The Fortnightly Playlist, November 18th, 2018

What’s been your favorite music of 2018? I’ve been adjusting and re-adjusting my own running list trying to decide what I’ll include in my year-end list of favorites next month. In the meantime, here’s a whole bunch more new releases to consider! New Jon Spencer, Bow Thayer, boygenius, Christine & the Queens, All Them Witches, Vince Staples, and Tash Sultana all included in this edition.

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Lucy Dacus, Julien Baker and Phoebe Bridgers have all been featured on the Fortnightly Playlist in the last couple years, so it would be hard to ignore their new collaborative EP under the name boygenius. The 3 talented, young singer-songwriters trade the lead on this new project, and they work so well together. I really hope to see them do more together in the future because the harmonies and the weaving guitar lines are so well done. I included my personal favorite from the EP in this edition: the Dacus-lead, “Bite the Hand.”

Jon Spencer Blues Explosion got a big profile boost last year when “Bellbottoms” was featured prominently in the movie Baby Driver. The song was originally released in 1995 on the album Orange, so really the film brought the band to the attention of a whole new generation. Now Jon Spencer has released a new solo album called Spencer Sings the Hits! There’s a lot of the raucous blues-rock here that is signature Jon Spencer, filled with fuzz-laden guitar hooks, overdrive bass, and an blues-rock howl and swagger. It’s an incredibly fun album!

Other favorites this time around include Tash Sultana, Ricky-Tick Big Band, Bow Thayer, and Robyn.

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Tracklist:
Little Dragon – Lover Chanting
Helado Negro – Come Be Me
Ricky-Tick Big Band, Julkinen Sana – Uudestaan
Ice Cube – Arrest the President
Obeah, Chuck D, Mux Mool – Against the Grain
Vince Staples – Don’t Get Chipped!
Residente, Trooko – Queirido Louis
Christine and the Queens – Damn (what must a woman do)
IV League – Lose Me
Regina Spektor – Birdsong
boygenius – Bite The Hand
Mandolin Orange – Golden Embers
Bow Thayer – A Better Version of the Truth
Ed Schrader’s Music Beat – Dunce
Jon Spencer – I Got The Hits
All Them Witches – Diamond
Tash Sultana – Murder to the Mind (Album Mix)
Pan Amsterdam, Open Mike Eagle – No Snare
Girafot, Balkan Beat Box – לא היתה נחיתה על הירח
APE, A-WA, LOCO-HOT, [dunkelbunt] – I’m a Tribe
Robyn – Ever Again

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The Fortnightly Playlist, October 7th, 2018

An influx of Irish artists, some local grunge legends, the Screaming Eagle of Soul, Finnish bigband/hip-hop, and previously unreleased Joe Strummer… It’s been another two weeks, so here’s another playlist full on new music.

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Last weekend was the 2018 Hard Working Class Heroes festival in Dublin, Ireland. Since 2003, this festival has built a name for itself by promoting emerging artists. The lineup this year was chock full of great up-and-comers, and I had a hard time choosing who to include in my own list. I did include 7 artists from their lineup, but if you enjoy them then you can check out a playlist of all of them here! The artists I chose to include are 1000 Beasts, Crook, Alan Finan, Joshua Burnside, Bicurious, Brenna Carroll, and Damola.

Charles Bradley, the Screaming Eagle of Soul, died little more than 1 year ago. He worked at numerous odd jobs from dishwasher to James Brown impersonator, he endured homelessness off and on since he was a teenager, and was not given a chance in the music industry until late in life. He was 62 when his debut album was released. His long struggle ultimately was what made him the artist that so many fell in love with… full of humility and gratitude. It was only 6 and a half years after his debut album that he passed away from stomach cancer. In that period, he released 3 full-length albums. Now an album full of unreleased material is set to be released on November 5th (his 70th birthday). I believe this is the same show I linked to when he passed away, but it is my favorite. I remember listening to this live on the radio, and it gets me every time: Charles Bradley live in the KEXP Gathering space.

Well, I’d thought that I had this playlist all set early this week, and then I found out about this new Joe Strummer collection, 001. The songs are mostly from the years after The Clash split up, and include 12 that have never been released before. I’m a huge fan of Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros, and there are some real gems here from the years between The Clash and The Mescaleros. Unreleased tunes with other Clash members, some Mescaleros favorites, songs recorded under a variety of names, and a duet with Johnny Cash covering Bob Marley are all in this brilliant collection. As I said, I had pretty much done the playlist already, and trying to figure out where to fit Strummer in was a challenge. I decided to just stick a trio of tunes at the end as sort of a coda to this edition.

Favorites this edition include Ricky-Tick Big Band & Julkinen Sana, Courtney Barnett, Alan Finan, Eliza Shaddad, and Cloquet.

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Tracklist:
Eliza Shaddad – Just Goes to Show
Brenna Carroll – Like I Do
Charles Bradley – I Feel a Change
Gabriel Teodros, Shakiah, Rell Be Free – Summer Haze
Anderson.Paak, Kendrick Lamar – Tints
NAVVI – Sampaguita
1000 Beasts, Janet Grogan – Lord (It’s OK)
Phosphorescent – C’est La Vie No.2
Sharon Van Etten – Comeback Kid
Bicurious – Sleep
The Joy Formidable – The Better Me
Emmaline Twist – Desperate Measures
Mudhoney – Please Mr. Gunman
Courtney Barnett – Small Talk
Kurt Vile – One Trick Ponies
Crook – Easter Morning
Joshua Burnside – A Man of High Renown
Alan Finan – Slumber
Gabriel Kahane – November
Cloquet – Chances
Four Fists – 6666
Damola – Snoozing
Precyce Politix, D.R.U.G.S. Beats – To the Giants
Ghostface Killah – An Unexpected Call
Ricky-Tick Big Band, Julkinen Sana – Kohtalo
Joe Strummer, Johnny Cash – Redemption Song
Joe Strummer – Burning Lights
Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros – London is Burning