Photo by Jason Bergman from our Hudson Mohawke show this week. Pictured: Some guy.
Hello there. There are a few new people here at Noisey recommending you some music so please, we ask that you treat them with respect and refrain from throwing your trash at them out of your passing vehicles. Anyway, here's what the Noisey staff was listening to.
Harry Nilsson - Harry Nilsson
The best thing about Saturday mornings—besides the smell of bacon and a strong cup of (Tetley's) tea or fresh coffee—is lying flat out and listening to music. It's the best time to indulge in a full album: when you're likely too tired, or (possibly) too hungover to curate a playlist. Fuck that. Just choose an LP and let it spin. Last weekend the SaturdayAM album of choice was Harry Nilsson's self-titled breakthrough record, which was released in 1969. Honestly I'd never heard it before, it was a recommendation from a close friend. There are some entertainingly jaunty moments, like cuts from a musical your memory's long since blurred; some songs are tangibly reminiscent of mid-to-late 60s Beatles; and one tune offers strings to sink into. For now it'll make me think of curling up in bed and warming my bones in a sun spot like a napping cat, and sometimes all you want from a record is to take you somewhere other than where you are right now.
Tovarish - "What Is To Be Done?"
Our open submissions posts are generally a colossal ball ache (we do this for YOU, dear reader!), but occasionally, we strike gold during the course of our manual separation of the wheat from the chaff—or rather, the bedroom indie ballads and the shitty mixtapes. Tovarish captured my attention immediately with a slow burst of noisy, oppressive drone/doom (think Khanate, if Khanate sampled in speeches to rouse the proletariat against bourgeois scum); their naked obsession with Soviet culture added an extra level of intrigue. I've been listening to their 2012 album, Red Hearts in a Dead World, on repeat ever since. Tovarish is currently based in Providence, RI, which makes a ton of sense when one considers that bands like The Body and Worms in Women and Cattle came from the same cramped locale. To my delight, they've also apparently just released a new album, This Terrible Burden, which I will be tracking down as soon as I finish my tea.
Gal Pals - "Here's to the Gals"
Of course I'm automatically going to love a song that goes, "Here's to the girls that are making the scene," because duh. But that's hardly the only reason I've had this track on repeat all week. Gal Pals are a BFF duo from Austin, TX who relocated to LA. and quickly became a fixture of the Echo Park garage-rock re-revival. Their debut LP Velvet Rutwas released earlier this year from Paper Cup and it is literally sunshine in a bag. Any band that can shred power chords into sawdust and sing like Ronnie Spector obviously has my vote.
Future ft. Rick Ross, Big Sean - "Fuck Up Some Commas (Remix)"
Most of the time I use this space to tell you about songs I like, but today we're going to flip the script and examine why this is the worst remix to come out in 2014. If the best thign about your remix is that Big Sean sounds not-terrible, you have a problem. Not only do these features bloat the overall track, but the structure of the song is completely torn apart with no piano keys at the start to build anticipation. Having Rick Ross and Big Sean on your remix makes sense if you're appealing to the mainstream, but they should never be used in place of Future verses. With this remix we miss out on wise the wise prophecies of Nayvadius Cash, who had previously told us to "fit it, critic, get it, hit it, run it, drill it, wet it," replaced instead by Big Sean talking about how many girls let him touch them.
White Lung – “Face Down”
Last night, I returned from a far-too-short tour with Refused. Aside from picking up Swedish phrases here and there, the best part was watching White Lung open every night. I could watch them forever. You know when you’re hanging out with a bunch of people who are in an tier of cool above your reaches and they’re all more badass than you so you try in vain to fit in? You wear a leather jacket and don’t talk much, just kinda shrugging or half-laughing occasionally to establish your brooding, unassuming presence. That’s what seeing White Lung is like. The best.
Chris Stapleton - "Tennessee Whiskey"
When the dust settles on 2015 we'll call Chris Stapelton's Traveller one of the year's best albums of any stripe. Quote me on it. You could say Stapleton's helping Bring Real Country Music Back or you could just appreciate the earnest, soulful, whiskey-soaked balladry and bottom of the bottle road-weariness. "Tennessee Whiskey" is my jam; there's this coolly accomplished vocal run in the chorus that makes you wonder what happened if Chris Cornell did more "Say Hello to Heaven"-type songs than whatever it is he's doing now. (But, you know, in a good way? What am I saying?)
Chunk, No! Captain Chunk - "The Other Line"
Two weeks ago I graduated from Pratt Institute, and finished up my thesis. The entire time I kept thinking back to when I graduated high school, and the kinda dude I was back then. Since I didn’t really have any idea what an identity was, the closest thing I could come up with was “guy who was really shitty to everyone about dumb music.” If someone tried to talk to me about Chiodos or some other band like that, I’d immediately climb on the highest horse and tell them to listen to real screamo, like Daitro or whatever. It made me really repulsive, and I probably could’ve made more friends instead of being a loner with a superiority complex. But I’ve realized since going to college that there’s a lot more to identity than whatever fucking band shirt I had on. Which is why I really love Chunk’s new song “The Other Line.” The best memories I have of being a teen are with my friends at pop-punk and metalcore shows during the summer, when I wasn’t trying to be some pretentious loser. Chunk is by far one of the most shamelessly fun bands around, because at the end of the day what else really matters in this short time we’ve got? They’re the kings of easycore, pop punk, metalcore, sticking with your friends, and the summer.
A$AP Rocky - "Jukebox Joints"
I guess it's maybe not the best look for me to pick one of the most talked about records in music this week as my staffpick (I'm really going out on a limb to find new music, guys!), but here we are and I'm writing about how much I love A$AP Rocky's new record AT.LONG.LAST.A$AP. I don't know why, but I expected this record to be bad. But here we are, it's not bad, and I'm happily proven wrong. The standout track for me—and it was hard to pick just one—is probably "Jukebox Joints," and that's not just because it has Kanye West on it (although it does help, despite his verse being kinda meh overall). It's one of those songs I wanna play in my imaginary car with the windows down when it's 90 degrees out, leaning back, looking as cool as possible even though I'll never really be that cool.
Sleep - “Dopesmoker”
Sometimes you just want to tear through a stack of edits as fast as humanly possible. Sometimes you want to have 1000 meetings and get it all done so you can go home before 8PM. Sometimes you want to stay late so that you have an easier day tomorrow. And sometimes you want to put your noise-canceling headphones on, turn up the volume, and drop out of life with bong in hand.