NOTE: The Grammys are still 10 days away, but I’m going on vacation next week, so you’re now privy to what must be the earliest Grammys preview on the internet.
There’s this amazing rock club in Athens, Ohio called the Union, one of those skuzzy dive bars that favors punk and garage rock but plays host to all sorts of sounds. It burned down a few months ago, which was absolutely tragic for those of us who frequented it during our stay at Ohio University — even more so for the longtime residents that spent more than four years haunting the place — but thankfully it’s being rebuilt. One of my best memories from the Union was 10 years ago when I saw a powerful garage-punk double bill featuring the Black Lips and the King Khan & BBQ Show. I remember being blown away by the unbounded energy that coursed through both bands, the way they made basic rock ’n’ roll seem like the only music I would ever need. Mark Sultan (BBQ) and Arish Ahmad Khan (King Khan) have each built up notable solo careers in the ensuing years, but I always think of them as a unit thanks to the impact they left on that night. So it’s awesome to see them touring together again in support of the upcoming Bad News Boys. “Illuminations,” our latest preview of the new record, is exactly the sort of chugging, slugging, barebones rock song these guys specialize in. A few chords, a driving rhythm, some powerful harmonies, and a rad guitar solo add up to a prime garage rock specimen. Hear it below, where you’ll also find their tour dates.
Pandora continues to be one of the most popular musical outlets of the digital age. With its curated playlists and algorithms and thumbs-up/thumbs-down interactivity, it’s emblematic of the way this generation experiences music. So Buzzfeed had the bright idea to ask them which songs get the most thumbs up. Here’s the top 10:
I know you’re not really a monster, RJ! Unless raptors count as monsters.
Me too. Great song, though.
It’s a great song!
You sound like one of those guys who thinks Bjork doesn’t produce her own stuff, RJ!
It’s infinitely better than Fear Fun. I love it more every time I hear it. AOTY contender.
Thanks, I added that link above! Wasn’t aware of this storied tradition.
Guitar playing here is SO Longstreth.
I also didn’t really care for Fear Fun, and I flat-out LOVE Honeybear. I think you will be just as pleased with the rest of the record.
For Everyman has been my jam for almost a decade now!
One commenter on Facebook pointed out Ryley Walker. I think he fits this description, too. Definite Nick Drake vibes.