George wrote this article about how his job was on the line because of a passing conversation the other day, and it wasn’t. I was just in a hurry because I was bidding on a high level DT in Madden Mobile that was vastly underpriced, and was going to be in the red soon. But since George brought this up I have looked at his revenue statements, and uh… let’s just say the PS4 will be good for a few more years.
If you haven’t been keeping up, George is a total glutton who’s top read article this year is his well-curated, little overlapped with mine top tracks of the year list:
He also unrelatedly started beef with me for no reason about my blog about my favorite songs on RHCP’s Stadium Arcadium. Frankly, it was a blog I had to write because it flowed out of me like sauce out of the tiny ripped-off corner of a packet of a Trader Joe’s Orange Chicken sauce when squeezed firmly, but I was kind of hoping to set it and forget it, let it die out amidst the other great new indie music being released in the world. But alas, like an embarrassing high-school drinking story that was good-heartedly but ill-situationally brought up at a “casual” dinner with that friend’s parents, my original event that I was hoping to sweep under the rug was inopportunely brought back into public vision.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I LIKE George. Did he try to ether me in his incorrect albeit better justified ranking of the songs on Stadium Arcadium? Yes. Did he bother me on my way to a Madden Mobile draft that I ended up losing? Yes. Did he try to take advantage of his sweet mother who generously offered him Oreos by taking five on MOTHER’S DAY(presumably)?!?!?! Yes.
So does that make him a bad person? I don’t know, you tell me, but like, I think so?
Anyways please just read this dude’s blog he needs it now more than ever:
Alright, here we are for the FINAL Tuesday Time Machine of 2020!
Also, as the headline says–
I’m trying to save my job here.
Seriously, I’m on thin ice, folks…
Two beef columns in as many weeks earlier in the month?
A habit of including several decidedly non-indie tracks selections for Time Machines past?
Look– I know I should probably go to HR about this, but the day after Christmas, Mates cornered me in the Indie Pong break room, and said, “behave yourself Folz, or, you’ll disappear.”
Needless to say, this is VERY, VERY, SERIOUS.
You’ll notice this month, that I’m TRYING to change my ways. There are even SEVERAL Mates selections on here, so hopefully, this will keep me away from the unemployment line, though idk.
In any case, for those of you who are checking in for the first time, these monthly playlists which I’m re-visiting came about as a result of an idea I had back in January of 2010: an idea that would see me create one 80 minute playlist a month.
The reason for doing this was two-fold: I wanted to create and re-enforce very specific lived experiences and memories tied to music, and I wanted a rather consistent set of songs to propel me each month as I created my art.
In creating these playlists, I tried to make things flow— I wanted songs to segue very effortlessly (or abrasively) creating a sense of narrative.
Going forward, once a week, I’m going to update the Spotify playlist that you can find below.
I’d recommend not shuffling the songs, as they were sequenced the way that they were for a reason. To get the full experience, listen to them in the way in which I’ve arranged things.
Included below is a short description of the tune I’ve included, and/or a description of the specifics memory associated with it. If you’re not trying to read all of that, just hit play on the link below!
When We’re Older- James Blake
We’re not worthy.
For the record, I’m not 100% bowled over by everything that Mr. Blake does, but I will check all of his new releases out on principle, because I think he values craft, and makes a concerted effort to produce at the highest level that he can.
This is a cover of a Beyonce song from the Lion King which… her version is fine, but like most things she does, it’s overproduced. This– a fairly brutal reduction of the original, succeeds, because of how devastatingly beautiful it is.
I’ve had this on repeat for hours upon hours over the last couple of weeks. It has yet to grow old.
2. Change (In the House of the Flies) (Tourist remix)- Deftones
I’m really coming to appreciate remixes that have almost NOTHING to do with the original.
This sees perhaps, Deftones most famous song, transformed into something that’s almost completely unrecognizable, save for a few fleeting vocal samples.
While the OG version is a remarkable piece of music, we’ve all heard it 10,000 times, and it’s lost some of its power.
This manages to retain the hypnotic aspects of the original, while sliding into a completely different lane in terms of mood and execution. Whereas the original is enthralling in a depressing, hopeless kind of way, this is the exact opposite: a white hot blast of optimism and euphoria.
