Song of the Day: The Avalanches “Because I’m Me”
Still basking in the warm glow of The Avalanches live show, “Because I’m Me” is my Song of the Day. On Monday night The Avalanches played a blissful, triumphant show at the 9:30 Club. Beginning another leg of their US tour in the nation’s capital, the high-energy quintet held the capacity crowd in rapture for a brief-but-satisfying hour. The touring band now consists of original members Robbie Chater on guitar and percussion and Tony Di Blasi on keyboards, with singer Eliza Wolfgramm, rapper and vocalist Spank Rock, and drummer Paris Jeffree.
The Avalanches took to the stage and launched into their set opener “Because I’m Me.” The song is the second single from last year’s well-received return-to-form full-length Wildflower, their first new album in sixteen years (The Guardian attempts to answer the question, “what took them so long?”). “Because I’m Me” is a soulful bounce of a tune with an vocal sample reminiscent of a pre-pubescent Jackson 5-era Michael Jackson, landing just behind the beat to offer a endearing touch of amateurishness to the densely-packed production full of dance beats and sampled disco strings. The tune also features long-time Avalanches sample favorites — and now collaborators — long-running hip-hop duo Camp Lo, who deliver an on-point lyrical punch.
In classic Avalanches style, “Because I’m Me” is constructed from a bewildering myriad of samples, encompassing doo-wop, R&B, hip-hop, calypso, and rock, including “Why Can’t I Get It Too” by Six Boys in Trouble, “Want Ads” by Honey Cone, “Lip Gloss” by Lil Mama, “Bobby Sox Idol” by King Houdini and His Calypso Parliament, and “New Kind of Songs for Sale” by Wild Man Fischer.
The charming video clip features a very Jacksonesque hero. He stars in a tale of unrequited love for an indifferent New York Transit Authority employee. Despite some earnest compliments, great dance moves, a marching band, and a giant inflatable canvas heart, he fails to win her over.