Coming to the end of our sexy songs about sex, we’ve illuminated nothing, I think. Let’s cap it all off with something mindless and fun. Chromeo isn’t known for depth or perceptiveness, but they are known for… actually, I’m not sure what Chromeo is famous for. Hyper-caffeinated dance music influenced by funk, disco and old school hip hop, according a swift bout of research. Post-millennial party music, I guess. Let’s just say that when these guys write a song about a sexy socialite they’re not trying to explore the problematic intersection of gender roles and institutional class disparity. There’s artists who do want to explore those things, but at the end of the day, people just want to dance and pretend that it’s still 2001 and Paris Hilton is the role model we all look up to. So file it under Music for Sleazy Parties.
25 March 1942 – 16 August 2018
I’ve often wondered about who Emily is and what she’s doing. I’ve read that she was everything from a British socialite to a child Syd Barrett encountered in the woods, both of which things sound legit. Either way, she sounds like kind of a sad person. If she’s a figment of Syd’s imagination, she’s clearly got to be pretty sad. Or, she’s a socialite, and her socialite life is hollow and meaningless and filled with miserable parties.
I rarely look at other people’s blogs. I had to confess that but I think that most people don’t look anybody’s blog except their own. Anyway, I rarely read others’ blogs and I rarely take others’ recommendations. But sometimes I do and I discover weird and awesome things. Such as this. I discovered Kirin J Callinan browsing a music blog out of Australia, which is very worth looking at because a lot of Australian artists never make the leap over to this side of the equator. Callinan has been famous/notorious ( he’s famous enough to have his own meme, and is frequently photographed in his underwear) in his homeland since 2005 or so, with not so much a squeak in American markets. His style is vaguely reminiscent of Nick Cave; moody, dark and theatrical, because apparently there’s something about all that sun-parched outback that turns people morbid. This song isn’t overly dramatic, but it’s deeply atmospheric and sounds like a cut from a very gloomy and depressing Off-Broadway musical. Imagine the hero contemplating some wicked crime to salve his broken heart. That kind of a mood, which I find compelling. Enough to make me want to go check out the scene in New South Wales.
First of all, Courtney Barnett is seriously very cute. She may be like one of the foremost songwriters of her generation and whatnot, but she’s also like your super chill best friend who’s always down to hang out and gives really good advice. She looks like somebody you would totally want to have in your life. Well, thanks to the magic of technology, you can always have Courtney in your life, or at least her wise and clever songs. The poetry of mundane thoughts is Courtney Barnett’s talent, and wow, that’s a major gift, because most people’s mundane thoughts are, pretty much by definition, stupid and boring. A clever and cool person, though, would have clever and cool thoughts, ones that we find entertaining and enjoy being privy to. And relate to, of course. When you listen to Courtney Barnett you recognize some of your own everyday musings, but funnier and more interesting and clever.
It is A.R. Rahman’s time to shine. He’s a well known name in India, but that generally doesn’t translate to any sort of status whatsoever in the English-speaking world. Yet he was – briefly! – in a band with Mick Jagger, and he gets Jagger to sing in Sanskrit. If hearing Mick Jagger go Bollywood is something you’ve fantasized about, this is your only chance to scratch that itch. Jagger fronts a glorified blues band most of the time, and fans don’t seem to like it when he goes off and gets weird, but doesn’t it seem like he hasn’t sounded this energized in years? He’s belting out that Sanskrit chorus like it’s the most fun he’s had in a decade, which may actually be true.
Is Foxygen satirizing sixties’ psychedelic rock extravagance or earnestly making an homage? Either way, they’ve recaptured it with uncanny precision. I suspect sincerity. There’s no need for satire when your subject is a genre that faded decades before your birth. Not to mention that a lot of the best psychedelia was pretty dang close to self-parody anyway. Foxygen manages to sound exactly like the work of some long-forgotten band whose performance at Monterrey Pop ended up getting cut from the documentary. Yes, it’s silly – a lot of sixties music was silly and self-indulgent – and that’s intensely endearing.