Melt Yourself Down

I’ve always enjoyed a good culture clash—especially between Africans and Brits.

Melt Yourself Down is no exception. A love child from a trip through Northern Africa involving punk and saxophones? Sign me up.

A Very Gongbanter Christmas…

Despite your religious affiliation, Christmas music is unavoidable if you engage with any kind of media, or enter any retail store this time of year (even if you spend Christmas eating Chinese food and watching Daily Show reruns).  So for those who’ve grown tired of Brenda Lee and Mariah Carey, consider this playlist of Holiday-themed tunes.  Wishing you all a happy holiday and wondrous New Year!

1.  Binky Griptite – Stone Soul Christmas
2.  Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings – Big Bulbs
3.  Tom Waits – Christmas Card from a Hooker in Minneapolis
4.  Freddie McGregor – O Come All Ye Faithful
5.  Dengue Fever – Little Drummer Boy
6.  Yellowman – Santa Claus Never Comes to the Ghetto
7.  Tracey Thorn – In The Cold, Cold Night
8.  The Bird And The Bee – A Christmas Compromise
9.  Low – Just Like Christmas
10.  Augie Rios – Donde Esta Santa Claus
11.  The Everly Brothers – Christmas Eve Can Kill You
12.  Booker T & the MG’s – Jingle Bells
13.  Butterbean & Susie – Papa Ain’t No Santa Claus (Mama Ain’t No Christmas Tree)
14.  Poly Styrene – Black Christmas


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

Music to ponder Women’s History Month to…

March is Women’s History Month! As it draws to a close, let’s take a walk down memory lane with some of Gongbanter’s favorite leading ladies…

1928: “He shakes my ashes, greases my griddle, churns my butter, strokes my fiddle,” sang Ethel Waters in “My Handy Man.” This was 1928 people!…and Waters was making some of the dirtiest innuendos I’ve ever heard. Talk about balls.  – caitiebee

1961: What would the timeline be without the Queen of Rockabilly? Here’s Wanda Jackson’s “Funnel of Love” -caitiebee

1967: Along came some original ladies’ garage rock, The Fatimas “Hoochy Coo” -caitiebee

1977: Grab your saxophone and join in the chorus with Poly Styrene with The X-Ray Spex, “Oh Bondage Up Yours!” -rye

1979: Mock and challenge traditional roles with The Slits – Typical Girls –rye

Again, 1979: The Raincoats came out with “Off Duty Trip“, which is still surprisingly pertinent 35 years later, a striking song about sexual abuse in the military -caitiebee

(Can you tell we really like the ladies that rocked out in their garages in the 70s?)

2005: If anyone dares judge you, throw on Le Volume Courbe’s “I Shall Skip Your Judgment.” -rye

2009: My Personal hero, Lily Allen sang out an angry fervor over the female orgasm in “Not Fair” -caitiebee

2012: These ladies are just incredible, THEESatisfation “Bitch” -caitiebee

2014: And from Sabina’s (of Brazilian Girls) new solo debut, here’s “I Won’t Let You Break Me” –rye


Music to love to…

Happy Valentine’s Day, friends!

Whether you are spending your night drinking fancy wine at a fancy restaurant or going to a movie with your parents or on the couch swiping right on Tinder, we’ve got tunes for you.
Turn your love light on!

1. This is not new or original by any means, BUT I DON’T CARE EVERYONE SHOULD LISTEN TO THIS SONG BECAUSE YOU WILL FIND YOUR LAMP! -caitiebee

2. Ugly Needs – Miniature Tigers We all got ’em. But “nothing feels heavy when you’re close to me.” -rye

3. Maybe you are spending the special day focusing on something else you love, a passion, like knitting or beer. Take a moment to reflect on why that hobby is so important, take hints from Adam Ant’s Why Do Girls Love Horses? -caitiebee

4.  Let Valentine’s Day be your New Year’s and become “born again virgins of life” with your partner to The Growlers – Underneath Our Palms -rye

5.  Then clear some space out, so you can space out with Shabazz Palaces – Recollections of the Wraith -rye

6. Sometimes all you can do on February 14th is beg and plead for a lost or fictional love, Plea by Baths commiserates with you. -caitiebee

7.  The Barbaras, who later morphed into the Magic Kids, recorded an early stripped down version of Superball with Jay Reatard that was recently recovered, and released as part of a Barbaras compilation. Don’t let your love bounce away.. The Barbaras – Superball -rye

8. And of course…after the party is the after-party. We know what you do in the wee hours of the night. For this I wanted to post Erotic City by Prince, unfortunately he is quite the vigilante when it comes to intellectual property, so here is my current favorite sexy song, Disclosure’s Latch, the DJ Premiere Remix. -caitiebee

Music to Enjoy the Super Bowl XLVIII to…

We are starting a new series of special posts called “Music to…”

Each week we’ll choose a relevant topic and put together a playlist to do it to.

