Tag Archive: “Warner Brothers”

This is Past Sounds. Every Friday Ghettoblaster Magazine is looking back and finding great music from various eras. Below are songs that sound great no matter what decade they’re played in. So strap in as we take a musical journey, back in time.

Outkast – “Humble Mumble” (Stankonia, Arista Records) 2000


“Humble as a mumble in the jungle of shouts and screams” serves as both the hook for Humble Mumble and a good descriptor of the songs place in Outkast’s output. Stankonia is one of the greatest hip hop albums of all time and contains “B.O.B,” “Ms. Jackson,” and “So Fresh, So Clean” so it’s easy to overlook “Humble Mumble” in relation to the album as a whole, even though it deserves to be in the same conversation as those seminal hits. The song has so many quotable lines it seems unfair, from the introduction of “The funky engine that could” and asking “what’s your locomotive” to Andre 3000 saying “don’t discrimihate til you done read a book or two” to a critic who “thinks hip hop is only about guns and alcohol.” Lyrically it’s just a really fun song and it follows suit musically as well. It’s a song done in three movements, which are distinctive but still very cohesive as they all eventually blend together. It’s absolutely a song only Outkast could’ve made and I haven’t even mentioned that it features Erykah Badu yet, which is a treat all in itself.


 

Fleetwood Mac – “Storms” (Tusk, Warner Brothers) 1979


Tucked into Tusk, Fleetwood Mac’s most experimental album, “Storms” is a song that is easy to overlook. It’s a serene and heartbreaking song of lost love over a simple folky guitar sung wonderfully by Stevie Knicks. Yet, as is the case with Fleetwood Mac’s best songs, nothing is as simple as it seems. The chorus of “Storms” features some of their best harmonies, which is really saying a lot for this band. Slowly over time percussion and organ build ever so subtlety, resulting in an absolutely beautiful song. On the surface the lyrics seem to be your standard lost love song fare but Knicks’ emotive delivery packs more and more of a punch as the song goes on. Everything culminates together as Knicks sings: “But never ever been a blue calm sea / I have always been a storm” repeating “always been a storm” several times with each time more powerful than the last. Listening to this song is like sitting on a deck watching a slow storm roll in over an otherwise peaceful lake.


 

Matmos – “Tunnel” (The Marriage of True Minds, Thrill Jockey Records) 2013


Matmos has made a career out of gimmicks. This isn’t a negative thing by any means as their gimmicks have mostly paid off. They make experimental electronic music and normally operate within some put-upon-themselves framework for each album. They have an album built around sounds from surgical procedures, another inspired by old instruments and sounds that wouldn’t sound too out of place at a Renaissance festival and most recently an album made almost entirely out of sounds from a washing machine. The Marriage of True Minds, quite possibly their strongest album, took on a strong framework, yet is by far the most abstract they have worked within. They had people go into a sensory deprivation chamber while they transmitted the theme of the album to the subjects telepathically. They would then interview the subjects asking them what they heard or saw. Some would hum melodies, some would describe images and they took these recordings and based an album off of them. It’s a fascinating listen with some absolutely stunning songs. “Tunnel” is an obvious standout track even without the backstory of how it was conceived. Didgeridoo is set atop pulsating rhythms, bombastic funky guitar sounds and screeching synths in a truly fantastic way. Towards the middle of the song a male voice recording taken from the interview after one of the sensory deprivation sessions whispers “There’s a light at the end of the tunnel … But it isn’t daylight”, giving the song an absolutely chilling vibe as it continues.


 

Tyvek – “Wayne County Roads” (On Triple Beams, In the Red Records) 2012


People who have never had the pleasure of continuously having to drive in Wayne County Michigan really have no idea how cathartic it is to listen to a song that yells “Wayne County Roads” over and over as the chorus. They are quite terribly painful to deal with. Tyvek is a great five piece band who makes straight up rock music, which is refreshing in a time with so many genres and subgenres. The song is built around a couple of Television-esque catchy guitar riffs. Again, this is just great solid rock music from a totally Midwest band who has been making under known music for years. On the surface this is a pretty simple song about the roads that take you home but nothing in Wayne County is quite that easy.

 

…And Heady Fwends

THE FLAMING LIPS
…AND HEADY FWENDS
On one level, a rock band with it’s own definitive sound doing a record of seemingly randomized “peanut butter in my chocolate” collaborations indicates a band thematically exhausted with itself. Are the Flaming Lips now a branded catch phrase that means multilayered, reverbed oddities? Conceptually, it works best when there is at least a genealogical rationale, like the Bon Iver track “Ashes in the Air,” a gorgeous climb of lilting overlay and feedback depth charges that hang in a gorgeously huge shimmer. Similarly, the Edward Sharpe track, “Helping the Retarded To Know God,” marries the Suspiria soundtrack to the structure of a choir in a blur-drenched cult mantra, teetering between melody and madness as it beautifully unspools. But it also surprises when the connections aren’t as musically apparent, especially in the drowning fever dream of Erykah Badu’s Roberta Flack cover, “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face.” Like any unconfined brainstorm, there will be missteps and a lapsed inner editor. The abrasive KE$HA track, “2012” is just a Sleigh Bells song littered with a few nods to lower common pop denominators; it’s a lashing, aural landfill. Nor does turning Jim James into a clanking garage pile up, do either dyad any favors, but something so willfully out of pocket deserves to get graded on a curve. Though technically the 14th studio album, this feel more like a Warhol-ian experiment in reproducing themselves as a disconnected set of reference sounds, where asylum childhood surreality meets their own fuzzy seal of dissonance. Sure, this doesn’t hang as a whole, but as taken a handful of tangents, there’s both much to love and much to recognize as the essence of pop experimentalist veterans still kicking three decades on. (Warner Brothers) by Terry Sawyer

Reel Big Fish has announced they are donating the proceeds from last Thursday’s show at the Ogden Theatre in Denver, Colorado to the victims and families of the Friday’s movie theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado that took place during a midnight screening of Christopher Nolan’s third Batman film. They issued the following statement:

“Last Thursday night, Reel Big Fish played to an amazing Denver crowd. The night was buzzing with positive energy as the last notes of the horns blared and the audience poured into the dark to head home. Little did we all know; right down the street, a tragedy of unspeakable horror was unfolding, in Aurora. Because of the love that Denver always shows us, we would like to do what we can for the friends and families of the victims. Proceeds from our show at the Belly-up in Aspen, CO last Friday July 20 will go to The Colorado Organization for Victim Assistance. Our booking agency, The Agency Group will also be making a donation. If you wish to donate or learn more about the organization visit www.coloradocrimevictims.org. All our love goes out to the people of Denver in this time of sorrow. Music and dancing is good medicine. Be with friends and boogie!”

It has also been reported that Warner Bros. plan to donate a “substantial” amount to the victims and families.