Hot Chip

The glory that is Sasquatch

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Currently thousands of good-time hungry people are assembling for the weekend that is Sasquatch, and I could not be any more bummed about it. For the first time in 5 years, I, sadly, am not among them.

It’s pretty difficult for me to write those words (especially because for the first time since I’ve been going, my boy Ty Segall will be there, sludging out with Fuzz), but work and financial obligations have left it impossible for me to join in on the fun this year. And by fun I mean MOST FUN THING THAT WILL HAPPEN IN 2015.

An exaggeration, you may think to yourself? Hardly. In fact, over the course of the last five phenomenally awesome Squatches, I’ve only found myself not having fun once, and that was because Mayer Hawthorne was on the stage, inappropriately acting like the most important guy in the world. And ya know, come to think of it, I was still definitely having a good time at that moment, despite his bro-iness. Because Sasquatch is a non-stop zone of euphoria. It’s nearly impossible to lose the smile from your face while you’re Gorge-side, from the second you join the miles-long car line into camping til the “it’s too damn bright outside!” morning you drag yourself out of George, WA, five days later.

And this year’s gonna be better than ever. With everyone from St. Vincent to Schoolboy Q to Robert flippin’ Plant showing up, fans are gonna get washed over with beautiful music from every genre out there. So why not savor what I’m missing out on by creating the playlist to end all playlists?!

Behold, samplings from every band I know I’d be jamming/freaking out to this weekend. It’s by far the longest musicboots playlist ever compiled, but that’s extremely fitting, considering the festival (and its enormous offering of delicious music) it’s based on.

Dig in.

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The 2 Bears – The Night Is Young

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Grade: B+

Hot Chip, in all their electrofied glory, are just plain awesome, and that’s all there is to it. Thankfully the members of this UK group have launched into other side projects to spread their talent, and this includes The 2 Bears, a wonderful duo of Hot Chip’s Joe Goddard and DJ/producer Raf Rundell. Somehow I missed their 2012 debut Be Strong (check out the hilarious “Bear Hug” from that one, as soon as you can), but Pitchfork currently happens to be streaming their upcoming album, The Night Is Young, before it is released on Fatboy Slim’s label Southern Fried on October 13th.

It’s a great LP, one that frequently hints at old school house music and thrums along with the catchiest of melodies. It occasionally feels like the type of album no one else is doing right now, maybe because everyone else is trying to push forward with the way they write their dance music. That is how it should be, but the way The 2 Bears stop and pay homage to retro sounds, while carving them into something funky and new, is fun as hell.

The duo spent some time in South Africa last year, taking part in a project put together by the magazine Live, and songs “Money Man” and “Son of the Sun” were recorded while there. Goddard and Rundell collaborated with local singers Sbussio and Kwaito icon Senyaka for these songs, and they definitely have a retro reggae feel to them. Not my favorites on the album, but props to The 2 Bears for paying respect to UK’s dance music past with a couple of songs that have got both a bouncy rhythm and a political edge. “Son of the Sun” also does have a couple of really great moments, including some solid rap delivery.

It’s songs like “Angel (Touch Me)”, “Not This Time” and “See You” that really do it for me, though, and it’s unashamedly because it reminds me of UK pop house beats from my high school years. All three of them are also extremely catchy, and place Rundell’s smooth and nicely accented vocals at the forefront. Get a perfect look at, and listen of, what I’m talking about in The 2 Bears fantastic, drag-based video for “Not This Time” below:

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