Undisputed Top Songs of 2020: Daw’s Masterpiece

Sorry that this article was a bit delayed, MATES. I was just busy ya know, teaching America’s youth. I’ll make sure to phone it in next year. They can just do their learning on youtube.

I could have done this like some, and just put my Spotify wrapped on here. *Ahem* shots fired. Regurgitating my data like some sort of joyless momma bird. But this is Indiepong and we talk about new music damnit! (Unless you’re Sunday, Monday and occasionally Tuesday George. Then you just do whatever the hell you please, because time is relative anyways). So, with no further ado, here are my top songs of the year. Enjoy!

Month – Dehd

It’s been a struggle to not to write this whole article about Flower of Devotion by Dehd. This album is that good. The Chicago Trio of Emily Kempf (bass and vocals), Jason Balla (guitar and vocals), and Eric McGrady (drums and, you guessed it, VOCALS) absolutely destroy every song on this album. It would be pretty one-dimensional if I just talked about one album, so I chose just to talk about one track, “Month”. “Month” trudges along like the sands of time, slowly building, until it crests just to crumble; reminding us that everything is temporary, and our perception of the present is just an illusion. Woah…

I know that this song is called “Month”, but it feels exactly like a week to me:

Monday, it’s slow and you’re three coffees deep, shitting your brains out and feeling miserable; it’s just guitar, Jason Balla crooning, and a rumbly tummy.

Tuesday rolls around and we start to get into our groove, cue the drums.

We are at Wednesday now, we are on to the first verse. Everything is (sort of) running smoothly, we think to ourselves, “Hey, maybe I’ll have a beer tonight. I friggin’ deserve it!” A smile crests your face.

Ahh glorious Thursday, now we have some backing vocals, as our internal monologue finally turns positive. Is the sun brighter? Is the guitar a bit faster? Maybe it is, maybe I’m just a happy boy now 🙂

Friday rolls around and we take a moment to breath before we really start to crescendo. We can feel it building in our loins. We can’t hold it back anymore…


And then Monday comes back around, and we are back to shitting our brains out after mildly overdosing on caffeine.

Art really is a reflection of life, huh?

Racetrack – Beach Bunny

This song is so melancholy it’s amazing. I’m pretty sure when I put this on, I manifested a light drizzle and a cardigan. The piano tone in this is what really does it for me. My grandparents had this upright piano in their basement that sounded… dusty. I mean that’s not the technical term but listen to this piano in this song. It’s so dusty, and I love that for it.

At the 1:00 mark there’s an instrumentation that would even make the most stoic listener sway. For whatever reason, it reminds me of those old boxes where a ballerina would spin, and a tune would play when you open it. The whole purpose of this song is to make us sob, which is beautiful but also a little bit rude. I listen to this song in public, Lili Trifilio, and scream crying in a Trader Joes frozen isle is generally frowned upon. 

Anyways, this song is rad.

Something to Rap About (feat. Tyler, the Creator) – Freddie Gibbs and The Alchemist

Coming into 2020 Freddie Gibbs was on a complete tear. Since 2018 he had released Freddie, Fetti, and Bandana. That’s absolutely wild. I was extremely jazzed when I heard that he was going to be releasing another album with The Alchemist entitled “Fettuccini”. Fettuccini is nothing less than another classic. On the track Something to Rap About, Freddie and Tyler take us on an experience.

This beat is essentially the humidor of rap beats. I’ve never heard an instrumental sound like a bear skin rug and fine brandy, but hey, here we are. On top of this luxurious beats we have Fredward Gibbs just talking his shit. Some lines of note: “God made me sell crack, so I had something to rap about”. Another gem, “Crime fucking pays, but once you’re paid, you got to pay the man”. He continues to show us why all of the most highly regarded producers want to make colab albums with him. I know that I for one would love to see a Knxwledge and Gibbs album in the future. Just saying…

I love Freddie. Completely and unequivocally. Fettuccini, Pinata, and Bandana are three of my favorite rap albums right now. With all that being said, Tyler completely kills this song. He comes in and has one of the best openings to a verse that I’ve maybe ever heard, and it pairs to this beat like an aged gouda and a robust cabernet: “Nail is in the coffin, Freddie sent me this shit. This sound like the boat I haven’t bought yet. This sound like the moment I jump off it. Sun shinin’, cold water fillin’ in my pockets”. Exactly, Tyler… Exactly.

Fire – Waxahatchee

Okay, another song with a dusty piano sound. I think there’s a pattern, but patterns are more of my therapist’s thing. I live in the now babbby. This song is a bit more country leaning than what I would generally indulge in. There’s just something about Katie Crutchfield’s voice that I can’t get enough of.

In my original article that I wrote about this whole album, I said that Katie’s voice was “sort of tinny”. I want to backtrack that. Her voice is cutting. It shines through the subdued piano to bring a listener to their senses, akin to an auditory smelling salt. I still feel like I’m not doing this justice, but seriously, her voice throughout this song is absolutely amazing.

