1. The Avett Brothers pick “Wendy” by Clem Snide
Every week we ask one artist that we love to talk about one song that they love. This week we are talking to Scott Avett of The Avett Brothers.
Justin Barney: Scot Avett, what is on song that you can’t stop listening to?
Scott Avett: Okay, I hope this doesn’t sound random, but right now, it’s by a band called Clem Snide. And I like the song “Wendy” a lot right now. They’re just a terrific band that’s been around since the late 90’s that I somehow missed, but I have just been devouring their catalogue.
Justin Barney: Why have you been devouring that catalogue? Why that band?
Scott Avett: Because I got their album that came out in 1999 and I was instantly in a conversation with this writer. So I would listen to a song and I would love it so much and one top of that I would react to it and find myself writing.
It just ignited my own writing. Which is the best flattery for me, that I listen to something and next thing I know I’m at the piano and I’m basically copying them. And doing a poor version, but that’s how a lot of my songs come about. You know, Dylan was doing that with Woody Guthrie, we all do that. And the best idolizing is copying them and imitating them.
So with Clem Snide’s songs I feel like there is a voice that I understand very well. In fact in an interview I saw him saying, “Most bands tell you that everything’s all right, and let’s have fun. I kind of felt like, hey, you’re gonna die. It’s alright! Let’s have fun.”
And I like that. That’s wonderful. It’s dark and all that, but..
Justin Barney: But that’s real and that’s honest.
Scott Avett: That’s real.
- Clem Snide’s album, “Girls Come First” was released in 2015 on Zahpwee Music.
- Listen if you like: The Avett Brothers, Tallest Man On Earth, thinking about death
2. Bellows – “Thick Skin”
So much of music is not actually about music at all. So much of it is about being a part of something larger than yourself.
There is a scene in New York. This community of hope. They go by The Epoch. They are a community of musicians, writers, visual artists, and other creative types.
Here is how Felix, of the band Told Slant describes The Epoch, ““I think that The Epoch is more of a constantly changing and constantly confused collective. In the sense that we don’t really know what we are except for people who are committed to each other.”
What more could you want? The newest release from the Epoch comes from Bellows. It’s “Thick Skin” Listen. Be part of something. Join the scene.
- Bellows new album, Fist & Palm will be out September 30th via Double Double Whammy.
- Listen if you like: The Epoch, Frankie Cosmos, Eskimeaux
3. Pup – “If This Tour Doesn’t Kill You I Will”
You don’t write a breakup song about your band. You just don’t.
Here lead singer of Pup, Stephan Babcock screams lines like, “You think, you’re so original, I can’t wait for your funeral.” And other generally hurtful, and hateful things directed towards his bandmates. It’s band suicide. But somehow it works.
In the chorus, as Babcock screams how much he hates them, they join in. And they all sing, “Why can’t we just get along?”
Of course he probably doesn’t hate his band, but sometimes he probably does. And this song is about being honest enough to say that.
I think that if you can talk honestly about everything, you’re impenetrable. And I would think that Pup agrees.
- PUP’s album, “The Dream Is Over” is out now via SideOneDummy records
- Listen if you like: The Front Bottoms, Modern Baseball, Jeff Rosenstock
4. Maggie Rogers – “Alaska”
Justin Barney: Today I’m here with our Executive Director, Glenn Kleiman.
Glenn Kleiman: Hello again!
Justin: Glenn, what is one song that you can’t stop listening to?
Glenn: It is “Alaska” by Maggie Rogers.
Justin: Yessss. And why this song?
Glenn: Well, this song is getting a ton of buzz right now on the interwebs. It’s really a fun song. It’s got rhythm, it’s got beautiful vocals, she’s a student at NYU, or was a student at NYU. Pharrell came to a Masterclass…
Justin: Yeah, I might have seen this video online.
Glenn: Yeah there’s a video of him listening to her music and he really liked it. People started sharing it and that’s how I found out about it, on the Face-a-book-a.
Justin: Yeah, and Pharrell’s love was so genuine for this song. You could see that she was so touched by it. It was such a real and honest moment and a real visceral reaction to a song. I think that a lot of other people had that reaction when they listened to it too.
Glenn: The other reaction I had to it was like “this really sounds like Sylvan Esso.” Which is a good thing in my mind because she’s really talented. It’s just really pleasant, nice, light, but it’s got a groove to it, it’s not too light. I just really love the sound.
- An official album has not been announced yet.
- Listen if you like: Sylvan Esso, Rhythmn Lab, Marian Hill
5. Nice As Fuck – “Cookie Lips”
Nice AF is the new band fronted by Jenny Lewis.
When she was a kid, Jenny Lewis wanted to be hip-hop MC. At ten years old, teen-heartthrob Corey Haim gave Lewis, who was also a child actress, a cassette tape that had Run-DMC on one side, and The Beastie Boys on another. She fell in love with hip-hop. She would fall asleep watching Yo! MTV Raps, she listened to Del the Funky Homosapien and Souls of Mischief on KDAY, LA’s hip-hop underground station, and even freestyled.
The music that she came to make with her band Rilo Kiley, and through her solo work, are more Patsy Cline and Elvis. And so is this song.
But it’s always still had that attitude. That hip-hop machismo. I mean, the name of this band is Nice AF, I can’t even say the real name on the radio. That’s OG. And that’s Jenny Lewis.
- Nice AF’s debut album Nice As F**k, was surprise released last Friday via Loves Way
- Listen if you like: Jenny Lewis, Rilo Kiley, Au Revoir Simone