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This Week’s Playlists: Squeaky Munchkins, Desperate Punks, and Al Green Singing Lou Reed

As always, we've got 5 new local songs and 5 new songs from elsewhere that you'll be glad you heard.

Photos provided|

Oister Boy, Noname

I was out of town when the Nudieland shooting happened. When I got back I belatedly gave a listen to August Golden's band Scrounger and had to include a track here. I wish we'd met under happier circumstances.

Local Picks

Castle Theater, “Easy Does It”

Yes, sending me unsolicited music does work! (See instructions below.) I checked my inbox today while wrapping up this week’s column and saw an email from Tyler Tholl, who records as Castle Theater, asking me to listen to his new EP, Four Songs. And now here’s “Easy Does It,” with a slow-rolling beat that takes the title’s advice and a lyric that suggests why that advice is needed, leading off the local playlist. 

Fairchild, “I LOVE CANDY I LOVE CANDY !!!!” 

A spasm of hectic breakbeats and an intro from an unidentified rapper give way to an excitedly squeaking munchkin voice nibbling away so rodent-like you might suspect this DJ’s moniker refers to the State Fair gopher himself.

Oister Boy, “Wycliff St.”

This band’s new EP, Wycliff St., is all over the place stylistically—in a way that shows versatility, not lack of focus. There’s grungy funk, lissome pop, and straight-up punk. And then there’s the title track, which starts soft and builds up to a crescendo as singer Ava Santangelo calls out a sometime lover who only wants her when she's wasted.

Scrounger, “Farragut Park”

Don’t take this as a token gesture—the way these frayed vocals extract a melody from a handful of chords is so irresistible I’d have gotten around to this band sooner or later. RIP, and I hope August Golden’s bandmates can carry on.

Step Sister, “Homestuck”

After a verse of repeated chin up bromides that don't take, Caitlin Angelica lashes out: “I’m not doing better” and “I tried so hard” and even “I wanna be a ghost” over thrashy punk that sounds every bit as desperate as she is.

Non-Local Picks

Al Green, “Perfect Day”

Al Green, who sings as though he’s just beheld the divine even when he’s trying to talk you into bed, takes on Lou Reed, who sings like he’s trying to score smack even when he’s just out for a stroll. Of such unlikely interactions is great pop born.

Lola Kirke, “All My Exes Live in L.A.”

I’m probably supposed to be suspicious when the actress daughter of Bad Company’s drummer, sister of Girls’ Jemima, and sis-in-law of Penn Badgley holds forth as a countrified singer-songwriter. (And dropping a George Strait reference in her title, no less!) But Kirke’s just singin’ about what she knows—for a native New Yorker, talk of fleeing L.A. is just gettin' back to your roots. She’s at the Entry on Friday, by the way.

Noname (feat. $ilkMoney, billy woods, & STOUT), “gospel?”

The Chicago rapper’s third album, Sundial, is predictably great, with a political severity never reflected in the generosity of the music, and this hopeful moment is among my favorites. $ilkmoney getting justifiably paranoid and billy woods gets justifiably nostalgic for the early promise of Zimbabwean independence. And Noname herself promises to say a prayer who for whoever's "wherever Black people sleep."

Olivia Rodrigo, “Bad Idea Right?”

Since young adult pop stars don’t have to pretend to be virgins anymore or not wasted on the weekend, Everygirl 2023 gets “all fucked up” and hooks up with an ex. It’s a common mistake that could be the stuff of angsty pop tragedy, but instead Rodrigo treats it as a relatable joke, and why not? Be dumb while you can, kids. 

Thrash Palace, “Go”

We haven’t forgotten you, EMA. The South Dakota rocker, whose last album came out six years ago, teamed up with Vice Cooler and Sarah Register to form a new group that debuts here on a scuzzy slow burn of a rocker. 

Wanna get a local song considered for the playlist? To make things easy on both of us, email with MONDAY PLAYLIST in the subject header. (Don’t, as in do NOT, DM or text: If I’m in a good mood, I’ll just ask you to send an email; if I’m in a bad mood I’ll just ignore it.)

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