Welcome to the second edition of The Monthly Write-up, where I write about my favorite music related things I’ve discovered during the month. Here, you’ll find a few of my favorites finds from August:
Ever since I first heard “Alaska” by Maggie Rogers last Summer, I’ve been a fan of her music. But it wasn’t until this past month when I listened to her break down her creation of this hit single on Song Exploder podcast and watched her remarkable NPR Tiny Desk concert that I realized just how talented Maggie Rogers is.
On the podcast, she’s incredibly endearing and genuine, cool because she’s not too cool for anything (in fact, her nerdiness is why I love her episode so much). She perfectly articulates why the club scene in Berlin is so special, why house music is primal and meditative, and that yes, Carly Rae Jepsen is a pop goddess. I knew this was going to be the first line item on this month’s Write-up.
Then, as I was going through a bunch of random items I’d saved over the month in prep for this post, I watched her NPR Tiny Desk Concert. It became immediately clear that her viral single was not a fluke, and that there’s a reason Pharrell Williams reacted the way he did in that infamous YouTube video. So much of what makes “Alaska” great is the arrangement and production on the track, but the more acoustic versions of the songs she performs during the Tiny Desk Concert highlight her stunning vocals. I’m officially a member of the Maggie Rogers fan club.
2. Spend the Night mix – DJ Sober for GORILLA VS. BEAR
Dallas-based DJ Sober mixes together some of my favorite vibey house and chillwave producers like Project Pablo, Harvey Sutherland, Young Marco, Jaques Greene and Washed Out in an hour long mix perfect for catching the last rays of Summer (or the first if you’re in San Francisco like me!).
3. JAY Z- “Moonlight” music video
There’s a lot to say about this music video, but I’ll let director (and Master of None co-conspirator Alan Yang do the talking). That cast tho! And that ending. Perfection.
4. “It’s Time To Get Excited About Brockhampton” – Tom Breihan, Stereogum
If you haven’t listened to BROCKHAMPTON, you haven’t been listening to my Lineups recently and you should change that. But in all seriousness, this Kanye West fan forum-bred age rap boy band are a sight to behold. They just released their 2nd studio album of 2017, and are taking the world by storm. Get acquainted with them in this article from Steregum’s Tom Breihan, but most importantly, watch their outrageously fun music videos.
5. Lorde & Jack Antonoff – “Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard“, Outside Lands 2017
I’m very public about the fact that I am not a fan of San Francisco’s Outside Lands music festival. But despite all of the reasons why this festival is no longer in my rotation, something magical happened this year when the co-creators of the best pop record of the year, Lorde and Jack Antonoff, sat on stage and performed an acoustic rendition of Paul Simon’s
“Me and Julio Down By the Schoolyard”. I spent the formative years of my childhood and adolescence singing this song at Jewish summer camp, but never in my wildest dreams did I imagine a version so charming and so adorable.
Plus, Jack literally looks like he could have gone to summer camp with me so this couldn’t be more appropos. I almost regret not buying a ticket.
6. “National Radio Day with Best Frequencies Forever (BFF.fm), Live from the Secret Alley” – Shayna Yasuhara, SF Station
Okay, so this is slightly self-serving (I DJ on BFF.fm every Monday night from 8-10PM if I didn’t already tell you 100x), but BFF.fm is too wonderful not to share. Seriously – community radio is a beautiful, magical thing in this crazy, shit-show of a world we live in. Where else can you tune in and hear Hall & Oates’ “Kiss On Your List” on the airwaves at 10:46PM on Wednesday night just when you need it?
That’s all for August! Be sure to check back at the end of September for the next installment. If you haven’t already, be subscribe to The Monday Lineup’s email list (there’s a box on the top right side of this screen!).
Did I miss something that you loved that you think belongs here? Drop me a line in the comments section below!