Welcome to The SALSA Weekly! The SALSA Weekly is a curated playlist/post on the blog, wherein members of SALSA will submit one song they have been digging the past week and why.
For your listening pleasure, here are our picks in one handy dandy Spotify playlist. Scroll down for what we have to say!
Lunostophiles: Ghost — Rats
To get the obvious out of the way: this is just a really great song by a really great band. But that’s not what I want to discuss here.
Ghost is incredibly clever in what they are able to do. Character bands (GWAR, KISS, Here Come the Mummies, et cetera) get to live in this space where no matter what they do, it can fit into the fiction of their band. There are levels to this, of course–bands like X-Ray Spex and The Epoxies, despite having cute names for themselves, are not playing characters. Ghost, on the other hand, are very overtly playing characters–the lead singer, Tobias Forge, has now played four characters as lead singer. And while that’s fun, and maybe even gimmicky, what I love most about it is the freedom it allows the band. From album to album, Ghost is able to explore different sounds within metal and hard rock, and even when it makes heavy jumps, it feels okay because it all fits whatever character is being played at the moment. While, I am sure in concerts, Forge sings songs from all the albums, the change-up of character each album allows the space to explore. Where early Ghost hinged on dirge sounds and lugubriousness, with “Rats” and the character of Cardinal Copia, we have this glam goth Alice Cooper sound, and a video to match.
I’m in love with this song, but I’m more in love with just how agile Ghost is able to be with this character rotation.
Found on: Pope Spotmeritus IV
Amdusias: Thank You Scientist— Mr. Invisible
Okay, so I guess like, the alternate-dimension twin of dudeface from Coheed and Cambria got together with a ton of his friends and started a jazz band.
And then the jazz band decided that they’d just get proggier and guitarier over time, until they ended up at whatever Thank You Scientist is. Plus, their drummer is named ODIN, how cool is that?
Put differently: this is the metal vibraphone outro I’ve always needed in my life, and I’m so glad it’s finally arrived.
Found on: ???ify
I occasionally go rolling back through a bunch of music from university, partly out of nostalgia and partly to keep up my chops - I still have most of it memorized, and I’d like to keep it that way! We sang this piece my last year in the choir, and had my one solo of my time in CSU choirs. This one, by Swedish composer Lars Johan Werle, uses a few memorable techniques, such as spoken words, aleatoric note choices (some sections just say “sing as low as you can”), splitting syllables among different parts, and, in one instance, using part of the word ‘fugir’ as percussion: the tenors and bases say “fu-“ loudly, while the altos and sopranos sing up above. It was a blast to perform.
Found on: SPO(tify)
Amdusias: Laura Veirs— Margaret Sands
I hadn’t actually heard of Laura Veirs until 2016’s Case/Lang/Veirs, her album with Neko Case and k.d. lang, two musicians that I really enjoy. One track into her new release, it’s extremely easy to see why the three of them collaborated: this is some really solid singer-songwriter folksy weirdness (I’m not a fan of the term “alt-country”, but there you go), and I’m into it a lot.
Found on: Spot/Spot/Spot
Proxy: Melt—Banana — The Hive
I’ve been taking a break from a lot of writing about music to focus on…well, actually writing it. Part of what I’ve been doing to do that has been combing through stuff that fits that mood of what I’m attempting to convey in my own way and consequently getting addicted to those songs in the process. “The Hive” is one of such songs, which is just always driving forward at max volume and well above the speed limit. Catchy yet abrasive, simple yet intriguingly noisy…this track has a lot of reckless abandon. I like it.
Found on: Spot for your eyes, a beast in the well on your paw
Lorxus: Chris Clark — Pleen 1930’s
If Cloudkicker and Boards of Canada somehow had a baby, that would be an abomination before nature and the gods, because music most definitely does [i]not[/i] have the right to children, and I’m not even sure how that would work. That said, I ran across this delight that sounds like some wonderful amalgam of the two. Enjoy!
Found on: Iffy Tops
Peri: KCRW — Lost Notes
Here I go linking not-music again. KCRW is making a short 8 part series on obscure but important musical history. They dive deep into the stories of (in)famous musicians and music, exploring the composition, historical context. and cultural impact. For a music-addicted history and culture nerd, this series is a compulsive must-listen. Expect such delightful subjects as Captain Beefheart, New York Hip Hop pirate radio stations in the early days of hip hop, and the strange story behind “Louie Louie”
Found on: Your favorite podcast delivery service
Just an extraordinary amount of arrangement and detail going on in a three and a half minute pop/rock song. (Kastor were also one of the best live acts I’ve ever seen, whether playing to audiences of a hundred people or ten.)
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