The Milk Man

and those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music. FRESH MILK, MUSIC, THOUGHTS–DELIVERED DAILY

“Alt-J” Press it on a keyboard and you get ∆. The delta. The symbol of change. And with a new album comes something, “Same same, but different,” as they say in Thailand. I got a chance to see ∆ Tuesday, in a small room, and I think I might have levitated. It was spiritual. Only Alt-J can make you suddenly realize you’ve always wanted to be a bag of chips, “I’m gonna bed into you like a cat beds into a beanbag / Turn you inside out and lick you like a crisp packet.” 

And here’s the change that’s been throwing everybody off—a song that sounds like Black Keys / Jack White / Beck / Not Alt- J. But there is an explanation.

Speaking about the new track, they have called it “the least Alt-J song ever”, written to appease their American label who didn’t think the recently released ‘Hunger Of The Pine’ was a “big single”. Discussing ‘Left Hand Free’ in The Guardian, they say the song was written in 20 minutes and is based around a “joke riff” that frontman Joe Newman started playing one day. Drummer Thom Green says of the track: “I tried to make the drums as cliched as possible, there’s none of my personality in it”. Newman adds: “And I say, ‘Gee whizz’, which I’m not sure is a phrase I’ve ever uttered before. I can imagine it appealing to American truckers with Good Riddance To Bin Laden stickers!” Keyboard player Gus Unger-Hamilton then states: “Oh God… Someone’s going to walk onstage to it at an NRA convention.”

 

They then retracted the statements saying that the song is serious…. obviously their label was not happy. And looking at the video, you begin to wonder. The song and the video are such quality that you can embrace it as serious work. Yet, at the same time, even the video is super American—if you know their initial statements, it’s seems obviously tongue-in-cheek.  You tell me.

And finally this quote from the Guardian that is delicious. Art is too often glorified because the artist is some “Brilliant Eccentric.”

“We’re not deliberately being an anti-rock band. If you came on tour with us, you’d see us get drunk and do a lot of silly stuff. We’re not literally reading aloud from The River Cottage Year and knitting cardigans – we just don’t turn up in leather jackets and sunglasses and get the shots in for a lunchtime interview with the Guardian.”Green added: “I quite like people thinking that we’re normal, ‘cos we are. I think we do make interesting music, and I’d rather have that than make average music and have to compensate by being ridiculous people. To me, the coolest bands are Portishead and Radiohead who are completely normal.”

 

Preach.

 

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Song of the Summer?

I sat at Mitch Mitchell’s apartment late Friday night, listening to some musics. He put on some milk… this was no surprise. The surprise came in the form of one song from Hozier. It hit my ears, and my closed fist crashed down on the coffee table, “WHAT. What is this!?” Musical kinfolk know this feeling. Anger at a song because it is just so good, and you want to ask, “Where have you been all my life?.” Perfection. It immediately connects with the sweet spot in your soul and you can feel like you can fly and you holler the lyrics and you believe in heaven and that humans aren’t all that bad because we can make sounds like this. We listened to it five more times that night, and this past weekend it stayed in my head, making itself at home–an Orhwurm as the Germans say–literally meaning, ear worm. The best kind of insect.

 

Hozier is the truth, and this song is going to be tough to top. Enjoy. Just enjoy it. Man.

Sydney Siblings

From the siblings who brought you Big Jet Plane, comes their first single in four years. They were on an indefinite hiatus until King Midas himself, Rick Rubin said, “No. I want you both, and we will make pure gold.” or something like that. This from Triple J—

Heart Beats Slow’ was the first such song the duo say they were able to properly collaborate on. The song was in part lyrically inspired by a trip to the doctor in which Angus was told that – like his sister – he had a slow heart rate, the siblings turned that familial bond into a song:

“It was the stepping stone into us actually writing together, and throwing ideas into the melting pot” Angus told us.

 

I am an absolute sucker for cypher/ping pong vocals like this jam, the same trade off the XX has perfected–the sweet contrast of a male and female voice that is mesmerizing.

Enjoy the short week my friends.

Oh. Lawd!

In honor of seeing this beauty tomorrow night—his lugubrious take on a timeless classic.

Sylvan Esso

Remember the name. This might be the most original video/sound I have tasted in a while. Electronic minimalism with folky vocals. Enough said.

 

And a nod to Tommy James and the Shondells? Goodness.

JUNE 14

Ladies, gentlemen, goblins and ghouls! Spotify has just notified me about a BEIRUT concert on June 14th in Brooklyn (ever heard of it?)–this is HUGE news. Why? Because Beirut is simply, the best. Their Album The Rip Tide is the greatest album of the last 1o years. I was listening to it today, as I rode my bike through town, and I could not NOT take my hands of the handlebars and start pretending to be a plane as I took turns and rejoiced the gypsy sounds penetrating my soul (a lot of looks from cool teenagers thinking me to be a smiling lunatic). What’s my point? $80 a ticket. Bwomp bwomp. So, two things 1) if someone wants to sponsor me, let me know 2) I’ll probably just buy a ticket, so let me know if you want to join me—you’ll witness beautiful music, and get to watch my face as I experience spiritual elevation. Enjoy this video– perhaps the best video.

