The heavyweight champion of podcasts for music lovers.

The premise is simple: We dig deep into one album, then we give away that album on vinyl. That’s it.

DIG IT.

Sign up below to get occasional news and new episode announcements—click the link in the email for a chance to win that album.

It's pretty simple. ✌️

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

You can unsubscribe at any time. We won't sell your email address because we're not terrible people.

"AWAKEN, MY LOVE!"

Childish Gambino

Consider this our RT of FX’s John Landgraf, who warned the world to “underestimate Donald Glover at your own peril.” This episode finds us talking a little about Gambino’s afro-futurist awakening on “Awaken” as a vehicle to talk a lot about Glover’s many punk rock masterstrokes.

Transcript

Note: our transcripts are mostly AI-generated for now. 

Episode 006: Childish Gambino's "Awaken, My Love!" transcript powered by Sonix—easily convert your audio to text with Sonix.

Episode 006: Childish Gambino's "Awaken, My Love!" was automatically transcribed by Sonix with the latest audio-to-text algorithms. This transcript may contain errors. Sonix is the best audio automated transcription service in 2020. Our automated transcription algorithms works with many of the popular audio file formats.

You're listening to TuneDig, a podcast for music lovers. The premise is simple: in each episode, we dig deep into an album we love and then we give away a copy to you of that album on vinyl. Go to TuneDig.com To see what's up for grabs and learn more about us.

Today we're talking about Childish Gambino who's awaken my love.

Let's start by talking about what makes this episode different. It is the only episode that we have chosen to rerecord. We had this episode in the can and then this is America came out. Just live in. Just live in

What we've been and we looked at each other and said we should probably acknowledge this thing that has captured the Zeit Geist and the literally everybody's talking about I think it's up to like 300 million views on YouTube now just something completely absurd and season two of Atlanta just wrapped solo came out. Donald Glover is pretty inarguably one of the biggest stars in America right now but also one of the most challenging.

So put a new layer on top of this thing that came out close to two years ago now and was released right after the political landscape shifted. It was recorded right before it shifted and a lot of the themes of this album have been amplified in the times since it came out so it seemed important to to revisit the original conversation.

Yeah. This whole album changed for me not only after hearing and seeing this is America but also hearing more from Donald Glover about the kind of whole narrative arc of the childish gambino thing like something we didn't know when we recorded this previously was that there's only going to be one more childish gambino album. That's true. So I think that takes some of the ways that I had listened to this record before and maybe hypothesized an idea of where it fits into a narrative arc and more cements them and gives us a little bit more to go on. And I think at least in my experience helps me understand this album a lot more. And I feel more comfortable leaning into some of the ways that I took it initially at least in terms of it being a very intentional transition.

Sure. And I think it also merits bringing up or acknowledging that there is a message in this record for people who look like us and have our identities. But there's also a layer beyond that. Like it was made for us to hear. But it also was not for us.

So before we get into it I think that that merits saying yeah I think that's good to point out because this record in particular is very intertwined with Atlanta not just because of Donald Glover's history here but because we found out that he was recording this album at the same time and in the same place that he was writing Season 2 of Atlanta.

Yeah. Dude save some of the creativity for the rest of us please for the love of God.

I think that's a theme we're gonna have to keep talking about. I think we're discovering more and more as he goes along that somehow he's able to do almost anything he sets his mind to you. And I think that that's a theme of this album as well. But he's really well aware of the fact that he can attempt to do things he hasn't done before and get very good at them very quickly. Some of his interviews are kind of amazing.

There's a quote I pulled out. He says people accept me now because I have power but they still think oh he's the golden flower of the black community. He just thinks he's so different. He laughs and then he says but I am though I feel like Jesus. I do feel chosen. My struggle is to use my humanity to create a classic work but I don't know if humanity is worth it or if we're going to make it. I don't know if there's much time left.

One of the things that makes Donald so interesting is that almost sacred profound ness to him. He's a he's a true artist. And you know we started the season by talking about outcasts and we attributed some of the same characteristics to Andre.

And I remember when this record came out I tweeted that this album picked up where three sacks left off.

And being married to an artist who I had to learn her style and her way of like lens of viewing the world it's like there's a there's a sensitivity there's just a different ness in the way that they experience everything. And you can tell by the way that he outputs things that he's experiencing that he also takes them in really differently. Like you can tell that he's constantly absorbing and I think a lot of that comes out in his character in Atlanta where he just kind of sits back and is absorbing thousands of signals all at once. He's just a strange profound dude who almost seems like he was put here to put up a mirror to all of us. He he's kind of like an art LeBron James in that way where he's just constantly doing what he does best.

And I think that's a meta narrative that I can't get away from when I think about this album and so when to go and point out to I think strangely the music itself is maybe a little bit less important than what this album was supposed to do.

I agree the music is extremely good. Yeah.

