Kanye West

Episode 344: Art vs Artist

Episode 344: Art vs Artist

R. Kelly. Michael Jackson. Woody Allen. Kanye West. Roman Polanski. Chris Brown. Harvey Weinstein. These and many more artists and entertainment luminaries have all reached the peak of and continue to enjoy great success despite being, in some cases, general a-holes, and in many, guilty of acting on, the worst impulses humanity has to offer.

On a very special episode, we're talking about the separation between art and artist, how much responsibility do we as fans have, and when enough should be enough.

Episode 195: Caveman - Otero War

Episode 195: Caveman - Otero War

Kanye West. He can't, he won't and he don't stop...being an a-hole. (We) Discuss.

Caveman is a killer f@#@ing band who has made couple of killer f@#@ing albums. Their latest effort Otero War continues this trend with a little bit of sci-fi epic for good measure.

Do you love rock and roll? The Mystery Lights looooove rock and roll and they're here with a savage new track to testify for you. Dig it.

Episode 163: Kendrick Lamar - untitled unmastered.

Episode 163: Kendrick Lamar - untitled unmastered.

Music writer powerhouses Marcus Dowling and Marcus J. Moore are in the basement and offering up some last words on the troubled release of Kanye West's, The Life Of Pablo.

King Kendrick hit us with a surprise "project" on Friday. Is it a worthy follow up to To Pimp A Butterfly, or something...more.

Washington, DC's Stranger In the Alps is back with new music and a single release show at Songbird Music House on 3/9. We've got a taste of their new jams.

You say you've never heard of Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song? EDUCATE YOURSELF, SON!

Episode 157: The Skiffle Players - Skifflin'

Episode 157: The Skiffle Players - Skifflin'

Kanye West’s new album may be here, but should it be rated “M” for misogyny?

The Skiffle Players debut LP Skifflin’  is bringing together titans of “weird” Americana (Cass McCombs, Neal Casal, Dan Horne, Farmer Dave Scher, Aaron Sperske) to celebrate folk music from the past, present and future.

Night Beats are bringing some serious groove, straight from the garage. Dig it. Dig it the most, baby.

Where’s our damn croissant.

Episode 153: Rihanna - ANTI

Episode 153: Rihanna - ANTI

Rihanna’s latest was an exclusive to TIDAL…until it leaked…everywhere…because the internet.

Rihanna is back with her new album,  Anti¸ a new attitude and at least three new fans.

The Pines are from Minneapolis and make great music. The track “Aerial Ocean” off of their upcoming LP Above The Prairie is but one example of the aforementioned great music

Did we mention Rihanna? 

Episode 109: Pile - You're Better Than This / Ryley Walker - Primrose Green

Episode 109: Pile - You're Better Than This / Ryley Walker - Primrose Green

On our latest podcast, we check in on Boston noise rockers, Pile, and their new album You’re Better Than This, then take a long, strange trip with Chicago-based songwriter/guitarist Ryley Walker and his latest van-worthy collection of jams, Primrose Green.

PLUS! Kanye West may have been pegged to headline this year’s Glastonbury Music Festival, but all may not be well in the land of yeezy.  NINETY THOUSAND signatures stong and counting, a petition launched last week by a group of dissatisfied music fans seeks to convince the organizers that soon to be Dr. West may not be the right fit for this annual musical throw-down. Will they prevail? Should Kanye back out? Are music festivals even worth it anymore? We ponder these questions and more on Episode 109 of ChunkyGlasses: The Podcast!

Best Of 2013 (So Far): Kevin's Picks

10. Kanye West – Yeezus

Dark. Aggressive. Complex. Offensive. Kanye West’s 5th album is all of these things, but most of all it’s his most creatively risky effort to date. Sonically, Yeezus is operating on a completely  other level then anything released this year — in fact it makes most records sound lazy in comparison. But a funny thing happened on the way Yeezus becoming the stuff of legend: Kanye got in the way. What could have been a juggernaut of an album is sidetracked by West’s overly misogynistic lyrics, and his continuing lack of self awareness. Social commentary is a hard trick to pull off in any arena, but when you present yourself as the American dream — because you pretty much ARE the American dream — and then attempt to attack that in any measure, the results are at best trite, and at worst laughable.

