Live every week like it's Adele week (none of these are Adele songs)
Joy Orbison! Jonny Greenwood! Frankie Rose! Jockstrap! Grivo!
Welcome to the Unskippables, where we’re not trying to fix you.
K A C E Y @KaceyMusgravesI reimagined Coldplay’s classic song “Fix You” for @ChipotleTweets new film about the struggles facing the next generation of family farmers in America. To be able to make music while supporting such a great cause means a lot to me 🌽♥️ https://t.co/wh31QToVe3 #chipotlepartner https://t.co/W99fnYFVQ2
Last week I finally got to hear music in a crowded room with people for the first time since COVID-19, and both times reminded me how much we all missed from how a room can change how a song lands.
The first was at Good Room, where a DJ transition quite literally almost knocked me off my feet, as if I had never heard someone sweep the lows out of a track and back in before. The second was watching a roomful of people absolutely lose their minds to “New York Groove” at a wedding (my wedding!) which felt silly, ridiculous, and totally life-affirming.
The point is: if you haven’t dared to go back to hear live music with friends, I highly recommend it.
Other things that happened this week:
The Andre 3000 verse that was cut for Donda finally sees the light of day
Interested in a sound bath? Jon Hopkins’ new album is timed to the length of a ketamine trip
A bunch of creators came together to make their own deck about how Tik Tok works called “The Algorithm” that’s a fascinating effort at crowdsourced transparency
THE UNSKIPPABLES #16
Jonny Greenwood - Best Friends
If Alan Lomax and Arvo Part had a paranoid English baby, it would be this score. Greenwood is back with another score for a bleak Western (The Power Of The Dog), and I could hear him make music like this all day. “Best Friends” is closest to a classic “Western” sound, the loping Flugelhorn recalling Ennio Morricone over a bed of knotty strings, but “Paper Flowers” is also incredible, using phased piano lines to create a lurching rhythm out of barely-in-sync polyrhythm.
Joy Orbison - Red Velve7
Last week UK producer Joy Orbison announced his plan to release a bunch of unreleased music, starting with “red velve7” - which I like more than anything on his last LP still slipping vol. 1. It’s a woozy and swinging instrumental that locks into an icy strut at the three minute mark. Free of the guest vocalists that anchored still slipping vol. 1, Orbison is left to build tension with ragged sawtooth synths and sparse, breathy vocal samples.
Jockstrap - 50/50
This is Jockstrap’s first single since signing to Rough Trade, and it’s incredible how much energy it packs into a song where the beat always seems to build without ever *really* dropping. The song is organized more by movements than a verse/chorus/verse structure, with a bright and yearning mid-section opening up the glitchy track into a pure, yearning space before dropping back into low bass and distorted percussion.
Grivo - Trammel
Crushing post-hardcore / shoegaze from Texas. Skip the Failure reunion - this first track from Grivo’s upcoming Omit hits the sweet-yet-sludgy target perfectly. There’s a bit of San Diego in the lead guitar performance, like a half-speed take on Three Mile Pilot, or a fuzz warred Black Heart Procession. Trudging, but in the good way.
Fine Place - Cover Blind
Frankie Rose and Matthew Hord, both of too many projects to properly list but perhaps best known (respectively) for Frankie Rose and the Outs and Pop. 1280, released their debut album This Fine Heaven today on Night School Records. “Cover Blind,” the first single, is a stately post-punk goth track that takes its time to fully bloom, landing on a refrain not far off from Jenny Hval or Glasser as the song peaks.
Darondo - Didn’t I?
I implore you to listen to this instead of the Bruno Mars/Anderson.Paak album that conclusively does not fuck.
This 1973 local Oakland hit may not glimmer and shine like the peak Gamble & Huff that inspired Silk Sonic, but the strings are just as sweet, the wordless “woo-ooh!” punctuating the chorus just as addictive.
That’s all for this week - thanks for reading!