Categories
Playlists

DJ Butter’s Playlist of the Week Part 5

This week, I’ll be pressing rewind and going back to some of my older favorites! I recently used my DJ skills at a photo shoot and had to dive into my archives to find music that fit the “vibe” of the set. It was super fun! It’s actually crazy how much my music taste has changed over the past year, especially since my current show focuses mostly on retro tunes. I ended up rediscovering some of my favorite songs from freshman year, high school and even some from middle school. Here are some of my choice picks that I’ve been listening to this week:

1. OKAGA, CA – Tyler, the Creator (feat. Alice Smith, Leon Ware and Clem Creevy)

This has to be one of the best Tyler songs ever released. His talent as a producer really shines on this relaxing, serene track. It’s somehow romantic, haunting and tranquil at the same time.

2. ttktv – Injury Reserve

This song off of Injury Reserve’s first album, “Live from the Dentist Office,” is slow yet electric. I absolutely love the texture it has and the drum sounds that underline the track.

3. Infatuation – Takeoff

I’m not much of a Takeoff fan, but this song has an almost Pharell-like quality to it that you can’t help but fall in love with. It’s a tender track that’s lyrically pretty different from the rest of his solo work.

4. Tribe Quest – Sirius Blvck (feat. Oreo Jones & DMA)

The flow on this song is absolutely insane. Oreo Jones, DMA and Sirius Blvck really pull out all the stops. This was one of my favorite rap songs in high school and it still is!

5. Soap – Deem Spencer

This song was one of Deem Spencer’s first releases. If you’re into sad emo rap, you’ll love it. It’s a melancholy tune with lyrics somber enough to make you cry.

6. Grown Up – Danny Brown

I know it’s mainstream, but this is my favorite Danny Brown song. It really reminds me of old-school rap songs from the ’90s.

7. Didn’t Cha Know – Erykah Badu

Can’t leave out Miss Badu! Her music is always so relaxing and lovely. The use of the bongos in this song is AMAZING and her voice flows over it all like pure honey.

8. Where U From – HUNCHO JACK (Quavo & Travis Scott)

I don’t really believe in guilty pleasures (just like what you like! no shame!) but if I had to name mine, it would be this album. It’s SO underrated. “Where U From,” my favorite song off “Huncho Jack, Jack Huncho,” has an catchy, almost Asain-inspired beat to it.

– DJ Butter

Categories
Miscellaneous

Madonna, Sonic Youth, and Her Upcoming Biopic

A woman in a black dress signs autographs
Credit: Ed Van-West Garcia
License: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/legalcode

I’ve always liked Madonna. That’s not really a deep admission or anything, but amid her increasingly poor reputation, failed ventures into Hollywood, and just generally embarrassing behavior, I think it’s worth reminding ourselves of the obvious that Madonna’s music is just good on its own merits. And who better to remind us of that than Thurston Moore….. wait wut?

Okay, so to understand why one of the most uncommercial, prestigious, and pretentious indie rock bands is giving interviews to The Guardian simping for Madonna, it helps to look at where Madonna comes from artistically. Unfortunately, I can’t do that because Madonna has repeatedly maintained her legal right to “tell her own story,” as it were. Yes, any biopic about her life is going to be written and directed by one woman only, and that woman is Madonna. On the one hand, it seems a little narcissistic, on the other hand, she’s been an aspiring director for years, and there is a big trend of musician biopics right now about so fair enough.  However, the censure on high-profile accounts of Madonna’s life means that there is very little information on her artistic beginnings that hasn’t been run through this very narrow filter of “A Star is Born,” style romanticization.

Okay, so why care about that? The world is hardly aching for more information about Madonna’s personal affairs, she leads one of the most well-documented lives in human history. Well, despite the public obsession with nearly every aspect of Madonna’s life, I don’t really think we consider her music in much detail. Music critics practically fall over themselves to declare every new pop album is high art, but there are some musical figures that are a little too larger than life. What value is there in analyzing Madonna? You might as well critically review the hamburger or the idea of the social media, it’s just a de facto part of our culture, with no positive or negative value attached to it. However, our impressions of these things (and yes in this context Madonna has unfortunately become a thing) may not be accurate, and this is where that Thurston Moore interview comes in.

