Five Songs, 9/17/2020
Five Songs

Five Songs, 9/17/2020

Claw Hammer, "The Day It Rained Pigeon Shit"

Have we had Claw Hammer before? I think we have. The tags say we have. Whatever. Anyway, Claw Hammer sort of had a blues-y take at punk, like if you took Mudhoney and dialed up the blues end by a bunch. And, of course, they had Jon Wahl's idiosyncratic vocal style powering things. This tune comes from their final album, their second for a major label of all damn things. That Interscope thought something as offputting as this was worth signing is one of the clearest signs that the mid-90s saw some very stupid behavior from the labels.

Godspeed You! Black Emperor, "Mladic"

This is the opener to Allelujah! Don't Bend! Ascend!, the comeback album that Godspeed produced ten years after Yanqui U.X.O.. The time off did not hurt the band at all, as the record stands just fine alongside the rest of their records. Of the two long pieces on the album, this is my preferred one, as it's the more muscular of the two pieces.

Gridlink, "Constant Autumn"

I think Gridlink plays as many notes in this song as Godspeed does in the previous one, despite it being one-tenth the length.

Mix Master Mike, "Cosmic Assassins"

When I am listening to a DJ track, I want tasty drums, pyrotechnics on the turntables, clever vocal samples, maybe a really sweet flipped sample, that kind of stuff. This track is fine, but it doesn't particularly go anywhere, so it's a little wallpaper-y.

Kraftwerk, "Franz Schubert"

For as much as Kraftwerk's reputation is that of robotic practitioners of rigidly precise teutonic music, if you actually engage with their music instead of their reputation, you quickly discover that they used technology to uncover plenty of warm melodies. The sonic palette they worked with was radically different from what other bands had used at the time, but there is an essential humanity for this stuff that is all the more impressive given how it was made.

Joshua Buergel
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