American/Belgian producer/singer (he likes a slash) Speelburg has just released his Lay It Right EP and is now gearing up for the new football season with a project he’ll reveal soon. However it’s not always been so rosy as this Playlist he’s curated for Q suggests, Songs to get fired to… “I’ve never been fired before. I was let go once, I think, but not fired. I’m sure there’s a difference…” he argues, still he’s had some good and if not unusual gigs. “I’ve done some cool jobs and some less cool ones too, for example, I taught a millionaire’s son how to play Jack Johnson covers on the guitar in the south of France and had an allocated chauffeur for a few weeks one summer, then the next year I sold life insurance over the phone to sweet old ladies who already had life insurance, and got told to tone down my Americanisms. If you’re after a thicker skin, or just interested to see how much soul-crushing monotony you can put up with, then I cannot suggest telemarketing more! Here’s a bunch of songs to lift the weight of the man from your back. Damn the man!” Let’s get fired…
Vulfpeck – Outro
“Let’s begin. There is no greater song than Vulfpeck’s Outro. Ok, I’ll admit that’s a little hyperbolic, but I challenge anyone to find me a song that can soundtrack any possible situation as perfectly as this one. For the better part of the past two years, I have probably listened to this song at least three to four times a day, and it’s still as great – if not better – than the first time I heard it. Imagine yourself moving onto bigger and better things, walking into the unknown with a confident glint in your eye as you flip Greg in accounting the bird on your way out as the sax screams it’s way into your earholes at 0:41, and tell me that doesn’t add a freaking skip to your step. I recently played my first Speelburg show and when asked if I had any walk-off music, there wasn’t even a moment of doubt. I plan on one day writing a whole essay on how important this song actually is. Whether it be the day that I get married, the day that my first child Questlove Stan Smith Sacré is born (yes, it DOES work for a girl or a boy) or the day that I die in some freak gasoline-fight accident, I can guarantee this will be playing as loudly as humanly possible. Outro makes me want to get shot out of a cannon, high-fiving all of my friends and family, past and present, as I sore majestically through the air at a hundred miles an hour into the arms of the woman I love! It inspires success.”
Hall & Oates – You Make My Dreams
“I don’t know Daryl Hall or John Oates personally yet, but I am proud of them – like a close friend would be – for the great boost their music has had in the past few years. I remember seeing them in an episode of Will & Grace when I was a kid and not knowing who the hell they were. Of course J.D Ryznar’s fantastic Yacht Rock series (of which a few cuts on this list find
their roots) was pivotal in reminding the world and myself about all these amazing artists and bands like The Doobie Brothers, Steeley Dan, Kenny Loggins etc… and even helped us discover a bunch of these killer smooth grooves for the first time (‘sup Christopher Cross!). An excellent tribute album by The Bird And The Bee and spots in movies like Step Brothers (‘did we just become best friends?’) and 500 Days Of Summer definitely helped to propel Hall & Oates back into the collective consciousness.
With Greg still swimming in the wake of your sweet bird, you open mouth french Peggy the hot secretary, who is left feeling excited and flabbergasted. ‘Call me?’ she says. ‘I know’ you reply. Your attempt at quoting Star Wars leaves her confused. Nevertheless, you exit the office with so much freaking confidence that You Make My Dreams starts playing and everyone around you starts dancing and there’s a brass band and a magical animated bird lands on your hand.”
Edgar Winter Group – Free Ride
“At this point you hop on a bus, because obviously you don’t own a car and you just got fired and you’re not made of money. Doris the bus lady looks down at you and a smile cracks it’s way through that leathery face. She tells you you can ride for free. In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since. ‘There’s no such thing’ he told me, ‘as a free ride.’ Well dad, Doris, The Edgar Winter Group and I beg to differ. My father, who at first was left dazed and confused, finally sees me as a man. What a great day.”
