April was a hell of a month for the Rastiello's. First off, we started the month fully vaccinated. We celebrated with family in Houston and it felt so good to see our Texas niece and nephews. They were so happy to see and hug us - it was great for the soul. We can't wait to get up to New Jersey to love on those kids, too.
We ended the month by rescuing the sweetest little dog, who we named Poppy. We're all still figuring each other out and trying to find our routine together. It's been a little stressful, but it's also been full of puppy cuddles and love. Poppy is totally at home with us and she's opening up more and more every day. She's an okay guard dog, but a better napper.
Having a puppy around to cuddle and pet after a stressful meeting is great. Highly recommended.
In between all of that I also found time to update the design of the Downbeat.fm website and tweak the branding a bit.
This month's playlist features Mitski, Sofia Mills, Black Pumas, Alvvays, and much more.
Listen to this month's playlist on:
Lavatory Lil by Paul McCartney featuring Josh Homme - (Apple Music / Spotify)
You guys know I'm a huge Josh Homme and Queens of the Stone Age fan. He guested on Paul McCartney's reimagining of his album from last year with guest vocalists. The lyrics are classic McCartney with a great twist from Josh on vocals.
Strangers by Black Pumas - (Apple Music / Spotify)
Austin, Texas' own Black Puma covering a great Kinks song. It's been covered by quite a few people, appeared in the movie The Darjeeling Limited by one of my favorite directors (Wes Anderson, another son of Texas). But this version by Black Pumas breathes an amazing soul vibe into the song.
Tops by West Thebarton - (Apple Music / Spotify)
A great pure rock song. Nothing else to say here.
Hall Beach by Retirement Party - (Apple Music / Spotify)
Another great rocker like the previous track but less screamy.
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Other Listening & Quick Links
In my intro of last month's newsletter I talked about how albums of my youth would rapidly start hitting 30 years old in the next few years. Well, one album of my 20s just hit 20 - Full Collapse by Thursday. I always try to listen to an album when its anniversary comes up - especially if I have it on vinyl. Brooklyn Vegan looked back on the album after 20 years as well as gathered some artists who were inspired by the album to talk about it.
Nirvana was everything for me in middle school. I listened to other music, but it was mostly Nirvana. Their MTV: Unplugged is one of the best, and recently The Ringer put together an oral history of the event 25 years later.
You no doubt know the song, Mr. Brightside, by The Killers. You know the song, it all started with a kiss - but how did it end up spending 260 weeks - that's five years - on UK's Top 100 chart? It slaps, that's how.
Songs That Never Fail to Make White People Beyond Turnt: Well, there are some good songs on here (Mr. Brigthside, Under Pressure, etc.) and some absolute trash (Sweet Caroline, Don't Stop Believin', etc.) but this Spotify playlist is pretty accurate.
Remember Natalie Imbruglia's (cover) song Torn from 1997? Miya Folick stripped it down to just her voice and guitar and it's really good.
22 minutes of New Jersey punk. To feed your soul.
"Science now says you can judge people by their taste in music after all". No doy. I'm pretty much an expert.
I've said it before, but I grew up on the street - Sesame Street. Recently, someone reminded me about the song "I Don't Want to Live on the Moon." I still knew all the words even though I likely haven't heard or thought about this song in 35 years.
Have you ever wanted to hear a mariachi band cover Blink 182's "Dammit"? Well, I heard it, so now you have to, too.
Paul Simon breaking down how he wrote "Bridge Over Troubled Water" on the Dick Cavett show in 1970.
Deftones put out a new video for Ceremony off of Ohms, one of my favorite albums of 2020.
I enjoy ska. And not in an ironic way. Jeff Rosenstock, his band, and his record label put together a nine-hour playlist of ska songs to listen to on your platform of choice.
This list is usually about music-related things - but in addition to the endless hours of music I listen to I also listen to a ton of podcasts. I recently came across a podcast called Command Line Heroes as it was recommended in another podcast I listen to. They tackle a different topic every season, and the most recent season is all about how the Internet came to be.