the leadbelly


House of the Rising Sun

by Leadbelly, 1944

categorized and generalized all the types of tumblr aesthetics i have come across.

I have been going through archives for the last five years on tumblr now, and i can’t help but notice that a lot of blogs are the same. There seems to be a pattern in the sorts of aesthetics i run up against. So, in my exhaustion, i tried coming up with all the different aesthetics, and i tried to put them into certain categories. Obviously, some of these categories are mixed with others.


-general porn

-lesbian/gay general

-kinky stuff

-daddy dom stuff - tied up boobies


-just unrealistic nudes

-just realistic nudes

-vintage porn, and occasionally porn that is so old that it was drawn by someone in the 1800′s

- hentai and erotic animal people cartoon characters going at it

-person who took about five pictures of themselves naked five years ago who has not come back


-super modelesque kids in their super rich cool kid clothes and fashion in Starbucks taking pictures of their food and their trips to Europe in 1st class

- incredibly expensive looking sunglasses

-rich kid travel blogs with hundreds of thousands of notes of pictures from rich people buildings

-quotes that say ‘be happy’ or stuff about saying anyone can just travel anywhere at any time, just the general advice you might get from someone who doesn’t know how the other half lives

- cats


-the greatest generation stuff, forgotten early hollywood actors/actresses, very old movie gifs, Theda Bara, Clara Bow, Carol Lombard, early Joan Crawford, Gone with the Wind ect..

-50’s, 60’s and 70’s, Nancy Sinatra, Brigitte Bardot, Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn – generally a lot of Audrey Hepburn

-Posts old advertisements and old cars, sometimes old toys, a few pinups, vintage comics, kinda weird

- vintage toy blogs - just toys, named and dated

-sometimes retrospace stuff

-sometimes just old comic book stuff


-intersectional feminists who post mostly text and back and forth writings, sometimes they fight 

-radfems and turfs, unpopular minority of angry at the intersectional feminists

- Fat Acceptance movement, chubby bunnies

-other girl’s selfies, lots of girl power related drawings of gender symbols and the like, Grimes, being a witch, Courtney Love, sailor moon, and so forth, sometimes bleeds into soft grunge

-topics on transgender, gender fluid and others that have informative 

- asexual community


-black lives matter awareness, police brutality, pointing out flaws in legal system

-lovely stylish selfies

-call outs of racism, lots of dialogue, and the extension of twitter

80’s + 90’s GIF TUMBLR

-like gifs of scratched up VCR obscure film openings, and repetitious obscure 80’s gifs in general, everything is fuzzy and looks like it came from an 80’ infomercial, kinda makes you feel scared

-90’s gifs of Pee Wee Herman, Catdog, Clarissa Explains it All, Chucky Cheese, Fruit by the Foot, Beavus and Butthead, Bart Simpson, and so on


-just like the rich kidz, only they have white kid dreads and post a lot of vanlife stuff, lots of festivals

-mostly psychedelic gifs, with occasional trippy art, Foster the People is their favorite band

-real hippies, who post pictures of communes and people making tyed dye things, nonsexual nudes with hairy women, Grateful Dead stuff

-Buddhist and Hindu quotes, sometimes lilies


purple and pink skies, water, windows with lace

girls with pale skin and perfect make up, and chokers, bruises, sparkly skin

mermaid texture, mermaid hair colors

Lana Del Rey

kind of like 90’s only more melty and pink

quotes about good vibes

Eternal Sunshine for the Spotless mind reference

moon print

dream pop bands from the early 90’s


picture of Uma Thurman overdosing in Pulp Fiction

lots and lots of flowers

lots of sensual pictures of pale skin under certain lighting

albino people

albino animals

pictures of sunrises


kind of like the Soft Grunge, but just a little bit more subtle and film tumblry


old roman art

chinese, japanese and korean art from long ago

renaissance and medieval art with religious context

just like medieval art of specifically torture

18th and 19th century portrait paintings

Scenic paintings of hills, Van Gogh, Toulouse-Lautrec, Monet

Dada, Pablo Picasso, Jackson Pollock, Salvador Dali, Andy Warhol, Adolph Wolfie

Modern art that is squiggly, slimy, and bizzare, breaks art rules but looks good, David Shrigley

Modern Surrealists


posts really great homemade gifs that nobody knows about infrequently

blogs that only have the artwork of the blog owner – generally post infrequently and not given enough credit ever, except maybe one of there works has a whole bunch of notes

person who keeps painting the same thing over and over again and does it a lot for years at a time, 0 notes usually – who are you??

