Episode 268: The Iceberg - Oddisee

Episode 268: The Iceberg - Oddisee

Washington, DC is a town that is in the middle of a massive cultural shift, and I.M.P Productions (the folks behind the 9:30 Club) are at the forefront of this change. Recently the mega-promoter signed a 40 year lease on the historic Merriweather Post Pavilion and has announced plans to open another venue - The Anthem - on the shores of the rapidly developing DC waterfront. Marcus Dowling (Bandcamp, Decades) is joining us to talk about what these changes mean for this "small town", what I.M.P's impact will look like, and how this relates to cities struggling to support the arts all around the world.

On his 11th album, The Iceberg, DC "ex-pat" Oddisee has delivered his strongest musical statement yet. A potent mix of philosophy, history lessons, and beats drives the latest collection of songs from one of hip-hop's most unique voices. 

PLUS! Columbia, MD based rapper K.A.A.N. is back with Abstractions, his new EP produced by Klaus Layer, and we've got its first single "Toonami" for you to check out!

Episode 170: Laura Gibson - Empire Builder

Episode 170: Laura Gibson - Empire Builder

For 30 years now, SXSW has brought the best and the brightest of the music industry to the music capital of the world for for a week of controlled chaos and musical overload. Music journalist Marcus J. Moore attended this summer camp for music nerds for the first time this year, and he’s hanging out with us to report back on what went down.

Laura Gibson has made a career of making sublimely beautiful folk music, but on Empire Builder she beat back adversity and ended up with her best album to date.

Oddisee is back with a free album Alwasta, and we’ve got a politically charged track off of it to rock your freaking dome.

BEST OF 2012: Kevin's Picks


Hospitality - Hospitality

Standout Tracks: “Friends” “Betty Wang”

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. 

Best Of 2012: Andre's Picks


Hundred Visions – Permanent Basement

Good morning class, my name is Dr. Jim Sullivan and I’ll be your instructor for this semester’s class; Introduction on How to Rock Face 101. Here is your first assignment. I want you to go home, put on Hundred Visions Permanent Basement and loosen up your rock maneuvers along with some serious rock face. Although, there is one condition, you cannot, and I repeat, do not, at any point in this exercise rock face to this album into or near a mirror or any other reflective surfaces.  I’ll see you all tomorrow for our discussion.

Welcome back class. Well, based upon the look on all of your melted faces, you probably think that I’m disappointed to see that you all have failed to follow the instructions. Billy, what was the last instruction I gave? Uhhhmmm, don’t look into a mirror or reflective surface while rocking face to Hundred Visions? Correct Billy, and based on your experience, why would I give you that instruction? Uhhhmmm, because even the reflection alone of how hard this album makes us rock face would cause us to melt our own faces off? Correct Billy, but sometimes the best education is experiencing the true power of rocking face first hand. You can thank Hundred Visions for that one. Good job class, now let me tell you about an album I like to call U.F.O.



Damien Jurado - Maraqopa

Similar to Jim Sullivan’s 1969 masterpiece U.F.O., Maraqopa is a lush, multi-layered and mysterious sounding folk album that may not get the credit it deserves in its day and age.  This album is also one of the few examples of how to tastefully use strings and choirs in modern music. But, like a fine wine, this one will definitely age well and stand the test of time so that it can be lauded when the Space Jesus returns (listen to podcast 17, time stamp 52 minutes for further explanation on that front.) I just hope Damien doesn’t mimic Sullivan and decide to walk into the desert and get summoned back to another planet where the general public appreciates his music in the time when it is actually happening.  So, as Carrie would say, sometimes you have to ask yourself What Would Alien Jesus Do? Well, apparently he would listen to Damien Jurado.