As the song progresses and more instruments are layered over Katie’s Killer Pipes (patent pending) it continues to build depth and emotion. What remains consistent is that auditory smelling salt. Sometimes on these songs where the whole purpose is to layer and texture throughout the song, it can get muddy or overwhelming. Katie’s falsetto keeps us present, keeps us engaged, and washes away any of that fuzziness. It cleanses us, like the waters of the majestic Waxahatchee.

Don’t Give Up – Lee Fields & The Expressions

Okay guys… I’m slipping this one in on a technicality. This song was released as a single in 2019. But, the album that it was released on, Big Crown Vaults Vol. 1 – Lee Fields & The Expressions, came out in 2020. Don’t hate me please.

This song is quickly ascending the ranks as my favorite Lee Fields song. The desperation in Lee Fields voice matched with the string accompaniments is *chefs kiss*. One of my favorite things about this song really has to be the juxtaposition of that guitar riff to the strings. The guitar in the chorus is, by all means, pretty simple with an absolute ripper of a strings arrangement over it. The guitar sets you up just for the strings to kick your ass and tell you, “We do not give up here”.

This song really is a sight to behold… but like for your ears.

Honorable mentions

– “Lightning” – Tiger Lili

– “One Way Flight” – Benny the Butcher feat Freddie Gibbs

– “Flying” – Dehd

– “Good Girls Don’t Get Used” – Beach Bunny

– “Any More Than You Want” – Twin Peaks

– “Punks in the Palace” – Last Quokka

– “Where to Start” – Bully

– “Best Interest” – Tyler the Creator


What I’m Digging: Australian Protest Punk (apparently)

First and foremost, shout out Javier for putting me onto these guys. Community vibes are the best vibes. Well, besides spooky vibes, but Halloween is done, so get over it you witchy witches.

In my opinion, nothing really says punk rock resistance than the cute and cuddly Quokka.

What Is a Quokka? 15 Facts About the "Happiest" Creature on Earth

Not only is the Quokka the only member of its genus, Setonix, (fight the establishment), but it’s also nocturnal. As my mom always used to say, “Nothing good happens after 2am”. The Quokka firmly disagrees, because to the Quokka good is bad, and bad is real real good.

-The Quokka

So, you guys can all imagine my excitement when I found out that there is a band in Australia named Last Quokka that churned out an anti-nationalist, anti-colonialist, anti-racist album entitled “Unconscious Drivers” that friggin rips.  I’m hearing a lot of IDLES’ album “Joy as an Act of Resistance.” when I listen to this album. Maybe just a bit higher register, but definitely the same aesthetic when it comes to energy and message. Each song builds until I’m all juiced up and want to go out into the street and fight… for equity and reform.

I’m going to go through a few songs that I think are pretty badass in this album. I will be reviewing in order of which songs that I liked the most.

Colony: So, let’s start off by talking about my favorite song on this album by far, “Colony”. I shit you not, I was listening to this song while driving back from work last week. When the breakdown hit at the 1:30 mark, I let out an epic war cry. A family next to me was visibly shook. Family, if you’re reading this, I’m okay.

It’s no secret in the Indie Pong community that I love angsty aggressive breakdowns. This one is by far the most aggressive leaning that I’ve written about. I will run through a brick wall to this breakdown and come out the other side ready to fight. Tasting notes: fire fights, c4, and glass shards.

Punks in the Palace: Oh lord, we have ourselves a driving baseline to open up. Gimme that shit, mash it up, fry it up and serve it over rice. Poppa’s ready to eat that up. Nom nom nom. The push and pull in this song make me feel something. It settles me down and tells me, “Everything is going to be alright”, just to hit me over the head with a brick. I’m getting shades of Diarrhea Planet on this one (DEEP CUT ALERT).

Privilege: I know a cousin who definitely needs to hear this song, TALKING TO YOU JIM. Putting buddy on blast. We’ve got another driving baseline. We are going to find that as a theme on this album. These guys hate right wing politics, but damnit do they love the uniformity of a bassline walking us through the song. I really like how the singer approaches this song. It really feels like he’s some scummy asshat standing on a soapbox of white privilege and bad intentions.

Honorable mentions: Saints, and Wake up Geoff.

I could continue to go on, but unfortunately for you I will not. Listen to the album and fight the man. Bye bye.

“I’m Tiger Lili now” -Probably Lili Trifilio

I don’t think I will do a gimmick on this article. Just gonna talk about music. That’s it. Let’s see how this goes…

So, I’m here to review a pretty cool song, “Lightning” by Tiger Lili. Tiger Lili is a side project from Lili Trifilio, of Beach Bunny fame and splendor. “Lightning” takes on a much lighter sound than a lot of Beach Bunny’s stuff. I’m sad-boy and I love the angry/emo stuff, but I dig this too. It’s called layers, people.


