There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.
The Black Lips (feat. Gza): “The Drop I Hold“
Basically just the same borderline-hilarious 36 Chambers homage that appeared on the Black Lips most recent record, 200 Million Thousand, except there’s a verse from Wu-Tang’s Gza smooshed onto the end. “A simple word from Black Lips that sink ships before I fire off one that give em the pink slip,” he raps. As crossovers go, it’s better than KRS-One’s verse on R.E.M.’s “Radio Song,” but not quite up there with Chuck D’s guest spot on Sonic Youth’s “Kool Thing.”
Dinosaur Jr: “I Want You to Know“
Dinosaur Jr’s great innovation was to take classic rock and play it at the ear drum-battering volume of hardcore punk. It’s good to find that the re-united classic line-up still hasn’t swerved from that original path. Indeed, everything on “I Want You to Know”—the chords, the melody, the lyrics—could pass muster in a late-’70s Grateful Dead tune. Luckily, all of it’s cranked up into the red. Mascis’ winding, slightly funky riffs are almost as dank as the record’s cover art, which looks like something Ralph Bakshi might have drawn up for Ram Dass‘ answer to the Dungeons & Dragons handbook.
Yura Yura Teikoku: “Sweet Surrender (Remix)“
Mysterious Japanese krautrock band Yura Yura Teikoku, have been playing in Japan for nearly twenty-years now, but have only made it to the states only once. Here they get an out-of-the-blue remix from DFA, who pump the bass on “Sweet Surrender” up to slightly-irritating electroclash levels. But it would take a lot more than that to mess up this song’s groove, which sounds like something that Can’s Jaki Leibezeit might have pounded out during a spare moment of the Tago Mago sessions.
Four Tet + Burial: “Moth“
“Moth” finds Four Tet—aka drummer, beat-programmer, and all-around guru of clickety-clacking IDM Kieran Hebden—collaborating with Burial, the reclusive UK-based dubstep producer. Both artists apply their signature moves here, with Hebden providing the lush synths and Burial eventually dropping his trademark stuttering kick drum. The two styles merge surprisingly well, though, creating a bumpy but deeply hypnotic 9-minute groove.