A super EpIc WeEk for new tunes from some of the world’s most EpIc ArTiSts
This week from Sam and Josiah.
This was a super EpIc WeEk for new tunes from some of the world’s most EpIc ArTiStS in our relative little corner of the creative universe (music for old media guys). I write the sections of the newsletter in chronological order, but I did scroll ahead and see that none of the super epic stuff made Sam’s picks. I would have loved to seen him wrestle with that new single from The Armed. I know he says he doesn’t like The Armed but you just know he’s at least thought about checking it out. Also that’s really the only hyped rock artist I can make fun of by name because we don’t know people directly involved with them and it won’t be awkward. Sorry, The Armed, but you’ve become a bargaining chip.
Here’s some stuff we’re thinking about this week.
Blind Equation “never getting better”
Sam: The smoothest path in my brain wants to compare this to HORSE the Band, but it feels much more musically indebted to Anamanaguchi, which is sick because I always thought Anamanaguchi should have some blast beats. Is it like a grindy Anamanaguchi “Stupid Horse”? I think that’s an excellent way for a song to sound. I feel like the oldest person to be an enthusiastic follower of what is happening with cybergrind right now, but I need to live my aging truth, just like when nu metal started popping off again. The key is to just never change or evolve in any way in your life whatsoever!
Jos: I’m definitely fixin’ to fight this week, and that description already had me ready to pop off, probably because HORSE the Band always felt like a bacon meme version of the Locust. But hitting play on this, I want to give Sam a Paul Hollywood handshake because he’s absolutely right. This aesthetically sounds like the stuff he mentioned, but it’s also painfully earnest. Like these are metal guys who love Dance Dance Revolution, not bands with managers trying to hop on the trend. In other terms, you can tell these guys are less likely to be streamers and more likely to be permabanned from punishing the mods too hard. This song is awesome.
Baroness “Last Word”
Sam: Big poser sentences incoming: in 2019 I went to see Deafheaven and Zeal & Ardor (still not sure how I felt about that one!) and Baroness was playing between them during a time I intended to leave and go get a drink somewhere else. Stuck around and discovered I was nearly an idiot, because Baroness was by far the best band on the bill, and I have since grown to appreciate their colour-coded epics. More than anything, though, I love their slow, barely-metal numbers, and “Last Word” is right in that zone, with some great opening chugs — metal for the Sams of the world. But most importantly, the guitar solo in the middle is just fucking insane. So live! So roomy! It sounds like it was recorded in a different building. Why don’t all guitar solos sound like that.
Jos: I think I saw Baroness with like Bison B.C. at some kind of event that was put on by Jägermeister in like 2009. It felt less like an event that had Jägermeister banners and more like the event was physically put on by a bottle of Jägermeister, like a little bottle of cough medicine that was abused by beardos had somehow come to life and drawn up the contracts and made the phone calls and made it happen. Which is really quite impressive to imagine. Anyway I can’t get down with this. It sounds like something from a stinkier Big Shiny Tunes that was only sold in Husky gas station diners in 1997. Husky Stinky Tunes.
Stormzy “Longevity Flow”
Jos: Maybe it’s because the fall came after indulging from the tree of knowledge, or maybe it’s just because I’m a drooling idiot, but I love things that I know very little about. And this new Stormzy video combines two of them. I never really paid attention to grime when all my fellow h*psters were hopping on the bandwagon with that Vice compilation way back when (although Sara did bring a lot of Lady Sovereign tracks into our life around that time), and I certainly haven’t paid much attention to the grime of more recent years, despite loving the sound. That means I can love these big Stormzy songs without really having enough context to know whether or not he’s gone soft. Hell, I don’t even know what he’s talking about, and I’m too stubborn to look it up on Urban Dictionary so I’ll just spend the rest of my weekend quietly pondering what a “patch” for a “cabbage” might be. The other thing I’m stupid about is Formula 1, a sport I didn’t really know existed until I got hooked on the Netflix show, and then Sara and I ended up going to qualifying for the Montreal Grand Prix a couple weeks ago and had a blissfully ignorant blast. I see in this video Stormzy is hanging out with Tom Cruise and Lewis Hamilton at an F1 event. He’s just like me!
