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Staff Picks and Good Shit for the Week of March 13

Hop Along and Heems and holy shit this was a good week for music.

by Noisey Staff
Mar 13 2015, 8:41pm

This was kind of a crazy week for us here at Noisey. We broke out a lot of exciting new artists like Madonna, Notorious B.I.G., Nirvana, Björk, and Elliott Smith. What can we say, we love cutting edge music here. Here's what other exciting artists we were listening to this week.

Hop Along - "Waitress"

I know I’m getting older because I’m getting angrier. What, specifically, am I getting angry about? Well, that’s the thing. I don’t know. Life continually happens—there’s no slowing it down (in fact, it often feels like it’s speeding up)—and I’m left here, alone, staring at my computer screen, an endless stream of tweets, internet websites, memes, and whatever other garbage I decide to laugh at and consume. Throughout this daily existence, it’s become harder and harder to sift through the bullshit. Just what the fuck does a good song sound like anymore? Well, earlier this week, my colleague Dan Ozzi premiered a new song called “Waitress” from Philly’s Hop Along, a band I’d heard some buzz about but a band I hadn’t heard (how many of those exist, by the way?). And, man, this is just one of those tracks that strike you. There’s an old quote that goes something like, “Writing about music is the same as dancing about architecture.” What that means is basically that it’s stupid to write about music, because music is subjective and if you want to know what a song sounds like, you should just listen to said song. It’s a fair point, because I sit here and listen to “Waitress” over and over again, I really can’t explain what draws me to it so much. Is it the catchy refrain? Is it the soft crack in Frances Quinlan’s voice when she hits those high notes? Is it the fact that “Waitress” sounds like sunshine and it’s finally above freezing in Brooklyn? I don’t know. But I don’t care. All I know is that I love this fucking song, and this record, and I can’t wait to see what happens with this band.

Eric Sundermann, Managing Editor
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Heems - Eat, Pray, Thug

I'm not from New York, but, before I lived here, I would listen to Das Racist and think about how cool it would be to be a New Yorker with hip, funny friends who knew about art, talked about political theory, and quoted Rick Ross. Now I live in New York, and it's not really like I imagined it would be.

Heems is still making music about it, though. Eat, Pray, Thug is a great New York rap album that is explicitly about New York in a way that Das Racist never was—it's not as silly, but that feels appropriate because New York isn't always just a fun, wacky place where you're deconstructing race with your art friends. Sometimes it's also a place that forces you to confront really ugly sides of humanity and really disgusting outgrowths of our modern political and financial system. Sometimes it's a wonderful melting pot of world cultures. Sometimes it's a fun place to party. Sometimes it's a bleak place to party. All of that is in here. Eat, Pray, Thug is an album about 9/11 and race and addiction. It's full of contradictions, but that's what makes it so human and so New York (that it doesn't bump 2Pac). It's a really great rap album, and that's pretty New York of it, too.

Kyle Kramer, Editor
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Mutoid Man - “The Manimals”



One of the first things I did when I first sat down at the Noisey desk last year was leave to hang out at a bar with Steven Brodsky. The former/(current?) Cave In frontman had just started a side project with Ben from Converge called Mutoid Man. A year later, I go to see them and the venue is packed out of the door. And this album is still a beast. So much so that I completely forgot that they stuck this Animals cover at the end. I’m just a soul whose intentions are good. Oh, Lord. Please don’t let me be misunderstood.

Dan Ozzi, Editor
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Daniel Caesar ft. Sean Leon - "We'll Always Have Paris"

By the time you're reading this, I'll be on my way to the airport heading to Paris for a week. I've heard Kanye West talk about the place a few times, so I figured I'd check out if they had any good shoes or clothes with holes in them. I'm going alone, so I won't have anyone to connect the memory of Paris with, but that's the exact reason I'm going solo. I want to fall in love with a city that's not in North America and feel the sort of feelings that Daniel Caesar can illicit whenever I hear this song. Anyways hit me up if you're in Paris and not a weirdo.

Slava Pastuk, Noisey Canada Editor
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Sheer Mag - "Button Up"

I go to at least four shows a week, sometimes as many as seven depending on the week and bands on the road. This time of year, right before/during/after SXSW, I'm going to so many shows that my head spins. Last night, I headed to the local DIY spot to catch Brooklyn faves Honey and Nancy, along with Philadelphia's buzzy and incredible Sheer Mag. As discussed in this post, their latest track is the killer middle ground between 70s glam, Thin Lizzy, and pop-inflected punk. It's just simply well constructed rock songs that are timeless. Check out "Button Up" and see if I am lying.

Fred Pessaro, Editor-in-Chief
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Permafrost - “Oak”

I'm still on the road, spending my days thanking the heavens that we snagged a van with Wifi and my nights hustling cotton for doom legends Yob. I'm inundated with music all day, all night, and in my dreams, but still can't get enough (because music is dope, obviously). Said van Wifi, coupled with some hilariously long drives, has given me ample time to dive into the copious random demo submissions and promos clogging up my various inboxes, and I've come across quite a few gems. Virginia's Permafrost was one such pleasant surprise; the band's well-developed atmospheric black/doom has provided an excellent distraction from the featureless landscape between Boise and Salt Lake City, and no matter where you are, I'd highly recommend you give their debut, Transitory, a nice solid spin.

Kim Kelly, Contributing Editor
Kim on Noisey I Kim on Twitter


The Cribs - "Burning for No One"

What have I been listening to? Just Madonna, as it goes. Madonna, Madonna, Madonna. And When I wasn't listening to Madge then I was listening to a Tei Shi song called "See Me," which is totally not out yet, sorry. And then I was listening to Tinashe's "Pretend" again and again: "Let's pretend you never lied / So I can give it up all night…" Ouch girl, feel you. But let's just say I was listening to The Cribs, because I was, and they're in NYC right now—I just spotted drummer Ross on Bedford Ave—playing Baby's All Right tonight and St. Vitus tomorrow. And randomly, their buddy Michael, the singer from Skaters is subbing in on guitar. Double the reason to see 'em. (They're also in Austin next week.) Anyway above is the video for their most recent song "Burning For No One" where they swim with pigs in the Bahamas. Yeah you read that right.

Kim Taylor Bennett, Style Editor
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