collage artists that mix 50’s scenes with hyperspace backdrops


-Stanley Kubrick, Jean Cocteau, lots of black and white french films

-that movie where the two people are sitting on the ledge of a building and the other one jumps off

Clockwork Orange

-Paris, Texas

David Lynch

Blue Velvet, Twin Peaks (gets stolen by other kinds of blogs frequently)

Wim Wenders,

Rare film art from Poland in the 70’s

Jans Svankmajer

Man Ray, Max Ernst,

cool quotes by philosopher, artist, psychologist, or film director


sometimes Wes Anderson


abandoned places, gas stations, archaic cafes, falling apart amusement parks

uses too much dark fade out in the background pictures of fields and stuff, overused filtering – posted a ton three years ago and then left

just photostock

girl who takes pictures of herself in costume

Nature pictures, animal pictures ect..

person who just takes pictures of textures and minimalist buildings – usually colorful

person who’s personal Instagram picture just automatically post to tumblr also, probably never checks up, usually pictures of them with friends as a pub

Indigenous pictures from around the world, some of them from books, some from National Geographic, some from other places

Super old pictures from old newspapers, the great depression, WW2 – generally black and white


Really likes Led Zeppelin, The Doors and The Who, sometimes mixed with other vintage, often posts the same pictures and songs for years – you feel bad because no new music will be coming out from these artists

super cheesy Van Halen, Kiss, Styx, Ozzy person, Big Hair, likes 80’s pin ups and skulls, sometimes into martial arts

super cheesy death metal fan, lots of pinups, corny black and white pictures of skulls and such

REALLY likes British Invasion, The Zombies, The Kinks, The Hollies, The Animals, will occasionally post Detroit girl groups from the 60’s, some Velvet Underground, pictures of the Beatles girlfriends

Just David Bowie, Lou Reed, Patti Smith and Iggy Pop. Maybe some New York Dolls

Old Blues and Jazz, Etta James, Son House, Nina Simone, pictures of Leadbelly and Howlin’ Wolf and especially Miles Davis

really into post punk, Nick Cave, Siouxsie, Bauhaus, The Cure, Einsturzende Neubauten, Lydia Lunch, PJ Harvey and Rowland S. Howard, sometimes Morrissey. also generally mixes film and art blog stuff in with occasional feminist things

Just Morrissey, they call him Moz.

Fan clubs for specific bands that are newer and popular like Arctic Monkeys or Fallout Boy, but also ones blogs that really like emo lyrics from early 2000’s and such – scene kids that are still scenin’ it up

loves Jens Lekman, Belle and Sebastian, The Magnetic Fields and The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, Cigarettes After Sex. Usually posts really cute modern art, and uses tumblr mostly for writing, has the cutest hair cut and can pull off overalls, never posts too little or too much, extremely twee


ancient mesopotamia, greek and Egyptian history and relics

Blogs that are specifically about one place in one era - Ancient Russia, Ireland before it was taken over, precolonial India and so on

Samurai, Geisha, and scrolls

Swords, knights, castles, kings of Europe in general

Specific Wars, examples: 7 Years War, Revolutionary War, WW1 + 2

France from before the revolution – pictures of wigged men, Napoleon, Marie Antoinette

Jane Austen time era anything 18th and 19th century, slight excuse to post lots of Pride and Prejudice gifs with Keira Knightly and that Mr. Darcy in the rain

Outfits – just outfits that are really old

person who is obsessed with the Nazis and seems to like Hitler

Flappers and earlier 20th – often an excuse to post gifs of Downton Abbey

Vintage books, often children books, but sometimes others


really fucked up pictures of the Simpsons melting and stuff

gradient graphic art with symbols or words meant to convey a product that I don’t understand for an obscure magazine subscription

graphic squiggles without form, minimalist graphic pictures of beach balls, tennis bats, and sneakers

bizarre smiley faces made from smaller smiley faces

80’s inspired design

odd looking models with undercuts and no eyebrows

cartoon dogs and cats

just static and glitches. Nothing more, nothing less

either they make their own graphic designs and they rarely post, or they compile reblogs of everyone else’s and they post all the time


insane family pictures of family who all has mullet dressed as bumble bees

Lots of Robert Crumb, some vintage stuff, but nothing remotely main stream

Some of the modern art, but only the weirdest of it

claymation masks



art from early Power Point

100 piece sculptures with melted toys

paintings of monsters

Steve Brule

children’s fan art of Smokey the Bear – looks disturbing

Items that are too kitschy to be accepted by your average vintage indie blog

sometimes a specific blog centered around some kind of crazy event where everyone dresses completely insane


the communists and Marxists

a mixture of BLM and LGBTQ stuff

the libertarians, anarchocapitalists, Ayn rand folk

the left wing anarchists, freegans, graffiti punks, garden punks, possums

informative left wing news that explains to us everyday how the GOP is fucking us

alt. right creeps who are simply here to be trolls and upset everyone else – anti SJW, that stupid frog, nationalists, trump supporters and such – irrelevant poorly thought memes

