New Chart: WESU Pisses Its Jeans for Pissed Jeans

1    PISSED JEANS    Honeys    Sub Pop
2    YOUTH LAGOON    “Dropla” [Single]    Fat Possum



5    DAWN MCCARTHY AND BONNIE “PRINCE” BILLY    What The Brothers Sang    Drag City
6    VERONICA FALLS    Waiting For Something To Happen    Slumberland
7    BIG BOI    Vicious Lies And Dangerous Rumors    Island Def Jam
8    FLYING LOTUS    Until The Quiet Comes    Warp


10    HOW TO DRESS WELL    Total Loss    Acephale
11    THEESATISFACTION    THEESatisfaction Loves Erykah Badu
12    JOHNNY MARR    The Messenger
13    STEPKIDS    Sweet Salvation    Stones Throw
14    NICK CAVE AND THE BAD SEEDS    Push The Sky Away    Bad Seed
15    FRANK OCEAN    Channel Orange    Def Jam


16    GIBBY HAYNES    Paul’s Not Home [7-Inch]    Third Man
17    ENDLESS BOOGIE    Long Island    No Quarter
18    DOLDRUMS    Lesser Evil    Arbutus
19    LOCAL NATIVES    Hummingbird    Frenchkiss




20    ANDREW BIRD    Hands Of Glory    Mom And Pop
21    KENDRICK LAMAR    Good Kid, M.A.A.d City    Top Dawg-Interscope
22    STARLITO    Funerals And Court Dates
23    FIDLAR    FIDLAR    Mom And Pop
24    RICHARD THOMPSON    Electric    New West
25    BLACK MOTH SUPER RAINBOW    Cobra Juicy    Rad Cult


26    ATOMS FOR PEACE    Amok    XL
27    ISSUE    “I Am ISSUE” (The Best of Issue)
28    LOOP 2.4.3    American Dreamland    Music Starts From Silence
29    FOXYGEN    We Are The 21st Century Ambassadors Of Peace And Magic    Jagjaguwar
30    CHRISTOPHER OWENS    Lysandre    Fat Possum

Posted in MDs

True Story: Aaron Neville Tops Our Chart

1    AARON NEVILLE    My True Story    Blue Note
2    FLYING LOTUS    Until The Quiet Comes    Warp
3    MY BLOODY VALENTINE    MBV    Self-Released
4    DANIEL ROMANO    Come Cry With Me    Normaltown
5    TIM MAIA    World Psychedelic Classics 4: Nobody Can Live Forever: The Existential Soul Of Tim Maia    Luaka Bop

6    THAO AND THE GET DOWN STAY DOWN    We The Common    Ribbon
7    MIDNIGHT MAGIC    Walking The Midnight Streets    Midnight Sun Sound
8    EX-COPS    True Hallucinations    Other Music
9    GRIZZLY BEAR    Shields    Warp
10    PETRA HADEN    Petra Goes To The Movies    Anti

12    PSYCHIC ILLS    One Track Mind    Sacred Bones
13    TAME IMPALA    Lonerism    Modular
14    PERE UBU    Lady From Shanghai    Fire

15    PISSED JEANS    Honeys    Sub Pop
16    STARLITO    Funerals And Court Dates   
17    YO LA TENGO    Fade    Matador
18    LOST ANIMAL    Ex-Tropical    Hardly Art
19    OF MONTREAL    Daughter Of Cloud    Polyvinyl

20    O PRESIDENTE    Clube De Futebol   
21    JACCO GARDNER    Cabinet Of Curiosities    Trouble In Mind
22    KILLERS    Battle Born   

24    TORO Y MOI    Anything In Return    Carpark
25    ALT-J    An Awesome Wave    Canvasback
26    ADAM ANT    The Essential Adam Ant   
27    DIRTY PROJECTORS    About To Die    Domino
28    BARBARAS    2006-2008    Goner

29    STEPKIDS    Sweet Salvation    Stones Throw
30    SIDEWALK DAVE    Hard On Romance    Telegraph

MD Picks: Far Out, Faraway

Big week for psych-pop and desert-rock. We hope you enjoy these releases as much as we do:
Jacco Gardner – Cabinet of Curiosities

For a 24-year-old Dutchman, Jacco Gardner sounds like he learned a lot from the 1960’s American scene. Cabinet of Curiosities is by turns lush and stark, and Gardner makes full use of his multi-instrumental talents. The lyrics are opaque and point up the meandering, ethereal nature of the album: on “Chameleon,” he explains, “I want to float away, but all these clouds just look the same.” He doesn’t tell us much about himself, but the music is compelling all the same. We like “Puppets Dangling” and “Clear the Air.”