It’s as if Beach Bunny found themselves on their beach with a little MDMA and ABBA’s “Take a Chance on Me”. Everything’s just a bit brighter from there on. “I’m Tiger Lili now” -probably Lili Trifilio.

One thing I love about all of Lili’s stuff with Beach Bunny is that 95% of the songs have a break down that would culminate in 12-year-old me yelling “DAAAAD”, then punching a wall way too softly. Here for it.  I’m talking Rearview, 6 Weeks, Prom Queen, Promises… must I go on? When I was listening to “Lightning” I was getting super bummed out. Like, where’s the breakdown? I need that shit.

We enter into a spoken word bridge. Beautiful, but it’s not a break down and I’m starting to freak out. Did this new lighter direction spoil the angst filled rage nuggets that I live for?

Nah. We’re good.

It’s right around the 2:00 mark that it all starts to happen. Mates, I’m going to talk about sounds, look away.

By far, the most electronic leaning I’ve heard on any of Lili’s earlier stuff. But it works. I like it. I’m a flexible guy after all. OH! Guitar. Definitely powerful, but still subdued. We’re marking down a 5 on the thrash meter on this one. Much in the ilk of the rest of the song; it’s not holding back, it’s just a bit calmer.

It’s all starting to meld together I can feel it start to form in the depths of my sternum, bubbling up through my windpipe. I can’t. Hold it. Back… “DAAAAAAAAAD!!!” Big wind up with a small tippy tap on the wall. It may not be the most aggressive breakdown/outro that I’ve heard via Lili Trifilio (see Beach Bunny), but it does the trick. I am satiated, I am happy, and this song is just lovely.

Also, if you have a friend or a family member that is a teacher, give them a well distanced hug and beverage of their choice. Mine is Malort, because I have issues.

Lee Fields is Really Mean – “The One Who’s Hurting is You”

It’s been a while. I’ve missed you. I won’t leave again. Now let’s listen to a breakup song:

Welcome to Woolite radio. Your home of the softest jams this side of the Mississippi. Your captain on this sound voyage is none other than I, Captain Sultry Daw.  This ride will not be bumpy. So, sit back, dim the lights, and put on your freshest pair of silk pajamas. Let’s have an experience.

Why the rebrand? That’s because I’m talking about soul music today folks. Specifically, I want to talk about an artist that I really am and have been into for a while, Lee Fields and the Expressions. This man is so smooth that his middle name is Jiffy. Lee Fields doesn’t just want you to know how smooth he is, he needs you to know. I love that for him.

So, I was perusing Mr. Fields’ catalogue the other day while drinking only the finest of bottom shelf liquors. Guess what I found. New music. It’s all happening so fast. I sit down and pour myself a fresh glass of “blended scotch” (read: Kirkland brand) and I put it on. We’re listening to soul my friends, we need to make some space for ourselves to breathe a little bit. Light a candle, indulge in the mind-altering substance and let’s relax and listen.

Starting off, we got ourselves some electric organ and a guitar that’s just telling me, “Come on in, the water is nice and warm”. I mean, I don’t want to be rude, so I jump on in. Walking out of the changing room is none other than Lee Fields, still impeccably dressed. He enters the tub fully clothed in a three-piece suit, because that’s just the way he does things. The horns kick in.

This is a cover of classic track by Sunny and the Sunliners. Yeah, I know my shit (closes google). This song is so damn mean. Like mean mean. Like, who hurt you Lee Fields, mean.

By far my favorite part of this song is the break down 30ish seconds in. The electric organ takes us for a ride as Lee Fields absolutely annihilates an unnamed love interest.  

There’s one thing for certain, I won’t be doing the hurting, When you’re gone

Lee fields hates this person.

That’s cold Lee, ice cold man. I mean, we’ve all been there. I’ve been there several times, yet I refuse to accept any kind of responsibility on my end. Turns out Mr. Fields and I have more in common than I thought, huh?

This song continues on, and that walking piano line just makes me want to hit the streets and smile at strangers. Throw together a little horn riff that slowly incorporates more depth, and some guitar that sounds like it was recorded in 1964 and we have ourselves a bonified bop.

Let’s talk outros: at the 1:36 mark Lee takes us on a little adlib dance with the horns and man, that’s the good stuff. It makes me feel like thanksgiving dinner, when you get to the bottom of your plate and you’re left with what I can only describe as a KFC Famous bowl staring back up at you. That’s Lee Fields and the horn section. Just a mess of scraps held together with mashed potatoes and it’s just exactly what I need.

AAAAAANYWAYS… Listen to the song, and just be happy that you didn’t have to read my first draft of this article. It was um… in poor taste. G’Night!

