Music collected April through June, 2016. I am the eye in the sky looking at you. I can read your mind. I am the maker of rules dealing with fools. I can cheat you blind, and I don’t need to see anymore to know that I can read your mind.

  1. I’m Not Made Of Iron | Chrissy Zebby Tembo
    Christophe Lemaire and Now-Again Present: Can’t You Hear Me? | 2016
    I grabbed this comp while thumbing through bins at Reckless Records on a trip to Chicago for our friends’ wedding. It was awesome seeing a bit of Chicago again, and getting the chance to shop for records in a different city was energizing. This comp is my favorite from the trip. It’s a bunch of garage, etc. from African bands. I sort of swung big and missed on the others. Earth Quake wasn’t quite the classic Chicago power pop that I expected. Bob Gibson’s Funky In the Country folk record had me hoping for something, well, funkier. And Clover just seemed too good and weird to pass up, having been Elvis Costello’s backing band for My Aim Is True and home to Huey Lewis and the News and the Doobie Brothers. Reading that last bit again, maybe I should have known better.
  2. Where Evil Grows | The Poppy Family
    I Was Wondering – Single | 1971
    Pretty much every about this song is satisfying: Super Mario Bros 3, the guitar at 1:28, the evil lyrics… I thought it would be so cool to own a Poppy Family 7″, and it is. 
  3. Exit All Seasons | CE Schneider Topical
    Antifree | 2016
    Bedroom Elephant 6 Stereolab? Yeah, it can get as annoying as that sounds, but there are also some compelling, earwiggy songs like this and “No Eyes Too”.
  4. You Better Think | Rasputin’s Stash
    Rasputin’s Stash | 1971
    There’s a whole lot more to the song sampled in the flangy intro of “Block Rockin’ Beats” than I would have guessed. While Margaret and I were diving deep into Bop Street’s massive 7″ collection, I saw this Rasputin’s Stash LP laying out on the counter and decided I needed it. I dropped 30 bucks for this, a lot more than I normally spend on a musical whim. It was well worth it. And, oh, I see there’s a recent release of a long lost third album. I’ll have to dig a little deeper in to the Stash.
  5. Hymn To Mother Earth | Demon Fuzz
    Afreaka! | 1970
    My second musical prayer has been answered by angel Pravuil. I prayed for some sort of African progressive rock, and – bam! – he delivered. The prog is pretty subtle, or at least pretty groovy. The lyrics: definitely proggy. Orchestration: awesome.
  6. Smoke Break | Chance The Rapper ft. Future
    Coloring Book | 2016
    Yes, I picked the song about smoking pot with your girl from Chance’s super duper great Coloring Book mixtape. Apologies to my friends and family living in a pre-legal cannabis state. It’s not all black lights and Funyuns like the fear-mongers would have you believe, but it does result in a higher tolerance for corny lyrics like the awkward ” actual smoke sesh” line that closes verse two. Listen on to hear my Parquet Courts selection for more evidence of my high corn tolerance.
  7. One More Chance | salute ft. D.R.A.M.
    One More Chance – Single | 2016
    I’ve been checking in on D.R.A.M. regularly since I fell for “Cha Cha” last year. I’m impressed with his velocity and variety — an album, a single, lots of collaborations — but nothing really stuck until this one with salute. D.R.A.M.’s vocal performance has to be his best to date. I need to take a closer look at salute.
  8. The Stomach Of The Earth | Teen Suicide
    It’s the Big Joyous Celebration, Let’s Stir the Honeypot | 2016
    “The Stomach Of The Earth” is the crown jewel from the “lighter side of It’s the Big (title)”. Sam Ray is all over this one — like. And that guitar solo is coming across on a Dam-Funk level, which was surprising. These guys just kind of overdid it in every way with this album.
  9. Destroyer | Kevin Morby
    Singing Saw | 2016
    Tasty saxophone licks like the ones that carry us into the final verse and beyond are the kind of flair I’m looking for in music these days. At their best, they elicit a nostalgic, sophisticated melancholy. At their worst, well, at least I get to see mental images of Dane’s disgusting sax face, which is mostly hilarious and a tad obnoxious, but in an endearing way.
  10. Captive Of The Sun | Parquet Courts
    Human Performance | 2016
    I’m bringing the full-on GMO corn with this mix. The indie rap is tongue-in-cheek funny, right? I probably would pick the title track as my favorite from Human Performance, but I thought I’d see who else shares my love-disdain for this ditty. 
  11. Landlocked State | TEENAGE COOL KIDS
    Denton After Sunset | 2011
    I finally went back and listened to TEENAGE COOL KIDS, the former band of members of Parquet Courts. I like it! Maybe the influences aren’t quite yet rounded out with more original expression, but the youthfulness is sweet.
  12. Woman (Sensuous Woman) | Karl Blau
    Introducing Karl Blau | 2016
    Man, Karl’s voice never sounded so good. Strong and vulnerable. Credit is clearly due to Tucker Martine for his part in this album. The song choices are perfect. See the “Fallin’ Rain” original that’s coming next, which is also covered on Introducing Karl Blau.
  13. Fallin’ Rain | Link Wray
    Link Wray | 1971
    I’ve been casually looking for this LP on vinyl for a few years. Haven’t stumbled upon it, yet. So, after hearing the “Fallin’ Rain” cover on Karl Blau’s new album, I broke down and gave it a listen on Apple Music. It’s great, especially this song.
  14. ONALASKA | Damien Jurado
    Visions Of Us On The Land | 2016
    I was pleasantly surprised, as they say, with Visions Of Us On The Land. I haven’t exactly followed Damien Jurado’s career, but I had him pretty well boxed up in a category of music I decided not to show interest in just the same. I’m glad I listened to this one, and I apologize for my prejudice.
  15. Existence In The Unfurling | Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith
    EARS | 2016
    EARS is right, am I right?! Really, though, use some headphones with this one. I hope you make it through the full eleven minutes. Consider it a transformative meditation to prepare you for your next endeavor. Unfurl away!

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