On the brink of a birthday, I’ve resolved to run more. Not more frequently, but longer. Since my daughter was born, I’ve become all too accustomed to runs more apt to be measured in blocks than miles. 15 months in, it’s time to shelve the excuses and stretch it out in search of endorphins.
If recent past is any prologue, I’m going to need some help.
Unceremoniously entitled “Don’t Bonk,” this playlist is meant to get me going. Its running time clocks in at an optimistic hour and a half, and it spans a wide range of genres in search of an extra gear.
1. Avicii, “Wake Me Up”– Fair warning: this mix isn’t above the somewhat cheesy use of situation-specific lyrics. But if you’ve just hauled yourself out of bed early, you’re not above someone encouraging you to wake up.
2. Kanye West, “Power” (Swizz Beatz remix)– You’re now awake enough to be registering the inevitable inconvenience of the first mile. A little swagger will help.
3. Lil’ Wayne, “6 Foot 7 Foot”– Let’s double up on that dose of swagger.
4. Diplo & GTA, “Boy Oh Boy”– Putting some topspin on a beat from Missy and Tim, we’re looking to find a bit of a groove here.
5. TVOTR, “Will Do” (XXXChange Dancehall Mix)– If I’m going to see the second half of this playlist, I’m going to have to settle the pace a bit.
As a music-loving father, there are few things that puzzle me more than the mangled musical mash-ups that have been wrought in the name of parenthood.
Take the above image, for example. For you non-parents out there, this CD actually exists. The Ramones, who prided themselves on their singular accomplishments in punk profanity and substance abuse, have been chosen to be poster kids for– get this– lullabies. Prepare yourself for “Teenage Lobotomy” as performed by a xylophone.
To me, this is the musical equivalent of re-making Apocalypse Now with the Teletubbies. Itsy Bitsy Spider is a perfectly unbroken song; there’s no need for Lil’ Kim to cover it. Why can’t we keep the reverse true?
One of the most enjoyable adventures of my first year of fatherhood has been exploring what music of mine my daughter genuinely enjoys. Sure, I edit out extremes that she’ll never hear. But, in the middle, there are lots of wonderful discoveries to be had. From what I’m gathering, these two dynamics are what shape a lot of parenthood– musical and otherwise.
As we look toward Tuesday’s official release date, I think we can all rest assured that “Yeezus” will never get the Rockabye Baby treatment. One thing is for sure: it’s the least kid-friendly music of the past five years. Even the beats are dirty. As reviewed by the always-reliable Sasha Frere-Jones, “‘Yeezus’ charges out of the gate, sometimes switching sounds and textures without bothering to maintain tempo, then jerking back into position and rattling forward. There’s very little fat. “Yeezus” is a fiercely edited, assaultive, and noisy work, concerned less with grandeur than with intensity. It doesn’t sound like anything else on the charts.”
Happy Father’s Day to Kanye and all the other fellow Dads out there. Here are two tracks for after the kids have gone to sleep.
Bon Iver’s beginnings are pitch-perfect mythology for the soul of the singer songwriter. Three months of solitude in the woods of Wisconsin, armed with little more than angst and analog recording equipment. And yes, there was a beard involved.
Well, it turns out that prior to the cabin and the rap cameos and the Grammy, Justin Vernon was in a band with two other people who were never heard from since… until now.
One of these band mates, Chris Porterfield, has now emerged as Field Report. Though his debut album has yet to be released, a few unmastered tracks have trickled out.
A promising foray into well-crafted folk. Grab it now before Kanye does.
Amidst the bass wobbles and synth-pop that so dominates the modern music landscape, it’s easy to think of jazz as a musical dialect quickly receding into the realm of history. Jazz is the musical equivalent of a photo album that you carefully take it off the shelf once or twice a year to enjoy it with a sense of nostalgic reverence. No self-respecting music fan will ever claim to dislike jazz; the issue is that few music fans under the age of 50 ever think about jazz. Or so you would think.
And then a bunch of kids get together and release a series of jazz covers that take the internet by storm. With a brash flourish, they stake out these songs not just as their own but of their generation:
“No one above the age of 21 was involved in the making of this album, it was created by a bunch of kids. This album was recorded in one 10 hour session with no song having more than two takes, it was mixed and mastered completely by ourselves. Thanks to our friends, family, loved ones and anyone who fucks with us.”
Just in time, here’s some of the best that 2011 has to offer for an upbeat end of the year.
Can a song be played eight times in a row at a concert without starting a riot? If the song is this good, it can. Here’s a slight re-mix featuring a take from T.I. before he finds a way to end up back in jail.
Despite a clever marketing campaign that seemed to become the stuff of case studies, nobody really seemed to care that The Beastie Boys were back. But even if only for that genius video, this track deserves a place on the list.
Well, there you have it. Thank you all for reading: this really was a break out year for the blog. I hope you all have a wonderful New Year’s, and I look forward to typing your ear off about dozens of songs you simply must hear in the new year.