Dehd, a Chicago Treasure

Uh oh… guess who’s in Los Angeles. IT’S ME BAAAABY. And while I’m in L.A., I have decided to write a blog post that is so aggressively Chicago it would bring a tear to the eye of any south-side volunteer fireman. So, kick back, grease your mustache, grab a Portillo’s Italian Beef and an ice-cold Schlitz, then light a cigar. Da’ bears, da’ bulls, da’ sausage. Fuck the Packers. Let’s ride.

This is the second blog post I’ve written about Dehd, a mainstay in the Chicago DIY music scene. To be completely clear: I am a Dehd superfan and so should you. They are as cool as the other side of Jay Cutler’s pillow; as smooth as an Old Style on a Saturday afternoon; as dark and grimy as a basement dive full of old men and regret (Dad?). It has been said, that Dehd can make even Malort taste good. Don’t believe me? Try it for yourself. This three-part band specializes in a stripped-down sound with some objectively weird vocals. It’s some very cool stuff, and if you disagree, then you are not cool, and you can’t eat with us.

June 17th, 2020 will be a day to be remembered and celebrated. No, it’s not Pulaski Day. Good guess though. It’s the day that Dehd released their EP/Single for their upcoming album, “Flower of Devotion”, which I have preordered on a limited-edition neon green splattered vinyl. Swag.

The first song on this EP is “Flood”. Off the bat I’m getting some serious 80’s goth rock vibes. I can see a woman emerging from the mist of Lower Wacker Drive. She’s dressed in a flowing black lace dress, like a classy vampire. “Flood” begins to play. The cars roll past, as our vampire queen moves in slow motion. Out there looking like a damn Tim Burton character. Gradually, she breaks into dance as the song builds. It’s an awkward, yet mesmerizing dance; you move closer. She glides through time and space, like the dark sewer waters of the Chicago River. You’re completely transfixed. She’s behind you now. You open your mouth to scream. The screen goes black. << Scene >>

Do they award no contact Pulitzers? Well, I’d rather have a Pritzker anyways. Well, maybe Pritzker money…

Next up, we have “Loner”. First off, reward yourself and take a minute to watch the ART that is this music video. I’ll wait.

Lots of milk in that video, huh? Fun fact, that’s how us Midwest folk survive the cold winters. Our bodies are always at least 50% lukewarm whole milk. Lactose intolerance is for the faint of heart. Drink your milk and shit your brains out. It builds character. Stop complaining.

This song really hits on everything I love about Dehd. Jason Balla’s guitar line is sharp but smooth, like a tub of room temperature Merkts Cheddar. Emily Kempf hits us with some of here patented weird vocal intonations that really shouldn’t work, but damnit they do. It makes no damn sense, but I like it. I like it a lot.

I hope all of you enjoyed reading this. If you would like to learn more about all of the Chicago references, then please navigate yourself to http://www.google.com and leave Mates and myself alone.

Freddie Gibbs and The Alchemist “Alfredo”

PSA: Sign petitions, donate, and if you’re able to, march. Action in the face of an oppressive system is a moral and civic responsibility, and this should never be taken lightly. If you are looking for ways to get involved, here is an action card from Black Lives Matter that is extremely comprehensive: https://blacklivesmatters.carrd.co/#  

I begged Mates for the opportunity to write this one. It is about my favorite rapper, possibly ever, definitely currently, Freddie Gibbs. Freddie is the greatest thing to come out of Gary, Indiana since RailCats baseball came to town in 2001. DEEEEEP Garry reference there for all my Midwest friends. Oh, and did I mention that this was produced by none other than The Alchemist?

This is Freddie Gibbs fourth collaborative album, two with Madlib, and now two with The Alchemist. This album really does remind me a lot of his most recent release of “Bandana” with super-producer Madlib. Like Bandana, in this project Freddie Kane dissects and styles over slowed down and soul-driven beats with lyrics that can only be described as a crime montage. I’m here for that shit.

rap freddie GIF

Crime fuckin’ pays, but once you paid, you gotta pay the man” Gibbs 4:20:187

One thing that I really love about Freddie when he does these collaboration albums, is that he has an innate ability to get into the pocket of the beat. He’s like a mad scientist; putting together a flow that not only violates the laws of man, but also of God. That shit’s hot though. This is on display in the song “Look at Me”.

A lesser rapper would shit their pants and then lie about it if they even attempted to rap over “Look at Me”. For other people who get wayyyy too hyped about cadence and delivery, this song is for you. Honestly, I don’t know he does it. He navigates this beat masterfully; weaving in and out, slowing and speeding up on a dime. He’s like a racecar driver with bars.

This song reminds me a lot of “Massage Seats” off of the album Bandana by Freddie and Madlib. There’s so much air that he leaves in the song for the sample, yet the song doesn’t sound underdeveloped or uninteresting. It’s really something that is important, beautiful and shows an insane amount of skill.

