MUSIC MONDAYS: Benny Sings, ‘Not Enough’

I am such a sucker for surreal visuals mixed with dreamy melodies, so this gem from Benny Sings has stuck with me.

New album ‘City Pop’ due out (Feb. 22), seventh (?) since 2003, and if this song is any indicator it seems like it’ll be a chill, laid back dreamscape, the perfect soundtrack to usher in the end of Winter, eh?

The song is available on Bandcamp, along with the album for pre-order.

Happy 15th Birthday to Probot!

Today is the 15th birthday of Probot’s lone album, released way back in 2004 on Southern Lord. A fantastic album made by (mostly) Dave Grohl with an even more fantastic line up of guests ranging from Max Cavalera of Sepultura / Soulfly, Lemmy of Motörhead, King Diamond and so many more.

My three favorite songs are (of course) ‘Shake Your Blood,’ which features the mighty Lemmy on vocals and bass, and my goodness the video with those sexy… WHITE BOOTS.

Grohl tells the story of Lemmy coming to the studio to record the song:

“Lemmy walked in, said hello. He said, who wants a drink? And we went upstairs, and mixed a few Jack and Cokes. It was noon, 12:30pm. By 3 o’clock I was fucking shit-faced, and he was ready to record.”

Dave Grohl talking about recording the song with Lemmy (YouTube).

Next I’d have to say “My Tortured Soul,” featuring Eric Wagner of Trouble on vocals. This was the first song to ever be performed live on MTV’s Headbanger’s Ball, which seems so crazy given all the artists that stopped by the studio over all those years.

Dave Grohl said he was asked to write some music for Ozzy, and this was one of the two songs he sent over. He never heard back, so it ended up here on the album. Turns out Zakk Wylde (Ozzy’s guitarist at the time) wasn’t too pleased.

“If I ever run into Dave Grohl, I’m gonna kick his fuckin’ ass, because I think he sucks, and he wrote this cheese-dick song for OZZY that I have to fuckin’ play on, and I’ll never forgive him for that.”

Zakk Wylde to Guitar World in 2001 (Blabbermouth)

Finally, my favorite track is the hidden track, featuring Jack Black on vocals. Maybe the least-metal vocalist on this album, but he did win a Grammy for “Best Metal Performance” back in 2015 with Tenacious D, and their cover of Dio’s ‘The Last in Line.’

Either way, I love it this album, even as it turns 15 years old – practically old enough to drive!

MUSIC MONDAY: Frodus, ‘Soundlab 1’

I forget how this release came about, but I remember geeking out that Liam Wilson (of Dillinger Escape Plan) played on it, so that made it extra special to me. And having met that absolute firecracker that is Jason Hamacher a few years prior in NYC made this all the more special.

Honestly my knowledge of Frodus didn’t go back too far, but after scouring their earlier work, yeah, this matches up quite wonderfully.

MUSIC MONDAY: Structure of Love II feat. Chino Moreno by VOWWS

I fell hard for VOWWS‘ 2018 album ‘Under the World,’ all from an Apple Music algorithm that put their song ‘One or the Other’ into my ears, and it became my favorite album of the entire year.

Then they remake their song ‘Burn’ with Kristina Esfandiari, one of my favorite vocalists in recent years.

And now they have a remix of ‘Structure of Love’ with freaking Deftones vocalist Chino Moreno. Like, what?


Sweet melodies and lo-fi beeps and boops get me every time, so I’m stoked I came across Emma Winston via the Uses This website.

If you’ve been keeping up lately, you know I’m getting back into music writing a bit, so of course I’ve been trying to learn how other people are making music.

 I write about 90% of my music on a Teenage Engineering OP-1, which is a kind of synthesiser/sampler/sequencer/miniature-four-track-workstation hybrid with its own teeny-tiny elf-sized speaker and a 16-hour battery life. It’s made by some awesome nerds in Sweden, and I lived on baked beans for a month so I could buy it and I don’t regret having done so for even one second. It’s amazing, and addictive, and limited, and powerful, and inspiring, and it goes everywhere with me.

Enna Winston at Uses This

Lots of Veggie Lo-Mein

Ran into an old friend of mine recently, while they were home for the holidays. They’re a full time musician these days, playing for a pretty prominent indie-rock band, which is awesome. I played in two bands with this dude when I was younger.

But in our early 20s, while me and some friends ran off and got married and bought houses, this friend was couch-surfing in random loft spaces in Brooklyn before loft spaces became big money. He was just making music with friends, and got to tour a bit here and there.

“Lots of veggie lo-mein,” he told me, of that moment in time.

Now, some 15+ years later, he makes music for a living.

MUSIC MONDAY: Alice Ivy, ‘Charlie’

From ‘I’m Dreaming’ which came out this year.

I am an absolute sucker for the use of old-timey samples.

The horn lines of  ‘Charlie’ are a mixture of a sampled saxophone I played into Ableton and an instrumental I found online. What inspired me when beginning to produce this song is that opening radio sample. It was from the 1950s post-war America period; Stepford wives, brand new kitchen appliances, the “American dream”. Charlie is a tongue and cheek homage to that period. Those vocals are snippets of an out take recording I made of Georgia van Etten just hours before she was to board a plane to the UK to live indefinitely, the lyrics don’t actually make sense!

Alice Ivy

Shirley Manson has Nerve

Shirley Manson tells a story of a man from the Garbage camp, being upset with her for having the nerve to hire her own lawyer. Her realization in that moment is wonderful and you should listen to the entire interview.

Search, find, discover, rebuild… whatever you have to do, find your nerve. Know that you’re fabulous, your feelings matter, and you’ve got the right to take care of yourself.

That this music is stuck on cartridges played on ancient video game consoles is a shame. I hope these songs never disappear.

The goal of the project is to expose listeners to the musical masterpieces that have been overlooked – mostly because of the 16bit instrumentation. 

Switched On SNES

(via Yewknee)