24 July 2017

Summer Jam Week 11: Ed Sheeran, Hobos, and White Walkers, LIVE from Downtown Cincinnati!

Well, we're actually paying attention and on time this week, which is a big plus for everyone involved! Especially you, the reader. Oh, loyal reader. How naive you are to still be following this crackpot after we've jerked you around for eight years! Wanna hear some cherry jams? Yeah you do! Get an earful of this shit!

Hot Jam of the Week: "Talking to Myself" by Linkin Park

It was incredibly tragic this week to hear the news that the greatest Transformers-soundtrack contributor had passed away. Chester Bennington purportedly took his own life, who joins a really bummer year from rock frontmen. Let's not kid ourselves - Chester Bennington was no Chris Cornell and beyond that one summer between eight and ninth grade, Linkin Park blows. I fucking own Hybrid Theory, man. This song is no different, but RIP you terrible, terrible singer. I actually do dig a lot of those Transformers songs.

Jam or...Meme? "Redbone" by Childish Gambino

"Redbone" has of course been hanging out for a while both in general existence and as a weird steadily growing meme. I've actually started to hear it blast on the radio, though, which means that it's actually crossed over to old people's analog ears. It's really unlike any other song, certainly any modern song, which sounds as much like Donald Glover as Danny Glover, that's also good for just about any scenario. It's taken off in the Land of the Internet hardcore and while it's come on a big too gradual and yet also specific to really be a Jam contender, it's worth a commentary here.

RumNCola: "Stay" by Zedd ft. Alessia Cara

This is honestly a Julia Michaels / Selena Gomez / Alessia Cara roulette that the latter wins this week. "Stay" had a bare edge this week, and while it's an infinitely enjoyable pop jam for this moment, I am curious how much we revere it ten or twenty years down the road. In the year 2046 will we think back and be like "Damn, dat Zedd knew his beats..." This is perhaps unfair and crowning a Summer Jam champion is as much about reveling in the songs of the moment as anything else. Still, that "sittin on the sofa drinkin rum n cola" line gets me every time.

Whole Lotta LUUV: "Now or Never" by Halsey

Speaking of superfluous pop...Halsey seems to have a better pulse on grungy youth than most pristine artists out there. She's like the 2017 version of Ke$ha, if Ke$ha wasn't also making a little comeback. Same as "Stay" I do like one or two vocal moments here, mostly in that first bridge. Halsey has done better, but this is a groovy enough track for Summer 2017 that is on more an upswing than downswing.

If I'm Gonna Make a Weekly Jam Countdown I'ma Make It Look Sexy: "Element." by Kendrick Lamar

And with that, we've achieved the longest joke introduction title ever. We're all pretty proud over here. "Element." may be crawling up to be my fav DAMN. track, and it was stuck in my head all week. It doesn't really have that gargantuan "Humble." immediate widespread appeal, but it's still a quality track that deserves its own fight in this jungle of wild misty summer jams.

Nakey Nakey Nakey: "Wild Thoughts" by DJ Khaled ft. Rihanna

Just in time for her latest movie Valerian and the Journey to the Center of Valerian (2017) to bomb, we've got a way better Rihanna song that sizzles this summer. It's still fresh enough that I momentarily forget that it exists when it comes on and then I shimmy shimmy get into it. Like most collabos I wish Bryson Tiller or whatever was not involved and this was just a RiRi show, but what can you do. A few minutes past the summer halfway point this could still charge pretty solidly.

Whiplash: "Body Like a Back Road" by Sam Hunt

Just to go in the complete opposite direction, "Body Like a Back Road" came back in a big back road way this week and remains one of the now half-dozen country tracks that I can actually tolerate. It's been here and out all summer and will probably end up making a swell case for itself, although I might suspect true jamdum eludes it.

The Night's Watch: "Shape of You" by Ed Sheeran

So during last week's um...escapade I gave "Shape of You" the unofficial winning node, but I thought he probably deserved his own write-up. This week was much more Sheeran-y anyway. Sure, you got Game of Thrones to push that, and whether you dug the cameo or not, who cares, people were talking Eddy and listening to this shitty song. It's all good. Here's your true #1 week.

Next week...

By now we really have a strong contingent of contenders contemplating the conquering of Summer. We ignored a whole bunch this week including "Issues", "Despacito", "It Ain't Me", and "Bad Liar" which I re-watched and damn that video is so stupid weird. I also really still like "Feels". Anyone else? I guess not. All of these are canonized and fo sho in the mix, although with my haphazard throwing around of winners and losers who knows. That's part of the fun, folks! Stay tuned as we wrap up July!

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