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Weekend Earworms: Nathaniel Rateliff & J.D. McPherson

An estimated 98% of us experience earworms. Despite the annoying times that we can’t get a chorus or a hook of an overplayed pop song out of our heads, getting a really good earworm stuck can be one of the best things ever.

We here at Nerdist are dead-set on bringing you those types of songs, if only for the weekend. We’ll be scouring the internet for the best earworms we can shove into your meaty brains!

Normally I try to explain the thought process – or lack thereof – in which I pick the songs each week with some sort of roundabout story that has to do with what I may have been doing that week. More often than not while trying to shoe-horn in some sort of deeper meaning about the songs or, in some cases, pissing off Facebook comment readers.

This week is a little different as I am willfully creeping out of my comfort zone of “music I know to the molecular level and have fanboy’d over for years” with two, yes only two this week, songs that have sincerely grabbed my attention for being unlike most of the stuff out there right now.

The slight bit of story I will shoe-horn into this week’s article is that these two artists saved my sanity at the EDM-fueled gym I belong to. First up…

Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats – S.O.B.

Now some may immediately dismiss the band for the – lets call it – “hipster chic” look of the band, and to be honest I almost did just that. Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats certainly fit the visual aesthetic we’ve come to expect in anything that we’d see on alternative charts. However, their musicianship (Huh, no spell check. I always assumed Drumline made that word up) and hard-driven gospel/folk-rock songs are a refreshing change to most of what’s out there in the airwaves right now. With a chorus of “Son of a bitch! Gimme a drink!” how can you go wrong?

While the radio is full of over-produced and electronically accented music, Rateliff & co. deliver something out of another time. Despite research proving the group has been around for a while, I refuse to believe anything other than these gents finding a time machine decades ago and coming to our time to deliver fantastic music. Their self-titled album debuts later this month and I cannot wait to hear what else they have in store. In the meantime, keep listening to “S.O.B” and others like 2013’s simple and beautifully sullen “Still Trying“.

After listening to Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats all week my brain was certainly primed for some a particular type of music which brings us to…

J.D. McPherson – North Side Gal

Sad to say that J.D. McPherson has not been on my radar for long but I’m glad it found it’s way there a few years back and even found a re-charge of sorts after “North Side Gal” was played on an episode of Maron on IFC. Rockabilly, rhythm & blues, good old-fashioned rock & roll – whatever you call it, McPherson delivers. Any song of his could easily have a home somewhere in a smoky club in the late ’50s. Wait a minute — could we be so lucky to have two time-traveling bands in our modern time here? It was a tough choice of what song to embed as I share equal love for “North Side Gal” as I do “Wolf Teeth” and “Scratching Circles

Well that’s it for this week. Plain and simple; just some songs that I am relatively new to, game for, and can’t get out of my head. Or MAYBE I’m slowly conditioning you with older-sounding new music so that later this year I can just have carte blanche with the inevitable Back to the Future themed earworms article since this is the “future” Marty went back to. How else can I prime you folks for an article that will undoubtedly have Huey Lewis, ZZ Top, and Chuck Berry in it at the same time?

Blake Rodgers writes for Nerdist from Chicago IL where he lives happily with his Guinness World Record for High Fives. You can be his pal by following him on Twitter (@TheBlakeRodgers)

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