For better or worse, we’re all in this together.
Married to the Music is a weekly section borrowing the ridiculous and enjoyable tradition brides endure before getting married. Each week we feature 4 selected songs:
Something Old: A song that is at least 20 years old
Something New: A song that is less than 3 months old
Something Borrowed: A covered, sampled, or remixed song
Something Blue: A song that is melancholy, dark, depressing, or just plain sad
A Tribe Called Quest | “Electric Relaxation”
Malik “Phife Dawg” Taylor, founding member of the legendary hip hop group A Tribe Called Quest, tragically died at just 45 years old this week and the mourning was palpable throughout the blogosphere. Obituaries flooded feeds detailing how influential Phife’s contributions were to hip hop almost always including a personal note on how it affected the writer. Many had a pivotal experience upon first discovering Tribe’s music. They pushed the genre further with bass heavy, jazzy beats and a plethora of samples from all types of music mashed together to form a cohesive cultural statement. The best way to commemorate an artist’s passing is to re-examine their art. “Electric Relaxation” is one of Tribe’s greatest jams and how can you not want to throw out offhand Phife quotes whenever the opportunity presents itself. This guy knows what I’m talking about.
Margo Price | “Hands of Time”
Nashville singer-songwriter Margo Price is the signed to Jack White’s Third Man Records and her new album Midwest Farmer’s Daughter has all the elements of an indie pop song without abandoning the earnestness of the country world’s lyrical themes or instrumentation. There’s something about the album’s opener “Hands of Time.” It pushes away from your standard country song as the verses build over a sparse high-hat and snare rim until the chorus floats in with a sweeping string section. The lyrics are beautiful and heartbreaking:
When I hit the city I joined the band
Started singing in the bars and running with the men
But the men they brought me problems
And the drinking caused me grief
I thought I’d found a friend but I only found a thief
Sturgill Simpson | “In Bloom” (Nirvana cover)
Covering Nirvana is daunting. If you’re going to try to cover one of music’s most audacious, raucous, cultural shifting forces you better have a gameplan because you have no hopes in making a better version than the original, you can only hope to give it a twist. Country weirdo Sturgill Simpson took on the task with a cover of “In Bloom” that is somber but eerie as hell and the video adds an extra level of creepiness with a man in a boat with a cannon for a head floating above a circling sea creature. It is something completely different than the original video where Kurt, Dave, and Krist parody early 1960s variety shows. A subtle difference in Sturgill’s version changes “He don’t know what it means when I say (yeahhhh)” to “He don’t know what it means to love someone.”
Mark Pritchard | “Beautiful People” (feat. Thom Yorke)
UK electronic artist Mark Pritchard teamed up with Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke to create “Beautiful People.” The steady beat and flute loop repeat as Yorke’s angelic vocals are pitch-shifted, warped, and filtered in different ways throughout the song. “The original instrumental to ‘Beautiful People’ is a personal song about loss, hopelessness and chaos, but the message is love and hope,” Pritchard said in a statement. Pritchard previously remixed Radiohead’s track “Bloom” for TKOL RMX 1234567, their remix album of songs from 2011’s The King of Limbs.