According to Moore, Madonna did not appear from the void into stardom, she was an active member of the New York City art scene for years before mainstream success hit her. Her name was Madonna Ciccone, she lived a normal insufferable starving artist lifestyle, and she was in a band with the original backing members of Swans. Swans, if your unfamiliar, at the time were a band of angry noise bros growling about sexual assault atop two chords. This contradicts Madonna’s public image in a way that is both flattering and unhelpful. Her career has been based on a tightly controlled perception that she is the new Marylyn Monroe, a woman catapulted to fame from humble origins on beauty and star power alone. Many people might see Madonna more sympathetically knowing that she created a variety of music and chose to make dance-pop intentionally, but being sympathetic and being sellable are two different things, and it can often benefit someone more to play an unsympathetic archetype. I can’t predict the future, but based on the BBC article, I’d be surprised if these details make it into her new picture.

So why did I bring all this up, was it just a long-winded excuse to talk about a personal diva of mine for five hundred words? Yes. Yes, it was, but to leave you with my ill-considered and probably incorrect thoughts on the world around us. I think it’s important to remember that celebrities maintain intense control over their public image. This is a rare case when a celebrity might, in some small way, be covering up something endearing about themselves, but obviously, this is not the norm. A biopic about Madonna, Freddie Mercury, or Elton John will only represent a very narrow window into that person’s life, and an even narrower window into their art. Celebrities, even dead ones, maintain very tight controls on their own personal stories.

Categories
Classic Album Review

Sharon Van Etten- epic Ten Album Review

epic Ten album cover. A watercolor self portrait amid a white background.

Sharon Van Etten has reissued her excellent studio debut into a cover/duet album featuring several of her stylistic influences and contemporary. The songs, while strong even in their original form, are given new life and taken in interesting directions by a broad variety of musicians.

epic Ten comes in two parts, the solo half and the duets half, 7 tracks each. The first half is the original debut, the back half is covers of each song. Each duet cover is a significant overhaul of the original version, usually centering the guest vocalist and not Etten. The original versions are acoustic and sweet folk songs, while the duets have a bit more stylistic variety. There are covers from post-punk/hardcore band IDLES, country music legend Lucinda Williams, and um, musician, Fiona Apple.

The overall character of the record is in line with Alt-Country and Americana. The repeated back half puts a lot of weight on the lyrics, which are strong, even by Etten’s high standards. The rock/blues/country covers also give a sense of grounded heritage to the music. Despite being only ten years old, the songs at the core feel like folk songs that have always existed. The effect is very ‘Dylan covers album’ which yes is a little pompous, but Etten has earned an ego.

If you haven’t heard of Sharon Van Etten before, this is the ideal starting place. It doesn’t have the raw emotional intensity of Remind Me Tomorrow, but it still displays Etten and her collaborators at the peak of their creative powers. I can’t recommend this album enough.

Categories
Miscellaneous Music Education

Zamrock

In the 1970s a cultural wave was preparing to wash over an entire nation. It wasn’t disco, the Vietnam War, or even anything to do with America. This wave of change was happening in Zambia, a country in the heart of Sub-Saharan Africa. Following their independence from England, Zambia was about to create a new, beautiful style of music that was almost lost forever to the turbulent fallout of the post-colonial African instability. 

Zamrock is a blend of western psychedelic rock with a strong native Zambian influence. In the time that the country had been under English rule, bands like The Rolling Stones and Pink Floyd had grown popular in the UK, whose music eventually made its way over to Africa. Musicians initially learned to play the guitar through listening to this music, from which they incorporated their own style to blend the two major characteristics of the music. 

After independence Zambia quickly took advantage of their ability to export copper, which allowed for a bit of economic stability in the country. As younger people found themselves with more money in their pockets, they flooded to bars and nightclubs where Zamrock musicians showcased their work. At this point the genre was so underground that the only way to hear it was to see the bands live. However, this would change as Zambia attempted to strengthen their national identity, part of which involved the mandate that 95% of music over the radio had to be of Zambian origin. As the genre grew, so did the craving for strictly Zambian music. People loved the idea of supporting something that they could call their own, and within a few years Zamrock had tied the country together through its unique and original sound. 

Around this time is when the genre peaked. As the 70s progressed, Zambia saw more and more instability due to external conflict with neighboring countries, the reduced price of copper, and the outbreak of the AIDS crisis. Almost every member of the original Zamrock bands have died because of AIDS, however their legacy lives on through the work that they did to unite a country through music. 

Some of my favorite Zamrock songs include “You Better Know” by Witch, “Khala My Friend” by Amanz, “Running” by Blackfoot, “Changa Namwele” by Machine Gunners, “Born Black” by Chrissy Zebby Tembo,” and “Musi-O-Tunya” by Musi-O-Tunya. 

