Children, listen.

I just stumbled upon a beautiful song. Burger Records shared this on their Soundcloud a few days back, just listen, and imagine my surprise…expecting another garage rock band and hearing this incredible homegrown gospel. Apparently it’s from a 2008 reissue of an old DIY record from 1968 called Children by a man named Famous L. Renfroe.

Google tells me that about all we have of Renfroe is this quote, “A long time ago I used to hear spiritual singers singing beautiful songs and I wanted to be a singer too. I first started my musical career by singing in small local groups in my hometown of Memphis, Tennessee. In the year 1968 I came to Seattle and started singing with local groups, but failed to find one that was stable enough to record (with) so I decided to cut an album by myself. The music was written and produced by myself who except for the drum parts, done the entire record.”


Music to play when the lights go out…

My Aunt Cindy keeps a running playlist of songs that she wants played at her funeral.

It’s hundreds of songs long, so from the looks of it the ceremony would last a few days, or we’d put it on shuffle and pray the computer chooses all the best ones.

With all this talk of the North Pole melting, while thousands of dead fish mysteriously wash up in Marina del Rey, and McDonald’s is catering national nutrition conferences, I’ve realized she may be ahead of the game.

So Ryan and I have started our own playlist of funeral hits and end of the world anthems! That way, if the world ends, at least you’ll know what we had planned…

Here are some highlights:

1) Let’s see Californians, will it be a forest fire, maybe a “Tidal Wave,” or all the “Earthquakes and Sharks” that finally do us in? by Thee Oh Sees and Brandston respectively – caitiebee

2)  There’s really not much (or too much?) that needs to be said about this gorgeous song from one of my favorite songwriters and lyricists ever, Bill Callahan. Smog – Dress Sexy At My Funeral – rye

3) This song is also just beautiful, and I want it at my wake – Moses Sumney cover of James Blake’s “Lindisfarne” – caitiebee

4)  The Microphones – The Gleam Pt. 2 This song has always seemed to indicate an inevitable doom and is one of the heaviest songs I’ve ever heard that features a steel drum. My coffin will be carried down the aisle (and likely dropped) to this. –rye

5)  As the world slowly ends around us, we can “swim down” in the ocean to “Warm Water” by Banks and pretend that its rapidly increasing temperature isn’t causing a rise in sea level, coastal erosion, species extinction and more powerful storm surges amongst several other terrifying events. –rye

6)  It’s a violent world, as Tomata du Plenty will remind you. Oh, and that “home is the deadliest place on earth.” Scream along with “Violent World” by The Screamers –rye

7) Before we’re swallowed up by the rising tides, “name ten songs you wanna hear again before you die, get all of your friends together and scream them” — wise words from Paul Baribeau’s “Ten Things” – caitiebee

8) Always end on a total crowd-pleaser to bring the party to a sensitive situation, J-Kwon’s “Tipsy” getting a “very emotional” re-edit – caitiebee

The Orchid Days

“His troubles are like bananas– they come in bunches!

“Quick– does this quote come from a sports announcer commenting on the current affairs of the owner of the LA Clippers, or a mysterious voice from the most recent L’Orange album?The answer is maybe both. Though for the purposes of this music blog, we’ll choose to discuss the mad scientist who seems to reside in a dark cave and emit creepy, muffled sounds from a bygone era that occasionally border on terrifying. And no, I’m not referring to Donald Sterling.

The man machine I speak of is L’Orange, whose new record “The Orchid Days” seems to transport me to a different world by way of Charon’s boat on the river Styx. Essentially a jazzy trip/hip-hop album (to crudely simplify it), his most recent release contains a beats bouillabaisse of obscure jazz loops and radio horror dramas from the 40s with guest verses from the likes of Homeboy Sandman and Blu. While I’ve struggled to identify many of these samples (no thanks to WhoSampledWho), I’ve managed to identify the source of one that appears in my favorite cut off the record, “The End”:

“What are all those sounds, all those things…that live in the dark. I don’t know. But if you want to find out– come with me.”

Turns out this voice belongs to Robert Dryden on a 1973 children’s horror story record entitled “Scary Spooky Stories.” Through this sample, L’Orange poses the question that plagues my mind throughout my countless listening experiences of this album. And by placing it more or less at the end of the record, I’m given no choice but to come with him..and listen from the beginning. Again, and again.

Check it out “The End” (feat. Billy Woods) below, and listen to the entire damn album already.