I miss Obama memes

Bernie Sanders forever and always folk


pictures of rainbow candies, toys, designs, clothing and so forth all of it rainbow

people who post one color at a time, so when you go through their archive it’s all gradient and neat looking – usually the pictures are a little stock photoish though


Betty Page

The Cramps. Reverend Horton Heat

Psychobilly pin ups, old cars, burning skulls, vintage B horror movies, The Swamp Thing

Legitimately obsessed with the activities of Halloween – posts witches, devils, trick or treat candy, Bella Lugosi, The Monster Mash, Halloween decoration - and doesn’t ever forget how many days away Halloween is

Jack the Skeleton

Freddy Krueger




American Horror Story

K Pop and J Pop + Korean Drama

boy bands in general


My Little Ponies

Ghibli Studios

Various anime shows

fat Disney princesses

Super heroes


Big Bang Theory

Mighty Boosh

Monty Python

Phantom of the Opera


Vampire Chronicles

Orange is the New Black

Breaking Bad

Alice in Wonderland

Harry Potter

Star Wars

Steven Universe

Adventure Time

Game of Thrones and Walking Dead

any television show really

Furry cartoons

lots of spacy quick anime chibi versions of characters who are hooking up and wouldn’t normally in the show

scenes from movies with subtext that comes from a different movie or show

probably countless others i am not thinking of.


serial killer blogs

unexplained mysteries, ghosts, ufo’s

pictures of galaxies with information (not sparkly silly ones with no context)

sewing and yarn

precious stones


just gardening

just cats

religious blogs, either Islam, Christian, Jewish, Hindu or Buddhist

specific animal blogs, snake, spiders, wild cats and such

science blogs about technology and stuff


stock photoish pictures of camp grounds and misty mountains – often taken by the hippies

angelic looking deer, and occasional animal burials with flowers’

person who takes pictures of flowers all the time

granola type fellow who loves juicing and backpacking – doesn’t get on tumblr much


slenderman fan art, actually just about anything creepypasta related

you have to turn off the music when you visit their page because it’s just too much

fan art of black eyed children

slit wrists

pictures that were turned into Gifs because they shake


screamo lyrics

Alice in wonderland with X’s for eyes

gothic models

occasional serial killer

skulls and references to Edgar Allan Poe


just a sea of Gifs and memes relating to anything about life ever – almost shitposting but not quite

eventually one of the gifs got 100,000 notes for it’s relatability so they get a lot of traffic

lots of pictures and circumstances from The Office, Parks and Rec, and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia

Nihilist memes


kind of a little girl dom thing going on

Kawai and lots of Japanese girls

cute colorful make up

plushies and toys

references to fantasy cartoons from the 80’s, the last unicorn, or that one with the girls in that band

Polly Pockets, Furbies, trolls

gifs of stars and hearts

Sailor Moon

pink bedroom

baby animals

occasionally more on the vintage kitschy side


ravens, bats, candles

pentacles and other symbols


sometimes there is dreads

occasionally, it is a serious practicing Wicca who posts spells and gives witch advice

lots of personal reflections



Tim and Eric, Steve Brule centered blog that are mostly in the act to make you feel queezy

like, people eating cheerios with ketchup and people wearing shoes with the soles cut out, people putting their feet in spagetti, bad tattoos on foreheads

snails, beetles, bird doing mean things to people

mostly moldy things, moss, strange dolls

things that look like they came from the dark crystal,

delapitating bedrooms that once belonged to a little girl, torn wall paper, old porcelain dolls that are slightly upsetting


occasionally a blog so gross you will be ruined for having seen it – Two Girls one Cup sort of thing


old video game start up pages

Super Mario Bros.

