The Month In Music: February
Sovereignty // Flat Worms
I saw Flat Worms open for Ty Segall at Teragram Ballroom. They smashed it. Check ‘em out.
The Island School // Monster Rally
If you’re looking for a bachelor-pad-music-tinged trip to the tropics, give Monster Rally’s Mystery Cove a listen. This cut is 55 seconds of pure, sampled paradise.
Motel Blues // Loudon Wainwright III
This song stopped me dead in my tracks the first time I heard it. It’s a stark, naked portrayal of the oft-romanticized rockstar/groupie situation, but also the universal plight of loneliness and the search for even the most minuscule connection, no matter how superficial. Damn.
Outcast // The Animals
An oft-forgotten gem from the Animals catalog. It’s thumping, it’s got an irresistible, low-end riff, and it’s perfect for walking down the street with a surly look on your face. Trust me.
Sheila // White Reaper
My anticipation of the new White Reaper album, The World’s Best American Band, has led me to obsessively listen to their back catalog. I hadn’t heard this thrashy, cherry bomb in a while, and it knocked me on my ass all over again.
Loner // Kali Uchis
I first heard this song thanks to Sara King’s beautiful Youtube cover, and have been listening to both versions incessantly. In the age of Tinder, Bumble, hook-ups, non-labels, I think everyone I know has experienced the exact things this song is expressing. It’s also a hella-glamorous way to feel better about having dated a total dick.
Bella Dalena // The Marketts
I came across this perfect instrumental while researching Plas Johnson, one of the saxophonists that would sit in with the Wrecking Crew (aka the studio band that played on every great record to come out of LA in the 60’s and 70’s). He played for everyone—B.B. King, Ella Fitzgerald, Henry Mancini, The Beach Boys, Marvin Gaye, The Supremes, on and on and on—and his lush sound is the centerpiece of this surfy stroll.
It Makes No Difference (The Last Waltz Version) // The Band I’m still on a residual high from my obsession with The Band that took over my life last month, meaning that I’ve moved on to the live albums. This version of the Rick Danko-sung classic just stomps all over your heart (in the best way), and the back-and-forth soloing between Robbie Robertson and Garth Hudson (look at his tiny saxophone!) at the end is beyond words.
Wrong For You // Molly Burch
I listened to A LOT of Angel Olsen this month and let me tell you, if you’re a fan of her last album—My Woman—you’re gonna love Molly Burch. This song is about finding that almost perfect person, probably the most maddening thing of all time. “You make me feel like a woman/You make me want you/But I shouldn’t.” We’ve all been there, sister.
Heaven Must Be Missing An Angel // Tavares
I’m just gonna put this out there, this is probably one of the best songs ever recorded. Everything about it is perfect, but maybe I’m biased. As a kid I was infatuated with the Charlie’s Angels re-boot—you know, the one with Drew Barrymore, Lucy Liu, and Cameron Diaz—and I was always enraptured by this song, going so far as to choreograph a whole dance with my equally obsessed neighbor. Anyways, I heard this in a bar this month and lost my shit.
Because I Love You // The Master’s Apprentices
I heard this in a store and prayed frantically to the Shazam gods that they would solve the mystery for me. I had never heard of this band, but this song is perfect. It’s got some serious Big Star vibes, and just ebbs and flows so beautifully. “Do what you want to do/Be what you want to be yeah.” What’s not to love about that?
Lights Out // Angel Olsen
Seeing Angel Olsen at the Wiltern this month was a transformative experience. Her voice is earth-shattering, her songs knock your knees out from under you, and I was truly moved—enough to justify purchasing a $40 tour poster. This song is a few years old, but seeing her do a show-stopping version of it live has turned it into my favorite song in her stunning repertoire.
Total Control // The Motels
I’ve always loved this song, but when Angel Olsen performed it for her encore, I lost my goddamn mind, and have been listening to this on repeat ever since. It has such a perfect groove, and that sexy sax just does you riiiiiiight. This performance from Martha Davis with her lit cigarette is everything I’ve ever wanted to be.
Hung Up On My Baby // Isaac Hayes
Everyone knows Isaac Hayes is the man. This instrumental from the soundtrack for Tough Guys—which I know nothing about—hits me right where I live. It’s got that, “I’m just a really cool, suave, street-wise person walking around New York City,” vibe that I LOVE about Bruce Springsteen’s early stuff.
The Art School Kids + The Political Kids // Slow Hollows
I saw Slow Hollows open for Cherry Glazerr this month, and loved this song. It was only when I looked them up that I came to find out that it’s two songs that run together. I love both, but they're better together.
Outbound Train // Ryan Adams
Ryan Adams new album, Prisoner, just came out and I adore it. Mainly because it sounds like mid-period, Tunnel Of Love/Ghost Of Tom Joad, Bruce Springsteen. This one in particular, and “Doomsday” would fit right into the Boss’s catalog.
Jackpot // Nikki Lane
I fell in love with Nikki after listening to her Dan Auerbach-produced album, All Or Nothin’, and this standout off her latest, Highway Queen, keeps the good times rollin’.
I Don’t Care Anymore // George Harrison
Who records an album with laryngitis? George Harrison does.
Police On My Back // The Equals
Believe it or not, this is not originally a Clash song. Instead, it’s an Equals song--a beautiful, ahead of their time, 60’s pop group most famous for “Baby Come Back.” Dig it.
Miss X // MC5
Heard this in a record shop. Sexy, sexy, sexy. Who knew the “Kick out the jams, motherfuckers!” guys could be so suave.
Sleep Talk // Shannon And The Clams
Just saw Shannon And The Clams at the Echoplex and was reminded of the song that made me first fall in love with them. It’s got that warped, 50’s, kitsch thing. Like a John Waters movie condensed into a 3-minute record.
Don’t Huzzle For Love // The Apostles
In a month of romantic disappointments—including the whopping “I’m alone” celebration we call Valentine’s Day—this song was the groovy, funky, wind beneath my wings. I love you, Apostles.