BOXING DAY. I am not doing a special today.
Cosmic Analog Ensemble, "Camille 3000"
Cosmic Analaog Ensemble is the work of a single person, Charif Megarbane, who uses his band to explore different genres and styles. With Les Sourdes Oreilles he's really going after what I'm going to call soundtrack funk - the sort of thing that seems like it should be in a gritty 70s movie. This entire record sounds like a lost David Axelrod record, and that's a high compliment. If you like this track, you should pick up the whole album, it's all of this quality.
Jay-Z, "Dirt Off Your Shoulder"
Jay-Z's retirement album, The Black Album, caused waves in hip-hop as the biggest name in the game exited at the height of his powers. And a magnificent sendoff it was, scaling almost back to the heights of Reasonable Doubt or The Blueprint. As usual, his choice in producers was excellent, and they all turn in tracks at their top form. Nobody wanted to let Jay-Z down on this one. One of the truly fascinating counterfactuals in popular music for the past couple decades is what would have happened if Jay-Z had come back and resumed making music again. Hard to say what that would have sounded like, honestly.
The Ongoing Concept, "Saloon"
Metalcore mostly misses me. I don't know, it just seems kind of too Frankenstein-y. You can see the seams too much. Case in point, this just seems like it's trying a bit too hard.
Squirrel Nut Zippers, "La Grippe"
TOO SOON, SQUIRREL NUT ZIPPERS
The Dambuilders, "Delaware"
I recommended the Dambuilders as a lost 90s band to someone putting together a playlist the other day, and I'm pleased that this song convinces me that I was right to do so.