March 2015


March: let me sing your praises over and over, a song not unlike the wonderful tunes raining on me for the past weeks. In like a lion, out like a lamb with some matching pearl-lustre Beats, look out lamby, you’ll be a target for predators with cans like those.

In addition to my standard avalanche of new tracks, I took some time to explore some 50s pop and 80s rock (hence the inclusion of Poison and Cheap Trick; I knew the songs, but that’s not the same as listening and enjoying [though I’ve loved “Talk Dirty To Me” for a few years now lol {loving out loud}]). I also made a mini expedition into German nerdcore, paring down a lot of fun bangers into three. Mc Fitti sounds like Hoodie Allen, except you’re way more likely to mondegreen Nazi phrases, while Rockstah bring an aggro edge to goofy videogame shout-outs (the last song I cut from the playlist, “Zokken > Ficken,” translates to “Gaming > Fucking”).

The rest of the playlist contains a few bands I’ve highlighted here in the past weeks: Kero Kero Bonito’s album intro plays the same role for the list, summing up my aesthetic as they do (“16-bit JRPG feat. airhorns”). Speaking of horns, French Horn Rebellion, producers of Sleigh Bells’ most violent remix, surprised me in turn: “Caaalifornia” doesn’t reveal much in its lyrics, but you only need the titular wail to funk along.

It’s been a couple of weeks since I wrote up Sharpless’ “Gemini,” and I’ve since realized that it’s a song that’s going to stay with me for a very long time. It’s mature, hard-edged pop that’s a little too messy for radio (especially the comparably droning vocals), yet still retains a sense of exploration and wonder (the decidedly early-20s lyrics help). I’m unsure what else by them will lock into my brain to the same degree, still listening to find out, but in the meantime… “Gemini” is amazing. Plus, I discovered them through a remix created by their drummer, and it turns out he lives in Brooklyn and we have a close mutual friend! neat-o

I was glad to see that Grimes’ “REALiTi (Demo)” made it to Spotify, and Atlanta hometown heroes Reptar made an appearance on the official New Music Tuesday playlist with “Ice Black Sand.” Don’t miss out on the remix of KKB’s “Sick Beat,” if there’s anything by the band worth listening to, that’s it. After them, I’ve attempted to peak the energy with Jack U (which took me embarrassingly long to realize is a collab between Diplo & Skrillex), Dan Deacon’s “Sheathed Wings,” and– oh boy– Hitchhiker’s “11 (remix),” which is the most important auto-remix since “Ignition.”

Pretty soon follows “Purest Heart,” kicking off the hip-hop with a peppy twerk beat and top brags. MOD SUN, who I need to investigate further, acts as a counterpoint in “1970.” His rhymes are SO dorky and, uh, white, but his willingness to mix up the song structure and his own flow is admirable, and the beat’s too catchy. E-Dubble is also dorky, and pump-up jam “Miracle” is hopefully meant to be a little facetious; it’s hard to imagine the sound of his voice as anything but jaded.

A handful of further Atlanta repping, courtesy of Migos. “New Atlanta” samples A-town theme song “Welcome To Atlanta” to make sure you know who runs it these days. I’m pretty sure there’s a marble statue of Young Thug outside Magic City. And even though K-Dot doesn’t call the South home, I couldn’t ignore To Pimp A Butterfly. “Alright” oozes chill as it demands compliance (is it about a lie people tell themselves or a ward against evil?) while “King Kunta” cannot be listened to without a strut. Not that it’ll make you strut if you’re listening, but that there’s no other right way to listen. (Also, I’m waiting for someone to mash it up with this [I’ll be waiting for awhile.])

Fun fact: J. Cole’s “Work Out” samples the freaking outro from a song off Kanye’s debut, “The New Workout Plan.” The album’s final single, it would stall at #59 in the hip-hop charts. A far cry from the guaranteed top status that Kanye commands today. And in the process of looking that up, I discovered this official remix by Lil Jon. Anyway, I love obscure, pointed samples. That’s the fun fact. It’s about me.

“Rosana,” “For Free – Interlude,” and “Money Back Guarantee” make up the lady-trouble block of the playlist. The bookends have great singalong choruses, pairing nicely with the only “interlude” from a hip-hop album worth listening to– especially since you won’t be able to keep up with Kendrick. He skyrockets above our immediate concerns about buying the best, before Pigeon John says “actually, the rest of us are still down here.” That’s my playlist fanfic, hope u liekd

The decidedly Japan-influenced Cashmere Cat is now producing for stars like Ariana Grande, and while this remix will remain my favorite CC-related jam, “Wedding Bells” journeys through every corner of his talents. Soothing, driving, ambient, and instant. Right after, “Meme Generator” is another standout from Dan Deacon’s Gliss Riffer. It’s like someone asked him to develop a spiritual successor to Stickerbush Symphony for a Wii U revamp.

And finally, Kero Kero Bonito cap the playlist off with a Mario Paint-composed nursery rhyme about eternal hatred, which is, coincidentally, the title of my autobiography.


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