Quarantine Lifestyle: Music Edition
It is important that you stay safe and stay in. In order to successfully do that you need to keep yourself sane. I want to give you a layout of dope music running through my headphones while on lock down. You can check these albums out when you want to throw the headphones on and let the people you live with have some time without you.
Sorry You Couldn’t Make It by Swamp Dogg
One of my favorite moments from Hulu’s High Fidelity season one was re-enacting the part where Cusack calls that the store is about to sell a bunch of copies of what he puts on. In Kravitz version it is Swamp Dogg and she didn’t have to find the right song. Love Loss and Autotune is ill from the first track to the last; funny, sharp, and well executed. This time around he drives a hard pivot in another direction and somehow comes out with the Country album of the year! Billy is a heart wrenching song about death, Memories touches the loss aspect even harder. The tempo is a tribute to a slower more solemn time in Country but if you are downshifting into some heartbreak this makes more sense than a lot of other choices.
Smokin’ Potnas by Curren$y and Fendi P
If you forced me to live as one rapper it wouldn’t be Drake or Jay or Travis Scott. I would be Curren$y. He’s completely self-sufficient and all his Jet Life people are solid folks he’s had in his circle for years. Sledgren who does a bunch of the production, Fendi P who collaborates with him on the album used to go by Cornerboy P I saw open for the Jet Life crew in Boston a thousand years ago. I’ve heard a lot of P’s projects because he just kept improving and on Smokin’ Potnas he really takes control of the hooks (Example: Swang). Curren$y sparkles with a flow he’s described before as “so off the beat it’s back on again” every verse is full of interesting imagery and a professionals emphasis. P explodes with energy, kills hooks. This is twenty six minutes of skillful change from mid to high tempo well crafted fun. Listen to One Night and Eye of The Tiger and I dare you to disagree!
Louder by Big Freedia
Freedia is the illest. This is your high tempo pick. When you want to have a family dance party throw this album on and enjoy. In only five songs Freedia gets features from Lil Aaron, Ke$ha, Icona Pop, and The Soul Rebels. Not only is the New Orleans bounce pioneer excellent at smashing speakers with hooks that lead into other hooks but knowing who does and doesn’t fit into the musical landscape. These songs are as bold bright and spectacular as the album cover. Become a Freedia believer it’s a cool way to be.
There’s No Place Like America Today by Curtis Mayfield
One of the things I dislike about the cult of Prince is that they paint him as a singular being in all of music history. Never before had a black artist learned so many instruments, written so many songs, crafted so many classics. These are eighties kids who grew up on him and don’t really know what came before. Sly Stone played everything and dropped classics. Curtis Mayfield was absolutely a god level guitarist and song writer in the same vocal range as Prince. I’m not pitting them against each other I just want Curtis to have his time to be acknowledged outside of the Superfly Soundtrack. This 1975 near classic has dope love songs (So In Love), religious testimonial (Jesus), and political commentary all throughout. If you listen to Blue Monday People you’ll understand where he should be in the pantheon and how thick music history is with Black geniuses who never got the stage Prince enjoyed. Prince knew.
Sinthesize by Terrace Martin
Terrace Martin is one of the West Coast Jazz/hip hop new school collective with Brandon Coleman, Kamasi Washington. His instrumental solo album from 2016 Velvet Portraits absolutely bangs. This one is heavy on the synths, talk box, and all around Zapp and Roger vibe. If you are looking for something dope to play behind your day Terrace is brilliant with mood. This dude has multiple production credits on Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City and To Pimp A Butterfly, trust me.
A New World Record by Electric Light Orchestra
Seventies music was totally run by theater dorks and Jazz nerds posturing as rock stars. Electric Light Orchestra might be the best example of this. This album went platinum in three different countries gold in two more and it couldn’t be more ridiculous. Electric Light Orchestra is everything too much about Meatloaf on steroids. A tornado of violins, cowbell, synthesizers, and electric piano from start to finish. Thirteen year old Dan always described ELO as the music they put on when the fair ride started spinning too fast. So many years later I’ve decided to try and understand it…turns out thirteen year old Dan wasn’t wrong he just wasn’t ready to appreciate how weird that is. How incredible it is that this madness exists.
Hopefully this does you good for a while. Next post will be books. All genres on the table.