To be clear, this is an ongoing issue that West suffers, and he is at his best operation as the fairly unchallenged master of pop that he has made himself into. But for now (and this opinion is constantly shifting) Yeezus remains more Zooropa* and less Achtung Baby. It’s clear that there is a masterful artist at work here who is willing to sacrifice the end result for the sake of experimenting with his art, but the attempt is only half of the secret recipe: You’ve gotta stick the landing.

*For the record, I freaking LOVE Zooropa. LOVE. IT.

9. Kacey Musgraves – Same Trailer, Different Park  / Ashley Monroe – Like A Rose

Why two albums? Because both perfectly represent the struggle that “modern country music” faces in 2013. Deservedly maligned by the discerning music fan since the days when the thunder rolled, there’s been a shift over the last few years away from the assembly line nature of what hits the airwaves, back to the more personal, less manufactured music that is the bedrock of a large portion of the American songbook. Musgraves “Merry-Go-Round” and Monroe’s “Like A Rose” are at once eloquent and utilitarian in their assessment of small town living, and rivalJason Isbell’s acumen for commentary of the human experience.

Unlike Isbell though, both artists go slightly off the rails by the end of their song cycles, giving in to the machine’s need for a “hit.” And in doing so they both keep what might have been a duo of timeless, universal records tied to a genre that both artists very clearly can, and should, rise above. That having been said, if you can push past the autotune and the straight-from-the-80’s “redneck” power chorus singing that ultimately takes control of these records, you’ll be rewarded by the work of two of the finest songwriters working in popular music today.

8. Kingsley Flood – Battles

The holy grail for most bands is to be able to match massive performances with equally massive songwriting chops. On Battles, Kingsley Flood took that idea and injected their already successful formula of bar brawl Americana with a double shot of adrenaline to produce one of the most satisfying records of the year to date. Grounded in singer Naseem Khuri’s explorations of what it takes to get by in today’s America, this mostly Boston based five piece (Khuri resides right here in the District) walks the razor’s edge of serious and seriously entertaining, and they do it all with an ease normally reserved for bands twice their age. Successfully bridging the gulf between folk, power pop and punk, Battles finds its power in its unflinching honesty and sincerity, regardless of the delivery method. This is a new Americana, and one that, if this release is any indication, is very quickly going to take over the world.

Best of 2013 (So Far): Aaron's Picks

10.  Jim James - Regions of Light and Sound of God

If Erykah Badu moved to a cabin in the wilderness to chop wood and distill spirits while somehow growing a beard in the process, this is the psychedelic folk R&B record she would record when she came back to the grid.  And that is absolutely a compliment to Jim James.  Hell, that’s a compliment to anybody.

9.  Chelsea Light Moving - Chelsea Light Moving

Chelsea Light Moving accomplish many objectives on their eponymous debut.  One listen (or many) makes it obvious that their intention is to appear, to disappear, to punish, to reward, to compel, to deny, to uplift, to dishearten, and to engage.  Simultaneously.  At high volume.  But mostly they came to rock.  And to help you get some of the smaller items out of your place.  So if you have an end table that needs to be moved, or perhaps a bookshelf or an ottoman you’re not into anymore...  Well, you know who to call.

8.  Justin Timberlake - The 20/20 Experience

Somebody likes old soul records as much as I do.  And that somebody isn’t content to just listen to them and remember when.  No, that somebody decided to make his own classic soul record.  While some were disappointed that The 20/20 Experience wasn’t a continuation of the sounds Justin Timberlake explored to great ends with Timbaland on FutureSex/LoveSounds, my ears found this blend of classic and neo-soul refreshing and inspiring.  I cannot wait to hear volume 2...