Hope you guys enjoy the tunes, 
-DJ Chippypants

Sources: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=czrPRJehmdA

Categories
Weekly Charts

Daytime Charts 4/20

WEEK ENDING APRIL 20

ArtistRecordLabel
1SPIRIT OF THE BEEHIVEEntertainment, DeathSaddle Creek
2IAN SWEETShow Me How You DisappearPolyvinyl
3JIMMY EDGARCheetah BendInnovative Leisure
4RATBOYSHappy Birthday, RatboyTopshelf
5TIGERS JAWI Won’t Care How You Remember MeHopeless
6BLANKETMANNational Trust [EP]PIAS
7BLU AND EXILEMilesDirty Science
8BUTCHER BROWN#KingButchConcord Jazz
9DREAMWEAVERCloud9MagicCrafters
10FREDDIE GIBBS AND MADLIBBandanaKeep Cool/RCA
11MAGDALENA BAYMini Mix Vol. 2 [EP]Luminelle
12MARKEE STEELEVet & A Rook [EP]Thee Marquee
13PINK SIIFU AND FLY ANAKINFlySiifu’sLex
14REALLY FROMReally FromTopshelf
15SHYGIRLALIAS [EP]Because
16SQUIDBright Green Field [Advance Tracks]Warp
17ORIELLES, THELa Vita OlisticaHeavenly/PIAS
18ANTONIONIAntonioniLauren
19TOBIElements Vol. 1Same Plate/RCA
20ZEBRA KATZLess Is MoorZFK
21ADULT MOMDriverEpitaph
22ARLO PARKSCollapsed In SunbeamsTransgressive/PIAS
23BLACK MIDI“John L” b/w “Despair” [Single]Rough Trade/Beggars
24CHAD VANGAALENWorld’s Most Stressed Out GardenerSub Pop
25LAVA LA RUEButter-fly [EP]Marathon
26MANNEQUIN PUSSY“Control” [Single]Epitaph
27PLANET GIZADon’t Throw Rocks At The Moon [EP]Self-Released
28REAL ESTATEHalf A Human [EP]Domino
29CRUMBIce Melt [Advance Tracks]Self-Released
30DRY CLEANINGNew Long Leg4AD/Beggars Group

TOP ADDS

ArtistRecordLabel
1ELI SMARTBoonie Town [EP]Polydor
2REMEMBER SPORTS“Pinky Ring” [Single]Father/Daughter
3LUCY DACUS“Hot & Heavy” [Single]Matador/Beggars
4JAPANESE BREAKFASTJubillee [Advance Tracks]Dead Oceans
5SPELLLING“Little Deer” [Single]Sacred Bones
6SASHA AND THE VALENTINESSo You Think You Found Love?Oof
7FUTOOutstanding In His FieldMarching Banana
8MAPLE GLIDER“Good Thing” [Single]Partisan
9BERRIES, THEThrone Of IvoryRun For Cover
10JOSE GONZALEZ“Visions” [Single]Imperial/Mute
Categories
Weekly Charts

Chainsaw Charts 4/20

ArtistRecordLabel
1CANNIBAL CORPSEViolence UnimaginedMetal Blade
2BORN OF OSIRIS “White Nile” [Single]Sumerian 
3ASPHYXNecrocerosCentury Media
4SUFFERING HOURThe Cyclic ReckoningProfound Lore
5SUNAMI Sunami [EP]Creator Destructor 
6PURGATORY Lawless to GraveUnbeaten 
7GULCHImpenetrable Cerebral FortressClosed Casket Activities
8WARDRUNAKvitravnAISA
9THERIONLeviathanNuclear Blast
10ABOMINABLE PUTRIDITY Parasitic Metamorphosis Manifestation Inherited Suffering 
Categories
Weekly Charts

Underground Charts 4/20

ArtistRecordLabel
1JSWISS“Once Again feat. Mark Whitfield” [Single]Awthentic
2MIKEweight of the world10k
3ZEBRA KATZLess Is MoorZFK
4ST PANTHERThese Days [EP]Nice Life
5BILLY DEAN THOMASFor Better Or WorseSelf-Released
6COOKIEE KAWAIIClub Soda, Vol. 2The Cookiee Jar/EMPIRE
7SERENA ISIOMASensitive [EP]AWAL
8DEZRON DOUGLAS AND BRANDEE YOUNGERForce MajeureInternational Anthem
9SHYGIRLALIAS [EP]Because
10TOBIElements Vol. 1Same Plate/RCA
Categories
Weekly Charts