I love it so very much. I hope you do too.
3. Make Water- Pearly Drops
Yes, Mates put me on to this one.
Yes, I might have to retroactively amend my top songs of 2020 to include this and a couple of others, because HO-LEE SMOKES, what is this PERFECT BLEND OF EVERYTHING THAT’S AWESOME.
If you put Cocteau Twins, Grimes, and FKA Twigs in a blender, you’d get this delectable slice of aural perfection.
I had NO TIME to do anything but draw people’s dogs and houses in the lead up to the holidays, but I MADE TIME to do a light footwork routine to this song, because I have self-control issues.
Let this song into your life.
4. Mr. Solo Dolo III- Kid Cudi
Indie Pong is a beacon of positivity and a no-hater zone, so I can’t express my thoughts about Kid Cudi’s new album as a whole.
I can however, talk about this song.
Cudi brought it.
As we’ve known for the better part of 10 years now, Kid Cudi, like Drake excels when he’s on his sad shit. This isn’t a happy piece of music, but it rings true to what Kid Cudi’s about, and it was the first song on the new album to really grab my attention.
It’s a great song to draw to.
5. Detroit Rock City- Kiss
I’m not gonna sit around and act like I know a lot about Kiss, but I will say that I love this song, dearly.
My Dad once remarked that Kiss sounded like a third-rate version of The Who, which– I can kinda hear that? Here, I feel like they’re more in their Thin Lizzy bag, which no one should be mad about because Thin Lizzy is AWESOME.
The basslines in here are glorious, and while the harmonized guitar parts may not be as good as what Scott Gorham and Brian Robertson were doing in their heyday, they’re still great.
6. Ever Again- Two Minutes to Late Night
Speaking of Thin Lizzy, here’s a bunch of metal musicians covering a Robyn song from two years ago in the style of Thin Lizzy.
I’m going to let curiosity get the better of you, and hope that you listen to this, because it’s one of the greatest covers I’ve ever heard, and you’ll be happy if you hit the link above.
7. Them Bones- Thou
Look, if I’m gonna have harsh vocals in my metal music, I prefer the white hot screaming shit as opposed to the cookie monster growling shit, because I think the latter sounds pretty silly.
In any case, in an effort to pay homage to the OG vocal tandem of MISTER Jerry Cantrell, and the late Layne Staley, Thou applies a vocal treatment here that sees harsh vocals go in one ear, and clean vocals in another.
It makes one of the standouts from, “Dirt,” even DIRT-ier (ooooooh, Pun-master George swings and misses) and you should listen to it as loudly as human possible.
8. Keep Dealing- Pusha T featuring Beanie Sigel
We all know Beanie Sigel was probably the meanest dude signed to the Roc back in the day.
Well, him, or Memphis Bleek.
Or, Freeway (more on that later).
In any case, this is a couple of verses of cocaine folklore that Pusha T could come up with in his sleep, followed by rasps, whispers, and flexes from everyone’s favorite Philly rapper.
9. 1-900-Hustler- Jay-Z featuring Beanie Sigel, Memphis Bleek, and Freeway
Concept songs within rap have gone out of vogue it seems, but they used to be a thing, and they were kind of awesome.
This song is tremendous through and through, but it will probably be remembered as the thing that introduced the world to Freeway.
And, what an introduction it is.
Probably best known to people for being on Kanye’s, “Two Words,” it’s because of performances like this that Freeway got on that song in the first place.
A picture-frameable performance from an underrated rapper.
10. Tryin to Stop Smokin- Trick Daddy featuring Mystikal
Five years ago, Trick Daddy proudly proclaimed himself, “the boonk underdog.”
For those who don’t know, boonk is a Dade-County thing– weed laced with cocaine, the proverbial, “dirty, dirty,” that Mystikal is so wary of in the song’s introduction.
Speaking of Mystikal, he shows out here.
This song is full-on manic madness, featuring two of the greatest rappers to come out of the south in the late 90s, both of whom are wildly underrated.
11. Me in 20 Years- Moses Sumney
I’ve been listening to Moses Sumney’s music for almost three years now, and I still find myself amazed at the soul-shattering power of his voice.