Foxygen – We Are The 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace and Magic

Rado and France, two guys who get up on stage in their pajamas and yell “Digital!” and “Analog!” at each other, make psychedelic pop that is infectious and, for the most part, seriously catchy. Foxygen made waves with their Take the Kids Off Broadway EP, and Ambassadors is getting the recognition it deserves. France on the album, its reception, and Foxygen’s M.O.: “‘It just sounds like some ’60s bullshit and looks like Wes Anderson.’ But that’s the point. We’re trying to bring a little fun, a little color.” Bring it on, guys! We love “No Destruction,” “San Francisco,” and “Shuggie.”

Lost Animal – Ex Tropical

Jarrod Quarrell, aka Lost Animal, is an Australian who spent a lot of time growing up in Papua New Guinea. Perhaps that explains his album title, or perhaps it helps explain all the musical influences Quarrell stirs into the cauldron of Ex Tropical: calypso, dub, funk, disco — and then there’s lounge, trip-hop, and just about anything else you can name. Lost Animal’s singing is both “sleazy and sincere,” to quote one reviewer, and I would also add “hypnotic” to the mix. For a good challenge, try listening to “Buai Raskol” and not loving the marimba. A big thank you to Hardly Art for releasing this album worldwide! We love “Say No to Thugs,” “Buai Raskol,” and “Don’t Litter.”

Library of Sands – Side to Side EP 3

Library of Sands’ Side to Side EP 3 comes from a man named Naynay Shineywater. What do we know about him? Apparently, he has lived in a tent for 19 years, and he is an activist for preserving deserts, forests, and Native American cultural sites. We’re down with the anti-corporate message, as well as the fuzzy desert sounds that “N. Shineywater” offers. Side note: this is the latest in a string of tape cassettes we are receiving at the station. What’s with that? Not complaining, though. We like “Crown of CreatIIIon” (heads up: this song is 23 minutes long).

Mixtapes of the Week: Psychedelic Hip-Hop & Rap Auteurs

A week ago I said Mixtapes of the Month should become a regular feature here. Well just this last week, a whole slew of outstanding mixtapes have shown up for your listening pleasure. One that I was excited for, Pusha T‘s Wrath of Caine does not make the cut here. A sizable step backward from the work he’s been doing over the past couple years, that tape sounds like the work of a man past his prime who’s both bewildered and bitter over weak production. Let’s hope he’s got some fire left in him for the album he’s set to release later this year.

Click on the link below to see the mixtapes from this week that I did like:

