Songs of the Week: Of Zebra Katz and Ricky Rubio

The Cranberries, “Tomorrow”

The message of this song, as elucidated by the phrase, “Tomorrow could be too late,” is that you should live your life now because otherwise you might never get around to it. So go, kid! Paint that painting! Climb that tree! Ask that beautiful dream girl on a date! And if, in response, she shudders in disgust, holds down some vomit, and asks how you possibly could have ever thought to have spoken such horrifying words, just tell her a reunited version of The Cranberries told you to do it!

Chris Brown, “Turn Up the Music”

This latest Chris Brown single, off his upcoming album Fortune, tries to go down the cheesy Euro-disco-pop track that made Rihanna’s “We Found Love” such an endless delight. Right now it sounds like a failed attempt to do so, although there’s basically no way I don’t end up loving this thing after the 1,000th time I hear it. In related news: Ahhh Rihanna got “thug life” tattooed on her knuckles ahhh!!!!

Soulja Boy featuring Game, “Too Faded”

You just knew Game would be the first dude to drop a reference (official confirmation on this pending) to a certain Minnesota Timberwolves floppy-haired phenom, right? That said: “I Ricky Rubio that ho / I pass” isn’t particularly inspired. Future rappers, here’s a helpful, incomplete list of words and phrases that sort of rhyme with Rubio: “Rufio,” “Goofy Bros,” “Poof, He Roll,” “Whoops, Me? No,” “New Kia.” Have at it.

The Men, “Open Your Heart”

This song knocks and everything, but not sure how I feel about a band called The Men. On the one hand: Yeah, at some point in the history of rock ‘n’ roll music, there probably had to be a band called The Men. On the other, plop almost any adjective in the middle there, and you immediately have a more fun title. I’m just looking randomly across the room now: The Foam Finger Men? The Tribe Called Quest Documentary Men? The Chewy Chips Ahoy Men? Yep, all work.

Zebra Katz, “Ima Read”

The lyrics to this minimalist banger include the phrases, “Ima take that bitch to college,” and, “Ima give that bitch some knowledge,” and, “Ima write a dissertation.” Sadly, though, the website for Zebra Katz’s label, Mad Decent, explains they are not to be taken literally: “Reading is an old voguing term describing someone verbally insulting an opponent about something not so apparent to the average viewer.” And, somewhere, an excitable, doesn’t-play-by-the-rules school principal who thought he’d just found East High’s hip new pro-learning anthem is slumping at his desk while quietly tossing his Zebra Katz CD in the trash bin.

Hospitality, “Friends of Friends”

There is nothing about this video I don’t sign off on: The fact that Maeby Fünke costars with blog star Gabe Delahaye; the presence of jokes at the expense of both New York and Los Angeles; the comforting warmth of the vaguely ’90s vibe that Hospitality is laying down. I even like the connotations of the band’s name. “Hi, would you like to be pampered?” “Yes, please.” “Great, just relax and we’re going to play some soothing indie rock.” “Cool. Cool.”

White Fence, “It Will Never Be”

OK, apologies that this edition of Songs of the Week is unduly concerned with band names — but White Fence? Really? Come on! Look, dudes in White Fence, this name might have some ties to your childhood, or maybe you’re just trying to be particularly normal and relatable, but this shit is supposed to be at least the tiniest little bit escapist, right? How about, uh, Cardboard Box? How about, you know, Desk Lamp? Not cool, guys.

Trust, “Sulk”

This is some dark ’80s Pet Shop Boys dance groove type stuff. Are you in the mood to move rhythmically while holding a grudge? Here you go!

Arctic Monkeys, “Katy on a Mission”

Here’s two things Arctic Monkeys and Katy B have in common: They’re both British; they both had big first singles about, or set in, a dance floor. If, somehow, this comes up at your bar trivia night this week, you owe me a “bitter.”

Alley Boy, “I Want In”

According to The Fader, Alley Boy just got out of prison, and is already busying himself starting scraps with his citymates T.I. and Young Jeezy. Equally, if not more, important: Alley Boy’s new mixtape is called Nigganati. (Unless I’m missing something, that is a not-particularly-elegant play on “illuminati.”) Damn, Blue Ivy let Alley Boy into the illuminati? Congrats, dude!

Filed Under: Chris Brown, Music, Songs of the Week

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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