In addition to being a beautiful, deeply contemplative piece of music, this song is vocal showcase unlike any other– certainly, one of the best songs on, “græ.”
If you’ve yet to hear it, please give it your undivided attention, and allow yourself to be awed by the specifics of it.
I’m all for a good sultry voice, and Ms. Reid more than delivers in that department.
The production here is nothing but complimentary, and putting this on repeat allows you to find a particularly blissful groove with relative ease.
I’m all for it.
13. niagara falls- thanks for coming
So, if you tuned into the interview that Mates did with thanks for coming a couple of weeks back, you’d have been treated to a STUNNING, OUT-OF-CONTROL, extra tender acoustic rendition of this, that would have sent you to dreamland a happy camper.
Or, at least, that was my experience.
The studio version here is great, don’t get me wrong, but my goodness– listening to the acoustic version, I felt cocooned in the particular blue hues that you can only find in David Lynch movie, floating about a foot off the ground, as though I was en route to go shoot dice/sip the elixer of life with the pink elephants from Dumbo.
You should follow Indie Pong on Instagram, and then watch till the end of this, so you too, can be similarly blessed.
14. Transmission to Mercury- Imperial Triumphant
I know, I know– Alphaville.
Thanks to bpmhill, I FINALLY sat down to listen to the most buzzed about indie metal album of 2020 before the year ended, and I was NOT dissappointed.
Jazz and metal don’t go together in a lot of people’s minds, but they REALLY should.
Question, when you hear Daniel Tracy from Deafheaven putting in THAT WORK, who comes to mind, John Bonham, or peak-era Billy Cobham/Jack DeJohnette?
If you answered Bonham, you can leave.
In any case, this songs begins with a little something that wouldn’t be out of place on Bill Evans’, “Moonbeams,” or, an album from Miles Davis’ second great quintet.
Yeah, THAT good.
The song them tumbles in metal, but better believe that 7th chords with an added 9th (or maybe, 13th?!) are being SHREDDED in the background, and with all due respect to Tony Iommi, Black Sabbath wasn’t exactly on that.
I’m glad I know about this, and I’m glad I can now listen all the time, because I probably will.
15. Kodama- Alcest
So, before their was Deafheaven, there was Alcest.
There were a lot of things before Deafheaven, but primarily, Alcest.
Not a knock against the former band, either, but these Frenchmen helped lay the blueprint for one of the cooler metal bands to come out of America in awhile.
In any case, this is very pretty metal. This is deep thought metal, or, something to put on when you have to start contemplating one thing or another.
I dig it.
16. The Valley- Emma Ruth Rundle and Thou
Ok, look– from 6:49 to the end of the this song, all this song does is WIN.
Like, Win, win, win, win, win, win, win.
We’re not worthy.
Screamed vocals have never been used for better effect, or, counterpoint against a voice as effortlessly beautiful as E DOUBLE R’s, and I don’t think I’ve had the inside of my skull pulverized quite like this since I first heard, Black Sabbath’s, “Into The Void,” when I was 18.
This is a slow-burn to end all slow-burns, and when it FINALLY goes heavy, you know that heavy has been forever re-defined, and you feel sad, because nothing is going to make you feel so utterly decimated again.
When it goes loud, make your headphones go loud too, because– oof, this is a monster.
17. Spirit in the Sky- Norman Greenbaum
Okay, but for real? The most underrated guitar fuzz tone EVER?
Found on this song– no jokes.
This is one of the best songs ever too, but we gotta shout out the fuzz, because it’s in a league of it’s own.
Also, had to end the playlist on a happier note, but closing out the last playlist of 2020 with the previous track might be too tough.
To all the people who have read and supported Indie Pong throughout the first year of our existence, THANK YOU.
This blog has helped me get through an upside-down, nutty, outrageous year, and the sense of community established with folks who are both reading the blog, and writing for it made for some really wonderful moments in 2020.
We hope that you stay with us, and (hopefully) I’ll still have a job next week, unless Mates wants to flex his founding father powers, and send me packing!
Only time will tell, but in the meantime, thanks again.
It pains me that it’s come to this, but here we are…
TWO beef articles from me in as many weeks?
And a week from Christmas to boot!?
