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KSDT Monthly Picks: November

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A Tribe Called Quest: We Got It from Here… Thank You 4 Your Service

Hip-Hop

Some artists reach their peak in the middle of their career, and then gradually fade away, and others end theirs with a beautiful swan song. This album from the Tribe is the latter. Q-Tip announced that this will be the group’s final album (their last album before this, The Love Movement, was released in 1998). The album follows the death of their own Phife Dawg, who died from complications due to diabetes in March, but is still on the album. This album has a special significance for me personally, as the Tribe is the group that introduced me to hip-hop. It features their classic R&B- and jazz-influenced sound, with an emphasis on sampling and production by Q-Tip. The music is fresh and varied, with tracks ranging from smooth/groovy to heavy and hard-hitting, yet still sounds like it could have come straight out of the 1990s. One of the album’s highlights is “Lost Somebody,” the group’s personal tribute to Phife. It describes their relationship with him and love for him, and makes us think and care about our own loved ones. Most artists’ releases far after their peak usually tend to be watered-down and weak, but it’s a rare and beautiful moment when an old artist you admire releases a great piece of work just when you thought they were gone. -Blind Louisiana Chapman, Guitarmonies Saturday 4pm

KSDT Picks: Lost Somebody, The Killing Season, Whateva Will Be

 

Ray Torro: Remember the Laughter

Synth Rock

It’s been a few years since we’ve heard music from Ray Toro, but you may not recognize him from his debut album. The My Chemical Romance guitarist has never really showed us his personal side, although he did make it clear just how talented he is. Now without his bandmates, he pens lyrics for the first time while still displaying his guitar shredding skills and takes us on his venture into mellow synth-rock. His vocals are comforting, and the guitar solos are uplifting, a contrast from his prior angst-filled riffs and scream-singing.  The meticulousness and sincerity can be heard in every moment of this album, as Toro records every instrument entirely on his own. After three years of production, Remember the Laughter has certainly proven to be a record to remember. Perfect for those who crave the rock sound but need something that won’t induce head banging. -DJ Boots with the Fur, Trapped in the 2000s Friday 1pm

KSDT Picks: Wedding Day/We Save, Look at You Now, Eruption/Hope for the World

 

Gillian Welch: Boots No. 1: The Official Revival Bootleg

Americana

Twenty years after the release of Gillian Welch’s debut album, Revival, Boots No. 1: The Official Revival Bootleg revisits those early years with a compilations of demos, outtakes, and alternate tracks from the original Revival sessions. Since those sessions, Welch and her musical partner Dave Rawlings have become known for their tight harmonies, distinctive guitar lines, and songs that sound straight out of rural 1930’s America. The collection of twenty one songs on Boots are carefully chosen to give a window into the young duo’s creative process as they found and cemented their distinctive sound. Take, for example, the two versions of Orphan Girl on the album. The arrangement is simplified and slowed from demo to studio take, and would them be further simplified for the final release. Along with alternate versions of songs that did make it onto Revival, are a number of tracks that never saw the light of day. You can really hear Welch’s influences and stylistic experiments, rocking out and crooning country. For longtime fans, it’s a fun romp; for new listeners it’s a solid album in it’s own right. Overall, the tracks on Boots lack some of the refinement found on Revival, as is to be expected from demos at outtakes, but they still have the same core charm and ernest delivery that have endeared Welch and Rawlings to American fans for the last twenty years. -Elias Turner, The Aeroplane Wednesday 1pm

KSDT Picks: Wichita (Revival Outtake), Annabelle (Alternate Version), 455 Rocket (Revival Outtake)

 

Saor : Guardians

Atmospheric Black Metal

Guardians is the third release from Andy Marshall’s one man atmoblack project Saor. The Scotland based musician claims great influence from the environment of the country and its traditional music. This was evidenced in his first two albums Roots and Aura and is turned up to eleven with Guardians. The increased presence of traditional instruments serves to create a very atmospheric sound from start to finish. The epic scale of the music leads to new discoveries on every re-listen. If you want to feellike you’re standing in the Scottish highlands, this album is perfect for you. – DJ Ghoul, The Metal Shift Thursday 3pm

KSDT Picks: Hearth, Tears of a Nation

 

The Men: Devil Music

Garage Rock, Lo-Fi, Punk

Brooklyn based rock band, The Men, return to their noise punk roots to give us 34 minutes of raw rock and roll appropriate for the title; Devil Music. From the very start their loud primal, and often childish, energy thrusts the listener into their lo-fi feedback filled party that unapologetically gives you no time to breathe between spurts of yelps and squeals. Here, The Men channel The Stooges, Motörhead, and Minor Threat while still being uniquely themselves. Songs like Violate features manic transitions between its heavy blues riff and pure punk speed that does as the title promises and leaves you feeling slightly violated. The addition of atonal sax squeals on tracks like Lion’s Den and Hit the Ground adds to the general chaos within them. The album closes with Fire, which is written like a stadium rock anthem but intentionally fails to leave the garage in execution by keeping its beer stained lo-fi imperfections. In a word, this album is chaotic. Perfect for any family gathering to get you in the holiday spirit this season. –DJ Slater

KSDT Picks: Crime, Lion’s Den, Violate, Hit the Ground, Fire