Shaun Fleming’s an accomplished voice actor (e.g. dreamy skater kid Keoni on “Lilo & Stitch”) but he may be best known as a musician — he got a taste of the whirlwind rock-star lifestyle as the drummer for indie-hit band Foxygen. While he continues to record and tour with that band, he’s launched a new side project all his own, Diane Coffee.
The band’s debut, “My Friend Fish” was just released by Western Vinyl and both Diane Coffee and Foxygen are touring. Yet somehow Mr. Fleming and band-mate Steve Okonski found a second to share a globetrotting playlist of jazzy, dreamy cheer.
Shaun Fleming: Here is our dinner party soundtrack.
1.) Koop, “Waltz 4 Koop”
Shaun Fleming: We’re gonna start off this evening with a song called “Waltz 4 Koop,” by the band Koop.
I really like this track to start off a dinner party — it’s an easy song to talk over and to drink to. It’s easy for you to maybe kind of get to know one another; it’s background music.
They’re a Swedish acid jazz duo. And it takes Koop a few years to release each album, due to the fact that the way they create their records is by grabbing micro samples from a bunch of different artists, and then creating their songs solely using that.
This is actually the first Koop song I ever heard. My brother put it on his wedding mix… and it was one of the first times I was allowed to drink in public.
Elis Regina, “Bala Com Bala”
Steve Okonski: Up next — maybe just before dinner is served — the next track I would play would be “Bala Com Bala.” By Elis Regina, she’s a Brazilian artist. That album was released in ’72. It’s just her first name, “Elis.”
I live in Brooklyn, and I was walking to dinner with my girlfriend. We came across a milk crate of records. I mean they were trash, but you know, a lot of people like looking through trash for this sort of thing. But we were also late to dinner. So I hid them behind some random person’s stoop, went to dinner, came back, they were still there, and took them home. This album was one of the albums in there, and I couldn’t stop listening to it.
I think this is my favorite song off of that album: An incredibly catchy track that you can’t help but move to. And I don’t understand a word of it — I assume it has something to do about dancing.
So this track will be playing as dinner starts. I think that’s important, because when people start eating what I guarantee will be a delicious meal, people aren’t gonna be doing much talking anyway — they’re gonna be eating! So it’s good digestive music.
It’s an amazing track. It’s so rhythmic and so harmonic. She put a little bit of everything into it.
Boards of Canada, “Roygbiv”
Shaun Fleming: Moving on to our dessert course, I think we’re gonna fly on over to Scotland and put on a little Boards of Canada. It’s called “Roygbiv,” on their self-titled album, I believe which was in ’87, the year I was born.
I encountered this track at about 13. I was listening to a lot of Third Eye Blind and my other brother, who was very ‘on the scene,’ sent me this track as a way to kind of make me a little bit hipper than all my other friends. And I felt so hip listening to this song. It was all I really played for six months.
This track I chose for dessert is really beat-oriented — Boards of Canada is very beat-oriented — so it kind of puts that pulse back inside you again. It kind of gets you moving a little bit, and working off that fantastic dinner that we just had.
Most Boards of Canada is pretty chill; there’s never any lyrics to my knowledge. And still, to this day, I will put it on doing random tasks. Filling out my taxes. Oh, it’s great taxes music. If you’re not eating dessert to Boards of Canada, try doing your taxes to it — it’s fantastic!
Diane Coffee, “Hymn”
Shaun Fleming: If we were gonna play one of our own tunes it’d probably be “Hymn.”
Steve Okonski: We’d have to be strong-armed into it I imagine.
Shaun Fleming: Yeah.
For the first time I actually am able, in-between tours, to host quite a few dinner parties.
Steve Okonski: We were lucky enough to have… not a dinner party, but a breakfast party: the whole band at his house in Bloomington.
Shaun Fleming: Oh yeah, this is definitely breakfast, lunch and dinner music.