August Music Challenge 2020

Week 31

Ratata – LP3

Ratata is another band that I think I am lying to myself about.

I got into it while working a job back when because and only because my coworkers were into it and it got heavy rotation in the work place (before you think this is some kind of weird nostalgic bias, one such coworker was deep into house music and I found it awful. Or go back a month or two and read my thoughts on the Red Hot Chili Peppers). That album was Ratata’s classics, and if you had asked me a year or two ago I would have said I loved that album.

I would have been wrong. I liked a few songs from that album, and I liked those few songs immensely. I’ll probably never stop listening to the tracks ‘Lex’ and ‘Tacobel Canon’. But beyond those two tracks, the rest of the album is just great background music – something you can ignore while you file your tax return or are otherwise busy with what-ever-the-fuck you do with your time.

This is without even mentioning the remix albums which they did, so many of the tracks on them being absolute fucking bangers.

So it was weird then when I got this album I never could get past the first few tracks. Admittedly, I really liked the first track. But then, as I forced myself into the album I could help but think that this was just really good background music.

And then it dawned on me. Everytime I say “this album is good background music”, what I am really saying is “there is nothing wrong with this album, but I don’t actually want to listen to it”

I should learn to be more honest with myself.

Week 32

The Coup and tUnE-yArDs – Sorry to Bother You

Sorry to Bother You was one of the best movies of 2018. Hands down, with very little expectations, I completely enjoyed it. I don’t think the soundtrack stayed in my head all that much, but that isn’t really how I consume music or movies. I don’t think there are any movies where I walked away wanting to purchase the soundtrack. But looking it up for some reason, I saw it listed as a collaboration between The Coup (Boots Riley of the Coup directed the movie, so this isn’t a shock) and the tUnE-yArDs. Ok, that sounds like it could be an interesting combination, much like that one song Tom Waits did with Kool Keith. So, I gave it a whirl.

I don’t think I got much out of it. I don’t really remember much of it.

Er… you should still see Sorry to Bother You, in case you haven’t.

Week 33

The XX – Coexist

I don’t mean this in a bad way, but did the XX just make to albums on the same day and release them on the same year?

Mind you, this was a very good album – don’t get me wrong. But I was really stricken as to how tonally similar it was to the previous album. It almost made it distracting. But that being said, it was a pretty good album. I just don’t have much to say about it.

Week 34

Tricky – Maxinquaye

Man, this was hard. I like Tricky. I like Trip-Hop. It’s really hard to say why. This is the music I would be all over if I still smoked pot. It really gets me out there in some weird and interesting ways. It often makes me think of people who live in lofts refurbished from the former industrial sections of big cities and do massive amounts of drugs and sustain their lifestyles by means unknown. Y’know, the life we all envy.

Trip-hop makes me believe in a cooler world than the one I live in. I am not sure exactly how that works, but here we are.

Tricky is really good at this. I don’t think I can pinpoint exactly what it is, but I tend to really get something out of it. While I like the songs individually, many of them don’t really stick in my head.

Week 35

The Lounge Lizards – Queen of All Ears

I am reasonably sure that there is a really stupid element ‘6 degrees of Kevin bacon’ to my taste in music. I am reasonably sure that I cannot be the only one to engage in this. But every now and again I see an album on my phone and I wonder how the fuck it got there. That’s the case with this album.

How did it get here?

  1. Eric is my friend, and he listens to a lot of music.
  2. Back in the early fucking 2000’s, Eric got me into Kronos Quartet
  3. Kronos Quartet did a lie album with Tom Waits
  4. Tom Waits did the movie ‘Down by Law’ with John Lurie
  5. John Lurie is the lead Sax for the band ‘Lounge Lizards’

Five steps. Not bad. I have no idea if that is any kind of justification for wanting to get into a band. It made sense in my twenties. But I am no longer in my twenties. I am now in my 30’s and feeling the need to trim the fat off my life.

Had I even ever listened to this album?

Playing it for a bit and some of it sounds very familiar. But much of it not. So this felt like a go for me. I think I had only even listened to the tracks ‘The First and Royal Queen’, ‘Queen of All Ears’, and ‘Queen Reprise’. The rest was a mystery to me. There were some good things about this album. This is exactly what I refer to when I tell people that an album should have a theme going for it. And they managed to do this with pretty much no words. It sounds like they really thought about this album before putting it together.

I have no idea what is going on with the song ‘Yak’.

One Comment Add yours

  1. Thank you for sharing


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