Toon Tunes: Shaggy

words & curated by CHUCK

Shaggy from Scooby Doo has serious cross generational appeal. For adults, he's a reminder, and maybe criticism of, 60s youth culture. A tongue in cheek reference to the harmless, weed toking, van driving dude. I wasn't alive in the 1960s and don't know if this person actually existed. But, if I was a parent watching with my kid, I think Shaggy would give me a fuzzy, nostalgic feeling. For the kids, Shaggy is just a goofy pole thin doofus with a high voice. He's comic relief. It's an equally valid prism to view and enjoy him through. But the question here is, what kinda music is he jamming on in that van? Here's a playlist that I made for Shaggy.

Playlist:

  • Palehound - "Room"
  • Dirty Projectors - "Swing Lo Magellan"
  • Travis Bretzer - "Are You Ever Gonna Change?"
  • Day Wave - "Something Here"
  • NE-HI - "Sisters"
  • Mathew Lee Cothran - "Judas in America"
  • Adult Mom - "Told Ya So"
  • Eric Slick - "The Dirge"
  • Big Thief - "Haley"
  • Kevin Morby - "Beautiful Strangers"
  • Frankie Reyes - "Noche de Ronda"
  • Part Time - "Honey Lips"
  • The Cairo Gang - "Shivers"
  • Orange Juice - "Rip It Up"
  • Robert & Johnny "You're Mine"
  • Land of Talk - "Loving"

mix: Meet Our Labels of the Month

Back in June we started a brand new feature called Label of the Month, where each month we take to the site and social media to spread the word on a label we love. It's been a hit and to help spread the word even further we compiled this playlist of some artists from each label along with links to buy and more information.

Each of the labels chosen represent people that inspire me with their passion, creativity and hard work. I am honored that they allow me to spotlight them and work alongside them. Check them out because they all work so hard and be supportive of all independent small labels. 

Tracklist:

  • "Mother of Violence" - Califone from Insect Courage on Future Oak Record Company
  • "Light Between Us" - The Tender Fruit from The Darkness Comes on Future Oak Record Company
  • "White Lady White Baby" - Gabriel Slavitt from Missouri Love Call on Future Oak Record Company
  • "Wake Up" - Arlo Aldo from House & Home on Future Oak Record Company
  • "South Philadelphia" - Bootsy Spankins, P.I. on Future Oak Record Company
  • "Parking Lots" - Plums from Jen on Forged Artifacts
  • "Vibe Patrol" - Big Air from Don't Care on Forged Artifacts
  • "Brighter Ones" - Ahem from Just Wanna Be on Forged Artifacts
  • "Close My Eyes" - Tomemitsu from Had A Dream on Forged Artifacts
  • "Chain in the Night" - cheap fantasy from Life of Glass on Forged Artifacts
  • "Broken Skin" - Bellows from Split EP on Disposable America
  • "Right Supply" - Lubec from Dividends on Disposable America
  • "Running Hot" - Littler from Bad Hand on Disposable America
  • "Elephant Girl" - Soft Fangs from Fractures on Disposable America
  • "But I'm Slow" - Infinity Girl from Somewhere Nice, Someday on Disposable America

mp3 premiere: "Missed Connections" - thanks for coming

photo: Riley Cavanaugh

photo: Riley Cavanaugh

Much like the occurence it owes its name to, "Missed Connections" is a hastily passing happening. On the latest single from thanks for coming, Rachel Brown quickly runs through a series of actual missed connections postings, including an apology to someone named Crystal for ruining them and hopes for a girl who made someone laugh to finally finds the one. A fuzzy repetitious guitar line leads the way, backing Brown's continued confessions that culminate in a finale where they wonder if anyone is real anymore, declaring they never see themselves breaking up with someone. The single perfectly captures the magic, mystery and heartbreak of actually experiencing a missed connection. Whether it just wasn't the right time or you locked eyes with someone only to never see them again, thanks for coming brings all the emotion of that occurrence to life. In just a little more than two minutes, we're invited to make a connection of our own with this music, and whether one chooses to connect with the sincerity of thanks for coming is entirely up to you.

