Modern Retro Groove Experience’s Song of the Day: Beastie Boys’ “An Open Letter to NYC.” #neverforget
The first single, “Move,” on Saint Motel’s new album — “saintmotelevision” — is a strong combination of straightforward, catchy lyrics, interesting vocal phrasing, and an upbeat music. “Move” best demonstrates the band’s sound, which is vastly augmented by trumpet and baritone saxophone. In fact, the music sounds like a modern-day Average White Band or Pigbag. “saintmotelevision” is so much more than “Move,” however.
The album has several well-crafted pop songs that equal or surpass the strength of “Move. “”Destroyer” is a witty song with an infectious chorus — “I don’t break hearts, no that’s not me, I destroy them.” The album also includes this year’s wittiest song — “For Elise” — which is a tribute to the women who inspired landmark songs. Marilyn Monroe, Patti Boyd, Linda McCartney (referred to as Linda Eastman), Lola, and Candy Darling. The song isn’t pure gimmick, though. It stands with the entirety of the strong songs on “saintmotelevision.”
Start-to-finish, Saint Motel’s recent album is one of the best in 2017, thus far. Spend the time listening to the entire album; this one comes with a “get it” recommendation. The band is touring this year, continuing in this country on July 27th and appearing in The Capital District Region on November 18th.
DNA: Art of Noise, New Order without vocals, Freeez, and Moby (techno period)
This is the best album of 2015, no exaggeration. At least in my universe, “In Colour” came onto the scene without fanfare. Jamie xx left us with an epic album, one that evokes a lot of emotion.
Jamie xx is Jamie Smith, a member of the indie brit pop band The xx. “In Colour” displays his massive talent as a music producer and DJ. The songs are lush soundscapes, which are made up of lo-fi beats, obscure samples, and wonderfully-placed keyboards and/or samples. The album’s sounds are engaging and hypnotic.
“In Colour” starts with “Gosh,” a wonderfully simple song that borrows from the rave scene of the early 90s. To say “Gosh” is a one-off rave song is a mistake; this song, like all the others on “In Colour,” touches your soul. Another personal favorite is “Girl,” which samples one of the best electronic songs in music history — Freeez’s “I.O.U.” I read that Jamie xx enjoys sampling steel drums, and that’s evident in “Obvs.” He builds a beautiful song around several samples of steel-drum hooks.
Perhaps the album’s strongest song is “I Know There’s Gonna Be (Good Times).” The song features Young Thug and Popcaan, who provide reggae-style vocals over a deep-bass drum sample and a vocal sample from which the song’s title borrows. “Hold Tight” is my favorite song on the album because it continually builds throughout the length of the song and creates a beautiful soundscape based on not much of anything. “Loud Places” mixes electronica with gospel, creating a song from another world.
This album is going to surprise you. The more you listen to it, the more you’ll understand that Jamie xx created a masterpiece. Hopefully this album will win a Grammy for best Dance/Electronic Album; it’s that good.
On a scale from Doc Bricker (“Forget It”) to Captain Merrill Stubing (“Get It”), “In Colour” is a 10 Captain Merrill Stubing.
In the theme, Mr. Parker, Jr. spends approximately 4 minutes and 4 seconds trying convince us that he is not afraid of ghosts. I’m sorry to burst your bubble, but that’s ridiculous for several reasons.
First, Mr. Parker, Jr.’s grammar reveals a lot. He proclaims throughout the song, “I ain’t afraid of no ghost!” Grammar 101 tells us that his proclamation is a double negative and actually means that he is afraid of ghosts. It doesn’t end there, however.
Mr. Parker, Jr. also states over 10 times during the song that he “ain’t afraid of no ghost!” He is in denial. Have you ever heard the Shakespeare quote, “The lady protests too much, methinks“? You’re fixated, Mr. Parker, Jr. If you’re not afraid of a ghost, say it once with emphasis and move on.
Then there’s the false machismo that Mr. Parker, Jr. displays, singing, “Bustin’ makes me feel good.” This man is overcompensating for his fear of ghosts. There is no evidence that he knows what “bustin'” is or, even if he does, that he’s engaged in “bustin’,” ever. I, for one, have seen no evidence of it.
Finally, there is the anxiety-induced deafness that Mr. Parker, Jr. displays at the end of the song. How many times do we have to tell him to call Ghostbusters in response to his fright-filled inquisition? In fact, he begs us to say “Ghostbusters” louder. What’s that about? Indeed, the best evidence of his fear is when he states, “I can’t hear you . . . .” before the song fades out. I have listened to those rejoinders, Mr. Parker, Jr., and it’s loud and clear that the chorus thinks you should call Ghostbusters.
Oh, Mr. Parker, Jr., you magnificent bastard. I read your book! You, Sir, are afraid of ghosts.