And it's almost as important. But I think I think he was doing something here and I can't escape the I'm gonna say a hypothesis of the way that he's evolved. Comedians musicians anyone else any form of artistry there's always a hidden amount of practice and iteration that happens behind the scene we only see the outcome when it blows up. And it's always shocking for us to go back after we see something artistically great and know that they did a bunch of stuff that maybe wasn't that great to start with. But that's always required to get to where you're going. The myth of the magical genius who comes out with something creative on his first take is insane right. We have almost no instances of that. I think that there's a thread throughout Donald Glover the person's career that awaken my love is a microcosm of and that's that he became a master of Trojan horse thing of priming people for what he wanted to do next because he was already thinking about what he wanted to do next. And so what he's doing now is about preparing people to accept what it is that he wants to do. Then we watch him talk about first how he got to where he could write Atlanta which I think again we have to kind of bring this show up because it's intertwined with this record. But it also highlights some of the things that I think he was doing on this record.

Well and it's also fair game because Donald talks about himself not as a multi hyphen either whatever other people call them. He talks about worldbuilding you know he wants to get you inside a headspace and he just wants to be everywhere you are and kind of attack you from all sides with the art. So I think you kind of have to take it all as a whole to be able to understand any piece of it.

Exactly. So I think we can talk more about the way that this record does that. But I think some other examples that might help set the stage and show an analog he has said and it's it's fairly obvious this is a pretty unconventional show to have ended up on television much less to be a top show read really long form interview with him as well or kind of the next pose I guess. And he talked about how he knew that to get this show on television he was going to have to pretend to be doing something different with this show than he actually wanted to do eventually.

And so he pitches it a lot like oh it's just a rapper and his friend and then their buddy who's funny. And so there's an antihero a funny guy and then paper boy who's gonna kind of like move the narrative along and bring in the music part of it and it'll just be three dudes kind of hanging out and having a good time in Atlanta. We'll have some pop culture references it will occasionally be serious and we'll kind of go that route.

And I remember reading the announcement that that was going to happen when that was like the whole of what we knew. But that was when Donald Glover was a known as a New York guy. He was fresh off a community and he just left community and we knew him as the guy from like the silly Lil Wayne punchline rap that he did because he found this name from a Wu Tang name generator. And he had the weirdo stand up. And I'd seen his standup live and was very safe. And when I found out that he was helming a show called Atlanta it was like I had no idea he was from Stone Mountain. Like that wasn't publicized information at that point and was like we can't entrust him with this. I was. I remember being angry when I read about that.

Yeah there's a whole rabbit hole there about his really intense childhood in Stone Mountain.

Grew up a Jehovah's Witness the cab School of the arts. Like a lot of really weird layers to his young life and his parents had a lot of foster kids. So we had a very unconventional childhood to say the least and was cut off from media so that he's so prolific in the media and art making world is crazy because he used to like sneak Simpsons episodes and watch them after his parents went to bed. Yeah he's a he's an interesting multifaceted layer.

He's a complicated dude talking about the Simpsons is a great segue way to talking about one perspective. You can take on listening to awaken my love and hearing it differently. Donald Glover wanted as a kid to write for The Simpsons. He got started as a writer. Instead of listening to this album which I think a lot of people did as a hip hop guy who was never quite as good trying to make a funk album and instead backing up and saying no actually at his core he seems to be best at writing. He's extremely artistic and multi faceted and so it doesn't make as much sense for you to try to apply the. We're gonna take an M.S. or a hip hop artist and have them create a funk album and this doesn't always make sense to me. Whereas I think songs like California but think Oh. Oh do you. Mind When You back up and you hear from the perspective of what about the types of people who write for television shows and act on television or in theater or in movies.

Those people have the ability to act out and over emphasize so many different things because they're trying to convey so many different thoughts or feelings in their whole thing is about being able to move between these emotions and convey them even when they don't feel them. And so to hear again a song like California which feels overdone Of course it's overdone. You have essentially a theater major trying to make a black funk album which we should talk about some more. But of course this is going to come out sideways from time to time of course it's going to feel overdone because this is not the same as a hip hop artist who spends time and energy trying to look like they're not trying. He's not invested in looking like he's not trying. He's clearly trying he's doing everything well. He was writing Atlanta this record working on the Lion King and doing something else all at the same time. This is not a person that we traditionally cover when we're talking about music.

He's not easy breezy. There have been multiple interviews where they talk about like his anxiety and he like runs late. He ran late for his meeting with Billy Dee Williams to talk about Lando and he was running late and frazzled and so yeah that was the other thing with Star Wars The effort is sort of his thing again. He's he's deceptively cool now that he's kind of achieved his final form and he can walk around and loafers with no socks and he has commanded the respect that he's so clearly deserves all the manic energy was like him climbing the mountain to get to that point it was like I know I'm great. I also remember his brother Steven who's a key part of all of this worldbuilding really interesting that like he brought his family along for the ride. Steven's another super talented writer and creative and also M.S. in his own right.

He mentioned that Donald would just go off and be missing for like hours and days at a time and he would come back and he'd be like I made this thing. So he's kind of always been manic in that way. But it's interesting that you say that about him being a theater major or or whatever because it's it's like he's exploring the headspace of a thing and critiquing it at the same time. You know I think when you look at this is America there's such a myriad and a breadth of interpretations and the amount of people that made reaction videos and critiques to that is just staggering in that there are multiple very different interpretations that all feel like they could be right and all of them are also at least partly wrong.

And also that none of that really matters speaks to Donald's talent as a theater major and a writer.

