by Elijah Jarocki
I’m almost out of here! If you’re a graduating senior like myself, we’re probably feeling the same strange mixture of trepidation and excitement. It feels weird to be outdated. Like James Murphy, I'm “losing my edge to better-looking people/With better ideas/and more talent/And they're actually really, really nice.” Prime example: my dear friend Jolie Klefeker who will be taking my position as music director of Radio 1190. On May 17th, “On-Air Next” will fall into her hands. We’ve been training: gulping yolks and running up stairs. Rest assured, she’ll be even better than me at this. Until then, I have two columns left, baby. Here’s one.
When I die, please bury me in Yo La Tengo records. This band means an awful lot to me. The Summer after Freshman year, I would get off work from the CU Bookstore, walk home, and lie on my twin-sized bed floating in Yo La Tengo. “Painful” is my favorite record of theirs, so I put it back in rotation this week. This 1993 record is a masterpiece. From “Big Day Coming” to “I Heard You Looking,” “Painful” is a warm car ride through your emotions. When YLT rocks, they rock. When YLT is sad, they’re perhaps the saddest band in the world.
“Nowhere Near” features shimmering guitars doing the Yo La Tango around Georgia Hubley’s understated vocals. It’s surely one of the best love songs of all time with lines like “When I see you look at me/I'm not sure of anything/All I know is when you smile/I believe in everything” If you like the electric guitar [who doesn’t?] you’ll love “Painful.” Hear it this week on Radio 1190.
“Strawberry Jam” is definitely one of Animal Collective’s best records. It’s not as emo as “Feels,” as esoteric as “Here Comes The Indian,” nor as overhyped as “Merriweather Post Pavilion.” Rather, “Strawberry Jam” is unbelievably fun. It’s AnCo in their purest form: experimental, joyful, and overwhelming. It’s an audio wonderland brimming with beautiful colors, unexpected melodies, and, of course, jam. Animal Collective is always hard to pin down. Their influences are incredibly diverse. Moments on “Strawberry Jam” remind me of White Album-era Beatles, other moments are pure glitchy bliss. One thing’s for sure: You’ll know immediately how you feel about it. We’ll be re-hashing our thoughts on-air all week.
Is this column a Pitchfork greatest hits remix? Perhaps. That won’t stop me from talking about “A Crow Looked at Me,” Phil Elverum’s newest record as Mount Eerie. Since The Microphones’ “The Glow, Pt. 2,” Elverum has been a mainstay in independent music circles. He began Mount Eerie after The Microphones disbanded in 2003, but continued his ultra-sad songwriting into the new project. “A Crow Looked at Me” is devastating. Elverum penned this record immediately following his wife’s untimely death in 2016. When he talks about death, he doesn’t use metaphors. The songs are overtly about her. Through the sadness, Elverum finds an unbelievable beauty on “A Crow Looked at Me.” It’s an incredibly personal record, almost perverse to write about. You better hear it yourself.
Three great records on Radio 1190 this week. Next week will be my last column. Set your dial to Radio 1190 this week: 98.9FM in Boulder, 1190AM in Denver.