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…for a lot of reasons, to be honest, but mostly because I’ve had a short stack of CDs here that I’ve been meaning to mention for awhile now.

Thanks to the long (and slightly sordid) history of “Tastes Like Chicken,” I still get the occasional press item sent my way. I decided awhile back that I will no longer review items here because, let’s be honest, my opinions are meaningless. That, and also because after a decade of writing reviews they all became the same exact thing: “This CD is like (fill in the blank). This part is bad, this part is good. Yawn.”

Still, over the past few/many months, I’ve received a handful of discs I honestly enjoy, so rather than bore you with reviews I’m just going to list them here. Each one is linked to the artist’s website, so if you’re interested in learning more about them check them out.

I’m digging (in no particular order):

Open Mike Eagle’s “Unapologetic Art Rap”

Sleepy Sun’s “Fever”

Beats Antique’s “Blind Threshold”

The Budos Band’s “The Budos Band III”

The Wailing Wall’s “The Low Hanging Fruit”

Street Sweeper Social Club’s “The Ghetto Blaster EP”

Seek out new music… now!

Officially caught up,

-Shady

…these CDs right now.

I admit, I got burnt out on reviewing a ton of CDs every month, and I know my reviews probably reflected that sentiment. So instead of reviewing everything I receive (which, in the past, would result in a lot of “eh” reviews) I’ve decided to just publish reviews of music that I’m honestly enjoying.

If you know me, if you love me, if you trust me, check out this music for yourself.

Each artist’s name is linked to their website, so click on it to learn more.

Right now, I’m diggin’:

J. Tillman “Year In The Kingdom” – Soft and subtle singer/songwriter folk that whispers more than whines, Tillman–who joined the Fleet Foxes last year–has created an album that serves as the perfect anthem for autumn.

Upsilon Acrux “Radian Futura” – Six tracks of lyric-less experiments in sound/noise that ride the line between prog rock and free improvisational jazz. Definitely not for everybody, but music nerds looking for a new fix will eat it up.

Cymbals Eat Guitars “Why There Are Mountains” – From the school of Pavement and Modest Mouse comes this debut from the NYC-based quartet. And while they may not take as many chances as the aforementioned acts (give them time, it’s their first album), I’m definitely interested to hear what’s coming next from them.

The Antlers “Hospice” – A high-concept remastered debut that tells the story of a terminally ill and mentally abusive patient, and what toll that takes on the living they leave behind. The entire album is great, but its ninth track, “Wake”, is about as close to perfection as you can get.

Fitz & The Tantrums “Songs For A Break Up: Volume 1” – Sixties-era soulful crooning at its finest, Fitz and his gang of Tantrums have turned lost love and heartbreak into a wonderfully crafted five-song EP. Interesting side note: ex-Soul Coughing bass player Sebastian Steinberg is a Tantrum.

Sleepy Sun “Embrace” – As beautifully haunting, gray and dreary as the city they now call home (San Francisco), “Embrace” is the type of album you put on in the early morning hours of a rainy day, and leave on “repeat” until you call it a night.

APSE “Climb Up” – A lo-fi full-length that invades numerous genres just as easily as it does ears. With a musical approach as unique as their sound, the album keeps listeners waiting, guessing and anticipating for each of its dozen tracks.

Project Jenny, Project Jan “The Colors EP” – A five-song release that feels more like a full-length than it does an EP. Featuring a stellar cast of guest performers (Fujiya & Miyagi, Mixel Pixel and Clack Singles Club, to name a few), this disc is more than enough to tide listeners over until their sophomore album is released later this year.

White Rabbits “It’s Frightening” – Produced by Britt Daniel of Spoon, this sophomore release breaks free of the all-encompassing indie rock mold, creating a wonderfully-layered and genre-defying gem in the process.

Dynas “The Apartment” – Originally released by Rawkus as a digital album back in 2007, “The Apartment” calls back to the era of classic hip-hop in both its style and set-up (like De La Soul before him, Dynas mixes tracks with skits). With production from DJ Jazzy Jeff, DJ Spinna and the late J Dilla–and with a guest spot from Slick Rick–this album is a modern-day take on a nostalgic hip-hop sound.

The Builders and The Butchers “Salvation Is A Deep Dark Well” – Old-timey instrumentation (banjo, mandolin and piano) blended with the appropriately whiny voice of lead singer Ryan Sollee (THINK: Gordon Gano of The Violent Femmes), culminating in eleven rambling relics of vintage Americana.

The Devil Makes Three “Do Right Wrong” – Read these lyrics: “Here she comes, just a skin-and-bones skeleton / She’s a fool for the crack cocaine / She got a baby living right outside the city, man / She don’t even remember his name / Well, his name is Adolf Hitler Albert Einstein Jesse James / All hail! All hail! / To the greatest of sales / Everything inside’s got to be sold / All hail! All hail! / It’s to work or to jail / Man, they’re closing them doors on the world.”

Now that you’ve read them, listen to them:

Fucking awesome. The best CD in this batch of music. For an extra special treat, I leave you with a video of The Devil Makes Three performing live. Enjoy!

More diggin’ to come,

-Shady

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Old Poop!