Sam: Damn I am in London RIGHT NOW so this is hitting EXTRA HARD. I haven’t been able to real soak up the vibe here and honestly I’m pretty sure I don’t like this place to begin with but listening to this in my hotel room while Aliens half drowns it out on the TV, I feel like I am living my own 2023 grime fantasy. Is that okay to say or does it sound fucked up? I had fish and chips at a pub, that’s grime.
Jos: I’m really torn between wanting to admit that Grimace’s birthday has been a net negative for the earth and also badly wanting to cross the border and try the Grimace shake. One thing I will not apologize for is my unabashed love of Grimace’s Birthday, the highly addictive new Game Boy Color skateboarding game that was released earlier this month and is both playable online or on emulators. It came out around the same time that my Miyoo Mini+ arrived from AliExpress, and I’m this close to just starting the most unbearable retro gaming channel.
The people behind that game are Krool Toys, and they’re way, way cooler than just Grimace’s Birthday. As you can see in the above vid, they make bespoke Game Boy games as objet d’marketing, complete with working cartridges and high-end box art. I haven’t found the Metro Boomin game just yet, but I did load up this pack that includes games featuring $not, Playboy Carti and others. I’m also trying to figure out how to load up this McDonald’s training software that was released for Game Boy Advance in Japan. I’m sorry but I can’t get enough of this shit.
Sam: Yooooo the director of the movie I’m here working on had one of these (not the game, just the weird sorta-Game Boy? What is this?) on the flight over and it looks so sick. Game Boy was the only system I ever truly loved growing up and now I need to spend all night reading these links and knowing I am once again about to copy Josiah’s whole thing which is fine because he regrettably does like cool stuff that I also like.
Fall Out Boy “We Didn’t Start the Fire”
Jos: This is now the third week in a row where something so deeply pod-related happens that makes me feel the most bizarre blend of feelings, as if I’m in The Truman Show but can’t figure out if I’m Jim Carrey or Ed Harris (Sam is Laura Linney). This one’s not even pod-related but pods-related, because I’m pretty sure there was an entire episode of Globe Hell Warning where I made us listen to every modern update of “We Didn’t Start the Fire” I could find, with most of them being called “2020 Was a Dumpster Fire.” The shittiness Fall Out Boy has displayed here is, in fact, nothing new for them. They’ve always told us who they are. But this cover was so easily dunkable that I saw everyone on earth come together to roast this to oblivion. Just read the lyrics and you’ll understand why — it’s a tragicomic mess of bizarre rhymes, non-chronological reference points and strangely glib references to human trauma. The most insane parts (like rhyming “George Floyd” with “Metroid”) have been picked apart like crazy (often by people who I’m pretty sure I’ve seen share Say Anything songs before, so I’m not sure why you’re dunking on lyrics… but I digress). But the cover just keeps on giving the more you listen to it. I obviously love that even in a timeless vacuum, you still have to mention Stranger Things and Tiger King on the same line. But I’m particularly enamoured with the decision to go last-name, first-name so that they could rhyme “Bobbitt, John” with “Boston Marathon.” Sincerely, thank you Fall Out Boy. I’m sorry I was ever mean to you.
Sam: I don’t think I’ll ever listen to this because it’s so much funnier seeing new snippets every time someone makes fun of it. Like the Boston rhyme was brand new to me until two seconds ago and I’m delighted. I think I’m better served allowing this song to slowly leak into my consciousness over the next year. I don’t even believe it’s real? It’s too much. Beginning to think (this is my real opinion) that we turned a corner with the Titanic thing and the world is starting to improve again? Like not in a real way but in a way where it’s all devastatingly funny how bad it is again? Is that horseshoe theory??
Free every Friday.