So we'll just come clean with my hypothesis I guess. OK. Awaken my love is an intentional warm up for this is America and the space that that future album is going to occupy.

And I think he made that space on purpose so I will say they were recorded at the same time and this is America apparently is not going to appear on whatever the next record is which will be the last.

Childish Gambino record according to him.

Okay so go on so let's step back and talk. We can talk specifically about the music now but I want us to keep in mind the role that music plays in especially.

We're gonna have to touch on some things that we as a couple of white dudes may not fully understand but we have studied appreciate and try to listen to and I think a major thread of this record is jumping into the stream that was funk music at the time that it was being made leaning into Funkadelic is not just borrowing stylistically. I think he's trying to plug into a Zeit Geist that makes room for the seriousness of something like this is America. It's easy for us now to look back at funk and especially if we look at it from a purely musical sense and just see a style of music that evolved out of disco that was pre hip hop and that just kind of fit there and we see you know George Clinton and all his purple and green and we think of it as fun

But funk is not just inherently fun complex that's a great review to read the whole of it is basically why does this do you think he can make a serious funk record. He never winks there's never a point at which he says and I'm taking this lightheartedly complex basically criticizes it and says essentially we should have categorized this more under the Bruno Mars calling of funk. And I think the more and more that we get away from this album being released the more we see that he never wanted this album to be a lighthearted take on a musical style.

Right. He was just using a language that he knew and had grown up with because his dad loved this record and introduced him to this record and it was a vocabulary that made sense to comment on things that were happening.

Yeah. And when we say this record a lot of what we're talking about is Maggot Brain right. And that's a thread that's not going to get away from us

I think it is worth saying out loud that we're like learning and exploring these things as we go along and get older. But we live in the cradle of civil rights and we're born and raised here. So like it's it's really important for us. We talked about this a lot. Not with microphones in our faces about how it's important for us to like the part about conversation and be allies to that conversation. So yeah.

And that's why I think it's important both of us are going off of the plethora of interviews and quotes that came out of this. Not necessarily trying to to impose any viewpoint on it. And the purpose of my hypothesis about what this album is about is more just me trying to put together what I'm hearing from him any way he is trying to learn some. Yeah. So in exactly the same way that you know he had to be Troy on community before he could be earned in Atlanta. I think awake my love had to exist before. This is America and whatever is coming next could be a part of the culture because if you imagine this album not existing and instead imagine this is America coming out right after because the Internet.

Exactly right. So. OK. So we're on an audio podcast. Kyle's eyebrows just shot through his four head like if you imagine it that way. What's the hot take then. OWEN WILSON Wow in theory but in a hot take culture which Donald Glover is really aware of.

That's what because the internet was about.

And so if you go from that to something is deeply artistic but also enlightening as this is America what you're gonna get is a bunch of hot takes of people going.

Who does he think he is.

No no. She wasn't ready. She was a second Kevin Hart reference of the day first went on the record.

The hypothesis is only that this was partially intentional.

But sometimes as we've talked about before on other episodes there are narratives that occur just because you're immersed in the music itself and what you're trying to do and sometimes those narratives come out later and he didn't mean for them to you. He chose to immerse himself in the culture of funk music enough to make a funk record. And you mentioned that there was you know there was a connection with his dad and he talked about how he listened with his dad to Funkadelic and other bands like that which is also weird because it's like how you're not gonna let your kids watch The Simpsons but you're going to let him listen to a song like hitting.

Quit it. That strikes me as really funny.

And I wonder if it's because funk was always really good at Trojan horse thing. You take the edge off the delivery. Yeah. Turns out what you're listening to you is actually something that subverts the way that you've thought about culture.

He did call this a punk record.

He said in interviews he talked about this album as being an exercise in feeling and tone. There's a lot to unpack there. Instead of looking at this record as something that should have been filed in the Bruno Mars column I think this is much more in the D'Angelo and Kendrick column but not with the same execution. So for Childish Gambino to come out of seemingly nowhere with a full commitment to this funk felt weird but I think I think it's important to understand what funk meant in that time period that it comes from. So I think one quote that helps is true funk was protest as much as it was a party.

It was high out of its mind but it was aware of its political surroundings. It pushed the envelope sonically and it pushed buttons socially. It was infatuated with technology and terrified by it at the same time. It was wild clothes and wild ideas. It makes two major and minor chords in a beaker and it let them boil over. It was the civil rights movement and Vietnam.

I remember reading when the album first came out one of the better think pieces and I couldn't find it when we were prepping for this wove the through line of Afro futurism through all this.

And I think what you've been getting at is that ideas like Afro futurism. Was this pro black art form that went across everything from music to film to even comic books like Black Panther and you know Black Panther the film being released sort of around the same time being scored by Ludwig Donald's kind of music guy is really super interesting. But the connection between artists like George Clinton and Donald Glover and three sacks and Big Boi and Janelle Monet even is envisioning a positive world taking the dystopian reality that exists for black people in America and flipping them on its head and envisioning a world where all of the beauty that they've been able to make from all of the pain is is the thing that's focused on and the pain sort of goes away.

So when you talk about Donald Glover's world building I think it's inextricably linked to this idea of building a world that that black people can actually live in the kind of world that they're trying to celebrate as a reality and not a fantasy.

