What Music Am I Listening To This Week?

by Belle Waring on June 28, 2017

Once again, answers to the real questions. Not, why are Republicans actual mustache-twirling villains, or have we reached peak McArdle, but the music stuff. I meant to post this yesterday, but reasons. OK, cool.

Lorde’s new album is amazing. If it has one drawback it’s that as an adult she is writing about love and sexual relationships, which are the most basic song topics, really. As a young teenager she was writing about weird stuff like seeing your home city from the air for the first time or taking the train with your friends.

I love this song so much. Golden was a short-lived but good band who gave a great live show, and has this one genius song. I was inspired to listen to it by one of our commenters reminding me to listen to Ali Farka Touré. Which you should too! But the Golden song is particularly dear to my heart because they “get chicken at Negril,” an excellent Jamaican restaurant in Silver Spring, MD near my mom’s house. Also, it combines the sweetness of West African guitar riffs with the satisfying resolution of a more normal pop song, rather than a meandering continuity.

I love Bon Iver too much. So sue me. You should read the lyrics because you will for offing sure not understand them from listening to the song, I tell you what.

Hey, can’t go wrong with this one.



Brian Withrow 06.28.17 at 4:53 pm

Wow, Ma Petite est Mariee. That’s an old particular favorite. I don’t know if I ever managed to convince anyone that Golden were worthwhile, but that was the song that I would use to try.


James Grimmer 06.29.17 at 12:45 am

I haven’t been able to tell what folk around the U.S. and outside think of X, or how well they’re really known. They were hugely important to me as an adolescent and that’s persisted decades now, never changed. I enjoyed Black Flag as a kid, e.g.–same scene–but have kept loving and listening to X ever since, especially Under the Big Black Sun. They were from my local “scene,” so it wasn’t until years later I realized I might’ve thought they were bigger than they ever actually were. If they’re not that well known, they’re hugely underrated. They had a run of work especially (not only) between 1978 and 1987 that holds up wonderfully. How well do people know X?


rea 06.29.17 at 1:50 am

How well do people know X?

Aragorn’s girlfriend and her band?


James Grimmer 06.29.17 at 12:38 pm

It was only when he became Aragorn that I stopped thinking of him simply as Exene Cervenka’s second husband!


JPL 07.02.17 at 10:31 am

The Mountain Goats’ inadvertently highlife- tinged horn lines sent me to Orchestra Baobab and thence to more African music, so that’s what I’ve been listening to. I’d never heard of Golden; they have an interesting sound, especially the approach to guitar lines and the repeated figures. Here’s a traditional tune from the Mande-kan area played by Ali Farka Toure together with the great kora player Toumani Diabate. This could have been perhaps the last recording from Toure. (He died in 2006 IINM.)


JPL 07.03.17 at 7:32 am

A couple of discoveries for me of the past week or so. If you just hear this unlikely looking roomful begin cooking, you’ll probably find yourself asking, “Who the hell are these guys?” They are a Chilean group called Nuwen Afrobeat, here jamming, as you can see, with Seun Kuti (the youngest son of Olufela Ransome-Kuti, to use his nom de naissance) and some members of his band, Egypt ’80 (the descendent of Fela’s band of the same name), together with Malian keyboardist Cheick Tidiane Seck on one of Fela’s tunes. This is a good example of the polyrhythmia of Afrobeat in the spirit of Fela — they even have the two baris that Fela used to like. The drummer kid has mind to sit in the Tony Allen seat, but he does a creditable job, and the horns sound sharp. Swinging!


Seun Kuti wants to extend his father’s legacy by performing Fela’s recorded music, since Fela did not like to perform his songs after he had recorded them. But Afrobeat has continued to evolve in this modern era, exemplified here by one of the up and coming stars, Yemi Alade. You may not be able to fully appreciate the humour if you don’t know Nigerian Pidgin, I don’t know, but this video is really funny, especially at the end, and provides a woman’s perspective on the kinds of things this kind of music is often about. There are a lot of funny examples of West African feminine gestural conventions. I hope you enjoy it.


Chris G 07.04.17 at 2:15 am

I listened to X a lot back in the day but, being a rural New Englander at the time, never saw them live. (Finally caught them in Boston a few years ago.) They’re still my favorite of that era. All their albums through More Fun in the New World hold up over time. Very underrated and not at all well-known I think.

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