1. Bauhaus | All We Ever Wanted Was Everything
My first band (in Michigan) worked on a cover of this song, but we never performed it. Bauhaus is still such an underrated band. This song is pretty much perfect, except for the repeated use of the word cream. What a gross word to sing!
2. Notorious B.I.G. | Would You Die For Me
Biggie was the hands down best, and I love Lil' Kim's verse on this song. This is what I listen to while I jog along the LA River in the mornings.
3. Cat Power | Say
This song will always remind me of emo moments during my freshman year of college. I would play it whenever there was a thunderstorm outside.
4. Buffy Sainte-Marie | God Is Alive, Magic Is Afoot
Leonard Cohen's Beautiful Losers is one of my favorite books and I already loved this song when I first read the book. I remember being on the L train in New York when I first came upon the passage Buffy put to music. I was blown away to see two of my favorite artists converging like that.
5. PJ Harvey | Written On The Forehead
Let England Shake is a great album. Polly's vocal effects are so cool on this song and her lyrics are perfectly poetic. Never thought I'd hear her and Niney The Observer on the same track.
6. The Bug | Beats, Bombs, Bass, Weapons
Rob introduced me to The Bug. This song sounds great through my big M-Audio studio monitors because they throw a lot of bass.
7. Canned Heat | London Blues
Alan Wilson was my favorite singer in Canned Heat. The timbre of his voice went so well with what the band was doing. Such a shame he died so young.
8. Black Dice | Skeleton
High Places began 5 years ago this month, and celebrating our anniversary has made me a bit nostalgic for the early days of our collaboration. This track was a big source of inspiration to both of us then (and now).
9. Rye Rye | Hardcore Girls
Just waiting for Rye Rye to properly blow up. She deserves it. I like the super LA video treatment.
10. Robert Wyatt | Heaps Of Sheeps
I'm an early riser, and Robert Wyatt sounds just right when the Sun has just come up... Even if the song is about trying to fall asleep. The production is great on this song.
SIDE B | by Robert Barber
1. Merlin Bobb | Old WBLS mixes
I grew on Hardcore and Rap in NYC and Philadelphia in the Late 80's. What most people don't know is a lot of us were totally sneaking out at night and jamming the budding House music scene in those cities. We would dub these mixes off WBLS and Power 99 and skate to them in our walkmans. So I was pretty amped when Juiceboxxx pointed me to this blog which archived a lot of old NYC, Philadelphia, Detroit and Chicago house mixes.
2. Celtic Frost | Circle Of The Tyrants
I heard this song basically when it came out, and I was like 11 maybe? It scarred me! NOTHING sounded like this prior to it and nothing sounds like it since… I love bands that people try to genre-tag, but really, is this Black Metal? Death Metal? It's heavy, but it real just transcends a label. And the chorus riff is sorta hilarious too.
3. Peaking Lights | Birds Of Paradise Dub Version
We have played a couple times with these two, and their live set up, aside from sounding amazing, also LOOKS amazing... This record is like perfectly produced minimal dub.
4. Thirteenth Floor Elevators | I've Got Levitation
The guitar riff on the chorus makes me lose it, after the tension of the one note chord verse builds you up.. And Roky… He is just on fire... This band just captures a sound and era so perfectly.
5. D-Nice | Call Me D. Nice
And J.V.C. F.O.R.C.E. - Strong Island... Squeezing two songs in here… Really important singles to me as a teen, and I LOVE Garage Rock guitar samples over 80's boom bap NY Hip Hop. Saw D-Nice once with BDP, never saw J.V.C. F.O.R.C.E.
6. Pond | Betty Davis (Will Come Down From The Heavens To Save Us)
Tame Impala side band, we just played with them in New Zealand, one of those times at a festival you are setting up off stage while the band before you is playing, and you are like totally WTF, I want to not play now, I want to just watch! They completely destroy live. It sorta is like watching the best parts of the Woodstock film in contemporary times.
7. Lärm | Puppets On A String
Totally weird Dutch straightedge Grindcore. I love when thrash bands try to play a slow song, it sounds so weird and clumsy...
8. Matthewdavid | All You'll Never Know
What a really mind-blowing dude. This is what all Hip Hop needs to sound like. It feels like you are being absorbed into the most delicious cupcake ever made.
9. Tapper Zukkie | MPLA
Just a really good solid reggae song.
10. Mobroder | Rush (Nile Delta Remix)
The new Mobroder video is AMAZING. It is perfect. Naeem looks SO perfect.