Okay, I feel like I am talking a lot about Madlib and Freddie Gibbs right now, let’s get back to the task at hand. Here are my favorite tracks off of the album (besides “Look at Me” which I’ve already talked about):

“Frank Lucas” feat Benny the Butcher

Straight up mean shit. This is dark, ill-intended, and dangerous. Remember when I said that the lyrics to this album are crime montage? Yeah. If you listen to this song and aren’t making a face like you’re about to fight or fart, then you really aren’t doing it right.

“Something to Rap About” feat Tyler the Creator

Okay, I’m biased. I love Tyler so damn much, and I really think that the juxtaposition between Freddie’s and Tyler’s voices works really well in this song. Whereas the last song was aggressive, this one is much more chill. Tyler and Freddie wrote and recorded this song shirtless, lounging on a bear-skin rug, while drinking fine brandy. I’ve been told I don’t have a source for that, and it shouldn’t be included in my article. I’ll come back and delete later.

“Skinny Suge”

This song definitely wins the award on this album for hottest beat.  It’s a little jazzy, but the drums help to insert a bit of intensity to the song. The beat is a little light on bass, but thankfully Freddie has a deeper voice and is able to carry through acting as a pseudo-bassline. (Sorry for over-describing sounds Mates, I couldn’t help it). The lyrics to this are pretty dark. In many of his songs Freddie Gibbs glorifies crime and talks about how crime pays. In this song he takes a much more negative look at the trials and tribulations he has been through. Freddie isn’t always an especially introspective rapper, so this song is interesting to see him take a bit of a different approach. It’s very well done.

I could go on for hours about this album. It really is another feather in Freddie Gibbs hat, and should go on to be one of the best rap albums of 2020. I hope you guys enjoyed reading this. But again, if you didn’t, whatever. It’s not my time that was wasted. 🙂

Waxahatchee “Saint Cloud”

What have I been listening to lately? Well, it’s been “Saint Cloud” from a songstress named Katie Chrutchfield, or as her friends call her Waxahatchee.

By the way, that was literally the first time I’ve spelled this artist’s name correctly. I even found her website. I was fully expecting to find out that the name Waxahatchee was the name of a long lost Native American tribe from the delta planes that invented the A-B rhyming pattern or some shit. According to her website, “Waxahatchee comes from a creek not far from her childhood home in Alabama and seems to represent both where she came from and where she’s going”.

Symbolism man.

Did a little more research and found some areas in this remote area just outside of Shelby, Alabama that may be a bit easier to spell for a band name. We got Camp Branch (solid, possibly pop punk leaning), The Narrows (indie doo wop punk revival), Sawmill (bluegrass babeyyyy). You get it. I know how to use google maps.


This album is full of absolute BOPS. We got “Fire”, opening with a stripped-down, subdued piano that serves as an offsetting bassline to the falsetto when WaxHatch comes in hot. Belt that shit out my kween. It’s layered masterfully, slowly building, adding instruments. The song has a palpable texture to it. Fleetwood Mac if they were from Shelby County much?! (Google Maps).


Whereas “Fire” was a bit more pop leaning, “Lilacs” decided to get it’s country on. I like that. Gimme a pack of cigarettes, a six pack of Bud Light, and me and my boys and my boy’s boys are absolutely riding to this shit.



Daw and his boys and his boy’s boys are sitting in their respective truck beds. “Lilacs” by Waxahatchee blares out of one of their truck radios “If I’m a broken record/write it in the dust babe”


Yeah, man you’re right guys do rule, and girls definitely drool. Sorry, sometimes I can be so morose.

Daw’s boy

Yeah man, its rough out there, man. Like super poignant shit. Pass me a but light, man.

Daw’s boy’s boy

Got you man.

I’ll fill myself back up like I used to do/And if my bones are made of delicate sugar/I won’t end up anywhere good without you



Here are some other great songs to check out on this album:


“Hell” gives me a little bit of Wilco circa Summerteeth. Honestly, for a song entitled “Hell” it’s pretty upbeat and bright. A great song for summertime vibes.


“War” I like the guitar in this a lot when the song opens up for the chorus. I mean I’m really getting a lot of Fleetwood Mac vibes in this album a lot, but I don’t wanna admit it because then the cool kids may not think I’m cool anymore.


“Ruby Falls”, my sad boy song for the night. I cannot wait to listen to this song walking through the streets of Chicago, despondent, zig zagging alleys and yelling at the moon because it thinks it’s better than me.


I really hope who ever reads this really enjoyed it. Have a great life, turds.

Aminé: Baddest Man out of Portland Since Matt Groening (a review of “Shimmy”)

Watch out Portland. There’s a new sheriff in town. “Is it Carrie Brownstein? I LOVE HER!!!” No, it’s not. She’s a ham, but it is not her… it’s Aminé. Now you know.

“How did you come to this conclusion?” you may be asking. Well, I just listened to the song “Shimmy” on repeat, and I’m now considering moving to Portland and changing my residency. Then I can run the “Aminé for Mayor” campaign with tact and ruthlessness.


