Every month I compile a playlist in an effort to keep up with the "hot new jams the kids are into". And every month I end up coming to the conclusion that the kids suck, their jams suck, and everything hot and new sucks and instead compile a list of lukewarm, aging, jams that the kids would be wise to listen to increase their own personal sexy. Here are some of the highlights:
Say Anything: "We Killed It" - In high school I received many tersely worded progress reports adorned with phrases like "not living up to potential" and " minimal effort" and "good looking young man". Say Anything kind of falls into this category. Their debut ...Is a Real Boy was a self-aware, sardonic foray into the mind of anyone over the age of seventeen who dared to consider themselves remotely rock n' roll. Then he made the fatal mistake that consumes many a young ingenue; he got sober and wrote a self-righteous album called In Defense of the Genre. The genre here being the broadly defined "emo" and he sure changed minds by writing a sprawling two volume epic that neurotically brought to light his own insecurities, while at the same blaming everyone else for them. We Killed It is a refreshing dip back into silliness, if only briefly.
Notable: 0:28 Detailing a tryst on a cruise, lead singer Bemis croons "But the first two weeks were great./ I felt content to watch the Entertainment Channel, fornicate." Only to be sullied by a screaming barrage that has something to do with "I SAW THE OCEAN ENVELOP THE SKY."
Kendrick Lamar: "Backseat Freestyle" - I am in no way a hip-hop connoisseur, but the fact that the Dr. Dre consigned Compton resident sounds like no less than four different people on this track is a sure indicator of his talent, or dormant schizophrenia.
Notable: 3:22 I defy you, fair reader, to hear Lamar's "Martin had a dreeaaam. Kendrick had a dreeeaam" and not repeat it 17 times that day with your own name replacing Kendrick's and/or Martin's.
Lindsay Lohan: "Rumors" - Listen, I always like an underdog. Lindsay Lohan is that in spades. Is her grandfather a hotel baron depicted on Mad Men? No, her father is the kind of guy that gets thrown out of middle school softball games. AND she's a ginger. So her face got all weird and she keeps running her car into stationary objects and maybe the unfortunately titled Liz and Dick was not the best career move. LiLo is new money. LiLo is hope and change. And she looked great on this CD cover, before she started storing acorns in her cheeks for the apocalypse or whatever it is she's doing.
Notable: 0:34 Linds sing-talks "I just need a little a space to breathe/ Can you please respect my privacy?" which were nearly her words verbatim, four years later, before socking a psychic. People just don't listen...to obscure singles by celebrities who aren't really musicians.
Courtney Barnett: "History Eraser" - I don't know anyone who doesn't have the lingering feeling, somewhere in the depths of their consciousness, that if all this goes to hell maybe moving to Australia to, like, harvest kangaroo wouldn't be a legitimate out. In all fairness, I don't know that many people. Aussie Courtney Barnett's sleepy, stony "History Eraser" reaffirms this belief.
Notable: 0:06 "I got drunk and fell asleep/ atop the sheets/ but luckily I left the heater on/ and in my dreams/ I wrote the best song I've ever written/ but can't remember how it goes"
Zebrahead: "Get Back"
Notable: 0:00 eheoOOehhhhOOOOehhhOOOOhhhOO riff "Here comes the boom/ I got game like Kobe, act like you know me, if you rhyme better well then kid you best show me/ Fly by wrecking, never come in second, fists in my pocket and use my words as my weapon/ Ghetto blaster thumping, girlies are bumping, got to get the dough like my man Donald Trump and/ Set this in motion, jaws in the ocean, if you need a rhyme well, then kid I got the potion"
Culturally relevant? No. For everyone, or even most people? Probably not. But still, if you want a backing track to attack a drive-thru attendant or yell at your mom, I can't think of anything better. Also, this song came out like 12 years ago, how long has Kobe been playing?! Sports.
Bat For Lashes: "Prescilla" - If you keep up on cool guy music blogs you probably have seen Bat for Lashes, semi-nude, fireman-carrying an equally nude back-up fellah on her new album. I don't like that one. This song has hand-claps, and if you wanna sell me on an album, hand-claps are a solid starting point.
Notable: 0:49 "She wants to live in a place that has a number and name." This album cover features BFL (as I call her, cuz' we SMS on the regular) wearing facepaint standing next to a horse. So I am choosing to believe this song is about convincing a young woman to keep her horse in a stable (PUNS) family unit.
The Heavy: "What Makes a Good Man" - Here's a tip, if you want to seem super in-the-know, pay close attention to hip songs featured in commercials. In my experience, any artistic scruples can be disposed of with a hefty check from Boscov's. All your friends have heard 14 seconds of this song over a "Subway: Play of the Game Replay" or something but don't realize it, which is where you swoop in with inscrutable cred.
Notable: 0:40 The whole song is kind of the hook, but this is the hook, hook.
Tigerskin: "Good Times on the Reg" - The title kind of sells itself. But, techno music is ubiquitous. I don't really know what ubiquitous means, But luckily most people don't know what techno music is. And by most I mean all. And the one dude you who does is going to fall asleep mid-explanation and wake up and ask to borrow 50 dollars.
Notable: "Gettin drunk on reg/ Good times on the reg./ Yachts on the reg/ Glory on the reg/ Fame on the reg/ Denalis on the Reg/ Good times on the reg." That's right, a Kenny Powers sample.