While there are infinitely more pros than cons to my job, one small downside is trying to explain to people just what I do. I often get the question, "So where are you based out of?" and my response is always "Gchat". That's the big secret to all of this. No glamorous, fancy headquarters or top secret lab. It's literally Nathan and me sending "Anchorman" clips back and forth on Gchat; like, all the fucking time.
Seriously, I talk to him more than any of my family or friends. Normally, it's about what we are going to feature the following day, but sometimes, usually late in the evening, we get into sharing music for the shake of sharing music. Those are some of the best chats we have (much better than Nathan trying to convince me to listen to Riff Raff). Case in point, last week, we got into talking about Nate Ruess and Fun.
Now a lot of you probably know Reuss best as the lead singer of Fun. As you will see, both Nathan and I are not the biggest fans. I can't speak for Mr. Slavik, but at least for me, they are just too damn poppy. Sure, "We Are Young" was one of my only memories from that Super Bowl, but aside from that I can't get into 'em. I think it's all about his vocals too; they are just too sugary and fluffy for my liking (case in point). It's weird too, because, as it turns out, the dudes from Fun are involved in some other dope projects.
I got one for you, although you might already know it
don't know 'em
HOORAY FOR ME!!!!!!
It's a side project from the guy from Fun, so I was automatically suspicious, but I think it's actually really dope
Not going to say it's a contest, but it totally is. If Nathan picks something dope, I feel some sort of obligation to pick something doper and the Bleachers are pretty dope. They have a Fun-like energy, but when I listen, I don't feel like a 13-year-old girl. Bleachers, which is the side project of Fun-member Jack Antonof, has a poppy vibe, but with a touch of grunge that balances things out; it's a really flavorful balance. I'm still sifting through the album, Strange Desire, but I like what I've heard thus far (especially "Like A River Runs"). Okay, challenge accepted.
hahah "automatically suspicious"
I trust you know the format
Meaning...a band call The Format?
You're extremely effective at making me feel like the guy at the record store who thinks he knows a lot about music until he talks to the guy behind the counter and then it turns out "there's this band called The Format that's way better, that band you just mentioned sold out like ten years ago"
thats the nicest thing anyone has ever said to me
format is the dude from Fun..his first band
kind of emo-warped toury but I still dig em
Ha, so basically exactly what I just said. I just figured out the dude from Fun has other bands and you're like "his very first band before anyone knew him was way better"
But you've probably never heard of them, so......
No lie, that really is one of the best compliments I have ever been paid; my inner hipster is dancing in his skinny jeans. Anyhow, if you want to talk side projects of Fun that you wont hate, you have to start with The Format. There was a long while where I had no idea that Nate Reuss was the guy from The Format, so consider my mind blown.
It's a far cry from Fun, but the vocals are strikingly similar. I'm not quite sure why I hate Fun and not The Format, but I do. I think it's because The Format feels much more natural, low-key, and they have a ton more heart; it's easy to relate to their work. I still have an inner-conflict because The Format is softer than Jhene Aiko's skin, but there is just something about them that makes me come back to their album, Interventions and Lullibies, a few times a year. As badly as I want to move onto some Danny Brown or Action Bronson, I can't seem to escape Nate's hypnotic grasp. So I'm issuing you a challenge: really give that album an honest shot. I think you'll find it hard to resist. Where Fun feels like this elaborate, label-made pop band, The Format feels like some friends who make music that could be the soundtrack to your life.
So....that's the time we spent a night talking about the dude from Fun.
From this you can learn two things. One, Nathan and I spend way too much time talking about music and, two, while you may seemingly hate a band, giving them a fair shake is always worth it; you never know what you'll find when you start digging.
With that in mind, it's officially time we kick off the #NoRap series. As you probably know (or have absolutely no clue) about once a month, we like to do a #NoRapHour to get people listening to bands like The Format and break people out of that rap bubble. The response has been great! So great, that we want to make it a regular series here at The DJBooth. So before every #NoRapHour we will do a #NoRap post as a little teaser to get you ready to share some dope non-rap. So, tomorrow at 4 PM EST, bring your best no-rap as we do yet another #NoRapHour.
#NoRapHour, because we all want to feel like that guy behind the counter of the record store.
[Lucas Garrison is a writer for DJBooth.net. His favorite album is “College Dropout,” but you can also tweet him your favorite Migos songs at @LucasDJBooth.]