Songs of the Week: Guns, Swords, Malls, Nutcrackers, and Butt GIFs

Foals, “My Number”

On their brilliant 2008 debut Antidotes, Brit whiz kids Foals went all breathless math rock, smashing through a jumble of jerky riffs as fast as possible, as if at any minute they were gonna get called down for dinner. In 2010 they came back with Total Life Forever and blew enough spacey epicness into their jams that they ended up in an Entourage commercial. Now, with third album Holy Fire, front man Yannis Phillippakis explains, they’re going Curtis Mayfield: “[O]nce the four-to-the-floor, hi-hat indie disco stuff’s dead and buried with a chain of garlic around its neck, that feels like a really fertile place to go.”

Action Bronson, “Sylvester Lundgren”

The hardest-working food-obsessed MC in the game dropped his second mixtape of the year, Rare Chandeliers (a full-length collaboration with Alchemist) this week (download/listen here). The first thing you need to know is that it’s another spotless hyper-referential bonanza of “I could give a fuck” hip-hop. The second thing you need to know is summed up in this Gchat conversation:

Rembert Browne: http://i.imgur.com/FV4K7.gif
ITS An ALBUM COVER GIF GOD BLESS AMERICA
Amos Barshad: hell yeah
this is art
Rembert Browne: it’s incredible
i didn’t even notice the girl’s ass for like 90 seconds

Roc Marciano, “Tek to a Mack”

The other big indie rap release of the week, Reloaded, comes via Mr. Marciano, the veteran NYC traditionalist enjoying a late-breaking turn in the spotlight. Remember: The ’90s are 4ever.

The Sword, “The Veil of Isis”

Not only does this song completely shred, it also unintentionally references the dysfunctional workplace of Sterling Archer, the greatest animated secret agent of all time. Win win!

alt-J Featuring Mountain Man, “Buffalo”

∆ — a.k.a. alt-J, on yer keyboard there — are British (really British: They met at “uni,” and they just won the Mercury Prize), so don’t get your hopes up about “Buffalo” being about the famed wings of such provenance. Sigh. The search for that great Buffalo wings anthem, the one America has so long desired and so truly deserves, continues.

Fat Tony Featuring Old Money, “BKLYN”

If you’ve ever taken public transit in New York, you’re probably familiar with the “I’m not here selling candy for no basketball team, I’m just trying to make some money and keep myself out of trouble” kids. Rarer, but no less integral to the subway ecosystem, are the dudes pushing nutcrackers, a bootleg fruit-juice-and-booze concoction that sure goes down nice and easy on the C train from Clinton-Washington. Anyway, above: a day in the life of Fat Tony as nutcracker peddler, complete with Mr. Muthafuckin’ eXquire as his bone-cracking supplier, a secret brew-house staffed by cute girls in Dipset shirts, and a West Indian Day Parade–provided happy ending.

Game, “Cough Up a Lung”

Kendrick Lamar already went at Shyne, in an effective and lighthearted manner, for calling good kid, m.A.A.d City “trash,” and we figured that was that. But here comes Kendrick’s protective buddy Game, weighing in. Points deducted here for tardiness, plus I’m not saying filming your confrontational rap beef video in Union Square isn’t the absolute worst, as far as uncool touristy NYC places are, but I am saying there’s both a Max Brenner and a Cosi across the street from where Jayceon is acting tough. This line, though, is enough for redemption: “N—- in Belize all into his feelings / Because he did 10 years shootin’ at the ceiling.” Ouch.

Fort Lean, “The Mall”

When you’re a kid you hate going shopping with your mom ’cause it’s so embarrassing, but then you get older and you’re like “you’re gonna buy me stuff and help me make an informed style choice? When do we leave?”

The-Dream, “AK47″

Dream is now putting out 1977, the breakup album he dropped for free last summer under his real name Terius Nash, as a commercial release, and this is one of the new songs he’s tacking onto the revamped product. Have a listen, and then read this, presented without context from GQ‘s Rihanna profile: “Her producer, The-Dream, comes in, wearing gold diamond-studded Jesus doubloons that hang down to his belt, a Rolex on each wrist … Now [Rihanna] starts riffing on The-Dream’s song ‘Foreplay,’ half-whispering, half-droning: Bitch, fuck the foreplay, I want it now. We’re talking straight sex. It’s going down! Her ass gyrates circles into the edge of the hotel room bed, and the blankets come untucked. The group erupts with laughter, and she chides The-Dream: “You need to write me that shit. No pop shit. None of that lovey-dovey shit … It’s gotta be tweet, retweet, trending topic!”

Ke$ha, “C’mon”

Warrior, Ke$ha’s proper second release, is out November 30. I’m saying this to you now, as plainly as possible, so you have enough time to prepare yourself emotionally for the very real possibility that Ke$ha might be about to put out the best straight-radio-pop album of the year.

Filed Under: Action Bronson, Ke$Ha, Songs of the Week, The-Dream

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Amos Barshad has written for New York magazine, Spin, GQ, XXL, and the Arkansas Times. He is a staff writer for Grantland.

Archive @ AmosBarshad

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