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Fresh Stuff from Big Boi

July 24, 2017 Leave a comment

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One-half of the legendary hip-hop duo OutKast, Big Boi is back with a new album titled Boomiverse.

While his counterpart Andre 3000 is often credited with being one of the best of all time, Big Boi is still, as XXL reports, “flying the Atlanta lyricist flag in an era of mumble rap repetition.”

The instinctive balance he applies to his music straddles the fine line between cunning wordsmith and strategic songwriter, both of which have appeared while alone and as part of that iconic pair. It’s a skill that is incredibly unique to Big and since OutKast’s musical disbandment; it has been taken horrendously for granted. But Mr. Patton is now on his third solo album (four if you count the Phantogram collaborative album, Big Grams) and realistically has nothing left to prove to anyone yet on Boomiverse he sounds as hungry as he did back in the day when he was rocking shoulder-length braids and all-white velour tracksuits.

Although this album is considered a solo album, Big brings along a slew of different friends and flavors with him in attempts to create his own booming universe. In many instances, it sounds like you are listening to a playlist of Big’s favorite music, just with his own verses spread throughout.

 

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Beach House B-Sides and Rarities

July 24, 2017 Leave a comment

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After releasing six albums, dream-pop duo Beach House recently dropped a collection titled B-Sides and Rarities.

Comprising Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally, Beach House has never been a typical pop band with singles, so a b-sides collection is a bit unexpected. But, as the band explains on the Sub Pop website, the goal with this project was to put all the non-album tracks, of which there are quite a few, into one place.

When we announced that we were releasing a B-sides and rarities album, someone on Twitter asked, “B-sides record? Why would Beach House put out a B-sides record? Their A-sides are like B-sides.” This random person has a point. Our goal has never been to make music that is explicitly commercial. Over the years, as we have worked on our 6 LPs, it wasn’t the “best” or most catchy songs that made the records, just the ones that fit together to make a cohesive work. Accordingly, our B-sides are not songs that we didn’t like as much, just ones that didn’t have a place on the records we were making.

The idea for a B-sides record came when we realized just how many non-album songs had been made over the years, and how hard it was to find and hear many of them. This compilation contains every song we have ever made that does not exist on one of our records. There are 14 songs in total.

As NPR reports, “B-Sides And Rarities is upfront about being an exercise for enthusiasts, completists and other loving obsessives. But more casual fans shouldn’t shrug it off, either. Beach House has mounted a marvelous career on its ability to set a gloomy electro-pop mood without losing touch with its brighter side — and that gift stays on full display throughout this shaggily appealing assortment of orphaned gems.”

Dan Auerbach Takes a Turn

July 13, 2017 Leave a comment

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If you thought Black Keys guitarist and vocalist Dan Auerbach was a one-trick pony limited to blues-inspired rock, you’re in for a surprise.

Auerbach recently dropped his second solo album, dubbed Waiting on a Song, and it not what longtime listeners expected. It’s a catchy, Nashville-inspired, country-soul throwback that showcases several dimensions of Auerbach’s musical skillset.

As Rolling Stone reports:

“[Auerbach has] taken the right tack, tapping great talent to grow his retro style without just playing dress-up, creating a Seventies country-soul-rock palette part Lee Hazelwood, part Jim Ford, plus spare parts. The title track is a zen-like meditation on craft co-written with master John Prine; “Cherry Bomb” boasts Duane Eddy’s signature twang; “Undertow” conjures the Spinners with Philly soul strings and a “Games People Play” quote, while “Stand By My Girl” mirrors the piano riff off Fatboy Slim’s “Praise You.” It’s a “Nashville Sound” the town could use more of.”

Fresh Stuff from Fleet Foxes

July 10, 2017 Leave a comment

 

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After four years, the band Fleet Foxes is back with Crack-Up, a lush album full of harmonies, rich orchestration and…lots of literary and historical references—perhaps to frontman Robin Pecknold’s stint at Columbia University.

