August 19, 2013 |
***1/2 (out of four) Listening to Earl Sweatshirt rap sometimes makes it easy to remember all of the garbage that came along with being a teenager. Earl, the youngest member of Odd Future--the one who suddenly disappeared to a Somoan boarding school when he was 16--has always been able to talk [bleep] with the best of them, but since his return early last year his lyrics have often veered toward the personal. Now 19, Earl has finally released his debut album "Doris," a melancholy collection of 15 songs with mood swings that fit the young emcee.
March 8, 2013 |
Cody Chesnutt believes in taking his time. He earned widespread critical praise for his first album, the lo-fi, double disc “The Headphone Masterpiece” in 2002, when Chesnutt also lent his voice to the Roots' “The Seed 2.0”--a remake of a track featured on “Masterpiece.” Then, well … not much happened for a while. Short of an EP release in 2010, Chesnutt mostly vanished from the musical map. A marriage, two children and a decade later, he released his full-length follow-up, the livelier “Landing on a Hundred,” in late 2012.
February 19, 2013 |
***1/2 (out of 4) The densely textured debut full-length by L.A. duo Inc. is designed for one purpose: getting you in the zen-like mindset needed for an all-night sex marathon. If that doesn't sound like your cup of tea, may I recommend Carly Rae Jepsen? Bandmates and brothers Daniel and Andrew Aged honed their skills as session musicians for everyone from Raphael Saadiq to 50 Cent. As Inc., the Ageds take their shot at reinventing how the R&B genre sounds in the 2010s, continuing the mission recently championed by artists like The Weeknd, Frank...
February 10, 2013 |
Criticize the Grammys if you must--I do frequently--but it's hard to deny the event remains music's biggest night ... at least when host LL Cool J reminds audiences of that constantly. Still, without an Adele-sized winner, Sunday's show belonged to Justin Timberlake, who didn't disappoint during his much-anticipated performance of the first two tracks from his upcoming "The 20/20 Experience" album. In other talkable news, Mumford and Sons unjustly won Album of the Year (Frank Ocean or Black Keys or Jack White, come on)
February 4, 2013 |
Annual grumble: The Grammys refuse to nominate anything that's not already widely popular. Why? Why?!! OK, now that that's out of my system, I still have plenty of favorites and artists I root against, aside from the built-in interest of the show's many performances (the reason most people tune in to begin with). Here are 10 things I'd like to see this Sunday, none of them involving Chris Brown. 1. Frank Ocean wins Best New Artist What a stunning spectrum of quality in this category: Ocean's brilliant “Channel Orange” should make him a...
August 29, 2012 |
"Family Guy" creator Seth MacFarlane will open the 38th season of "Saturday Night Live" on Sept. 15, with red hot R&B crooner Frank Ocean as musical guest. NBC revealed the hosts and musical guests for three episodes. On Sept. 22, Joseph Gordon-Levitt returns as host with Mumford & Sons. James Bond himself, Daniel Craig, will host Oct. 6 with Muse performing. Here's NBC's release: SNL enters its 38th season on September 15 with host Seth MacFarlane. The Emmy Award-winning comedian and "Family Guy" creator recently directed and lent...