Songs of the Week: St. Vincent Gets Cartoony, The xx Do Beyoncé, And a Little Bit About the Duality of Man

St. Vincent, “Bad Tina”

Bob’s Burgers, Fox’s cutesy (in a good way) cartoon comedy, flattened Annie Clark out to 2D, and had her sing a jaunty punk-rock tune about good girls going bad (but like, by fighting with their moms, not by rolling blunts on the top of their security guard’s heads). You know, when I was a younger man, the best parts about being a rock star seemed like it would be all the girls and the money and the free cheese pizzas. These days, though, it’s more these kind of things — getting a fun animated version of yourself; you know, something you can frame and hold in your hands, and one day look back and reflect on — that seem to be the real perks. And now if you’ll excuse me, I have some milk to warm.


Gunplay, “The Hard Way”

Seeing as the above was twee as hell, we probably are going to need Gunplay yelling at us for three minutes immediately after. By the way, at some point of this track, Gunplay makes an implicit reference, via some cocaine wordplay, to causing violence to national treasure Betty White. And, like, ’play, maybe take it easy? Betty White has shooters everywhere.


Purity Ring, “Grammy” (Soulja Boy cover)

Purity Ring already has that one song that sounds exactly like The Game’s “How We Do,” so why not extend their rap-reference arsenal into the works of Mr. DeAndre Way? We are, after all, talking about the man who patiently explained to an eager nation about how if someone’s in your face or getting on your nerves, you should be like “yah trick yah” and “yah yah trick” and “cobbadabacobbadabacobbadaba.” I think we should give him his due whenever we can.


The Postal Service, “A Tattered Line of String”

The U.S. Postal Service proposes to stop Saturday service at the same time that the Ben Gibbard/Jimmy Tamborello Postal Service announces a new tour, a 10th year anniversary reissue of their debut (and only) album, and their first bit of new music in a decade? Was this an “only one can live” situation the whole time?


Tyler, The Creator, “Domo 23”

One good way to get into a really weird headspace without actually doing any narcotics is to sit in a comfortable seat, turn on the kitchen faucet so as to re-create the aura of a soothing waterfall, and then think really, really hard about that three-month period where all anyone wanted to talk about was Odd Future.


Usher, “Go Missing”

The-Dream feat. Fabolous, “Slow It Down”

Double dose of loverman R&B. First, the unceasing heartthrob Usher, here reteaming with Diplo — which, it should always be pointed out in bright blue neon lights with a purple outline so sharp that the sign just blows up, is the same pairing that brought us that auditory manna from Heaven, “Climax.” Second, The Swap Meet King himself, officially releasing the first new music from his upcoming “authentic love-making” opus, Fourplay. By the way, I cannot tell you how much I enjoy The-Dream’s leering self-defeatism: He kicks the track off with the words “I know they ain’t gonna play this on Top 40 radio,” and it’s like the greatest sad-battle-cry I’ve ever heard.


The Thermals, “Born To Kill”

This track was apparently inspired by that scene in Full Metal Jacket where Joker gets chewed out for having both a peace pin and the words “Born To Kill” on his helmet …

“I think I was trying to suggest something about the duality of man, sir.”
“The what?”
“The duality of man. The Jungian thing, sir.”

… and that’s entirely fine by me. That scene’s so good, there really should have been entire subgenres of music dedicated to it by now.


James Blake, “Retrograde”

In his new video, James Blake more or less prophesied the Chelyabinsk, Russia meteor shower. All hail James Blake.


The Strokes, “All The Time”

When The Strokes came back the last time, with 2011’s Angles, it was like “oh word, yeah, The Strokes! Awesome! Where these dudes been anyway?” This time, though with the upcoming Comedown Machine, it’s more “ah yeah, The Strokes. You were just here, right? And it wasn’t like that good?” In other words: My advice to you, The Strokes, as it is to almost anyone ever, is go away for longer. The more we can’t have you, the more we want you.


The xx, “I Miss You” (Beyoncé cover)

Say The xx: “Whilst on tour in Texas, we decided to cover a song by a Texan. She is one of our favourite artists of all time, Beyoncé. This song has always meant a lot to us and was written with another artist we really admire, Frank Ocean. Happy Valentines day to you all. Lots of love, xx The xx” OK, now watch the clip above, and then feel free to drift off into an everlasting sea of peace and contentness.

Filed Under: James Blake, Songs of the Week, The XX, The-Dream, Usher

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

Archive @ AmosBarshad