Tag Archives: New music

Review: Kendrick Lamar’s “good kid, m.A.A.d. city”

I’m really into rap right now, probably a little too much. After last month’s A$AP Rocky concert, I can’t stop listening. It got to the point that my friends had to sit me down and remind me there is more music to be heard than solely Danny Brown. I realized I had to broaden my pallet; there is such a thing as overplaying an artist. But while staying within the confines of my beloved rap genre, I began to expand, listening to various other artists. In my expansion, I began listening to Kendrick Lamar. As his 2010 album, Section 80, was critically acclaimed, immense hype surrounded his latest release, good kid, m.A.A.d. city. I had to give it a listen. And though I can’t call it groundbreaking, “good kid, m.A.A.d. city” is nonetheless a great album.

Kendrick Lamar – Swimming Pools (Drank)

Although I don’t agree that “good kid, m.A.A.d. city” is the instant classic it has been deemed by various music publications, it still is ultimately a success. The production is varied, encompassing pseudo- electronica and hard guttural beats, with Lamar effectively
navigating his way lyrically through each song. The lyrical content on the album is varied, and while contained mostly in today’s usual rap themes of women, money, poverty, there is creativity in all he says. The sole problem I have with “good Kid, m.A.A.d. city” is that it forces the listener to ask, is Kendrick Lamar really that good or is hip-hop today just that bad? Rappers are often given too much credit; if an artist manages to say something mildly creative or original they are excessively praised. Kendrick Lamar embodies this to an extent. Although in “good kid, m.A.A.d. city,” Kendrick is able to avoid the Lil Wayne pitfall of rhyming “hoes” with “hoes”, overall he struggles to say something new. His lyrics are indeed good, but occasionally formulaic: while Kendrick strives for so-called “intellectual hip-hop,” lines like “I pray my dick get big as the Eiffel tower/so I can f*ck the world for 72 hours” don’t help his cause.

With my “Lil Wayne is killing hip-hop” rant aside, I need to emphasize that, while I don’t view “good kid, m.A.A.d. city” as wildly original, it still is to me the best rap album of the year.
I have no clue what that says about the hip-hop genre as a whole, but regardless, “good kid, m.A.A.d. city” is definitely worth a listen.

-Robert Cornell

Featured: We Are the Catalyst // Crash Symbols

We Are the Catalyst and Crash Symbols in partnership with WOBC present:

“Dope Mountain Sound”
–a mix tape featuring a cross section of old, new, and unreleased music from the Crash Symbols catalog.

http://crashsymbols.tumblr.com/

Crash Symbols is a casette label with headquarters in West Virginia and North Carolina. Founders Jheri Evans and Dwight and Liz Pavlovic efforts have gained the attention of publications such as WIRED Magazine, NBC, Altered Zones, Rebel Magazine and many more. Their extensive catalog features recording artists such as Blackbird Blackbird, Beggars in a New Land, SPORTS, Born Gold, Honeydrum, and MillionYoung.

We Are the Catalyst is an emerging network and publication with content generated entirely by and about young artists. The We Are the Catalyst website launches December 5th. Until then catch Catalyst Radio on the air, Thursdays 11am-12pm on WOBC 91.5 FM and check out the We Are the Catalyst Facebook page for media and information about these rising artists.

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My Search for New Music: 50s and 60s Country

School is great, Oberlin is fun, but it’s easy to get sick of everything. I spent about two weeks in a hazy, caffeinated state in a corner of Mudd preparing for finals and writing papers, effectively listening solely to either Girls’ Father, Son, Holy Ghost, James Blake, or Ariel Pink’s Before Today. After finals ended, I started summer with a tired, college-sucks mentality, and above all, I was completely sick of my music library. In trying to relax and de-stress, I went to a lot of movies, laughed a lot, and heard some intriguing soundtracks. Moonrise Kingdom, Wes Anderson’s latest film, particularly helped me in my search for new music, by essentially delving into music of old.

