As usual on a late Friday night, I start to browse through the web for new and old tunes to add to playlists for the 2 bars I work at. One bar where I work, Trax (Haight St, SF, CA) is what you might expect from a dive bar on Haight (yes, that Haight St, yes those hippies back in the 60’s) is a very laid back dive. The regulars are musically savvy ranging from jazz to current music and everything in-between.
I love playing a song and seeing that misty look in their eyes as memories drift back to them. Playing a tune they haven’t heard of in a long time or thought of for that matter. I love playing for all ages, it’s a challenge that I look forward to fulfilling weekly. I try to stay within certain parameters for a bar crowd: ie: nothing too depressing, nothing really slow and something that makes people generally happy and in a good mood. Sometimes I strike out, but I think every DJ/bartender who brings their IPODS strike out at some point or another. Music is a journey and sometimes, you step in shit just like in real life!!
So some music I stumbled on for this weekend:
Peter Bjorn and John – “Second Chance”: They were the guys behind the mega hipster hit “Young Folks” in 2007. That nice little whistling tune you would have stuck in your head for days on end. Well now they are back with something a little more grittier and a departure from the whistling. Don’t get me wrong, I love the tune “Young Folks” but this track kicks some serious ass for 3 guys that are listed in Rhapsody under the category “Dream Pop” (how the hell they come up with these genres are beyond me..?) And it seems they replaced the whistling with a cow bell! Gotta love the cow bell! Check it out:
Now I’m a sucker for a rap song that loops a song in a decent manner. I admit, I’m picky about my rap. I can’t do gang bangin’ rap, I’m a 38 year old white gay male…I just don’t get the gang bangin’ rap. Now if that is what you like: cool. To each his own. I mostly favor women rappers vs male rappers ie: Missy Elliot, Lil’ Kim, etc. But I found this nice little rap jam via Gorilla Warfare Tactic with a tune called “Temptations” which I’m thinking is a double meaning: one being they sample a Temptations song (“Ain’t Too Proud To Beg”) and from what I can gather lyrically, maybe temptation is a theme as well..? Anyway, I think it’s a cool song so take a listen:
Another element in a song that will probably catch my attention is when a song starts out one way, then changes into something else in the middle and then go back to its beginning. A good example is from way back in the day (well at least for me anyway) is Billy Joel’s “Scenes From An Italian Restaurant”, its 3 songs in one! Starts out slow, then gets mid tempo on your ass and then goes into full kick ass mode by 2:54!
So the song that I’m currently referring to with this element is Memory Tapes “Today Is Our Life”: it starts out slow and moody then it bursts into bright pop sweetness! Then by the end of the song you just have quiet synthesizer playing to fade. Below I have posted Billy Joel’s way of using the element of a song within a song and Memory Tapes after that:
Billy Joel – Scenes From An Italian Restaurant
Memory Tapes – Today Is Our Life
So that concludes another post here in Xanadu! Have a great weekend everyone!
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- New Memory Tapes: “Today Is Our Life” (pitchfork.com)