February saw the Super Bowl, Gil Scott-Heron, Spider Bags (above), two failed attempts to get my ass off the couch to check out Whatever Brains, lots of cold weather, and too much Winter Olympics. It was also the month of some decent-but-not-great albums (Surfer Blood, Harlem, Demon’s Claws, Past Lives, the Mantles).
Albums I enjoyed (enough to recommend) this month:
- Spoon – Transference: Much more tense and unnerving than their past efforts. But they were due for a bit of a weird departure since they were in danger of having all their albums sound kind of same-ish.
- Strong Arm Steady – In Search of Stoney Jackson: Arguably the single most consistent collection of Madlib beats ever collected on one album. Sometimes Madlib is hit-or-miss, but here he’s nearly flawless front to back.
On to March.
1) Strong Arm Steady (ft. Mitchy Slick) – Two Pistols
Dedicated to my gangsters who do more than stand around an drink beer
2) Dice Raw – Lemonade
Dice Raw kills the Gucci Mane beat with his stutter flow.
4) Strong Arm Steady (ft. Roscoe & Guilty Simpson) – Needle in the Haystack
Guilty Simpson is a menacing beast: “Try to act, I swing the bat, Joe Clark a dude.”
5) Oddisee – Khartoum
Oddisee deserves a medal for unearthing this baseline.
6) Dan Satch & His Atomic 8 Dance Band – Woman Pin Down
This month’s winner for best band name.
9) Spoon – Written in Reverse
Even when he sounds like he’s losing it, Britt Daniel sounds about 30 times cooler than anyone you know.
10) Whatever Brains – Summer Jammin’
This song begs to be sung along to, swinging a beer in the air.
11) Harlem – Friendly Ghost
12) Demon’s Claws – Put On My Sunday Dress
“I smell like bourbon oozing from skin”…”when I go home I want to eat like a living dead” — pretty much sums up my Sunday.
13) Vivian Girls – I Have No Fun
For some reason, I believe her. She sounds miserable.
14) Whatever Brains – Mt. Whatever
Quickly becoming my favorite local band.
15) Curren$y – Scared of Monstas
Curren$y doesn’t do much for me, but this beat knocks.
16) South Rakkas Crew (ft. Capleton) – Bun Up 3000
Would love to hear this song played here
17) Sugar Tongue Slim – Love Lockdown
The highlight of the Roots show in December was undoubtedly when they brought out some unknown rapper named Sugar Tongue Slim who immediately won over the crowd with this song right here.
18) Saukrates – Wednesday
Hard to believe it’s been 11 years since Saukrates dropped the Underground Tapes. I’m glad he was able to take some time out of his schedule as Nelly Furtado’s backup singer to give us some new music.
19) Georgia Anne Muldrow & Declaime (ft. M.E.D. & Big Pooh) – Endure
Who knew that GAM had that G Funk in her?
20) Nipsey Hu$$le – Hussle in the House
Sure, the beat is pretty much biting the gimmick used on Snoop’s “I Wanna Rock”, but I’m not mad.
21) Yelawolf – Deer Mama
Making a song about your f*cked up moms is probably not the best way for a white rapper to avoid Eminem comparisons.
22) SwagZilla & Stackamil – Wut2dayiz?
Block Beataz came with some smooth pimp shit on this one. Would have made a great summer song.
23) Gucci Mane – Dangers Not a Stranger (Diplo Remix)
Remember last month when I complained about “progressive” remixes of Southern rap? Case in point, the largely disappointing and unnecessary Diplo Presents: Free Gucci (Best of The Cold War Mixtapes).
25) Past Lives – Hex Takes Hold
Looking forward to catching these guys open for the Thermals in April.