THEESatisfaction is made up of female MCs/singers Stasia Irons & Catherine Harris-White. The group is based in Seattle and closely associated with the like-minded trippy experimental hip-hop group Shabazz Palaces. THEESatisfaction released an excellent debut LP last year, awE naturalE. This mixtape, a tribute to the great soul enchantress Erykah Badu is short, clocking in at just under 18 minutes and much of it is purely instrumental. However, there isn’t a single note here that will cause you discomfort if you are a fan of laid-back psychedelic soul/hip-hop. The two stand-out tracks, “I Knowoulove(me)” and the Chappelle’s Show-referencing “Game BLOUSES” hit the highs of awE naturalE. Overall, a very rewarding listen and an encouraging continuation of these ladies’ young career.
Recommended Tracks: “I Knowoulove(me)”, “Game BLOUSES”
The UnderachieversIndigoism
This mixtape made my list of albums I was most excited for in 2013 and it lives up to my high expectations for it. The Brooklyn group, made up of Ak and Issa Dash are signed to Flying Lotus‘ Brainfeeder label, so they’ve got one big name behind them, but there are no features on here and no big-name producers. Flying Lotus heard of the band the same way I did: from a friend of his, who showed him the video for “Gold Soul Theory.” And he was as blown away by that video as I was (“Within the first 20 seconds I was pretty sure I was going to try to sign them.”) This is something new and different for hip-hop, despite the fact that the group shares ties with other groups on both coasts. They’re featured in the trailer for an upcoming film on underground hip-hop in New York along with Angel Haze and Mykki Blanco. They shout out Flatbush Zombies, Pro Era and A$AP on “Land of Lords.”And they’ve opened for Kendrick Lamar, whose Black Hippy squad are about the closest West Coast equivalent to The Underachievers. Like THEESatisfaction, The Underachievers make psychedelic hip-hop, but they’ve also got some serious fire-power to them. This is a mixtape that wants to enlighten you or at the very least take you on a ride with some living gods for the next hour.
Recommended Tracks: “Revelations”, “My Prism”, “Gold Soul Theory”, “Potion Number 25”, “The Mahdi.”
Curren$yNew Jet City
Curren$y is nothing if not prolific and consistent. This tape is packed with features: up-and-comers (Trinidad James and French Montana), veterans (Jadakiss, Rick Ross, Juicy J, Styles P and Juvenile) and close associates (Wiz Khalifa, Young Roddy and Trademark). It’s got production from Harry Fraud, Statik Selektah and Lex Luther. It’s also got one of his best covers: a beautiful old-school crime film background with trolley cars and well-positioned lamp posts. Now, this is far from Curren$y’s strongest work, but just when the tape hits a lull (yes the song that features both Rick Ross and Wiz Khalifa is the lull of which I speak), in rolls a trademark laid-back smoked-out track (“Sixteen Switches Part Two”), followed by a feature from the always entertaining Juicy J, then an excellent smooth soul sample on “Living for the City.” Young Roddy, who shows up on two tracks, has made some surprisingly great improvements of late. Curren$y appears to be grooming him into a protege, and he makes the biggest impression on a song with both his mentor and Styles P on it (“Drive”).
Recommended Tracks: “Sixteen Switches Part Two”, “Three 60 ft. Juicy J”, “Living for the City”, “Drive ft. Young Roddy & Styles P”
Lil BPink Flame
Like Curren$y, Lil B is also prolific and consistent. Both are auteurs of rap with unique and immediately recognizable styles and content. And while Curren$y’s latest mixtape has its own classic-looking cover art, Pink Flame‘s is one of the best covers I have ever seen. The tape gets off to a good start with “Pink Flame (Intro)” on which Lil B shouts out Morocco and Syria. Then “Eat” starts off with an ice cream truck sample before Lil B raps quite bluntly about his sex life, compares himself to Scottie Pippen, and tells us that he is ugly, has a speech impediment and is “a motherfucking gangster” over a slowed down funk/orchestral track. Joey Bada$$, why would you ever beef with Lil B on Twitter? Lil B includes “I’m The Bada$$” here, but that’s really an opportunity to hear his semi-stream of consciousness rap over a nice orchestral soul sample more than it is a dis track. He keeps things topical with “Ban the Weapons,” a rather dark flute-sampling slice of Lil B-style positivity. Thank you Based God!
Recommended Tracks: “Eat”, “Ban the Weapons”, “I’m The Bada$$”, “Up To Bat”

New Chart: WESU Goes Electric

1    RICHARD THOMPSON    Electric   
2    O PRESIDENTE    Clube de Futebol   
3    ADAM ANT    Adam Ant Is the Blueblack Hussar in Marrying the Gunner’s Daughter   
4    DUM DUM GIRLS    End Of Daze    SUB POP
5    YO LA TENGO    Fade    Matador

6    YEASAYER    Fragrant World    Secretly Canadian
7    KENDRICK LAMAR    Good Kid In A M.A.A.d City    Aftermath-Top Dawg-Interscope
8    LUST FOR YOUTH    Growing Seeds    Sacred Bones
9    TILLY AND THE WALL    Love Riot Remixes    Team Love
10    NIKI AND THE DOVE    Instinct    SUB POP

11    MIGUEL    Kaleidoscope Dream   
12    BRIAN ENO    Lux    Warp
13    FRANK OCEAN    Channel Orange    Def Jam
14    DUCKTAILS    The Flower Lane    Domino
15    FOXYGEN    We Are The 21st Century Ambassadors Of Peace And Magic    Jagjaguwar

