So it’s been a touch over five years since I last did a Friday Playlist kind of thing. That’s about three years too long since I’ve tortured people with my musical opinion! I could wax poetic about how what I’ve been listening to has changed so drastically over the past half-decade, but you and I both know that is just crap. I still have the same terrible-ish taste and I’m always happy to foist it on others.
So, with that re-intro out of the way, let’s get down to business! All of the following tracks are available on Spotify and can even be found on a handy-dandy playlist on my user page. OK, here we go!
1. Tommy Hale – Magnificent Bastard
I’m just going to admit this right up front: Tommy is a friend of mine. I’ve been excited for this new record of his to come out for well over a damn year. Tommy throws together this fascinating mix of new sound and old grit which shows up incredibly well in Magnificent Bastard. Tommy out stickies Sticky Fingers in this magnificent track.
2. PUP – DVP
I honestly don’t know where I found PUP, but they have quickly become a favorite of mine. The sentiment is very much like early Descendents songs (girls hate me, I have problems, “I don’t wanna grow up,” etc.), but PUP has put it all out there with a very distinctly face-forward sound. DVP is a great rallying song.
3. Russian Circles – Asa
I can’t say enough about Russian Circles. This Chicago trio could be one of the greatest bands I’ve ever seen live. I chose Asa off of their latest record Guidance because it really isn’t like any other track they’ve ever put on a record. Most tracks they lay out dive right into the heavy layers of what they do so well, but there is just something incredibly simple about Asa that makes it one of my favorite tracks of theirs. I should have put the next track on the record, Vorel, right after this one since they pretty much go together (I should probably write an entire feature on songs that should always always be played together), but I thought I’d just leave this little vignette here for you to discover the rest of the record.
4. King Dude – Lucifer’s the Light of the World
Ahh King Dude. I, like many people, found King Dude via the opening credits for the first season of True Detective. His perspective on folk-y dark music is truly unique. There’s a little bit of Michael Gira in it, there’s a little bit of Leonard Cohen, a smidgen of Tom Waits and a smattering of Nick Cave. Goth folk. Who would’ve known?
5. Jon Snodgrass – 1-2-3-4, Won’t Go Down to the Basement No More
Jon Snodgrass is a seriously under-appreciated artist. He’s put out just about a jillion records through his solo projects, Drag the River, Armchair Martian, and Scorpios. This track was written by Snodgrass minutes after finding out of the passing of his friend and Teenage Bottlerocket drummer, Brandon Carlisle. It’s a great twangy track that hits you just right in the feels.
6. Jawbreaker – Oyster
Oh Jawbreaker. I blame this band for listening to any emo music at all (something I’m often loathe to admit). Oyster is one of those tracks that is far less “punky” than say Chesterfield King, but still has that Jawbreaker “oomph” that always grabs my attention. Listening to Dear You these days and I completely see why I’m a Get Up Kids junkie.
7. The Raincoats – Fairytale in the Supermarket
The Raincoats are a band that you aren’t listening to that you should have been listening to for the past thirty years. Fairytale in the Supermarket has, for me, that perfect blend of 70’s punk sound: very DIY-ish, but catchy as all hell. The Raincoats were post-punk while punk was just coming into its own. Listen to it!
8. Aye Nako – Cut it Off
This track reminds me a lot of the pop-punk stuff I listened to through the mid to late 90’s. Cut it Off is a track I wouldn’t have been surprised to hear out of Superchunk around 1997.
9. Speedy Ortiz – No Below
No Below is one of those slow loping tracks that just fills the right kind of void. It’s a touch dark and broody, but damn what a bass line. It’s got a nice slow build and goes straight to fuzz guitar (who doesn’t love some good fuzz guitar?). Again, this one hearkens back to some of the best stuff I listened to in the 90’s.
10. Hop Along – Tibetan Pop Stars
I love Frances Quinlan’s voice and Tibetan Pop Stars showcases her range like crazy. This is one of those songs that gets stuck in my head all the damn time. If you aren’t listening to Hop Along, you really really should be.
I think I’m going to let my car pick next week’s playlist. It’s oddly amazing at running the random on my daily commute.