Saturday, July 18th 2009
News has been slow, reviews are still cooking, and I’m sick of looking at Hov, so it’s time for a new mixtape. I’ve been kicking this one around for awhile now. For the most part, it’s a cross section of what we’ve been talking about lately, but it’s also a painstakingly crafted token of our affection towards you, our readers. Circle yes if you like us.
Arctic Monkeys: Crying Lightning
I’ve been a huge fan of Arctic Monkeys from the first moment I heard them. This is the lead single from their forthcoming Humbug, co-produced by Josh Homme of Queens Of The Stone Age. We’re excited and you should be too.
The Builders And The Butchers: When It Rains
This one’s a rarity, from The Builders And The Butchers’ split with Loch Lomond. Is it their most amazing song ever? Not quite. But as this mixtape shaped up, themes started to develop; rain and kings and woods and storms and soul, and this just fell right into place. In case you missed them, review and interview.
Portugal. The Man: The Woods
So happy you guys are feeling me on the recommendation of this album. So good.
Spinnerette: A Spectral Suspension
Reactions to our coverage of Spinnerette has been mixed, and I myself was a little skeptical at first, despite being a huge Distillers fan. But the album grew on me, and this is my favorite track.
Clutch: King Of Arizona
Another rarity. This one’s from Bam Margera’s Viva La Bands Volume 2. Clutch is cool.
Red Fang: Prehistoric Dog
Red Fang is also cool. Dig this song? You should check out the video for it here.
The Dead Weather: I Cut Like A Buffalo
To tell you the truth, I didn’t expect a lot from the Dead Weather album. I’m a big Jack White fan, but it just kinda seemed like a novelty project. It surprised me. Not the album of the year, but the good tracks are outstanding. Here’s one.
Raashan Ahmad: Soul Train (w/ Wafeek & Ragen Fykes)
Full disclosure: We’ve been following Raashan for a long time- he was one of our first interviews actually, if I recall correctly. But that was all Johnny. I didn’t dislike him, I just didn’t care.
But over time, I came around. I caught Crown City Rockers at Temple Bar, and they put on a hell of a show. And when Raashan played our Rock For Justice benefit show back in May, he brought the fucking house down. Raashan’s an awesome guy, a positive energy, and Soul Power is a party in a box. We’re proud to have launched Antiquiet Releases with it.
Soulsavers: Kingdom Of Rain
I don’t know how we missed this band. They’re a British production / remix duo, but their music is anything but electronic sounding, and they’ve been employing none other than Mark Lanegan as their lead vocalist, along with an amazing list of guests including Mike Patton of Faith No More, and Gibby Haynes of Butthole Surfers.
This track is from their 2007 album It’s Not How Far You Fall, It’s The Way You Land. Their third, entitled Broken, is due out in August. We’ll have a review up very soon. It’s a great album.
Rx Bandits: White Lies
I’ve been aware of this band for a long time, but the few tracks I had heard didn’t really grab me. After seeing our review of the Portugal. The Man album, Sargent House sent us this one, thinking we’d like it. Amazingly, they were right. I’ve been listening to it over and over. There’s something I can’t quite put my finger on that kept me from falling head over heels in love with it immediately, but I can’t deny what a great band they’ve become, and the album has been growing on me more and more with each listen. We’ll have a full review up in a day or two.
Radiohead: Street Spirit (Fade Out)
You know this song. You’ve heard it a million times. So have I. But Johnny recently showed me a quote of Thom Yorke’s, where he explained where the song came from. It brought a whole new level of appreciation for its gravity:
“Street Spirit is our purest song, but I didn’t write it. It wrote itself. We were just its messengers; its biological catalysts. Its core is a complete mystery to me, and, you know, I wouldn’t ever try to write something that hopeless. All of our saddest songs have somewhere in them at least a glimmer of resolve. Street Spirit has no resolve. It is the dark tunnel without the light at the end. It represents all tragic emotion that is so hurtful that the sound of that melody is its only definition. We all have a way of dealing with that song. It’s called detachment. Especially me; I detach my emotional radar from that song, or I couldn’t play it. I’d crack. I’d break down on stage. That’s why its lyrics are just a bunch of mini-stories or visual images as opposed to a cohesive explanation of its meaning. I used images set to the music that I thought would convey the emotional entirety of the lyric and music working together. That’s what’s meant by ‘all these things you’ll one day swallow whole.’ I meant the emotional entirety, because I didn’t have it in me to articulate the emotion. I’d crack…
Our fans are braver than I to let that song penetrate them, or maybe they don’t realise what they’re listening to. They don’t realise that Street Spirit is about staring the fucking devil right in the eyes, and knowing, no matter what the hell you do, he’ll get the last laugh. And it’s real, and true. The devil really will get the last laugh in all cases without exception, and if I let myself think about that too long, I’d crack.
I can’t believe we have fans that can deal emotionally with that song. That’s why I’m convinced that they don’t know what it’s about. It’s why we play it towards the end of our sets. It drains me, and it shakes me, and hurts like hell every time I play it, looking out at thousands of people cheering and smiling, oblivious to the tragedy of its meaning, like when you’re going to have your dog put down and it’s wagging its tail on the way there. That’s what they all look like, and it breaks my heart. I wish that song hadn’t picked us as its catalysts, and so I don’t claim it. It asks too much. I didn’t write that song.”