16    TORO Y MOI    Anything In Return    Carpark
17    CHRISTOPHER OWENS    Lysandre    Fat Possum
18    A$AP ROCKY    LongLiveA$AP    RCA
19    MY BLOODY VALENTINE    m b v   
20    THE UNDERACHIEVERS    Indigoism   

21    STARLITO    Funerals & Court Dates   
22    FIDLAR    Fidlar    Mom And Pop
23    JOSE JAMES    No Beginning No End    Blue Note
24    BALLAKE SISSOKO    At Peace    Six Degrees
25    GROWLERS    Hung At Heart    Everloving

26    UNKNOWN MORTAL ORCHESTRA    II    Jagjaguwar
27    CAT POWER    Sun    Matador
28    CODY CHESNUTT    Landing On A Hundred    Vibration Vineyard
29    BLACK MOTH SUPER RAINBOW    Cobra Juicy    Rad Cult
30    CLINIC    Free Reign    Domino

MD Picks: Surf Rock, Blue Note & Mali

Much like albums released last year by Japandroids and Natural Child, this is a record of gleefully raucous rock & roll hedonism made by folks having a good time for folks having a good time. Fidlar hails from LA and they like to surf, skate, drink (cheap!) beer and rock out. The music is punk but it’s not sneering. It’s loud but still inviting. On “No Waves” singer Zac Carper informs us that he feels “like shooting up” but he also feels “like a grandpa.” This album is a whole lotta fun.
Recommended Tracks: “Cheap Beer”, “No Waves”, “Max Can’t Surf”
More after the jump

The GrowlersHung at Heart
Another SoCal group of surfing rockers, The Growlers released a noticeably less polished cassette, Beach Goth on Burger last year. This album contains some very pretty surf-pop melodies, though, like the excellent album cover, there is darkness surrounding the beach-y vibe. A country influence shines through on the melancholy “Living in a Memory.” And “It’s No Use” is slowed down, warped and psychedelic. Also, “Use Me For Your Eggs” is one of the best song titles I’ve heard lately.
Recommended Tracks: “Living in a Memory”, “It’s No Use”, “Use Me For Your Eggs”
José JamesNo Beginning No End
If you’re tired of waiting impatiently for the long anticipated D’Angelo comeback, José James can provide a much needed fix of smooth soul/jazz/hip-hop. The gifted singer is signed to Blue Note, so as you would expect the arrangements on the album are exquisite: low key, but still avant-garde, allowing James breathing room to do his thing. James’s father was a saxophone player in Panama, and he clearly has a great ear for instrumentation. This is his fourth release, but his first on Blue Note. More soul than anything, James may be lumped together with the current R&B renaissance, but he’s definitely got more of an old school sound than many of his contemporaries. He spoke to Leon Ware, Marvin Gaye‘s collaborator, before making this album. Pianist/producer Robert Glasper and Moroccan Berber/French singer Hindi Zahra also appear on the record.
Recommended Tracks: “It’s All Over Your Body”, “Trouble”
Ballaké SissokoAt Peace
As I previously wrote about here, the current situation in Mali is very precarious and that is especially the case for music, which Islamist groups have banned in the North. Mali happens to be one of the greatest countries in the world for music, and Ballaké Sissoko has long been one of its masters. He plays the kora, a harp with 21 strings and comes from a traditional Malian musical heritage, as his father, Djelimady Sissoko was a noted griot, or storyteller/musician. The title of this album clearly refers to the war currently raging in Mali, and the music here is indeed exceptionally peaceful and beautiful.
Recommended Tracks: “Maimouna”, “Boubalaka”

Chart of the Week: Kendrick Lamar! YOLO!

1    KENDRICK LAMAR    Good Kid In A M.A.A.d City    Top Dawg-Aftermath-Interscope
2    YO LA TENGO    Fade    Matador
3    PILE    Dripping    Exploding In Sound
4    EVENS    The Odds    Dischord
5    TAME IMPALA    Lonerism    Modular

Rest after tha jump

7    DAVID FORD    Tennessee [EP]   
8    HERITAGE BLUES ORCHESTRA    And Still I Rise    Self-Released
9    DALE WATSON AND HIS LONESTARS    El Rancho Azul    Red House
10    JEFF PEVAR    From The Core    Pet Peev