Yeah. And as opposed to diluting black culture so that other people can be more accepting of it. I think Donald Glover's become good at saying instead of going that route we're gonna trick them right.

And I'm all for it which is even cooler and more punk than a line in the sand making you think that you're safe like you gotta respect that. He probably did have enough forethought to play the long game and be like we'll do this for a couple of years but as soon as I can as soon as I have them launched into thinking I'm safe for Midwestern suburban flyover country consumption I'm gonna hit him with something like this is America which is so rad and it's going to work.

So going to work you know I think I think there's something to it. I think that that more even more people than his childish gambino too are reaching into the depths of black culture to pull something out that's socially applicable now. I think an analog to that would be a chance the rappers coloring book. I feel that he reaches into gospel music the same way that Childish Gambino is reaching into funk here.

It seems like scenes he fall in my lap. It seems like

I don't make songs for free. I may go for freedom. Don't believe in gangs. Believe in me and to St. prayer with me.

I took my younger brother to a chance the rapper concert at Lakewood which is like a 20 thousand capacity amphitheater sold out show and it was like being at a megachurch for kids that haven't grown up in church and I just couldn't believe. Yeah. The Trojan Horse ness of it that these kids were like singing worship music but it wasn't that like they were just praising being alive and being around each other. And it was these like 16 17 18 year old kids that were super diverse all very different. I mean you look down a row of 30 people and no five of them look the same. Yeah. He's another person in that ecosystem and a person who's connected to Donald Glover because Donald Glover invested in him early and kind of helped give him his start and amplified his career.

So it's cool that on top of all of these things all the people you're mentioning are are not competitive they're supportive of one another and and they're building a world where all of these people can exist in this big constellation of people making great art beautiful when I think of some of the opinions about this record.

And I can agree with this part of it. There are times where the attempt to create a funk I heard comes out really cheesy and again with the benefit of hindsight and seeing possibly where he was thinking of going with it and thinking about it as an intentional step in a path makes a lot more sense to me.

This was an exercise in immersing himself in a Zeit Geist. That was what we described earlier when it comes to funk. It's it's the civil rights movement and Vietnam as much as it is a party right. And so if you're going to immerse yourself in it you're going to actually try to do a funk record and commit to it. There are gonna be slip ups Sure. And on top of it from someone who's obviously good at acting you're gonna have some moments of over animation. I think thinking about it that way has given me a really really broad appreciation for it and has caused me to even like the moments that are cheesy more than I did before. They're not bothers them anymore. I see them as more of an exercise.

And what's even better is that he's never gonna revisit it. Like yeah I can say that with confidence. Yeah he tried it. It was excellent. Imperfect but excellent. And he'll probably never do it again. He has so many interesting reference points though as an artist and you don't catch a lot of it if you aren't like trying to keep up with him because he'll do stuff and then toss it away. So there was sort of that period when he was on tour for because the Internet before this record came out where he was flexing more of those arm B chops like I think. Working his way towards something like this. Like he covered to Mia. He covered PMD on the song from the Boomerang soundtrack like that's a specific thing. You you might even imagine. Just that really interesting smart strange R and B that a lot of it kind of came and went and flew under the radar for the mainstream.

You made the point a couple of times about the actor writer Linds for him and I think that's lent itself to one thing that he's done unquestionably really well and that's the rollouts like the presentation of things he's hyper aware of those and he's stuck the landing every single time with because the Internet and the short film and rolling out the screenplay and just the immersion into that world and that headspace with this is America making sure that it went up at the exact same time he was hosting SNL and debuting the two new songs.

That was a total expert move in very primarily as a video.

Right. That being the only thing on his social media accounts and just being like well I'm about to go on the air here's this thing. And in the group text I have with my brothers my youngest brother was like Oh my God Donald in all caps. And I was like What. How are you already watching SNL. And it was this whole other thing. So I thought that was brilliant. But specifically with awaken my love. He debuted it at the Institute of Mental physics under a geo dome projecting the album and A.R. elements into the ceiling.

And it was like African global Afro futurist beautiful imagery but also crazy technology in the middle of a desert and he called it pharaohs. Yeah we have to tell the story he called it pharaohs made you download an app with a countdown.

It was the only tweet on his very popular Twitter account. Faris dot Earth dot. We just apparently. Yeah.

So is that the Institute of Mental physics and Joshua Tree a very spiritual feeling place and that the Institute of Mental physics has this crazy spiritual history as do many places in and around that part of the desert and Pharaoh scorched earth had this crazy like manifesto on it that came out of nowhere sort of out of nowhere because because the Internet taught us that Donald could be really weird and challenging. But he called it a shared vibration for human progress.

He's one of the most popular pop culture figures in the world and he's talking about things like a shared vibration for human progress and a rational progressive and spiritually fulfilling global pantheism can be reached without disregard for a process of change evolution. And that's sort of like that's one sentence about who Donald Glover is and how he thinks. But that was really interesting and nobody knew anything about it. And he was I think the only or one of the very few artists performing it was four nights and he did a big sprawling set every night. And I think people thought they were going to get one thing or maybe had no idea what they were going to get. And then they got this they got this funk shit like what.

