Margo Price, "This Town Gets Around"
This album, Midwest Farmer's Daughter, came out in 2016 on Jack White's label, and is very much a throwback. It wears its inspiration on its sleeve, with Loretta Lynn's influence heard everywhere in the music and of course the album title's homage. Trying to live up to Lynn is of course a massive challenge, but Price does well. There's nothing especially adorned about this album, it's just very straightforward country, but it's a lovely record.
Lard, "Generation Execute"
Lard's first record was an unexpected success. Ministry dialed up their frantic pace another couple notches and made themselves into a fine companion for Jello Biafra's paranoid and claustrophobic lyrics. By the time their second LP (Pure Chewing Satisfaction) arrived, the bloom was a bit off the rose. It's a little more plodding, a little more experimental, and it just doesn't quite jell (hah!). It sounds too much like Ministry, honestly, and Biafra doesn't quite sound like he's putting his all in it.
Cloud Nothings, "Biting Is Bad"
As mentioned before, Cloud Nothings decided to do a subscription project, where for $5 a month, you got an EP of original material each month. The thing that's impressive about it is that the tunes on those EPs are quite good. It's not just leftovers and throwaways, it's a series of good stuff. The only thing they don't have is names for the EPs, so this is from the May 2021 release.
Jon Spencer, "Love Handle"
Pussy Galore formed in 1985, so Jon Spencer was playing in bands for 33 years before he finally got around to releasing a solo record in 2018. And, you know, it's extremely Jon Spencer. Is it as good as JSBX? Well, no. It's a bit much to ask anybody to keep up with Judah Bauer and Russel Simins. But, you know, it's still Spencer, he's still got his trademark songwriting, and he's still banging out some fun tunes.
When Speakerboxxx/The Love Below came out, it represented both a grand experiment and an enormous fracture. After the brilliant Stankonia, OutKast split and and released solo records, but they're bundled together. Big Boi's half is the more conventional, a great, bouncing hip-hop record. Andre 3000's half is...well, it's a Prince record. It's not really hip-hop, it's more a mix of funk, R&B, pop, and the occasional hip-hop flourish. It produced the massive hit ("Hey Ya!"), but in truth, I rarely listen to it while I do listen to Big Boi's record quite a bit. It turns out I can just go listen to Prince instead.
After this song ended, I went and played "Bowtie", and damn, that shit still smokes. In fact...