June 23 2014
This week we ran the musical gambit. We were listening to looping electronic music, spaced out instrumentals, fuzzed out guitars, lilting solos, and nostalgic R&B. I also got a chance to sit down with Sonny Knight of Sonny Knight and the Lakers, who gave me a song to listen to. We emerged through this fog with 5 Songs that we couldn’t take the needle off. These are those songs.
Hundred Waters- Murmers
You know that feeling you have when you say a word so many times that it seems to fall apart? and you forget what it means, that it’s even word, and not just a bunch of sounds. There is a name for that. It’s called Semantic Satiation. And it’s weird because it makes you realize that words are just a bunch of sounds, and when we talk to each other we are just arranging sounds with our mouths and agreeing that they have meaning.
I think that music is a like state of sustained semantic satiation. Every note and chord and arrangement is a word and a sentence and a paragraph in a language that I know. And I keep repeating it and repeating it, until suddenly my mind is clear, and I knew it’s meaning all along.
This song will give you a real sense of semantic satiation. And it might make you want to pull away from it at first, but instead, lean in, until it becomes clear.
Hundred Waters album, The Moon Rang Like a Bell, is available now.
Listen if you like: Son Lux, Glasser, Baths
I remember the first time I saw Monica Martin. I was going to school in Madison at the time and she was working at a café. It was before she was Phox’s charismatic lead voice. She was wearing a floral top and a big sunhat, standing outside of Espresso Royale in Madison. I lowered my sunglasses, and asked my friend, “Who is that?” to my surprise she said, “Oh, that’s Monica, lets say hi” So we stepped outside, she introduced me and but I seemed to have forgotten how to speak.
Since then, Phox has consistently left me cloudy headed and speechless. For a six person band, whose tracks often include more than eight instruments, they show a remarkable amount of restraint. The instruments are never loud and competing with each other, instead they invite each other in, and work together, pleasantly. All the time letting Monica Martin’s voice do the speaking, when we forget how.
Phox’s debut, self titled album is out this Tuesday (June, 24th.)
Listen if you like: Well spaced instrumentals, Billie Holiday, Wisconsin
Bleached- For the Feel
For the Feel by Bleached can be described as having a “lo-fi” sound. Lo-fi is shorthand for Low Fidelity and signifies an audio quality that is less than perfect. Usually fuzzy, distorted, or blown out. In the digital age, where every recording can have perfect, high fidelity audio quality, lo-fi’s imperfection is statement of subversion.
Lo-fi started with a real act of subversion. In 1964, while Kinks were in the recording studio, lead guitarist and vocalist Dave Davies picked up a single sided Gilette razor blade, slashed the speaker cone of his amp, and recorded “You Really Got Me.”
You really got me became one of the most influential songs of all time, opening the door for genres like punk, metal, and of course, lo-fi and garage.
In today’s song, lo-fi band Bleached, hone their inner Kinks. And in a nod to their musical predecessors, they actually used The Kinks amp, and recorded this song, “For The Feel”.
Bleached’s EP, For the Feel, will be available on July 22nd.
Listen if you like: The Kinks, Tacocat, girl surf rock bands
Bahamas- All the Time
Haven’t we all had friends or crushes, or people that we met that we really, really liked, but they just… didn’t really like us back all that much? It’s the worst feeling. We text them on a Wednesday, to see what they are doing on Saturday, because we know that they haven’t planned ahead that far, but somehow there is always some excuse. There is something that they are doing. And we try not to take it personal, but we can’t help it. What they are basically saying is that they have something better to do than hang out with us. And we’ll try several weekends in a row, but eventually we stop trying, and we resign to the fact that they don’t want to hang out with us. We had given them all the time in the world, and they wanted none of it.
Bahamas new album, Bahamas is Afie, will be released on August 19th.
Listen if you like: The Black Keys slow burners, well placed backing vocals, weeping guitar.
Leela James- Music
Last Friday, Sonny Knight and the Lakers took the 88Nine studio by storm and played what might have been the most dynamic and soulful performance that we have had in the studio so far. After the guys had changed out of their matching suits, I was able to have a conversation with Sonny Knight about music. Eventually I turned the mic on and asked him if there was one song he couldn’t stop listening to. Immediately he answered, “Music by Leela James.” The song is about the importance of soul music in a contemporary setting, and it makes total sense that Sonny Knight, an old school soul man, would pick this song. If you want to hear his monologue on the song, click the soundcloud link at the top.
Leela James’ album, A Change Is Gonna Come, was released in 2005.
Listen if you like: R&B, Erykah Badu, nostalgia