11    PSYCHIC ILLS    One Track Mind    Sacred Bones
12    LUST FOR YOUTH    Growing Seeds    Sacred Bones
13    MARIA GILLARD    Mending   
14    DUCKTAILS    The Flower Lane    Domino
15    GRAHAM PARKER AND THE RUMOUR    Three Chords Good   

16    PETE SEEGER    Pete Remembers Woody    Appleseed
17    KURT CARR AND THE KURT CARR SINGERS    Bless This House   
18    FURTHUR    12-13-12 Bill Graham Civic Auditorium   
19    PINK FLOYD    Smoking Blues   
20    DUKE ELLINGTON    Masterpieces By Ellington    Legacy
21    DOLLY PARTON    Little Sparrow    Sugar Hill
22    JONN SERRIE    Thousand Star   
23    LUNGFISH    Necrophones    Dischord

24    MATTHEW DEAR    Beams    Ghostly
25    ONDATROPICA    Ondatropica    Soundway
26    PETER MULVEY    Notes From Elsewhere    Signature Sounds
27    ROXY MUSIC    AVALON    Warner Bros.
29    WAIFS    Temptation   
30    UMEK    Spank   

Mixtapes of the Month

Here’s a new feature that should become a regular here: some of the best mixtapes that dropped in the past month.
Après le jump

Oab JenkinsDifferent Personalladies
Oab first came to my attention with his excellent one-off “Danny DeVito,” which makes good use of hilarious sound-clips by the song’s namesake. This is the first mixtape by the Virginia State junior. As the title indicates, the album is entirely written about the ladies of Oab’s life and he admits on Datpiff that this was not the easiest topic to write an entire album about. I do wish that Oab had allowed himself a bit more freedom with regards to song topics. However, this is definitely a promising debut, and it’s got some nice production on it by Oab himself, along with 9th Wonder on “Misses in Action.”
Recommended Tracks: “Misses in Action”
9th Wonder & Jay-ZBlack American Gangster
American Gangster is one of the more underrated items in Jay-Z’s discography. It did well critically and commercially but didn’t feature any majorly successful singles. This is a nice opportunity to revisit some of Jay-Z’s best, most focused rapping (along with a reminder on “Hello Brooklyn (Still Politics)” that before Lil Wayne became a sad joke he was a good rapper). 9th Wonder was the main producer for Little Brother and he’s been one of the best out there for years, specializing in oh-so-smooth soul samples. The two collaborated once in real life on the stellar “Threat” off The Black Album. Jay-Z has always sounded right at home over this kind of production (see Kanye’s work on The Blueprint).
Recommended Tracks: “I Know (What You Like) (ft. Pharrell & The Jackson 5)”, “Black American Gangster” 
RaekwonLost Jewlry

Raekwon has enjoyed a surprisingly excellent late-career resurgence since 2009’s Only Built 4 Cuban Linx… Pt. 2. This mixtape, like Raekwon himself, is not flashy. It’s mostly a solo effort, with only four features (including Freddie Gibbs and the lesser known Maino, who puts in a memorable verse on “To The Top”). The production isn’t handled by any big names, but rather a collection of hard-working veterans and up-and-comers. In particular, the relatively unknown Roads-Art makes a big impression with work on four of the 13 tracks. Overall, this mixtape is not really anything new for those familiar with Raekwon’s career, not that there’s anything wrong with that. While “gangsta rap” has basically become a meaningless term, Raekwon has made his career on literally rapping about being a gangster, doing it quite convincingly and inventively. And while rappers have referenced movies like Goodfellas and Scarface for decades, few other rappers’ albums sound like they could easily be made into excellent, grimy crime movies. The only real missteps on here are the two “love” (or as close as Raekwon songs can get to love) songs with R&B singers on them and weak production (“Hold You Down” and “86′”).
Recommended Tracks: “Never Can Say Goodbye”, “For the Listeners”

Chart of the Week: WESU Loves Charles Mingus

Normally I just give you the chart, but this week we have Charles Mingus topping the charts on the strength of his new box-set that we were lucky enough to get at a discount from the record label. Mingus is one of the greatest geniuses in music history–and one of the craziest. Here’s his Cat Toilet Training Program (“The main thing to remember is not to rush or confuse him”!). Here’s a nice post about the time he punched trombonist Jimmy Knepper on stage. Now, on to the charts!

