5 Songs We Can’t Stop Listening To is a collection of our newest favorite songs. Every week we ask an artist that we love to tell us about the music they love.
Listen to the whole segment and all the songs below.
1. Of Montreal picks “The Classical” by The Fall
Our guest today is Kevin Barnes, singer of Of Montreal, from Athens, Georgia. They have been at it since 1996. On 88Nine, we have been playing songs off of their new album “White Is Relic/Irrealis Mood.”
Justin Barney: Kevin, what is one song right now that you can’t stop listening to.
Kevin Barnes: That would be “The Classical” by The Fall because Mark E. Smith passed away recently- passed on. I think that song encapsulates everything that is awesome about Mark E. Smith. It feels very raw and kind of stream of consciousness and unpredictable, full of wild energy, and it’s very intelligent and aggressive. I think it’s the right song.
Justin Barney: Of all The Fall songs, why this one?
Kevin Barnes: I just like hearing him cuss. It feels very liberating in this weird way. To put it on is like yeah the human spirit being like, “f**k you,” to the universe.
Justin Barney: I love it.
- “The Classical” was released in 1982 on The Fall’s album, “Hex Enduction Hour”
- Listen if you like: LCD Soundsystem, Stephen Malkmus, prose
2. Janelle Monáe – “Pynk” feat. Grimes
This is only the third song off of what will be Janelle Monáe’s new album, “Dirty Computer.” It’s already shaping up to be one of the great albums of the year.
All three songs are fantastic. The first song released, “Django Jane,” showed Janelle Monáe really rapping. “Make Me Feel” was produced by Prince and it feels like a Prince song. This song is “Pynk.” It’s featuring Grimes. It’s a gentle feminist anthem. Each song has its own unique vision. Each one is a complete idea in its own way.
Janelle Monáe here proves to be that she is an artist controlling the artistic vision, the fashion, the footwork, the complete artistic vision in each singular and detailed aspect of this album. I think that’s what really shines through. She’s done this on previous albums as well- on “The Electric Lady” and “The ArchAndroid,” Janelle Monáe proves that she is an artist and art is what she makes. She looks to be proving it in this new album and here with this new song.
- “Dirty Computer” will be out this Friday, April 27th.
- Listen if you like: Grimes, artistic vision, crazy cool music videos
3.Kid Koala picks “Half Time at the Proper Name Spelling Bee” by Fishboy
Our guest today is Eric San, better known as Kid Koala. Kid Koala has been a DJ and turntablist since the 90’s. He has contributed to albums by Gorillaz. He’s a part of Deltron 3030. Most recently he has designed the soundtrack for a video game called “Floor Kids.” He will be at Turner Hall this Sunday bringing this to life with his show called “Vinyl Vaudeville.”
Justin Barney: Kid Koala, what is one song right now that you can’t stop listening to?
Kid Koala: The artist is named Fishboy. It’s called “Half Time at the Proper Name Spelling Bee.” Here’s the thing, this is how I love to find out about music is through humans and not algorithms. I was doing this other show, “Nufonia Must Fall,” in Oklahoma or something- somewhere around there. This person was so into this artist and thought that I would like that he went to the store and bought a CD. I’m not saying, “just hit me up on socials with a link.” He bought this CD and he came to our show. He handed it to me after the show. I was just backstage hanging signing books and stuff. He said, “I bought this for you.” It still had the price tag. He pulled it out of an actual record store bag.
Justin Barney: That is crazy. He spent money on somebody else’s album to give it to you.
Kid Koala: Exactly, and he’s not even affiliated with the dude.
Justin Barney: I love that.
Kid Koala: He was just like, “I think you’re going to dig this dude’s whole vibe.” This album gets into this big whole “Hey Jude” ending. It’s just nuts. That whole album is a concept album to the highest order. They’re 3 minutes punk pop songs, but the dude is a narrative genius. How it goes from this romance between him and a taqueria girl co-worker at a taco bar and how they hi-jack a tank and they rob a bank, then they end up at this spelling bee somehow. It’s just the most insane record lyrically that I’ve ever heard.
Justin Barney: I love that. That is insane. Not only did this kid, who went out of his way to buy somebody else’s record to give it to you because he thought that you would love it and then you love it. He was right.
Kid Koala: Exactly.
- “Half Time at the Proper Name Spelling Bee” was released in 2007 on Fishboy’s album, “Albatross – How We Failed to Save the Lone Star State With the Power of Rock and Roll”
- Listen if you like: Mid-oughts ska-ish stuff, Bomb the Music Industry, incredible songwriting
4. The Amazing – “A Million Days”
Justin Barney: I’m here with our Digital Content Coordinator Amelinda.
Amelinda: Why did you drag me down here Justin?
Justin Barney: Because I got an album in the mail from this band, The Amazing, a band that we have played before and loved, and you were in the liner notes. So tell me about how you got on this song. What’s the story here?
Amelinda: Yes, this band is from Sweden, I see why you might be confused. Let me see, I had a weird time in my life where my band broke up and my boyfriend dumped me in the same week and I felt like I lost my identity. So my friend Morgan from the band Justice said, “You should come to Stockholm! It’s so wonderful here.” So I was like, “I guess I’m going to Sweden.”
I had no idea what Sweden was about. I knew nothing about Stockholm. My friend just gave me his apartment key and said he was gonna stay with his girlfriend. So I spent about two weeks meandering around Stockholm, using Tinder to make friends, and one person had mutual friends, and it turns out he is in this band. So it was super random. But we listened to records, played guitar and somehow I finagled my way onto his next album.
Justin Barney: Where did you record it? Did you record it here?
Amelinda: Yeah, so I had my viola in Sweden, but I ended up recording it with our own sound engineer Lodi in his downtown Milwaukee studio. Then we shipped it off to Sweden via the internet. And that’s it.
Justin Barney: Well that is awesome. We have you and Lodi, two Milwaukeeans on this Swedish album from The Amazing.
- The Amazing’s new album, “In Transit” is out now.
- Listen if you like: beautiful atmospheric songs, Real Estate, viola
5. worlds greatest dad – “A Song For Mogis”
Three things about this song.
- The band’s name is worlds greatest dad. How likeable is that?
- It is a song for Mogis. That is a reference to Mike Mogis, a member of Bright Eyes, has played on just about every release from Saddle Creek, is a member of Monsters of Folk, and is just an indie rock hero.
- Mogis, in this song, is the name of the lead singer’s dog. So this song ends up being about how great it is to have a dog.
An ode to your dog, making a reference to indie rock legend Mike Mogis, by worlds greatest dad. This song’s got it all.