Chancelor Bennett is not old enough to buy alcohol. Chances are (heh), he probably doesn’t remember when mixtapes were actually tapes. Despite all of this, Bennett, better known as Chance the Rapper, recently released his highly-anticipated second tape Acid Rap. Following up his highly-acclaimed first tape 10Day, whose title is a reference to the amount of time he was suspended from school, during which time he recorded it, Acid Rap (whose title comes from the fact that Chance did a whole lot of LSD during the albums writing and recording process) takes his music to another level, filled with scratchy, soulful samples, clever wordplay, and high-profile guest spots. Beginning with uptempo, Beyonce-esque vocals ushering in opening track “Good Ass Intro”, the album oozes good vibes, with a chorus featuring an ecstatic Chance chanting “you did it, you did it/you did a good-ass job” (Fun fact: “Good-Ass Job was a working – and in my opinion much better – title for Kanye West’s 2010 album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy). The album quickly moves into highlight “Pusha Man”, likely a callback to Curtis Mayfield, and a two minute fast-paced banger which quickly ends and we’re left with fifteen seconds of silence before secret track “Paranoia” begins. Here, Chance gets serious for a bit, lamenting the murders that happen every summer in his hometown of Chicago, which go unreported in mainstream media. The song is mellow and contemplative, with a catchy hook floating in a river of questions that don’t seem to get an answer. Other highlights on the album include the party-starter “Juice”, which soundtracks a hilarious and heartwarming video of Chance handing out roses to people on the streets of Chicago; the funky bass grooves of “NaNa”, featuring Action Bronson (or is that Ghostface?); and “Chain Smoker” whose “bridge” section I will defy anyone not to get hyped on. Finally coming to “Everything’s Good (Good Ass Outro)”, the album closes on a feel-good note, with everything feeling just about right. All in all, I highly recommend you take a trip through Acid Rap, and keep a tab on this Bennett kid, ’cause he’s goin’ places.
Since everyone is doing it, I thought I’d jump on the bandwagon (that’s what all the cool kids are doing, right?) and share the ten albums in 2013 that have made me change my booty shorts more than I’d like to admit. Without further ado, here are my ten favorite albums of the year so far (in alphabetical order). Oh, and I think it goes without saying that if you haven’t heard an album listed here, do yourself a kindness and crank that shit up.
Another 10 bands to keep on the lookout in the 2nd half of 2013: Alcest, Behemoth, Exivious, Fleshgod Apocalypse, Gorguts, Opeth, Protest the Hero, Revocation, Rosetta, Russian Circles.
Fanfare Ciocarlia – whose name translates as “lark’s song”, are from the village of Zece Prajini in north eastern Romania. With humble beginnings as musicians performing at local weddings, this group is full of vigor and daring. They are known for such idiosyncrasies as their well worn instruments, impromptu blasts from horns and clarinets, and going sheet music-less. A great driving, staccato and high energy style, they bring to all their music and interpretations. Fanfare Ciocarlia makes their Santa Cruz debut “for a Saturday night Balkan Brass dance party” at Moe’s Alley Saturday, July 20th. Doors open at 7:30; music at 8:30 pm.
here, is Fanfare Ciocarlia’s special twist on the “007” James Bond theme
Middle of Summer’s Top Rock on KZSC:
1. SMITH WESTERNS – Soft Will
2. MIKAL CRONIN – MCII
3 SHANNON AND THE CLAMS – Dreams In The Rat House
4. COOL GHOULS – Cool Ghouls
5. VAMPIRE WEEKEND – Modern Vampires Of The City
6. BASS DRUM OF DEATH – Bass Drum Of Death
7. KING TUFF – Was Dead
8. FEMI KUTI – No Place For My Dream
9. SURFER BLOOD – Pythons
10. ROSE WINDOWS – The Sun Dogs Top 5 Adds: 1. HUNX AND HIS PUNX – Street Punk
2. DAVID LYNCH – Big Dream
3. HOT CHIP – Dark And Stormy [EP]
4. IMPRESSIONS – “Rhythm!” B/w “Star Bright” [7-Inch]
5. TRAVIS BRETZER – Making Love
And although it didn’t make it into our Top 10 charts, one of my favorite new albums is Salvia Plath’s, The Bardo Story. Everyone should check it out!
Outstanding Ethiopian-Pop Debo Band makes an appearance in Santa Cruz tonight, Tuesday July 16, 2013 at Moe’s Alley. This large 11-member group includes musicians and dancers from Addis and Boston, plus local fiddler Kaethe Hostetter formerly of Bonny Doon. They’ve received raves for pushing the envelope of traditional Ethiopian music by incorporating funk, soul, jazz and Eastern European influences into their dance music using a varied assortment of instruments that includes sousaphone, accordion, and electric and acoustic violins. Debo’s most recent CD release was on NPR Music’s 50 Favorite Albums of 2012 and is available streamed in its entirety here. Sun Hop Fat, another group playing Ethiopian dance music opens.
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