The track appears on missing out, out on 8/25 on Disposable America.

mp3 premiere: "Slower & Slower" - Duncan Kissinger

There's an expected antiquated languidness to Duncan Kissinger's track titled "Slower and Slower". It's reflected in Kissinger's unhurried instructions to another party — a desire to be led down to a river and abandoned. It comes on the heels of Kissinger's observations that "time goes slower and slower," a statement made all the more punctuated with repetitious rolling percussion and guitar etched ever so lightly in fuzz. It's a fitting glance at the passing of time as Kissinger's album Make Time Stop out 9/22 on Winspear is meant to be a "collection of nuanced moments from Duncan's life, replayed and reflected upon in verse.These songs are moments, urges, impulses, reflections on what's happening as it's happening. Make Time Stop is meant to empower others to place more value on individual moments and embrace emotion and intuition as the truest thing we have." All too often we rush through each day and each passing second, waiting for what comes next, but on "Slower & Slower" we've been invited to sit, contemplate and stare off into the horizon. It's a reminder that for just a few brief minutes we should soak in what's happening and what's come before. Give a stream to the track below and check out the tracklist, too.

Tracklist:

  • 1. Mice
  • 2. You Have Seen The Light (And It Haunts You)
  • 3. My God Has Many Names
  • 4. Cheerin'
  • 5. Slower & Slower
  • 6. Stomach
  • 7. Better Man (Southern Drawl)
  • 8. Blues Graveyard
  • 9. Fine Time (Sprite)
  • 10. Don't Let Me Down
  • 11. (Don't You Ever) Wonder
  • 12. No One Else's Dreams
  • 13. The Weight Is Gone
  • 14. End Of Daze

video: "Settle Down" - VARSITY

We still have a few months left in this otherwise terrible year, but it feels totally right to announce that "Settle Down" from VARSITY is the most adorable track and video you'll experience this year. Their sunny, jubilant indie pop has never sounded bright and the track provides equal encouragement in its message, channeling the headaches of experiencing a block in creativity to song. As the band explains in the premiere on Noisey, the track follows months of playing it, hoping for inspiration to hit and finally they just grew tired of waiting and worked out a song around the opening line - "Do you have to look the part of mess up a work of art." The single comes from a TBA record and is just brief enough to spend playing on repeat until more is revealed. Additionally, you can also catch the group on tour and practice some of your dance moves.

mp3: "Under the Sun" - Cherry

Have you ever noticed how things can truly come into clarity during quiet moments in the outdoors? It's as if being outside, surrounded by everything and nothing can provoke all these feelings and emotions we keep locked behind the closed doors of our homes. "Under the Sun" is a moving pronouncement, a declaration that begins while "under the sun," in a shirt soaked with sweat, eyes waiting for someone to appear. It's pieces of various moments and memories, coming together in a beautiful way and flourishing alongside instrumentals that prickle every part of your body. The album, out 9/29 on Lame-O Records, is meant to impart the importance of communication, of pausing just to acknowledge that we're all here together. And for one brief moment, "Under the Sun" turns our eyes from screens and the world around us and instead invites us into a world of vivid imagery. 

mp3: "The Possibility" - Worriers

We previously shared the first single from the upcoming Worriers album — Survival Pop out 9/29 on SideOneDummy Records, and now we've got a second taste in single "The Possibility". The track is quick and catchy, with vocalist Lauren Denitzio taking a look back into her teenage years, writing a song for herself about the unlimited possibilities that awaited in adulthood, even though she may not have realized it at the time. There's an undeniable hope to this one, guitar and drums marking the path with an upbeat resiliency. Though we grow up and may be able to look back with fresh eyes, Denitzio's song is a reminder that it'll get better, even when we can't see it in the here and now.

