What Songs Are You Listening To

by Belle Waring on June 14, 2017

This is an important update on something I know you have all been wondering about with unabated bated breath, and since I am worried some of you may be turning blue from hypoxia (this has happened to me and it was no fun, so I sympathize) I have generously decided to answer the question no one was interested brave enough to ask: what music are you listening to this week, important opinion-having blogger Belle Waring? Well, I’m so glad you asked! Because now I can bludgeon you all about the head and say the new Mountain Goats album is the greatest. It’s a) a concept album b) about goths c) in the style of Steely Dan. I mean, what’s not to love. Nothing. Nothing is what’s not to love.

It’s the next song on the album, “Paid in Cocaine” which is actually the Steely Dan-iest, both in theme and execution, and it is also genius. CLICK THROUGH.

Mother Mother has a new album out and I’m not crazy about it although the song “Drugs” is OK. This, however, is good song.

The Damned. Can one ever tire of them? Well, I sometimes don’t listen to them for a while but then I recover my senses.

Kendrick Lamar’s new album DAMN is amazing like everyone has been telling you; I’ve been listening to PRIDE but I cant link, so enjoy HUMBLE. (So explicit of lyrics, if you’re at work or a three-year old is standing there.) The lyric that cracks me up is “This that Grey Poupon that Evian that TED talk”. That’s cold but accurate about the empty status symbol nature of TED talks.

Umm, like a million other things, how about Bon Iver’s “666”. It’s good that he posts lyric videos since otherwise there would be literally no way of knowing what they were. This isn’t just me leaning into my crappy all-in-one record player as a kid trying to figure out what the hell The Clash were saying, this is straight incomprehensible with made-up words in there to confuse you.

Let’s wrap things up with The Rolling Stones’ “Worried About You”. This song is genius because at the start Mick says “I guess you know by now that you ain’t the only one” but near the end of the song belts out “when did I ever do you wrong?” with apparent wounded sincerity. Like, dude, three minutes ago, is when. The part of the solo starting at 3:18 kills me. I have listened to this song on repeat so many times. I remember waiting at the blazing heat at the bottom of my apartment block for Zoe’s pre-school bus, and riding in the past the big movie theater in Little India where they sell muruku instead of popcorn, and walking in the still-sweltering early morning to my local park in Bukit Batok, just hitting play again and again and again.

So, tell me in comments what you are listening to. I am genuinely curious! Edumacate me! I’m making this a series now unless even if you all hate it.



M Caswell 06.14.17 at 1:19 am

Since you asked- I guess this has been around for a while but I just found it on a recent Johnny Marr kick.



Justin 06.14.17 at 2:14 am

The Essential Tito Puente. Also some gospel bluegrass.


Pavel A 06.14.17 at 4:36 am

VOB – The Enemy of Earth is You (“Hijab Heavy Metal” from Malaysia)


Pavel A 06.14.17 at 4:47 am

In light of the mass anti-Putin protests all across Russia this past week, I’d like to post a classic as relevant in 2017 as it was in 1988:
Victor Tsoi – Changes


Moz of Yarramulla 06.14.17 at 4:52 am

By sheer coincidence, “Come Home Cardinal Pell” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EtHOmforqxk was something I just now felt the need to hear again. Something about the DUP makes me want to hear that song. And in happier news, I’ve been listening to The Carpenters again today: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=__VQX2Xn7tI


Anarcissie 06.14.17 at 5:05 am

I was listening to Dr. Octagon / Kool Keith : Earth People etc. That’s from the ’90s. Also some Arabic stuff, Syrian I believe, but the titles are in Arabic (I think) or Persian (?) which are kind of hard to type.


PatinIowa 06.14.17 at 6:26 am

We just watched the first DVD of Ken Burns’s “Jazz,” after which I listened to a bunch of early Louis Armstrong.

After family, friends and the Civil Rights movement, jazz (and its children and grandchildren) is primary reason I’m proud to have become a US citizen. There are depressing few others, at the moment.


bob mcmanus 06.14.17 at 9:13 am

Beethoven & Bach cello sonatas, early to mid Coltrane, lots of Abida Parveen, 60s garage psych so obscure that it makes rubble and pebbles look like boulders, Doors and Dr John, complete Johnny Dowd


Belle Waring 06.14.17 at 9:24 am

These are all awesome, esp. Pavel’s, thanks! And I love Dr. Octagon. Please tell me more.


