Thundercat’s Perfect Tunes to Ruin a Party

We hand over DJ duties to the producer-singer-bassist, and he delivers a mix that is more than a little crazy. What happens on a yacht, stays on a yacht?

Photo Credit: BRAINFEEDER Reorcords

Here to DJ this week is a gent who goes by the name “Thundercat”… but his driver’s license says Stephen Bruner. For a while he played bass for the seminal thrash band Suicidal Tendencies.

Lately, he’s become known for his funky, jazzy work with musicians like Flying Lotus and Kendrick Lamar. His latest solo album earned Pitchfork’s “Best New Music” accolade and he was our “One For The Road” pick earlier this month. Here’s Thundercat with a playlist that celebrates debauchery — on the road, at a house party, or on the high seas.


Thundercat: Hey, this is Stephen “Thundercat” Bruner. And I’m going to ruin your dinner party with this dinner party soundtrack, which you should’ve never given me power over.

Kenny Loggins – “Heart to Heart”

No. 1 would be Kenny Loggins “Heart to Heart.” Because I think every man needs to understand this level of mandom.

I mean, he just kind of tells the truth in his songs a lot, you know? What this song, I feel, is about, is the crossroads that you come to in a relationship oh so often, where you don’t know what the hell is going on. You don’t know why you like this person… you don’t know why you can’t leave… you’re just lost [laughs].

Kenny Loggins plays a genre of music we like to call “yacht rock.” And the reason why I’m a fan of it is because I’m a fan of debauchery, and I would think that debauchery happens on yachts on a consistent basis, that we cannot account for. Because there’s no cellphone service… there’s no accounting for the amount of money and drugs you can carry with you on a yacht… and I would think that that equates to PARTY. So, yacht rock, we love you.

Seal – “Crazy”

The next song that I choose is Seal, “Crazy.” It’s got that real weird, ethereal kind of feel to it, and you have to read between the lines a bit. He’s kind of letting us know that he is crazy. You know, it’s like, we can all relate on some level.

It’s mellow enough to where, if you guys want to two-step and shake your shoulders to it? That’s cool. If you also want to run and jump through your neighbor’s windowpane, naked? Totally goes with both of those. There’s not really a “medium” to how crazy you can get with this song.

Future – “Thought It Was a Drought”

For my third song… when the party’s going, you know what I’m saying? “Thought It Was a Drought,” by Future.

This is a new song by Future; it just came out. I was listening to it with Flying Lotus on the way back from working with Hannibal Burress on his show “Why?” on Comedy Central. And me and Lotus are sitting in the car… and you feel like a million bucks when you do something that feels like it’s worth something. You put Future on, and it’s like, “Yes! This is exactly what’s needed right now.” You can hear the raspiness, but I mean, that’s very musical and pretty to the ears.

This [song] is happening when you’re, like, so drunk that you can’t talk over the music, and you don’t want to get close enough that your friends smell your breath. So, you just pat them on the back and say, “Yeah,” anytime they seem like they’re coming at you to say something serious. They’re not paying attention, either. You’re kind of like, “What? What? Yeah! Yeah.”

Thundercat – “Them Changes”

We’re going to close this party with one of my own songs. It’s called “Them Changes.”

You know, everybody goes through relationship issues, and ups and downs, and this was a therapeutic way for me to deal with things that had been going on with me. That’s just me being honest. Here’s where Kenny Loggins comes back in as an inspiration.