Five Songs, 5/6/2017
Five Songs

Five Songs, 5/6/2017

This is the first time I've written one of these entries not listening on headphones. Instead, I'm pumping out the jams from my laptop while sitting on the couch next to Megan. Nobody cares, Josh! Get to the music!

De La Soul, "Snoopies (featuring David Byrne)"

As I mentioned in the first entry on They Might Be Giants, De La Soul is probably the only band that I've been listening to longer than TMBG. I bought Three Feet High and Rising on the strength of being blown away by "Say No Go", and I haven't ever stopped listening to them. While they've had some ups and downs (the two Bionix albums being the major downs), every De La Soul record release has been an event for me. Their most recent record was an even bigger departure than usual: they crowdfunded it on Kickstarter, and decided to use a pretty novel method of making it. They brought a band into the studio, recorded them playing a wide variety of stuff, and then used that work as a basis for their sampling to make beats. Thus, they didn't need to clear any samples: they were only sampling themselves. The results are interesting, and worth looking into.

Botch, "C. Thomas Howell As the 'Soul Man'"

Seattle's own Botch merged math rock, metal, and hardcore in really interesting ways, around the same time as the Dillinger Escape Plan got going. The bands really are similar in their approach: twisty songs, lots of rhythmic changes, totally unafraid of noise and chaos, but always with a plan. Botch was only around for two records, but there are still plenty of bands who sound like them.

The Replacements, "Valentine"

Seminal rock band of the 80s, they went from sloppy hardcore to straight up rock and roll, but executed very well, thanks mostly to Paul Westerberg's songwriting. The 'Mats also have made the best album named Let It Be around. Among the various titans of the rock underground in the 80s, I'd wager that more bands tried to sound like the Replacements than anybody else. The essential records are the three in the center of their discography (Let It Be, Tim, Pleased to Meet Me, but anybody who just loves great tunes owes themselves some Replacements.

Sleepyhead, "Kunky"

See, good example! Thanks, shuffle! Anyway, Sleepyhead were just your regular, run-of-the mill underground rock band playing stuff that borrowed from the Replacements. They did it well, though, and at least had a female vocalist to change things up. I had honestly kind of forgotten about this band, and I'm enjoying this song very much.

KMFDM, "Naïve"

Sigh. Still sounding basically like Depeche Mode on a bad day, this is just straight up dance music, but the vocals are bellowed through a megaphone. I feel like KMFDM recorded this song about a billion times.

Joshua Buergel
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