Parquet Courts is a band based in Brooklyn by-way-of Austin and are banner-carriers for good ol’ guitar-bass-and-drum indie rock. And they prove it can still be smart and surprising. Their latest album “Human Performance” has earned praise from everyone from Pitchfork to Spin. Two of the band’s members, Austin Brown and Sean Yeaton, cook up a playlist.
Sean Yeaton: And this song, I really like because it’s got this really driving, crazy, kind of lonely guitar part at the beginning that gets just full on with the drums, and the people are losing their minds, and you just imagine shoving and the gnashing of teeth.
Austin Brown: Yeah, like a good dinner party.
Sean Yeaton: At the kind of nucleus, you’ve got a guitar, bass, drum, vocals situation going on. Don’t get me wrong, rock ‘n’ roll, but then there’s a lot of weird, sort of synth elements and noise.
Austin Brown: The Country Teasers are a band with no rules. And at a dinner party of sorts that we attend, there are no rules. We’re talking like, bone marrow and masks. Like “Eyes Wide Shut,” kind of, but without the other sketchy stuff.
Sean Yeaton: You know what it is? It’s a combination of the movies “Eyes Wide Shut,” “Ratatouille,” and…
Austin Brown: “Jurassic World.”
Sean Yeaton: Oh, yeah! That is totally there, for sure.
Neil Young — “We R In Control”
Austin Brown: So, the second song we’ll choose for the dinner party is by Neil Young. It’s called “We R In Control” from the album “Trans.”
Austin Brown:Â “Trans” is an album where Neil really stepped out of his comfort zone. I think it was created completely electronically, and all the vocals are, you know, super auto-tuned. It’s something that, I think, could be confused for, like, a Kraftwerk B-side.
The lyrics are kind of anxious, and paranoid. It’s the computers talking about taking over.
Sean Yeaton: With “We Are in Control,” you have this sort of familiar voice, but housed in an otherwise completely unrecognizable, kind of sonic background.
Austin Brown: Yeah, it’s something that’s totally danceable, and something that is there to remind all of our dinner party guests that there is a higher power out there. And you must submit.
XTC — “Roads Girdle the Globe”
Austin Brown: The next song I wanted to play for the dinner party is a song by the band XTC called “Roads Girdle the Globe.”
Austin Brown: XTC helped redefine what the rules were for what a punk record could sound like. To me, it just sounds otherworldly.
Sean Yeaton: Well, the bass is ill.
Austin Brown: The bass just sounds like the guy’s just doing cartwheels and playing at the same time, and, you know, is luckily just landing on the right note.
Sean Yeaton: All the elements are in the right place. The moon was full. Who knows? Everything lined up so that this bass player could play in such a way that usually reserved for kind of one-off moments that bands share. Like, “Aw, man, it was cool when you hit that one thing that one time. It’s too bad we don’t have that on tape.” That was a great dinner party.
Parquet Courts – “Berlin Got Blurry”
Austin Brown: I didn’t feel like I ate anything.
Sean Yeaton: Me, neither.
Austin Brown: I’m a little bit hungry.
Sean Yeaton: Parched, too.
Austin Brown: Let’s get out of here!
Sean Yeaton: Yeah, and you know what? Before we take off, what do you think we should leave the people with?
Austin Brown: Well, how about a song from our new record? This one’s called “Berlin Got Blurry.”
Austin Brown: “Berlin Got Blurry” is a song for the last man standing. It’s one for that guy who won’t help with the dishes or who needs to go home. You’ve got to choose one of those. You can’t just sit there and watch TV. Sean. Sean?
Sean Yeaton: Oh, I’m sorry.
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