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 V.20 No.47 | November 24 - 30, 2011 

Song Roulette

Brian Spencer


Todd Eric Lovato is a longtime local songwriter and multi-instrumentalist with such acts as Skinnyfat, Fantastic Planet, Felonious Groove Foundation and several others. The five-time New Mexico Music Award winner is immersed in his new drum and banjo duo Todd & the Fox, which will be releasing an album this spring. See it live and for free on Saturday, Nov. 26, at 8:30 p.m. at the Scalo Il Bar (3500 Central SE). We asked Lovato to give us a peek into his decked-out music library. Below are the random results.

1) “The Bay” • Metronomy • The English Riviera

“All right, here we go. Playlist on shuffle. And ... play! I like to keep my iPod stocked with new releases so I can hear what trends are emerging in music, particularly within smaller independent record labels. Metronomy is a British-based rock group that seamlessly blends the best elements of both rock and electronic music. Don't believe me? Give the choruses of these songs a loud listen in some good headphones. OK, on to the next song.”

2) “The Way It Goes” • Gillian Welch • The Harrow & The Harvest

“Nice. Gillian Welch (along with longtime music collaborator David Rawlings) is one of my favorite contemporary folk, Americana artists. While the haunting, simple two-guitar, dual-vocal sound on ‘The Way It Goes’ could've been created just about anytime in past 100 years, the lyrics offer me a powerful exploration of the travails and pitfalls of becoming an adult in the new millennium—in a way that just about any generation could relate to. ‘That's the way that it goes / Everybody's buying little baby clothes.’ Listening to this song makes me yearn for Todd & the Fox to someday share a show bill with Gillian Welch, as on opening act, of course.”

3) “NY Is Killing Me” • Gil Scott-Heron and Jamie xx • We're New Here

“I kind of feel bad for the dubstep. Its rise to mainstream ubiquity happened so quickly that its defining sounds (impossibly deep wobble bass, scathing syncopated hi-hats and glitch, and fractal-like rhythm and ambience) are now on the verge of sounding cliché. However, you'll find nothing hackneyed in ‘NY Is Killing Me,’ produced by mastermind remix and electronic artist Jamie xx. This record remixes the singing of the late street poet Gil Scott-Heron to create a soundscape of poignant melancholy and inner-city pathos. Rest in peace, Gil Scott-Heron.”

4) “Indestructible Sam” • Buck 65 • Cretin Hip-Hop Vol. 1

“Whoa. Cosmic. I am so glad this song came up. If there was ever a track that manages to squeeze all of my musical influences into one package it's ‘Indestructible Sam,’ with its hip-hop narrative, break beat drums, pounding bass line and—yes, you heard right—backwoods banjo. All right, let's see about this last song.”

5) “Your Song” • Elton John • Elton John

“Ha! This track is indeed proof that I am not fixing this list. In fact, I'm not sure why this song made the cut to earn a place on my iPod. This track is so lame. I mean, just listen to that cheesy piano riff intro, the overproduced ’70s production and those bleeding-heart lyrics by Bernie Taupin. Well ... actually, those are really poetic and interesting. Well, now that I'm listening, so are those bittersweet strings. And Elton's masterful singing. And that earworm of a chorus melody, ‘I hope you don't mind, I hope you don't mind that I put down in words / How wonderful life is while you're in the world.’ Now I'm thinking about my wife and how I wish I could write her a song this sincere. Man, this has got to be one of the best songs, ever. Damn you, Elton, for being so great.”

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    Out of the Woodwork
    Out of the Woodwork6.2.2016