Other video game characters

chibis of video game characters interacting with one another

Final Fantasy references

randomly doesn’t post for a year


blog that gives dumb advice that only works if you were already happy anyway

either semi fake or oversimplified 'psyche facts’

blogs from people who suffer from addiction or mental illness and want help and use their blog to vent

blogs ran by people who enjoy crystal meth and don’t give a fuck.

worthy of mentioning, blogs that nobody ever posted a single thing or just one thing, like, really cryptic blogs that nobody could ever understand, blogs that were taken over by some kind of virus and they are trying to sell you male pattern baldness remedies, or they are now call absurdly pornographic things because the virus took over and now they are like blonde cumfuck creampie or something of that nature, and blogs were the person was basically saying they have found a girlfriend/boyfriend now and don’t need tumblr anymore so goodbye

and in my experience …

anybody can post pictures of jiggly boobs

anybody can post Grace Jones

anybody can post a Bjork song

these seem to be universal truths that defy limitations


Lead Belly - Jim Crow Blues

Portrait of Leadbelly, National Press Club, Washington, D.C., between 1938 and 1948

Huddie William Ledbetter /ˈhjuːdi/ (January 20, 1889 – December 6, 1949) was an American folk and blues musician notable for his strong vocals, virtuosity on the twelve-string guitar, and the folk standards he introduced. He is best known as Lead Belly. Though many releases credit him as “Leadbelly”, he himself wrote it as “Lead Belly”, which is also the spelling on his tombstone[1][2] and the spelling used by the Lead Belly Foundation.[3]
Lead Belly usually played a twelve-string guitar, but he also played the piano, mandolin, harmonica, violin, and “windjammer” (diatonic accordion).[4] In some of his recordings he sang while clapping his hands or stomping his foot.
Lead Belly’s songs covered a wide range, including gospel music; blues about women, liquor, prison life, and racism; and folk songs about cowboys, prison, work, sailors, cattle herding, and dancing. He also wrote songs about people in the news, such as Franklin D. Roosevelt, Adolf Hitler, Jean Harlow, Jack Johnson, the Scottsboro Boys and Howard Hughes.

Gottlieb, William P. – 1917- (photographer)

Good nights

Skipping from streetlight to streetlight

Waltzing through the dark

Laughing in the latest hours

We are drunk and we are happy

We are foolish and we are wild

We are tilting windmills in the night

Sip and Savor: NYC’s Best Oyster and Cocktail Pairings

By Emily Elyse Miller

A truly great cocktail and oyster pairing is a thing of beauty, which is why we went straight to the experts on this one. It’s pretty difficult to have an oyster (or 12) without a cocktail to match. This list will spare you having to know everything about both cocktails and oysters to make the right decision and fast-forward to you eating and drinking delicious things. Putting your trust in Maison Premiere, The Leadbelly & Grand Central Oyster Bar Brooklyn is not only a safe bet but also the right one. So take a look at what the experts have put together for you and start planning your next date around oysters and cocktails.

Maison Premiere - Will Elliott

1. Old King Cole Martini and Moonstone Oyster (RI) (Pictured Top)

“This is the classic rendering of a dry martini; scant vermouth, overproof gin, and a sidecar of savory cocktail garnish. As singularly delicious as it is, a martini begs for outside influences; a twist of lemon, olive, a pearl onion, and always oysters.

The Moonstone oyster is a quintessential Rhode Island oyster, with a balance of brine and mineral that marries well with the neutral elements of a dry martini. Bracing on bracing.“

2. Adonis and Sewansecott Oyster (VA)

“Adonis was a classic cocktail in the 1880s, combining fortified wines (vermouth and sherry) into a cocktail with the depth of a multi-course dinner. The bright, briny, oxidative notes of sherry are a savory layer over the dried fruit and bitter almonds of vermouth. The Sewansecott oyster has a depth of flavor and finish that is as different from the Moonstone [oyster] as a Manhattan is from a Martini. Though the beginning shows brine and silt, the finish is sweet and nutty.”

3. Walcott Express and Hog Island Oyster (CA)

“Walcott Express is what I hope the color green tastes like. Sapin 55 (a local pine bud liquor from Pontarlier) and Germain-Robin absinthe (CA) is shaken hard with lime cordial and a fistful of mint. It tastes like all types of green herbs and tea, with the bright citric acidity of lime. Though West Coast oysters are frequently noted for being “less briny” and “sweeter” the mineral element is what always strikes me as different. To be succinct, brine, though quite burly for a West Coast offering, mellows into the brighter, more vegetal notes one would expect.”

The Leadbelly - Alex McNeely

1. Lush Life and Kumamoto Oyster

“Starting from left to right we have the Kumamoto oyster, and the Lush Life cocktail. The acidity and lightness of the Lush Life work in harmony with the Kumamotos creamy texture and subtle notes of cucumber and melon. In addition the Thai basil and jalapeño bring to light the Kumamotos whispers of vegetal notes.