The album is a welcome listen for fans and a much-needed release after a stretch that has seen significant changes for the band members. As the Guardian reports:

“The album was recorded after a four-year hiatus, during which Pecknold studied at Columbia University and Fleet Foxes’ former drummer Josh Tillman unexpectedly became one of alt-rock’s most intriguing stars. Understandably, some critics have been keen to contrast Crack-Up with Pure Comedy, Tillmans’ latest album as Father John Misty, but it seems to bear more comparison to Bon Iver’s 22, A Million, another wilfully abstruse record made by an American alt-rocker who is disproportionately unsettled by a modicum of fame. On Crack-Up’s predecessor, Helplessness Blues, Pecknold spent a lot of time fantasising about jacking it all in to live on a deserted island, or to run an orchard. Now, he seems to have decided he can continue – but only if the music he makes takes a determined left turn.”

 

Bob Dylan’s Triplicate

April 21, 2017 Leave a comment

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In 2015, Bob Dylan released Shadows in the Night, an album of standards. Fans were a bit puzzled by the move, but Dylan later explained saying, “Now that I have lived them and lived through them I understand them better…These songs are cold and clear-sighted, there is a direct realism in them, faith in ordinary life.”

Now, Dylan is back with another standards collection titled Triplicate, a three-disc studio album featuring 30 recordings of classic American tunes. As Dylan’s website explains:

Triplicate showcases Dylan’s unique and much-lauded talents as a vocalist, arranger and bandleader on 30 compositions by some of music’s most lauded and influential songwriters. The Jack Frost-produced album is the 38th studio set from Bob Dylan and marks the first new music from the artist since Fallen Angels, which was released in early 2016.”

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Best of Old Crow Medicine Show

April 14, 2017 Leave a comment

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Twelve years ago, Old Crow Medicine Show dropped it’s debut album, O.C.M.S. Since then, the band has become one of the standout new roots acts, blending bluegrass and folk with punk rock energy.

The band recently released a collection with studio highlights and unreleased tracks. Songs include “Down Home Girl,” “I Hear Them All,” “Black-Haired Québécoise,” “Heart Up in the Sky,” and, of course, the platinum-selling, crowd singalong favorite, “Wagon Wheel.”

From Folk Radio U.K.:

“With a career stretching back to 1998, nine albums released, a pretty relentless gig schedule and countless festival appearances, Old Crow Medicine Show has been in the vanguard of developing a 21st Century take on old-time, string band music. The band has been recognised and honoured with induction into the Grand Ole Opry in 2013, and the 2014’s Remedy won the Grammy for Best Folk Album, so a “best of” album might be considered a little overdue. Between 2004 and 2008, the band recorded with Nettwerk Records. They released three albums, Old Crow Medicine Show (2004), often shortened to O.C.M.S., Big Iron World (2006) and Tennessee Pusher (2008) and it’s these albums that Nettwerk has been able to draw on for Best Of, along with an EP track from 2006 and two previously unreleased tracks.”

Tracklist:

01. Wagon Wheel
02. Tell It to Me
03. Down Home Girl
04. Alabama High-Test
05. Big Time in the Jungle
06. CC Rider
07. Take ‘Em Away
08. Humdinger
09. Fall On My Knees
10. My Good Gal
11. I Hear Them All
12. Caroline
13. Black-Haired Québécoise
14. Heart Up in the Sky

Fresh Stuff from Real Estate

April 12, 2017 Leave a comment

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The band Real Estate gets tossed into the indie-rock genre, but the band has a reputation for crafting clean, orchestral pop gems that goes far beyond the usual rough-around-the-edges indie rock sound.

On its latest release, In Mind, the band furthers its clean, polished sound, while pulling in elements of psych, classic rock, dream pop and more. As Consequence of Sound reports:

“In Mind is a thorough portrait of Real Estate’s comforting scripture. The touching points are pretty much the same as before — the psych-tinged ‘60s rock of The Beatles and The Byrds through to the Pink Floydian prog touches and the misty guitar lines of ‘80s groups like Galaxie 500 and Echo & the Bunnymen — but the six-piece bring their own hazy lucidity. There’s the odd bit of reverb, but the band don’t douse their arrangements in it. Instead, it’s the clear symphonies, lustrous melodies, and singer Martin Courtney’s sweet vocals that take you into a kind of hallucination. In Mind invites you deep into the narrator’s subconscious. Grasping with these songs is like trying to reconstruct a dream you had the night before.”

Tracklist

01. Darling
02. Serve The Song
03. Stained Glass
04. After the Moon
05. Two Arrows
06. White Light
07. Holding Pattern
08. Time
09. Diamond Eyes
10. Same Sun
11. Saturday

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