Aside from how crazy super sexy I am and the size of my wanger and all the cocaine I do all day and night, I’m a lot like you. I like to kick back in front of the fireplace with Hannah Arendt’s On Revolution, a 12oz. herb-crusted sirloin smothered in spicy corn relish, a bottle of Basil Hayden’s, and my friend Gary and just kind of unwind. Let the weight of the day slip from my shoulders and settle into the carpet fibers, sink in, continue southward through the floorboards to land oppressively on my downstairs neighbors, who are black and thus used to oppression from faceless straight white men upstairs, while in the background the computer plays many fine tunes on shuffle like a soundtrack to the evening’s activities.
We’re basically twins, you and I, except for all the coke and the wanger and my magnetic allure, plus the fact that you probably don’t know Gary.
But what is on your computer, I wonder? Are we listening to the same merry songs, letting synth squiggles and fuzzy analog recording techniques insinuate themselves between Ms. Arendt’s words? Are we both amazed how the crackle of the fire almost perfectly complements certain chord changes in an early ’00s emo dirge, or follows the percussion pattern of a Midwest hip hop banger?
Maybe. The best way to find out, I suppose, would be to compare. So here is what my computer has been doing while steak juice runs down my strong chin to land in the thick and completely manly hair that obscures much of my nonetheless incredibly well-defined pecs:
SOME SHIT MY COMPUTER LIKES - VOLUME 45389
The order in which I would tell you to place them, were I the type to tell you what to do, would be as follows:
- Kostas Nuros - Manolis O Hassklis
- Crystal Antlers - Andrew
- Oh No - Land Mine
- Fugazi - Forensic Scene
- P.O.S. - Low Light, Low Life (f. Doomtree)
- Ruby - Tiny Meat
- Grimes - Vanessa
- Stunt Rock - We’ll See What’s So Funny When I’m Fucking Dead
- Parts & Labor - Constant Future
- Gil Mantera’s Party Dream - Buffalo Tears
- Sole - Respect, Part 3
- Now It’s Overhead - A Skeleton On Display
- Bright Eyes - Jetsabel Removes the Undesirables
- Neko Case - Twist The Knife
- Best Coast - Our Deal
- Spiritualized - Let It Flow
- Smashing Pumpkins - Soma (instrumental version)
- Future Bible Heroes - Good Thing I Don’t Have Any Feelings
- Dirty Ghosts - Shout It In
- Fleet Foxes - Blue Ridge Mountains
- The Velvet Underground - Here She Comes Now
- Black Moth Super Rainbow - Hidden Track
- Aesop Rock - The Yes And The Y’all
- Tricky - Overcome
- Handsome Furs - No Feelings
- Wye Oak - If Children Were Wishes (live)
Is that what your evening sounds like? Are we truly mirror images of one another (but one mirror image’s nose is all red and his dong is like, huuuuuge and he’s real sexy and Gary’s on his couch)?
If so, I am thrilled, and you are beautiful. Legitimately beautiful, not ‘beautiful to someone’ like people say when they want you to know you’re ugly but don’t want to say it out loud.
If not, might I suggest grabbing a bottle of whiskey, a hunk of steak, a guy named Gary, and a good book and playing these fine songs in front of whatever you’ve got that’s like a fireplace (maybe just turn the microwave on)? Perhaps then you will understand the joy and privilege of the white heteropatriarchy, and also maybe wiggle a little because there are some jams in there, and we will be twinsies for 1.7 hours.*
*If you can’t hear because of reasons, I made the following descriptions of what you’re missing, like braille for your ears, so maybe you can sort of enjoy it anyway in an informative, research-type way. People who can hear can also read these descriptions. They are not only for deaf people.
Kostas Nuros - Manolis O Hassklis
From the Rembetika: Songs of the Greek Underground compilation. Pretty amazing (and sad) collection of fiddle-heavy immigrant jawns from the mid-’20s to the mid-’40s.