2. Cardinal Sour and Shigoku Oyster

The Shigoku oyster pairs well with our Cardinal Sour. Cranberry shrub, made by blending champagne vinegar with fresh cranberries works in a similar way to a mignonette. The pronounced acidity and slight spice plays up the fresh cucumber notes of the oyster.

3. My Old Mans Sweater and Barnstable Oyster

The Barnstable Oyster and My Old Mans Sweater are a perfect pair. The Massachusetts born oyster shares a smokey quality with the cocktail, and the briny liquor from the oyster highlights the subtle sweetness of the cocktail.”

Grand Central Oyster Bar Brooklyn - Michael Slimmer

1. Spicy Sailor and Naked Cowboy Oyster

Paired together not just for their evocative names, but also for their savory natures, the floral notes of the Hendrick’s & St. Germain are a perfect complement to the minerality of this wild oyster. The briny Naked Cowboy also goes hand-in-hand with the heat from the Tabasco in the Spicy Sailor.

2. Chai Seas and Royal Miyagi Oyster

This grouping was a no-brainer: playing off of the sweetness and “creaminess” of the Royal Miyagi, we paired it with the Chai Seas, a cocktail that features chai-infused Maker’s Mark bourbon. The melon-like flavor of the oyster balances the spicy citrus of the drink. You might think that all together there is too much sweetness in this pairing, but it really is a well-balanced flavor experience.

3. C&C Central and Shigoku Oyster

So many flavors come together in this fun, unique pairing. The unusual taste of Campari in the C&C is full of bitterness, while the Cointreau adds elements of citrus. This works really well to balance out the cucumber and water chestnut (with a hint of salt) in the Shigoku – my personal fave oyster which also means ultimate in Japanese. Bringing these together is a true case of when opposites attract.

​My October playlist is finished, please enjoy it. From 14 minute 70s acoustic guitar instrumentals, Armand Van Helden bangers and Christian music I’ve had a lot of feelings about this playlist has it all in four hours.

