Picks of the Week

1335_Picks_Blog

Duran Duran is hitting all the right notes.
1. Duran DuranNew Wave legends Duran Duran are killing it with this new album. I mean, guests including Janelle Monae, Nile Rodgers and John Frusciante?! The title? Paper Gods?! And that cover art! Perfect. And the songs back it up too. “Pressure Off” is a particularly tasty slice of old school Duran Duran vibes. –Diego Gonzalez

 

CURATOR’S DISCOVERY

This is the sound of a band hitting their stride.

2. Stone Foxes

Stone Foxes frontman Shannon Koehler may not listen to George Jones, but with Twelve Spells, the raspy singer seems to have taken Jones’ “write about what you know” credo to heart. These roots-rockers muse on Koehler’s multiple heart surgeries, income inequality and biblical references – spun into timeless garage rock gold. –Eric Shea

 

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Eric on #MusicologistMonday

When my mom told me she had hired a babysitter for the weekend, it stung my conflated 11-year-old ego. Thankfully she picked a cool one. “Hey man, I like your KISS shirt!” was the first thing Pam said to me. She wore black denim bellbottoms and parted her long brown hair down the middle. “I can bring over some records this weekend when we hang out.” Of course I instantly trusted Pam and her taste in music. The following Friday she arrived with a grip of vinyl including AC/DC, Queen, Led Zeppelin, Heart and Alice Cooper. Every song blew my impressionable young mind. As each track faded out, I couldn’t wait to hear what she would play next.
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Picks of the Week

Doom pioneers bestow exceptional eighth album.

1. Pentagram

Curious Volume sounds noticeably stronger than 2011’s Last Rites. Like a feral cat on its ninth life, Pentagram’s Bobby Liebling channels his demons and victories into these riff-rife rockers with historic authority. His adoration for Blue Cheer’s songwriting surfaces throughout. Young longhairs with big amps take note – your riffs won’t endure without memorable songs. –Eric Shea

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Koffi Olomide honors the Voice of Lightness.

2. Koffi Olomide

Koffi Olomide is one of Africa’s most revered active artists. As the title implies, Koffi Chante Tabu Ley documents his tribute to one of Africa’s most revered singers of yesteryear, Tabu Ley Rochereau. Recorded live in Kinshasa, Koffi’s band is crackin’, his voice butter. Sparkling tunes to lift your spirit with beauty. –Diego Gonzalez


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Marcos on #MusicologistMonday

I think it’s important to mention here that Latin music is not actually a genre. Synthesizing the cultures of almost one billion people across two continents and an entire hemisphere into one category is not possible.

Musical expression stands on its own and defies genre; that’s what draws me to the music of Latin America and its far-reaching diaspora. Traditions endlessly reinvent themselves through creativity and drive. Today’s artists and musicians are standing on the shoulders of centuries of innovation and experimentation.
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Picks of the Week

Carrie Underwood’s first single from Storyteller tells a story.

1 Carrie Underwood

Anyone who thought that the country superstar was too posh to wax blue collar is in for a surprise. “Smoke Break” is a lighter-hoisting anthem for the working people. Underwood’s narrative spins a salt-of-the-earth country rocker that empathizes with anyone who has ever flirted with their vices after a stressful day. –Eric Shea

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Longhaired, bellbottomed riff worship from Down Under.

2 Hydromedusa

Aussie, hard rock heads Hydromedusa deliver some serious, seventies style, retro-psych, proto-metal swagger. They infuse a classic psychedelic heaviness with bristling punk rock energy. Hydromedusa sounds like it could be a genuine lost psych rock artifact from back in the day, brimming with big riffs, fuzzy bass, yowled vox and yeah, cowbell! –Andee Connors
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