This Talkhouse Weekend Playlist comes to us from Cadien Lake James, guitarist and vocalist in the always-energetic Chicago band Twin Peaks. Cadien’s picks include the psychedelic weirdo pop that inspires his band, along with thick, slowed-down-tape-machine tones and more introspective, sentimental tunes. Check out Twin Peaks’ latest record, Down in Heaven, out today via Grand Jury.
–The editors of Talkhouse Music
Bob Dylan — “Alberta #1”
The only song on Self Portrait where Dylan utilized his rasp much, this song nails a homegrown vibe and for whatever reason always makes me want to cry with joy. Simple phrases, no pretension or depth, just true expression of simple emotion.
The Black Lips — “Ghetto Cross”
Everyone’s heard “Katrina” and “Bad Kids,” but this early, dirty Black Lips is what soundtracked the end of my elementary school/beginning of high school experience. These guys came a long way, and the earlier stuff stills stands up as truly captivating, home-recorded modern garage. It sounds like Nuggets but with a psychedelic echoed vocal atop, totally in your face. Great lyrics.
Alexander Spence — “Little Hands”
Incredibly warm but somehow odd ’60s psych. A hidden gem.
Unknown Mortal Orchestra — “Nerve Damage!”
This was my introduction to UMO, and still one of my favorite songs. Lyrics about tripping on acid and ecstasy, being wasted, possibly more, and dodging traffic until getting tased by a cop is how I heard the story. Awesome song, awesome production, and totally insane lyrics.
Link Wray — “Ice People”
Link Wray’s vocal Americana records that came out in the early ’70s are another hidden gem. Everyone knows “Rumble” after Death Grips sampled it, but this stuff gives Nixon-era Stones a run for their money. The best tracks are the more heartfelt, sentimental tunes.
Mac Demarco — “Boe Zaah”
I just always loved this tune, the instrumental number off 2. It reminds me of Neil Young, with a sort of Beach House vibe to the slide guitar. Thick tones via a slowed down tape machine, probably my favorite production on a Mac song.
Spaceman 3 — “Losing Touch With My Mind”
One of my favorite bands that donned sunglasses religiously, this opens their debut record. I just love their minimalism and ethos. Blew my mind that Spacemen 3 came from an ecstasy-dominated rock & roll scene.
Robert Lester Folsom — “See You Later, I’m Gone”
I don’t know much about this guy, but his records are sick weirdo pop. Early home-recorded lo-fi. This song has so much classic melody, a hit on tour for us.
Chris Cohen — “In a Fable”
I’ve been waiting for this album to come out since I first heard his debut, Overgrown Path. I’ve always been drawn to guys/gals who tackle an album as one person. It’s incredibly impressive, and Chris’ jazzy psychedelic pop is so unique and his own, I can’t get enough. Heavy lyrics on this one: “In a fable, they say things end up how they’re supposed to be/I’m nodding yes, you know I don’t agree. (Cue awesome Western solo!)”
Blaze Foley — “If I Could Only Fall”
Blaze Foley was one of those undiscovered Texas country-folk cats, buddies with our favorite, Townes Van Zandt. He has a gorgeous baritone voice and joyously sings sorrowful songs. This song captures that almost-there, but-you’ll-never-grasp-it emotion that most introspective folks know. Beautiful.