Pilgrim’s Playlist: Warpaint, Childish Gambino, George Harrison

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Recommended New Album

Warpaint – Heads Up

Electronic instruments have been battling analog instruments for the hearts and minds of Rock musicians for more than 40 years now. Eventually that battle will fade as musicians and listeners become more comfortable with different kinds of instrumentation, but we need more bands like this to help speed that process along. I’ll get to the point: Warpaint blends electronica with analog about as well as anybody I’ve ever heard. Not just the instrumentation but their song structures, rhythms and vocals also share characteristics of both camps. In that sense, they’re like an all-woman Radiohead, not as virtuosic maybe but warmer and less obtuse than the British brooders.

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Known primarily as an atmospheric, chill beats outfit, Warpaint shows a versatility on this album that frankly surprised the hell out of me. Sure, there’s a lot of well thought-out electronic chill-out stuff here, but this is a band capable of a wide range of moods and textures. Checkout the standout opening track “Whiteout” to see what this band is all about. A fantastic rhythm section driving some real complex patterns. Great interplay on the electric guitars, from airy flourishes to sturdy song support. An outstanding harmony vocal sound with compelling lead vocals and sometimes lyrics too. What a find. I love this album, and I think a lot of people on both sides of the electronica/analog divide would love it too.

 

Must-Hear New Single

Childish Gambino – “Me And Your Mama”

In the wake of the Desert Trip Festival, the number of “experts” proclaiming that Rock is dead seem to have multiplied like horse flies. There was yet another in the New York Times over the weekend who claimed that Rock was “no longer controversial or evolving, at least in any popular form.”

It seems to me that the only people heralding Rock’s death are lazy music journalists who aren’t looking in the right places, or faded sour-grapes Rockers whose creative well has run dry.

It sounds counterintuitive, but some of the most exciting developments in Rock are happening in hip hop music. Check out this new single from Childish Gambino, it is wild. It starts with a contemporary R&B section, segues into a Rocking Funkadelic-meets-Prince section, then closes with a jazzy atmospheric part. The combination of sounds should tell you that there’s something new going on here. Over seven million views in a week means that a lot of people who supposedly don’t dig Rock are certainly digging this new Rock sound.

 

One From The Vault

George Harrison – Brainwashed (2002)

I thought it was a good time to take another look at brother George’s last message to the planet. It was the title track and the last track on his last album, which was released posthumously after being tidied up by Jeff Lynne and his son Dhani Harrison. We can be certain this was the missive George wanted to go out on.

It’s timely alright, and George doesn’t hold anything back. The last section – in which George and Dhani recite a Krishna chant in praise of the Mahadeva (Great God) – was clearly meant as George’s farewell to this realm, and is still an incredibly moving piece of audio. As for the rest of it, brother George, we are gonna work on it, I promise you, we really are.

 

“Brainwashed”
Brainwashed in our childhood
Brainwashed by the school
Brainwashed by our teachers
And brainwashed by all their rules
Brainwashed by our leaders
By our Kings and Queens
Brainwashed in the open
And brainwashed behind the scenes

God God God
A voice cries in the wilderness
God God God
It was on the longest night
God God God
An eternity of darkness
God God God
Someone turned out the spiritual light

Brainwashed by the Nikkei
Brainwashed by Dow Jones
Brainwashed by the FTSE
Nasdaq and secure loans
Brainwashed us from Brussels
Brainwashed us in Bonn
Brainwashed us in Washington
Westminster in London

God God God
You are the wisdom that we seek
God God God
The lover that we miss
God God God
Your nature is eternity
God God God
Your are Existence, Knowledge, Bliss

The soul does not love, it is love itself
It does not exist, it is existence itself
It does not know, it is knowledge itself
How to Know God, page 130

They brainwashed my great uncle
Brainwashed my cousin Bob
They even got my grandma
When she was working for the mob
Brainwash you while you’re sleeping
While in your traffic jam
Brainwash you while you’re weeping
While still a baby in your pram
Brainwashed by the military
Brainwashed under duress
Brainwashed by the media
You’re brainwashed by the press
Brainwashed by computer
Brainwashed by mobile phones
Brainwashed by the satellite
Brainwashed to the bone

God God God
Won’t you lead us through this mess
God God God
From the places of concrete
God God God
Nothing’s worse than ignorance
God God God
I just won’t accept defeat

God God God
Must be something I forgot
God God God
Down on Bullshit Avenue
God God God
If we can only stop the rot
God God God
Wish that you’d brainwash us too

Namah Parvarti Pataye Hare Hare Mahadev
Namah Parvarti Pataye Hare Hare
Namah Parvarti Pataye Hare Hare

Shiva Shiva Shankara Mahadeva
Hare Hare Hare Hare Mahadeva
Shiva Shiva Shankara Mahadeva
Shiva Shiva Shankara Mahadeva

Namah Parvarti Pataye Hare Hare
Namah Parvarti Pataye Hare Hare
Shiva Shiva Shankara Mahadeva
Shiva Shiva Shankara Mahadeva

 

 

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