And that's how it also went when he casually dropped the single. Not long after that. Me and your mama

My brother pulled up in my driveway and my brother pretty much mostly listens to rap music like specifically Atlanta trap music and pulled up listening to this song and it's all it's like the sparkly part at the beginning of me and your mama. And then it launches into this thing and my brother is also a big bill withers fan and so I thought he had discovered this Funkadelic adjacent thing from the 70s and somehow it magically went up me after never listening to any of this kind of music. And I was like Oh my God who is this. He was like this and your child is Gambino.

I was like No seriously what is this. And he was like he pulled out his phone and he showed me the album artwork and I was like I gotta go. And went inside and listened to the song as loud as I could. Like 10 times in a row because it was such a body shock even after because the Internet which was really different from everything that came before it. And that was a body shock. This was an order of magnitude bigger than that where you're like this is so different.

I need a minute. You know the fact that he feels like he can do whatever he wants and that he can succeed at it applies to just the same to you. If he feels like he needs to try to affect or contribute to cultural change if he decides to do that he's going to feel like he can do it too.

I do remember reading something he said and I couldn't find the interview but he learned about some of the experiences that his brother Steven had.

And it was very vague. So you're like was it stuff related to his career was it run ins with the police. What was it he's like. I decided that I had to be more radically black and that was one of the things that flipped the switch where it almost became like like a punk ethos like this is the thing that I got to do and I have the platform and I'm gonna be real low key with it but I know what the game plan is.

Now like he he had a purpose that was excavated with personal happenings and with societal happenings as well in throwback to our first episode on stage Konya that the image that we talked about of Andre 3000 writing the lyrics to gasoline dreams on a wall inside of his house somehow feels really similar to this feeling of childish gambino can take what's been built so far and can apply this punk aesthetic to it and give it raw emotion. It doesn't have to be like punk music was it's that feeling inside guys to be able to push through and do something societally different something countercultural. But finding a way to slip into the larger culture and expose people to something they wouldn't have invited into their lives to begin with.

I also think the way that Atlanta got written and this record got produced contribute exactly to that. You know you mentioned Dre being in that house.

They had a house maybe still have a house in the Hollywood Hills that was described as more like a salon than a writer's room. So Donald got a fax to sign the deal signed an all black writers room for F for Atlanta and treated it more like a place where they would have conversations that was spin out into things rather than being like how are we going to attack episode 3 or what are we going to do with this song. It was more like let's start with an idea let's start with a conversation and let's spin it out into an expression or a piece of art. So it was like a core of energy like a very classic True artists summit that grew into this whole body of work that happened really prolifically and was rolled out on a really beautiful way. What's your favorite song on this album.

So we've talked about this. I like Stand Tall specifically because of the way that it ends

He does this whole interesting immersive authentic funk thing that catches everyone off guard and then the very last song on the album sounds like the recording like cut off like they ran out of tape or like your phone just died or something weird and I was trying to describe it to you. And then we put it on and then it caught you off guard to you when it just abruptly weird. And I never.

I feel like I zone out before that part of the record and most of the time he front load you with a lot of stuff on the record and then it gets sort of almost ambient toward the end and then it just cuts off which leaves you with an uneasy feeling and you can do the thing that Donald Glover is so good at making people do which is you know you can interpret it and assign any sort of narrative to it that makes sense. You know I love the interview where somebody is like do you you know do you care to comment on

All of the people making reaction videos and do you do you care to provide your own definitive interpretation that this is America. He just goes No.

But there's so much we haven't even spent a lot of time on the music itself and you know that goes back to what we said originally.

Like the music itself as sort of a secondary thing to the statement in the world that's been built around the thing. Yeah but even with that said I think it's worth it to cut a few

Reactions or thoughts about some of these songs anyway at least. Oh hell yeah. Lady song you know we've definitely discussed the album as a whole the feeling of it maybe what it was doing intentionally or unintentionally and all that stuff is great. But I mean there's there's a lot to dig into here because there's he does so much nodding to other artists on this song that it's practically headbanging. It goes so deep I can read out a list of interesting ones to you. But like I remember one of the first ones that I felt actually smart because I latched onto you without having to you know read and exposed about it in the New Yorker or something was me and your mama where he talks about it not just be a puppy love. Not about Ms Jackson and the fact that they talk about puppy love in it. Because I was. Naturally I'm already on the thread of somehow this is picking up on what outcasts was doing for a time and coming again out of Atlanta. Coming from the place where funk and hip hop were infused together again 30 years after its genesis or more and just to give a little bit more flavor we're going to take this from an actual super smart music guy a musicologist. There's this amazing paragraph about all the different places where he does nod in a way that's clear to people who have studied funk which I will admit as much as we've talked about it so far I am in no way a student of that musical genre in a way that we've been experts. We didn't grow up with it but this one says you know there are hallmarks from funk peak throughout this entire album on zombies. Donald Glover is harnessing Rick James vocals from Mary Jane. On Red Bone. He's reincarnated the unmistakable bass from Bootsy Collins is I'd rather be with you. I. Just. Said

A song so good. And the first time that I heard that song I was like Well this is clearly that Bootsy song but it's also not.

