Mikal Cronin

Episode 116: Mikal Cronin - MCIII / Patrick Watson - Love Songs For Robots

Episode 116: Mikal Cronin - MCIII / Patrick Watson - Love Songs For Robots

This week on ye olde podcast we’re strong with indignation, curmudgeon, and wonder.  First up, Prince’s “surprise” show in Baltimore last Sunday was billed as a “Rally 4 Peace”, but with millions in potential monetary donations to be generated, and only a “portion” of the proceeds going to charity, should “good vibes” really count as currency? We resurrect our fan favorite “Prince is a dick” segment to investigate.

Next up, tune in as we review new records from power-pop wunderkind Mikal Cronin and Montreal’s masterful Patrick Watson.  Both albums are two of the mostly hotly anticipated albums of 2015, but do they deliver the goods?

PLUS!!! Are you a Dylan Fan? Ryan Adams? How about just a great song? If the answer is yes “The Jester and the Queen” by Chicago based singer/songwriter PM Buys is the track for you!


Episode 79: Ty Segall - Manipulator

Episode 79: Ty Segall - Manipulator

Love him or hate him, Ty Segall has proven to be one of the most prolific and consistent artists working in music today, and on his latest effort, Manipulator, he airs out the garage a little to produce his most polished work to date. Does it work? Is it the “album of the year” as many have claimed? Kevin, Adam, and Quinn get to the bottom of these questions PLUS consider the art of the ridiculous band name on Episode 79 of ChunkyGlasses: The Podcast! 


BEST OF 2013: Kevin's Picks

BEST OF 2013: Kevin's Picks

10. Kanye West - Yeezus

The most undeniably beautiful mess of an album to come along in ages, Yeezus, by all rights, shouldn’t be mentioned anywhere near the words “Best of 2013.” Yet here we are and here it is. Anticipation was high, the hype even higher, for what the Chicago artist/producer would deliver as a follow up to 2011’s glorious My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy and what we got was a confusing, aggressive, and aggressively risk-taking collection of songs that play more like a slo-mo, hi-fi train wreck than a work of staggering genius.


BEST OF 2013: Thor's Picks

BEST OF 2013: Thor's Picks

10. Arctic Monkeys - AM

Seeing the Arctic Monkeys live is the closest thing in 2013 to seeing one of the monolithic classic rock bands of yesteryear in their prime. The Arctic Monkeys have consistently found a way to make great rock albums, fill big venues, and all the while be one of the closest things to a proper mega-star rock band we can get. Their latest album AM takes a bit of the laidback melodies they dived headfirst into on Suck It And See and throws a gorgeous R&B twist onto them. They still know how to crush skulls, though; just listen to the Zeppelin groove of album highlight “R U Mine?” 


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): Thor's Picks

10. The Front Bottoms  - Talon Of The Hawk

This is something I was shocked I liked, usually the ingredients of rambled lyrics, pop punk guitars (especially acoustic ones) and horns in an indie context and a fan base with an extreme amount of 13 year olds would make me cringe, but something about the likability of this New Jersey rock and roll band has me coming back for more. Their live shows will soon be infamous for their energy, and their lyrics speak to the 13 year old in us we didn’t know still existed.

 

9. Toro Y Moi - Anything In Return

Toro Y Moi has slowly but surely been finding his niche in the music world. As one of the forerunners of the genre known as “chillwave” he has gracefully moved on from the buzzed genre to becoming a solid electronic pop artist that understands the importance and smoothness of ‘80s artists like Hall and Oates  and comes out the end with a more and more refined sound.

 

8. The Men - New Moon

The Men have been shifting and morphing ever since they started on 2011’s Leaving Home. Starting out as a noise ridden punk band the Brooklyn rock band has evolved to something much more mature and on their latest they retain the energy of their live shows but crash land in Neil Young/Crazy Horse mode. They didn’t sell out and go soft, they just went somewhere else, and I can’t wait to see how this bands discography looks in five years from now.

 


Episode 25: Can't Keep A Good Whitesnake Down


In which the gang contemplates being old enough to rent a car, the place of artifice in rawk, Kevin reveals more music that needs to GTFO his lawn, Paul officially reveals his hatred of fun, and the timelessness of Whitesnake is explored to it's fullest. PLUS!!! We review new music from Deer Hunter, Har Mar Superstar, Mikal Cronin and Savages' highly anticpated debut!

EPISODE 25: Can't Keep A Good Whitesnake Down






REVIEWED

Deerhunter
Monomania

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  • Kevin:
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  • PASS
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  • Har Mar Superstar
    Bye Bye 17

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  • Mikal Cronin
    MCII

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  • Savages
    Silence Yourself

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