Bryce Rudow likes music. You can send all hatemail to [email protected] and tweet vitriol at him @brycetrudow (or follow him to make him feel more popular while getting access to random new music he doesn’t have the time to write about).
Overloaded by all the “new music” options you keep hearing about? We’re here to help. Here are four songs we think you should fucking know (this week).
Housecleaning Stuff/Stuff That I Want To Throw In Haphazardly:
OUTKAST ARE REUNITING FOR A TOUR! I know I should just end the column here because nothing will beat this but alas, the show must go on.
Bob Dylan, who is 72 year old, just released one of the most creative interactive music videos ever for “Like A Rolling Stone.” Guess he hasn’t been gathering any moss, AMIRIGHT?!
While usually my knowledge of house/trance/whatever music doesn’t go far beyond what my old co-worker DJ Geedon (who has a new remix out) would randomly IM me, I have to share the vocal and piano version of Amateur Best’s “Ready for the Good Life.” It evaporates away the subdued bleeps and bloops of the original to leave nothing but an achingly soulful piano ballad. Plus those harmonies… And that ending…
Ok. Now that that’s out of the way, onto the Tunes You Should Fucking Know This Week…
- Princeton – Remember of Things to Come
Princeton was yet another musical gift given to me by Corbin Cones of Promote and Preserve via our new music Facebook group. And in a comment on that same post, he also may have given me the perfect description for why I like Princeton’s Remembrance of Things to Come:
As someone that listens to lots of music throughout the day, I can assure you of one thing: most music sounds the same. The synth riffs all bounce together and the washy dream-pop swells all bleed into one another, so when something unique actually comes through it really is like a breath of fresh air.
And it’s why Princeton’s album is so charming.
I was introduced to the group with the single, “Florida,” and from the second those crooning vocals kicked in, I knew that Princeton was something a bit different. Digging only a few songs deeper after that, I knew that Princeton was also something very good.
From the exquisitely refined “Grand Rapids” to the blue-collar loungy “Oklahoma” to the positively sublime album-closer “Louise,” Princeton is able to create a fantastic breed of ornate indie pop. The Beirut-ish vocals just mesh so well with that warm, knitted instrumentation. It allows them to successfully flirt with a few different styles, and it elevates all their songs above what this type of indie pop usually strives and settles for.
A bit of hunting on their Wikipedia page let me know that the main songwriters are two twin brothers and that they hail from sunny Los Angeles, while additionally including a surprisingly detailed description of why all the members of the band love London…. It also let me know that they have a few old EPs and an LP to discover, which are posted here and here, if you’re interested (after a quick listen, I would endorse checking out their A Case of the Emperors Clothes EP, which is them with just an acoustic guitar and a piano).
Unfortunately, it looks like they’re currently taking a break from touring, but you can use this time as an excuse to get intimate with an album that’s pretty stellar front to back.
- Who Needs A Pulse – “Who Needs A Pulse”
I’ve never been shy about admitting that I have a total bias toward D.C. acts. I love going down local-music rabbit holes in hopes of finding that next band that I can fall in love with in person. A while back, I stumbled upon the Bandcamp page for a group lazily called “Mike and Cody.” They had a handful of tracks that were okay, though I remember really liking one. But way went onto way, and before I knew it, I was already falling down a different rabbit hole.
Fortunately, Mike and Cody have now rebranded themselves as Who Needs A Pulse after the name of the song I remember liking (I think this is a coincidence), though Cody tells me they had a Word doc with “like 500 weird band names” on it as well. They also recently released a lyric video for said song, which was created by friends of the band Alex Lee and Matt Moore and that takes full advantage of green screen technology.
They’re in the process of recording some new songs that will be out early next year and which they’ve been playing live, but in the meantime, “Who Needs A Pulse” is a great way to pass the time. It has the swagger of old TV on the Radio but isn’t afraid to incorporate seemingly out-of-place sounds and textures like house synths and anthemic chorus percussions. Not to mention the lyrics are about, to quote Cody, “a zombie who doesn’t fit in with his brethren because he’s more interested in dancing than in eating humans.”
You can follow them on Facebook here to keep up to date with when they’re playing their next show. I will probably be there, and if that’s not a reason to go, what is?
