Chayed Out, Francois, Thinker

Donnie Trumpet & The Social Expermient

What happened to Lauryn Hill? D’Angelo? Haunted by the sounds of old ghosts – Peter Frampton – and the new stalwarts – Frank Ocean – they faded from production and into record collections. Perhaps the music industry, the upkeep of being a star, was too much. Better to take the road less traveled than the red carpet one too many times over.

Nevertheless, their sounds live on in the likes of Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment. The group: Donnie Trumpet, Nate Fox, Peter Cottontale and Chance The Rapper. They’re from Chicago and best friends, not unlike the Fugees and Odd Future before them. Their latest single “Sunday Candy” builds on the variety of talent and sound from their debut, “Zion”. It’s a fun song, wonky, and self-aware; tinged with a young persons’ cynicism. A new kind of blues. Something for the Internet age.

Deep Cuts, Francois, Music for Thought, Thinker

Not Over ‘Til The (Fat) Lady Sings

That’s how I came to open an upscale jazz bar in the basement of a brand-new building in Aoyama…The bar was more successful than my wildest dreams.

There, at the counter of the Robin’s Nest, she sat, quietly sipping a daiquiri…A woman this beautiful would not be out drinking alone. A woman like this wasn’t the type to be thrilled by men making advances. She’d just find it a pain.

Her beauty took your breath away, but I didn’t figure her for a movie star or a model. Those types did frequent my bar, but you could always tell they were conscious of being on public display, the unbearable meness of being clinging to the air around them. But this woman was different. She was completely relaxed, totally at ease with her surroundings. She rested her chin in her hands on the counter, absorbed in the piano trio’s music, all the while sipping her cocktail as if lingering over a particularly well-turned phrase.

Every few minutes, she glanced in my direction. I could sense it, physically. Though I was positive she wasn’t really looking at me.

All quotes, slightly abridged, appear in Haruki Murakami’s South Of The Border, West Of the Sun.

Bangers and Mash, Chayed Out, Deep Cuts, Francois, Playlists, Thinker


One of the maestros behind Beyoncé’s latest video-album, has solo records are well worth the time to explore as well. BOOTS‘ production varies from the experimental, deep and bassy, hip-hop, and synth-tastic. His lyrics are bombastic and he culls features and samples that embellish his sounds with the catchiness of a hypothetical love child between Frank Ocean and Banks. Here’s the future.

Of course, it’s not as brutal as George Orwell’s illustrative description of the future in his dystopian peon, 1984. “If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face — forever.” These boots however, were made for grooving, foot-tapping, and perhaps even dancing.

BOOTS, a day in the life. #WinterSpringSummerFall

Playlists, Thinker

A Case of Nostalgia: David Bowie & Visuals

Feelings of nostalgia are ripe within the music industry and community. While nothing truly new in music has occurred since Beethoven, much of what we like in the latest artists and songs is that they sound like artists of the past – like “him”, “her”, or “them”. That is to say, these are two sides of the same coin. When I came across the mysterious band Visuals recently, I found that there was more cache to the nostalgia coin than I’d previously thought. Signed to Nicolas Jaar’s Other People label, the band hails, purportedly, from either Berlin or Brooklyn. A somewhat fitting origin considering their influences. Visual’s cover of David Bowie’s transcendent song “Space Oddity,” is worth all the borrowed nostalgia my few shekels of writerly interest could purchase.

Speaking of borrowed nostalgia and Bowie, lion of the downtown scene, Mike Doughty, gave a telling critique of the sentimentality and referencing in music at the recent Downtown Literary Festival. Doughty’s point, to put it roughly, is that we’re misguided to think we missed out if we were not at CBGBs in ’82 or Berghain in ’12. The legendary scenes, shows, and artists of yesteryear are subject to the continual production of newer, albeit highly referential, jams and tunes. Indeed, the historical record of music is awesome. But a desire for time that’s either waning or past, leads us to forgo the great music and musicians working today. This is partly why we groan a little when Bowie or say, The Strokes come out with a new album, but get giddy when SOHN or Washed Out release a single.

In this soundbite from a live show at Hammersmith in ’73, Bowie claims “Not only is it the last show of the tour, but, it’s the last show that we’ll ever do.” Yet, I’m listening some 40 years later with mixed feelings. It’s not the best Bowie song I’ve heard, but it’s certainly the most sentimental. I want both to be in sweaty, frantic, and big-haired Hammersmith, as well as to be here in the present day, where I can listen to Visuals and be pleased with the limits and breadth of the Internet era.

Something special to electronic music is that it morphs, changes, and dare I say evolves in a manner that rock n’ roll cannot. The remixing, editing, and other forms of manipulation keep electronic music dynamic and vibrant. Whereas rock n’ roll’s beauty is in improvisation during live performances. Where those two come close to meeting, as in the above Bowie cover by Visuals, is where nostalgia exceeds itself and a sublime moment awaits.

Here’s one last track from Visuals and then I’ll be out of your hair. Thanks for reading and listening. -François of The Aftermath