Songs of the Week: Tanlines Throw a Dance Party, Jay-Z Samples a Baby

Tanlines, “Brothers”

With the first track off their upcoming debut, Mixed Emotions, Tanlines won this week’s MP3-blog wars: the locked-in dance groove on “Brothers” is irresistible. By the way, get ready for more: I saw Tanlines in Brooklyn not that long ago, and they played an unreleased song off their debut that was even catchier than “Brothers.” Yeah. That’s right. I went to an indie-rock show in Brooklyn. Impressed?

Amber Rose feat. Wiz Khalifa, “Fame”

As previously mentioned, Amber Rose dropped her first single this week. And, despite the fact that it’s about how hard it is to be a celebrity, it’s not the worst thing I’ve ever heard! Judged by the metric by which all “Hey, I’m famous! I’m gonna put out a pop song!” singles must be measured, though — Paris Hilton’s deathless “Stars Are Blind,” of course — it withers.

Jay-Z ft. B.I.C., “Glory”

Not only did Jay-Z release a gushy song dedicated to his child a day after the child was born, he sampled said child’s tears, and then went ahead and cracked the charts with it. Look, I know everyone loved it, and I don’t want to be a jerk here or anything — but was anyone weirded out by the logistics here? Like, exactly how long after witnessing the birth of his child did Jay feel motivated to go “Pharrell, gimme a beat, I’m going in”?

Common, “Stay Schemin’” (Remix)

With the latest rejoinder, the Common vs. Drake beef reaches Cuban Missile Crisis levels of tension. Common finally says Drake’s name out loud, calls him a “hoe ass n—–”, and even has the audacity to make fun of “Headlines.” Ultimately, though, it’s a garbage verse (“You ain’t wet nobody, n—–, you Canada Dry” is a lone highlight) that has yet to elicit a shot back from Drizzy. Come on, bro, lets keep this moving!

Craig Finn, “My Friend Jesus”

The Hold Steady front man drops his countrified solo debut Clear Heart Full Eyes (yeah, he twisted the FNL phrase on purpose) this month, and “My Friend Jesus” is a highlight. Craig and Jesus meet in a parking lot, drive around town, and have problems catching balls due to stigmata-related issues. On a related note: on “Can’t Hardly Wait,” The Replacements said that Jesus “never buys any smokes.” Here, no word on whether or not Jesus has gotten better about that.

The Shins, “Simple Song”

Question: Looking back now, and considering the movie’s late-breaking cultural derision, was The Shins’ association with Garden State a boon to their legacy? Anyway, you should check out this new Shins track. It will change your life.

Miranda Cosgrove, “Million Dollars”

Cosgrove, aka iCarly, aka the annoying girl from School of Rock, has a new offering to the teen-pop gods. I’m not sure if Miranda knows how to sing or not (who am I, Randy Jackson?!!) but this song definitely knocks. And it’s actually off the iCarly soundtrack, which features “music from and inspired by the hit TV show.” Inspired!

Xiu Xiu, “Hi”

Via Pitchfork: “New record from Jamie Stewart’s band features such songs as “Gul Mudin” (about “an Afghani teenage boy killed murdered for sport by American soldiers”), “Factory Girls” (about “the sexual objectification and desperate existence of Chinese female migrant workers”), and “I Luv Abortion” (about “the resolute heartache of a friend too young to be pregnant”).” Sample lyrics to “Hi”: “If you’re wasting your life, say hi / if you’re alone tonight, say hi.” Enjoy!

Tyga, “Rack City”

Tyga’s banger has been with us for a while now, long enough for me to accept that a Young Money also-ran gets to have a legit radio hit. If you haven’t yet given in to its manifold charms (for one: saying “I’m a muhafuckin star /Look at the paint on the car” out loud is really fun) — now, with the release of its official video, is the time. It’s a completely pointless crime movie pastiche, but as far as music video inanity goes, a scantily clad muscle-bound mob lady-goon hitting balls off a golf tee with an AK-47 dangling off her neck is genius. Also: “Rack City summer 2012 only in theaters”?!


Surfer Blood, “Hey Sandy”


Surfer Blood covers the theme song from The Adventures of Pete & Pete. Hipster groupies swoon.

Filed Under: Common, Jay-Z, Songs of the Week

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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.

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