Btw, you guyz, if you liked my end-of-year post, I just posted an essay about the soul musician Syl Johnson and a bad Pitchfork Review (and Jay-Z's autobiography, and the RZA, among other things) up on a group blog I contribute to, Like Them That Dream. So if you like my thoughts on music and stuff, check it out.
As written in the KWUR Constitution, it is the responsibility of every former GM to write a year end “best of” post for the blog. Believe me, I wish I didn't have to do it. I wish that I didn't have to bear this terrible burden of posting my thoughts on the Internet. But to paraphrase Spiderman, the main character of Spiderman: Turn Off The Dark, with 10 watts of power comes moderate responsibility. So, here goes nothing. As past readers of my year end posts know, I have a philosophy behind it:
-No rankings, more or less ordered by when in the year I listened to them
-Not limited to this year's releases; really, it's the year in music as I experienced it
-If I didn't really get around to it, I didn't get around to it, no matter how excellent it probably is (sorry Wavves and Janelle Monae)
For a longer, more boring discussion of this philosophy and why I have it, you can read my old year end posts here and here. As a heads-up for the tl; dr crowd, this will probably be too long, and you will probably not read it. Sorry, read it in chunks or go sext and play with your Tamagotchis while I drone on and on about music.
’60s/’70s afro-funk from all over the continent. Not exactly new territory, a lot of overlap with other comps, but still solid stuff. What distinguishes this comp from others is a slight focus on the more psychedelic jams. Play all, but especially:
1+++ and 2+++ (funky!), 3++ (love this flute), 5++ (12 min long jam), 8+(gitdown!), 10+++(funky harmonica? Oh yes.)
Vintage soul sounds from Milwaukee, but don’t think Daptone. These guys have a lush early 70s Chicago Curtis Mayfield sound, occasionally venturing into a mid 70s Harold Melvin float or even freaky “Here My Dear”/Shuggie Otis experimentation. This percussion section is the best I’ve heard in a long time. Definitely give this a listen.
Play: 1+++ and 2+++(wow, driving!), 5++ (nice Philly feel), 6+(neat cover), 7++ (downright disco), 8+ (ska horns)
P.S. Artwork by Mingering Mike! (the art on the actual cover, that is)
Forget the Black Lips, forget even King Khan–Mark Sultan (aka The BBQ Show) is the unsung hero of the gritty garage-soul sound. This album, which deftly combines messy, distorted steel guitar sounds (straddling the same border between Jesus and Mary Chain + garage as The Raveonettes) with Sultan’s distinct, plaintive doo-wop wail, may be that sound’s best manifestation yet. This album sounds like finally making out with the best friend you’ve always had a crush on. PLAY ALL!
Especially: 2+++(yah! yah!), 3+++(gorgeous doo-wop), 4++, 6+++(awesome, rockin’), 9+++(better version of King Khan and BBQ Show song)