Love Love Love - The Mountain Goats: Posting on the web about Mountain Goats songs you’ve had a moment with is about as universal as it gets, so here’s mine for this month. I woke up one morning with the line about Sonny Liston in my head one day after not listening to this song in years. John Darnielle is perhaps the only person on earth I’d trust to write a song about Kurt Cobain’s suicide and he does a very simple and beautiful job of it here.
Ben’s My Friend - Sun Kil Moon: I discovered Sun Kil Moon way after I probably should have via that guy who was doing parody songs of him last year. This song is fantastic because it takes so long to make its point, and like so much good art is just some middle aged guy recounting his every thought and movement for four minutes.
You Were Meant For Me - Jewel: I was trying to remember how Dreams by Fleetwood Mac went and all I could think of was this song, and settled on singing it to myself instead.
Sober - Lorde: Sorry to be a normie but listening to Lorde break down this song on an episode of Song Exploder was incredibly good and it definitely made me appreciate the way the brass sounds a lot more. Melodrama really does get better and better as a cohesive whole the more I listen to it.
Night Moves - Bob Seger: We as a society need to bring back Power Voice I think. I’ve been obsessed with this song for months now and as far as I can tell Bob Seger has precisely zero other good songs, which is unfortunate because this one is so good. This also is another song about getting the Lamenting Night Hornies because you heard a thunderstorm that reminded you of the times in your youth that you Fucked and it’s, in my opinion, very beautiful.
Cairo - San Fermin: This is on the list not only because it’s a good song but also unfortunately because of Podasts. San Fermin guested on an episode of Improv4humans and got absolutely roasted about this song so I highly recommend the ep.
UFO - Sneaky Sound System: It’s unfortunate that Sneaky Sound System’s highest played song according to Spotify is the Nicolas Jaar remix of Big (an all time top ten piece of music) because it’s really overshadowed the rest of their incredibly good singles. Do you remember 2006? What a time to be alive.
UFO (Van She Tech Remix) - Sneaky Sound System: This is my absolute pick of the month and I have been raving to everyone who’ll listen but nobody cares, I cannot get enough of it. Do you remember when Justice came from France to bless us all with the secret of bass and we betrayed them by inventing Skrillex not three years later? Van She remember.
Charlie Chazz & Rappin Ralph - Duck Sauce: I believe there is a real argument to be made that any song that doesn’t refer to the listeners collectively as Party People is absolutely worthless. Duck Sauce’s album is a completely underrated classic in my opinion, it’s a go-to mood elevator from beginning to end and for some reason has a subplot thoughout about aliens transmitting coded messages to influence human evolution, which is a big thumbs up from me.
I Took Your Picture - Cults: Guess what Cults are still really really good. I haven’t given this album enough time yet but this bassline has invaded my dreams so that’s a good sign.
Pavement - City Calm Down: The way this layers and builds into and through the chorus is so satisfying. I love this sort of thick synth production and the contrast between the different registers of his voice is so satisfying as the chorus comes back again.
Pogo - Digitalism: Australian electronic music had a real moment around 2007 between Digitalism, Van She, The Presets, Midnight Juggernauts, Cut Copy and all them and I’m realising retrospectively that it was very, very good.
Semicircle Song - The Go! Team: The world’s best band are back and their new album isn’t out until fucking January! This song features big horns and a bridge that’s just a montage of children telling you their star sign so that’s how you know it’s good.
The Garden’s All Nighters - The Number Twelve Looks Like You: It’s a real shame that #12 broke up after this album because it feels like they were really on the edge of something. Over 4 albums they morphed from a straight ahead grind band into some sort of math-prog thing approaching it from a whole different direction to everyone else. I love the idea of writing such an expansive, complex song seemingly just about living in New Jersey. The way it transitions into the groovy latin part is so nice and the solo is just beautiful; and unlike other bands in the same sort of sector they never make a joke of genre switches either, they just keep moving forward with a smile.
Paris/Orly - Deux: I forget how I first came across this album but it’s easily the wankiest thing I absolutely love. An 80s French synthpop duo that only ever released a cassette and some singles that got reissued by a label called Minimal Wave a few years ago. It is absolutely the best. New wave mixed with Kraftwerk and synthpop except incredibly french and cool as well. I constantly have their song Game And Performance in my head but this one was my obsession this month.
Walking Into Sunshine (Larry Levan 12" Mix) - Central Line: There’s something very authentic about disco songs that are lyrically all about working all week all day every day, and desperately needing a break to perhaps, dance your worries away in a new york discotheque.
Cradle In The Crater - The Number Twelve Looks Like You: This is maybe my favourite #12 song because it appears to be about some kind of super child who came from space and perhaps wrought havoc on the citizens of earth, but told in a very real and emotional way like it’s a story about someone they really knew. It reminds me of Mother 3 and the good times I had as a teen playing that game with my best friend, so that’s an added bonus.
Under The Ice (Extended Version) - Topo & Roby: Italo disco forever. This song is a duet between a woman and a robot where they relay the story of him coming from a distant planet in a spaceship and crashing on the north pole then getting trapped under the titular ice where he waits to I think murder me. Now that I think of it it’s world similar to Cradle In The Crater. It sounds so good, far better than a novelty song like this has any right to. There’s also a video with someone’s 80s mum dancing with an incredibly shit robot on youtube if you’re interested.
