Sam & Dave, "A Place Nobody Can Find"
Early stars on Stax, Sam & Dave are always super enjoyable to listen to, and this song is of course no exception.
Knxwledge's solo album, Hud Dreems, is all instrumental and most of the tracks are on the short side. In a lot of ways, it sounds like a portfolio rather than a proper album, with Knxwledge presenting his skill in making beats as an audition. It's perfectly pleasant, but as with most abstract hip-hop, not super memorable.
Kvelertak took black metal and bolted it onto punk rock, resulting in an often ridiculous but totally guileless ride. It turns out that subtracting the grimdark frowniness of black metal and swapping in the energy of punk results in a pretty fun mix. It doesn't really break any ground so much as moosh some pre-existing ground together, but that's totally OK.
Andrew Bird, "Left Handed Kisses"
Bird's 2016 album, Are You Serious, never really connected with me, but I think I should probably give it some more chances. I think Bird stripped down his sound a little bit too much starting with Break It Yourself, and as a consequence, the songs don't really stick with me. This song is memorable, though, thanks to the guest part from Fiona Apple.
Squarepusher, "Eviscerate [Version]"
This is from Burningn'n Tree, a compilation of early Squarepusher tracks that Warp Records put out after Hard Normal Daddy caught on. And it's the album that probably got me the closest I ever got to being in a fight as an adult! I was at the bachelorette party for one of my oldest friends, and we were having a good time just hanging out and having a simple evening. My friend's fiance called, and apparently his bachelor party (an attempted kegger) was a bust. He wanted us to come over and liven things up.
We headed over, and the party is just terrible. The keg is Coors Light, and the music is just Tool on repeat. I'm pretty sure that's one of the circles in The Inferno. There's nothing else really going on, and when the Tool album looped around to the start, my friend Ficus and I decided to do something about it. I had a bunch of CDs in my car, including my pricey and somewhat rare imported copy of this album. So, we grab that and throw it on, both to get something else to listen to as well as to see how long it would take the lunkheads to notice. About two and a half songs, as it turns out!
One of the anthropomorphic beer farts wanders over to us and begins yelling something approximating "what the fuck is this?" To be fair, that wasn't an uncommon reaction to first encountering Squarepusher. He angrily opens the CD player and throws it to the ground. Ficus says hey, that's an expensive CD, watch out. Steakbrain steps to us and loudly shouts that he's going to kick our asses. He flexes at us, is shouting, and for a bit it's not clear if he's going to attack us or not. I legitimately thought it was going to get physical But, we decide to take the high road, gather my CD, and walk out. I guess he didn't like the Amen break?