And then. And then I'll stand tall the one that we were talking about subtle hints of shaggy Otis the strawberry letter 23 Oh totally

You know every song on this record is so different. And the one I find myself coming back to the most is riot. The first line of the song is like I got this feeling in my body and it's just so dancey and it it launches right and he has songs that really build. He has songs that like the last two or three on the record don't really go anywhere they don't move. They're just an atmosphere which is a super interesting thing to spend 15 or 20 minutes an album doing. But Riot is where it sort of crass in the middle of the album and I think it's right before Red Bone. It's like the roller coaster and then you go get on like the little boat ride with red mountain a little bit. But I love riot because it's so dancey and has so much spirit and fervor. I wish it wasn't so short.

Yeah but it's sort of like The Misfits to me in that way. I remember reading this interview with Josh Hayami who's been my musical lens on everything for the past like 15 years in my life talking about his favorite music and he talked specifically about the song she by the Misfits which was like a little over a minute long and he's like that song is the greatest chorus of all time. And it's because they only do it once. Where do you even like. How do you stop having a conversation about this record or about Donald Glover and all of his art. Because there's so much of it and it's so good. Let's have let's find a period.

Lena DUNHAM It said at least 20 people have told me. I would like to make something like Atlanta and I would say Oh you mean a show that toggles between painful drama and super surrealist David Lynch moments to take on race in America. That's not a genre that's Donald Glover We could say the same thing about this record. It's not a genre it's Donald Glover.

Yeah that's that's the best way to punctuate this. Thank you Donald Glover. Thank you for being from Atlanta and thank you for whatever comes next.

But a tune Digg dot com to sign up for our e-mails and click the link in the email when you want to win. That's.

Automatically convert your audio files to text with Sonix. Sonix is the best online, automated transcription service.

Sonix uses cutting-edge artificial intelligence to convert your mp3 files to text.

Use Sonix to simplify your audio workflow. Are you a podcaster looking for automated transcription? Sonix can help you better transcribe your podcast episodes. Let powerful computers do the work for you; automated transcription in minutes. Automated transcription with the best customer support team to help you at every step of the way. Get the most out of your audio content with Sonix. Sonix accurately converts most popular audio file formats (like WAV, MP3, OGG, and AIF) to text.

Sonix takes transcription to a whole new level. Researchers better analyze their interviews by transcribing their video and audio recordings with Sonix. Automated algorithms have improved a lot over the past decade. Colleges and universities use Sonix to convert their lectures, classroom sessions, and research recordings to text.

Sonix uses cutting-edge artificial intelligence to convert your mp3 files to text.

Sonix is the best online audio transcription software in 2020—it's fast, easy, and affordable.

If you are looking for a great way to convert your audio to text, try Sonix today.

RADIO EPISODES

TuneDig Radio: HM-2

Part two of exploring our very specific favorite ways to discover and enjoy new music contrasts sharply with sampling’s vastness. Instead, Cliff laser-focuses in on a world inside four small knobs all dialed to 10. The Boss HM-2 has spawned a prolific and diverse subculture, tied together by metal and hardcore artists’ quest for tones that differentiate and reflect the intensity of their material. If you love heavy music, you’ll love this playlist. If you don’t, we’re confident you’ll appreciate this headspace and its nuances.

Read More

TuneDig Radio: Sampling

For this one, we prompted each other to build a playlist around a very specific favorite way to discover and enjoy new music. For Kyle, it’s sampling in hip-hop, a Rosetta Stone that endlessly unlocks interesting and obscure musical touchstones. The playlist lays out his journey of discovery through key samples that changed his life, and the episode dives into the mind of the crate digger and the value of that worldview in general.

Read More

TuneDig Radio: Direct Action

The protests and unrest have had us wondering how to make meaning from this wild, inexplicable time in history — so like usual, we turned to songs. Out came two new TuneDig Radio playlists. The world already has plenty of protest playlists, so instead we tried to think more deeply about how best to process and live in the moment. This episode (part of a pair) is all about searching deep within and challenging yourself to grow.

Read More

TuneDig Radio: Introspection

The protests and unrest have had us wondering how to make meaning from this wild, inexplicable time in history — so like usual, we turned to songs. Out came two new TuneDig Radio playlists. The world already has plenty of protest playlists, so instead we tried to think more deeply about how best to process and live in the moment. This episode (part of a pair) is all about searching deep within and challenging yourself to grow.

Read More

TuneDig Radio: Instrumentals Vol. 2

Being stuck at home without our studio setup got us thinking about the value of staying connected to people you enjoy being around by sharing music you love. With that in mind, we present the first episode of TuneDig Radio — where we dive deep into a specific music-related topic, then curate and share a playlist about it, pirate radio-style. For our first two episodes, we took turns exchanging our favorite instrumentals, discovering some key overlaps and major differences along the way.

Read More

TuneDig Radio: Instrumentals Vol. 1

Being stuck at home without our studio setup got us thinking about the value of staying connected to people you enjoy being around by sharing music you love. With that in mind, we present the first episode of TuneDig Radio — where we dive deep into a specific music-related topic, then curate and share a playlist about it, pirate radio-style. For our first two episodes, we took turns exchanging our favorite instrumentals, discovering some key overlaps and major differences along the way.

