Photo by Carlos Nunez
This week's eclectic tape was curated by Chester French
, an electro-prog rock duo from Cambridge, MA. It coincides with a brutal heatwave in New York, and rightfully so -- the combination of old and new, nostalgia oddities and displaced pop, is some sort of musical fever dream.
New! Listen to (most of) the mixtape on Spotify!
1. "Satellite of Love" - Lou Reed - Transformer
I love these lyrics and the instrumentation. I believe Bowie produced the whole album, which provided a perfect counterbalance to Lou Reed's rough and reckless approach. There seems to be this tension in lots of things I prefer: classical constraint and structure vs. roughness / chaos.
2. "Clumsy" - Fergie - The Dutchess
Just such a great pop song, with quotations from sample-driven hip-hop in the beat meeting the more modern blippy electronics. And the lyrics are clever. Vulnerability almost always beats overconfidence in my book, in real life and in the songs.
3. "Anger Management" - Nathaniel Merriweather - Loveage: Music To Make Love To Your Old Lady By
I love Automator's production. His musical collages always seem to take me to this distinctly pervy, crushed velveteen world, which is clearly defined by his specific imagination. Yet there's always an underlying songwriting sensibility that hasn't discarded catchiness.
4. "Do You Know" - Mr. Vegas - Hot It Up
They played this song to death in the Caribbean when I was spending a lot of time there. I like how earnest male songs still are allowed to be in the genre, and I think the vocal delivery is pretty interesting too.
5. "Love Letter" - R. Kelly - Love Letter
I just think it's a beautiful thing.
6. "Goto 10" - Amon Tobin - Isam
His most recent album is literally the most advanced piece of music I've ever heard. He's created a voice as a composer that is wholly singular and astonishingly inventive. This track is probably one of the more immediately rewarding listens on the album.
7. "Return To Form" - Daniel Rossen - Silent Hour / Golden Mile
I love his music and his guitar playing. This whole ep is as consistent as it is beautiful. Listening to his music is like looking at Ansel Adams photographs with your ears.
8. "What A Fool Believes" - The Doobie Brothers - Minute By Minute
Great song. Great chords. Great vocals. It's taken me a while to appreciate Michael McDonald, but this song has worked on me my whole life. If it's too corny for you, then you're too cool for your own good.
9. "Listening Wind" - Talking Heads - Remain In Light
I go through a Talking Heads phase once a year or so, and I'm very much in that at the moment. Remain in Light especially has a newness that still translates more than thirty years later. This band is always an inspiration.
10. "Will You Cry" - Chic - Risque
Chic is one of my favorite bands. I'm the only one of my friends who is constantly listening to them, and I think everybody else is missing out. Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards are one of the greatest production teams of any era.
Music For Tngrs
is out now.