Gotye – Learnalilgivinanlovin
“When ‘Somebody That I Used To Know’ came out, the world was hit with a pop behemoth. It was everywhere. And it’s still great. But that still left me going “oh yeah? you like that? well get a load of this!” to which everyone would reply in unison “shut up Noah, you needy man-child! We don’t care that you heard of him before he was huge”. Well you should care, because behind all those I Told You So’s is one of the funnest tracks you’ll ever set your ears on. And sure Making Mirrors has the strong contender ‘I Feel Better’, but that’s just the close cousin of ‘Learnalilgivinanlovin’. You’ve been riding this bus every day for 2 years now. You’ve shared a few friendly glances with the unnamed girl but you’ve never had the guts to even talk to her. But today is different. Propped up head high, a newfound confidence in your stride, you walk slowly towards her and ask “Excuse me, is this seat taken?” She looks around and so do you. For a brief moment, you realize the bus is mostly empty, except for the apparently homeless whistling gentleman at the front. On any other day, this could pass as super creepy and sleezy, but
not on this day. Today is your day. She smiles up at you and invites you to join her, even offering you one of her carrot sticks. You love carrot sticks. This day just keeps getting better and better. You high-five Doris the bus-driver.”
White Denim – Pretty Green
I looooove White Denim. I talk about them all the time and am upset when people don’t know them or love them like I do. Much how like my parents are Dead-heads, my younger brothers and I are Denim-heads. I’ve seen them a bunch of times, and they keep on getting better. ‘D’ is one of the greatest albums ever recorded. It’s part of the elite club of albums that manage to stay perfect from start to finish (i.e Sufjan’s ‘Illinois’). Much like how I would never watch one Back To The Future movie without watching the entire trilogy, I can’t just put one song from ‘D’ on this playlist without putting the entire album on it too. In lieu of this and in an effort to bring diversity to this ol’ bunch of songs, I’ve stuck to fan-favorite ‘Shake Shake Shake’.
The realization that you’re out on your ass, no matter how great of day you’ve been having so far, is enough to at least make you stop and think for a second. No one should be made to stop and think thoughts. That’s what responsible people do. ‘Shake Shake Shake’ is the perfect pick-me-up.
Steely Dan – Reelin’ In The Years
“Another great discovery from the Yacht Rock vaults, Reelin’ In The Years is all about being taken for granted. Fuck it! Being fired was the best thing that ever happened to you. You pretty much ran that place anyway. Now you can get out there and be your own boss, make something of your own.”
Vampire Weekend – Holiday
“Speaking of perfect albums, can we please give Vampire Weekend’s self-titled debut a standing ovation already? oh, we have? ok cool. just checking. I was so taken with the first album that by the time I heard Contra, I was a little let down. It’s not until this year in fact that I realized how incredible it is. I’ve been listening to it nonstop and wanna go back in time and smack my younger self for dismissing it as a sophomore slump. Ezra’s writing only keeps on getting better with every record they put out, and on this one they went to town on the weird and wonderful arrangements. Before you start stressing out about your next job, you should probably Treat Yo’ Self to a holiday. There’s nothing like being funemployed and spending your last 900 bucks on an ill-advised trip down to New Orleans, so I hear. You can go plaster your résumé around every office in town any day, but Mardi-Gras comes but once a year.”
Paul Simon – Kodachrome
“A close friend and I were drunkenly singing ‘Kodachrome’ to each other and getting it wrong. We were singing ‘everything looks better in black and white’ whereas Simon’s lyric is actually ‘everything looks worse in black and white’. She and I both decided that Paul Simon is wrong, in a confident way only plastered people know. That said, I still soberly agree with drunk us. I’ve also always associated ‘Kodachrome’ with the Wonder Years, and whilst I was recently looking into why this was, I found that there is in fact an episode called ‘Kodachrome’ in which Kevin gets an awesome substitute teacher who throws out the current book to teach Catcher In The Rye, shakes up the system, shares his first cup of coffee with him and gets fired for being too radical. It’s a great look into what it’s like to have someone get you excited about learning in the 60’s but the problem is, it doesn’t actually feature Paul Simon’s Kodachrome. Instead, it features a bunch of Joni Mitchell which is juuust fine in my book. So you’ve come back from your trip down in the bayou with a bunch of great pictures. You’ve always been too afraid to pursue your passion as a full time job, but now a buddy of yours who owns a small gallery space downtown (aka a laundromat with a two blank walls) tells you he’ll put them up for you, and it feels like this might be your shot!”
