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One is thoughtful, informative, and most importantly insightful. The other is like a dull summary with a rating that seems intentionally provocative (or afraid of how the subject might react to anything short of perfection). Don’t get me wrong. I find the album exceptional. And reluctantly so, which is quite an achievement for an artist that I had essentially given up on. But I’m not on board with the rush by some to immediately declare an album as influential before it is even officially released. I’m not convinced yet that tracks like “So Appalled” or “Lost In The World” are essential, let alone mind blowing. But – to paraphrase Obama – let’s be clear: Kanye is crazy. Crazy-crazy, sure, but more importantly: crazy-creative. In my mind, his twitter account should be read as non-sequitur outtakes from a rhyme book that probably rivals Ghostface’s in terms of references and the confidence to say them. He’s overflowing with ideas, and while he always had confidence in his delivery, he has erased the filter in terms of concern for how we might react that limited him from displaying the breadth of those ideas. It’s Eastbound & Down, just the inspirational rather than mocking side of the portrait of the fallen hero.
We heard back in April that this was getting shot outside of Austin, TX. Ghost riding bikes, BB guns and loss of youth in the suburbs. Looks pretty stunning.
I love you from something that’s… not the max, forward to the max. Apparently Les Savy did a bunch of videos for The Mahogany Sessions back in September. Thanks to my friend Farrah for passing these my way. In addition to “Appetites,” above, they did “Lips n Stuff” and “Let’s Get Out Of Here,” which are both fun but maybe not quite as musically awesome as “Appetites.” The lead-off track to Root For Ruin, a rager on the album, sounds shockingly good in an acoustic format, and the love amongst the band sitting around in a community garden is palpable. The “Patience”-style outro is the perfect finale. Wish I had been there. Like, in the band.
The Numero Group started a podcast called Living Liner Notes back in September; promising to expand on topics from their compilations, and generally provide additional education on the many genres of vintage music that Numero is so good at highlighting. After months of anticipation (well, years, according to the artist), I finally received Numero’s amazing 6xLP + 4xCD + 44 page book that comprises the Complete Mythology of Syl Johnson. To coincide with what must be the best reissue of the year, if not the decade, Numero’s latest podcast is dedicated to Syl.
So simple. So cool. I honestly can’t understand how you could not love these guys. I wish they would just tour non-stop so I could see them more than once – no wait twice – a year.
Surprise! Here’s a mix for November. I tried to scale back form the soul focus of the last few, but there’s a bunch of soul on here anyway because, damn, the music is just so good. I absolutely love the simple, jazzy drums of Barbara Brown’s “Can’t Find No Happiness.” It’s 1968 and is Memphis soul production at its height. Asha Bhosle’s “One Two Three Baby” is my token throwback tune, on here because it is absolutely endearing vintage Bollywood, but also because a coworker of mine plays it in the office at least every three days and it is incredibly catchy.