Sun Kil Moon: “War On Drugs: Suck My Cock”

Guess what?  This week has seen the release of some of this year’s finest music. However, before we get into that, let me tell you about something interesting–and awkward–that also happened this week.

Earlier this year Mark Kozelek released his touchiest, feeliest, album yet: Benji.  I liked it.  My much wiser colleague, Kevin Krein, thought it was dog shit.  His excellent review in this publication was brutal. When I read it I thought it was perhaps a bit harsh. I couldn’t have been more wrong. This week, it became obvious how on point Krein really was.

Allow me to explain. Kozelek has been making headlines of late on account of his dickish on-stage behavior. As someone who used to play out on nothing, but an acoustic guitar, I feel for him. But you simply can’t yell at a crowd who isn’t feeling your music, call them “fucking hillbillies” and tell them to “shut the fuck up.”  It’s just bad form.

On one such occasion, while playing at a festival, the sound from a War On Drugs performance drowned out Kozelek’s set.  Instead of acting like a professional he proclaimed that War On Drugs could “suck his cock” and described their music as “beer commercial rock.”

Now, he has given the world this song.

 

The worst part–for Kozelek–is that throughout this entire ordeal War On Drugs have been nothing, but cool. In fact, they gave Kozelek ample opportunity to save face. Just to give you an idea of how diplomatic they’re being, War On Drugs took to twitter in response to the song. They acknowledged Kozelek’s attempt at making a joke, but admitted, “(it’s) just upsetting to me as a fan that’s all.  We’re just doin’ what we do.”

I’ll let you decide if War On Drugs is “beer commercial rock.”  My two cents about what’s really going on: I’ll bet it’s pretty hard to be boring old Mark Kozelek when droves of excited people are pumping their fists and singing along to War On Drugs 200 feet away.

Listen to “Red Eyes” below.

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Rome Fortune: Small VVorld

This is Rome Fortune’s second amazing mixtape this year.  How does he do it?  I don’t know.  Probably a mixture of good drugs and inspiration. I’m guessing he’ll be a XXL freshman in 2015 along with ILoveMakonnen, the fellow who provided the hook on “Friends Maybe”–one of the standout tracks here.

 

In other words, these guys are fresh. Links to their tapes are below.

Rome Fortune: Small VVorld

Rome Fortune: Beautiful Pimp 2

ILoveMakonnen: EP

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Flying Lotus: You’re Dead!

If you’re like me and thought Kendrick Lamar’s “I” was a huge disappointment, maybe this album will console you.  The BPMs here are a little faster than I typically enjoy in pop music, but make no mistake, this is a tour de force.  And not for nothing, think about this legacy: Louis Armstrong mentored Earl Hines, Hines mentored Charlie Parker, Parker mentored Miles Davis, Davis mentored Herbie Hancock, and though it hasn’t been widely publicized, Hancock–who collaborates with Flying Lotus on the album–more than likely did a little mentoring of Steve Ellison too.

Check BGM’s great review and listen to “Never Catch Me” below:

 

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Vince Staples: Hell Can Wait

You might remember Vince Staples for his feature on Earl Sweatshirt’s “Hive” last year. Believe it or not, Staples has given us a lot of great music this year too.  His Shyne Coldchain Vol. 2 mixtape came and went with little fanfare, but it was one of 2014’s best hip hop releases.  He’s playied SLC last night with Joey Bada$$–another MC about to drop some serious shit.

“Hands Up” will go down as the best track that came out in the wake of Ferguson, but my favorite on this EP is “Blue Suede.”  Check it out below:

 

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Tinashe: Aquarius

I’m just gonna admit it.  I have a big ol’ crush on Tinashe, and a certain affinity for DJ Mustard. But I promise you, that has not clouded my judgement when it comes to the quality of this album.

It’s a bit top heavy, but there are some killer jams here.  If you’ve been needing some straight up awesome R&B in your life, you could do a lot worse.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-s7TCuCpB5c

dannyvesper
is a freelance writer and hipster emeritus. His work has appeared in various impressive publications including the one you’re enjoying now and he has his own music blog where he reviews music both old and new: oldnewborrowedblew.blogspot.com