Head + Heart = Milk

It’s a simple equation.

I’ve been lucky enough to see these guys twice; once in Frisco, once in Paris–outdoors and indoors–pre and post Let’s Be Still–traveling through space, and not. Any way you drink these guys in, it’s always delicious. The afore mentioned Album is a promising sophomore attempt, and an appropriate summer companion. I love these guys. This here  video is beautifully shot—the story is somewhat rushed, but it doesn’t really matter with such elegant visuals, music, and selfies. Enjoy.

 

1998

Do recall the great year of 1998! Do you recall the great year of 1998? I was eight years old–a real rascal who made his sweet, 80-year old, French grandma (THE GREATEST GRANDMA IN ALL ZE WORLD. It’s not a contest, but Happy Gilmore’s Grandma is a villain compared to her) dress in full goalie pads so he had someone to shoot on, in street hockey. After an hour of shooting, we’d go inside and she would make me home-made, DELICIOUS crepes… those were my glory days.

For our Australian friend Chet Faker (who took this name after spending his childhood listening to Chet Baker’s smooth smoove jazz), 1998 was apparently a year of heartbreak. We used to be friends… we used to be inner circle. As in… the circle of trust? Regardless, this song off his new album Built on Glass, is milk. The album, is a full crate. Whole milk. Thick beats, and casual vocals. Give it a listen and check out his version of No Diggity, which may be the best version. And just LOOK at this cool video–he just seems like… the man, even in an animated form.

I could listen to those lazy vocals all day—they’re like home-made crepes! Take my word for it.

 Happy Friday ya sickos!

(This post is dedicated to all mothers as we are nearing the day of mothers, but specifically my French Grandma, MeMe, who is still very much alive, at 92, a paradigm of aging with grace, a beautiful soul who has no idea what a blog is, or what the internet is, but who has more wisdom than Gandalf, and is sweeter than pumpkin pie.)

NFL Draft Day–the Musical

It has just come to my attention that all players entered in the draft will choose an entrance song. I’ve never dreamed of playing in the NFL. I have dreamed of having an entrance song–it has been the subject of many late-night conversations, “If you could pick one song that would play every time you entered a room, what would it be?” Or, “If you played in the MLB, what would be your walk-up song?” My response, is always the same.

 

“With the first pick of the 2014 NFL draft, the Houston Texans pick Bert Summerlin.”

DUM DUM DUM dah dah.

DUM DUM DUM dah dah.

I would then peer around the edge of the door, where I was waiting backstage, and tip toe across the stage, facing the audience and mouthing, “WHAT A BEAUTIFUL WEDDING!” followed by a big hug with Roger Goodell, who knows he’s witnessing the biggest bust in NFL history.

There’s an excellent video on Deadspin, parodying the whole idea with past picks, and random music ie. Geno Smith coming out to Dave Matthews Band… gold. As Deadspin writes,

Even if the songs end up being terrible—Manziel is definitely picking that damn Drake song—making fun of kids’ taste in music seems more sporting than old men making fun of their suits and masturbating to their girlfriends.

This should be interesting, and I’m sure people in Vegas are betting on it. I’d put $4000000 that the first pick is Jadeveon Clowney and he comes out to this.

St. Paul the Soulful

Sainthood. Historians might remember 2014 as the Year of the Saints.

In Rome, Pope Francis has been busy canonizing Popes of yore. In America, a false saint and his merry men are producing some miracles so real your legs start moving when looking through a computer screen.

St. Paul and the Broken Bones of Birmingham, Alabama, have been busy touring all year, and their entire vibe is so infectious they leave nothing but devout followers in their wake, wanting to hear more, wanting to literally follow them wherever they go… reminiscent of a long-haired, soulful man from millenniums ago.

I don’t need to say much, the music speaks for itself and I can add absolutely no value, but it’s tough not to feel inspired after hearing these guys. They have so much damn fun playing music. Paul Janeway, lead singer, has the best moves in all of music—yes, better than Beyonce—he is dancing for himself, and no one else, and that, THAT is the best. He could be mistaken for an Alabama frat boy, but once he opens his mouth, OH LAWD! You believe. A doughy James Brown, with a liquid vibe—he fills any container he’s in, with nothing but soul. Look at the room they’re playing in. If you pause the music and look at the room, you may notice it’s a shredded, abandoned building… depressing. But once you press play, it may just be the happiest place in the world. That’s music. Quality music. Kurt Vonnegut once told an auditorium of college grads that if he were to die, he’d like his epitaph to read:

The only proof he needed of the existence of God was music.”

 

Beautiful. And the good news is, they’re playing a show as part of the Lincoln Center Out of Doors series in NYC August 10th… and it’s FREE. There is a God. And she/he is good. And just a little more from that Vonnegut speech.

The wonderful writer Albert Murray, who is a jazz historian among other things, told me that, during the era of slavery in this country, an atrocity from which we can never fully recover, the suicide rate per capita among slave owners was much higher than the suicide rate among slaves. Al Murray says he thinks this was because slaves had a way of dealing with depression, which their white owners did not. They could play the blues. He says something else which also sounds right to me. He says the blues can’t drive depression clear out of a house, but they can drive it into the corners of any room where they are being played.

Amen.