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Unsolicited Endorsements XXXVII

Because sometimes you just want friends to tell you about cool things… the Brew House team offers up its weekly mix of author-supported goodness

Album: Black Up by Shabazz Palaces

Sitting across from Nicki Minaj at the opposite end of the hip-hop spectrum is this weaving, dark, low-key set of ten tracks from Seattle-based Shabazz Palaces. Think of Shabazz Palaces like a hip-hop version of Broken Social Scene: various voices and influences from around the indie world, cobbled together to create something that’s all over the map – pleasantly unsteady and off-kilter enough to stay interesting on repeated listens.

Black Up can be a bit dense at times, and by the final couple of tracks, you’re almost ready to move onto something a bit more buttoned-up. But then the last song hits and pulls it all back together with a big, booming groove of a beat that sounds like a delightful four-minute chorus.

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Unsolicited Endorsements XXXVI

Because sometimes you just want friends to tell you about cool things… the Brew House team offers up its weekly mix of author-supported goodness.

Hipster Hop: G-Eazy’s “Runaround Sue”

A few weeks ago, my friend Danny called me about a show. He lives in New Orleans, and I’d planned to go down there the last week of September. So he told me that Hoodie Allen, the Ivy League educated (and former Google-ite) independent rapper was playing in New Orleans that week. Cool, I said.

Well, it turns out that Hoodie will actually be in Lawrence before that — at the Granada on Saturday — and he’s sharing the tour with G-Eazy, the Oakland native who made YouTube waves last year with his underground hit, “Runaround Sue” a sample of Dion’s *all-time hit/underrated party song. (Earlier this week, my old college friend Jess interviewed G-Eazy about the upcoming show and his new material.)

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#MusicMonday: The Hold Steady

Every Monday morning. Music so good, it must be shared. 

This week: “Stuck Between Stations” — The Hold Steady, off its 2006 album, “Boys and Girls in America.”

There’s been a lot of cool stuff coming out of Minnesota in the last week. This piece by Vikings punter/raging wordsmith Chris Kluwe. This rare interview with Al Franken. (The funniest member of the Senate is so invisible these days… I forgot he was in the Senate for like 18 months.) And then there’s Craig Finn, front man for the Hold Steady, Twins fan at heart. Game, Blouses.

Unsolicited Endorsements XXXIV

Because sometimes you just want friends to tell you about cool things… the Brew House team offers up its weekly mix of author-supported goodness.

Travel Series: “Up to Speed” with Speed Levitch

This is Speed Levitch, philosopher tour guide. Levitch first came on my radar about six years ago, when my brother rented “The Cruise”, the 1998 documentary that catalogued Levitch’s life as an eccentric tour-guide dude in New York City. Levitch’s persona is unforgettable — his nasally aphorisms leaving a mark in some bizarre, poetic fashion.

Here’s what I didn’t know six years ago. Levitch has Kansas City roots.  Continue reading

#MusicMonday: Tame Impala

Every Monday morning. Music so good… it must be shared.

This week: “Elephant” — Tame Impala, off their second, yet-to-be released album, “Lonerism”.

[h/t All Songs…]

No Way It’s Been That Long

Fifteen years ago, a mogul who’d lost his best friend to murder and had his name implicated in the murder of an enemy changed the world of rap music despite the fact that he could barely rap. Remember? Maybe the glare from this glimmering jumpsuit will refresh your memory.

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One last tribute to Johnson County tap water

As long-time readers of this blog probably know, we champion a lot of causes around here. But there’s one that seems to unite us all — well, at least Mark and I — and that’s Johnson County tap water.

As you might know, Mark moved to State College, Pa., a few months ago and wrote this wonderful endorsement of Johnson County tap water.

It read, in part:

“I have no idea how Johnson County (Kansas) pulls off this feat, but it serves its customers the Cristal of tap waters. After living in Johnson County, even Fiji and Voss water taste like dirt. I know this endorsement sounds so pretentious, so Johnson County, but it’s so true.”

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#MusicMonday: Ben Gibbard

Every Monday morning. Music so good… it must be shared.

This week: “Ichiro’s Theme” — Ben Gibbard, released last week by the Death Cab frontman

-fin-

Unsolicited Endorsements XXXI

Because sometimes you just want friends to tell you about cool things… the Brew House team offers up its weekly mix of author-supported goodness.

Summer Concert Series: “Fox & Friends All-American Summer Concert Series”

Everything about the Fox News Channel is stunning, when you step back and look at the bigger picture. Whether you agree or disagree with the notion an entity like Fox News – or MSNBC, for that matter – should attempt to pass itself off as a reputable news organization, you can’t really deny the channel’s influence (the same can’t be said for MSNBC). The main reason I love* Fox News is that everyone involved is clearly in on the joke. To truly appreciate the operation’s genius, you have to forget about the whole “ruining our nation” thing for a second and focus on the power it wields every Friday morning.

*Love might not be the right word.

The “Fox & Friends All-American Summer Concert Series” brings a crowd of several hundred to the corner of 48th Street and Sixth Avenue in Manhattan every Friday morning. Once assembled, the attendees start the morning by sitting at picnic tables on a fake grass lawn, consuming Famous Dave’s BBQ, and listening to music – usually country, usually espousing conservative values. This all happens IN THE HEART OF MIDTOWN MANHATTAN. AT EIGHT IN THE MORNING.

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#MusicMonday: Neil Young

Every Monday morning. Music so good… it must be shared.

This week: “Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere” — Neil Young with Crazy Horse, off the album, “Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere”  
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