So, enough jokes, let’s get down to the nitty gritty. Rest in power ODB, Wu Tang was and always will be for the children. Hence, why I play 36 chambers on repeat in my classroom every Wednesday. Wu Tang Wednesday my doods. All right, now the jokes are done.

Side Note: Respect to Aminé for the ODB references. If you have not listened to the album “Return to the 36 Chambers: The Dirty Version” please navigate to your nearest streaming service and put that album on from start to end before you continue reading. Trust me, it’s worth it.

Back to the task at hand, reviewing “Shimmy”. This song is all about Aminé talking his shit. I grew up on early Kanye, and spent my college years fully on team Big Sean. So, it’s safe to say I enjoy a good punch line rap. This song is filled with some GEMS! I think that the best way to really judge a shit talking rap song is to look at the punch lines. So, this is exactly what I will do. Now, for my favorite punch lines from “Shimmy” by Aminé:

“You thought you made an anthem, but you just sang you a Fergie”

This line is one of the more clever punch lines I’ve heard in a long time. If you don’t remember, let me jog your memory.

Okay, does it make more sense now? This line kills me. He just compared your music to a half assed and ill-fated attempt at recreating Marvin Gaye’s national anthem.

“Just cause you bought that vintage Margiala

Don’t change your flight from Spirit to Delta”

When was the last time you flew on Spirit? Let’s be honest, it’s not ideal. I am an American man myself. The finer things in life and all. I love this line because it hits the nail on the head. You’re fake stunting, and you need to stop because it is FISCALLY IRRESPONSIBLE. Shop at TJ Maxx or something.

Tj Maxx Money GIF by I Love That For You

“I got my groove back like Fela, not Stella”

Okay, before I wrote this I had to do a little research because I do not know much about 1970s and 80s afrobeat sound. Surprising, I know. So, I hoped onto rap genius to get some info on this line. “Fela Kuti is known for pioneering the afrobeat sound in the 1970’s and 80’s, it’s likely Aminé is referencing him again here not only to subtly point out at his African heritage, but also to signify that he’s breaking hip hop molds and reaching to the past to get that ‘groove back’” (Rap Genius, 2020). Okay, this line is crazy. It’s smart, it sounds cool, and even though I had no idea who Fela Kuti was, I got it immediately. It’s a punch line with layers. And as a huge fan of tiramisu, I love layers.

delicious emma stone GIF

This song isn’t all about punch lines. Its drum driven and stripped down beat is perfect and lets those punch lines shine through. The fact that they hit me with one of my favorite rap tropes (Is that how you use that word?) of having the drums come in strong to just immediately cut out gets me going. It makes me want to do some reckless stuff like burn money or open my neighbor’s mail. You know, felonies.

The beat does give me a little Brockhampton vibe, which is trendy right now so that’s cool. The stripped down nature of this beat allows Aminé to provide some melody with his voice. He’s a rap singer and I appreciate that about him. It’s even more fitting that he’ll get some melodies going in a song that celebrates one of the greatest rap singers of all time Big Baby Jesus the Dirt Dog himself, ODB.

Oooo baby I like it raaaaaaw (practice safe sex tho frfr). Bye bye.

andy samberg flirting GIF

Beach Bunny’s (John Hughes) “Honeymoon”

Sometimes, just sometimes, I wonder, “Who am I?” I’ve struggled with this question most of my life. Quantifying your whole life into one easily digestible category can be objectively hard. But, you know what I found out? What I found out is, “that each one of us is a brain… and an athlete… and a basket case… a princess… and a criminal.” Pretty deep right? Yeah, I know.


You’re probably wondering to yourself right now, “Daw, why are you quoting Breakfast Club and faking that you’re sentimental?” It’s because Beach Bunny’s new album, “Honeymoon”, just came out, which resulted in me watching three John Hughes’ movies in three days, because it just felt right. Now I’m in a Hughes loop. I don’t know when I will get out, but what I do know is that I need to hear the song “Danke Schoen” in the next 20 minutes or I am going to LOSE MY MIND.


Anyways… how are you all doing?


Oh, me? I’m great, obviously. Right now, I’m taking a break from planning parent teach conferences to write a whole article about how Beach Bunny’s new album “Honeymoon” should be featured in a rebooted version of different John Hughes movies, because this seems like an adequate way to spend my time.


I hope you all enjoy. But if you don’t, please don’t tell me. I’m fragile.


Also, Ferris is the antagonist of that movie and Cameron is the protagonist. Deal with it.

ferris buellers day off mumble GIF

Ferris Buehler’s Day Off – “Dream Boy”

Ah, the love story/vest to white tee combo that I, as any good North Shore white boy, dreamed would be my destiny. Stealing my friend’s emotionally abusive father’s fine automobile? Sounds like a great day! AMIRIGHT!!?! Remember, Ferris is the antagonist. Don’t get it twisted.


