Deadshirt is Listening…Bringing you a rundown of our staff and guest contributors’ favorite new tracks released in the past week after they’ve had the weekend to blast them in their cars, in a club, alone in their rooms, etc.
Sam Paxton is crowd-surfing to…
St. Vincent (Deluxe Edition)
Honestly, the last thing I expected to hear about this week was new music from Annie Clark, considering A. we’re coming up on the one year anniversary of the release of St. Vincent, and B. she’s been on the road basically non-stop since the album came out. So you can imagine my delight and surprise to learn that Loma Vista/Republic plans to release a deluxe edition of my personal 2014 album of the year—though NOT on vinyl, disappointingly. The original track listing is augmented by the two tracks from her Record Store Day release (“Pieta” and “Sparrow”), as well as two completely new tracks and a remix.
Traditionally, Clark has cut and released tracks that don’t necessarily fit in with the aesthetic she’s going for on an album (see: “KROKODIL” or “Oh My God”), and the results are, unbelievably, even more out there than usual. True to form, “Bad Believer,” the first of the two new cuts, is both weird as heck and an exhilarating banger of a song. Channeling her inner guitar god, Clark layers howling guitars, heart-thumping bass drums, and heavily fuzzed-out vocals—a sort of glam-punk take on a club track. It’s easy to imagine Annie grinding out a three-minute guitar solo on “Bad Believer” before stage diving into a frenzied crowd. Honestly, it’s a great track, but has only served to whet my appetite for another full-length from my favorite musician.
Dominic Griffin is getting nostalgic to…
“Used To (Featuring Drake & RiFF RaFF)
Sorry 4 The Wait 2
It’s been a long time since Lil Wayne boasting about being the best rapper alive sounded more like a declaration of an objective fact than anything else. He hasn’t been inarguably great since 2009’s No Ceilings mixtape, and despite the legitimate flashes of the brilliance that propelled him from Cash Money sidekick to hip hop superstar in recent years, he’s epitomized resting on laurels more than any pop culture icon on Earth. When the new controversy surrounding his strained relationship with label boss/father figure/real life supervillain Birdman became prevalent, and his new album, Tha Carter V, got delayed for what feels like the millionth time, we were promised Sorry 4 The Wait 2 (the sequel to the mixtape we got when Tha Carter IV got delayed).
I don’t know about you, but the prospect of Wayne rapping over a bunch of hot, timely instrumentals and shooting the shit tickled me immensely. While I like a lot of his official tracks, the music that made him one of my favorites was from his legendary mixtape run, where he’d jack beats from popular songs and transform them with impenetrable swag alchemy. This was back when playing Da Drought 3 super loudly around “Real Hip Hop Fans” was an Olympic sport, and I collected gold medals daily. To say I had high hopes for S4TW2 is an understatement.
The project delivers in terms of Wayne spewing fire over hot music, but it still pales in comparison to the triumphs of yesteryear. Standout cut “CoCo” (over the O.T. Genasis track) is suitably impressive, but undercut by Wayne dramatically airing dirty laundry with his mentor and apparent puppet master. Arguing with your dad is never a fun thing to listen to, even if it’s one of the best rappers on the planet and one half of Big Tymers. When Weezy raps “life is a movie but sometimes a nigga get too tired of watchin’ and walk out,” you can’t help but feel a serious empathy for his frustration and exhaustion. You know, an emotion I was not prepared to have to process on a mixtape where Wayne raps the lyric “suck a nigga dick for an iPhone 6.”
More impressive is Drake Charity Feature “Used To,” featuring an amazing intro and outro from Jody Highroller himself, and possessing more of the confident braggodocio that put Wayne on the map in the first place. Drake, continuing to leave Aubrey Graham Ass Indentations in the throne seat, opens his verse with the preamble, “when you get to where I’m at, you gotta remind them where the fuck you at,” a reminder that Drake’s compulsive need to re-address his own dominance is more a service to listeners than solipsism. When Wayne comes on, he twists this same line, saying “you gotta remind them where the fuck you been,” because for Wayne, a man who won the crown on multiple occasions, the journey is an explanation, a rationale for his current mind state.
Conflict and inner turmoil sometimes lead to some good ass music, but I worry this strife might hinder Tha Carter V more than it will help.
Cameron DeOrdio is slam dancing in a dive bar outside of time to…
This is the Sonics
Garage rock from before it had a name
Protopunks/garage rock initiators The Sonics are back with a single to promote their first full-length album in 35 years, and just their second in 48. “Bad Betty,” off the forthcoming This is the Sonics, is a nod to the band’s 1965 debut effort, Here Are the Sonics. It comes at you fast out of the gate, blaring sax and joy, making use of its mono channel to blast through any doubts that these old guys have still got it. Lead vocalist Gerry Roslie, 70, has still got the shouting, shaking, sonorous singing voice that carried the band to its brief but influential peak in the sixties. The rhythm section keeps the whole thing barreling ahead, making excellent use of veterans who served tours with big-name acts your dad probably loved, like The Kingsmen and Dick Dale. “Bad Betty,” a song that hews to Sonics tradition by being about a beautiful, independent-minded woman and a gorgeous, powerful car, clocks in at a tight 2:06, and wastes not a second. This song is the most likely thing to get your feet moving short of a fire, and the whole band seems to know it. I’m interested to see how the decades have treated their stage presence as they set out on tour in April, granted without Bob Bennett, the original drummer, and Andy Parypa, a bassist roped into the original lineup by his brother, group founder Larry Parypa.
Steph Salo is laying in a hammock and napping to…
“Leaf Off / The Cave”
Vestiges & Claws
Jose Gonzalez has been making incredibly beautiful folk music since 2003, but this wasn’t always the case. He started off in a hardcore/punk band in 1993. It’s pretty strange, considering his is the most mellow and chilled out folk music I can think of. Some may know him from his fantastic cover of The Knife’s “Heartbeats,” which has been featured in many commercials and Vermont hipster coffee houses. His new single off of Vestiges & Claws (to be released in February) is off to a promising start with this haunting swirl of of harmonized vocals. His trademarked “stripped down” sound is a little more full this time, with a gorgeous blend of hand claps and acoustic guitar. It’s definitely still sleepy night night music, and it is anything but boring.
Steph is also kind of afraid of…
I haven’t been able to trust Bjork since I saw Dancer In The Dark. If you’ve seen it, you’ll understand why I have a hard time letting her lull me into a sense of security. If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend the film, just don’t watch it alone or when you’re in a bad mood. Anyway, I checked out Vulnicura because it had such crazy high reviews, and Bjork has always been this weird musical enigma that I don’t understand. “Atom Dance” is a beautiful, otherworldly trip to space on a golden unicorn. The drum machine provides stability, the violins give it a kiss of sophistication, and Bjork’s haunting vocals all come together to make something that is pretty hard to pull off. She’s an acquired taste, especially the super wail-y bits. Basically if you like Bjork, you won’t be disappointed. But if you don’t “get” her, this probably won’t change your mind.
David Lebovitz is confused by amused to…
They Might Be Giants
Do TMBG even have a genre?
Dial-A-Song is back, and for better or worse (ignore the “worst” option, it’s definitely for the better), it’s exactly what we wanted. The song for this week is “No Cops,” which is basically a ransom demand set to offbeat carnival music. It’s the weirdness we love from TMBG in a short song—it’s not quite an earworm, but you’ll spend a lot of time thinking about it. Also, if you’re watching online, the video is nightmare fuel. Enjoy!