Death Cab For Cutie – You Are A Tourist
I’m really enjoying the whole new album, Codes and Keys, right now, and it would probably be fair for me to put up some track other than the first single to present a better idea of the whole package. But dammit, I just dig this song. It feels simultaneously like classic and new Death Cab, and while I’ve never been their biggest fan, I’ve always had a soft spot for a lot of their work, even after they “sold out” to a major record label (slag off). Plus, this video was shot live, so, you know, gimmicky.
A.A. Bondy – When The Devil’s Loose
This song is actually a couple of years old, and I’ve been digging on it for awhile, but I figured it was as good a time as any to spotlight it. I love the sleepy vocals, the fuzzed ambiance, the guitar that just sort of flitters in and out. The strings that casually make an appearance throughout effectively set the mood, but it’s the total package that just makes this song sink in. Like so many artists, I still need to track down more of his music, but for now I’m content with the loveliness of this one track.
Beck – Everybody’s Gotta Learn Sometime
When Beck covers a song, he kills it. Should be no surprise there, the man is a master. While he gave this 80s original the Gary Jules/Movie Soundtrack make over, this transcends the schmaltz-factor by being absolutely heartbroken but restrained. Some songs lose their effect once removed from the movie imagery, but that’s not the case with this song. In fact, ignore the video, turn off your lights and just listen to the music in the stark solitude of an empty bedroom. It’s like all of Beck’s Sea Change condensed into one track. Gorgeous.
Justin Timberlake – (Another Song) All Over Again
So, I’m not sure if you were aware of this, but Justin Timberlake is the shit. At this stage in the game, if I have to list all the reasons why, you just haven’t been paying attention. When I hear people hating on him, I feel the same sort of pity that I feel for evolution-deniers. It’s just sad. Dude’s a force. So, yeah, his best songs are dance grooves, and as far as album tracks go, there are better songs, but I’m still enjoying this one at the moment. I’m a sucker for smooth R&B vocals with twinkling pianos. Futuresex/LoveSounds is a classic, and “(Another Song) All Over Again” might be a minor cut off of it, but that’s still high praise.
A Tribe Called Quest – Scenario
Lest I be accused of being a sad sack, here’s a hit of id for you. I have to thank my brother Fonz for giving me this album for my bday, I’ve been enjoying it thoroughly. This was the socially conscious, intelligent rap that the 90s produced. I’m not gonna be pathetic and say, “They don’t make rap like this anymore” because I’m sure that isn’t true. But just like the early social message of Dylan and his ilk eventually gave over to pure pop sensibilities and inward focused lyrics as the decade progressed, rap has definitely entered it’s mass consumption stage. But make no mistake, smart rap still exists, and we have the Tribe partially to thank for it.
Plus, Bo Jackson reference. Word.