OK Go – I Won’t Let You Down
“I always liked these guys. I saw Get Over It on MTV 2 and was into it and a girlfriend at the time heard ‘You’re So Damn Hot’ on The O.C and gave me the album. Then they got all fancy with their videos and rewrote the rules. With their latest offering ‘I Won’t Let You Down’ they’ve upped their game again. Although the rest of the album is perfectly good, this one stands out because it sounds like something Justice or Gigamesh would have helped to produce. Also the video is crazy good, obviously. Although a couple of your pictures sold, you still feel like the self-employed thing isn’t quite right for you. You miss meeting people at work, and it can get so claustrophobic in your darkroom, so you decide to give employment another chance. You’ve lived life on your own terms and to be honest, you’re sick of eating super noodle sandwiches every night; a
monthly paycheck sounds pretty refreshing by now. You go to interview after interview with a genuine smile on your face, repeating this mantra-like chorus to every potential future boss: I Won’t Let You Down.”
Mark Ronson – Feel Right (ft Mystikal)
“What a great thing to be Mark Ronson. You’ve put in many hours of your precious youth making a name for yourself as a great DJ around New York and cementing yourself within the hip-hop community, so by the time you make Here Comes The Fuzz, you can easily get Ghostface, Nate Dogg, Mos Def etc… and even stick Q-Tip at the end of your record, just because you can.
Look, obviously we all love Uptown Funk in all of it’s Zapp & Roger / Was Not Was funky Minneapolis sound-borrowing glory, but ‘Feel Right’ comes at you hard. I remember some youtube commenter saying that they always thought Mystikal was hip-hop’s answer to James Brown. If you didn’t think so before, the Dap King horns will definitely change your mind. Also bonus points for Bruno Mars’ great impression of the godfather of soul. And so it is that you’re settling into your new job now, you’ve even got a little thing going with Daisy, the girl at the front desk, and though you guys aren’t putting a label on it, everyone around the office knows and thinks it’s adorable. Everything feels right, though you still catch yourself daydreaming from time to time about changing cities and moving somewhere completely new.”
Sufjan Stevens – The Predatory Wasp Of The Palisades Is Out To Get Us
“The next week your boss calls you in to his office to say you’re being transferred to Chicago. The old you would have been annoyed at his awkwardly-veiled attempt at separating you and Daisy so he can make a move, but you accept and tell him you can’t wait. That night you ask Daisy to marry you and move to the windy city. She flings her arms around you and screams to the top of her lungs ‘Yes! Yes! A thousand times yes!’. You want to put a song on to celebrate, but Sufjan’s ‘Chicago’ feels like a cliché. It’s not, and you’re wrong, but you’ll realize that later. Instead you go for The Predatory Wasp Of The Palisades Is Out To Get Us. At 2 minutes 50 seconds you guys are already rolling around your bed half-naked and happy crying worse than when you watched the Parks & Recreation finale, when suddenly Sufjan comes in signing ‘We were in Love! We were In Love!‘ and you both lose your shit. I saw Sufjan play a few years ago. He ended on Chicago, balloons dropped from the ceiling, the entire Brighton Dome was ecstatic. I can’t wait to see him again in September. Apparently he’s playing Predatory Wasp on this tour. I can’t wait ‘til we become best friends.”
Wayne Newton – Danke Schoen
“As we all know, the late great John Hughes based a bunch of his movies in the fictional town of Shermer, Illinois. I think a lot of guys my age feel pretty linked to Ferris Bueller. Things go your way effortlessly and you get to date Sloane (played by Mia Sara, who comes only second to Back To The Future 1’s Claudia Wells in my list of best 80’s movie babes. sorry Elisabeth Shue); not a bad deal. I recently found myself joining a parade by accident and started singing Danke Shoen to myself. Life imitating art and what not. It was wild! As soon as you land, you and you’re fiancée are told there’s gonna be a lot of traffic. By the time you’re downtown, you can’t take it anymore so you leave the cab and ask a passerby what’s holding everything up? “The John Hughes Memorial Parade” she says. This is your chance! You grab the mic, jump up on the float as thousands of Chicagoans join you in a lip-synched rendition of Wayne Newton’s ‘Danke Shoen’. You turn around and Daisy is beaming up at you. You help her onto the float, and kiss her as the crowd erupts, cheers echoing down Michigan Avenue. Wayne Newton is singing his last double choruses as you look around and announce into the mic ‘I love this town, I love this girl. Thank you! Danke Shoen!’ You drop the mic. Naaaaailed it!”
For more head to Speelburg.com.