Crystal Antlers - Andrew
Look, there are so many bands with Crystal in their names that I don’t even know who the fuck these people are, but this song is one of my favorite songs because it sounds like old Tarheel Slim & Little Ann instrumentals have somehow been dropped in Brooklyn for someone to yell over.
Oh No - Land Mine
Madlib’s little brother has at least two instrumental records that are cobbled together from Turkish, Lebanese, Greek and Italian psych samples, and they are siiiiiiiick.
Fugazi - Forensic Scene
I will not tell you about Fugazi because you should already know everything about Fugazi. Only dickheads don’t like Fugazi.
P.O.S. - Low Light, Low Life (f. Doomtree)
Find me a Doomtree song on which Dessa doesn’t murder everyone else. She needs to make a rap album. Not a ‘look at all the cool things I can do’ album, but a rap album, because she’s better than everyone at rapping and the ‘lit majors with freakshow lyrical skill’ set is sorely underrepresented in the female emcee bracket.
Ruby - Tiny Meat
Oh, Leslie Rankine. Where are you? She’s Scottish, did you know that? Woooooo, Scotland! She also popped on over to sunny Seattle in ‘94 to bang out Salt Peter with Mark Walk, and Salt Peter was in my stereo for like, two years straight because it’s awesome. Even now it’s awesome. And didn’t she kill it with Pigface too, whenever she popped up on the microphone? Yes, she did. Talented woman. Where did you go? Come back to us.
Grimes - Vanessa
I have no idea what this little Montreal-based weirdo is all about, but on the very rare occasions when I am high on marijuana weed (also known as devil reefer) I think maybe she would be fun to hang out with at like, one of those bubble tea places or whatever. She’s got a new record due in February. It probably sounds good on weed.
Stunt Rock - We’ll See What’s So Funny When I’m Fucking Dead
This man’s song titles are better than anything you will ever write in your whole life. The ‘Regret Instruction Manuals’ and stickers, etc. that accompany his records are better than anything you will ever make in your whole life. His cut-and-paste movie samples vs. breakbeats songs are better than any songs you will make in your whole life. Not because he is really good at all these things, but because you are so bad at everything, you big pasty loser. Why can’t you do anything right?
Parts & Labor - Constant Future
I don’t know, man. Parts & Labor, right? I had sex on my lunch break once with this Korean stripper who emailed me on Yelp and was like, “You are funny and cute and I want to meet you” and I was all, “Okay” and the next thing you know we’re in a Volkswagen by the Board of Trade doing things that are probably illegal in a couple states and then I never saw her again, and from time to time I think about that and I’m like, “That incredibly pretty woman had such a damned dirty car. Why didn’t she clean her car, man? Just a bunch of garbage and papers and clothes everywhere. Why would you have sex with a total stranger in your car and not clean it first? Volkswagens are really good cars. German engineering. They don’t break down much. When they do, though, it costs a fortune for parts and labor.”
Gil Mantera’s Party Dream - Buffalo Tears
I only want justice. I only want equality. Can you dig it?
Sole - Respect, Part 3
My brother and I have had so many discussions about how hard Sole fell off, and his departure from the label he co-founded (Anticon), whose roster still contains some of our favorite musicians, and how unfortunate it is that he ‘got all political’ but forgot how to make good music simultaneously, so while his current output, thematically, is right up our alley, the execution is … poop. This song is not poop, though, because it’s old, and it has a Portishead sample, which all songs could probably use more of.
Now It’s Overhead - A Skeleton On Display
Andy LeMaster and the Azure Ray gals (who are very nice people, especially Maria) made exactly one great little bizarre pop record in the Saddle Creek heyday, buoyed by LeMaster’s studio wizardry and the ladies’ ethereal and amazing pipes. All the instruments on their tour were covered in grey velvet. I thought that was classy looking. Everything else Andy did afterward is garbage, although Azure Ray’s output remains pretty decent.
