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Thursday, Mar 26, 2015
This week's best metal release finds some musical innovators from Brooklyn up to their philosophical shenanigans once again.

Album of the Week



Liturgy, The Ark Work (Thrill Jockey)
The more the years go by, the more Liturgy’s 2011 marvel Aesthethica stands out as one of the best metal albums of the decade so far. I can practically hear the cries of derision as I type. But it’s an album that so wonderfully turns the ideas of black metal on its ear, subverting, inverting it all so that instead of wallowing in misery and morbidity, it creates something bizarrely uplifting, its musical vision far outside extreme metal yet with its feet firmly planted in extreme metal influences. Typical of the metal scene, though, many were quick to react negatively toward Liturgy, but the more the backlash swelled the more apparent it was that folks were particularly preoccupied with the pretensions of guitarist/vocalist Hunter Hunt-Hendrix than the actual music. Four years have passed, and interviewers for metal publications are still bringing up his dissertation on black metal, unwilling to let that faux-controversy die.


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Wednesday, Mar 25, 2015
Richard Jankovich released an electro-pop gem as the Burnside project in 2003. Now, he has a new name, two new albums he's giving away for free, and 20 questions to answer.

By the end of this introduction, you will own two Richard Jankovich albums.


Jankovich has been one of the most fascinating under-the-radar artists to emerge in the last 15 years. Back in 2003, he worked with a variety of collaborators under the name the Burnside Project. Their most notable album, 2003’s The Networks, the Circuits, the Streams, the Harmonies, was a small bit of electro-pop wonder, mixing pop culture-heavy lyrics with dynamic digital arrangements with an astute sense of melody. Who loved the Burnside Project? The UK charts did. Queer as Folk did, using single “Que the Pulse to Begin” as its theme song in later years. Hell, even Cameron Crowe did, nominating it for that year’s Shortlist Music Prize. There was a profound warmth to Jankovich’s music, which helped separate it from a lot of the other electronic acts at the time.


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Tuesday, Mar 24, 2015
Oklahoma native M. Lockwood Porter left for California as a teenager, following his musical passions and inspired by the songs of Chris Bell (of Big Star fame).

Max Porter performs as M. Lockwood Porter, in homage to his grandfather and to make it easier to find him on the Internet. Partly based on a childhood dream to leave Oklahoma and live in California, and partly pulled by his network of friends and musical colleagues, Porter claims both areas as home. His recent album, 27, honors Chris Bell of Big Star, and will be released in the UK and Europe late Spring 2015.


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Monday, Mar 23, 2015
Aesop Rock and Rob Sonic's Hail Mary Mallon project is one of indie-rap's best kept secrets, but nothing compares to Rob's knowledge of Conway Twitty albums.

Back in 2009, El-P’s famed underground rap label Definitive Jux released their fourth Definitive Jux Presents compilation, featuring another collection of new and stray tracks from their acclaimed roster. Tucked away on that disc was “D-Up”, a collaborative song from Aesop Rock and Rob Sonic, two rappers with highly-regraded solo careers of their own, joining together to carve out a new artistic vision for themselves ...


... and boy, did they.


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Friday, Mar 20, 2015
Geezers need excitement. If their lives don't provide them this they incite violence. Common sense. Simple common sense. So here's the very exciting UK hip-hop debut of the Streets. An early aughts phenomenon is this week's Counterbalance.

Mendelsohn: There are two things I find odd about the Great List. One, the lack of hip-hop. I’m not going to get into it—the rockist nature of the Canon is what it is and will change slowly over time. I get that. Two, I’m a dumb Yankee and finding the odd record that only made it in the UK sitting near the top of the Great List always catches me off guard. It was weird and exhilarating to find Massive Attack and Portishead in the Top 100. On the flip side, there are also two Oasis records in the Top 100. Sometimes the UK giveth. Sometimes the UK shouldn’t have.


What’s the point? How about a hip hop record from the UK, sitting at no. 189—The StreetsOriginal Pirate Material This is weird and exhilarating, Klinger. A hip-hop record, from the UK that got almost no play in America, camped out in the Top 200. I’m ecstatic. Back in my younger days I was a bit of an obscurest wanker and snapped this record up when it hit stateside in the fall of 2002. I was impressed by the East Coast hip-hop filtered through the driving garage beats. Mike Skinner, the man behind the moniker, had a way with words, painting vignettes of violence and humor from across the pond, offering a quick link to a world nearly identical to mine. I still enjoy the record. It doesn’t have nearly the same pull it did a decade ago, but then neither do I. What do you think? Are you going to be a stand up geezer or are we going to get paralytic and fight?


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