Here's what the editors were listening to this week while Tokyo drifting into summer.
Welcome to Insult to Injury, the place where the Noisey editors pick Friday afternoon--the world’s worst time--to write wittily about what they’ve been listening to over the week. So here are our editors’ picks this week which are better than… a… like, soccer thing, that happened this week, maybe? Look, IT’S FRIDAY LEAVE US ALONE. [JK emoji]
(The wonderful image above came from a video someone sent us this week when we promised to review anything.)
Otis Redding - "These Arms of Mine"
This past week, I flew down to Memphis to shoot a forthcoming episode of new Noisey show Made in America. The premise is I run around the States (read: eat my way around America) talking to bands and finding out what's happening in said city. So far we've covered Seattle and Denver, but I digress. Like any music fan, when in Memphis, I made the pilgrimage to the Stax Museum to gawk at Isaac Hayes' peacock blue, 24 carat gold plated Cadillac and soak up some soul. While there, I was reminded how much I love this Otis classic. I also found out how he got his start. As the sometime backing singer, but mostly the driver for Johnny Jenkins and the Pinetoppers, one fateful day in '62 Redding helps lug some gear into Stax. The session isn't going well and they're about to wrap and Redding is jonesing for his chance to be heard. Those assembled him have a moment and in that moment he busts out "These Arms of Mine"—a capella. Can you imagine? I get goosebumps even listening to this now. Also this song soundtracks a really major moment in Dirty Dancing, so, you know…
Tyga ft. Young Thug - "Hookah"
The best part of this song is not the video, nor is it the fact that Tyga is surprisingly not terrible throughout. The best part of “Hookah” is listening to people try to sing the chorus. Try as you may, it’s impossible to pronounce “hookah” the same way as Thugga, who somehow guts the entire word while keeping it intact, like, “H__ah”. This unique grasp on the deliverance of the English language is why Young Thug is your favourite artist’s favourite artist in 2014, and why it’s going to be damn near impossible to convince a “traditional” hip-hop fan that Young Thug is the future of music. “You have to listen to the words he’s not saying” is about as pretentious of a phrase as you can apply to a rapper’s verse, but it’s unfortunately apt in the case of Young Thug. It’s art in the simplest of terms, and you can either get it or get left behind.
Katie Pearl - "Wont' Cry"
Recently, UK Grime producer DaVinChe casually threw up an untitled album he made with the singer Katie Pearl. It's the first example of a full on R&G record, which is, if you couldn't guess, a R&B grime album. Sonically, it does all of the things a proper grime album ought to, its beats slithering and stabbing with the intensity of the East London streets from which the sound was derived. What makes the record genuinely special, though, is Pearl's lithe vocals, expressing heartbreak and defiance in equal measure. The extra-great thing about this record is you can understand exactly jackshit of what I just wrote above and still find this tune to be a genuine slapper.
Sleep - "Dopesmoker"
I'm in Colorado visiting my parents and weed is legal here so, yeah, I'm too stoned to write a blurb. See y'all in an hour.
Cave In - "Serpents"
Every Monday, I wake up and I’m like, “Holy fuck, I love music! I am so fucking excited about all the music!” And then I do a swandive into a pool of mp3s and make love to a beautiful woman made of lyric sheets. But then by Friday, when we have to write these things, I’m pretty fucking burnt out on music and the sound of it makes me want to stab myself. I’ve been doing this thing where I just press shuffle and let Spotify tell me what I’m gonna listen to. So here is this song that came up from a very underrated album. See you Monday, music.Dan Ozzi, Editor
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Ed Sheeran - "Don't"
The consensus among Noisey's editors is that Ed Sheeran is basically Drake meets Taylor Swift meets Jack Johnson. I don't know if I buy the claim that he's, say, one of R&B's most wanted, but he's definitely somebody's most wanted. He's got this kind of acoustic guitar patter rap that usually I would hate because it's just a sliver away from either Sublime or subway performer, but he gets a pass because he's actually writing interesting lyrics. Best of all is this this song, which details some seriously crazy relationship hijinks and also may be the most competently delivered patter-rapping of the modern era. Check out the part around 2:15 where the drums provide the door knocks to set the scene before Ed launches into some #bars: "It's not like we were both on tour/We were staying on the same/Hotel floor/And I wasn't looking for a promise or commitment/But it was never just fun and I thought you were different/This is not the way you realize what you wanted/It's a bit too much too late if I'm honest." Wow. Take my heart and throw it on the floor and stomp on why don't you, Ed.
Rich Kidz - "Why Us"
More like Rich Kidz Bop: this sounds like if "I'm Sprung" was a children's lullaby. The oddly named Lady Rich Kids coos an amazing verse over a beat made of nothing but snaps, plinks, and that weird tingly R&B effect that sounds like someone throwing diamonds into a washing machine. It's perfectly sweet and simple. If you demand anything more from music I hope I don't have to hang out with you this weekend. TGIF!
Mercyful Fate - "A Dangerous Meeting"
King Diamond announced a US tour this week. He's a fucking legend, his work with Mercyful Fate ripped, and it's been a long time since he toured the US. Goddamn, I am stoked. "A Dangerous Meeting" opens up the classic Don't Break The Oath LP by Mercyful Fate, and is one of my favorite jams featuring the King. If you don't know this song, thats OK, but if you don't LIKE this song, we need to have a talk about some of the decisions you're making with your life.