Archive for June, 2021

June 24, 2021

Fasman’s Finds – Mykki Blanco

Fasman’s Finds is our column from Rebecca Fasman (intrepid record nerd, DJ, and curator at the Kinsey Institute) in which she shares what she’s listening to and why. 

Artist, rapper, poet, and musician Mykki Blanco released their new album Broken Hearts & Beauty Sleep last week. It is their first album with a record deal, and it reflects the eclectic and wildly talented community of collaborators that Mykki has cultivated over the years. Big Freedia, Jamila Woods, and Kari Faux all appear on the album, among many others. 

This album is also kind of a break-up album, and I see a throughline between the various musical genres that Mykki deftly moves through and the various complex emotional states that we go through in a break-up. Happiness and contentment, frustration and anger, loss and sadness all exist in companionship on this record and it’s ultimately cathartic and empowering to listen to in full. The song I chose from this album is the one that I can’t stop listening to; it’s called “It’s Not My Choice” and it features Blood Orange and a summery acid house vibe that I am apparently addicted to. 

June 23, 2021

The Midweekly – Mrs. Piss

The Midweekly is our column from Mike Jeffers; lead singer of Chicago punk stalwarts SCRAMmusic junkie and all around righteous dude.

The nails are sharp and painted black, and there’s a whole lot of dirt under them. Just like the debut record, Self-Surgery, from rock duo Mrs. Piss. Its doom metal maiden Chelsea Wolfe, and bandmate Jess Gowrie, both based out of Sacramento. Gowrie took over on drums for Wolfe’s full band back in 2017, but their friendship and songwriting collaboration goes back even farther with an earlier band. This project though is just for the two of them. Those familiar with Wolfe’s style will expect the dark and heavy here, and they’d be right. But there’s a quicker energy to some of these tracks as well. The riffs, provided by both members, are dragged through sludge, then whipped into a frenzy, splattering everything in its path. Menacing electro rhythms also make a few appearances, showing the experimental approach Piss took to the production. Lyrically, the songs emit a feminine power that encapsulates strength, and pride, but self-deprecates in cathartic ways, too. The filthy claws on this banger will leave you muddy, bloody, and ripped wide open. 

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June 21, 2021

Mike’s Monday Muse – Hiss Golden Messenger at Big Pink

Mike’s Monday Muse is where friend of the blog, roots DJ, house show organizer, Bloomington Music Expo czar and all around nice guy Mike McAfee picks one song a week to share with the people.

Hiss Golden Messenger spent a night at Big Pink, the house made famous by The Band where they made Music From Big Pink and The Basement Tapes recordings. This is a short film that includes a few tunes played live by MC Taylor that one magical evening. Very cool. Hiss Golden Messenger’s new record, Quietly Blowing It, comes out June 25.

June 17, 2021

The B-Side: Unfound Reliance

No one should be surprised when an absolute banger of a metal song is released from Sweden, it’s basically their number one export, but a lack of surprise does not make for a lack of “oh hell yeah!” “Legacy” by Unfound Reliance rips from start to finish. Brutal and melodic it’s everything we love about metal in one tight package. Turn it up and then turn it up some more.

June 17, 2021

Fasman’s Finds – Jeremih

Fasman’s Finds is our column from Rebecca Fasman (intrepid record nerd, DJ, and curator at the Kinsey Institute) in which she shares what she’s listening to and why. 

This week we’re revisiting an oldie but goodie. Summertime is the time for listening to loud music outside (only if it’s good) or, in my case, being held captive inside by a billion cicadas and thinking about what I would listen to if I were outside. For R&B records, there is really only one answer, and that’s Jeremih‘s Late Nights: The Album

Top to bottom, this album is so good that I can even forgive Jeremih for working with J. Cole. There are a few tracks that are so perfect for those late, slow, warm nights that it’s almost overwhelming. Try listening to “Pass Dat” or “oui” and not picture yourself in a convertible, driving around with your boo and smoking something sweet. The production is also slow and warm, but precise, the sonic equivalent of taking a xanax and drinking a cup of coffee. There is so much to relax into and so much to listen to, once these cicadas go away.

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June 16, 2021

The B-Side: James Lockhart Jr.

“Long Life” by James Lockart Jr. ebbs and flows like the flow of time itself, which given the subject matter is fitting. Sometimes a steady march, sometimes a long contemplative pause, and through it all a kind of knowing nod, beautiful and perhaps a bit wistful. Lockhart’s vocals carry the same gorgeous melancholy as Loren Beri, that sophisticated blend of Chris Martin’s heart on sleeve approach and Rufus Wainwright’s urbane detachment. This song feels like contentment after a long journey; one with challenges and disappointments but also grace and humor.

June 16, 2021

The Midweekly – Leon Bridges & Khruangbin

The Midweekly is our column from Mike Jeffers; lead singer of Chicago punk stalwarts SCRAMmusic junkie and all around righteous dude.

These young Texans team up to reinvigorate their southwestern roots. On a solid EP called Texas Sun, psyche-rock group Khruangbin (Houston), known for the funky, chill vibes, join singer Leon Bridges (Fort Worth), who made quite the splash on the R&B scene with his debut album back in 2015. The result is four tunes that take very different turns, but all down the same dusty road. The title track slides and twangs a country sound, while the vocals express the joy of two people traveling the long road in love, under their native sun. Serving as a contrast to that, “Midnight” finds the group rolling out a latin-reggae style number under the stars of a big night sky, LB still in the car with his love, but this time they’ve found a quiet place to stop. Flip the record over, and we get a sexy jam, complete with lusty lyrics. Then concludes with a sober, gospel hymn about faith, and righteousness. Texas Sun is a release by talented neighbors that challenged each other, and if we’re lucky we’ll see them together again.

June 15, 2021

The B-Side: The Paper Airport

With “Turning” The Paper Airport give us a perfect mid-tempo indie rock number that marries the vulnerability of a ballad with the riffs and beat of a gentle, fist pumping anthem. This is the song you dance to alone in your room to celebrate the small victory: the smile from a crush, the good day you didn’t have to use your AK, etc… Put it on your positivity playlist and feel the good vibes.

June 15, 2021

Tuesday Tip-Off: Sarah Walk

As much as we applaud adventurous and genre bending/breaking songs on this blog, it’s not always necessary to reinvent the wheel. Especially when the wheel is as exquisitely crafted as this one is. “Same Road” by Sarah Walk may be in some ways a straight forward singer-songwriter ballad, the kind we’ve heard a million times before, but it is anything but common. There is a simple perfection to this number that reminds us why this is such a well worn genre, because when its this good there’s just simply nothing quite like it for pushing certain musical and emotional buttons.

June 14, 2021

The B-Side: Yellow Shoots

Perfectly blending pop leaning indie electronica with legitimately freaky psych flourishes, “Sirens” by Yellow Shoots feels a bit like a Ween song given the superstar producer remix treatment, and if that isn’t enough to get you to check it out well then I’m not sure what will. It’s fun, it’s grooves and it’s weird enough to stand out on any mix you put it on.

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