video premiere: "Meet Your Maker" - Pearl Earl

In a visual display that's as colorful and trippy as their music, Peal Earl invites us along on a neon-hued journey into outer space and beyond for single "Meet Your Maker." The track comes from their recently released self-titled debut, and serves as a perfect opener to the album, burning through nearly six minutes of fuzz and fun. Spacey synths, pounding percussion and firey, fuzzy guitar all culminate in a bold slice of psychedelic pop that's seriously catchy and unforgettable. The track is an invitation to let loose and find your own inner member of Pearl Earl. 

Soundtracks: "Be Right Back" (Black Mirror)

words & mix: Ansley Lee

Jason Baxter put together such a fun, upbeat mix for GLOW for Soundtracks before me so I figured it's only fair that I followed it up with the saddest possible mix I could carefully curate. Sorry guys, can’t help the way I am. Last November, I was out with friends when it came up that I was the only one who hadn’t seen the new season of Black Mirror. Not just the new season, but any episodes of Netflix’s take on the Twilight Zone in the “not so distant future”. “Oh you’d love it Ansley it’s so weird and dark and cool you’d love it!”

Cool.

Glad that’s what comes to mind when people are suggesting media for me.

Each episode of Black Mirror is a stand alone story, some with ties to others but for the most part you can jump right in. So, in one weekend, I watched all three seasons (thirteen episodes) with minimal breaks.

No part of me is pretending like that was a good idea. Black Mirror is really hard to stomach sometimes. Not to mention, the following Wednesday night I cried in public with plenty of other Seattle residents at Neumos as Donald J Trump won the presidential election. These days, I really do think his entire presidency could be its own episode at this point.

But enough about that.

At its core, the episode “Be Right Back” explores how we create and maintain intimate relationships in a tech heavy society. I’m always simultaneously lonely and worried everyone I care about will leave me eventually. Which is true, right? We’re all going to die at some point, it’s just a matter of when. We have our blood and bones selves and our digital selves - the latter of which has a much longer shelf life. How do we reconcile the two? What do we leave behind and how do we find intimacy through pixels?

I’m scared of people. I say that a lot, I’ve realized. There’s so much power in intimacy, platonic and otherwise. We can’t control what happens when we care about someone. How much it hurts when they’re gone and how desperately we’ll seek any way to hold on to that feeling.

Enough about my feelings, here’s a Soundtrack for “Be Right Back”. I did really try to go moment for moment so the episode may warrant a rewatch.

Be careful with each other out there.

mp3: "House Show" - Strange Ranger

Photo: Mike Hoderman

Photo: Mike Hoderman

words: Michael Brooks

After last year’s excellent Rot Forever, Strange Ranger (fka Sioux Falls) were catapulted to the top of Portland’s rising scene. The album's sound resulted from a young band throwing everything against the wall to see what would stick, a daring and rewarding listen held together by their proficiency for atmospheric indie rock. “House Show”, the first single from Strange Ranger’s forthcoming album Daymoon, is a welcome leap forward, smoothing out the edges of their previous material without sacrificing any of the things that make them stand out from their peers.

The track is gloomy and despondent to a numbing effect, almost to where you can feel the opening guitar line sucking the joy from your body like a leech. Isaac Eiger’s vocals sound as if they’ve been trapped inside a hazy mist for decades, adding to the mystery and peculiarity of lines like “I thought you talked to the reporter/she had a polka dot recorder”. The spaced out instrumental brings to mind a thunderstorm, the guitars floating on top of everything else like clouds in the night sky and Nathan Tucker’s drum hits mimic rain splashing against the sidewalk. “House Show” is successful by refusing the listener a moment to catch their breath; anxiety-ridden verses trudge along at a sluggish pace only to burst in half by the distorted calamity of the chorus, creating an unmistakable tension the band pulls off with ease.