As fun as it is to complain about “music these days,” and how it’s all been downhill since The Chronic came out, it’s even MORE fun to listen to — wait for it — good music. Every Tuesday, a.k.a. Music Release Day, we’ll highlight five albums worth (legally) downloading or driving to the local Best Buy (lolz) for.
Today, we’ve got selections from Tig Notaro, Rick Ross, and more.
Live by Tig Notaro
It’s not often we include comedy albums in this feature, but it’s not often a comedy like this comes out.
Back in August, we wrote:
Notaro, who has been on Conan and The Sarah Silverman Program and released a very funny comedy album in 2011 called Good One, had been told that she had cancer, specifically breast cancer, in both breasts. Although Notaro had discussed the diagnosis on her Professor Blastoff podcast, this was her first stand-up set since doctors passed along the unfortunate news, and according to special guest Louis C.K. via Twitter, “in 27 years doing this, I’ve seen a handful of truly great, masterful standup sets. One was Tig Notaro last night at Largo.” (Via)
This is that set. It’s refreshingly honest, distressingly sad, and hilariously self-aware. Or, to quote an audience member whose exclamation speaks for everyone listening, “This is f*cking amazing! It’s beautiful! Do not stop.”
The Black Bar Mitzvah by Rick Ross
Although the quality of the unexpected mixtape never quite lives up to the album artwork, it’s still worth giving a listen to, based on the guest appearances from Drake, Puffy, Gunplay, Omarion, Lil’ Reese, and Rockie Fresh. For more on The Black Bar Mitzvah, checking out the Smoking Section.
Halcyon by Ellie Goulding
It took over a year for Ellie Goulding’s surprise hit, “Lights,” to peak at #2 on the Billboard charts. That’s not so much a criticism as it is pointing out an impressive feat. Every week, the song grew more and more popular, to the point where it became unavoidable. But it never hit the same obnoxious nerve as, say, Alex Clare’s “Too Close” or even “Call Me Maybe” — it sounded more authentic, more from the heart, not the laptop worked on by a team of songwriters, and it was impossible to not be impressed by Goulding’s soaring, equal parts fragile and forceful voice.
On her second album, Goulding wanted and succeeded in making something, in her own words, “bit more tribal, a bit more anthemic.” Unlike too many of today’s pop songs (I know, I know), where the beat tells you what to think and how to fell, you can actually hear the emotion in Goulding’s vocals, whether it be triumphant or bitter or something dangerously in between. Halcyon is good enough to make you forget about her relationship with Skrillex.
119 by Trash Talk
Spit-fire hardcore punk from a band that recently signed with the record label founded by fellow musical anarchists, Odd Future. It’s a match made in, well, maybe not Heaven, but more likely, somewhere where the preferred soundtrack is roaring guitars, charred vocals, and terrifying intensity.
Twins by Ty Segall
Ty Segall’s third album of the year = Ty Segall’s third excellent twitchy garage rock album of the year. The news anchors near the end of this clip give the best review of any album this year: