Adjacent18: New Order, Nirvana, Serge Gainsbourg and MF DOOM relate to the Alt18

Songs related to songs on the 2/27/21 Alt18 Countdown

MF DOOM Creative Commons photo by @Kmeron

Welcome to the Adjacent18, a collection of songs related to the current Alt18 Countdown on SiriusXM’s AltNation. You can see the current Alt18 here and hear it on Spotify here. The Adjacent18 playlist is here.

This week’s list runs from Serge Gainsbourg to Nirvana with some links to the college roots of Frances Forever and the middle school origins of Gus Dapperton. I liked revisiting tunes from Grandaddy and MF DOOM, and hope we get a KennyHoopla/Bloc Party collaboration some day.

Love to hear your thoughts! Contact info at the bottom. Here’s a link to last week’s Adjacent18.

THIS WEEK’S ADJACENT 18

18. New Order, Blue Monday
This Atwood Magazine article really, really wants me to Rick Roll you to start this week’s Adjacent18. I’ll go with danceable ’80s tune instead. Adjacent to Close to You by Dayglow.

17. Serge Gainsbourg, Bonnie and Clyde
I read this story about Charlotte Gainsbourg talking about here father, Serge Gainsbourg, this week and it sent me into the French singer-songwriter’s catalogue. Adjacent to C’est La Vie by The Killer.

16. Simon and Garfunkel, My Little Town
AJR credits Paul Simon for sampling this song in Way Less Sad. Take a listen, you’ll hear it immediately.

15. Grandaddy, Now It’s On
Manchester Orchestra lead singer Andy Hull cited two Grandaddy albums — The Sophtware Slump and Sumday — as major influences in a 2014 interview with Tone Deaf magazine. “The songs were dressed up really pretty but they were sort of evil,” Hull is quoted. “I also kind of figured out singing softly was an effective key at times as well.”

14. Bastille, Happier
Marshmello teamed up with Bastille for this banger, which may have paved the way for You with benny blanco and Vance Joy released on Interscope and Mello’s Joytime Collective.

13. Francis and the Light (feat. Bon Iver), Friends
We found this adjacent in a Clark University student newspaper profiling Frances Garrett, aka Frances Forever. About a month after the article, Frances and friends shared this charming rendition of Space Girl with NPR’s Tiny Desk.

12. nothing,nowhere, Clarity in Kerosene
We stayed in nothing,nowhere’s catalog to revisit Chris Mulherin’s 2017 album Reaper, which was New York Times critic Joe Caramanica’s album of the year. If Fake Friend hangs in the Alt18 next week, I’ll share a song from one of my all-time favorite bands, The Promise Ring, which Mulherin called a major influence.

11. Paul Revere and the Raiders, Good Thing
Ken Tucker from NPR’s Fresh Air compares The Happy Fits to early ’60s rock.

10. Twin Size Mattress, The Front Bottoms
This seems like a stretch for carolesdaughter, but count The Front Bottoms among 18-year-old Thea Taylor’s influencers, at least according to this profile in The Line of Best Fit.

9. Death Cab for Cutie, Stay Young, Go Dancing
Death Cab headlined the 20th anniversary show for Kilby Court, an all-ages venue in Salt Lake City where The Backseat Lovers found their nose-ringed Kilby Girl. Bands are now playing tribute shows for Kilby Court to help the stage that hosted early-career My Chemical Romance, Rilo Kiley and The Shins.

8. Bloc Party, Banquet
KennyHoopla told NME in 2020 he expected Bloc Party comparisons for his indie-pop, and the connection is only growing stronger. KennyHoopla covered Bloc Party lead singer Kele Okereke, and Okereke tweeted a cover of KH’s plastic door//. Also, the “Hoopla” is a SpongBob reference.

7. Gordon Lightfoot, The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald
Rivers sings “all my favorite songs are slow and sad.” Maybe he tips his hand on one of those in Heart Songs, which opens, “Gordon Lightfoot sang a song about a boat that sank in the lake.”

6. Sweater Weather, The Neighbourhood
The Neighbourhood’s early success with Sweater Weather is a recurring theme throughout their work. In Stargazing Jesse Rutherford croons, “Made it pretty far on the first try / Might’ve set the bar a little too high.” SW is one of my all-time faves, so I’m glad they set that high bar. Also, I’m wearing a sweater today, so that’s the adjacent for this week.

5. Tim McGraw and Friends, Me and Tennessee
I like The Guardian’s description of Kings of Leon as the “Cattle-ranch Coldplay.” Coldplay wrote a one-off country song for Houston in 2017 you can hear here, and Chris Martin wrote this tune Tim McGraw and ex-wife Gwyneth Paltrow for the movie Country Song. And this is the adjacent stretch of the week.

4. MF DOOM, Doomsday
In this 2018 interview with Fader, Gus Dapperton shares a charming story about winning an eighth grade school songwriting concert in upstate New York and realizing that’s what he wanted to do for the rest of his life. He says MF DOOM was a major influence in those middle school days.

3. Jesse Henderson, I Did It Again
Here’s a deep cut from The Knocks’ Ben Ruttner. In a story on Grammy.com he said the duo bought this 1977 track online during the pandemic. (This is adjacent to The Knocks/Foster the People collab All About You.)

2. David Bowie, Let’s Dance
Wow, the critics hate the Foo Fighters’ latest album, Medicine at Midnight. But more than one reviewer connects the album to Bowie, and that’s enough for me. Also, out of the many negative reviews, I think this from Bobby Olivier at Spin gets it right: “After 25 years—and 10 big ol’ rock albums—the only concerning factor regarding new Foo Fighters material should be this: How will it play live?” I think the new album will sound great live — of course, anything would sound great live these days.

1. Nirvana, Smells Like Teen Spirit
Jordan Benjamin, aka grandson, told ABC Radio this week he was worried fans would call him a sellout for going upbeat on Dirty. “If Kurt Cobain calls me a sell-out from the grave, then I gotta make peace with that,” he said. I don’t think the backlash came, but I’m also not sure Dirty is upbeat. Is there anyone out there paying attention to what’s going in the world these days? Scary thought.

Cheers! That’s the Adjacent18 for this week. Thoughts? Suggestions? Better ideas? I’d love to hear them all. You can share in the comments, tweet me @findingalt18 join the Discord or email: finding.alt18@gmail.com. And if you’d like the Adjacent18 sent to your inbox, sign up for our newsletter here.

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