Deerhoof recently released Surprise Symphonies on Bandcamp Day, and they'll follow that with their proper new album, Future Teenage Cave Artists, on May 29 via Joyful Noise. They just put out the final pre-release single off that album, "Damaged Eyes Squinting into the Beautiful Overhot Sun," and to make this song release extra fun, guitarists Ed Rodriguez and John Dieterich have also released a video for Guitar World's Sick Riffs series, where they teach you how to play the song.

John says, "The song is about the seemingly inexorable warming of the earth and the descent of human civilization. As everything melts a sad person thinks back to an earlier time and how things were supposed to turn out." Sonically, it's an off-kilter prog/punk freakout, and as you'd expect from Deerhoof, they do a killer job of pulling it off. Listen and watch the Sick Riffs video below.

We also asked John what music he's been listening to in quarantine, and he made us a list of 12 albums -- including a mix of classics and some more recent stuff -- with insightful commentary and personal anecdote on each pick. Check out his list below.


Matana Roberts - Coin Coin Chapter Three: River Run Thee

Sometimes I feel like I don’t get to enjoy music the way I used to. Not that I don’t like it, but just that I don’t give myself the time to fall in love with it the way I used to. This is one record that I heard, immediately loved and then got distracted and didn’t listen to for a while. I came back to it recently and fell in love again. Such strange and yet thoroughly satisfying music. Something about the stereo field of certain songs makes my head hurt in a really nice way.

Swingle Singers - Christmastime

My parents were getting rid of their records a couple of years ago, and I went through and nabbed a bunch of them. This one gave me the strangest feeling. My parents got it when I was really little, and they didn’t like it much, so they probably listened to it a couple times and put it away. The strange thing is, when I brought it home recently I remembered it! These are jazzy vocal ensemble arrangements of Christmas songs with all the lyrics taken away. It’s the kind of thing that could really drive one up a tree, but I love it. It makes me feel like I’m 5 years old.

Les Paul and Mary Ford - The Greatest Hits

This has become our jam of late. Some of the best sounding recordings I’ve ever heard, beautiful songs and singing, incomprehensible playing and production, and just fun.

Jack Name - Weird Moons

My friend Max Knause gave this to me a couple of years ago, thinking I would like it, and he was very very right. Lots of drum machine and confusing floating feelings.

Andrew Raffo Dewar/Anne LeBaron/Andrea Centazzo - Encantamientos

This is a beautiful record from a few years ago made by my old friend Andrew Dewar, who is an incredibly talented soprano saxophonist and composer. The last time I saw him play was when I was still living in Oakland, probably twelve years ago, and it was such spacious and moving music. This record captures some of what I loved about that concert. A welcome feeling of openness.

Dean Blunt and Inga Copeland - Black is Beautiful

Back when we used to tour, we had a good friend named Jakub who would drive us around Europe in his van and play us music all day. He is really obsessed with Arnold Schwarzenegger and can recite from memory the script from Total Recall. I sat in the front seat with him and was subjected to the loudest of it. One day, I was attempting to work on my own music on my computer when I became distracted by this beautiful music coming out of the car stereo. I seemed to become less and less sure of what I was hearing as it played. It was this record, and it was and remains something else.

Waylon Jennings - Dreaming My Dreams

I have huge musical blindspots, and Waylon Jennings has been one of them. My friend Caleb Dailey sent me some covers he had been working on, and one of them was of "Dreaming My Dreams with You." I was floored (by both the song and Caleb’s cover of it)! I asked him what Waylon Jennings record I should check out first, and this is what he recommended. I am very grateful.

Houndog - Houndog

This is a record that I really should have heard about when it came out because I'm a huge David Hidalgo fan, but it somehow flew under my radar. This record is David Hidalgo (of Los Lobos/Latin Playboys, etc.) and Mike Halby (of Canned Heat)) playing blues songs at a glacial pace. It’s a wonderful and wonderfully odd record. It’s slllloooowwwweeddd ddddooooowwwwwwwnnnnn.

Los Caballeros - Flute, Guitar and Harp of the Andes

This is, as one might suspect, fantastic, and the art is really great, as well. I have spent much time looking at this cover. It's really calming.

Tricky - Nearly God

This music has come into and out of my life for the past 20 plus years, and it always astonishes me. It’s music of magic, and it speaks to me in a way not that much music does.

Skinny Puppy - Rabies

Okay, I was really into this record when it first came out. It just felt like pure tactile evil in the best way, and I didn’t listen to it for a very long time, and then I came back to it a bit ago, and I still think it’s so totally fantastic. It’s really minimal, and it’s successfully nauseating in a way that very little music is, and I really love listening to it.

Eric B and Rakim - Paid in Full

I put this on here because my neighbor is in his car blasting this right now, and it sounds utterly fantastic. This really is one of my faves. When I moved to California, I drove across the country in a Chevy Celebrity Eurosport, and my cassette of Paid in Full got stuck in the player, but it still played. So, it was either Paid in Full or, like, nothing. It was in that cassette player for maybe 3 years before it finally died one night that Deerhoof played in Sacramento. Oh, and this is an example of music that sounds way better on cassette than any other format. It’s all blown out and crazy sounding.

photo by Shervin Lainez

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