Five Songs, 2/9/2022
Five Songs

Five Songs, 2/9/2022

They Might Be Giants, "Wait Actually Yeah No"

The latest TMBG album finds them returning to their mixed-media approach, producing a combination album/book entitled, uh, Book. It's a typical late-period TMBG album, with lush arrangements and plenty of hooks. At this point, they know what kind of album they want to make and are very good at it. It's the sort of thing that those of you who are into this sort of thing will like.

Town Portal, "Roko's Basilisk"

This song sounds like a lost track from a Squirrel Bait spin-off band, like Bitch Magnet left something off of Ben Hur or something. That means I think it rules, of course. Listen to this! I want to concentrate this in a bag and spend all day huffing it.

Howlin' Wolf, "Killing Floor"

"Killing Floor" is one of the most famous songs of electric blues, having become a standard peformed by countless others, and famously inspiring Led Zeppelin's "Lemon Song" (which Howlin' Wolf is credited as a co-writer on) among many other songs. As usual with the blues, I'm just sitting on the margins listening to some of the biggest names, but a single person can only know so much. (Especially me.)

The Skatalites, "Skamaica"

The Skatalites' first run was in the mid-60s, where the band came together from members who had played on a whole bunch of recordings in Jamaica, and decided to start making their own music. They helped define the sound of ska, both under their own name and with their work with other acts. Alas, the first incarnation of the Skatalites ended in tragedy when founding trombonist Don Drummond was arrested and convicted of the murder of his girlfriend and sent to an asylum. The Skatalites would periodically get together for reunions in the 70s and 80s, with those recordings showing up on various labels with new versions of old songs and some new tunes. Some of those reunion records are great, with Stretching Out in particular being one of their best.

In the late 80s, they decided to stick together, and sort of never stopped recording until time took its toll. Their 90s albums are all of a consistent quality, full of the traditional ska sound they pioneered, and it's hard to recommend any one recording over another. This comes to us from one of those 90s records, Ska Voovee, which is very good albeit chock full of ska puns.

Titus Andronicus, "(I Blame) Society"

It's a fair cop.

Joshua Buergel
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