Every Friday, Dusted Magazine publishes a series of music-related lists determined by our favorite artists. This week, we present the orchestral folk pop of My Brightest Diamond and electronic pop duo Benoit & Sergio.
Listed: My Brightest Diamond + Benoit & Sergio
My Brightest Diamond
Shara Worden might be the modern day Marry Poppins. As MBD’s multi-instrumentalist mainstay, she wears a heavy cloak of cabaret, pockets stuffed with sugar, but perhaps intertwined with a touch more torment than Ms. Poppins. All Things Will Unwind, Worden’s fourth effort on Asthamtic Kitty, resounds poetry to match the label’s track record. Particularly “Everything Is In Line” storms thundershowers. The wash of sweet, warbling songbird vocals paired with foreboding woodwinds electrocute bloody disturbance cut with honey—a conflicting combination we’ve come to cheerfully expect from her. All Things Will Unwind dropped last October. For this week’s listed, Worden gives us ten things she has learned from her collaborators.
1. Laurie Anderson
A) when speaking to a person in your band about changing something they are doing, walk over to them and talk with them quietly, rather than arguing in front of everyone or embarrassing them and thus engaging the ego. B) Make your own path, don’t wait for someone else to give you your dream.
2. Earl Harvin (drummer)
A) “Why do want to sound like them? They already did that. Make something new.” B) Always press record, even on the first practice run.
3. David Byrne
A) Be passionate about your subject matter. (see the album, Here Lies Love, an album about Imelda Marcos).
4. The Decemberists
A) Give the crew with the same respect that you give the band members B) know how to play your entire back catalog even if you haven’t played it for years. C) Remember you are living the dream even when you are slogging it out.
5. Bryce Dessner of The National
A) Be generous with your support of others, B) Don’t be confused by the fact that you have a lot of musical interests, but don’t feel like you have to get all your ideas out in one musical project, C) Don’t quit.
6. Matthew Barney
A) Say thank you to people who have extended themselves on your behalf, even if they played a small role in your production. B) Care about every level of your project, C) Think bigger.
7. Joel Shearer (guitarist, producer, engineer, road dog)
“So you wanna make a record that sounds like Scott Walker, huh? Well you don’t have ten years, so just put out your record now.”
8. Pat Dillett (engineer & producer)
Don’t let self-doubt kill your album.
9. Nadia Sirota (violist)
A) love the music you play and work hard on the details of playing in ensemble every minute of a rehearsal. B) Commission new work.
10. Sufjan Stevens
A) Costuming is important, even if it means that you stay up all night before your tour, hand making outfits, B) Follow your bliss. Don’t feel like you have to live up to other’s expectations of what you will do next, C) Work with your friends.
Benoit & Sergio
The power of Benoit’s native French sophistication combined with Sergio’s Iowan charm somehow floored James Murphy enough to invite to duo onto his electronic label DFA. That’s talent. Following B & S’s chance meeting at a D.C. dance club, the two continue to fine-tune their slick, mechanical groove music, even now despite long-distances (Sergio has since left the District for Berlin). The audio inspiration and fuel in this equation might make a man choke—Chopin, Pavement, Dire Straits and Snoop Dogg. House trailblazers Daft Punk make a lot more sense as an influential cornerstone holding up their frenzied-hopscotch beats. Benoit & Sergio released the 12-inch, Let Me Count The Ways, last year on Ghostly International.
1. Brian Eno - Here Come the Warm Jets
Any Brian Eno album could be at number one, but this is his first solo album, so let’s put it first. It has endless energy and intelligence and yet it never has grown tiresome—except for “Black Frank,” which was relegated to the trash long ago.
2. The Sea and Cake - The Fawn
Like many of one’s favorite albums, this captures a wonderful time in life—namely just after graduating from college. I played Tetris all summer in Chicago, listening on repeat from the opening, sumptuous synth line of “Sporting Life. ”
3. Don Caballero - American Don
This album is like a great comedy that you’ve seen a million times, but in which you still find something new that makes you smile. But this isn’t to say that this is a light, comedic album. It is infinite. In infinite ways—from Ian’s guitar layering to Damon’s octopus-man drumming.
4. Leonard Cohen - Songs of Leonard Cohen
So lyrically lush, so sad. Despite being a bit purple to older ears, his lyrics here still reach heights unreached by any others. “And then looking from your window sill / He’ll say one day you caused his will / To weaken with your love and warmth and shelter / And then taking from his wallet and old schedule of trains / He’ll say I told you when I came I was a stranger. ” Wow.
5. Pavement - Slanted and Enchanted
The album that separated us from all the people we didn’t like.
6. MGMT - Oracular Spectacular
This could only have been made by people of a certain age—not too old to know too much, just old enough to have no fears. And, of course, by people of a very rare talent. The effortlessness and arrogance of the hooks (think of the opening of “Kids”) are especially remarkable.
7. Daft Punk - Discovery
- Jam after jam after jam. Slow jams and fast jams. Pretty jams and brash jams. No one else in dance music has the range of these fools. Everyone else in dance music are but pretenders with no range.
8. Chopin - Preludes
This is an admittedly somewhat pretentious choice, but it shouldn’t be. It’s achingly beautiful and genius. “Prelude No. 15” is so epic that you feel at once crushed under the weight of a thousand ancient tombs and released into the stratosphere of sublime cosmic empathy.
9. Dire Straits - Brother in Arms
It’s in the tones.
10. Snoop Dogg - Doggystyle
“The Chronic” was a beautiful boy, but this was the mature freak. “Ain’t No Fun” is one of the biggest jams ever. How is this record almost 20 years old now? What have we done with our time?
By Otis Hart