Isaiah Rashad, “R.I.P. Kevin Miller”
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Quietly, and with admirable reserve, TDE is building a militia. Franchise star Kendrick Lamar is the spear of the phalanx; behind him is the rest of the Black Hippy crew, with Schoolboy Q up next (Oxymoron! February 25!) Then there are the new kids: woozy R&B’er SZA, and Chattanooga, Tennessee’s Isaiah Rashad. On his latest — in which he pays homage to Master P’s late brother, who was killed during a robbery in 1995 — Rashad delivers a crisp bit of sentimental fraughtness and maintains TDE’s calling card: unparalleled quality control.
Public Access T.V., “Monaco”
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The word on Public Access T.V. so far: They are from New York, and they have one song — and goddamn is it catchy. It’s so catchy, in fact, that, if I were Public Access T.V., I’d seriously consider never doing anything again. I mean, look — auspicious, information-withheld debuts are pretty rock-and-roll and all. But you know what’s even more rock-and-roll? Only ever putting out one perfect track, and then disappearing forever. Think about it!
The Orwells, “Who Needs You”
As our man Steven Hyden pointed out, young Chicago punks the Orwells certainly did … something … on Late Show this week. Blasting through their rollicking new tune “Who Needs You” with the kind of half-cocked air-humping ennui readily available to lads fully aware that if this all doesn’t work out they can always still go shotgun Schlitz in the basement with their friends, they found themselves in a vintage Letterman earnesty vs. sarcasm confusion-spiral. Please watch.
Tweens, “Be Mean”
Tweens are a trio from Cincinnati, have opened for the Breeders, and provide perfect little garage-rock nuggets. Man, snotty youth from the Midwest with janky guitars are killing it on Songs of the Week right now.
Disclosure, “Grab Her”
Disclosure — a.k.a. precocious British electro brother duo, a.k.a. Guy and Howard, a.k.a. The Pride Of Surrey County — have gone and dropped a new video for “Grab Her” that’s a surrealist office-set delight. Which got me thinking about Office Space, which got me thinking about the sad latter-day output of Mr. Ron Livingston. Have you seen that dude recently? Outside of Boardwalk Empire, he seems to mostly be getting depressed third-lead mumblecore stuff — which is too bad, because at his best, he does “honorable mute despair but with a smidgen of hope,” and he really needs to get back to that. So: Office Space 2? Office Space 2? Anyone up for Office Space 2?
Drenge are a brother duo from England, have gotten the co-sign from at least one member of Parliament, and provide perfect little saddo anthems. Man, sibling pairings from the U.K. are killing it on Songs of the Week right now.
Childbirth, “I Only Fucked You As a Joke”
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A good enough “we’re just joking, just joking we’re not joking, just joking we’re just joking” title/concept means the actual song didn’t even have to be any good; thankfully, it skittishly knocks. Side note: I want “Oooh baby / I can’t make good decisions every day” on a T-shirt.
Cities Aviv, “Don’t Ever Look Back”
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When Nas and Jay Z made their much-anticipated post-beef peace team-up on “Black Republicans,” Hov marked the occasion with a “let me talk my shit” intro for the ages. “I mean, it’s what you expected ain’t it … let’s go … turn the music up in the headphones … yeah, that’s perfect … you gotta take your time, make a n—- wait on this one … make a n—- mad and shit … like, ‘n—- usually start rapping after four bars, n—-, go in!’ Just start dancing on this motherfucker.” Years later, on this here “Don’t Ever Look Back,” Cities Aviv waits a minute and a half to start rapping. He learned well.
Travis Porter feat. Future, “Don’t We”
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Rick Ross “put Molly all up in her champagne, she ain’t even know it.” Travis Porter “give these hoes the Molly” — BECAUSE THEY, IN A CLEAR AND PRESENT STATE OF MIND, REQUESTED IT, CORRECT??
Mr. Cee’s Aaliyah Birthday Mix
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Ms. Houghton would have been 35 this week. R.I.P., Aaliyah.