Saturday, April 30, 2016

Ten Thousand Favorite Songs, v.2

-at some point I'm going to make a True Detective S1 buddy cop vid set to this song

-I need to spread the gospel of this man, like St. Paul minus the fascism.  Ok, maybe a little fascism.

- If you count all her features (which you should) I think Rihanna more great songs in the last 10 years than anyone

--Is Krug the only true challenger to the veracity of my impetuous Rihanna claim?

--most of my favorite pop songs sung by dudes strongly involve the falsetto, which says something about me, not sure I want to know what.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Ten Thousand Favorite Songs, v.1

My favorite pop critic said something a bit ago that crystallized something I've been feeling increasingly for the last couple years--in the ~65 years since youth culture took over music, there's such a wealth that it's most helpful to ask 1 question right off the bat when engaging with a new piece:  is it a drop in the ocean or not?

Functionally it has been really rewarding to allow myself this--now instead of slogging through a canonical indie album or giving the currently hyped album multiple listens to see what I might be missing, I'm just treating it as binary.  Either the action potential triggers and the song is great, or it doesn't overcome the memorability threshold and I can safely ignore it.

I honestly think often of how nice it would be to have the power to eliminate boring songs, like some sort of reverse hearing aid.  But a great song is on another plane--it has a self-evident, self-propelling potency.

(This realization came hand in hand with realizing why football is the best spectator sport, despite its bloating nature--the granularity of each play is key.  There's anticipation as you see the formation, hear the audibles, there's a snap, a moment of uncertainty followed by clarity, followed by result.  It can be as stupid as running into the line of scrimmage and bouncing off the center, but its still more fun than watching midfielders pass a ball back and forth or windups and pitches.)

Anyhow, another dumb project, but I thought it would be fun to see how many songs actually meet this weird gestalt criteria I so eloquently described.  Enjoy or tell me which songs blow!

Your pal,

-Woke up Tuesday morning needing to hear this song.  It is weird that the coolest guys in the world could be this genuine.

-put it on your mixtapes fellas

--Chan is unreal, this is my favorite Vedder vocal ever (shade?), and Beck's dad did the strings, which are absurd.

-Still the best pop song of the new millennium

--Great artists don't really die because they carry us on their shoulders like the Big Friendly Giant

PS isn't YouTube with adblock on still the sneaky-best music service.  I am happy to pay for Spotify, but I feel like I hop around and dig up more cool stuff on Youtube.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Happy Birthday Scott!


Not telling you how to live your life, but you should probably be listening to Scott's podcast appearances.  Here he is discussing his experience at Sundance, which is pretty dang cool if you ask me.  

Friday, April 15, 2016

Things Making Ben Happy These Days v.1

 Film:  Everybody Wants Some!! was a beautiful journey into the past.

TV: Catastrophe is potent stuff and Season 2 came and went too fast.  Broad City is bonkers and wonderful as always. The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is back today and I am very glad.

Comedy/Podcasts: Josh Gondelman's album Physical Whisper is very nice!  The Mysterious Secrets of Uncle Bertie's Botanarium features prem-o Jermaine Clement silliness and Shallow Rewards just put out a fantastic roundtable episdoe on R.E.M.

Books: Dashiell Hammett can write---less verbose, more brutal but a similar freight train of talent and energy as Raymond Chandler.  Both were dynamite, but it begs the question...did editors used to be much, much better?  Comparing the two of them with JK Rowling's attempts at detective fiction is like comparing The Gettsyburg Address to a David Brooks essay.

Music:  Haven't found much to love yet this year---M83, Tim Hecker, Sam Beam all pretty unmemorable efforts-- so I will take any suggestions please and thank you!