Casual Listening

a review of cool new music

by Jeff Pinzino

 

April 2, 2010

 

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* Afrodisiac Sound System – Afroheat #4 EP (electronic)

 

Still mourning the loss of the good time party rap that dominated the 80’s?  Afrodesiac revives the spirit by remixing old, old-school hip-hop with house, Afrobeat, and dancehall influences.  This is stupid-good dance music.

 

Listen to Afrodesiac Sound System “Gwenfroheat

 

* Seasick Steve – Man From Another Time (blues)

 

Steve’s old-style blues comes across with the curiosity of having been preserved in amber for at least a generation.  His rough delivery is reminiscent of the stuff that collectors would seek out on abandoned 78 rpm records in someone’s attic.  He plays a variety of instruments–electric and acoustic slide guitar, banjo, and even a one-string diddley-bow–paired with a raspy, urgent voice.  Would you expect anything less from a guy with a blues name that good?

 

Listen to Seasick Steve “Man From Another Time

 

* Dum Dum Girls – I Will Be (rock)

 

Cool (cūl) 1. n. A seemingly effortless display of creativity.  The new Dum Dum Girls album is unbelievably cool.

 

The fact that it sounds like it was recorded on a two-dollar microphone in a church basement only underscores the unpretentious brilliance of this band.  Overtones of teenage girl group are infused with an unmistakable do-it-yourself aesthetic. 

 

Listen to Dum Dum Girls “Bhang, Bhang, I’m a Burnout

 

Robin Williams – Weapons of Self-Destruction (comedy)

 

With his acting career run aground, it’s easy to forget why Robin Williams was once such a sensation.  Consider this album your reminder.  Roller-coaster pacing, an unlimited gallery of vocal impressions, and a relentless pursuit of the taboo-but-true keeps you laughing in spite of yourself.  Even after three decades, he still ranks among the best living standup artists.

 

Listen to Robin Williams “Fires, Weed, and the Weather(explicit)

 

Macarrada – Ya Esta Todo Escrito (Latin)

 

I couldn’t tell you the English translation of Macarrada, but from the sound of this band, it might as well be “greased lightning.”  Guitar-forward pop-punk delivers both frenetic energy and enticing hooks.  Esto es Rock & Roll!

 

Listen to Macarrada “Esto es Rock & Roll

 

 

* highly recommended

! highest recommendation

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