The Songs We Can't Escape



It's true: America needed its own Teenage Fanclub, which meant that we needed our own Bandwagonesque, too. But I'm almost afraid to ask what that actually says about us as a subculture, about people for whom these reference points continue to actually mean something.

"Solo Improvisation, High Zero Festival 2009"

"Improvisation"—like Nautical Almanac member Harper's rewarding if challenging albums—confounds compositional continuity and logic, recombinant as it is confident: strips and blips and slippery bits of noises, bells, and industrial castoffs, hyper-collaged for your pleasure. Listen for the waterfall-sampling passage.

"21.II2009 - Echo Curio, Los Angeles, CA"

This might be the sound of someone slowly and lovingly sharpening swords in time with a cadre of welders abusing scrap metal with blowtorches, kinda. Damn.

"Make Her Say"

No Ceilings? More like No Pulse, am I right? Because Weezy's latest chart-single remixathon is such a dud that it's almost a relief Weezy's got a brief prison stay coming up. His go at Kid Cudi's jerk-for-all "Make Her Say" is sleepwalking Weezy-by-numbers: packed with punch lines whose weaknesses he highlights by giggling at himself, free of all those bonkers accents and tangents that made Da Drought 3 such a classic.

"Whiskey on the Rock"

Of Telecult Powers' zillion or so side projects, this one—where Excepter's John Fell Ryan joins Witchbeam and Mr. Matthews for psychotropic communions that will have the insides of your mouth tingling—is, without question, my favorite. Turn on, tune in, drop out.