13 Beats of the Week: 11/13/20


Miller Downer, Managing Editor

  1. “So Good at Being in Trouble,” by Unknown Mortal Orchestra — Before becoming juggernauts of psychedelic and disco, Unknown Mortal Orchestra produced lofi folksy tracks like “So Good at Being in Trouble,” capitalizing on the laid-back voice cracks of Ruban Nielson, the group’s progenitor.
  2. “Weird Fishes/ Arpeggi,” by Radiohead — Long-praised to be the best rock group of all time, Radiohead surpasses any form of description, especially when listening to their LPs all the way through. In Rainbows, their seventh studio album, features this track as well as many more of their easily accessible productions.
  3. “I Want Wind to Blow,” by The Microphones — a master of folk and psych-pop, Phil Elverum created The Microphones in 1996 in Olympia, Washington. Always tense and incredibly vulnerable, Elverum’s vocals are the unarguable highlight of the group, though the crescendo of “I Want Wind to Blow” highlights the band’s strategic use of lofi production to create an appropriate atmosphere for their frontman.
  4. “Xaxado de Espantar Tristeza,” by Marilia Medalha — Award-winning Marilia Medalha started her bossa nova career in the early ‘60s, touring internationally before retiring to her home country to promote the genre’s unique sounds in the next generation of Brazilian musicians.
  5. “Brasil pandeiro,” by Novos Baianos — Novos Baianos formed in 1969, hoping to bring Samba to an audience wider than their closed ecosystem of Salvador, Brazil. Decades later, their music is celebrated as precursory to the revolutionary Tropicalismo, which highlighted blends of psychedelic rock and bossa nova.
  6. “Plantasia,” by Mort Garson Mort Garson makes music for plants — hence “Plantasia,” a song that supposedly makes your floral friends as happy as it makes you.
  7. “Zig Zag Wanderer,” by Captain Beefheart & His Magic BandDon Val Vliet, the ringmaster of Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band, was unarguably meticulous in his creating of absurdist fusions of blues, free jazz, and rock — emphasized especially on “Zig Zag Wanderer.” Bandmates regularly called him obsessive, enigmatic, and even threatening; regardless, Captain Beefheart has a cult following to this day emphasizing the importance of his influence on genres like new wave and experimental rock.
  8. 僕の果汁,”by Zutto Zuletellz Zutto Zuletellz fills a specific niche of Japanese garage rock, valuing their crass and rambunctious sound to create their own unique brand with Beastie Boys-esque vocals and avant-garde instrumentality.
  9. “Sailin’ On,” by Bad Brains Hardcore punk fused with reggae, Bad Brains surpasses all expectations of what either genre should sound like; this being said, many claim their self-titled release to be one of the best punk productions of all time, rivalling the likes of the Dead Kennedys and the Ramones
  10. “Vomets,” by Standing On The Corner Standing On The Corner, a New York sound collage team, creates dense and psychedelic progressions that are simultaneously lethargic and action-packed—mellow and eclectic. Unarguably on the cutting edge of sound, Standing On The Corner is something to keep an eye out for in future collaborations.
  11. “El Camino,” by Orion Sun Philadelphia’s own Tiffany Majette is the sole mover of Orion Sun, an alternative R&B project that incorporates elements of hip-hop and even weird indie characteristics like odd progressive guitar licks.
  12. “Super Thicc,” by Payday Simple and fun, Payday is an up-and-coming 16-year-old alternative hip-hop artist that capitalizes on humorous references and earworming beats.
  13. “If You Know You Know,” by Pusha T Pusha T is simply one of the most influential names in hip-hop alongside the likes of Jay-Z, Pharrell Williams and Kendrick Lamar to name a few. “If You Know You Know” off his tour de force DAYTONA further emphasizes his legacy as one of the biggest ever.