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Outsideleft Week in Music taking a liking to the cut of Lil Yachty's jib We're hearing from... Lil Yachty, New Order, The Go! Team, Gorillaz, Augustus Pablo, The Orb, Hamish Hawk, Smashing Pumpkins, Bob Dylan, Brian Jonestown Massacre, Rickie Lee Jones, Vic Mensa, Neutral Milk Hotel, Megan Brickwood, Alfa Mist, Lankum, Scott McMicken and the EVER-EXPANDING, Pernice Brothers, Eyedress, Kingo Halla and Kate NV

Outsideleft Week in Music taking a liking to the cut of Lil Yachty's jib

We're hearing from... Lil Yachty, New Order, The Go! Team, Gorillaz, Augustus Pablo, The Orb, Hamish Hawk, Smashing Pumpkins, Bob Dylan, Brian Jonestown Massacre, Rickie Lee Jones, Vic Mensa, Neutral Milk Hotel, Megan Brickwood, Alfa Mist, Lankum, Scott McMicken and the EVER-EXPANDING, Pernice Brothers, Eyedress, Kingo Halla and Kate NV

by LamontPaul, Founder & Publisher
first published: February, 2023

approximate reading time: minutes

Surely you have heard the hype, maybe bypassed it to pre-cancel the LP in an Internet reverse half Nelson backlash (a certain farm-implement named music site already has, natch), but the new Lil Yachty LP is really good. It actually is - Alex V. Cook

The OUTSIDELEFT Week in Music is for one week at least the place where the stars come to shine. Look at the list, a veritable cavalcade of stars - oh man how I love to see those three words, cavalcade of stars, combined...


SINGLES

GORILLAZ - Silent Running ft. Adeleye Omotayo (Parlophone)
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by Tim London

As a big fan of Damien’s increasingly world-weary voice, especially the little chanson vibrato that ends some lines, it’s disappointing to hear what sounds like pitch correction being used on this lightweight tune. As a song, if it hadn’t been couched in the sort of middle of the road soul arrangement that reflects current times, (with obligatory wailing from, presumably, the feature, Adeleye Omotayo) then it would comfortably fit with his more personal sounding, acoustic based tunes and the melody could have shone. This sounds like a tasty bit of toast, but slathered with shop-bought whipped cream.


LANKUM - Go Dig My Grave (Rough Trade)
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by Jay Lewis

Anyone who mistakenly clicked onto Lankum's rendition of The Wild Rover (2019) expecting a Dubliners' style singalong may have been horrified by what they discovered. Gone was the jaunty drinking song, replaced with ten minutes of droning harmoniums and accordions and singer Radie Peat reimagining the number more as a tale of bitter regret. It all builds to an anxious and dramatic climax. Even with this in mind I was still not prepared for their interpretation of 'Go Dig My Grave'. The acapella intro may suggest that we are about to hear a familiar lovers lament, but then it turns into something akin to Scott Walker's nightmarish album with Sun O))) but played on traditional instruments. It is folk music as folk horror soundtrack and it is disturbingly brilliant. And then there's the accompanying video, which will give you nightmares about string. Proceed with caution. 


RICKIE LEE JONES - Just In Time (Modern Recordings)
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by Ancient Champion

Rickie Lee Jones takes the pick up band to the Dresden for a touch of the Marty and Elaine's...


THE ORB - living in recycled times (feat. Rachel D'Arcy) (Cooking Vinyl)
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by Tim London

A headphones advert! Music via Music For Adverts, a website I just invented where old electro musos can upload their old beats and wait for them to get hip again (hip enough to advertise headphones!). Special mention for my old neighbour Ngozi, who upset the nation’s royalists a few weeks back and appears briefly amongst the models and dancers (she is a dancer herself). See if you can spot her.


ALFA MIST - 4th Feb (Stay Awake) (Anti)
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by Ancient Champion

So... A new Alfa Mist record is something to get  excited about and then some something run o' the mill happens to my feelings, no rope a dope. It is what it is apparently. The BC BC is better, way better.


