Or, Yoni Wolf doesn't give a flying fuck if you don't like Counting Crows
With Yoni Wolf and his band WHY? about to attempt to try and fill the void left by David Berman's packing up of Silver Jews with their newest, Eskimo Snow (Anticon), we decided to ask Mr. Yoni to write whatever the fuck he wanted, and he gave us the keys to his basest, secret musical influences.
They are not exactly what we typically would refer to as “crate diggers,” but they do show off Mr. Yoni's giants cojones. “Mr. Jones”, anyone?
01 Bob Dylan, John Wesley Harding
I wouldn't say this is his best album by any stretch, but I have been listening to it a lot over the last year. I inherited my mom's Dylan and Cat Stevens, etc. when I was a teenager and this one was always a little too boring for me or something, but recently I've learned to listen to it in a different way. It sounds like what it is, the work of an experienced songwriter who is not afraid to make something raw and underplayed.
02 A Tribe Called Quest, Midnight Marauders
I know I know… I hate the 30 year old white guy that chooses this as one of his favs. What a cliché. He's into positive east coast hip hop and maybe Pharcyde but not Biggie or Wu Tang cause they talk about guns… I just watched this movie called The Wackness. Man, what an apt title. Maybe it hit too close to home but, damn, it made me cringe. Anyway, back to the topic. I gotta be honest, I remember the first time my friend Ben made me listen to this album in its entirety in headphones at night. It blew my mind. Sorry. I just hadn't heard rap music that was so lush and complete before that. It really opened my mind to the possibility of things.
03 Pavement, Crooked Rain Crooked Rain
I hated this kind of music all through my highschool years. I listened to positive east coast hip hop and rock from the 60s. This kind of “alternative” music sounded like a wounded white dog to my ears. But when I was around 20, something happened. My friend David made me listen to this album and I was able to hear the sarcasm and realize the guy wasn't actually taking himself seriously. And the fact that it was sloppy and rough only made it better after that.
04 Radiohead, Kid A
Another decade old cliché. “I listen to underground hip hop… and Radiohead”. But hey, when I first moved to Oakland, this came out and everybody was bumping it. I used to love to go on walks and listen to this in my discman. The production and mixing are so perfect it's mind boggling. I still sometimes reference this record in the studio to make sure our sound quality is still so far from perfection (no offense Eli, I know they spent weeks mixing each song).
05 Counting Crows, August and Everything After
I think it best to just go with a preemptive strike here, so, FUCK YOU! Don't say an effing word! There are worse things my 16-year-old self did alone in his bedroom at night and never told anyone about.