Wednesday, June 4, 2014
Music! My brother, my buddy and Kid Koala.
When I was much younger, my older brother came to me and told me about this awesome band called Gorillaz. "Yeah, whatever, getouttahere," I told him.
A year later, I was tooling around the city with my friends with Clint Eastwood on repeat. I took the album to my brother and said "dude, you have to listen to this."
He (understandably) looked at me like I was a total asshole.
Now, in the subsequent years, I've asked him for music on occasion - he's how I found At the River by Groove Armada - but I'll admit, for years, I didn't listen to him when he told me I should check out Kid Koala. For years he's been telling me to check out Kid Koala - and every now and then I'd hear about him playing in my city or doing well in the Canadian music scene, but whatever. Getouttahere.
Fast forward to 2014.
My buddy Charlie at work once had a side-thing as a DJ. He's getting back in to it - he's played a few wedding socials (a purely Canadian construct), and keeps on reminding me I will, one day, write ads for him - don't think I'm flaking on him, he keeps giving me the impression he expects this to happen at some un-specified date in the future, and provides no further information.
Charlie will swing by my desk and we'll chat about ladies and work and, often, music, as I'm one of the only folks in my office who is permitted a sound system at my desk. He'll often ask who this is or who that is, and once admonished me for like three days straight for listening to Lana Del Rey, which is a name that kept coming up on Twitter and I decided to finally check out, and thought some of her stuff was pretty cool.
Little did I know Lana Del Rey had recently performed on Saturday Night Live and was just awful and now it's not cool to like her any more. Well, fuck that, Off to the Races, Blue Jeans, Lolita, Body Electric and Pretty Baby are great songs (with creepy videos), and you can take that to the bank.
Charlie and I decided to do a music-influence trade, in which I would provide him with a selection of music gleaned from being an internet-bound gamer shut-in, and he would provide me with his favorites of the popular music all the kids these days are listening to. Sho' nuff.
So I went through my music and pulled all the choicest stuff - The Heavy, classic blues, Scissor Sisters, Sleigh Bells, William Elliott Whitmore, Blanche, Archive, Battle Tapes, Budos Band, Caro Emerald, Cinematic Orchestra, straight-up video game themes and the selection of ancient tunes that come from an education in Fallout and BioShock.
I also went through my stuff from Sleeping Dogs, which includes the Ninja Tune record label - giving everything a quick listen and either tossing it in the Charlie pile or passing it over.
In the Charlie pile went a song I'd never heard before - but it sounded cool. Whatever.
Two weeks later, I'm listening to the music I gave to Charlie, and there's this one awesome track... it's Kid Koala, spinning some old blues - and it's amazing.
Just like I did all those years ago, I felt immediately guilty for not listening to my older brother when he recommended this guy. I determined I would look in to Kid Koala at my earliest opportunity, and lo!
3 Bit Blues is merely the third track of an album he released in 2012 called 12 Bit Blues, and it has twelve tracks of awesome. Here's another standout, but believe me when I say - like I should have believed my brother - that you should check out Kid Koala.