Music Monday: Post-Thanksgiving Blues

Erykah Badu, Sonic Youth, and Modest Mouse take us into the last month of the year.

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It's the last Monday in November—the holidays are coming!—but for now, let's get into some righteous jams. 

What Editor-at-Large Doreen St.Félix is listening to:

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I've seen the release of Erykah Badu's new mixtape, U Cain't Use My Phone, framed as a "comeback" offering. Dedicated fans like myself understand Badu a bit differently: afro-futurists like her don't work so linearly. Rather, after Baduizm established her warble as one of soul's most eccentric, Badu has been an ambient presence in the R&B genre. I thought I'd take us back to 2000. "Bag Lady" plays out as a classic rumination, pensive and slow, on the inevitable drop the spirit experiences when a love fizzles out. The video, a panorama of statuesque women draped in bright, monochrome garb, provides a gorgeous visual, a calming portrait to begin the work week.

What Associate Editor Laia Garcia is listening to:

A Thousand Leaves was the first Sonic Youth record I ever purchased. It was 1998 and I had just discovered the magic that was 120 Minutes, Sunday nights on MTV when they played the video for the first single off that record, "Sunday." I loved that song just fine, but it was the song that follows it on the record "Female Mechanic Now on Duty" that opened up a whole world of possibility for me and began my long-lasting Kim Gordon obsession. Between slow, lazy, jarring guitars that almost come to a standstill before starting again, Kim's raspy slightly dissonant voice talk/sings "modern women cry/modern women don't cry." I had never heard such words in a song, I had never felt such feelings, but I knew they would last forever. This morning I played this song and it felt as groundbreaking now as it did then. This live version is even better than the recorded version.

What Editor in Chief Jessica Grose is listening to:

I've been a little emo lately. When I get in one of these moods, I always have trouble deciding whether I want to really have a wallow in some sad bastard music, or if I want to listen to something upbeat to try to lift my spirits. This time I decided on a good wallow with Modest Mouse, the song "Make Everyone Happy/Mechanical Birds" from the amazingly titled album, This Is a Long Drive for Someone with Nothing to Think About. It's more dissonant and instrumental than songs I usually like, but hey—I'm in that kind of a bummer-y mood. It has the beautiful, ponderous chorus that's perfect for navel gazing: "I'm not sure who I am/But I know who I've been.

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