We are cruising along, Darwin in the driver’s seat, a couple hours from Seattle. Darwin’s playing a funky breaks Pandora station on the radio. He’s been explaining to the band the difference between various electronic music genres. Before I started typing this, Darwin explained to me the difference between funky breaks (also called breakbeats) and electro (also called electro beats). Both are usually between 120 and 140 bpm in tempo. The song we are listening to is based on a drum sample from an old soul record (Darwin recognizes the sample). Electro apparently does not use drum samples, but drum machines, instead (lots of the 808). Electro is usually flat, rhythmically, while funky breaks can swing. Another close relative of Electro is called Miami Bass, which features Miami-specific elements and is heavy on the club element. The other day, Darwin was giving the van similar lessons regarding house, jungle, drum and bass, dubstep. He knows a lot about these things, and I like to learn.
So you wanna know about the listening habits of the Deez band? This is the blog entry to read. Overseas, it’s very different. A lot of the music comes from our driver Seb and our tour manager Ben. In Europe, it’s a lotta Thermals, Ben Kweller, Dismemberment Plan, to name a few.
An hour ago, I played Darwin the first Pink Floyd record, Piper at the Gates of Dawn (my personal fave). I love the deadpan imaginative Sid Barrett presence. After “Bike”, Darwin concluded that he’s a Dark Side of the Moon man. “What can I say? I like the simple straightforward lyrics. It goes great with the music. It works,” he said. “During the epic droning instrumental in the middle of Piper, Darwin jabbed me, “So THIS is the album that’s better than Dark Side of the Moon?” After a few more minutes of swirling psychedelia, Darwin joked, “Now I know how other people feel when I listen to the first Animal Collective album.”
Speaking of, Cole’s been excited about revisiting AC lately. His favorite track these days is “Did You See the Word?” from the beginning of Feels. Darwin took us on a journey through his favorite, Avey Tare and Panda Bear’s “Spirit They’ve Gone, They’ve Vanished,” which I’ve always struggled to savor, but was sounding real fine in Idaho.
We listened to the new Kanye album, of course. We all had a good time with it. While I feel there’s something lacking in lyrics about profit and how great one is and throwing up your hands at the concert, there remains something fascinating about peeking in on that guy, the ego, the persona. One of the favorite lyrical quotations / Kanye impersonations floating around our van is, “In the end, god dammit, I’m killin’ this shit, I know damn well ya’ll feelin’ this shit.”
We’re cobbling together a little best-of A List / B List playlist, but I dunno how much we’re gonna keep adding to it. So far the A List has “Midnight in a Perfect World” by DJ Shadow, a glitched-out young country remix that Cole made of “Put You in a Song”, a Jakwob dubstep remix of Ellie Goulding’s “Starry Eyed”, a song of unknown title by Lata Mangeshkar, the vocal a cappela version of David Lee Roth singing Van Halen’s “Running with the Devil”, and “Final Form” by Everything Everything. B List has “Breakup Song for Brook Pridemore to Sing” by our friend Dan Costello, who played keyboard in Creaky Boards.
You’ve been listening to Deez FM, WDDZ.