Hidden Gems

HIDDEN GEMS

Orchestre Stukas | L’Afrique Danse Presents Orchestre Stukas
orchestre stukasYesterday was a sad day in the music world, and devastating for the world at large. I was once the wallowing type, but I’m instating a rule for myself this winter: NO DOWNER MUSIC. So I’m glad that I just found Orchestre Stukas, (also sometimes known as The Stukas Boys?), a 1970s soukous/rumba-esque band from the former Zaire. The Stukas Boys were fronted by Lita Bembo, the Congolese version of James Brown, who you can see in action here. Fast-paced, with a psych guitar and fun, deft rhythm, this four-song record is a good way to keep your mood afloat for around forty minutes. Then just watch some more of their videos, I guess. Well, I guess the rest of the week is going to be Orchestre Stukas and Jay Reatard on repeat for me. Try to feel better, world.
by Erin Sheehy

Willie Nelson | Willie Nelson Sings Kristofferson
willie nelson sings kristoffersonWillie Nelson always seems to be putting out a new album, whether he’s taken the time to get good material together (2006’s Songbird, 2009′s American Classic) or not (the other twelve albums he’s made in the past decade). This album, one of three that Willie put out in 1979, is a gold nugget with a modest concept that seems to have gotten lost in the expanse of Willie’s discography. It doesn’t get much simpler than this: find a good country-rock backing band and cover a bunch of top-notch songs written by Kris Kristofferson, including “Me and Bobby McGee” (a prior hit for Janis Joplin), “Sunday Morning Coming Down” (a hit for Johnny Cash), and “Help Me Make It Through The Night” (an unjustly forgotten hit for Sammi Smith). The resulting album is a low-key pleasure.
by Justin Remer



The Stills | Logic Will Break Your Heart
logic-will-break-your-heartI’ll admit, you probably have heard this album playing at the mall. I’m not even going to pretend this 2003 version of indie rock isn’t played out, but isn’t there something comforting about the familiar? Plus, you have to appreciate the poignancy of lyrics like: “We were lovers, we were kissers/ We were holders of hands; we were make-believers just losing time/ You said you’d rather live in T.V. land and then say that you can but you don’t/ That’s heartless and I will not cry.” Okay. I’ll be honest. Freshman year after my heart just got broken I would put this on and just cry. But you need music like that. Put The Stills on your go-to shelf. (Or playlist, I know you kids don’t buy anything anymore.) When it comes to break up music, don’t go for Lily Allen or some shit like that. You deserve better.
by allison levin

George Harrison | Electronic Sound
georgeharrison-electronicsoundAcknowledging the fact that this is kind of a disorganized mess, the title of George Harrison’s second non-Beatles album is Electronic Sound and not Electronic MUSIC for a reason. This record is cool, but also sort of sounds like a guy (probably stoned) just fucking around with his new Moog synthesizer to see what all the settings sound like. In fact, that’s probably exactly what this album is. The second track (of two) on the album, which reportedly is the work of Moog technician Bernie Krause and not The Quiet One, is a little bit more fascinating in the soundscapes that it creates. You don’t have to be high to like this (I wasn’t), but I’m sure it helps. You can stream a portion of the first track here.
by Justin Remer

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