Hi everyone! Welcome to the Unskippables, where we’re all a deluxe reissue of ourselves.
If you’re in New York, like me, you have a new Mayor! And right on cue, he dove right into Extremely New York Mayor Cringey Shit.
Whatever pills they give you when you become mayor of New York — I want them.
In other news/reading, lots of pieces on the future of monetizing music/content bubbled up:
Penny Fractions wrote about the funders behind the “creator economy” to figure out where all the money is actually going
Emilie Friedlander at VICE wrote about trying to get on Mirror in “The Future of Media Involves a Crypto-Based Popularity Contest”
The best dance punk album turned 20 and Stereogum wrote it up
Adele is to blame if your favorite band’s 7” split is delayed for the foreseeable future
If you see an excited nerd today, it’s because Radiohead released a deluxe Kid A/Amnesiac reissue with 12 B-sides and alts!
Many of these came from friend-of-the-newsletter Ben Dietz’s [SIC] Weekly, a great roundup of culture/media intel.
THE UNSKIPPABLES #14
Jonathan Rado - WHAT’S THE WEATHER???
I’m sure there’s a German word for “nostalgia for a time that might have never existed,” and I’m sure Jonathan Rado knows that word. From co-founding Foxygen to producing Father John Misty and the Killers, Rado has a knack for finding something new in familiar sounds - and his latest release PEACHPLANETHOLLYWOOD, composed entirely on an SP-404, is no different. It’s part paisley-tinged cousin to Madlib’s Beat Konducta series, and part boom bap by way of 60’s psych a la Edan’s underrated 2005 album The Beauty & the Beat.
Aminé - Charmander
“Charmander” seemingly rides the same DnB/UK Garage revival bounce a la Pinkpantheress, but there’s no nostalgia here. The track excels in building a contrast between the song’s hyper-saccharine sonics and Aminé’s grounded, boastful flow - like the theme song to an anime where the hero’s superpower is just telling everyone they aren’t shit.
Latto - Soufside
The latest from Atlanta rapper Latto samples the beat from Gucci Mane’s “Vette Pass” slightly sped up for an uptick in bounce without losing the sample’s menace. At a scant 1:51, Latto still finds room to hit the song’s hook twice between two effortless verses, the boss confidence of an entire Rick Ross LP in a Tik Tok-sized package.
Cola - Blank Curtain
On the day Ought announced their breakup, they also announced a new project from singer Tim Darcy and bassist Ben Stidworthy. The song shares Ought’s nervous energy and dry guitar-and-bleated vocals approach, but scales back the Marquee Moon guitar explorations of Ought for something a bit more buttoned up and focused.
Snail Mail - Glory
Amidst new pop going full “Jack Antonoff coffee shop,” it’s refreshing to hear a follow-up album embrace bigger sounds instead of paint-by-numbers intimacy. A tucked-away string arrangement and layered vocals build on the song’s alt-rock muscle, balancing sweet emotionality with propulsive energy. Sometimes more IS more.
The Gap Band - You Dropped A Bomb On Me
Ronnie Wilson died at 73 this week, leaving behind a legacy of the fattest synth basslines of all time. I heard “You Dropped A Bomb On Me” when I was a shitty junior high kid exclusively listening to Nirvana, and it was the first music my parents played that felt as heavy and attention-grabbing as anything in my CD case. RIP.
That’s all for this week - thanks for reading/listening and see you next Friday!