BOB DYLAN - Standing in the Doorway - Version 1/Love Sick - Version 1 (Columbia)
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by Alex V. Cook

This is not really a single, per se, but two of the outtakes from Fragments - Time Out of Mind Sessions (1996-1997): The Bootleg Series, Vol. 17 (Deluxe Edition). I'll leave it to the historians to tell you the value of the sessions and a deconstructionalist to parse that box set title, but these two tunes have me in a spell. TBH, I did not care for Time Out of Mind at the release. It sounded too Prairie Home Companion to me, what with its crack team band lineup. I used to go to Dylan to ogle wreckage, be it a motorcycle, his career, or the sanctity of songs, not to hear expertly played music. In the quarter century since, I've come around to taking Dylan at his facade value and love him the more for it. Time Out of Mind, and particularly these two numbers on the original album are among his greatest recorded achievements, meaning they are up there with anybody's. The two embryonic versions are less meteors destroying his own dinosaur, but majestic takes that feel as real* the look in the mirror. I can see ol' Bob playing the house keyboard at Phil Brady's, the blues bar near my house, backed by a bunch of guys he just met who are figuring these tunes on the fly and weaving a broken heart out of thin air. The jam is every Thursday if he wants to stop by.

*I footnote real in that it is well discussed that there is no real Bob Dylan, like he invented inventing yourself. It's probably one of those points I made against Time Out of Mind back last century when I was an idiot and not the wise listener of Robert Dylan I am now, a man out of time and out of touch. What could be less relevant to the contemporary musical landscape than Bob Dylan outtakes? Probably exactly what he was going for then, and what I go to him for now.

 


VIC MENSA - STRAWBERRY LOUIS VUITTON ft. Thundercat, Maeta (Roc Nation)
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by Tim London

It’s the lack of mental ambition evidenced by the lyrics, the fact that the video credits list a ‘groomer’ (Jules Rafael, if you’re looking for one) and features a sky dive, wherein you can just hear the conversation previous to announcing the idea: Vic: ‘how about a sky dive? I can pretend to play guitar and wear a sky blue suit?’ Team: ‘Brilliant! You could wear the suit with trainers! Red would really pop against the sky!’ Vic: ‘You see, this is why you’re my team! Go team Mensa!’ Label A&R: ‘And we could insure you for millions. And if you die we’ll have the footage!’ Everyone: ‘Win win!’


SCOTT MCMICKEN AND THE EVER-EXPANDING - What About Now (Anti)
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by Lee Paul

Dr. Dog ex Scott McMicken gets a whole new EVER-EXPANDING band and gets underway what I think Brother Lee might describe as a 'Roughneck' version of What About Now. Good ol' doobie rock for sure. But sounding pretty cool for all that.


KATE NV - meow chat (RVNG)
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by Tim London

The Future: Kate is starting a new job (librarian in Gatchina, just outside St Petersburg in Russia). ‘I used to play music.’ Colleague: ‘O, cool. What did you do?’ Kate: ‘I did that cat song, you know the one that ended up on all the cat TikToks?’ Colleague: ‘We should get back to work.’ Kate (desperate): ‘I was also in like a really cool rock band…’ Colleague: ‘Yeh, great, shh! This is a library.’


KINGO HALLA - Mirage (nk)
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by Toon Traveller

Falsetto voice always sounds tender and pensive, especially with the sparse piano. Brushed drums and sweet slide guitar opening. But then, it sinks into a late night, late bite, lovers supper club, you know the place, discrete brass sign, the low level outside light. It's got that sense of 'oh so careful playing', but lacks in the intimacy these songs need to make them work for me. if someone told me the music was A.I.  Written to match the words and then vocals were added over the top, I'd probably believe it.


EYEDRESS - House of Cards (Kevin Shields Remix) (Lex Records)
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by Spanish Pantalones

Everything you read about Eyedress begins by revealing that Eyedress' real name is Idris Vicuña and he's a Manila-born, Los Angeles–based musician, but I'm not going to bore you with those rote details. The only thing that's important right now is "House of Cards" is the best thing you'll hear all week. Not because Kevin Shields remixed it because frankly, KS didn't really do much to it; it's just a fantastic groove. It has that druggy, nonchalant, lo-fi drone I look for in a good slow, lazy jam. But don't stop with this song, check out the entire Eyedress catalog -- he's a burgeoning gem.


