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Review: Sparkle Hard by Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks

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Another in a line of creative records from the ex-Pavement front-man. 

I heard that Stephen Malkmus shelved a much more electronic record in favor of this new Jicks album. While I’d love to hear him outside his comfort zone, Malkmus really does excel within it. The last few Jicks records are rock solid and this new one is no exception. Malkmus brings all the sardonic line deliveries, geeky wordplay, and fresh guitar noodlings fans expect from the  Pavement front man.

On his seventh record with the Jicks, Malkmus stretches out, allowing himself to reach back through the 90’s into some decidedly late 70’s/early 80’s prog-rock sounds in tracks like “Rattler,” “Shingy,” and “Future Suite.” Things get beautifully retro in the gorgeously stringy “Solid Silk” and you can hear some Keith Richards influence in the guitars on “Bike Lane.” Throw in the alt country twang of duet “Refute” with fellow 90’s icon Kim Gordon, and you got one of the best records of the year.

What others are saying: 
Spin
Pitchfork
Rolling Stone
Consequence of Sound

 

Brooklyn's own MC Krispy E has an opinion about most things you can put in your ear, eye, and mouth holes.

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Music

Music Sucks

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Music is alive and well. Also, it sucks. Here are five brand new songs that you should avoid at all costs.

Paul McCartney – Fuh You

Can you believe I’m starting with one of the best songwriters of the last sixty years? This song takes the worst tropes of modern music and melds it with the smarmy lusts of a 76 year old man – set to the backdrop of the #metoo movement. Why Paul? Why?

Steve Perry – No Erasin’

After 25 years of silence, ex-Journey front-man releases this lyrical cesspit. Another guy pushing 70 pining for the backseat of some girl’s car. Even that smooth mid-section can’t save this Viagra ad.

Greta Van Fleet – When the Curtain Falls

Honestly, if this was a parody or a Ween song, I might feel differently, but come on Greta Van Fleet. You can’t just copy every nuance of Led Zepplin and get away with it. Although it’s working for them so far. All the elements are in place, they just need to find some originality. (the music kicks a little ass, I will admit)

Nicki Minaj – Ganja Burn

If Nicki Minaj looked like me you wouldn’t even know her name. Eight million views after three days.

Florida Georgia Line – Simple

If you like your middle-aged housewife country music with a dollop of auto-tune, have I got a terrible song for you.

 

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New Music Alert!

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New MUSIC alert! New MUSIC alert!

With a month left in the summer of 2018,  more releases are coming fast and furious. The competition for the airwaves is on and the prize is your attention –  so let me put you on to five new records.

Queen (Nicky Minaj)

Look who’s back? It’s Queen Nicky and she brought her pen with some friends along. Eminem, Lil Wayne, Ariana Grande and Foxy Brown (nice to hear that voice again) to name a few. Nicky made a concerted effort to reach into her West Indian bag of roots on a couple of tracks on this offering and it’s worth the listen.
Standout TrackBarbie Dreams

Astroworld (Travis Scott)

This brother has been working! Travis Scott didn’t half step, as a matter of fact he took two steps forward. Seventeen tracks are on this album to prove it…STRAIGHT UP (Travis Scott voice). This is one of those albums where you can let it rock out and stay in Astroworld the entire night.
Standout TrackWake Up

5E (N.O.R.E)

Let me start off with a big THANK YOU to N.O.R.E for staying true to his craft. If you’ve never heard what the NY sound was revered for, I suggest you cop this album immediately. “Mami use to call me Dick Cheyney cause I never take my chain off, when I got my brain off” is just one those lyrics that we look forward to N.O.R.E spittin. The collaborations are on point from start to finish. Fat Joe in particular took it back to the block on a couple joints on here.
Standout TrackDon’t Know

Commissary (Casanova)

Sometimes you need tracks to hit the gym right. Sometimes you need tracks to hit the club right. Well Casanova managed to have a little bit of both on Commissary. Get your weight up and pump this!
Standout TrackLeft, Right

 

Rolling Papers II (Wiz Khalifa)

For all of you out there that have a problem with the frequency of Wiz Khalifa’s releases. I will venture to say the problem has been solved. Wiz dropped twenty-five songs…yes 25! for you to roll with and to. So do what you do and let Wiz be the soundtrack.
Standout TrackSomething New

 

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Love is Bigger Than Anything In Its Way by U2 (Beck Remix)

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Touching video by the Broken Fingaz for Beck’s remix of U2’s “Love Is Bigger Than Anything In Its Way.”

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