As the most revolutionary MC of the last 15 years, you'd expect Lil B to divide rap fans. Just like the purists who refuse to acknowledge anything written after the golden age, you can bet there will be folks who never touch anything past 2010 (or...
Rain in England
POLLYN FEATURING FREDDIE GIBBS
Shake Out the Other Way
Music! I'm worried about Gangsta Gibbs. When I first heard "What It Be Like" it gave me the sort of clenched-trachea emotional throttling you got as a kid hearing Tupac or Biggie for the first time. His first few tracks were pathologically honest and genuinely scary, as if being from Gary, Indiana, had just autoclaved all gentleness from his soul. At his best he spits with a subdued, lurking violence. Now he's in LA doing canned verses on shitty, down-tempo "electronica." Please Freddie, get back to the terror!
SPACE AGE HUSTLE
3 Years Ahead: The Cloud Rap Tape
KANYE WEST FEAT JAY-Z, NICKI MINAJ, RICK ROSS, AND BON IVER
self-released Remember back when Jay-Z was ghostwriting for Foxy Brown and ladies like Lil' Kim could have a career doing raunchy raps written by her friends? Neither do I. All I can hear is the sound of Nicki Minaj unleashing her verse like a fucking animal on this track. Hov must really wish he'd stuck to that retirement now. He could be eating breakfast in bed with Beyonce but instead he's being shown up by a lady in an orange wig who calls herself "Barbie." As for the production, it strikes that tricky balance between malevolent and super-catchy. It's the kinda beat that would start playing the moment you realize Charon's lost, drunk, and coked out; paddling up and down the Styx in search of an embankment.
History of Modern
Bright Antenna Old-Man Dick.
Baby Likes To Bang
Brando Trying to picture the kind of sad, overly tan suburban 12-year-old/mom who considers this kind of thing "glamorous" is too depressing, so I'll just focus on the kind of car they drive. Fuck this Miata music.
Last Bummer Records
Smiley FaceThis is one of those electronic rock records that's great for putting on when you're drunk and want to feel vaguely sad, but anybody confusing this for shoegaz must be mixing up Emma Anderson with Emma Gaze. This stuff's much better for moping around looking at the ceiling than your sneaks.
My Father Will Guide Me Up a Rope to the Sky
Young God I actually avoided putting this on for fear of how embarrassing it was going to be, but instead of the taking Grandpa's license away moment I was expecting, I was rewarded with Grandpa crashing his Jeep through the house and killing the master vampire then walking over to the fridge and taking out a soda before saying the one thing he could never stomach about living in Santa Clara was all the damn vampires. Which is to say Michael Gira is putting heavier, more emotionally taxing music at my father's age than pretty much any musician of the past decade.
ALL NIGHT DRUG PROWLING WOLVES
Make It Right
Gospel of Rhythm The Wolves are like your cool uncle’s bar band that your dad secretly wished he'd be invited to play in, but was too buttoned-down and responsible for. They get extraordinarily beer-drunk when they play and put their arms around each other and sing into each other’s faces and then kiss each other’s moppy heads. You know, really live it up. Make it count. On the music side, sometimes it’s fun to string together the chorus from each song and pretend it’s one huge conflicting song, like this: "I know I’m innocent/ I said I’m sorry/ Gonna make it right/ Maybe tomorrow/ I can’t wait!"
Mandible Records Nude Beach are an optimistic poppy garage act with a loud screecher on the mic. They're not the future of jackshit but not every band has to save the world. This is a good show-up-drunk-and-have-a-nice-time band.
HoZac Hookup Club Round One
HoZac For their fiftieth release, HoZac put out a comp of their first ten singles, which have long been lost to the world of record misers. Flight, White Mystery, Idle Times, Box Elders, Woven Bones, Dum Dum Girls and more deliver twenty-one rad tracks that you will be glad to have all on one record, especially if you are a lazy DJ like I am.
Rob's House There's a part in the Dan Clowes comic Death Ray where a character just getting into punk says "I like this music. It makes me want to kill people." If you are into punk, even just a little, this record should make you want to kill people, your friends, yourself, and every other shitty band and their gutless garbage. Every song is menacing and poppy like "Gary Gilmore's Eyes," but without the part where girls aren't really into it.
JOE HEBERT BAND
I Don't Wanna Be A Preppy B/w First Date
Last Laugh This is a repress of one of those snarly Killed By Death-style bands whose albums cost a thousand dollars to buy if you can even find them at all. The A side is a fun little angry love song about being in love with a preppy girl, an issue as relevant today as whatever grampa decade this was recorded in.
Goner Limes are some country rockin' guys and country rock sucks pretty much all the time in every way.
