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Full Albums:

  • Driver F, Chase the White Whale and Bury a Dream
  • Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth, Mecca & the Soul Brother
  • Tom Vek, Leisure Seizure
  • Gang Starr, Daily Operation1
  • Gary Clark, Jr., The Bright Lights EP2
  • Homeboy Sandman, Subject: Matter3
  • Slum Village, Trinity (Past, Present and Future)4
Random Excellence:
  • Seasick Steve, “You Can’t Teach an Old Dog New Tricks”
  • The Sheepdogs, “Learn & Burn”
  • Lily Allen, “The Fear”
  • The Jimi Hendrix Experience, “Spanish Castle Magic”
  • Funkadelic, “Cholly (Funk Get Ready to Roll!)”

Songs of the Week:

  • Otis Redding, “The Happy Song”
  • Gary Clark, Jr., “Bright Lights”
  • M83, “We Own the Sky”
  • The Hold Steady, “Chips Ahoy!”
  • Gorillaz, Andre 3000, and James Murphy, “DoYaThing”

Reviews:

1. I think this one and the Slum Village album get categorized in the same subgenre, but somehow this one comes out way on top. I found myself more willing to sink into the darkness; great beats and great rhymes without wallowing.

2. I think the kid’s gonna be okay. I can’t believe this is just four songs, but it’s nice to hear a whole bunch of consistently excellent tunes from a tuneful dude.

3. Someone pointed out he doesn’t even curse.It’s almost as if his posture, his delivery, and his tone are enough to say “I’m fucking killing you guys at this” without having to say it; the whole album’s a metaphor.

4. Not to say these guys wallowed, just that this is a much darker album to process. Perhaps it was the lack of a singular vision that made the waters that much murkier. Whereas Guru was guiding everyone through Daily Operation and adding his own complexity, the trinity here seemed to work more against them than anything.

Comment:

Staten Island St. Patrick’s Day was yesterday. I saw Mayor Bloomberg, Senator Schumer, and a couple of people in a parade. I definitely had a bit of fun, though I’m seriously terrified about the whole apartment hunt thing. Craigslist is proving to be just as much of a nightmare as I expected and I still can’t hear much due to yesterday’s activities. I wondered on and off today if I spent my time wisely this weekend, only to remember that there’s a very real chance that if I didn’t take some time for myself to have the kind of fun I did, I would probably be wallowing in a much deeper hole of apartment woe and cynicism right now. So the game goes on.
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