August Augury: 67% Exhausted, The End of The End of the Decade Finds a Second Breeze

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Warm Takes

I originally did not buy Lana Del Rey‘s set-up. The nostalgia, iconography, and icon-checks (I liked the dark tinge, but I just didn’t trust it); the tempos; the (somewhat) whispery delivery and sexy presentation (what’s wrong with sexy? I don’t truss it!); the desperation and decadence: the machine seemed built to manipulate. However, friends encouraged me to keep listening, and eventually her strange combination of deviance, sincerity, and trap-springing won me over last year as I consumed her oeuvre up to that point at very close listening range. The new one? She seems to have perfected that combo, the record just sounds magnificent, and the times have further lent themselves to draining one of fucks to give (and that’s scary, actually). Big winner for me–might just move up.

 

There may not be a better-named MC in rap than Rapsody. Her Eve is a tour de force of checklist skillz, and the tribute concept make the album an excellent pairing with Jamila Woods’ r & b version of the same.

Sheer Mag? Rock and FUCKING roll! Fresh and energetic at that! A friend joked that it was a Judas Priest album but that is a compliment right now.

No long-term observer of Raphael Saadiq would deny that the fellow is criminally talented. But from the Tonies through his collaborations and two solo joints, he’s never seemed to me to really get it all together–his career reminds me a bit of Bobby Womack. But the more personal nature of Jimmy Lee‘s songs and its consistent and dynamic flow may mean he’s finally really nailed it. I think he has.

I trust if you’re reading this, you are aware of Poland’s swing to the right, especially in its attitude toward its LGBTQIA population. If you have $50 to donate as the calendar flips, think about trying the 122-track electronic pig-out compilation Total Solidarity. It’s angry, the artists mean it, man, the quality’s hella consistent–and you can dance to it.

And now…

My Album-Lover’s Honor Roll for 2019 (as of August 31, 2019)

(bolded items are new additions to the ongoing list)

  1. Little Simz: Grey Area
  2. Various Artists: A Day in the Life–Impressions of Pepper*
  3. Freddie Gibbs & Madlib: Bandana
  4. Jamila Woods: Legacy! Legacy!
  5. Lana Del Rey: Norman F***ing Rockwell
  6. Peter Perrett: Humanworld
  7. Rapsody: Eve
  8. Mexstep: Resistir
  9. Billie Eilish: WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO?
  10. Royal Trux: White Stuff
  11. Yugen Blakrok: Anima Mysterium
  12. Pere Ubu: The Long Goodbye
  13. J Balvin & Bad Bunny: OASIS
  14. Control Top: Covert Contracts
  15. Sheer Mag: A Distant Call
  16. Billy Woods & Kenny Segal: Hiding Places
  17. Damon Locks / Black Monument Ensemble: Where Future Unfolds
  18. Raphael Saadiq: Jimmy Lee
  19. Kel Assouf: Black Tenere
  20. James Brandon Lewis: An Unruly Manifesto
  21. Teodross Avery: After the Rain–A Night for Coltrane
  22. Various Artists: Total Solidarity
  23. Beyoncé: Homecoming
  24. The Comet is Coming: Trust in the Lifeforce of the Deep Mystery
  25. Mdou Moctar: Ilana (The Creator)
  26. 2 Chainz: Rap or Go to the League
  27. Preservation Hall Jazz Band: Tuba in Cuba
  28. Purple Mountains: Purple Mountains
  29. Sote: Parallel Persia
  30. I Jahbar: Inna Duppy SKRS Soundclash
  31. Quelle Chris: Guns
  32. Young Thug: So Much Fun
  33. Heroes Are Gang Leaders: The Amiri Baraka Sessions
  34. Chance The Rapper: The Big Day
  35. Ben Lamar Gay: Confetti in the Sky Like Fireworks
  36. Tanya Tagaq: Toothsayer EP
  37. Abdullah Ibrahim: The Balance
  38. Senyawa: Sujud*
  39. Dave: PSYCHODRAMA
  40. Various Artists: Weaponize Your Sound
  41. Maxo Kream: Brandon Banks
  42. Aesop Rock & TOBACCO: Malibu Ken
  43. Lizzo: Cuz I Love You
  44. DaBaby: Baby on Baby
  45. DKV and Joe McPhee: The Fire Each Time
  46. Denzel Curry: Zuu
  47. Saul Williams: Encrypted & Vulnerable
  48. The New Orleans Dance Hall Quartet: Tricentennial Hall Dance 17. October
  49. Mario Pavone: Philosophy
  50. Joachim Kuhn: Melodic Ornette Coleman—Piano Works XIII
  51. The Coathangers: The Devil You Know
  52. GoldLink: Diaspora
  53. Megan Thee Stallion: Fever
  54. Lee Scratch Perry: Rainford
  55. G & D: Black Love & War
  56. Tropical Fuck Storm: Braindrops
  57. The Paranoid Style: A Goddamn Impossible Way of Life
  58. Joel Ross: Kingmaker
  59. Steve Riley & The Mamou Playboys: 30 Years Live
  60. Sleater-Kinney: The Center Won’t Hold
  61. Resavoir: Resavoir
  62. Flying Lotus: Flamagra
  63. Angel-Ho: Death Becomes Her
  64. JD Allen: Barracoon
  65. Usted Saami: God is Not a Terrorist
  66. Youssou N’Dour: History
  67. Guitar Wolf: Love & Jett
  68. Mannequin Pussy: Patience
  69. LPX: Junk of the Heart (EP)
  70. Chuck Cleaver: Send Aid
  71. Deerhunter: Death in Midsummer
  72. Various Artists: Typical Girls Three
  73. Various Artists: Travailler, C’est Trop Dur–The Lyrical Legacy of Caesar Vincent
  74. Nots: 3
  75. Josh Berman / Paul Lytton / Jason Roebke: Trio Correspondences
  76. Jacob Wick & Phil Sudderberg: Combinatory Pleasures
  77. Leyla McCalla: Capitalist Blues
  78. Santana: Africa Speaks
  79. Judy and The Jerks: Music for Donuts
  80. Tyler, The Creator: IGOR
  81. Fennesz: Agora
  82. Salif Keita: Un autre blanc
  83. Robert Forster: Inferno
  84. Harriet Tubman: The Terror End of Beauty
  85. Whit Dickey Tao Quartets: Peace Planet / Box of Light
  86. The Art Ensemble of Chicago: We Are On the Edge
  87. Ibibio Sound Machine: Doko Mien
  88. Solange: When I Get Home
  89. Freddie Douggie: Live on Juneteenth
  90. Joe McPhee / John Butcher: At the Hill of James Magee
  91. Dump Him: Dykes to Watch Out For
  92. Branford Marsalis Quartet: The Secret Between the Shadow and the Soul
  93. Helado Negro: This is How You Smile
  94. Blood Orange: Angel’s Pulse
  95. Lost Bayou Ramblers: Rodents of Unusual Size (Soundtrack to the Motion Picture)
  96. slowthai: Great About Britain
  97. Silkroad Assassins: State of Ruin
  98. Steve Lacy: Apollo XXI
  99. Mekons: Deserted
  100. Que Vola: Que Vola
  101. Kelsey Lu: Blood
  102. Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni Ba: Miri
  103. Hama: Houmeissa
  104. Steve Earle: Guy
  105. Mdou Moctar: Blue Stage Session
  106. Ill Considered: 5
  107. Girls on Grass: Dirty Power
  108. Stella Donnelly: Beware of the Dogs
  109. Matthew Shipp Trio: Signature
  110. Shovels & Rope: By Blood
  111. Angel Bat Dawid: The Oracle
  112. Spiral Stairs: We Wanna Be Hyp-No-Tized
  113. Our Native Daughters: Songs of Our Native Daughters
  114. Rosie Flores: A Simple Case of The Blues
  115. Jenny Lewis: On the Line