Outta The Woodwork - Kurt Vile and Courtney Barnett: I really love the covers they chose for this album because they both really make it their own. Outta The Woodwork really sounds like a Kurt song now and I love the strong piano giving the song the harder edge the lyrics deserve and Kurt just lazily soloing to hell any chance he gets
Peepin’ Tom - Kurt Vile and Courtney Barnett: I think I almost like this version more than the original, making it just an acoustic thing but still keeping all the dynamics of the original is so nice. I love specifically the deep bass voice of ‘peepin’ to the high ‘tom’. It satisfies something weird in my brain.
Mercury (12" Version) - Bloc Party: I can’t believe i’ve lived this long without ever knowing that there was a 12” version of Mercury out there. The song I always felt was way too short to contain the amount of energy it has has a 7 minute version that well and truly lays it out into a slow intense burn instead.
Electric Feel (Justice Remix) - MGMT: Just to get my 2007 opinions straight Electric Feel is not a good song. Kids is a good song but Electric Feel isn’t. That said: this remix comes damn close to making it good. Justice figured out the secret sound and we’re all the better for it.
Comin’ Apart - Gary Wright: There’s no greater joy than tracking down a sample and finding out that the original song is also a banger. This pairs extremely well with My My My as a sort of extended intro.
My My My - Armand Van Helden: I posted that playlist a couple weeks ago of songs mid-2000s bangers with extremely horny videos and this is a highlight from that. I’m always amazed with how much mileage great producers can get out of a relatively straightforward sample because this hums along for almost 7 minutes and only gets better.
Laser Life - The Blood Brothers: The Blood Brothers are one of the few bands that scratch the brain itch I have for totally bonkers Mars Volta markov chain lyrics phrases like ‘Oh dream machine I’m a pound of flesh inside a drum machine dream’. They’re also the only band I think that can get away with having this sort of cabaret swing feel in a song with a lot of screaming and not have it be absolutely unbearable.
Camouflage, Camouflage - The Blood Brothers: Where a lot of The Blood Brothers early songs were just chaotic bursts, they have a few songs that spread out into a long multi movement ideas culminating in very good final lines like 'I couldn’t see the love and affection it was camouflaged as a jungle of erections, and I couldn’t see the skeletal lightning it was camouflaged as a young machete’
16 Tons - Tennessee Ernie Ford: The mistake people make in covering this song is trying to match the extremely grim lyrics to the music, but this version succeeds exactly because it’s on some upbeat Frank Sinatra shit with the clarinet refrain sounding like a children’s song while still being very much about dying face down in the dirt from arsenic poisoning.
Take This Hammer - Leadbelly: On the other hand you have a song like Take This Hammer from a guy who really worked on a chain gang complete with involuntary WAH sounds to time your hammer strikes to, and it’s still so much more upbeat and positive musically than it has any right to be looking at the lyrics.
San Francisco - Foxygen: There’s something about the chorus of this song, and they way the phrases of the two voices line up where if it gets stuck in your head it just goes around and around and around forever and it is absolutely maddening so I thought I’d share that with you all.
El Manana (Metronomy Remix) - Gorillaz: This remix reminds me of Studio to a degree with the way it just moves forward with no regard for regular structure. It’s gutsy to remix a song and somehow restructure it so the chorus doesn’t even sound like it’s the chorus anymore but just another small part in a slowly winding up machine.
Monkey Gone To Heaven - The Pixies: The way he’s screaming that GOD IS SEVEN in this song I feel like if Black Francis hadn’t made it in music he’d be running a very successful incomprehensible conspiracy website. This is a song I can get very lyrically involved in when I’m in certain moods, nodding my head like the creature in the sky DID get sucked in a hole and now there’s a hole in the sky, and we’re all in trouble because of it.
Cannonball - The Breeders: I like this song because it feels like everyone in the band is working on their own unique structure. The clean guitar especially just comes and goes at will through the whole song, the lyrics start whenever, the rhythm guitar just keeps strumming along. It all comes together for the chorus and then they just go their own separate ways until it’s chorus time again.
S.A.D. - Kirin J Callinan: The production on this song just amazes me, especially as it moves into the later choruses the sheer weight of the chords is just crazy. The barest suggestion of guitars chugging in the background but blending into the huge synths chords. Combined with the vocals it’s the most threatening pop song I’ve ever heard. Wrapped up in plastic thrown down the stairs feeling fantastic.
Water Coast Blues - Honeyboy Edwards: I feel like Honeyboy Edwards has gotten a raw deal from history. When he died most of his obitaries made a big point of how he was one of the last living people to know Robert Johnson personally. Which is an important detail but it overshadows Edwards contributions in his own right as a guitarist and songwriter who had a 70 year career. The album this recording’s from is a really good compilation that gives an overview of his whole career, mixed with interviews with Edwards and Alan Lomax that are just amazing. Anyway just listen to the playing on this song because it is incredible. The bass figure he switches into when he says 'when I had money’? Phenomenal.
Another Leather Lung - The Sound Of Animals Fighting: The Sound Of Animals Fighting was a supergroup of a bunch of guys from RX Bandits/Chiodos/Circa Survive and bands like that coming together in animal masks to make the most pretentious band possible at the time. There’s a lyrics on one of their other songs where he sings 'the artist! the true manifestation of struggle!’ which is quite good. But outside of that they did make some very good music and the second half of this song where it takesoff is really something.
