With the Hummingbird Rotation, we hope to give folks a closer look at the songs that get the most play at Hummingbird HQ. This installment, hear about Capital Cities, Andre 3000, the Grateful Dead, and Goldfinger.
Farrah Fawcett Hair // Capital Cities, André 3000
You might’ve heard of the techno-psychedelic rock group Capital Cities back in 2013 when their first single, “Safe and Sound,” was released. While the song gained a good amount of radio time, the band eventually faded from the mainstream. However, this didn’t stop them from making some truly sick techno-rock fusion perfect for everything from morning drives to evening kickbacks with friends. “Farrah Fawcett Hair” is one of many great songs released on their 2013 album, In A Tidal Wave Of Mystery. The song features a lively yet relaxed synth foundation and lyrics about everyone’s favorite things, from “when public bathrooms have scented candles” to “Enjoying ceviche in Peru and seeing a double-rainbow/While listening to ‘Bitches Brew’ as recorded by Miles Davis.” Regardless of whatever your particular preferences in this world are, give this song a listen, and see if you think it lives up to the “good shit” that the song references.
Mama Tried – Live at Fillmore East, New York, NY, April 29, 1971 // Grateful Dead
I know what you’re gonna say: “But Charlie! The Dead aren’t even together anymore — how could anything from them be fresh?” Yes, I’m sure you know all the basic Grateful Dead songs any semi-literate frat boy can name; Casey Jones, Truckin’, Friend of the Devil — I get it, they’re not a new group.
However, their live recordings contain a wealth of underappreciated hidden gems, such as their amazing cover of Merle Haggard’s “Mama Tried.” Originally released in 1968, Haggard wrote a masterfully bittersweet song of a man who, despite his mother’s best efforts, spends his 21st birthday in prison lamenting that “Mama tried to raise me better, but her pleading, I denied / That leaves only me to blame ’cause Mama tried.”
The Dead loved covering country and western ballads, and the sound quality of their live recordings is amazing. So if a bittersweet ballad with some kickass guitar solos performed by the most famous hippy jam-band in the world strikes your fancy, I would definitely recommend this diamond in the rough.
Tijuana Sunrise // Goldfinger
“Blacked out again down in Mexico” is the first lyric on this track and nicely sums up its pleasant, slightly melancholic vibe. Bolstered by tipsy trumpets, a thumping bassline, and a catchy chorus, “Tijuana Sunrise” is everything you’d want in a ska-punk song. It’s uplifting, fun, sometimes wistful, but ultimately, its energy is soothing. Lines like “I was drinking with you, then I’m drinking till noon, now I’m drinking by myself” sound sad, but they’re delivered in such an infectiously relaxing way you can’t help but feel the sand between your toes.
Put this on if the sun’s still up and the beers are still cold. It’s a great summer song, well suited for barbecues, pool parties, and the beach. If you’re not fortunate enough to be in chill mode, Goldfinger’s good vibes will let you at least dream of the next time you will be.