Mystery Mini Mix is a shiny new feature dredged up from somewhere within the collective imagination of the WTD crew. Basically, we’ve made a huge list of song prompts (eg. Song with a colour in the title) and are getting our favourite writers and music people to curate a list of songs according to the randomly-assigned prompts they receive. It’s then up to them to craft their very own ‘EP’, and if they want to write a little bit about their choices then that’s cool too.
This week we hand things over to CHUCK, aka Charles Griffin Gibson, who recently put out My Band is My Computer, one of the most interesting and enjoyable albums of the year so far. You can read our review for a more in-depth analysis of the songs, but the concluding paragraph should indicate whether or not you’ll appreciate what CHUCK is all about:
“Playing like a collaboration between Owen Ashworth and Bret Easton Ellis… covering everything that’s terrible and everything that’s not about being a young adult in the twenty-first century, somehow managing to tap into the human kernel at the centre of our zombified lurch of nostalgia and regret”
I’ll Do It Better Than Anybody Else*
Song that reminds you of your favourite video game
Ben Kweller - Falling
Oh man, this song is a real blast from the past. As you can tell I haven’t played video games in a long time. I used to listen to this record when I would play Tony Hawk back in High School though. Ben Kweller rules. I love the songs and production on this album. I really looked up to him as a teenager. Also, I’m just realizing that he sounds exactly like Rivers Cuomo.
Song from at least ten years ago
Heatmiser - Half Right
I heard this song for the first time the other day because someone posted it on Facebook. And I call myself a real Elliott Smith fan! I can’t believe I never heard this! This coulda been one of his hits man. His voice was such an unbelievable treasure. I’ve been trying to record and mix my acoustic guitars like him for years, but I’ll never figure it out. Something about how he combines the high and low end is so emotive to me.
Wildest song you know
Kanye West - Freestyle 4
I think Kanye West generally sucks at freestyling. That’s what makes this song so wild. He stumbles. He repeats things. There’s not really a rhyme scheme. It feels like, coupled with the beat, that he’s going insane with a furious desire to fuck, and to do it in public. It says a lot about his celebrity and his ego. But I also relate to it just as a man with a sex drive. Sometimes you get these potent sexual urges at random times. Like a little angry man freestyling in your head. It literally feels like this song. The beat is so Hitchcock too. Man I love this track.
Song that makes you want to change the world
TEEN - Better
TEEN is a really hard working band out of BK. This was the first song I heard by them. I think the lyrics obviously fit the prompt, but also something about the instrumentation and repetition of the melody pump me up. One time I was listening to this while biking over the Manhattan bridge and I ended up crashing with this guy who was coming in the opposite direction. It was pretty disorienting and we both sort of biked away mumbling insults at each other. I didn’t have any injuries or anything, but it still shook me up. I don’t think I’ve heard this song since that incident, but it immediately came to mind when I read the prompt. Enjoy!
Song that makes you want to dance around your bedroom
TOPS - Way To Be Loved
If you can stay still to this song you are dead. The guitarist in this band is really special. I love his riffs, melodically and rhythmically. The singer is also great. I have actually danced to this song in my bedroom. This should be played at every party.
Song without words
Vincent Gallo - Was
I had a dream I met Vincent Gallo the other night. I used to be obsessed with him. I haven’t thought of him in many years though. I was digging around for a song for this, and saw his name, and remembered how much of an impression his music made on me as a teenager. I love its crudeness. It feels amateur, dirty and timeless. I really look up to him, because he’s done so much. Acting, writing, directing, music, modelling, dancing, etc. I’m not much compared to him, but I also feel compelled to wear many different hats. I remember, in the early internet days, he was selling his own semen on his website. I think it was like $100,000 and had a note that said “you can receive the semen however you want.” Man, I wonder what he’s up to now. He was so funny. I gotta watch Buffalo ‘66 again.
Here’s a Playmoss playlist that collects all the tracks, for those of you who prefer to go with the flow:
* Title decided by Jon
My Band is My Computer is out now and available via Audio Antihero/Old Money Records. Grab your copy from the CHUCK Bandcamp page.
Photo by Joseph Talman