In this week's magazine, we asked five New York artists to make us playlists for New York–specific summer activities. Today, we've got one more from Brooklyn band Harlem Shakes. Keyboardist Kendrick Strauch made us a mix to listen to while walking your dog, or, more specifically, "walking my fiancée's one-eyed Shitzu in Hell's Kitchen (on a pink leash)." Hear it, after the jump!
1. Mystery Jets, “Young Love”
"British people have such a knack for talking about losing money and babes at bars, and making me feel good about it. I want this guy to find his girl and take her to his crappy flat so bad. When I hear this song, I just want to buy him a pint of Boddington’s – you know, for courage."
2. Man Man, “Hurly/Burly”
"This is a love song — for cavemen. I love cavemen, and I love love songs. And summertime makes me feel like natural man, which is pretty close."
3. Lil Wayne, "Upgrade"
"This track reminds me of making mix tapes in eighth grade. Also, he asks the question that always seems to pop into my head after I kiss my girl: Where is the Rocky theme? What a weirdo."
4. Animal Collective, “Seal Eyeing”
"I'm pissed my superego went and formed a band without me. This song sounds like a UFO touching down if it was somehow landing underwater, with shimmering piano lines rising through a layer of bubbles, accented with eerie harmonies."
5. Luke Temple, “Saturday People”
"Luke really writes soundtracks for dreams. This dream definitely has a Ferris Wheel in it, and probably a kid who's crying at the top because he's scared of heights. Luke's voice is high and fragile, but it's pure and it's funny. It makes me want to put down the half-smoked cigarette I found on the street and buy a peony for my girl instead."
6. Tom Waits, “Anywhere I Lay My Head”
"Tom Waits puts so much into this song that it's almost hard to listen to. The New Orleans band behind him is funny enough it makes you want to cry, and the outro sounds like the soundtrack for walking off into the sunset. Scarlett Johansson can sleep on my couch. I'm giving Tom the bed."
7. Otis Redding, “These Arms of Mine”
"I play this song so much — it’s my girl’s favorite song of all time, and whenever it comes on, it’s pretty much mandatory that we stop whatever we’re doing and slow-dance. Which is to say it's quickly becoming my favorite song of all time."
8. Weezer, “I’m The Greatest Man That Ever Lived”
"This is like Rivers Cuomo’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody.’ If it’s a joke, it’s insane; if it’s serious, it’s insane, and either way it’s totally great. Plus, it makes me a little bit sad. But good sad."
9. MGMT, “Kids”
"The riff makes you feel intrepid. Plus, there are cheering kids!"
10. Beirut, “In the Mausoleum”
"This song is so weird and funky for Beirut. It's hypnotizing. And it makes me really excited to think about what's coming next from them. Also, I never knew Zach Condon was such a baller at the piano."
11. Miles Benjamin, “Buriedfed”
"This is a collaboration with Grizzly Bear and Kyp Malone, but it sounds like Isaac Brock and Stephen Malkmus are cheering him on at the next table. This song lulls you from the start with his casual voice and minimal backing, but it grows so that, by the end, you feel like the whole ramshackle town showed up to carry Miles on their shoulders to throw him in the river. Pure catharsis."
Hear all eleven songs at Muxtape!
The Harlem Shakes just wrapped up a short swing with Vampire Weekend and are currently recording their first full-length LP at Gigantic Studios; it's planned for a January release. —Brian Crocker
Related: Master Playlists [NYM]