Prefuse 73, "140 Jabs Interlude"
Rivington Não Rio, the 2015 album from Prefuse 73, was something of a return to form for Scott Herren, his best work since Surrounded by Silence for my money. This track takes a little bit to get going, by turns downright pyrotechnic by the end, and Herren's beats are great when he's really going for it.
RJD2, "Shot In The Dark"
Prior to firing shuffle up for Five Songs, I had just been listen to STS x RJD2, a delightful collaboration featuring some absolutely ferocious work from RJD2. He's still never beaten Deadringer, mind you. But I wanted to plug the fact that he's done some cool shit otherwise.
Less Than Jake, "Nervous In The Alley"
Huh, this song sounds really strange if you listen to just the right channel. Uh...Hello Rockview is a mid-period album for Less Than Jake where they were pretty settled into their groove, but didn't really try and expand things. They largely stayed in that mode until Anthem, which was also kind of more of the same, but showed a spark of energy that they hadn't really had since Losing Streak.
Here's a fun little story about the band. I think I've written two fan letters to bands in my life. One was to They Might Be Giants in 1990 where I asked some dumb questions about some of their songs. That one is probably overdetermined for any loyal reader/listener of Five Songs. The second one is a strange one, though.
I contracted the chicken pox as an adult, when I was 25. It was a truly miserable experience, and for a couple of weeks, I was in continual itchy pain. Beyond just the sheer unpleasantness of the sores, I ended up with a bunch of them infected, especially on my scalp. Got some pretty good scars up there! Anyway, as I was reaching the end of the illness, I was listening to Hello Rockview, and I realized for the first time in a couple of weeks that I wasn't in serious pain. That realization was enough of a shock that I started weeping with relief. And, because maybe I was still a little delirious, I actually wrote Less Than Jake a rhapsodic little letter thanking them for their small part in helping me recover. I'm sure it was totally puzzling to them.
Holy Fuck, "Echo Sam"
Holy Fuck are two drummers and three keyboardists, mostly playing improvised tunes. And here, they're kind of mostly sounding like mid-period Nine Inch Nails. Which is ok!
Flamingosis, "come & get it"
Flamingosis, a discovery courtesy of one of the Bandcamp newsletters, is part of a new generation of electronic artists who are explicitly drawing on some more disused sonic palettes to construct their tunes. In particular, there's a lot of disco and electro-funk in this stuff. It can be a nice, refreshing change of pace.