Teacher, mother, secret lover: three songs about T.V.

This is a needlessly esoteric premise even by my standards, buuuut:

In the “Treehouse of Horror V”, The Simpsons‘ fifth Halloween special, Homer abandons attempted homicide to gaze at small, portable television lying in the snow and states, “T.V. Teacher, mother, secret lover.” He more or less coos the last two words.

Today, while listening to Colleen Green, I realized I knew of three songs about television that hit on at least one of those criteria pretty squarely while also generally being good songs, and decided I might as well preserve that thought for posterity in the form of this list.

  • “T.V.” by Colleen Green

This power pop song off of Green’s third album, I Want to Grow Up, really covers the first two elements of Homer’s television triad very well within this song’s opening seconds. “T.V. is my friend/And it’s been with me everyday/From an early age,” succinctly sets the stage for a song all about forging a meaningful, lifelong connection  bathed in the soft, blue luminescence of a television screen.

It really reminds me of that famous Freaks and Geeks scene where a latchkey kid played by Martin Starr makes a disgusting snack and hunkers down to watch t.v. and laugh riotously,even though it’s readily apparent his life is generally miserable.

  • “T.V. Luv Song” by Wavves

Musician and delightful human waste product Nathan Williams definitely seems like a dude who watches a lot of t.v.–possibly immediately after ingesting drugs.So it wasn’t really a surprise that he penned a gleeful ode to getting trashed with only t.v. to keep him company.What is a surprise is that years after this tossoff single was released, I still return to it’s bubblegum garage sound fairly often.

This improbably falls into both the teacher and secret lover categories.

  • “TVC15” by David Bowie

I thought I might have a tough time finding a song about a person with explicitly romantic feelings for an appliance, but thankfully, there’s this gem off of Station to Station.

As Bowie helpfully explains, “This is a love story between a girl and her television.”

It’s really that cut and dry.

Stop collaborate and listen (in this order): Ranking 2015’s joint-effort releases

As the world becomes more and more united through technology, humanity’s inherent good shines through in a glut of musical cooperation this year.

Not only have their been vaguely interesting cover albums and cat-sound remixes of last year’s hits, which required the work of multiple artists, but there has been a bounty of collaborative albums.

Of course, this may have less to do with collective goodwill bubbling over and be more attributable to how easy it is to record and email a high-quality vocal track in this digital age, but I’m not cynic.

What I lack in cynicism, so I’ve decided to rank this year’s collaborative efforts from worst to best.

5. Jack Ü by Jack Ü ( Skrillex and Diplo)

This album isn’t for me, and I suspect it isn’t for anyone.

I had a long, angry diatribe about bad haircuts, crappy music and how these two kindred spirits might be the musicians(?) I’d be least happy to meet, but it was obnoxiously mean-spirited.

Instead, I’ll just say their album isn’t good and shouldn’t be listened to.

4.What a Time to Be Alive by Drake and Future

It isn’t quite as instantly disposable as the average Aubrey Graham effort, but it’s also not as good as,  say a middling Future mixtape.

If you’re a modern Hip-Hop completist, give it a spin, but otherwise, it’s incredible easy and advisable to give this a pass.

3.Caracal by Disclosure

I suppose this is cheating, because technically, the brothers Lawrence aren’t collaborating with anyone in particularl, but almost every song on their sophomore effort features a guest providing vocals to match the glossy house beats.

The names are bigger this time around with Lorde and The Weeknd appearing, as well as old collaborator Sam Smith, but there’s nothing quite as catchy as Settle‘s earworms.

It’s not bad, but it is a bit let down. Instead of another A-album, Caracal represents a solid B.

2.Wavves x Cloud Nothings by Wavves X Cloud Nothings

This would have been a dream match-up for me in 2009, and in 2015, it’s actually still awesome. Nathan Williams and Dylan Baldi conspire together to create some super fun sneering, searing hooks. It’s a throwback to the fuzzy garage rock both Wavves and Cloud Nothings began with. It’s infectious as hell too.

1.Big Grams by Big Grams (Big Boi and Phantogram)

Phantogram showed up on Big Boi’s eclectic Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors to fairly positive effect, but the duo’s contributions were lost in the shuffle of a scattered album, so I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect.

Whatever vague notions I did have about the Big Grams project certainly didn’t prepare me for how much thoroughly I enjoy this spacey electro-rock-rap mix.

The surprise was especially compounded because Big Grams begins fairly inauspiciously.

Opening track”Run for Your Life” is basically a Big Boi song with a decidedly not hip-hop beat. While Big Boi’s mercurial cadence could probably keep time with anything, somehow his flow and the beat never quite mesh. It’s not a total fiasco, but it didn’t really inspire great confidence.

Of course, the next song absolutely knocks it out of the park and rights the ship dramatically.

Second track”Lights On” is more or less a Phantogram song with a few Big Boi bars tacked on the end, but his verse happens to be an appendage for an utterly fantastic Phantogram song that somehow manages to remind me of both Keyboard Cat and “Trip Inside this House” by Primal Scream.

From Track 3 on things seem to totally gel, particularly on “Goldmine Junkie”. It’s a slightly raunchy, very sweet love song that features Sarah Barthel and Big Boi exchanging talk-sing rap verses. It’s  all oddly perfect.

To add a level of collaboration to the whole affair, Run the Jewels tandem El-P and Killer Mike show up for “Born to Shine” and add appropriate bravado.

Big Grams totally subverted and surpassed my expectations.

Go listen to Big Grams.