*Technically, these are 2018 releases, but for now, I’m claiming their impact is being felt more strongly this year.

New Releases of Older Material

  1. Peter Laughner: Peter Laughner
  2. Eric Dolphy: Musical Prophet
  3. Burnt Sugar: 20th Anniversary Mixtapes—Groiddest Schizznits, Vols. 1-3
  4. Creedence Clearwater Revival: Live at Woodstock
  5. George Jones: United Artists Rarities
  6. Horace Tapscott and the Pan Afrikan Orchestra: Why Don’t You Listen–Live at Lacma, 1998
  7. Various Artists: Outro Tempo II–Electronic and Contemporary Music from Brazil 1984-1996
  8. Various Artists: All the Young Droogs–60 Juvenile Delinquent Wrecks
  9. Gregory Isaacs / Ossie All-Stars: Mr. Isaacs
  10. James Booker: Live at Onkel PO’s, Carnegie Hall, Hamburg 1976
  11. Cornell Campbell: I Man a the Stall-A-Watt
  12. Tubby Hayes: Grits, Beans and Greens—The Lost Fontana Studio Sessions 1969
  13. Star Band de Dakar: Psicodelia Afro-Cubana de Senegal
  14. Big Stick: Some of the Best of Big Stick
  15. Primal Scream: Maximum Rock ‘n’ Roll—The Singles
  16. Masayuki Takayanagi New Directions Unit: April is the Cruellest Month
  17. Various Artists: Rhapsody in Bronze
  18. Stan Getz: Getz at the Gate
  19. Sir Shina Peters and His Internation Stars: Sewele
  20. Sounds of Liberation: Sounds of Liberation
  21. Prince: Originals
  22. Various Artists: Nigeria 70–No Wahala, Highlife, Afro-Funk & Juju 1973-1987
  23. Lee Moses: How Much Longer Must I Wait? Singles & Rarities 1965-1972
  24. John Carter & Bobby Bradford Quartet: No U-Turn
  25. Various Artists: Siya Hamba! 1950’s South African Country and Small Town Sounds
  26. Johnny Shines: The Blues Came Falling Down–Live 1973
  27. Terry Allen & The Panhandle Mystery Band: Pedal Steal + Four Corners
  28. Neil Young & The Stray Gators: Tuscaloosa
  29. Sonic Youth: Battery Park, NYC: July 4th 2008

2 thoughts on “August Augury: 67% Exhausted, The End of The End of the Decade Finds a Second Breeze

  1. You’ve got me hooked on “A Day in the Life–Impressions of Pepper” and Jamila Woods’ “Legacy! Legacy!”. I’m still enjoying “Humanworld” and a new record that isn’t on your list: The Minus 5’s “Stroke Manor”. Older music I’ve been loving lately: Joe McPhee – “Nation Time”, Sam Rivers – “Contours”, Ibrahim Ferrer – “Buenos Hermanos”, Ruben Gonzalez – “Chanchullo” and Herbie Hancock – “Speak Like a Child”. Just read “Cruel to be Kind – The Life & Music of Nick Lowe” by Will Birch. A must read for Nick Lowe fans.

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