THE SUPER EDIT: 07/23 + 07/30
A bite-size run-down of the best stuff of the week
1. Monk Parker’s Lost World Radio
Monk Parker, a musician and musicologist from Texas, writes gorgeous, atmospheric, Americana-tinged songs like the ones below. His new album, Crown Of Sparrows, comes out August 4th and is a real stunner—but for now, we're focusing on his website. Lost World Radio is a collection of Parker's found songs—what he calls "rapidly receding sounds."—which will provide you with inspired, eclectic listening for literal hours. I recommend heading right over to the "Yeh Yeh, Teenbeat, & Garage" section, but every corner is full of treasures.
2. Crying, Laughing, Loving, Lying by Labi Siffre
I heard about this completely under-appreciated album thanks to Raleigh Ritchie's "What's In My Bag." FYI, Ritchie plays Grey Worm in Game of Thrones and is also a musician himself. Hearing him describe how he likes to listen to this album while he's cooking with his girlfriend sounded like the most pleasant thing on earth, and I knew I had to listen.
Raleigh describes Labi Siffre like this: "To listen to his music is to feel, like, happiness, and love, and just general, good-natured feelings." I would have to agree. Lush, acoustic-based revelations populate this album. "Fool Me A Good Night" manages to be simultaneously heartbreaking and whimsical, "Crying, Laughing, Loving, Lying" floats down to comfort you as if from heaven above, and "Come On Michael" has legitimately brought a tear to my eye with its friendly tenderness.
It's a little bit early Paul Simon, a little bit Jim Croce, and everything you need in your life.
3. Spotify's Game of Thrones Playlist
Speaking of Game of Thrones—holy shit, y'all. We in it now. In case you've been living under a freaking rock, Season 7 of the world's most popular TV show is underway. In celebration, Spotify collaborated with creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss for a playlist inspired by the new season. My initial reaction was an eyeroll—for reasons I can't describe they both really irritate me?—but no joke, the playlist is pretty solid. I mean, the incest anthem "Sister" by Prince, "War Pigs" by Black Sabbath, "Gold Lion" by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs? As if you needed another reason to be hyped that WINTER IS FINALLY COMING.
4. Leave Home (40th Anniversary Edition) by The Ramones
That's right, guys. The Ramones' sophomore album turned 40 this year, and the release of the deluxe anniversary edition only served to remind me how much I love it. I mean you've got "Glad To See You Go," "Oh Oh I Lover Her So," "Suzy Is A Headbanger," "Swallow My Pride," "You're Gonna Kill That Girl," their classic cover of The Riveras' "California Sun." What more do you want, people?!
Well, for Ramones diehards, there's actually a hell of a lot more. This deluxe release has the original mix of the album, a 40th anniversary mix, early rough mixes, rarities, and a 1977 live concert at CBGB's.
Gabba Gabba Hey!!
Like a true breath of fresh air, NPR released a list of their top 150 albums made by women, rethinking the popular music canon and the dude-band-heavy rankings that usually pop-up around the internet. Each album gets a loving write-up from NPR's more-than capable staff, elegantly presenting numerous, deserving albums that you aren't likely to see in Rolling Stone any time soon. Take a look around, try out some new stuff, and take a moment to appreciate how amazing women are.
6. The Music Video For "Boys" by Charlie XCX
Yes, this video took the world by storm this week. The song is nothing special, but the video is a cheeky flip of the male gaze, starring oodles and oodles of familiar, hot, male faces. There's literally something for everyone: G-Eazy for my friend Tommy, Flume for my sister, Mac DeMarco for all you Viceroy loonies, Joe Jonas for people who only stopped watching Disney Channel two years ago, and Riz Ahmed for everyone on planet earth.