Time For Annihilation
Eleven Seven Music
Crystal Necklace 7”
Everything In Between
Sub Pop No Age's popularity has always given me one of the most profound sensations of "I Don't Get It" since the advent of Pogs. But I'm totally down with this. No weird time signatures or tempo changes or stoney 20-second stretches of the same two notes--this is just good old-fashioned teenage driving music with a teensy little tad of moodiness. Wouldn't have seen this coming back in aught-seven, but I guess I officially like No Age now. I swear to god though, if this turns out to be some sort of five-year-long "Emperor's new clothes"-style poser test, I'm going to fucking kill myself.
Kill Rock Stars The problem with music that involves crazy interweaving instruments and voices and complicated harmonies is that takes musical skill, which means people obsessively learning and perfecting their parts, which means nerds, which means guys who are obsessed with stupid sci-fi crap or dwarves. Girl nerds, on the other hand, aren't into cornball shit, which leaves their amazing brains free to concentrate on making your inner ear do strange and exciting things. At least these girl nerds aren't.
Secret b/w Sleepover Are Fun, Together Forever
Hozac As you can probably tell from the name, these guys get cute. This is catchy romantic pop with lots of whoa-a-whoas, sung in that whiny vocal style that turns into sonic poison the second you turn older than 24.
Say Goodnight To the World
Fat Possum Damn. This shit is boring. My roommate just asked if I was listening to Pink Floyd. What should I tell him? Fuck, now he's singing "Hello, hello, hello, is there anybody in there?" in a funny voice. Oh man, I'm dying. I can't even describe what it sounds like. Kind of like a really soft Donald Duck, but a little higher? Shit, I've got to go.
Pretty Joanna B/w I Swear I'll Never Let You Go
Sacred Bones I can't tell you if I like this record because it has the worst cover art I've ever seen and I'm afraid that might bias my decision.
Fat Possum It warms my heart to think that while some music blogger is mashing Cool Ranch dust into his keyboard, tutting about how shallow music's gotten these days and how half these melodies are direct lifts from Neutral Milk Hotel songs, the target audience for this will be too busy drinking way-too-large swigs of straight vodka and going crazy in their friend's parents' house, then putting this on while they make out with two girls in the back of the old Plymouth out back to even notice.
UP THE HUNX This might be the most generic record cover ever. Four sillhouettes of men in front of an explosion. This could be any record, movie, videogame, brand of toothpaste, cell phone, or blue jean. I hate how far the standards of design have fallen. The music's a bummer too but that goes without saying.
True Panther Sounds
Harvest The Beast
ROIR There's Fag Cop, Bad Cop, Cop Magnet—lotta Cop bands right now. Then there's also Dadfag, St. Dad. Whole bunch of fags, cops, and dads. Not sure what the exact implications of this Freudian band-name pileup are, but these guys sound like khaki pants. Get the fuck off of ROIR until you learn how to be the Bad Brains. If that requires black face, so be it.
4AD In the same way that every Brian Jonestown Massacre record was like a scavenger hunt for 1960s recording cliches, this album feels like it should have come with a little road-trip bingo sheet of 1980s English indie-pop for autistic music nerds to lose their brains over while the rest of us are bugging out, dancing, getting laid, so forth.
Sex With an X
label Like the proverbial father who only realizes how bad his daughter's situation is after discovering her webcam page on slutload.com, I really wish you guys would have reached out for help before resorting to this.
MAJOR ORGAN AND THE ADDING MACHINE
Major Organ and the Adding Machine
Orange Twin Oh Athens, Georgia. Will you ever cease to whimsically-manchild me?
Palenque Palenque: Champeta Criolla & Afro Roots in Colombia 1975 -1991
Soundway Usually these kind of compilations are full of foreigners trying to imitate American rock n roll and failing miserably in ways that American music snobs consider cute. This one's catch is that it's Colombian artists doing afro rock and they're actually pretty great at it. I bet if you bought this and threw it on at a party, that girl you're trying to screw would totally think you're "worldly." Give it a shot.
LORDS OF BUKKAKE
Desorden y Rencor
ROOTY TOOT TOOT
THE PSYCHEDELIC ALIENS
Psycho African Beat
Voodoo Funk Academy This is some great afrobeat with funky, funky, funky, funky, funky drums. I ran out of stuff to say about afro rock and afro funk a long time ago.
RAMROD Is it really too much to ask for there not to be two harsh noise outfits named "[figure of authority or pronounced skill] of Bukkake"? I really don't want to spend my golden years trying to keep the Bukkake Kings straight from the Master Musicians of Bukkake straight from the Lords of Bukkake all just to be able to take my wife out for a nice anniversary concert. Sheesh.