Budo and Grieves looking dapper at Gasworks Park.
As opposed to our favorite songs, or songs we'd like to think define our listening habits, taking a look at what a person actually listens to can be far more revealing. With that in mind, every Wednesday we ask an artist to take a look at the most-played songs in their iTunes libraries and share with us the results. We do this on the honor system, and we ask our subjects to share a few words about each song.
Budo and Grieves looking dapper at Gasworks Park.
Hometown rappers Grieves and Budo may be some of the whitest kids on the block, but they've got some seriously diverse taste. From D'Angelo's sexed up track "Untitled (How Does It Feel)" to Johan Johannsson's neo-classical compositions, their iTunes stats don't lie--and their explanations plainly prove it. The two collaborators remain their own entities--Grieves the MC and Budo the producer--but like friends Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, the duo finds the partnership mutually satisfying, and their recent album Together/Apart had the pair touring non-stop for the last year, both nationally and in Europe.
Grieves and Budo play a homecoming show the Crocodile this Friday with Prof, The BreakLites, and Fundo. The show is sold-out.
"Outskirts Of Town (Feat. Keb' Mo')," Willie Nelson: This album in particular brings me way, way back. I remember being 19 and washing dishes at restaurant in Colorado and discovering this record. I used to listen to it on repeat until my hands were clammy and gross from all the shitty dish water. I lost touch with the record and recently picked it back up. Yeah, Willie Nelson can sound like a stoned Kermit the Frog sometimes. But there is something endearing about him covering all your classic blues/jazz songs. This song has the most plays cause Keb' Mo' is a G and I'm a sucker for a dysfunctional love song.
"Untitled (How Does It Feel)," D'Angelo: Voodoo is (in my opinion) one of the greatest records of my generation. I don't care who you are or what you need. This record has it and delivers it in the most amazing way. This song in particular makes my hairs stand up every time I hear it. Now, I've read a few of these things and noticed you try to attach the music video with the comment. If that is the case, you are gonna see a fully naked buff dude singing his heart out. Which is gonna make this a bit uncomfortable for some. But I'm standing my ground, naked dudes or not, I LOVE this song.
"Wonder Wall," Paul Anka: To be honest, I don't know. A friend gave me this record years ago and I keep coming back to it. Something about old-ass Paul Anka singing Oasis, Soundgarden, and Nirvana songs in his classic Vegas lounge lizard big band style. It's kind of a novelty. But it's got some serious plays on my Itunes.
"Stick Up Kids," Bad Rabbits: Spent all summer on Warped Tour with these dudes and fell in love with the music. The melodies and energy in this song is pretty much the bees knees to me. It's like soul, punk, new jack, punk. Come on! BR all day baby!
"G'D Up," G Unit: Murky piano, electric guitar, and some simple yet tough ass drums? Yeah. I cruise around In my sedan with this song on blast. Windows up, seat back, and driving real slow is the best way to get the full effect. Perfect for picking your little sister up from soccer practice.
"Wicked Games," The Weeknd: I first heard the Weeknd when we were down in LA in the winter of 2010 to film some video for Together/Apart. Emerging from a colder-than-usual winter in my then-home Brooklyn and heading to LA in February definitely raised my spirits, and this record kind of served as the soundtrack to a pre-mature summer. This guy sings like an angel with the mouth of a sailor. It's beautiful, raw, fucked up, and everything in between. A great song.
"There's a Limit To Your Love," James Blake: My friend Isaac Gale sent me the James Blake record in November of 2009, a little while before it was officially released here. His email simply said "the best record of 2010." He was right. This guy blew my mind with the vulnerable simplicity of his approach to making songs. Restraint in production is super rare these days, unless you're Lex Luger, and a true command of the power of space usually comes with age and experience. At 21, Blake is more mature than most musicians twice his age. This song captures everything he does so perfectly. It's amazing.
"Flume," Bon Iver: I saw Bon Iver during my first trip to SXSW in 2008. This was just before or around the time that the initial release of Emma, Forever Ago hit. I was hooked. Blown away. Struck. Slain. Whatever. This guy is my Bob Dylan. And "Flume" is my favorite.
"Oh My God," Pusha T: To be honest, I'm surprised to see this in my most played songs. It's not that I don't love Pusha. I think he's one of the greats. Top 5 rapper in my opinion. It's just that I would have expected to see something off Lord Willin' well before this track from his first G.O.O.D. mixtape. Oh well. iTunes stats don't lie. This joint is amazing. Powerful, Pusha raps with the confidence of 300 mortals. He's a boss.
"Theme," Johan Johannsson: I got super into minimalist neo-classical stuff for a while. Truth be told, I still am. In the tradition of Satie, Johannsson says so much with almost nothing. It's simple, it's nothing really at it's heart, but it's also everything. There's something in the Icelandic water that seems to infuse that country's citizens with the sort of wisdom that lots of us in the Western world spend decades seeking, spending untold piles of money on green tea, yoga classes, and meditation retreats to try and understand. Fuck Japan, I think Buddha lives in Reykjavik. Or something. Either way, I love this music.