With no Euro 2008 and fewer late nights at work, I had plenty of time to listen to all the fantastic music that’s out there this month. Obviously, I enjoyed Pitchfork. I’ve also enjoyed a wonderfully relaxing 4th of July up at a lake in New Jersey, a weekend camping in the mountains, and I’m heading out tomorrow for the beach. Life is good…as were these albums:
- White Rabbits – Fort Nightly: Man, if I new these guys were this good, I would have shown up on time to see them open for Spoon. My loss. The first six or so songs on this album are as good as anything I’ve heard this year.
- White Denim – Workout Holiday: Most of these songs were on the 11 Songs (Exposion) CD I picked up back in April. But consider this a reminder if you haven’t bothered to check these guys out yet.
- V/A – Daptone 7 Inch Singles Collection Vol. 2: Daptone drops a ton of vinyl. Thankfully, they eventually release it digitally for us computer nerds.
- Jay Reatard – Singles 06-07: Speaking of dropping a bunch of quality vinyl.
- Nomo – Ghost Rock: Now that I’ve accepted Nomo’s departure from traditional afrobeat, I’ve come to appreciate the new ground they’re treading. Throw this one on at your next cookout.
- V/A – African Scream Contest: Raw & Psychedelic Afro Sounds From Benin & Togo 70s: Sometimes, the title really does say it all.
- Crystal Antlers – EP: Debut EP from a new band that sounds destined for greatness. They’re already a good way there with a percussionist named Sexual Chocolate.
- King Khan & the Shrines – The Supreme Genius of King Khan & the Shrines: The newest Vice Records signing gets the best-of treatment. Good for me, as I didn’t realize how much stuff they had released pre-What Is?!.
- Killer Mike – I Pledge Allegiance to the Grind II: Best hip-hop album of the year? Might be.
- Donwill & suhBURB – Suburban Sprawl: Best free hip-hop album of the year? Might be…go download that shit.
As always, let me know if there was something good that I missed.
1) White Rabbits – Navy Wives
This is a debut album? Incredible. They sound like they’ve been around for decades.
3) King Khan & the Shrines – Shivers Down My Spine
The clear highlight of Pitchfork was the Jay Reatard and King Khan afterparty on Saturday night. One of the highlights of that performance was this song.
4) Lee Fields – Could Have Been
One of the all-time great songs about heartbreak. Don’t be surprised if it gets a little dusty and your allergies kick up while listening.
5) Milton Wright – Get No Loving Tonight
The background music sounds like pimp shit, but the lyrics are completely un-pimp. It’s like an enigma wrapped in an onion. Props to Captain’s Crate for this one.
6) What Laura Says – July 23
This is some pretty, late night summer music. Throw this one on while drinking some wine on your front porch. I have no idea where I came across this one, but I’m happy I did.
7) White Rabbits – The Plot
I think the first verse is told from the perspective of my dog: “He gets up late / He gets upset /And I watch the whole thing happen from the foot of the bed / Well, I could stay in bed all day / Is that such an awful thing for me to say?”
8) White Denim – Let’s Talk About It
Ever wanted to see a mortician bring his Hearse to the car wash (and possibly find love in the parking lot)?
9) Crystal Antlers – A Thousand Eyes
Loud, epic and awesome.
10) Jay Reatard – Hammer, I Miss You
Hammer, I miss you. Seriously, where did you go?
11) King Khan & the Shrines – Take a Trip
Another highlight from the live show. His intro call-and-response part goes on for quite some time, and retells some truly disgusting stuff that happened when he went to see his baby last night.
12) Orchestre Poly-Rythmo De Cotonou – Gbeti Madjro
This song puts the “scream” in African Scream Contest. I wonder if James Brown even knew how far his influence traveled.
13) Esau Mwamwaya- Kamphopo
Now if there’s one song on this mix that screams summer, it’s this one. I guess it’s a reinterpretation of Architecture in Helsinki’s “Heart It Races” if that means anything to you (it didn’t to me). Props to Mad Decent.
14) Ananda Shankar – Streets of Calcutta
Man, they were funkin’ it up in India back in the day. This song makes me want to watch an Indian midget get his groove on (I know but some things never get old). Thanks to Soul Sides.
16) Wale – Cause I’m African
From one of Nigeria’s best psych-funk band to their best exported rapper.
17) Mickey Factz (ft. Fresh Daily) – Keep Moving
Mickey might be somewhat overrated (if internet hype means anything), but almost anyone would sound good rhyming over Mr. Scruff’s “Get a Move On.” I probably hadn’t heard that song for 8 years until Mr. Factz reminded me of it’s awesomeness.
18) Donwill & suhBERB (ft. Von Pea) – Fly Me
I can’t believe they just gave this away for free (have I mentioned that you should download this album)! Someone deserves to get paid off this.
19) Vast Aire (ft. Vordul Mega) – Mecca and the Ox
Pete Rock did his best El-P impression on this, serving as a sad reminder that it’s been over 7 years since The Cold Vein dropped. I know it’s tough to follow-up a classic, but damn guys, get your shit together.
20) Killer Mike – Grandma’s House
The Tony Robbins of rap. If you don’t feel like going to work in the morning, pop this one on and get motivated.
21) Killer Mike – Can You Hear Me
This song walks the fine line between cheesy and awesome. And Killer also throws some shots at Nancy Reagan, which is always fun: “How could you ask us to say no to that / knowin’ we po’, knowin’ we black / knowin’ your husband was sponsorin’ that / Now Iran-Contra’s huntin’ you back.”