Bone Machine - The Pixies: It’s amazing Black Francis hasn’t been linked to a string of murders in the mid 80s honestly. This whole song feels like evidence. Also the way he says 'I was talking to peachy peach about kissy kiss.. [incredibly long, awkward silence] … he bought me a soda. he bought me a soda and he tried to molest me in the parking lot hep hep hep hep’ is perhaps the most amazing verse ever.
Stomping Tonight On The Pennsylvania/Alabama Border - John Fahey: This is John Fahey’s best song and I’ve listened to it probably 4 times a week for the last 4 years. It is quite honestly an eternal mood.
Ares - Bloc Party: War! War! War! War! I love the guitar in this, because it’s just textural noisemaking more than anything else and mixed with the vocal manipulations in the chorus it’s just absolute chaos. It’s such a shame that everyone in Bloc Party either left the band or had their brain removed after this album because between this, Mercury and Talons it was truly an incredible moment.
Special Rider Blues - John Fahey: I can’t believe I only found out this month about John Fahey covering Skip James, and even that it took me this long for me to listen to the full version of his America album.
Mark 1:15 - John Fahey: I also learned that on account of cds only holding 80 minutes of music, this 14 minute reissue version of Mark 1:15 is 2 minutes shorter than the original vinyl version and I’m completely riled up about it and demanding a second, definitive reissue to restore them. Regardless, this song is an absolute masterpiece and when it switches into the portion of When The Springtime Comes again about three quarters of the way through it’s just amazing.
Swim - Nicolas Jaar: Here’s another quite long and involved piece of music from the other side of the spectrum. It has a very similar feeling to Mark 1:15 really, so if you liked that persevere through this. It’s taken me such a long time to get around to listening to Nymphs for some reason but I’m glad I finally gave it a shot because this song especially is a real masterwork.
Crimes - The Blood Brothers: A third Blood Brothers song for you, If you didn’t like the other two there’s a chance you’ll like this one because it’s much more sedate. This song is also a good first Blood Brothers song because the way the second vocalist sounds when he finally turns up is really funny if you’re not expecting it. This is another on the long list of songs I seem to just always have in my head and sing to myself when I’m walking around.
NRG - Duck Sauce: Are you ready for the most powerful 12 minutes of your life? It’s the entirety of the NRG single by Duck Sauce. I like to think of it as a purposeful multi-movement work rather than a song and two remixes because that’s what it feels like. Starting out we have the original, incredible instant power of NRG.
NRG (Skrillex, Kill The Noise, Milo & Otis Remix) - Duck Sauce: and next we have the absolute peak of the work, the fever pitch. See if you can guess which part Skrillex was responsible for. I love the addition of miscellaneous woos and yeahs among the already busy main riff, I absolutely love the bass which sounds like some kind of steel drum pulled down four octaves. I love the distortion on the vocals in the second half as it slowly gives you time to catch your breath.
NRG (Hudson Mohawk Remix) - Duck Sauce: The we move into the comedown, the HudMo contribution where the drums somehow sound like they’re coming from next door like the party has passed you by and moved on to enliven your neighbours. I love the snare building and then splitting into triplets like it’s going to drop before the peace of the synth gives way to the rolling thunder drums hafway in.
On The Other Hand Baby - Etta Baker: I don’t know what to say about Etta Baker. She’s incredible and it’s an absolute shame that she didn’t really get recorded until she was about 70. This album was recorded when she was about 92 and her playing is still amazing.
Crucible - Sleigh Bells: You have to give Sleigh Bells credit for still going strong four albums in if nothing else. Somewhere along the line they adopted this sort of corny rock chick thing that wasn’t really there in their first album and I think it works against them but I really can’t get enough of the instrumental of this song. The distorted brass and string amongst everything else especially. I feel like there’s a much better song buried in here somewhere but I’ll take what I can get.
Pirate Blues - As Cities Burn: As Cites Burn are another good example of a metalcore band absolutely mellowing out into a indie rock band over the course of three albums, and the result Hell Or High Water has turned out to be one if my favourites of all time. This song especially is an obsession, and I love a band having the sense to no longer make metalcore, but learning enough from it to take a song to a a huge crescendo when they need to like this one does.
Timothy - As Cities Burn: Between As Cities Burn, mewithoutYou and a couple of other christian bands I was very nearly converted in highschool and it still informs a lot of my uh theistic thought in a strangely unembarrassing way. This song, from their second album where they were sort of caught between their metalcore origins and the full fleshed indie rock of Hell Or High Water is one of their best. Yelling at god about your dead friend is a massive thing to write a song about but it’s done so well and it builds and builds before dissolving into a sparse, thoughtful solo for a good six minutes into a beautiful ending.

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De Kalb Blues

My favorite rendition 


Trouble Town - Jake Bugg // Workin’ Woman Blues - Valerie June // Ain’t it a Shame - Lightnin’ Hopkins // I Can’t Wait - The White Stripes // Can’t Afford to Lose my Man - Memphis Minnie // Dog House Boogie - Seasick Steve // Taste It - Jake Bugg // 32 - 20 Blues - Robert Johnson // Shotgun - Valerie June // Black Cat Bone - Lightnin’ Hopkins // Poor Howard - Leadbelly // Your Southern Can is Mine - The White Stripes //  Honey Skippin’ - The Hot Sprockets // Devil’s Got the Blues - Lonnie Johnson

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