MEGAN BRICKWOOD - Trinity River Blues (Own label)
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by Toon Traveller

Oh Megan, I love this from the very start. A lilting guitar, and her voice, gentle and soothing, yet worldly wise, and comfortably worn. There's some great arrangements here, a sense of rain streaks on a diner window, cold coffee, half eaten bagel. Outside rain splashed puddles, and that  'just after the storm' sense of being.. It's a song of mid life reflections, not made it, but what the hell, few regrets, and treasure simple delights. It's realising there's another American dream, that's not California beaches, nor Manhattan loft living, but just being at ease with where we are. This is a dream that's faded like a favourite T-shirt. It has memories, stains and sings of hopes, not desperation, a sense of life's evolution, not revolution there's a touch of Joni Mitchell in the range and tone too, and that's no bad thing, 


AUGUSTUS PABLO - Visions of Zion ft Rockers All Stars (Youtube)
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by Lee Paul

Beautiful to begin with


THE GO! TEAM - The Me Frequency feat The Star Feminine Band (Memphis Industries)
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by Tim London

The way the Go!s run their own path is admirable. They don’t stop. Another collab with The Star Feminine Band from Benin is a joyous, chanty foot to foot bop, the sort of thing you’d like to hear coming out of car windows when the sun shines. Exists in a sort of dream time of vintage childhoods, when we would eat refreshers with fruity chews and check out the colours with an open mouth in the mirror.


LPs

NEW ORDER - Low-Life (Definitive Edition) (Rhino / Factory)
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by Alarcon

We all already know that Low-Life is a watershed album in New Order’s 43-year-old catalog. It’s the recording that underlined their transformation from a raw post-punk band that occasionally dabbled with synths and programming to a polished Top of the Pops-friendly dance act. The band made it seem so effortless: to be able to write a universally-loved disco anthem like “The Perfect Kiss,” yet maintaining the edge that helped produce grim, dystopian tracks like “Skullcrusher” or “Sunrise” which wouldn’t sound out of place at the Batcave in 1985.

So why buy the “definitive edition” of an album you’ve already owned for the last 38 years?  While it’s not essential, this Peter Saville-designed box set contains a lot of alternate versions and demos of familiar songs that in their stripped-down form, take on a new life of their own. The DVDs include rare and unreleased 1985-era gigs in Belgium, the Netherlands, Toronto, and a Whistle Test gig at The Hacienda. (The video below is taken from that Hacienda show.) There’s also the obligatory remastered slab of 180-gram vinyl, and a thick book with unseen photos and new interviews of the band mulling over the album. For New Order obsessives only, but those sparse demos are worth a spin or two.

Also... Se Jay Lewis' Low-Life review, right here⇒


BRIAN JONESTOWN MASSACRE - Your Future Is Your Past (A Recordings)
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by Alarcon

Anton Newcombe makes it sound so easy. In the Brian Jonestown Massacre’s twentieth album, he took ideas and phrases from passing conversations he had with his pre-teen son and used them to write an album about being a father. Now I usually dismiss all lyrics about parenthood because there’s nothing more trite than when rock stars emote about the woes of child rearing, but Newcombe takes a somber look at the bleakness of raising a young kid in 2023. Naturally, Newcombe softens his lyrics with mesmerizing instrumentation and chord progressions. It’s another small gem from Anton Newcombe, and more evidence that BJM has won the long game with the Dandy Warhols if Dig! was anything to be believed. Over 18 years later and the Brian Jonestown Massacre are still releasing vital music while the Dandys have become downright unlistenable.


SMASHING PUMPKINS - ATUM – Act 2 (The Orchard Music )
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by Spanish Pantalones

You have to admire Billy Corgan’s complete disregard for egoism. ATUM – Act 2 is the second 11-song installment in his broader 33-song concept album, Atum: A Rock Opera in Three Acts, which is scheduled for release in a few months. Corgan claims that this ‘rock opera’ is a sequel to Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness (1995) and Machina/The Machines of God (2000) and they’re all connected by some character named Shiny, a kooky universe which only exists in Corgan’s head.

