Latitudes: International Music You Must Hear In June

Jun 26, 2014
Originally published on September 2, 2015 10:07 am

Since June is the traditional month for weddings, how about we turn our ears this month to two odd-but-charming marriages and a party that devolves into a drunken episode?

The first two are oddball transcultural affairs. The first pairs the Korean hit-maker Psy with the affable Snoop Dogg, while the other is ... well, let's call it an arranged group marriage, in which savvy Japanese producers wed a trio of Japanese teens with a bevy of metal players.

From there, we'll move on to the post-wedding revelries. First some dancing, then some fierce partying that just might be tipping into warfare, and then an finally an ode to drunkenness — if not the kind you immediately imagine.

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Each month, NPR Music's Anastasia Tsioulcas creates a list of music from around the music world we ought to hear and posts it on NPR's website in a column called "Latitudes." So we asked her to come by and pick out a couple of her top choices for June. Anastasia, thanks for being with us.

ANASTASIA TSIOULCAS, BYLINE: It's so great to be here. Thanks.

SIMON: What do you recommend for June?

TSIOULCAS: Well, there's been a lot of good party music. Remember "Gangnam Style?"

SIMON: Of course.

TSIOULCAS: Of course. Who couldn't? I think there's no one in the world who doesn't know that song by the Korean artist called Psy.

Well, this song we're about to hear is Psy's big single for this summer. It's called "Hangover." And unfortunately, that's about as deep as the song gets. You'll hear it in the chorus.


PSY: (Singing) Hangover. Hangover.

SIMON: You know, I don't think since Cole Porter have I heard more clever lyrics than that.

TSIOULCAS: (Laughing).

SIMON: He's got some high-class accompaniment, I gather?

TSIOULCAS: He does. On this track, he has the rapper Snoop Dogg.


SNOOP DOGG: (Singing) Drink 'til you're drunk. Smoke like a broke stove. Don't quit, take flight. I can't remember last night. It's all right. It's the life of a superstar - Psy-fi.

TSIOULCAS: It seems like an odd pairing, Snoop Dogg and Psy. But Snoop Dogg, randomly, has done a few of these guest appearances on various international tracks over the past few years. Last year, he was featured on a very big Egyptian pop song. So I guess this is his thing now.

SIMON: What are we going to hear next?

TSIOULCAS: Well, after "Gangnam Style," you know, we all know Psy at this point. But I wanted to pick another artist who's already a huge star elsewhere in the world but really is still unknown in the U.S. And this other artist's named Stromae. He's from Belgium.

So this song I picked I hope is timely. It's called "Ta Fete." It means your party. And Stromae wrote it as an anthem for the Belgian national soccer team, the Red Devils. And since Belgium, I believe, is playing the U.S. next Tuesday, right? Not that I'm rooting for Belgium, but I wanted to get the song out there.


STROMAE: (Singing in French).

SIMON: You like Stromae's music a lot, right?

TSIOULCAS: I do - very innovative. He's a very lyrically funny guy. He is a great presence on stage. His videos are really elegant level art films. They're really wonderful.


STROMAE: (Singing in French).

SIMON: You can hear the rest of Anastasia's picks in her monthly "Latitudes" column on our website at Thanks, Anastasia.

TSIOULCAS: Thanks, Scott. It was a real pleasure.


STROMAE: (Singing in French). Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.