Know Your Product

Stars Pick Their Top 5! This Week: King Tuff

King Tuff @ Club Congress Wednesday, Jan 9.

King Tuff's music is more than a simple garage rock throwback. The bright guitars and catchy vocals rope you in, but all of the music sounds trapped, encompassed by a grainy lo-fi filter that just adds more to his wonder and mystique. I suppose music distorts a bit when you pull it right out of the '70s. A listen to King Tuff's newest album, The Other, reveals a more psychedelic and modern sound palette as compared to his previous works. This change works well for the subject King Tuff chose as his top five for this week's Know Your Product: "5 Songs That Changed My Brain This Year."

Experience King Tuff's reign at Club Congress. 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 9. $15-$17. All ages.


"High On A Rocky Ledge"

I've loved Moondog for awhile now, but this song is a newer discovery. I love the lyrics. It's like an old wizard singing a love song to the sky. Just voice and piano, it's so simple and gentle and real. If I'm even half the wizard he was when I'm old, I'll be happy.

"Blue" Gene Tyranny

"A Letter From Home"

I first listened to this song in its entirety on a long walk up the hill behind my house. It takes up a whole side of the record and it's not necessarily a song, more of a sound collage, with singing, synthesizers and other sounds fading in and out while a very peaceful sounding woman reads an abstract letter. It just reminds me that music can be anything and it's important to have fun and experiment with it.

Michael White

"The Blessing Song"

A perfect song. Michael White was a jazz violinist that played with Alice Coltrane, Eric Dolphy, Sun Ra, etc. I haven't heard too many jazz violinists before and he has such a beautiful style. I don't know who the singers are on this song but they are perfect too. This thang has such a golden vibe I want to drink it.

Bill Withers

"Lovely Day"

This song kept popping up everywhere this year. Most memorably, I was singing it with my friend the day I bought my favorite yellow jacket. We were walking through the park and everyone was wearing yellow and then I walked into a store and this yellow jacket jumped off the rack onto my body. And I just started singing "a lovely day!"

Philip Cohran & The Artistic Heritage Ensemble

"The Minstrel"

Philip Cohran was part of Sun Ra's Arkestra before breaking off and doing his own thing. He invented an instrument called a Frankiphone which was basically an electrified kalimba-type instrument. This recording really just sounds like a bunch of people playing in a big room and having an amazing time. This song just goes and goes and as far as I'm concerned, it could just keep going and I'd go with it.

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