- Sam Smith x Nile Rodgers x Disclosure x Jimmy Napes – “Together”
Yadda yadda yadda, they came up with one funky song that defies context or analysis.
Thank you; I’ll be here all week. Tip your servers.
Because, it’s time for a very special edition of…
THE GUEST WRITER YOU SHOULD FUCKING KNOW: Charles Bramesco Edition
Editor’s Note: Charles Bramesco is a writer for The Tulane Hullaballoo who writes funny things like this and once used the phrase “Put on your seat belts, San Andreas: Clammy Clams is driving stoned and out for blood” during a review for Clams Casino.
- Pusha T feat. Tyler the Creator – “Trouble On My Mind” (Rustie Remix)
Maybe it’s the sheer volume of available music. Maybe it’s the advent of online discussion forums, which have unfortunately grown into a haven for feral psychopaths, like the Internet’s equivalent of the prison in Silence of the Lambs where Clarice first visits Hannibal Lecter. Maybe it’s neither of those things, or both of them. But the fact of the matter is that recent years have seen hip-hop grow more fragmented than ever.
This development may not exactly be recent — we fondly recall the West Coast v. East Coast beefs of yesterdecade and the unjust sweeping of Dirty South rap into the corner. But these days, many hip-hop fans see the genre as a point of division, an inevitable creator of an Us and Them mentality. Devotees of Eminem dare not phux with Big Sean, whose fans seldom touch the newest release from Danny Brown. And that’s just the Detroit scene.
But no group has polarized the hip-hop landscape quite like L.A.’s hood rat crew Odd Future [Wolf Gang Kill Them All (Don’t Give A Fuck Litter Life Bacon Boys Loiter Squad Who Even Knows Anymore)]. Odd Future fans are fiercely defensive and unusually resistant to rappers attempting to land some crossover appeal. I have seen a teen fully decked out in OF gear literally draw blood from a dude who suggested that Tyler the Creator’s merry band might not be the last word in hip-hop.
What makes that hardheaded stuck-in-your-ways attitude so perplexing is Tyler’s emphasis on inclusivity. On his star-making track “Seven,” Mr. the Creator states that he’s hanging “with the thrashers and jackers / drug dealers and crackers / AP students and slackers.” Tyler’s a dude with eclectic musical taste, having confessed his affinity for Italian prog-rock band Goblin in his interview with Nardwuar and snagging Instagrams with the Tame Impala guys and Archy Marshall. Tyler even shouts out G.O.O.D. Music affiliate Pusha T on the opener for “Goblin.”
So it adheres to a weirdly eminent logic that King Push and Tyler would team up for “Trouble On My Mind,” a highlight from Pusha T’s recent, excellent album “Fear of God II: Let Us Pray.” They’re a seemingly odd couple, with Tyler appealing to the anti-everything punk-rap set and Pusha testing well among hip-hop purists. Push even attends to this curiosity, asking in the song’s third verse, “Who else could put the hipsters with felons and thugs?”
But this song finds them in perfect harmony. Tyler dishes his characteristically left-field allusions, checking on tertiary characters from Rugrats and bragging about his plans to dish out wet willies. Push stays in his comfort zone, rhyming on his prowess at moving biblical proportions of illicit substances. It’s key to recognize that neither artist attempts to be something he’s not. Tyler does Tyler, Push does Push, and everybody wins.
Glaswegian producer Rustie raises this to the next level with his remix. He takes the somewhat subdued original track and doses it with a couple hits of pure MDMA. It only takes four bars for Rustie to unload his signature synth blasts on Pusha’s verse, and the result is euphoric. The chorus, inexplicably, flourishes under the addition of Seinfeldian slap bass (link to a Seinfeld intro clip?). Rustie doubles down on the song’s original gap-bridging appeal.
Suddenly, “Trouble” doesn’t just bring together hip-hop splinter factions. This cut gets everyone with a pulse and ass to shake out on the floor.
If you/someone you know is up for the task of writing non-sequitered musical ramblings, feel free to shoot me an email at [email protected], tell me I look pretty, and convince me why you should be a Guest Writer We Should Fucking Know.