Hear all 5 Songs We Can’t Stop Listening To:
1. Youth Lagoon picks “The Fly” by David Axelrod
Justin Barney: What is one song you can’t stop listening to?
Youth Lagoon (Trevor Powers): “One artist in particular that I’ve been really into recently is David Axelrod. He has an album called ‘Songs of Experience’ which came out in I believe the late 60’s or early 70’s, and on there is a song called ‘The Fly’ I think the reason I keep revisiting that song and the whole album in general is that it’s this perfect balance between an Avant-garde approach where everything is very free and there are not any boundaries to it. But then there is still certain staples. Like he is very into melody and he is very into making things sound very musical.”
Justin Barney: “Why ‘The Fly’ off that album?”
Youth Lagoon: “Maybe I’m particularly attached to that song because it was the first song I heard from it. There is a buddy of mine that lives in Boise who showed me David Axelrod back years ago. And so that was the first song that I heard. And there are also memories attached to that and whatnot.”
Justin Barney: “What are those memories?”
Youth Lagoon: “I think specifically that night. It was me and some buddies and we had this little dance party with vodka and with whiskey and all kinds of stuff. It was like me and six other friends and we just made a night of it. We listened to music and took turns showing each other different music we were into. Moments like that can seem…yea, it was great. Killer night.”
- “Songs of Experience” by David Axelrod was released in 1969.
- Listen if you like: Avant-garde instrumental tracks, cool sexy lounge music, something to play while drinking a cocktail
2. The Pukes – “Murder”
I remember when I heard the song “Last Caress” by the Misfits for the first time. I thought, ‘Man, this song is so much fun. It’s so upbeat and happy.” And then I listened to it more and more and then I thought, “Oh my god, he’s singing about horrible horrible things.” But it’s super fun, and I still dance, and I still sing every time. That’s kind of exactly what The Pukes do on this song “Murder” it’s so upbeat and fun, but ultimately it’s about doing something horrible.
- The Pukes album “The Pukes” is available on bandcamp.
- Listen if you like: “Last Caress” by the Misfits, beachy garage rock, Milwaukee music, Burger Records
3. Protomartyr – “Why Does It Shake?”
The title of this album comes from Greek philosopher Aristotle. It’s called The Agent Intellect. Aristotles’ idea of the Agent Intellect is that all things initially exist as things. So like a chair is a mass of wood and materials. The agent intellect sees a thing and recognizes it as a concept. So, for a chair, we see it as a collection of wood and material, and we see it as the idea chair because of the agent intellect.
This song is a dark realization of what happens when our minds start losing that agent intellect. Lead singer, Joe Casey’s mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and the songs’s title, “Why Does It Shake?” is a harrowing question his mother asked while looking at her own hands.
We often take this agent intellect for granted, and when you see someone faltering with it, it is a really scary reminder of our mortality, and sometimes, like Casey in this song, you just want to scream, “I’m never going to lose it!”
- Protomartyr’s album “The Agent Intellect” is now available via Hardly Art.
- Listen if you like: Post-punk, Nick Cave, Car Seat Headrest
4. PWR BTTM – “I Wanna Boi”
We all roughly know our type. Maybe we know what we don’t want. Or we know what we don’t want. And then make an impossible list of all the qualities that we would like to have in a significant other. That is exactly what’s going on in this song. The singer in BWR BTTM knows what he wants, says what that is, and then, brilliantly, he puts out the call. And says if you fit the bill, give him a call, or send him an e-mail. And send a picture or two.
- PWR BTTM’s album “Ugly Cherries” is now available via Father/Daughter Records
- Listen if you like: Hunx and his Punx, Girlpool, knowing what you want
5. Missy Elliott – “WTF (Where They From)”
Last week, at Boswell Books, I saw Pitchfork senior editor Jessica Hopper do a reading from her book. After she did the reading they opened it up to questions. The last question was something along the lines of, “What is something that is happening in music, that no-one is talking about?” and Jessica Hopper said, “Pop music.” Jessica Hopper, senior editor at Pitchfork said that no one is writing about pop music in a serious way. And that no-one is taking pop music seriously. She said that a lot of people think of it as a passing phase, listened to by teenagers that is hallow and carries no meaning, Which, I have to admit, was pretty on-the-nose with my ideas.
And then she said that to the millions of people that listen to it, it does carry meaning and it is very important. That was really eye-opening for me.
So that is the lens that I’m looking through at this song. Yes, it may already have millions and millions of views on Youtube. I’m sure that in the next month or so it will be ubiquitous, but, man, it’s a jam. So let’s put down our pop-pretentions, and turn up.
- Listen if you like: Classic Missy E, Pharrell, getting turnt