Lee A. Arnold 06.14.17 at 9:36 am


Lee A. Arnold 06.14.17 at 9:38 am


DavidtheK 06.14.17 at 11:26 am

“Midnight Train To Georgia” Gladys Knight and The Pips – because it came up on “Beat Shazzam” on FOX

“Highway” Bleeker – From the Stanley Cup Finals (I wish I could be at the victory parade today)

” Pepper / With A Little Help From My Friends” Beatles – on Spotify for the 50th anniversary and all

Life itself is the proper binge – Julia Child
Happy Summer All!


Nick Barnes 06.14.17 at 1:01 pm

Ben Marwood’s new album “Get Found” is unalloyed genius from beginning to end. Favourite track varies, but this is pretty special. Also, going to see Grace Petrie tonight, which should be special.


dave heasman 06.14.17 at 1:42 pm

The new old Sgt Pepper – finally see what they were all on about – and
Van Dyke Parks “Jump!”


Pittsburgh Mike 06.14.17 at 2:13 pm

Today, overdosing on the Kleptones; here are some of my favs:

Shout my name


Amazing Temptations


Are you a visionary (Eric’s tribute to Arizona)


Closer to the Boxer:


Crazy Tonight = Strong Teeth




Retaliated Donor 06.14.17 at 2:37 pm

Another fine Durm-base band is Loamlands:

In non-North Cackalacky news, there’s some dude named Kevin Morby. I don’t know anything about him other than that he produced this catchy tune:

Similarly maximal are Los Campesinos! Check out this fantastic nugget:

This fun Santigold number is my 20-year-old daughter’s official jam:

And how about Eve Cassidy’s rendition of Buffy Sainte-Marie’s Tall Trees in Georgia:


Retaliated Donor 06.14.17 at 2:38 pm

Oops, meant to start off my comment with the note:

The Mountain Goats—Durham, NC, represent.


oldster 06.14.17 at 2:39 pm

Here is 42 seconds of genius, which I have listened to many times:


Some rando improvising to a horrible schlock TV theme-song. His sense of swing, his phrasing. “This my part, right here!”

If you have ever sung along to a song, you wanted to sound this good.


Retaliated Donor 06.14.17 at 2:41 pm

ack, wrong link to the Eve Cassidy song. this is the correct link:


NickS 06.14.17 at 3:01 pm

I haven’t been listening to much music lately (sadly), but if I may recommend an older song, just in case you haven’t heard it, Leyla McCalla’s “Heart Of Gold” (2014) is stunningly good: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NDM-xw7igQg

(The whole album is good, my favorite of 2014, but that’s clearly the best song)


Retaliated Donor 06.14.17 at 3:21 pm

wow, sorry, my posting this morning is incompetent. the santigold link should’ve been:


NickS 06.14.17 at 3:40 pm

40 minutes after my last comment, I can now answer the question in the original post definitively and say that what I’ve been listening to lately is this amazing concert by Leyla McCalla: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_HtfHmKNghI

Impressive. Just deeply satisfying music.


george 06.14.17 at 3:41 pm


dn 06.14.17 at 4:10 pm

Pink Flag by Wire. Hadn’t ever heard it before recently, but damn if it isn’t the most weirdly satisfying album I’ve heard so far this year.


tom 06.14.17 at 5:25 pm

I have been listening to the new album by Spoon, I just like the singer’s voice. Also older albums by Mountain Goats, e.g. Tallahassee (“No Children” is funny in a sort of way). And periodically I come back to Stars (e.g. “Your Ex-Lover is Dead” in Set Yourself on Fire).


Jim Buck 06.14.17 at 7:12 pm

This captures the shape of June:


mrearl 06.14.17 at 7:54 pm

Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit. “There can’t be more of them than us” from “Hope The High Road” pretty well sums up my stupefied attitude about the Age Of Trump.


Zachary Butler 06.14.17 at 9:30 pm

I just wanted to say that I saw the Mountain Goats two weeks ago at the Mayan Theater in Los Angeles.

Before playing “Paid in Cocaine” John explained that it was about a metal club he used to go to in Long Beach where there was a rumor that bands frequently got stiffed by the club promoter, who would then offer up an 8 ball of coke as compensation when the bands would protest.

The crowd (many of whom had driven from Long Beach, presumably) really got into the chorus. In fact, I think they ended up playing almost every Mountain Goats song that references Southern California locations. There are a lot of those, so they ended up playing like three encores of 5-6 songs each.


t. gracchus 06.14.17 at 10:08 pm

John Coltrane.


