Viet Cong released their self-titled debut in January, which featured tracks like “Bunker Buster” and “Continental Shelf.” The Guardian critic Lanre Bakare called the album, “An ambitious and rewarding debut.” The band recently addressed criticism about their name and is one of the many music acts playing SXSW this year. Members Matt Flegel and Danny Christiansen offer up an inviting soundtrack mixed with a play on lyrics.
Matt Flegel: Hi, I’m Matt.
Danny Christiansen: And this is Danny. We’re called Viet Cong. We have a new self-titled record out and this is our dinner party mix.
Yukihiro Takahashi, “Drip Dry Eyes”
Matt Flegel: The first song that we would play for our dinner party would be Yukihiro Takahashi. I don’t know if I’m saying that right.
Danny Christiansen: And the song… I’ll say the song. It’s “Drip Dry Eyes.”
Matt Flegel: It’s the best hook.
Danny Christiansen: It is.
Matt Flegel: …Gets stuck in your head for days. I heard about Yukihiro Takahashi through Danny because we were listening to a bunch of YMO, Yellow Magic Orchestra. Takahashi’s one of the main songwriters in that band, and I hadn’t heard any of his solo stuff before.
Danny Christiansen: At a dinner party, it’s kind of a song that you can listen to in the background. It sets a good mood.
Matt Flegel: It’s very Japanese-sounding.
Danny Christiansen: And there’s an amazing sax solo in it as well.
S.E. Rogie, “Please Go Easy With Me”
Matt Flegel: I think the second song for our dinner party would be S.E. Rogie, and the song’s called “Please Go Easy With Me.” S.E. Rogie is from Sierra Leone, and he has a beautiful voice, and this is one of the prettiest songs. I heard that while I was painting. I was painting a bathroom, and we had it busting out of our little JBL iPod speaker. The type of music, I think, is actually called Palm Wine Guitar music. So, this is when you bust out the wine, I think.
Danny Christiansen: This was a big tour song as well, played it in the car all the time. When you’re on tour, it’s extremely important to stay uplifted, and if you’re listening to uplifting music while you’re driving ten hours to the next city, I don’t know, you’re going to be in a better mood to play a show.
Cocteau Twins, “Sugar Hiccup”
Danny Christiansen: So, our next track to listen to at dinner with your friends is “Sugar Hiccup” by the Cocteau Twins. I love this song. There’s a funny story about this. For the longest time, we always thought the lyric was, “Sugar hiccup my Cheerios,” which is not the actual lyric. I did some research.
Matt Flegel: Danny’s claim to fame on this song is that he has the number one most viewed YouTube comment.
Danny Christiansen: Comment, for saying, “Sugar hiccup my Cheerios.” I posted that, and apparently people liked that.
Matt Flegel: Danny’s so proud of this. It’s pretty… it’s not a dance song, really.
Danny Christiansen: No.
Matt Flegel: You could dance to anything, really. Who’s stopping you?
Danny Christiansen: More of a cuddling on a couch, smoking.
Viet Cong, “Newspaper Spoons”
Matt Flegel: So, if we had to play one of our songs at a dinner party, which I’d only do if I got extremely, obnoxious drunk.
Danny Christiansen: Oh, yeah. See, that’s a…
Matt Flegel: That’s kind of crossing the line.
Danny Christiansen: It’s a big faux pas when you play in a band.
Matt Flegel: If I had to, I’d probably… I’d choose the first track off the record, which is “Newspaper Spoons.”
Danny Christiansen: And do you know why? It’s to get everyone out of your house. Yes.
Matt Flegel: Yeah, exactly, the most abrasive noise you could possibly put through some speakers.
Danny: Christiansen: I think that’s the closer.