Busy month, mostly spent hot and not working. I guess music-wise, the highlight was going to the Pitchfork Music Festival. But then I realized there weren’t many bands there that had me really excited. G-Side was cool. Tune-yards sounded great. Kurt Vile provided a nice soundtrack for laying down in the afternoon shade. And TV on the Radio were probably extremely good, but my old ass was mostly too exhausted to really care by then. I think the main takeaway is that A) I’m getting too old for outdoor summer festivals, and B) I’m way more excited for Raleigh’s Hopscotch Music Festival coming up here in September.
Meanwhile, there were some good albums
- Cults – Cults: I’d put “Abducted”, “Go Outside” and “You Know What I Mean” against the first three songs of just about any album I’ve ever heard. Great way to open an album.
- WU LYF – Go Tell Fire to the Mountain: Every song on here is an epic, fist-pumping anthem.
- Thee Oh Sees – Castlemania: Every time I hear a new Thee Oh Sees album (which is often…they’re prolific fuckers), it takes me a few listens for me to move from “this is annoying” to “this is awesome.” If they ain’t your cup of tea, I understand.
On to the mix:
1) Guided by Voices – I Am a Tree
Indie legends (who mostly don’t do much for me). But I tried to get familiar before seeing them at Pitchfork. They’ll also be appearing at Hopscotch in their last ever performance.
2) Black Lips – Mad Dog
I’m glad Mark Ronson didn’t try to make these guys sound like something they’re not. Black Lips will also be appearing at Hopscotch as part of a killer Thursday night at Lincoln Theatre.
3) Thee Oh Sees – If I Stay Too Long
Forgot to mention that Thee Oh Sees are also front-runners for my favorite album cover of the year:
4) Shabazz Palaces – Are You… Can You… Were You? (Felt)
The warmest song on a very cold (but interesting) album. An album (and a live performance) that I more appreciate than enjoy.
5) Jim-E Stack – Lemme
Unfortunately, not an ode to this guy:
6) CyHi Da Prynce (feat. Yelawolf & La Roux) – Bulletproof
I don’t care much for CyHi, but anybody can sound good over this beat. Yelawolf ain’t just anybody. He sounds incredible over this beat. Also, Yelawolf will be at Hopscotch.
7) Cocaine 80s – Anywhere But Here
At first, I thought the Common song would be the representative from the Cocaine 80s EP to make it to this month’s mix. But over the course of the month, this James Fauntleroy song really grew on me. And I don’t normally dig on R&B.
8) Cults – You Know What I Mean
This will be the score to some dramatic movie or TV show by the end of the year. That chorus can’t be denied.
10) Cults – Abducted
Speaking of abducted, anyone seen Barack Obama’s spine anywhere? Am I right? (you’re welcome to have that one, Mr. Leno)
11) Don Julian & The Larks – The Jerk
Don Julian’s falsetto is giving Justin Vernon a run for his money this month.
15) Freddie Gibbs (ft. Smoke DZA & Chace Infinite) – Keep It Warm For Ya
Recession ain’t bothering these guys…they’re too balls deep inside your chick to be worried about money.
16) Random Axe – Random Call
Sean P lays down the mission statement: “Yo, you can’t mess with the bomb shit / Me Guilty and Black is aggressive content / Don’t loveletter-rhymes in raps about chicks / Just the whole lot of drugging and thugging that’s it”
17) Nas – Nasty
Nas is bringing back that Nasty Nas! Or so we’ve been told via just about every one of his post-Illmatic’s albums “street singles.” Not getting my hopes up, even though this is undeniably dope.
18) Beastie Boys (ft. Santigold) – Don’t Play No Game That I Can’t Win (Major Lazer Remix)
Diplo & Switch give this song the bump that it deserves.
19) Dick Khoza – Chapita (Nordy Edit)
Yep, my first foray into production. You like how I made the executive order to cut 2 1/2 minutes off the end and added in a fade-out? Look out, Kanye!
21) WU LYF – Spitting Blood