As I get older, people I know have cut back on listening to music. In fact, a study has found that music listeners drop off a rhythmic cliff at age 33. This is a shame, as music has been found to make people happier, lower stress, and improve sleep. To combat this atrophy of the musical mind, I’m going to occasionally throw some songs – new and old – up on this blog. Maybe people will find something they enjoy, maybe it’ll simply keep me involved in new music and write. Either way, I hope to have some fun. Leave comments below with love, suggestions, or requests to fuck off forever.
You can find the Spotify playlist here:
Dornik – “God Knows” (2017)
Dornik makes ear worms. Every time this dude puts out a new song, it gets stuck in my 2017 tape deck (which happens to be an app on my phone that contains every fucking tape in the world. It’s much different than the days of the actual tape deck, i.e. higher sound quality, easier replay ability, and fewer eaten tapes).
I’ve described Dornik to friends – who dutifully nod along before changing the subject away from a musician they’ve never heard of – as “audio infatuation” and “God Knows” is no exception. I played this song 20 times the week it came out and it always makes my endorphins jump when it comes on.
As always with Dornik, this song strikes a rare balance in modern R&B/soul/pop – the completely sappy with the mildly ribald. Although “mildly” aside, I’ve never heard a dude transition so quickly from telling someone “You’re the girl that I’m meant for” to talking about having sex in a bathroom.
Listen to Dornik if you like Bruno Mars or Michael Jackson or Prince or having sex with people whom you love in public bathrooms. Or hey, maybe his tunes can serve as a substitute for Chris Brown? It’s about time we got that guy the fuck outta here.
Your Old Droog – “42 (Forty Deuce)” (2016)
This dude came to Brooklyn as a kid from Ukraine and now sounds like a mix between Nas, MF DOOM, and Sean Price. If that doesn’t show you that America is the greatest country in the world, I don’t know what will.
“42 (Forty Deuce)” samples Nu Shooz classic head nodder “I Can’t Wait,” which Chicago Bulls fans will remember as some of the on-court music MJ used to post-up on motherfuckers to. Beat aside, dude can rap. Your Old Droog has very clearly done his homework and sounds like he’d fit into the mid 1990s NYC hiphop scene with relative ease on top of the beat.
Droog falls into the category of lyrical, which I like. However, some other people may prefer to see replaced by some dudes mumbling about fucking your girlfriend.
(By the way, what the fuck is with that? Why do rappers tell us they’re gonna fuck our girls and we just sit here saying “MAN, Wiz Khalifa is the shiiiiiit!” I don’t understand it. I don’t even have a girlfriend and it gets my juices flowing – the bad juices, not the good juices. I mean, c’mon man, why are you trying to get one over on me, your listener? And after I gave your song $0.02 worth of Spotify listens. Shame on you. Ridiculous.)
This song marks the only time I’ve ever heard a rapper mention Fran Lebowitz. It makes me wanna hear more rappers spit rhymes about other columnists. Can we get a few bars about Christopher Hitchens or Mike Royko or Laura Washington?
Rhye – “Summer Days” (2017)
With each new song, Rhye seems to walk a tightrope between sexy and sad. On the Summer Days lyrics, “Summer days fall away/Can’t I just make you stay?” catches the wistful, humid air of young summer love/lust/whatever the fuck you call it when two people meet off Tinder, collectively shrug their shoulders and ask the most electronically-animalistic three letters in the English language: “DTF?”
The song brings a collage of pictures into my mind, with most of them revolving around two people who have known each other for less than three months spending entirely too much time in a sweltering-hot bedroom. The love drugs have begun to wear off, but both are frantically grasping for them.
It’s a rather sweet song that that some might even describe as happy, but the lyrics seem to describe an encounter that is impermanent. The lyric’s lovers can only last in each other’s worlds for so long, so they try to last in each other’s lives for just a bit longer. This all unwinds as the summer fades away.
Anyway, the singer is a dude but sounds like Sade. He once said in an interview a lot of dudes show up to Rhye concerts and look disappointed. That shit is fucking awesome.
Elis Regina – “Aguas De Marco” (1972)
This is the musical version of rolling your windows down and letting a warm breeze ooze in.
I truly have no idea what this song is about since I don’t speak Portuguese but I fucking love Brazilian music from the 1960s and 1970s. Apparently the title translates to “Waters of March,” which… as a guy who speaks some Spanish, I feel like I should have known. Oh well. I won’t be hard on myself if you won’t be hard on me. And truthfully, I won’t be hard on myself if you’re hard on me either. Nothing personal.
If I was waiting at my doctor’s office and this song came on in the waiting room, I’d probably respect his medical credentials even more. The song just sounds like one of those that you’d listen to by a body of water with a basket full of picnic. You sit there and just know you got this life shit figured out. So, yanno, doctors.
Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit – “Anxiety” (2017)
This song starts like this:
How do you always get the best of me?/
I’m out here living in a fantasy/
I can’t enjoy a goddamn thing”
And it’s the realest shit you’ll hear in most any country song in 2017, except for other songs by Jason Isbell.
Isbell always does a very good job pulling my heartstrings, making me feel human, and making me feel glad that there are other humans who seem to have similar problems to me.
Anxiety is an issue close to my heart and probably close to a fair amount of other people’s hearts who grew up with the collars of social media and 24-hour mobile surveillance around their necks. Sometimes it’s tough to get a perspective on life outside of this very moment and it can all seem so small. Sometimes I want to throw a chair across the fucking room like Bobby Knight. Sometimes I just spend too much time thinking that this is the only life I’ll ever have and I’ve spent a good amount of it doing things that truly don’t matter like fucking writing about music on the internet and then I ask, hey, what DOES matter?
Yeah man, fuck anxiety. Anyone who has that shit in any capacity: take some breaths, see some friends, and get some good sleep at night. You’re my hero. I mean, not really, but you’re swell.