Although Hank Williams is considered the “father of country,” I had never heard his music. As I finished watching Moonrise Kingdom, the two Hank William songs featured in the film, sparked my curiosity; I essentially spent my entire summer listening to 1950’s and 1960’s country. The songs are simple, stripped down, but have meaning and purpose, whether it be the insatiable urge to “hit the road,” or the cliché of finding lost love. This music seems so natural, so pure, and there wasn’t a synthesizer or drum machine to be found, which I found too appealing. I got so enveloped in 1950’s and 1960’s country that I now have a radio show on WOBC solely dedicated to this genre. It’s on at 6am on Wednesday. Below is some good music from the time period, somethings you might hear on my show.

Hank Williams Ramblin’ Man

Lefty Frizzell Saginaw, Michigan

Glen Campbell Wichita Lineman

Marty Robbins El Paso

POP PICKS 10.8.2012

Another week, another batch of new music sent to the WOBC station. We heard the good, the bad, and the excruciating! Here’s our favorites of the bunch.

Animal Collective // Centipede HZ:

This new album has a more cohesive feel than Animal Collective’s previous productions. It tends more towards a consistent (at times almost dance) beat, toning down the trippy, constant shifts in melody that used to be essential to much of Animal Collective’s music.

Tame Impala // Lonerism:

Spectacular second album from the genius mind of Kevin Parker, the man behind Australian psych-rock outfit Tame Impala. More spaced out, psychedelic and layered than their debut Innerspeaker, Lonerism gets comfortable with more poppier songs and structures, while still showcasing gorgeous and unique sounds and textures that you can seldom here anywhere else in popular indie music today.

The Mountain Goats // Transcendental Youth:

A full horn section compliments John Darnielle’s storytelling in the newest album from The Mountain Goats.  The songs are polished but still have JD’s signature nasally, emotional, frantic crooning that we all love.  It’s their best in a while.

 

Peace.

 

NEW MUSIC: Dirty Projectors – “Gun Has No Trigger”

Last week, beloved avant-pop wierdos Dirty Projectors released a new track, “Gun Has No Trigger”, via Soundcloud. This is the first single from the band’s forthcoming full-length record Swing Lo Magellan, due out July 10th on Domino Records. The last time we heard from the band was late 2010, when they released Mount Wittenberg Orca, a 7-track collaboration EP with Bjork. Wittenberg came on the heels of 2009’s acclaimed Bitte Orca, a groovy and wildly successful album that bestowed indie royalty on the previously obscure band of Yale dropouts.

Guitarist/vocalist/producer/jack-of-all-trades Dave Longstreth spearheaded the Dirty Projectors project while he was a college freshman in 2002, and has taken the lead in composing and producing all of the band’s releases since. What is perhaps most distinct about the Dirty Projectors’ music as a whole is that it has constantly evolved, both in concept and sound. From the lo-fi field samples of The Graceful Fallen Mango and the operatic drama of The Getty Address, to the Black Flag-inspired Rise Above and the R&B-infused Bitte Orca, the band is in a continuous state of flux that is still apparent on “Gun Has No Trigger”.

Continue reading NEW MUSIC: Dirty Projectors – “Gun Has No Trigger”

New Music: Beach House – “Myth”

Baltimore dream-pop duo Beach House has released a new cut entitled “Myth” via their website. Singer/keyboardist Victoria LeGrand and guitarist Alex Scally posted the track last week as a teaser for their forthcoming LP Bloom, to be released May 15th on Sub-pop Records.

If “Myth” is any indication of the sound of the new record, Beach House fans can expect a similar vibe to the group’s last full length, the critically-acclaimed Teen Dream. The song starts out with a nod to the lo-fi drum samples of Beach House’s early work, and then quickly picks up the cathedral-sized, gazey sound of their more recent music when Scally enters with a double-guitar lick moving in a slow, reverb-drenched counterpoint. Steady head-bobbing is unavoidable as bass and drums enter the mix and LeGrand’s soaring vocals fill out the soundscape. If the purpose of Beach House’s sound is to create some sort of dream or myth for the listener, LeGrand’s voice is what keeps you from waking up. The track is a promising taste of progress and high production in the Beach House repertoire, while still retaining a strong sense of the band’s lo-fi, dreamy aesthetic.

Beach House hits the road for a US and international tour in may. You can find the dates via the band’s website, beachhousebaltimore.com.

Beach House – “Myth”

-Adam Hirsch