Eric in Kansas 06.14.17 at 10:40 pm

Thanks for this Belle,

I like the Victor Tsoi, and the VoB, though my metal days ended a couple of years before New Rose:


speaking of The Damned.
They cleaned up a bit in the later years, guess.

So before I lose you on account of my bad taste, I’ll toss in my current favorite from Orquesta Tipica Victor, I still can’t get over the sound quality on that bandoneon


Daniel 06.14.17 at 11:32 pm

>>is primary reason I’m proud to have become a US citizen. There are depressing few others, at the moment.

Sounds like you think that you did us a favor.


Daniel 06.14.17 at 11:33 pm

Ramones, “Beat on the Brat”

I have Kim Jong-un in mind when I listen to this.


Daniel 06.14.17 at 11:35 pm

Here is one I listen to almost everyday. Homage of love to olde New York City.


Daniel 06.14.17 at 11:41 pm

Mick claims that he and Keith created the first blues opera with Midnight Rambler. Well, if so, Rambler pales (literally) compared to this sad, funny blues masterpiece. I get to see this performed live every week by an excellent open-mike band out in Vegas. Awesome performance.


Icastico 06.15.17 at 3:30 am

I have been listening to the new Boris track.

Loud. Amazing.


Tim 06.15.17 at 3:58 am

“Worried About You” has amazed me for years and years. I never gave much weight to the early part – a tease, maybe? – but the guitar solo and Mick’s fierce singing after – that part sounds true to me. (BTW Wikipedia says that solo was Wayne Perkins. Way to go, Wayne.)


Pavel A 06.15.17 at 4:17 am


No problem. We all need songs of resistance, old and new.


Middle Mel 06.15.17 at 4:27 am

Still most of Art Angels by Grimes. She can really kick it.


Bill Murray 06.15.17 at 5:02 am

Fun vegan anarchists from Durham — Martha


From Uxbridge, the Doveton sisters and their band Colour Me Wednesday singing for all those that self censor


The Tuts, from London, Harriet Doveton, Nadia, and Bev, he took your liberty away, he clipped your wings so you’d stay , … gotta dump your boyfriend


JPL 06.15.17 at 9:51 am

Hey Belle, you should consider that you actually have an eternal standing open question from at least me, and I’m sure others too, “what music are you listening to this week?” I’d never heard of the “Mountain Goats” before (I think you mentioned them once before); they’re pretty good. I liked “Paid in cocaine” (when I heard the line, “once proud shiny silver buckles” I recognized Steely Dan), and once again, as with Everything but the Girl’s “Cross my heart”, the horn section’s unison lines reminded me of Ghanaian high life music (e.g., E T Mensah, etc.). The horns have a slight hollowness that evokes the memory of a hall where the band would be playing (possibly I’m standing outside the hall) — a dancehall, not a concert where people are just sitting without dancing, and I thought of this song by the venerable (they’ve been around since the mid or even early seventies) Senegalese group Orchestra Baobab.

Make sure you listen past the 3 minute mark, so you can hear the beautiful solo by the brilliant Togolese guitarist Attisso. They put out a recording this year, and here’s a track from it; sadly Attisso has retired from the musical life, but they’ve now got a kora player who provides a nice solo here. (The kora is an instrument typical of the music of northern West Africa.)


rea 06.15.17 at 2:21 pm

Kinda retro, I know:


Sonny Jim 06.15.17 at 5:20 pm

The new Hey Colossus album, “Guillotine,” with its slow-burn, seething anger about the state of British politics, I just can’t stay away from right now. Especially this track, “Potions.” “One million coping mechanisms in one room … now these potions make up for a slow decline.” This is how this country feels right now, poised on the edge of something …


George de Verges 06.16.17 at 1:19 am

Sonny Landreth:


I saw him years ago with Clifton Chenier. Slide guitar. Try it.


RD 06.16.17 at 3:33 pm


RD 06.17.17 at 3:38 am

Did I kill the thread?
I can link something else.
Or send me a dollar.


Dave Maier 06.18.17 at 11:18 pm

I have not been listening to the pop music for, like, ever, so I don’t have anything to contribute, but I do want to give a +1 or seven to Daniel @33 for his nod to Television’s Marquee Moon, which is a record of great incredibleness, by which I and my cohort were suitably blown away at the time of its release (or a bit after, actually now that I think of it). The first side in particular, goodness.

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