This week, Jennifer reveals the quirky interests of her childhood and sees Q-Tip! (Oh, and this Mark Ronson kid.)
Mark Ronson and the Business INTL
I have spent a certain amount of time in the last couple of weeks listening to Record Collection and pondering the question of how to descibe the sound of Mark Ronson and the Business INTL. A potpourri made of hip-hop and synth-rock electronica? The soundtrack to someone else’s glamorous life? The kind of thing that would be playing the background of a Wes Anderson movie? All of the above? I finally settled on: a delicate, complicated game of vocal pick-up sticks with hot dance beats, though The Business’ Twitter bio says they’re “Nature’s The Traveling Wilburys”, which might also be a wholly accurate description.
Stuart Zender (Jamiroquai) and Alex Greenwald (Phantom Planet)
Ronson has certainly managed to pull in an eclectic collection of musicians, representing multiple generations of multiple genres. I was at the Webster Hall show, where in addition to the Business – Rose Dougall, Alex Greenwald, Stuart Zender, MNDR, and MC Spank Rock – hip-hop artists Q-Tip and Pill showed up to jam. At his UK shows, audiences were treated to Boy George (!) and Duran Duran (!!).
MC Spank Rock
What all of that talent in one place translates to is some great tunes amd a really, really fun show. I’ve already expressed my appreciation for the title track; I’m also especially fond of You Gave Me Nothing and The Night Last Night. It’s important to note here that I am normally not so much into synth-pop; back in the early ’80s, while my sister was wearing out her Rio tape, I had my radio dial tuned to hockey games, Larry King Live and Loveline. But these grooves are kind of irresistible.
Also, for those of you who are squinting at your screen right now thinking Mark who?, his previous (concurrent?) incarnations include being a DJ and, perhaps most notoriously, Amy Winehouse’s producer. Though he’s worked with a whole lot of other people as well, in fact he made a handy flow chart for an interview he did with New York Magazine.
MNDR and Mark Ronson
In conclusion: If you did like synth-pop, or still do, and in particular of you prefer your synths poppy and untroubled by industrial undertones, there is a lot for you to love here, and you should totally check them out.