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.
Mike Duquette is standing up 4…
Prince feat. Eryn Allen Kane
Protest Rock Anthem
As a dorky, white middle-class male from the suburbs of New Jersey, I worry I don’t often have a lot to offer regarding the heartbreaking string of police killings within our country that doesn’t sound dopey or privileged. With that in mind, here’s what I believe to be true:
- The terrifying murder of Freddie Gray in Baltimore was certainly at the hands of cops, an inexcusable violation of rights and duty.
- The unspeakable anguish it’s causing Baltimore is palpable in my corner of the world, not only through social media but in the hearts of my dearest Baltimore-raised friends: Deadshirt comics editor Max Robinson and my own roommate, whom I regard as a sister.
- Music has always been the most potent challenger of standards and beliefs; as a college student, it was Prince, the eighties soul-pop juggernaut turned shape-shifting legend, who shook up my own beliefs about sex, religion and justice and changed me for the better.
It’s fitting, then, that Prince would come to the forefront of the controversy with a smoldering but uplifting mid-tempo rocker to raise awareness for the community. (Prince put on a concert in the city last night, which was streamed on Tidal.) At 57, Prince intriguingly plays both a peace-loving elder statesman and a fierce, justice-loving rabble-rouser on the track. “Does anybody hear us pray / 4 Michael Brown or Freddie Gray? / Peace is more than the absence of war,” The Artist gently sings, before leading a breakdown of “If there ain’t no justice / Then there ain’t no peace” and delivering a clean, rad, powerful solo that channels his fury over the situation. This is another kind of angry Prince we’re not often used to seeing, and a sorely-needed modern-day protest song that’ll hopefully shake the loyal out of the sidelines. May Baltimore—and any city, state or country buckling under the strain of racial and social injustice—live 2 see The Dawn.
Sam Paxton is daydreaming to…
“Headbanging In The Mirror”
Now that warm weather finally seems to be here to stay, I’m firmly in the mood for music that evokes the feeling of a lazy summer afternoon. This week, musician Matt Mondanile announced the imminent release of the next album from his New-Jersey based solo project Ducktails. Entitled St. Catherine, it’s due on July 24th and you can hear the first single, “Headbanging In The Mirror”, here.
Despite the title, “Headbanging In The Mirror” is anything but a raucous rock-n-roller. Mondanile is also a member of fellow New Jersey indie darlings Real Estate, which explains why his solo work
duckdovetails nicely with theirs. The formula is basically the same, as Mondanile deploys easily strummed guitar, woozy pad synth, and dreamy vocals to craft a hypnotic track that sounds like it could be a B-side from Real Estate’s excellent 2014 album Atlas. “Working 9 to 5, I don’t play that game / When you caught my eye, I wasn’t the same” he sings, a slacker anthem for the work-weary. Ducktails songs always make me yearn for a cold drink, a group of friends, and an inner tube in a pool, and “Headbanging” is no different.
Julian Ames is struttin’ down St. Marks to…
“All We Want”
Public Access T.V.
Public Access EP
At any given moment someone is declaring the New York music scene “dead” or “dying;” it’s been like that for decades, maybe even centuries. But the city keeps proving them wrong, producing more and more talented acts that keep the scene very much alive. Public Access T.V. is trying to be the next New York City band that makes it big. I first saw Public Access T.V. at a CMJ showcase last fall, and let me tell you, it was a blast. They’re a pretty straight-forward rock group—the press right now is comparing them with The Strokes, but you can hear other influences in their music too. They’re set to release their first official recordings in the form of an EP appropriately titled Public Access EP. About a month ago, the band released the first track off the EP, “Metropolis” and now they’ve released the second: “All We Want.” It’s a bit more mellow than its predecessor, recalling the eighties in it’s bassline, flanged guitars, and background synths. Keep your eye on Public Access T.V., they make good, New York City-certified rock music, and are just waiting to break out.