This week: THE SUPER BOWL.

1. Let’s warm up with some Drinking in the Morning by Trampled by Turtles — caitiebee

2. Amidst your day drinking of the finest boxed wine you found on sale, you realize, out loud, the truth (in vino veritas): FOOTBALL IS WAR. And we want it. YOU want it, you bloodthirsty yokel. So join in the chorus as the teams take the field to We Want War by These New Puritans –rye

3. Food and Pussy by Dan Reeder, no not Dan Reeder formally of the Los Angeles Raiders, but Dan Reeder son of a minister from Louisiana. This is how I suspect men feel when they watch Super Bowl commercials. — caitiebee

4.   For many, Super Bowl ad spots (rumored to cost around 4 million a pop) are the highlights of the day; not all that “sportball nonsense” in between. Advertisers coercively subject us to so many different places, people and situations that’s it’s easy to feel like a tourist in your own home. Celebrate your embrace of capitalism’s stranglehold on you to the rawness of At Home He’s A Tourist by Gang Of Four –rye

5. HALFTIME: The most exciting part of this year’s Super Bowl (IMHO) will be Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chili Peppers taking the stage together, if Ke$ha and Rick Ross showed up it would be the guiltiest/greatest half an hour of my life.  A girl can dream…but until then check out this Major Lazer remix of Locked Out of Heaven by Bruno Mars.  — caitiebee

6.  Does “Jesus Make the ‘Shotgun’ Sound?” You may argue yes, if you believe he’s actually Peyton Manning– “The Sheriff,” career/franchise resurrector and new mile-high messiah of the Denver Broncos. Ponder this, and your own existence…while you listen to Janessa Sais Quoi by Jesus Makes the Shotgun Sound –rye

7. New York is Killing Me by Gil Scott-Heron, because city life ain’t all it’s cracked up to be — caitiebee

8. What do Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn “Beast Mode” Lynch and filmmaker David “Peaks Mode” Lynch share besides a surname? An impartiality to interviews. Anyway, for some, a Super Bowl viewing party may just be an event where you discover that someone you loved is with someone else. Like in David Lynch’s track, Football Game. Wind down, post-game, to this hazy blues number. –rye

That moment you realize you might be 70 years old…

My drivers license still says 22, at least for the month.

But I’m fresh out of my second music festival in 3 weeks, and I’m beginning to think my parents are lying about my birth year.

For an allergy-ridden asthmatic, FYF can be a struggle. Every year by Sunday I wind-up on the floor somewhere wheezing (without fail), covered in dust and bbq sauce…yet I always come back for more. Raise your hand if you had some brews with your 24-hour zyrtec and fell asleep in the beer garden to Washed Out! Just me? Oh.

Defeated, I sit on my couch reflecting on the weekend, and all I can think about is how much ass Kim Deal kicks.

At 52 she’s still doing exactly what she’s been doing all along, playing perfect rock music for us. I don’t have the chance to see women above the age of 26 rocking out on stage often, I mean really rocking. That said, seeing The Breeders was a treat, and as it turns out, pretty damn inspiring.

Fortunately for us, this FYF line-up was jam packed with ladies of all ages who know how to shred (see Lemuria, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, My Bloody Valentine).

Lesson learned: Next year, I’ll be armed with my chick punk band, non-drowsy allergy medication, and some zeal. See you from the stage my friends.

On a completely separate note, how great was this song live?


“Fever”… originally performed by Little Willie John, has been covered by Elvis, Ella, Beyonce, Madonna, The Jam, The Cramps and many many more.

“Fever” has been covered too many times.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s one of the my favorite songs, but after it’s been slowed-down, sped-up, funked-out, and freaked-around, enough is enough! At least I thought so, until I heard the Susan Cadogan version. Most importantly, I’d never heard a “Fever” cover that made me want to throw on a bikini. Not many things can get me in a bikini, but a 1976 reggae cover from Trojan Records does the trick.

On top of it all, spring is out today in Los Angeles! So in honor of the sunshine, FEVER!

For more like this: Trojan records has released an incredible amount of  box sets, with themes from creole to Beatles tribute.


My first post comes to you as a warning: I have an unhealthy interest in the Germans and their music.

After I accidentally learned to speak some German, I somehow moved to Berlin for a whole year to “study” abroad. Though I’m not sure I learned anything about the government or how to correctly distinguish between der, die and das (the THREE ways to say they deemed necessary to express the word the), I did come home with a new stack of vinyl and a taste for dark electronic music. There will be plenty of time to post about the long nights spent inside of clubs staged in run-down power plants and doctors office punk shows, so for now I’ll leave you with this — a bizarre track from 2012 that sounds much better if you pretend that it was made before the wall fell.