Read More

SEASON 4 EPISODES

TuneDig Episode 032: D’Angelo’s “Voodoo”

To create something timeless, an artist must push beyond the boundaries of time. With "Voodoo", D’Angelo gathered a council of like-minded shamans for a years-long ritual to study and absorb music’s most mystical moments, conjuring an otherworldly result.

Read More

TuneDig Episode 031: Chelsea Wolfe’s “Hiss Spun”

"Hiss Spun" is a massive cosmic ballad that journeys through the worlds within the psyche, guided by a goddess of the soul in her own right. Think of this episode as a gateway drug to a land beyond your comfort zone toward the beauty of all things heavy. Let "Hiss Spun" get in your blood.

Read More

TuneDig Episode 029: Sunn O)))’s “Black One”

”Dark is the light, and everything is black.” For Black Friday, we thought it fitting to reach for the darkest and most transcendent piece of music we know. Sunn O)))’s thundering vibrations are meditation through force for anyone willing to listen deeply, and "Black One" is a door into a void that turns out to be a higher plane.

Read More

TuneDig Episode 028: Radiohead’s “Kid A”

Is it possible to be both overrated and underrated? With "Kid A", Radiohead cemented their mythos simply by artfully engaging a very specific cultural crossroads. We reexamined both the music and the moment, and gained new perspective than we expected about the meaning of both.

Read More

TuneDig Episode 027: Tom Waits’s “Rain Dogs”

Dance and swallow the night with us as we go down, down, down, downtown. This one finds us following a beatnik as he washes away the scent of his past and goes feral in search of wild new sounds. (We've always been out of our minds.)

Read More

TuneDig Episode 026: A Tribe Called Quest’s “Midnight Marauders”

Most artists would’ve crumbled under the pressure of following up an instant classic like The "Low End Theory", but Tip, Phife, and Shaheed dug even deeper, delivering an even more “precise, bass-heavy, and just right” work in sound and in spirit. Midnight remains a watershed moment for hip-hop, so we must bear witness.

Read More

SEASON 3 EPISODES

TuneDig Episode 018: Janelle Monáe’s “The ArchAndroid”

Picasso said that “art is a lie that makes us realize truth.“ Grand artistic statements like "The ArchAndroid" reveal intimate ideas beneath layers of disguise, drawing in the audience to connect to the story’s feelings rather than its facts. This one’s about the fight for freedom and love … and who doesn’t want more of that?

Read More

TuneDig Episode 017: Björk’s “Homogenic”

For an artist as creative as Björk, finding the essence of her sound meant pushing farther out than ever before. Ideas, sounds, and approaches that seemed at odds added up to something greater on "Homogenic". The result was vast, nuanced “emotional landscapes” unlike anything we’ve ever experienced … do yourself a favor and walk around them with us. We dare you.

Read More

SEASON 2 EPISODES

TuneDig Episode 016: Lauryn Hill’s “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill”

There’s little doubt at this point that "Miseducation" is a great album, but after really spending time with it, we came away with a deep belief that it’s one of the best ever, full stop. It’s a perfect record — albeit from an imperfect vessel — delivered at the perfect moment for maximum impact, and we only manage to scratch its surface here. We hope it hits you like it has us.

Read More
Episode 015: The Mars Volta’s “Frances the Mute”

TuneDig Episode 015: The Mars Volta’s “Frances the Mute”

Frances the Mute is a sonic séance, conjuring spirits buried beneath stories left behind by lost souls. The album finds restless living spirits walking a hallucinatory hall of mirrors of space and time, trying to find light beyond the darkness of a friend gone too soon. Don’t be afraid to get your mind bent—we’re here to guide you.

Read More
Episode 014: BADBADNOTGOOD’s “IV”

TuneDig Episode 014: BADBADNOTGOOD’s “IV”

If you’re worried about kids these days and/or the pitfalls of technology, we’d like to point to an antidote to all those fears. Meet BADBADNOTGOOD, the jazz quartet you can crowdsurf to, and IV, the album where they found their own voice. What a time to be alive.

Read More
Episode 013: Cream’s “Wheels of Fire”

TuneDig Episode 013: Cream’s “Wheels of Fire”

Clapton. Bruce. Baker. This supergroup was a strange brew that was simply too potent for the world (not to mention the band themselves), and we see that on display in "Wheels of Fire". The double album finds the trio at—ahem—a crossroads, the contrast between their inspirations creating tension to mixed—but often magical—effect.

Read More
Episode 012: Mono’s “You Are There”

TuneDig Episode 012: Mono’s “You Are There”

File "You Are There" under evidence for Huxley’s thesis that, “after silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.“ We gave our best effort trying to capture Mono’s magic, who don’t utter a single world but manage to say everything about life, death, and all that’s between.

Read More
Episode 011: Rage Against the Machine’s “Rage Against the Machine”

TuneDig Episode 011: Rage Against the Machine’s “Rage Against the Machine”

On the eve of an opportunity for Americans to lift their voices in demand of a more perfect union, we seek wisdom for this moment from the uncompromising, incendiary vision of our generation’s most effective revolutionaries. Troubling as it may be that so much still rings so true in Rage’s quarter-century-old debut, there is strength to be drawn from its message: We, the People, have a world to win.

