If you ever get close to a human
And human behavior
Be ready, be ready to get confused
And me and my hereafter
There’s definitely, definitely, definitely no logic
To human behavior
But yet so, yet so irresistible
1993 Bjork, introduced as “Bjerk,” lead singer of the Sugarcubes, is as incredible then as she is today. She floats around the stage in front of several cartoon character ’90s musicians and just kills it. Also worth noting: the melody of this song is, for the most part, a whole step down from the arrangement, so if it feels like something is off, that’s probably why. And if it feels like something is awesome, that’s also probably why.
Two performances. The first is by two guys doing something great that will never sell. The second is by a group doing something great whose sole purpose is to ask for money… presumably so they can do something great that will never sell?
Throwbacks and re-purposing are so common in our media culture that I find it increasingly useless to pin anything to a particular decade anymore. But this chillwave re-hash of the Seinfeld theme is about as ’90s as it gets, so tell your mom to get off the phone, start the dial-up modem, click this link and in 15 minutes you might be able to hear something!
These guys are charming as hell. I can’t not love them.
Maybe you’ve heard of Lake Street Dive singing Jackson 5 on the streets of Boston, or maybe you caught them killing it with their Halloween version of Bohemian Rhapsody.
They’re original, catchy, positive, great performers, clearly great collaborators, and they make me wish like hell there was still such a thing as a “music industry” that would shower them with money so they could make more and more art!
There’s so much I could say about this track. It’s one of my favorite tracks of all time, it’s my go-to whenever I need to feel good in a hurry, and it always makes me want to dust off whatever instrument is closest and start playing. The entire album–A Town Called Earth–is worth a few listens, but this track gets me every time. I’ve been listening to it for almost 20 years. (Dear god, is that right?)
“Quantico Va” is a rowdy boogaloo shuffle. By about 30 seconds in, you can tell it’s about to kick your ass. Like a bunch of comedians trying to get each other to laugh, it seems like this track is about amazing players trying to make each other go “ohhhhhhh shit!” over and over again, starting with the ridiculous piano player (see ~6:20 when the drummer just starts growling as he hits). For the entire 10-minute track, every musician gives it everything they’ve got. Respect.
Here are a couple of tracks that are all about finding that pocket in a non-obvious way.
The first is organic soul music from D’Angelo and the Vanguards’ Black Messiah, recorded by musicians in the same place at the same time, all onto analog tape (you may remember an earlier post from these guys).
The second is manufactured with bleeps and blorps from the genius mind of Aphex Twin on his latest album Syro. For a deeply layered and satisfying listening experience, I can’t recommend either of these albums highly enough. Both go deeper and deeper, and both understand the importance of that pocket…