White Rabbits aren't your run-of-the-mill hipsters. The New York Times recently likened the New York band's third album, Milk Famous, to "Radiohead's technique of surrounding a sustained vocal melody with jagged pointillism... some songs barely bother to flesh out their chords. They're all rhythm and riffs," cobbled together from an assortment of musical instruments and bruised feelings, writes pop critic Jon Pareles.
The band, which has its roots in Columbia., Mo. and plays Fitz Wednesday, first came to Rocks Off's attention on the appropriately aggressive "Percussion Gun," from 2009's It's Frightening. Obviously this is one band that likes to dance - because you can totally see five guys in all black on a beach somewhere - so we asked someone to give us a list of their favorite Spring Break Songs.
We expected the standard Brooklyn Party Jamz playlist, but instead Jamie Levinson - one of White Rabbits' two drummers - sent over 10 selections about 80-year-old schoolhouse tragedies, itinerant crop-decimating insects, train wrecks and coffins, plus something from one of the raunchiest albums ever made. We like them even better now.
10. 2 Live Crew, As Nasty As They Wanna Be (entire album)
"The Fuck Shop":
Ten dollars, two hours is the time of the stay
It's more than enough time to slay
Each room has a bed and also a sink
So you can wash your dick after fucking the pink
9. The Carter Family, Engine 143":
Up the road she darted, against the rocks she crashed
Upside-down the engine turned, poor Georgie's breast it smashed
His head was against the firebox door, the flames were rolling high
I'm glad I was born for an engineer, on the C&O road to die
8. Edward L. Crain, "Bandit Cole Younger":
We run for life, for death was near, four hundred on our trail
We soon was overtaken and landed safe in jail
'Twas there in the Stillwater jail we lay, a-wearing our lives away
Two James boys left to tell the tale of the sad and fateful day
7. Dixon Brothers, "The School House Fire":
You could hear those children singing
Voices ringing clear and sweet
Never dreaming in their joy
Of the fate that they would meet
But their joys were all blighted
They began to scream and rage
When a lantern fell that evening
Streaming fire upon the stage
6. Buell Kazee, "The Waggoner's Lad":
Your wagon needs greasing, your whip is to mend
Some sit down here by me as long as you can
My wagon is greasy, my whip's in my hand
So fare-you-well darling no longer to stand
5. Charley Patton, "Mississippi Bo Weavil Blues":
Sees a little boll weevil keeps movin' in the, Lordie!
You can plant your cotton and you won't get a half a bale, Lordie
Bo weevil, bo weevil, where's your native home? Lordie
A-Louisiana raised in Texas
Least is where I was bred and born", Lordie
4. Blind Lemon Jefferson, "See That My Grave Is Kept Clean":
Did you ever hear that coffin' sound
Have you ever heard that coffin' sound
Did you ever hear that coffin' sound
Means another poor boy is under ground
3. Uncle Dave Macon, "Way Down The Old Plank Road":
My wife died on Friday night,
Saturday she was buried
Sunday was my courtin' day
Monday I got married
2. The Stoneman Family, "The Spanish Merchant's Daughter":
I know your father was against me
Should he not return from sea
And they say you have no mother
Would you then say no to me?
No sir, no sir, no sir, no sir.
1. Mississippi John Hurt, "Spike Driver Blues":
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Take this hammer and carry it to my captain,
Tell him I'm gone tell him I'm gone tell him I'm gone
Take this hammer and carry it to my captain
Tell him I'm gone just tell him I'm gone I'm sure is gone
This is the hammer that killed John Henry
But it won't kill me but it won't kill me but it won't kill me
With War on Drugs and the Beans, 8 p.m. tonight at Fitzgerald's.