Dirty Money by Antibalas
Since we can't see Fela Kuti anymore, Antibalas is the next best thing. Their live show in Boston was unbelievable and the album is a dance-your-pants- off explosion that belongs in the Afrobeat Hall of Fame.
Bloom by Beach House
It's no Teen Dream but still delicious and addicting.
Fear Fun by Father John Misty
I just love this album. I think J Tillman should have gone solo a long time ago. I'll take his sound over Fleet Foxes any day.
O' Be Joyful by Shovels and Rope
This is a Southern folksy masterpiece. Every song is a gem. I'm partial to "Birmingham" because it mentions one of the best dive bars in Nashville, and the BQE, which I walked over at least twice a day when I lived in Brooklyn and always dreamed of writing songs about.
Mutt by Cory Branan
Even though I've seen Cory more than any other artist, I generally don't listen to his albums. They feel too shiny. Too produced compared to his gritty spare live performances. Mutt on the other hand, is a breath of fresh air, illuminating his stellar songwriting rather than distracting from it. As a long time fan, this was a big "fucking finally" moment. And, the album includes "Yesterday," a song I've been waiting for years to have on record so I could listen/sing to it over and over again.
Swing Lo Magellan by the Dirty Projectors
People like to hate on the DPs but you have to give them credit for being innovative and creating new sounds in an age when most music is recycled. They do pretty crazy stuff and it works, especially in "About to Die." That said, a couple of the songs on the album sound like Dylan rip offs. I like them anyway.
The Idler Wheel... by Fiona Apple
Wow. This one left me speechless at first. Then I told everyone I talked to to listen to it. Accompanied by just her piano and some percussion, Fiona really lets her voice go wild on this. I love how raw it is and how honest she seems to be with herself and audience alike.
Other fun things that got a lot of play at Robeson Labs:
- Beastie Boys (RIP A Rock)
- Mary J. Blige Pandora
- YACHT Pandora
- Donna Summer
- Kermit Ruffins' "It's later than you think."
- Fela's "Opposite People"
- The Secret Spot, Sunday nights on WERS
- Touch FM, "The fabric of the black community"
Happy New Year to all!