Usually musicians are just giving you their songs to listen to. Oftentimes, I wonder what songs they are listening to and what songs they listen to that effect them like their work effects us. This week Max Frost and Monica Martin of Phox give us songs from other artists to listen to and they tell us why they love them. And of course, we give you three songs that we just love.
Listen to the all the songs, with personal introductions right here.
Max Frost’s Pick: Sly and the Family Stone- “If You Want Me To Stay”
Max Frost was the first artist to fully utilize the Nintendo 64 in our green room. After trying several inputs and blowing on a cartridge we were on our way to some serious racing in Mario Kart 64. When I asked the drummer to play he responded with, “No way man, that game has ruined too many friendships for me.” After losing a game, I challenged him to Rainbow Road, where I jumped from third to first in the home stretch with the help from a star and left the band in the dust. TEAM PEACH. When our pulses came down, we got in a recording booth and Max got funky with Sly and the Family Stone. Listen why he loves the song in the Souncloud link above.
Sly and the Family Stone’s album, “Fresh,” was released in 1973.
Listen if you like: The movie The Mac, cool cats, greasy funk
Adult Jazz- “Am Gone”
I’ve always been wary when bands have connected themselves to the word Jazz. Because it’s more than just a description of how something sounds, it’s the idea of Jazz that they are attaching themselves to. Intellectual, thoughtful, erudite. It’s usually nothing more than name dropping Ornette Coleman or Miles Davis in a cheap grab at credibility. So I was skeptical when listening to a band that called themselves Adult Jazz.
I heard more than name dropping, I heard music that challenged me as a listener, music that sounded unique and heady. I was hearing actual jazz. Not free jazz or traditional jazz, but something that feels like both a normal song, and a jazz riff in one. This is adult music from Adult Jazz.
Adult Jazz’ album “Gist Is,” is available now.
Listen if you like: atypical percussion patterns, an original sound, art house cinema
Phox’s Pick: Shakey Graves- “Dearly Departed”
Monica Martin doesn’t love giving interviews. She gets anxious and frazzled. It only makes her even more likeable. Half way though our interview we stopped, sat in the corner, listened to a song sung by J.E. Sunde that she had recorded with the Voice Memmo app on her phone in a bowling alley, and she sang harmonies to it. I wish I had kept rolling.
Listen to Monica talk about the Shakey Graves in the Soundcloud link above startig at 10:05.
Listen if you like: Jonny Cash and June Carter, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros’ “Home,” duets
L.C. Cooke- “Put Me Down Easy”
Sam Cooke was one of the greatest singers to ever live. And one of my favorites. In the early 60’s he was one of the most successful artists at the time, and with the goal of creating racial integration though music, started his own record label, SAR Records, where he released songs by Bobby Womack, Johnnie Taylor, and his brother. L.C. Cooke.
L.C. Cooke recorded 10 tracks with the label that were supposed to become his first album but due to Sam Cooke’s unfortunate death in 1964, the album was never released, until now. And I couldn’t be more excited. L.C. is not Sam. He doesn’t have the delicacy of Sam, but he has all the elements that made Sam Cooke tracks great. There are innocent lyrics, arrangements that emphasize hooks, and smooth background harmonies. Bring It On Home to Me, L.C. Cooke.
L.C. Cooke’s longtime coming debut album is now available. Finally.
Listen if you like: Sam Cooke, Otis Redding, Bobby Womack
The Notwist- “Kong”
As a kid, did you ever believe in fiction? That somehow, you were actually a princess? That the toys in your room really did come to life when you left? Or like me, that any day now, you’d get the letter from Hogwarts? And suddenly, your life would change, and everything would be perfect.
In this song by the Notwist, the lead singer pleads to an unlikely hero, Donkey Kong to save him. “ Pleading, Mighty Kong please help, lift us up from this.” Like Donkey Kong swoops up Princess Peach. There is some kind of sweet sadness that he fantasizes that the villain would sweep him up, but there is a beauty to that innocence too.
The Notwist’s album “Close To The Grass” is available now.
Listen if you like: Nada Surf, Grandaddy, maybe Belle and Sebastian