Read More
Episode 010: Kanye West’s “The College Dropout”

TuneDig Episode 010: Kanye West’s “The College Dropout”

The Kanyepalooza™ of the past few months made us question if Ye ever actually made anything that made him worth all this fuss. (SPOILER: He did.) This investigation wasn’t as simple as missing the old Kanye — because every Ye fan seems to have a different favorite album — but we wound up looking back with admiration on the first time Donda’s son held the zeitgeist in his hands and turned it upside-down.

Read More

SEASON 1 EPISODES

Episode 008: John Coltrane’s “A Love Supreme”

TuneDig Episode 008: John Coltrane’s “A Love Supreme”

All paths led to this. Season 1 closes on a sublime note, exploring the profound power of one of the most important albums in American history, full stop. We give thanks to Coltrane's cosmically attuned hymn of gratitude for the holy spirit he saw flowing through everything. Yeah, we dare say this one got downright profound.

Read More
Episode 007: Hüsker Dü’s “Zen Arcade”

TuneDig Episode 007: Hüsker Dü’s “Zen Arcade”

The antagonistically long, spastically eclectic Zen Arcade is about growing out of where you’re from and into a form you don’t yet fit. For better or worse, it’s as punk as punk gets. Join the fun as two grown-up punks reckon with the good, the bad, and the WTF of a hardcore staple they’d missed until long after their best pitting years.

Read More
Episode 007: Hüsker Dü’s “Zen Arcade”

TuneDig Episode 006: Childish Gambino’s “Awaken, My Love!”

Consider this our RT of FX’s John Landgraf, who warned the world to “underestimate Donald Glover at your own peril.” This episode finds us talking a little about Gambino’s afro-futurist awakening on “Awaken” as a vehicle to talk a lot about Glover’s many punk rock masterstrokes.

Read More
Episode 005: Soundgarden’s “Superunknown”

TuneDig Episode 005: Soundgarden’s “Superunknown”

The spirit of "Superunknown" perhaps is best captured by an offhand press quote from Kim Thayil: “Human beings are a wild composite of temporal events and insights and motivations and restrained behaviors ... and memories both delusional and accurate.” In this episode, we reflect on a masterpiece that captured the contradictions and complexity of raw emotion, and we explore the black hole-sized void torn open by the loss of a musical titan.

Read More
Episode 004: “Dopesmoker” by Sleep

TuneDig Episode 004: “Dopesmoker” by Sleep

It’s easy to make a punchline out of this “album” (read: single 63-minute song) and the circumstances surrounding it, but as we explore the music that wound up becoming a heavy music landmark, we found something profound. On Sleep's "Dopesmoker", the journey really is the destination after all.

Read More
Episode 003: “Dummy” by Portishead

TuneDig Episode 003: “Dummy” by Portishead

Portishead’s dark, timeless mystique is hard to capture, so instead we mostly meditate on “the air around the thing.” Venture into the fog with Bristol’s anti-heroes and the cinematic landscape of what the BBC called “quite simply one of the greatest debut albums of the 1990s.”

Read More
Episode 002: “Houses of the Holy” by Led Zeppelin

TuneDig Episode 002: “Houses of the Holy” by Led Zeppelin

Led Zeppelin's follow-up to "IV" arrived as they were becoming the biggest rock band in the world—but they didn't choose to play it safe. We discuss all the twists and turns amassed on this behemoth of an album and give you some new ways to hear these nearly 50-year-old songs that still feel fresh.

Read More
Episode 001: “Stankonia” by Outkast

TuneDig Episode 001: “Stankonia” by Outkast

We kick off the podcast with one of our all-time favorite records, embedded deeply in our hometown. It turns out the south did have something to say, and it's influenced decades of music just as much as it borrowed from the funkiness of the past.

Read More

BONUS TRACK EPISODES

Kyle and Cliff

BONUS TRACK: How We Got Here

We got a bunch of interesting listener feedback in our off-season, and it encouraged us to shed some light on why we do things the way we do ‘em. Also, we reflect on our first writeup, which was ... interesting.

Read More

ABOUT US

We're Kyle (right) and Cliff.

We aren't journalists or musicologists or professors.

We're two dudes from Atlanta who care a lot about music. We've been talking to each other about it for more than 15 years.

This podcast is our way of bringing you into that conversation and taking you deeper into these albums that we love.

More About TuneDig

TuneDig began as a little something called MusicGrid.me, which we created after realizing there was no place online to directly exchange music recommendations with your friends. Our aim was simple: to make rating albums simple, useful, and social. We got some love from places like MashableWiredEvolver.fm, and Hypebot. We managed to foster conversation between music lovers, get thousands of reviews, and meet great people.

Along the way, we realized that record stores were an essential part of the music lovers’ community. After many a conversation about how we could helpfully connect them to the people who loved them, we began helping them leverage technology to create new revenue streams and embrace streaming services without giving up what’s unique to them: expertise and curation. (Long live the counter clerk who knows exactly which record will be the right introduction to jazz fusion!)

TuneDig is our vision to connect music lovers with the music they love, because no matter how much has changed in the way we discover and enjoy music, recommendations from people you trust and respect will always be the best way to find new music you’ll dig. With this podcast, we’re channeling the spirit of trusted curation pioneered by record stores, and bringing you something to take you deeper into music you can love.