of them, to be exact. We put them in a playlist here, talked about why we love them, and now we hope that you are as thankful for these songs as we are. Check them out, and thank you for listening and supporting public radio and great music.
The Do- “Lick My Wounds”
I love idioms. They are this cultural shorthand that we have with each other. Some of my favorite idioms I hear and use frequently include: To put the cart before the horse, take a hair of the dog that bit you, to cut the mustard, to take something with a grain of salt and to say that two things are a horse a piece. These sayings would make no sense if we took them literally. Indicating that two things are more or less equal by saying that they’re a horse a piece, makes no sense at all if its taken literally, but these little sayings are part of our culture. We’ve heard our parents, and our friends, and our community members say them and we’ve heard it in context and we get it. We use them without even noticing how absurd they are. This song’s title is an idiom, “Lick My Wounds,” and I love it.
- Listen if you like: Synth arpeggios, songs that rise, electronic music with female vocals.
The Memories- “Dad’s Not Home”
This song is about doing naughty things when your parents aren’t home. As a kid I didn’t really do a lot of bad things. I mean, I’m sure that my mom would contest that, but someone was always someone at my house. My dad worked third shift at the post office downtown and my mom is a part-time teller at a bank, so, there was always someone there to make sure I wasn’t getting into trouble. But one time I talked to Sam Herring of the band Future Islands and he told me this great story about getting into trouble when his parents weren’t home. I got the audio, so I’m just gonna play it for you. Listen to the SoundCloud link below to hear Sam Herring’s story.
- The Memories new album, Hot Afternoon, is out now.
- Listen if you like: surf rock, the 1970’s, Burger Records.
Wildbirds & Peacedrums- “The Offbeat”
Less is more. But often in music it's not. Orchestras and big bands have long produced some of the most popular and well respected music of all time. A frequent critique that I’ll see in albums is “there just wasn’t enough there” or “its too simple.” In order to avoid this a lot of musicians try to throw as many instruments or sounds that they can in an album in order to beef it up. And now that musicians don’t have to worry about physical restrictions like tape, the amount of tracks an artist can lay on a single song is literally limitless. But I applaud those who dare to think small. Those who will restrict themselves down almost nothing and do something completely new with it. Those who need just a drum kit, a voice, and an offbeat.
- Wildbirds & Peacedrums new album, Rhythm, is out now.
- Listen if you like: minimalism, Ibeyi, sick drum beats.
Moonrise Nation’s pick “The Oogum Boogum Song” by Brenton Wood
Every week I ask an artist for one song they can’t stop listening to. Moonrise Nation’s guitarist Eva is only 17 years old, but her pick showed a much more mature taste. “The Oogum Boogum Song” is clever, novel, and indicative of it’s time. I had never heard it before she picked it, and now I love it.
- Brenton Wood’s “The Oogum Boogum Song” was released in 1967.
- Listen if you like: hip 1960’s slang, easygoing guitar upstrokes, casting spells.
Bride & Groom- “On the Run”
The snow makes you see everything from a new perspective.
Folk music is a timeless American genre. Before recorded music its all we had. Music had to be an acoustic repeating bar structure, and usually with a chorus that could invite as many people to join in as need be. The songs had to be timeless, because if they weren’t they’d would be lost to it. And because folk music is timeless it never dies off, it just goes through waves of being popular and unpopular. The greatest evidence of that is 1960’s folk revival. Even it’s hero, Bob Dylan, went electric. In the past couple of years we have been in another quasi-folk revival, with Mumford & Sons, and the Avett Brothers, and Phox rising in popularity. Right now we are on the tail end of the revival and I bet you a nickel that Mumford & Sons next album will be electric. But when I listen to this song I don’t hear a band grasping onto the last legs of a passing fad, I heard a folk song that is as timeless as any other.
- Bride & Groom’s new album is in the works.
- Listen if you like: new folk, Tallest Man on Earth, Lord Huron.
Right now, I'm reading Nine Stories by J.D. Salinger. If you have not read it already, consider doing so. It's fantastic.