It took until yesterday for me to get the full picture, but the ever humble Sunday Monday Tuesday George has been the victim of a damn near 20 YEAR LONG W-I-C-K-E-D ploy by Daw to make me look foolish.
How dare it be so carefully considered, despite your tireless DEDICATION TO THE GAME, or… you know, giving the youth the truth (#rhymeslikedimes) throughout this pandemic.
There are power moves and then, there are POWER MOVES, and Daw made the latter.
But Daw didn’t do this for selfless reason– he didn’t do it for the better of the Indie Pong community.
He did it to complete his gambit in the interest of making me look like a chump… and it all started back in the summer of 2001…
It was a weekday in the middle of June– everyone had just gotten out of school for the summer, and Daw had come over to my families house to chill with my brother Jack.
Daw asked my mom if they could have some Oreos at like 10 o’clock in the morning, and she absent-mindedly waved them off, saying, “Sure.”
Seeing as how I was in the adjacent room, I took this as the go-ahead for me to get in on this Oreo action too. After he and my brother both took their two measly cookies from the sleeve, I made an older brother power move…
and took five.
Then, in a picture-framable moment of, TEXTBOOK DRY-SNITCHING, pipsqueak Daw piped up,
“Oh, I didn’t know we could have five.”
My mother, whipped her head around quicker than I’ve ever seen, and made me put three cookies back in the sleeve, telling me, “I’d rot my teeth out.”
Threats of physical violence towards Daw were ready to fly out of my mouth, but I played it cool.
Let’s just say, I got the last laugh a few weeks later, when the tubes on Daw’s bike tires *magically* popped in my parent’s garage, and he had to walk from my families house, all the way back to Northwest Evanston, because no one in his family could give him a ride.
IN THE RAIN.
That’s a clean 44 minute walk, according to Google Maps— probably, more like an hour and a half, for a grade schooler.
In any case, I thought it would give Daw AMPLE time to reflect on his trespasses, and put some respect on my name.
Little did I know, it would lead to something else completely… something he saved for 2020.
Part 1 came to fruition in January or February, just before the pandemic hit.
Daw came into lunch at the restaurant I was working at, all smiles and laughs.
Then, he orders a beer.
Actually, let me correct myself, he TRIED to order a beer— five different ones, all of which, we didn’t currently have in stock.
As I’m furiously rushing back and forth to their table, trying to get Daw a beer, I start thinking to myself…
“5 beers… 5 beers, because I tried to take 5 Oreos?!”
On the sixth try, he finally ordered something we had in stock, and laughed when I brought it to him saying, “might want to update your menu.”
As he and his Dad ate and drank, I stood at the server’s station, my mind boggled…
“Is Daw out here playing this like, INSANE 5-D chess game?”
“Is this a MASTERCLASS in pettiness, known unto no one but Daw himself?
I was prepared to let it go, until upon leaving, Daw walked up to the bartender, slid him a 20 and said, “thanks for your help.”
This bartender’s parents live 4 blocks away from Daw’s parents.
It could ONLY mean that they were in cahoots– Daw contacted him before-hand, got the low-down on what wasn’t in stock, and ordered ALL OF IT, just to fuck with me.
Anyways, yesterday, Daw *tried* to put the nail in the coffin.
He dropped his year-end list… trying to knock me from the top of the perch, as my top songs of 2020 are OBVIOUSLY, better than anyone else’s.
And you know what?
That little shit did it… for now.
You see, #teamPetty has two captains…
Me, and Cam’Ron.
Daw’s trying to muscle in on our operation, and we all know how Cam’ron feels about Oreo snitches like Daw.
Daw’s win ratio is currently, looking better than mine, but we all know how this goes…
All I’m saying is… things might not go over so well next time Daw tries to get another, “indie,” tattoo to further solidify his, “indie,” cred.
Hope you’re up on your tetanus shots Daw— gonna be hard for you to talk that shit if you’ve got a mean case of lockjaw, punk.
If you’ve been living under a total ROCK and haven’t heard this is happening yet (just kidding probably literally no one has heard about this), Zola Jesus recently threw some major shade at Swifty via Twitter.
This is a piping hot take. Twitter is exploding.
@ZOLAJESUS … sorry to hear she hasn’t discovered or shared your work with her audience yet. Anyway, I just wanted to say that I don’t think you can call it cosplaying when she wrote every song – this is very much her passion project.
