So, technically it’s already October, so please forgive my tardiness. Here is the September edition of The Monthly Write-up, a space on The Monday Lineup for me to share music related things that brought me joy in the past month.
1. Dissect, A Serialized Music Podcast – Season 2
Okay. Without any exaggeration, Dissect podcast is my favorite discovery of the year, hands down. Shout out to my girl Brooks for the hot tip. If you are at all a fan of Kanye West, drop what you are doing and go listen to Season 2 of Dissect. I don’t even care if you don’t finish my newsletter, that’s how much I love this podcast.
On each episode of Dissect Season 2 Host (and personal hero) Cole Cuchna “dissects” an individual track on Kanye West’s seminal album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (Season 1 was Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp A Butterfly). Cuchna takes an almost academic approach to exploring this album, but it’s far from dry. He teaches about music theory (his mini “lectures” on interpolation and sampling are excellent), breaks down the lyrics, and contextualizes everything to this specific period of Kanye’s life while he was dealing with the aftermath of the Taylor Swift / VMAs situation. There’s even 3 episodes of Kanye West history before he even starts breaking down the album (!!).
Dissect is also a labor of love. It takes Cuchna over 20 hours to produce each episode, and he does it without a team and without any funding from advertisements while maintaining a full time job. Like I said, hero status (you can support his Patreon page here).
And look, I get it. Kanye, like all of us, is not without his flaws. But no matter what you feel, Dissect Season 2 will give you a whole new perspective on Kanye and My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.
2. Father John Misty on Late Night with Seth Meyers – September 13, 2017
Father John Misty is on a perpetual press tour and I will continue to eat it up until it ends. I’m also seeing him play the Greek Theater this weekend, so it’s apropos that FJM finds himself again in a Write-up. This time, he had me laughing out loud recounting his realization that a full-on musical theater production of his latest album Pure Comedy was going in a very wrong direction.
“Dreams Tonite” is my favorite track off of Toronto indie-pop band Alvvays’ sophomore album Antisocialites. The music video for the song blends together historical footage from the 1967 World Expo in Montreal with footage of the band. I watched this video shortly after returning from a trip to Montreal that I loved so much I professed that I was going to move there (don’t worry San Francisco friends, I don’t speak a lick of French so it’s not actually happening), so obviously I was feeling the retro, French-canadian vibes of this video. Still am.
4. ‘When You Gonna Get A Real Job?’: Philip Glass And Devonté Hynes Compare Notes – NPR, September 21, 2017
Although I’ve seen Dev Hynes aka Blood Orange perform live twice and ranked his 2016 album Freetown Sound my favorite album of the year, watching this interview made me realize I’ve never actually heard him speak. And his darling English accent is reason number one that I love this interview. Number two is the coming together of artists from two different stratospheres of music (R&B and classical minimalism), number three is their discussion of how artists find and use their voices during troubling times, and number four, of course, is hearing Philip Glass call the versions of our Founding Fathers in Hamilton “hipsters”.
That’s all for September! Be sure to check back at the end of October 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!