Bright Eyes - Jetsabel Removes the Undesirables
Remember when the song that tied together all the lyrical themes of Conor Oberst’s breakthrough record was only included on the Japanese import version of that record? I always found that strange.
Neko Case - Twist The Knife
PIPES. Neko Case has them. Neko Case has serious pipes, and she knows how to use them and you either like Neko Case because she’s amazing or you are a dumb butthole that people don’t want to be seen in public with. That’s just how it goes, man. I don’t make the rules.
Best Coast - Our Deal
I know nothing about this band but whoever’s singing kind of sounds like Neko Case. Therefore this song is good.
Spiritualized - Let It Flow
Not all junkies just sit around in my girlfriend’s hallway shooting smack. Some of them make amazingly good records about being junkies, and win prestigious British music awards and play festival shows and Royal Albert Hall and shit.
A lot of junkies just die, though, or get blood on my girlfriend’s porch.
Smashing Pumpkins - Soma (instrumental version)
Why don’t rock bands make instrumental versions of their albums? Do you have any idea how many records I would absolutely love if some dickbutt wasn’t singing all over them? Probably all of them. I have a lot of love to give.
Future Bible Heroes - Good Thing I Don’t Have Any Feelings
My friend Stephen and his boyfriend (Justin #2) went to go see Stephin Merritt at some art gallery DJ thing in Philadelphia because, like anyone should be, Stephen is way into Stephin Merritt. There is a picture of Justin #2 (who is like a human golden retriever, constantly smiling and saying nice things, just all tall and good looking and overly friendly, beaming at everyone like it was his job) and Stephen, grinning like an asshole because he was meeting his rotund gay musical idol, bracketing Stephin Merritt at a table in the gallery, and the look of pure and abject despair and depression on Merritt’s face, especially in contrast to the wonder twins, is so indescribably priceless. I’ve been told by several people that the look is pretty much permanenet, and that Merritt’s lyrical bent is a pretty direct reflection of his everyday personality (read: suicidal misery).
Dirty Ghosts - Shout It In
Still waiting for this full-length. The lady singing is married to Mr. Ian Bavitz (aka Aesop Rock), who occasionally provides drum programming for this otherwise two-piece. Not life changing, but fun to wiggle to.
Fleet Foxes - Blue Ridge Mountains
We all loved this record. Let’s not pretend we didn’t.
The Velvet Underground - Here She Comes Now
Lou Reed and Metallica just made a record together, a record that is actually the first universally loathed record by all major print and online music institutions in my living memory. Nobody likes it at all. That’s incredibly hard to pull off. What happened, Lou?
Black Moth Super Rainbow - Hidden Track
After two perfect Tobacco records, Tom Fec is unearthing his abandoned BMSR moniker (and hypothetically his fellow musicians in the band) for a new record this Spring. If the guy’s touching it, it’s going to sound squiggly and awesome with terrifying vocals. Tobacco is the best thing, and I’m not just saying that because I really want a cigarette right now.
Aesop Rock - The Yes And The Y’all
That beat starts 25 seconds in and doesn’t drop until the 1:00 mark. And it is beautiful. Labor Days is one of the most satisfying records I own.
Tricky - Overcome
Tricky and Ruby on one mix, plus a Portishead sample. My computer misses the ’90s trip hop scene.
Handsome Furs - No Feelings
Handsome fur is what I have all over my chest and belly and around my freeweight.
Wye Oak - If Children Were Wishes (live)
Jenn Wasner strums and snarls her way through what is arguably a way better version of this song than actually appears on If Children. She should have been this into it when they were in the studio.
I ran out of cocaine so I’ve just been snorting Cry Baby Tears™ that I beat into powder with Gary’s penis. The high is pretty shitty but the smile on his face more than makes up for it. Perhaps if you are finished listening to these fine tunes you would like to come over and join us on the couch? There’s no more steak, and I accidentally tossed On Revolution into the fire when it started to die down, but there’s still a ton of whiskey left, not to mention sex and Tilda Swinton movies.
Gary says it’s cool if you bring friends.