Pairing one of today’s most gifted jazz guitarists (Anthony Pirog) with one of rock ‘n’ roll’s fiercest rhythm sections (Brendan Canty and Joe Lally) was always going to be a recipe for success, but on their sophomore LP Anthropocosmic Nest, Washington, D.C.’s The Messthetics are blowing past the old goals and delivering one of the most raucous and satisfying releases of the year. Wildly inventive with surprises awaiting the listener at every turn, Nest is an ecstatic proclamation of skronk-and-circumstance that says not only are The Messthetics BACK, but they’re here to stay!
As of late, the music industry has seen a rise in talented African-American musicians who paint outside of expected mainstream lines for pop artists. In eschewing easy-to-consume tropes for left-of-center jazz, soul, and techno-influenced sounds, performers like Kendrick Lamar, Robert Glasper, Chance the Rapper, Frank Ocean and so many more have created a sustainable and alternative-inspired vibe. However exciting this class of stars may be, it's important to remember that this is a movement that has an impressive historical context as well.
Anticipation. Excitement. Elation. Confusion. Disappointment. This week, Frank Ocean is all of these things and more.
Supremely talented Chicago MC Noname first announced herself to the world two years ago on Chance The Rapper's Acid Rap. On Telefone, she's finally stepping out on her own with one of the strongest statements on womanhood, life in the hood, and life in general that we've heard in recent memory. Marcus K, Dowling and Briana Younger join us to discuss this monumental mix-tape that was well worth the wait.
PLUS! Singer/songwriter Esmé Patterson's critically acclaimed LP We Were Wild, is as perfect a slice of pop-rock that you're going to find in 2016. We've got a new track to help get you acquainted.
If you think about the sheer quantity of music that was released in 2012, the thought of compiling anything into some sort of consensus seems a fool’s errand. Yet, this year, like every year, our prehistoric brain takes over and we are once again force to assign, rearrange, tabulate and label until we are able to put together one of man’s greatest contributions to the universe: The list.
This year, eleven voters ended up contributing over seventy different albums to a pool that ultimately had to be whittled down to just ten. Every single staffer here has one thing in common - THEY FUCKING LOVE MUSIC – and I think this list represents not only the diversity of the ChunkyGlasses team, but why what we do is so much damn fun.
But the time for writing is done this year. Now we hash it out, mano y mano, for your listening pleasure. For the faint of heart, we’ve broken this booze soaked supersized podcast into ten bite size nuggets to consume at will should you choose. Either way, strap in, grab a cold one (or ten) and get ready to find out what happens when a bunch of music nerds with no filters lock themselves in a basement and hit record.
70 albums. 11 contributors. Only the strong survived The Official ChunkyGlasses Top 10 Albums of 2012!!
Episode 18: Best Of 2012
Alt J - An Awesome Wave
"It’s nearly impossible to describe the album, which won this year’s Mercury award in Britain, without referencing that Alt-J has clearly found the soul and innovation Radiohead abandoned over the past five years. Joe Newman’s reedy voice weaves the best threads of world influence into ridiculously layered electronics, and the entire album runs like a drug-addled trip around the globe. The band’s name is written Alt-J because that’s the keyboard shortcut on a Mac to make the Delta symbol (?) – if this album weren’t spectacular, the whole thing would smack of a project by a bunch of art school jackholes, but fortunately for them it is spectacular." - Carrie
#10: Alt-J - An Awesome Wave
Dinosaur Jr. - Bet On Sky
"...I Bet On Sky doesn’t break much new ground, nor would Dino Jr.’s fans want it to. The leadoff single “Watch the Corners” starts with a crunchy one-chord intro before finding its way to the melodic noise that Mascis excels at. At 46, Mascis’ voice has never sounded better, inasmuch as a voice that doesn’t actually sing as much as mumble with style can sound better. He manages to convey some emotion on a slower tune, “Stick A Toe In,” which hearkens back to another Dino Jr. song, “I Don’t Wanna Go There,” with Mascis asking in both songs if he’s doomed to “walk alone.” “Pierce the Morning Rain” may cover the most ground in terms of illustrating all Dino Jr. does well; the opening riff throws a nod to Nirvana’s “Scentless Apprentice” before seguing into the kind of jaunty rock found on songs like “The Wagon,” then right back to the Sabbath power chords. It’s a garden of delights." - Justin
#9: Dinosaur Jr - I Bet On Sky
Frank Ocean - Channel Orange
"It’s a concept album. It’s a confession. It’s a snapshot of LA life unlike anything we’ve seen in years. Landing somewhere between Steely Dan and Stevie Wonder, Frank Ocean has made the album of his career and lucky for all of us, he’s just getting started. channel Orange is topping best of lists everywhere you look and it’s with good reason: It’s simply that good."
By channeling everything that was right about the new-wave/punk scene hanging around CBGB’s in the late 70’s and putting a borderline twee pop sheen on it, Hospitality turned out one of the most listenable albums of 2012. More importantly though, it was also one of the most smartly satisfying records in recent memory. By simply having not only great taste in music, but the ability to execute on it with great songwriting, Amber Papini and crew set the bar just a little higher for all the aspiring indie-popsters out there this year.
Oddisee - People Hear What People Say
Standout Tracks: “Let It Go” “Anothers Grind”
Hip hop these days tends to either aim to either invigorate social awareness or lean towards a celebration of the more bacchanalian pursuits in life, but seldom does it more successfully meld the two more sweetly than on People Hear What People Say. Oddisee, originally a DC native, laid down twelve tracks of old school rhymes mashed against late 60’s universal soul and the result was an album that transcended the genre as much as it celebrated it. A wild ride that veers from West Coast to East Coast, KRS-One to Posdunus and back , People doesn’t just revel in the history of hip hop, it exalts the history of popular music PERIOD, and isn’t just a record that you shouldn’t miss, if you have ears, you practically can’t.
Yeasayer’s highly-anticipated third album, Fragrant World, arrives today at the tail end of the hottest season we’ve had around here in the last hundred years, and the album is unfortunately an uneven collection of highs and lows - the highs are really high, but the lows are also pretty damn low. If you’ve had a summer filled with intermittent memories of roller coasters, music festivals, and camping trips, woven over a LOT of days spent drifting around your pool eating Cheetos in a heat-induced stupor, then this album may be the soundtrack for your summer.
In which the gang tells tales of last months FIREFLY festival, Aubrey is pushed to her limit and (not so) politely asks that people get off her lawn, and Kevin pulls musical references out of thing air that confuse/shame even himself. PLUS!!! Discussions of new music from JEFF the Brotherhood, Passion Pit, Rodriguez and the debut album from singer/songwriter FRANK OCEAN!!!
Welcome to our weekly guide to shows around DC and beyond. Every Monday, you can look forward too a peek at the upcoming shows that we think are going to be epic, must see's, or something new for you to shove into those ever curious earholes of yours.
MONDAY, JULY 23rd
Frank Ocean @ The 9:30 Club - Frank Ocean's "debut" channelORANGE dropped last week, and was immediately and widely lauded as a masterpiece...because it is. The show is sold out, but you'll probably want to consider selling a kidney or a spleen to find a ticket because this is one perfomance that is going to be sweaty and hot, hot HOT!
Jackson Browne w/Sara Watkins @ Wolf Trap - Jackson Browne is a legend. Sara Watkins is on her way there. Plus you can enjoy a picnic while you rock out to hits like "Running On Empty", "Rosie" and "Take It Easy" under the stars. We'll see ya there!