Listening Assignments 6.16.08

1. N.E.R.D - Yeah You - The boys of N.E.R.D. say this is the true manifestation of their musical minds, while the Neptunes and other side projects just pay the bills. This is important because as The Neptunes, Pharrell and Chad are pretty unstoppable with the hooks and beats that have become their much-sought-after calling cards. As N.E.R.D., however, everything always seems like a hodgepodge of celestial rock-n-roll and salsa weirdness. It's as hit-and-miss as it comes. This is one of the standouts from their new LP, highlighted by the sax-mimicked chorus. [from Seeing Sounds|buy]

2. Little Dragon - Twice - This is the song I've been waiting for Lamb to release for the last few years only it's not Lamb, it's yet another Swedish collective making beautiful sounds. This song is a tractor beam, disarmingly quiet, the vocals drawing you far away from home. [from Little Dragon|buy]

3. Calexico - Crystal Frontier - This track was chosen by Arizona congresswoman Gail Giffords, to accompany her husband (Space Shuttle Discovery's Commander Mark Kelly) into space. It's aptly titled for travel amongst the stars, though there are much better Calexico songs, in my opinion. Still, it's a fun anecdote and has thrust their 2001 EP back into a relevant light. [from Even My Sure Things Fall Through EP|buy]

4. Low - I Started a Joke - I know this song was included in last week's Blankets V.2, but Low hasn't done anything new in awhile and I thought I'd throw you this nugget. Such a beautiful song, made more so by the languid pace Low is famous for. It burns. [from You May Need a Murderer|buy]


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