Monday gets a bad rap, but generally we find it deserves it. Nothing equals no fun more than having to wrap up a weekend of, if not leisure, at least labor for oneself, recoupling to the terminal and making money for someone else. We try, with our Monday posts, to put a little life in Monday mornings, something to put that Saturday sparkle back in your eye, that will have you humming at the copy machine and doing a little dance at the coffee maker.
What better to do those things for you, gentle readers, than a taste of Young Pharaohs’ sleek R&B? Ben, Charlie, and Sam don’t do traditional soul music though – if you’re looking for churchy warbles and predictable beats, look elsewhere. Instead, these Denver boys overlay warm soul vocals with glitchy rhythms and shimmering loops that bring R&B into the next wave.
Young Pharaohs recently underwent a name change from King Mob, and we have to say we approve of the new moniker. They’re celebrating their transition by releasing a new single, “Mr. 100.” The new track is a sign of things to come, the first single off their as-yet-untitled upcoming release, due out this spring on Chill Mega Chill records (SC/Penn.). Give the new track a listen while you get Ben’s take on the Questionnaire. We guarantee it’ll brighten your Monday.
1. What is your hometown?
Sam and I grew up in Olympia, WA. We actually went to the same high school as Sleater Kinney, little known fact. Charlie grew up here in Colorado, and Sam met him when our parents moved the family here.
2. With what fictional character do you most identify?
The “Woody Allen” persona. That’s a character right? Like, the character Woody Allen plays in all of his movies. My internal monologue sounds just like an aging secular Jew from Brooklyn.
3. In the movie of your life, cast an actor to play you.
Omar Sharif or Anton Wolbrook.
4. What work of art speaks to your soul?
Dan Flavin’s florescent light sculptures are a perennial mind-blower. I don’t feel like they speak to my soul, but being in a room with a Flavin piece is a good medium through which to give my “soul” voice and focus.
I’ve also recently been really taken with Jonas Bugert’s painting “Second Day Nothing,” which has been on-and-off display at a few museums in Denver over the last few years. I’m currently working on a short film based on that painting.
5. What books are you currently reading or recommending?
I just finished reading “Red Shift” by Alan Garner and “A Moveable Feast” by Ernest Hemingway, both of which I would emphatically recommend. Yesterday I started “The Man Without Qualities” by Robert Musil. That book was recommended to me a few years back by a professor I trust. It’s one of my most daunting literary undertakings yet, so wish me luck.
6. What song or album is currently in heavy rotation on your iPod?
Oh man, so much. I just got that amazing Swizz Beatz single from a few years back, “It’s Me Bitches.” That’s pretty unstoppable. All the Flying Lotus albums are a primary influence on our music, and in constant rotation. I’m almost embarrassed to admit, but I really love most of the tracks off of Frank Ocean’s mixtape “Nostalgia, Ultra.” His lyrics skirt a fine line between head-scratchingly cheesy and reaching some kind of effortless, simple perfection. I wish I could come up with lyrics as good as some lines in “We All Try” and “Swim Good.” Finally, when I’m taking a break from electronica/R&B I think that Night Manager is the best band making rock music right now.
7. What’s the last movie that made you cry?
Hugo. I’m a huge film history nerd, so that movie is a line drive right into my heart. I was fogging up my 3D glasses.
8. Cat person or dog person?
Cat person. No question.
9. What is more important, truth or kindness?
If I say truth my girlfriend is gonna kick my ass.
10. How do you define sin?
11. How do you define virtue?
Cutting out all the shit that gets in the way of you being the best version of yourself.
12. Design your headstone: What does it say? What does it look like?
I’ll let someone else figure that out.
Bonus Question: Who would you like to see answer these questions?