What Are You Listening To? is a weekly run-down of what A.V. Club staffers are streaming. Listen to these songs and more on our Spotify playlist, updated weekly with new stuff.
I just went on a long road trip, where my favorite car game involves predicting which will be the next band to pop up on a variety of classic rock stations. (Hint: You can never go wrong by guessing Foreigner.) I must have heard the Queen classic “Bohemian Rhapsody” at least three times over the course of the 16-hour car journey, which puzzles me. Sure, I still love that song, even though I’m sure I’m way over my lifetime quota of listens. But there are so many other Queen songs that never get played as often as “Another One Bites The Dust” or “We Will Rock You.” So, as I impatiently prepare over these many months for that upcoming Queen bio pic, I’ve been trying to dig a little deeper into the foursome’s discography. A straight-up epic that rarely gets radio play is “Don’t Stop Me Now,” Freddie Mercury’s unmitigated ode to his favorite person: himself. He’s able to turn the entire world inside out, likening himself to a shooting star, a tiger, a racing car, captivating everyone in his reach. Best of all, he’s having the best time doing it. I highly recommend it as a psych-up song that may have you soon loving your mirror image as much as Freddie loved his own. But you’ll have to search it out, because you’ll hardly ever hear it on the dang radio. [Gwen Ihnat]
The endlessly fascinating New York rapper Mike released his second LP of 2018 last month, when every other rapper on the planet also chose to release an album, and so it may’ve gotten lost in the mix. But you get the feeling Mike prefers it that way. His relentlessly lo-fi records often obscure his brilliant, byzantine bars behind huge clouds of ambient noise, with samples that fade over each other like a dreamy montage. The new Renaissance Man is, to my ears, a little more fully formed than the blasted-out Black Soap, but no less enigmatic, a hip-hop record to its core that nevertheless pushes our conception of the form into the stratosphere. The best starting point on any of his records is the first track—you want to just let them spool out as intended—but you can at least nod along to “Resistant Man,” so, hey, give that one a shot. It’s the type of record you want to listen to until your ears get used to it, and Mike’s poetry starts to take shape. [Clayton Purdom]