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Wednesday, Mar 4, 2015
Spitting poems from England's ghettos, British rapper Luca Brazi presents a more sombre and thoughtful approach to hip-hop.

He’s from England’s West Country but he sounds like he’s straight out of the Bronx.


Like a strange musical answer to The Lonely Londoners and The Planet of Junior Brown, British rapper Luca Brazi’s solo debut, Dying Proof, bridges the gap between the salty airs of English dives and the danger and panic of the South Bronx. The 20-something MC has been circulating in the UK’s underground hip-hop scenes for a number of years now, as a member of hip-hop collectives Granville Sessions, Moose Funk and B.O.M.B. He’s now just released his first solo album this past summer. It’s the product of everything the rapper has loved about hip-hop, his saving grace from his early school days as a young child growing up in the West Country.


Tagged as: hip-hop, luca brazi
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Tuesday, Mar 3, 2015
Cale Tyson's upcoming country soul album that he is recording now at FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama was not the only big surprise he shared in our conversation.

Cale Tyson surprised us with news of his upcoming country soul debut album, recording this spring at FAME Studio in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. His two recent EPs took him to traditional country music, cementing his transition from Texas indie folk to Nashville. After straddling the bubble of Belmont and real-life working musicians, Tyson is ready to find his voice in the coming year.


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Monday, Mar 2, 2015
On Episode 9 of Pop Unmuted, we talk about the differences between Korean pop and Western pop, and the new 4Minute single "Crazy".

Pop Unmuted is a podcast dedicated to in-depth discussion of pop music from varying critical and academic perspectives. On Episode 9, Scott Interrante and Kurt Trowbridge are joined by New York-based Korean artist and Columbia MFA student Bora Kim and Seoul-based American writer Jakob Dorof to talk about K-pop. We discuss what makes Korean pop unique from Western pop and the potential 2ne1’s CL has in crossing over to an American audience. Then we shift our focus to the latest 4Minute single “Crazy”, and close up with our Unmuted Pop Songs recommendations.


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Friday, Feb 27, 2015
Something I learned today: Black and white is always grey. And this week's Counterbalance takes a look at a 1984 turning point in punk. Turn on the news for the 219th most acclaimed album of all time.

Klinger: In 1984 I was this close. I had discovered R.E.M. and Elvis Costello, and I was aware enough to know that there was a whole world out there beyond my heartland classic rock. Theoretically, with one quick turn to the left, I could have immersed myself in this whole underground scene, typified in my mind by albums like the Replacements’ Let It Be and the album I’ve chosen for this week’s Counterbalance, Hüsker Dü s double-LP conceptual magnum opus Zen Arcade. That’s not without regret.


I can only imagine how differently I might have turned out if I had spent more time cracking the code of Zen Arcade instead of trying to figure out the Who’s Quadrophenia. There’s certainly enough going on with this album to have kept my adolescent brain occupied, and I’m pretty sure that if this had been the expression of my teen angst I might have gone into my adulthood with a much different outlook. As it stands, I’m left to ponder this massive monolith of an album from a decidedly more analytical point of view. There’s of course so much to take in, and much of it is buried under that low-fi wall of noise. Lyrics are buried, guitars are muddled, and yet the whole thing still feels to me like a portal into some place that I very much want to be. Is this making sense, Mendelsohn?


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Thursday, Feb 26, 2015
Album anniversaries of the music of Led Zeppelin and Slayer highlight this week in metal: one is a sprawling double album epic, the other a stepping stone for one of metal's most important bands.

The year 1985 might have been a slow one for the evolution of heavy metal compared to the watershed years of 1983 and 1984, but the genre was still growing at a rapid rate, and despite a thinner pool, there’s no shortage of classic albums from that year. This March is rather significant, because it was 30 years ago that month that Slayer’s highly, highly anticipated second album Hell Awaits came out, an album that saw the band cement its reputation as the most extreme band in American metal. It’s a record so many people in their 40s are very fond of, but although I fall directly into that demographic, I have always said, to the annoyance of some, that Hell Awaits is nowhere near as great as it’s made out to be.


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