Five Songs, 11/10/2021
Five Songs

Five Songs, 11/10/2021


Quasimoto is one of Madlib's many aliases, and probably the most unhinged of his various projects. The production in particular is spastic, with sounds popping in and out in unpredictable ways, giving the proceedings a lurching feel that is diquieting. Combine that with his disaffected, helium-accented flow, and it's just a very strange record. Really good, though.

Tortoise, "Spiderwebbed"

The first Tortoise record is a landmark in post-rock, representing an approach to making music with guitars and drums that would help inspire lots of following bands. I don't think it's their best record, but it's excellent stuff, and it's easy to see why this album got people excited.

Polyrhythmics, "Lord of the Fries"

Goin' instrumental today! If the last track is what you get when you add just the right amount of jazz to rock, this is more like what you get with just the right amount of jazz to funk. Jazz and funk have always gotten along better, of course. Anyway, listen to Polyrhythmics lay it down here!

The Minus 5, "Beatles Forever (Little Red)"

Scott McCaughey suffered a serious stroke in 2017, hospitalizing him for weeks and rendering him mute. Not only was his music career likely over, but for a while, it was unclear if he would survive. During his long road to recovery, he started writing lyrics again, as a way to help get his mind back in to shape. Defying the odds, he not only was able to resume playing music, but he eventually was able to turn those lyrics written during his convalescence into an album, Stroke Manor. It's not the best thing that the Minus 5 has done, but that sort of misses the point. It's miraculous that it exists at all, and even a solid record is an incredible achievement.

Think Tree, "Eye for Eye"

Think Tree were a short-lived band from Boston who made just this one album, Like The Idea. I think I found them during the period of my life when I was trying to find bands similar to They Might Be Giants, who combined a sense of humor with actual strong songs and an eclectic approach to music. And, you know, there's certainly some resemblence. You can't tell just from this track, but this album is all over the place. Eclectic doesn't really begin to describe it. But it all feels kind of like a put-on, and it's missing the pop sensibility of TMBG. Like, this song doesn't feel at all genuine, it's like a costume they're trying on. It's also too long.

Joshua Buergel
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