Some great points. I started out clearly agreeing with Zola Jesus’ point that Taylor is appropriating the indie DIY asthetic for her expensively produced studio album, but it’s also true that she wrote the songs and it’s her passion project and she has the right to make it look however she wants so, like the Folkore cover, there is a lot of gray area. Also Taylor really has done a lot for the music community in general, namely her short-lived yet noteworthy boycott of Spotify that personally was the single thing that called my attention to artists not being paid fairly from streaming, and most recently her re-recording of her masters. Really rooting for her on the latter.
BTW there are some GREAT beef threads on Twitter, the T-Swift Mafia AKA the Swifties are hard at work:
I was a bit surprised she went through my literally thousands of tweets to find the six or seven ones I’ve made about TS too, but it’s fine. She probably has tons more (I mean, that profile pic), and that’s okay. People like what they like and tweet what they want :)))
So, in the wee hours of Sunday morning, I saw that Mates put up an article in appreciation of the Red Hot Chili Pepper’s, “Stadium Arcadium,” album.
Clicking into the article, I was super excited to see his picks, because I love that album dearly.
When I actually saw his choices for the Top 5 songs though?
First off, families stick together, and I’m gonna have to agree with my brother Jack, in his assessment of, “Slow Cheetah”…
And… “Storm in a Teacup?”
I refuse to believe that Mates is out here intentionally co-signing weak sauce, so I think we need to have an intervention here.
Mind you, there’s hope for him, because my list is going to include, “Turn it Again,” too, but at the same time, we need to address his error in judgment ASAP and present our readers with the ACTUAL Top 5 songs from the album.
5. Animal Bar
So, the best thing about this album is that it’s JOHN FRUSCIANTE’S album.
Almost every song on this double LP has at least one guitar solo that SCREAMS something painterly, alternating equally (and effortlessly) between sorrow and joy, while also, perhaps, not-so-low-key whispering, “I do this for the BOW-LEGGED women.”
That last bit might be up for debate, but irregardless, John Frusciante closes this song out with his best Robert Fripp in ’75 homage, and it’s magnificent.
4. 21st Century
I feel like it’s safe to say that Flea got all of his hottest bass licks as a result of THOROUGHLY wearing out the grooves on his copy Stanley Clarke’s, “School Days,” but here, he’s coming with some work that even the Supreme Maestro of Slap might envy.
To boot, Mr. Frusciante TRIPLE TRACKS his guitar leads at the end of the song, and really, nobody does it better.
I MAY or may not have knicked his idea here for my lone guitar solo on the forthcoming Ligier Contach album— hard to say.
3. Turn it Again
This song is fully outrageous most of the way through, but special attention must once again be paid to Mr. Frusciante’s guitar playing.
It works brilliantly, because Chad Smith and Flea have it LOCKED down behind him, allowing him the space to wrestle an especially raunchy string of notes from his Stratocaster for the better part of a minute. Listen closely for the Octavia action that comes in and out of focus too, shooting his already stratospheric notes choices even higher, putting them in a register not dissimilar to the mini-Moog.
On one hand, it’s sad, because I don’t know if the Chili Peppers will ever make a song again that’s just this FUN.
You must groove to this.
There are no other options.
The power of Chad Smith’s beat displacement just behind the 4 in the verse, WILL MAKE YOUR SHOULDERS LEAN.
Very rarely do I sit down, and try to crib other guitar players licks, but I’ve studied what John Frusciante is doing here, because it’s just so good.
His opening solos are but a few notes, yet he gets EVERYTHING out of them.
You can whistle them, you can sing along to them, and there’s such joy in that.
All around, this is just a magnificent piece of music, but not as good as…
1. Wet Sand
Look, do people actually think, “Under the Bridge,” is the best Chili Peppers song, now that this is out there in the world?
As far as the ballad thing goes, they’ll never beat this.
It’s… It’s just perfect.
Sometimes, I’ll improvise a solo over songs that I like, and record my best take for posterity. I think there are THREE songs outside of, “Wet Sand,” where I’ve taken a crack at the same song twice.
When I go there, it’s out of love, and I love this song so very much.