Afterhours Charts 4/20

ArtistRecordLabel
1MATVEISummer Collection [EP]Kitsune
2AVALANCHES, THEWe Will Always Love YouAstralwerks
3JONNY SUM“Finding The Way ( Monolithic Remix)” [Single]Self-Released
4CARIBOUSuddenly RemixesMerge
5DREAMWEAVERCloud9MagicCrafters
6MYDBorn A Loser [Advance Tracks]Ed Banger
7PLANET 1999Devotion (Deluxe) PC 
8FIT OF BODYPunks Unavailable [EP]2MR
9EQUIPCursebreaker X100% Electronica
10JAYDA GBoth Of Us/Are You Down [EP]Ninja Tune
Categories
Playlists

The Saw’s Choice Cuts: Hard Rock

What’s going on Butcher Crew?! It’s your Master Butcher, The Saw and I am back with some more choice cuts! Instead of a band, I have a genre that I have been listening to a lot here recently, and that is hard rock. Not just any type of hard rock but late 90s/early 2000s hard rock. I have always been a fan of this era of music because this was the era that I grew up in. 

Also, this beautiful weather puts me in a hard rock mood. Nothing gives me as much serotonin as driving down the road with all my windows down on a warm sunny day, singing along to some hard rock. It gives me big summer festival vibes as well which is also something that I enjoy. 

Here are some of my favorite hard rock songs that I have been listening to recently:

  • The Red – Chevelle 
  • I Stand Alone – Godsmack 
  • Whatever – Godsmack 
  • Speak – Godsmack 
  • Killing In The Name – Rage Against The Machine 
  • Bodies – Drowning Pool 
  • Youth of the Nation – P.O.D. 
  • Paralyzer – Finger Eleven 
  • Chop Suey!  – System of a Down 
  • Toxicity – System of a Down 
  • Got the Life – KoRn 
  • Break – Three Days Grace
  • Painkiller – Three Days Grace 
  • Control – Puddle Of Mudd 
  • Through Glass – Stone Sour 
  • Fine Again – Seether 
  • A Careless Whisper – Seether
  • Drive – Incubus 
  • Sober – Tool 

What are some of your favorite hard rock songs? 

Stay Metal, 

THE SAW 

Categories
Classic Album Review

Album Review: Psychotropic by Los Tones

ALBUM: “Psychotropic” by Los Tones

RELEASE YEAR: 2015

LABEL: Groovie Records

RATING: 10/10

BEST TRACKS: “Psychotropic”, “Buchanan Hammer” and “Ordinary Man”

FCC: Clean

I am a firm believer that Los Tones are one of the most underrated psych-rock bands out there. Hailing from Syndey, Australia, the foursome specializes in fuzzy, heavy surf rock. If you’re a garage fan, you may have heard their hit song “Buchanan Hammer” off this very album. However, “Psychotropic” has so much more to offer than their most popular single. It’s stuffed to the brim with heavy, sludgy, spooky goodness. Think skeletons-surfing-at-Goo-Lagoon-type-beat.

“Psychotropic” is both fast-paced and rich, keeping you enraptured at all times. I know we like to think of The Growlers or Allah-Las as the modern kings of “beach goth,” but I’d argue that Los Tones could easily snatch that crown away. Though they very obviously draw inspiration from old-school garage bands like The Sonics and The Seeds, they add a modern spin with their high energy and intense ferocity. Many acid rock bands mimic that signature growling vocal style, but their lead singer adds a sneering provocativeness that is truly unmatched. It’s easy for that style to sound abrasive or even apathetic, but Los Tones master it perfectly.

The best part about “Psychotropic” by far is their guitar work. Their axeman is obviously a guru when it comes to the reverb pedal. Though each song is extremely lively in its own way, the way they switch speeds and intensities is relishable. Tracks like “One Horse Race” and “Waste of Space” especially show off this artistry, especially the latter. Right at 1:33, there’s an amazing solo transition that’s absolutely to die for. “Speed Boat” is a spine-chilling tune, reminiscent of The Cramps’ horror-core punk.

If you’re a fan of any type of garage, surf, or early punk, you’ve just got to give “Psychotropic” a listen. You won’t regret it!

– DJ Butter