LxListening: Odds and Ends ’15

LxL_LxListening_900x300

odds-and-ends

Since the day of the cassette mix tape up till today with Spotify playlists, many people’s playlists follow a mood like rainy day or exercise music or draw from a nostalgic period like songs from high school or the 90’s. This playlist is none of those things. I’m not sure why, but I’ve never been much for mood or seasonal playlists. We’ve certainly lent plenty of fuel for them, and I love stringing together complementary songs for a special event like a party or wedding, but in my regular day-to-day, my listening tends to be way more sporadic. In that spirit, here are five songs from the last couple months that have absolutely nothing to do with each other. In fact chances are you like one thing but could care less for the rest. Either way, I hope you find something you enjoy among these odds and ends.

Kamasi Washington – “Change of the Guard”

Like three-hour jazz space odysseys? Ok, saxophonist Kamasi Washington isn’t for everyone, but if you loved Kendrick Lamar’s masterful To Pimp a Butterfly which he lent his golden saxophone pipes to, in time you can find your way into Epic, sort of like if when John Coltrane died he was reincarnated on Mars.

Bully – “I Remember”

Like 30-minute punk rock albums? Well Nashville’s Bully is pretty much the opposite of Kamasi Washington: simple, punchy attitude distilled into two-minute garage rock songs.

Algiers – “Blood”

One of the most distinct bands to land on the scene in 2015 has been Algiers. The Atlanta band defines most standard rock labels, but if I was to call them anything, I’d call them industrial blues punk. “Blood” has vocalist Franklin James Fisher howling about what often feels like a losing battle, matched in the video with images from the history of Black civil rights in America.

Holly Herndon – “Morning Sun”

Following in the footsteps of avant-garde electronic female artists like Laurie Anderson and Yoko Ono, Holly Herndon is wilting both highly intricate and also highly melodic electronic quilts. Her latest, Platform, doesn’t shy from using any and every possible sound on her computer (treating Garageband like Storage Wars), but she puts them all to good use.

Django Django – “Shake and Tremble”

Let’s end on a light note. London spaghetti-western rockers Django Django are the sound you would get if the Johnny-Depp-voiced gecko Rango fronted a London dance rock band. I know that’s complete nonsense, but frankly I don’t care. Listen to Django Django.

 

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Top Ten Thursday: Best New Artists of 2012

Carly Rae Jespen, hot, new artist
‘Cmon, we all know she should be #1

Last year, EMA, Cults, Yuck, and A$AP Rocky headlined our list of best new artists.  For the most part, the break out artists of 2011 toured to support their 2011 material in 2012, hitting the festival circuit particularly hard.  And by the stipulations we determined this year, a couple of the artists wouldn’t have even been eligible (The Weeknd & A$AP).  For this year’s list we explicitly only allowed artists who released their first proper studio album within the calendar year, unfortunately disqualifying artists such as Grimes, Ab-soul, and Schoolboy Q.  In addition, previous mixtapes do not prohibit an artists eligibility, allowing Frank Ocean and Meek Mill to be eligible despite extensive previous exposure.  These guidelines were not decided on lightly and may be changed for future lists, but we wanted to define this category as narrowly as possible.

Its debatable whether this year’s crop is as strong, but there have been plenty of new artists to break onto the scene.  Several artists of note also missed the list, but you’ll just have to hit the jump to see who.  Enjoy, and as always, let us know who we omitted, forgot, or shouldn’t have included.
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Django Django Review: Django Django

Django Django

Django Django

 Debut album from Django Django album cover

Django Django by Django Django: talk about the department of redundancy department. To make it even more amusing, they sound like the musical equivalent of Rango, the Johnny Depp-starred animated Western. Fortunately for the listener, the London indie rockers’ songs are full of everything beside Mumford and Sons-ish repetition. Their self-titled debut is 13 assorted and amusing psych pop songs that make for one of the major surprise albums and bands of 2012.
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