For Ferris Buehler’s Day Off I chose the song “Dream Boy”. “Dream Boy” feels like a song that Sloane may write for Ferris after watching him take over downtown Chicago like a young Richard Daley.

You’re poetically inclined,

Scrambled words, painting her in Technicolor

Easy love is hard to find

Blushing eyes she replies “You feel like summer”

Come on guys, that shit works. When you started reading this you were like, “This is a gimmick”. But don’t you lie to me, THAT SHIT WORKS.

matthew broderick ferris x sloane GIF

As far as the actual music goes, I love the stripped down guitar at the beginning. The treble is turned down just a tad, and that my friends makes ya boy swooooon. Gimme some guitar that sounds like it’s coming from the end of an empty hallway and I will give you my heart. Those are the demands. Then boom, here come the drums and the fuzz. One of my favorite things about Beach Bunny is how they layer some fuzzy guitar, over Lili Trifilio belting, with a nice little background melody bringing all that together into an ice cream Sunday for your ears (ice cream Sundays were invented in Evanston btw, North Shore pride bb).

Breakfast Club – “Rearview”

We aren’t all that different after all huh? Everybody has their regrets; everyone is just trying to live up to who they think others want them to be. But is it really enough if you aren’t who you want to be? Does it say something about me that I think Brian Johnson is the coolest one in the group? These are the questions that I ask myself after watching this masterpiece every single time.

 nerd brian breakfast club pen in nose GIF

For a movie riddled with as much self-doubt and internal questioning as Breakfast Club, I chose the song “Rearview”. This is my second favorite song on this album. I can’t get enough of Lili Trifilio’s voice, first and foremost. I love the slow build to this song. I mean the first two-minutes of this song are just Lili singing and playing us a nifty tune on her guitar. It’s stripped down, it’s raw, and it makes me want to cry or smoke a whole carton of cigarettes (gotchu Bender family). Then a little feedback on the ol’ electric guitar, a click of the distortion pedal, and this sad song just turned into an angry sad song. Woah. Did you go to music school or something? No I didn’t, and stop asking stupid questions.


Pretty In Pink – “Cuffing Season”

Okay everyone. I’m going to be completely clear. I’m not as well versed in Pretty In Pink, as I should be. Honestly, the idea of Molly Ringwald as a record store employee just doesn’t get me going. Maybe I’m being way too nitpicky for my own right. I mean come on, the whole record store thing really doesn’t have much significance to the plot as a whole. Or maybe I’m finding reasons to hate things that are universally accepted as being “good”, either way, not my favorite John Hughes film.

molly ringwald 80s GIF

Anywaays, now that that’s all out of the way. I’ll actually talk about this song. I chose this song because that whole movie is really about, “cuffing season” when you think about it. It’s a weak reason to pick a song, but I really don’t think that the record store iteration of Molly Ringwald would have cared that much. Oh boy, these lyrics were me circa 2017. Freshly single and not looking for anything other than someone to share a large chicken tender with. I was getting looks okay?!

Sometimes I like being on my own

I’m afraid of winding up alone

Um, yes (dabs ranch sauce from upper lip). This song sounds exactly as angsty as the lyrics. Start us off with some power cords that bring me back to a little band you may have heard of, Sum41. When Lili hits the lyric, “Just an empty promise” the drummer, Jon Alvarado, hits us with a few crash cymbals which bring across the vibe that Lili is yelling at me. This whole song feels confrontational in the best way possible. It’s kind of like someone was asked to prom, and then their date informed them that they forgot that they asked someone else, thus crushing our main characters dreams of showing up to prom in her beautiful pink dress that her father got her. Wait, maybe this song does fit with Pretty in Pink.

Cuffing Season

*Sidebar: So, my fearless leader, Mates, informed me that I should write this article about 5 John Hughes movies instead of 3. He then also informed me that I can no longer say f*ck in my articles. So, as an act of youthful rebellion I will only be writing about the music in isolation and will no longer be referencing John Hughes. Suck it Mates!*


The Best of the Rest with Zero John Hughes References!

“Racetrack” – This was the first song on the album to speak to me, and is still my favorite song on the album. My tens of fans who read my last article (you know who you are) know one thing about me. I’m a sad boy. I love me a depressing ass song (What’s an ass-song? Shut up). This song lays it on thicker than a bowl of oatmeal covered in molasses.

Love is but a game of give and chase

What is a runner without a big race?

The harder I try to keep up with the pace

I always wind up in second place

Pardon me while I go cry in a corner while yelling, “ALL GIRLS ARE THE SAME”. The lyrics of this song are paired with a steady piano bass line with a soft melody layered over it. Haunting. Drums? Who needs em. Guitar? Not today guy. This song is stripped down, beautiful, and just so damn sad. There’s a small piano bridge towards the end of the song that gives me chills every single time. Honestly, this may be my new go to sad song that I listen to while staring out of a rain soaked window and drinking coffee in an oversized sweater (imagery).