Corgan's storyline is as convoluted as Game of Thrones, and frankly it sounds like work to listen to, but I gave the album a spin anyway. While I did detect a couple catchy riffs here and there, this album sound oscillates between Muse and Thirty Seconds to Mars, but make no mistake: every track features that grating, whiny, nasally wheeze Corgan has been passing off as a signature sound for decades. (The offensiveness of Corgan squeal is only rivaled by Anthony Kiedis' incessant bleating.)

In short, you can chalk ATUM – Act 2 (and on a bigger scale, Atum: A Rock Opera in Three Acts) to another bloated quarantine album just like all the other bloated quarantine albums we’ve been subjected to for well over three years now. The pandemic may have taken 6.83 million people, but it's also responsible for a lot of horrible music... music which will inflict pain and suffering to the living for generations to come.


HAMISH HAWK - Angel Numbers (Post Electric Artists)
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by Ogglypoogly

There's a rare breed of musician that comes along from time to time.Ogglypoogly says and Hamish Hawk is one of them... Read O's full review of the new LP, Angel Numbers, right here⇒


LIL YACHTY - Let's Start Here. (Quality Control/UMG)
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by Alex V. Cook

Surely you have heard the hype and maybe bypassed it to pre-cancel the album in an Internet reverse half Nelson backlash (a certain farm-implement named music site already has, natch), but the new Lil Yachty album is really good. It actually is. The chatter about a rapper having discovered Pink Floyd and made a psychedelic rock masterpiece is a bit overblown, and perhaps, derogatory (like it is such a shocka that a rapper is aware of one of the biggest selling records of all time), though "the BLACK seminole." and "the ride-" would not be totally out of place in a Steve Miller rock block. What we actually have is a loosy-goosey expression of glorious pop musicality, groovier than the Flaming Lips, more of a bop than the Melody's Echo Chamber, both which the tone of the thing resembles. Maybe a little Coldplay on cold medicine.  As the album progresses, the more radio-friendly Mr. Boat's lysergic romps become, and that is really where the record most potently hits. His distant raps against Mellotron strings, Autotune set to 420 to where he sounds for the life of me like indie-rock possible crackup Damien Jurado. I had to look to see if he was a feat. artist. Is there a larger message to it? Is this a revolution? Is it one of those that I will love for three weeks and never think about again? Too soon to tell but rn IRL, I love it. 


NEUTRAL MILK HOTEL - Ferris Wheel on Fire (Neutral Milk Hotel/Merge)
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by Alex V. Cook

This EP was recorded and barely released in 2010, at the end of Jeff Mangum's time in the wilderness but a few years before he took the whole NMH circus back on the road. It is only now emerging on The Collected Works of Neutral Milk Hotel, a boxed set (coming Feb 24) chronicling one of the more over-chronicled elusive acts this side of Bigfoot. Thing is, the Ferris Wheel on Fire is largely just Jeff and his manic guitar strumming, vibrant and clear of purpose. It reminded me that under all the filigree of singing saws and accordions and mental ward musical trappings, there beats a hummingbird heart in a man with something more urgent to tell you than he is capable. In the Aeroplane Over the Sea and On Avery Island are in the set as well as a few singles and EPs lost in time, but for me, Ferris Wheel on Fire is a reason to rejoice. 


Other Materials

PERNICE BROTHERS - Overcome By Happiness (Sub Pop)
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by Lee Paul

So limited edition vinyl for one of the superior power-y pop acts of the past few decades. The Pernice Brothers rock you right.


RICKIE LEE JONES - Chuck E's in Love (Solo Acoustic) (Youtube/BBC)
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by Ancient Champion

Recorded for BBC TV in 1994. Rickie Lee Jones' classic pop single, with a little story intro... One of my all time greats.


Essential info
Main image, Lil Yachty album art

LamontPaul
Founder & Publisher

Publisher, Lamontpaul founded outsideleft with Alarcon in 2004 and is hanging on, saying, "I don't know how to stop this, exactly."

Lamontpaul portrait by John Kilduff painted during an episode of John's TV Show, Let's Paint TV


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