Alright, this week, I’m in a summertime mode. I’ve downloaded some new CD’s (eMusic is my life) and let’s see what’s on heavy rotation in my whip.
Artist: Brother Ali
Album: Shadows on the Sun
Genre: Hip Hop
Brother Ali is from Minneapolis, MN and aligned with the Rhymesayers crew (Atmosphere, Eyedea and Abilities, etc.). He’s got an interesting backstory…in that he’s an albino and partially blind. He’s got a great voice, forceful, articulate and angry. Plus he’s funny. Also, Ant, the great producer behind Atmosphere puts together most of the disc. One of my favorite tracks is “Forest Whitaker” where he talks about how “ugly” he is yet beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
Artist: Vampire Weekend
Album: Vampire Weekend
I didn’t really want to like this band. And it will be seen whether they end up doing continued meaningful work, of if they’re the Jack Johnson of the Ivy League indie rock set. Lots of hay is made of the fact that these tousle haired white kids met at Columbia in New York. And they play Paul Simon-ish wussy boy rock. But they’ve got good melodies. I’m thinking this will be on heavy repeat when I vacation with my family in a few weeks on the Outer Banks in North Carolina.
Artist: Titus Andronicus
Album: The Airing of Grievances
Besides sharing a band name with a Shakespeare play (and not well received Julie Tambor directed Anthony Hopkins flick) and an album title with a Seinfeld reference, this band shares a lot in common with early Get-Up Kids and Bright Eyes. That is, a raw emotionality that will get dismissed as “emo” and a rocking nature dismissed as “garage rock.” So the fuck what? It’s good. And it sounds exactly like what it is…raw early 20-somethings rocking out from the Jersey burbs. This reminds me of finding new bands in the early 90’s when I discovered 3rd Wave punk and the Lookout! Records catalog.