“Promises” – I like this song a lot. This song really is a great example of why I love Beach Bunny. It starts off with a stripped down first verse that will really set us up for the whole song. In this Lili begins to take us through the theme of a love that was lost, or neve was there to begin with. But the idea of what we want said love to be keeps us going. Been there doggy dog.

Promises and problems were all left unsaid

Buried away at the back of my bed

Close my eyes but every time I try to rest

It’s hard to think clearly, you live inside my head

Then the guitar and drums come in. In this song I love how we get to hear the vocal range of Lili as she sings in a lower and more subdued tone in the start of the song and then by the chorus she is just belting

Part of me still wants you

Part of me wants to fall asleep

This is why I love this album and Beach Bunny’s previous EP’s. Her ability to navigate from soft and subdued to high energy while constantly matching the energy with her vocal tone and register. Also right around the 2:45 minute there’s a nice beachy guitar break down. Makes me wanna surf, but like in a nostalgic way where it’s mainly me sitting on my board staring off into the horizon. Just a little buoy-boy bobbing on the surface. Sigh.

Okay, that will just about do it for me. I enjoyed writing this, and I hope you enjoyed reading it. MATES, I DIDN’T SAY F*CK ONE TIME! I will now be accepting my Pulitzer. Thank you.

“Water” by Dehd

Hello all, you may not know me. I’m Matt. How the hell are ya? I am a teacher here in Chicago, and I will be your adjunct music blogger. Y’all are about to learn today.

Today I will be telling you a bit about one of my favorite bands right now, Dehd. This group of three is from Chicago (Go Bears) and they make some real different tunes. They consist of Emily Kempf (vocals and bass), Jason Balla (vocals and guitar) and Eric McGrady (drums): a tour de force of lo-fi riffs, pounding floor toms and snare, driving bass, and some wonderfully strange vocal melodies from Emily and Jason. The band formed as former power couple Emily Kempf and Jason Balla broke up after a long term relationship. Out of this break up came an amazing and unique love album. It’s like Fleetwood Mac except, ya know, completely different in pretty much every conceivable way.

So, in 2019 these three plutonic friends made an album that I’ve been spinning since its release until this day, it’s entitled Water. It has literally not left my record player since the day I got it on, ahem, limited edition vinyl (dusts off Warby Parker frames). Highlights you ask? Here you are boyo (or girlo, or themo):

This album starts with a friggin great track, “Wild”. “Wild” starts off with a rallying cry of wild over a subdued baseline. Then the guitar comes in. I love the guitar riff on this it’s simple but wEiRd. Just alternating between two cords with some weird bendy thing in there (I didn’t go to music college okay, lay off). It’s so simple but RIPS. I love this shit and if you don’t, you’re wrong and I don’t value your opinion. Come at me bro.

Fight Me Lets Go GIF

Next up is the single off the album, “Lucky”. “Lucky” contains one of the best opening lines in recent memory, “Lucky to find, people in your life with the power to break your heart”. 7th grade me is eating this shit up. Move over Death Cab, this boy is trying to get happy-sad tonight. Lucky is driven by some hammering floor toms and a nifty little guitar line that reminds me of something that the Yeah Yeah Yeahs might vibe to. I must acknowledge the subtle yodeling in this song.  One of the reasons I love this band so much is the vocal inflections of their singers and my future best friends, Emily Kempf and Jason Balla. I mean, is she going to bring yodeling back? Who knows? Maybeeee? By the way, the music video is super rad. Check it out.

Sorry, I don’t know how to attach video. Enjoy following the link nerds.

EDIT FROM MATES: I’ll just do it for you even though my instructions were very clear:

“Wait”. I identify with this song so hard. So what if I just ignore everything and stay out of the loop for my own self-preservation/as an anxiety coping mechanism? Should I change this mindset? Yes. Will I? No. “Once in a while I don’t want to know, Most of the time I’m fine, Living life’s gold with your eyes shut closed sometimes”. Uhhh sign me the heck up. One more part of this song that hits me, is the way that Jason Balla hit’s that “Baby” in the chorus. The half beat pauses between each line followed by the way he provides some more of that vocal inflection on “Baby”. Woof. Inject that shit into my veins bb. Ruin me. I love you.

austin powers ily GIF by i-love-you

Here are a few other songs that are really cool, but I was too lazy to go in depth on:

“Sunbeat” has this weird chant at the beginning of it that makes me want to commit crime… but like in a good way.

“Lake” makes me believe that love is not dead and that the Beatles were right all along.

“Long Way Home” probably has the coolest guitar riff of the album. Think “surfer bro in Antarctica”… Yeah, that fucking cool breh. Hang loose and such.

Okay, that’ll just about do it. Bye bye.