After what seems like years of push-backs and delays, Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty—the first stand-alone solo album from Outkast rapper Big Boi—is set to hit the record stores and legal-download sites on July 6.
But that doesn’t mean you have to wait until next week to hear the T.I., Gucci Mane and George Clinton-featuring album. You can spend your July 4th weekend listening to tracks like “Shutterbug” and “Shine Blockas” by making your way to Big Boi’s MySpace where Sir Lucious Left Foot is now streaming in its entirety.
On the other hand, the 15-track album contains over an hour of irresistibly futuristic-funk, so make sure you’ve got that laptop charged up and plenty of credits free on your data plan before you give in to the understandable urge to blast it through your car’s speakers.
To say Lauryn Hill kept a low profile in the previous decade is one of the biggest understatements in rock. As years have gone by since her iconic The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, Hill’s mystique just grows larger. During a segment on NPR’s All Things Considered, reporter Zoe Chase discusses the impact of Hill’s 1998 classic as well as the weird rumors that have risen about the singer’s behavior (not allowing people to look her in the eye when they’re speaking with her?). However, this routine profile takes a huge left-field turn when Chase is invited to ride along with Lauryn Hill.
To loosely paraphrase the lead singer for the Church, the best and worst things about a band member’s solo career is that there is no one looking over their shoulder saying “you probably shouldn’t do that”. And with that, welcome to Steve Kilbey’s solo career, an impressive display of creativity branching from the man’s already-exploratory space-psych day job. Even when allowing someone of Kilbey’s stature the mandatory indulgences of going it alone, it’s plain to see that this man will never run out of ideas. And to anyone who wants to play catch-up in one fell swoop can spring for his breathtaking new box set Monsters n Mirages.
Included in the package is Unearthed, Earthed (the all-instrumental companion to Kilbey’s book of the same title), The Slow Crack coupled with his debut single This Asphalt Eden, Remindlessness, Narcosis + EP, Dabble (which at one time seemed to go out of print suspiciously fast, Artifacts (a previously unreleased collection of rarities), and Freaky Conclusions. That’s eight CDs in all. All that’s missing is the unplugged performance Acoustic & Intimate and 2008’s spacey, monstrous and relentlessly tuneful Painkiller.
If the price tag intimidates you, then you can head on over to Amazon.com and put together a groovy 35-minute sampler for free. “The Neverness Hoax” will give you a clear idea as to why, in 1990, Kilbey was a little more excited about his side projects than the Church. With the re-sequencing of The Slow Crack, the anthem-in-waiting “Fireman” is the first to greet the listener in all its three-chord glory. Even “This Is Goodbye”, a demo buried in obscurity for possibly a very long time, has all the Kilbey hallmarks one finds through early Church songs; an unassuming place where mystery and the great outdoors meet, and you never can quite articulate the reasons why you like and/or identify with it. Experimental pop that deserves a wider audience than just Church fans, Steve Kilbey’s solo career is great because no one was there to mess with it all along.
Patti Smith joined the Sicilian singer-songwriter Carmen Consoli to perform Consoli’s “Mio Zio”(My Uncle) in Turin, Italy. The song, from Consoli’s latest album, Elettra, is a first-person narrative of a young woman who, at her uncle’s funeral, recalls the sexual abuse he inflicted on her when she was a child. Consoli’s narrator remembers how her uncle called the abuse blind man’s bluff and riding a carousel. Patti picks up on Carmen’s imagery and riffs on it brilliantly. She knows what Italy’s known for years and the rest of the world is finding out—Carmen Consoli is one of the most distinctive artists on the international scene.