After the jump

1    CHARLES MINGUS    The Jazz Workshop Concerts 1964-65   
2    MENAHAN STREET BAND    The Crossing    Dunham
3    BUDDY GUY    Live At Legends   

4    BEN SERETAN    New Song   
6    RODRIGUEZ    Searching For Sugar Man    Legacy
7    FOXYGEN    We Are The 21st Century Ambassadors Of Peace And Magic    Jagjaguwar
8    TORO Y MOI    Anything In Return    Carpark
9    A$AP ROCKY    LongLiveA$AP    RCA
10    CHRISTOPHER OWENS    Lysandre    Fat Possum

11    YO LA TENGO    Fade    Matador
12    BLACK MOTH SUPER RAINBOW    Cobra Juicy    Rad Cult
13    BOB DYLAN    Tempest    Columbia
14    BLEEDING RAINBOW    Yeah Right    Kanine
15    CAT POWER    Sun    Matador

16    MYSTICAL WEAPONS    Mystical Weapons    Chimera
17    TAME IMPALA    Lonerism    Modular
18    KENDRICK LAMAR    Good Kid In A M.A.A.d City    Aftermath-Top Dawg-Interscope
19    PORT ST. WILLOW    Holiday    Self-Released
20    ZZ WARD    Til The Casket Drops    BOARDWALK
21    FLYING LOTUS    Until The Quiet Comes    Warp
22    TIM MAIA    World Psychedelic Classics 4: Nobody Can Live Forever: The Existential Soul Of Tim Maia    Luaka Bop

23    MASSIVE ATTACK    Blue Lines    EMI
24    PEOPLES TEMPLE    More For The Masses    Hozac
25    CLINIC    Free Reign    Domino

26    BORIS/ASOBI SEKSU    Boris/Asobi Seksu Split [7-inch]    Sargent House
27    THE COUP    Sorry To Bother You    Anti
28    THEE OH SEES    Putrifiers II    In The Red
29    MYKKI BLANCO    Cosmic Angel: Illuminati Prince/ss    UNO NYC
30    ANGEL OLSEN    Half Way Home    Bathetic

New WESU Chart: Psychedelic Pill Poppin’

1    NEIL YOUNG AND CRAZY HORSE    Psychedelic Pill    Reprise
2    BOB DYLAN    Tempest    Columbia

Rest of chart after the jump

3    BUDDY MILLER AND JIM LAUDERDALE    Buddy And Jim    New West
4    DIRTY PROJECTORS    About To Die    Domino
5    JAPANDROIDS    Celebration Rock    Polyvinyl
6    KING TUFF    “Screaming Skull” [Single]    Sub Pop
7    KENDRICK LAMAR    Good Kid In A M.A.A.d City    Aftermath-Top Dawg-Interscope
8    TAME IMPALA    Lonerism    Modular
9    DINOSAUR JR.    I Bet On Sky    Jagjaguwar

10    MYKKI BLANCO    Cosmic Angel: Illuminati Prince/ss    UNO NYC
11    SKY FERREIRA    Ghost    Capitol
12    METALOCALYPSE: DETHKLOK     Dethalbum III    Cartoon Network
13    THE COUP    Sorry To Bother You    Anti
14    BLACK MOTH SUPER RAINBOW    Cobra Juicy    Rad Cult
15    TOY LOVE    Live At The Gluepot 1980    Goner

16    TORO Y MOI    So Many Details [7-inch]    Carpark
17    TITUS ANDRONICUS    Local Business    XL
18    TY SEGALL    Twins    Drag City
19    FLYING LOTUS    Until The Quiet Comes    Warp
20    BAND OF HORSES    Mirage Rock    Brown-Columbia
21    BARBARAS    2006-2008    Goner
22    ZZ WARD    Til The Casket Drops    BOARDWALK
23    GODSPEED YOU BLACK EMPEROR    Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend!    Constellation
24    MENAHAN STREET BAND    The Crossing    Dunham

25    SWANS    The Seer    Young God
26    SCOTT WALKER    Bish Bosch    4AD
27    TYVEK    On Triple Beams    In The Red

28    PORT ST. WILLOW    Holiday    Self-Released
29    FRANK OCEAN    Channel Orange    Def Jam
30    FRIGHTENED RABBIT    State Hospital    Canvasback-Atlantic