Frontier Psychiatrist

Posts Tagged ‘Clams Casino


(All week we’re counting down the top albums of 2011.  For previous entries on the list, click here.  We hope you enjoy the music.)

20. Gil Scott-Heron & Jaime xx – We’re New Here

Dubstep (and it’s painfully precise sub-sub-genres) has had a landmark year, for better or for worse. Jamie xx’s reimagining of Gil Scot-Heron’s stellar goodbye I’m New Here is an example of the best. Deep and deliberate production fill the holes of the autobiographical original, drawing interesting parallels between two artists at complete opposite sides of the career arc. -PTL 

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The notion of compiling a “50 Best Songs of the Year” list is preposterous.  In addition to the absurd presumption that songs across genres can be objectively compared in some meaningful way, such a list ignores the fact that one’s experience of a song is entirely situational, as dependent on one’s mood and temperament as on any musical detail.  Indeed, a list of this type is bound to almost destined to disappoint, confuse, or perhaps even enrage the reader.

And yet we worked our asses off on this one.  Staffer Peter Lillis, co-editor Keith Meatto and I each put in a lot of listening hours this year, and, although our tastes differ significantly at the margins, we were able to reach a broad consensus for the purposes of this column.  While the claim that the 50 tracks below represent the year’s “best” is clear hyperbole, they are the ones that we have turned to continuously throughout the year, the ones that have entranced and excited us the most.  Each day this week, we’ll be unveiling a new group of entrants on the list; we hope that you’ll keep checking back to hear the music and to share your thoughts.  We begin today with songs 50 through 31.  Read the rest of this entry »

Chris Brown, Kanye, Drake

Of all the lists that this website produces over the course of the next few weeks, I expect to receive the most angry and confused comments about this one.  As I see it, 2011 is the year that mainstream hip-hop let us down.  High profile releases from the likes of Lil’ Wayne, Lupe Fiasco, The Game, and Pusha T (to name only a few) left me wishing I still bought CDs so I could use them as coasters.  Meanwhile, as month after month of flaccid rhymes and bombastic beats hit record store shelves, a new hip-hop underground began to emerge through a series of independent releases and free mixtapes.  These are the records that had me coming back over and over when I needed a jolt this year, and the list below (compiled with the help of super-staffer Peter Lillis) reflects this predilection.  As such, there are some notable and, I will admit, potentially egregious omissions.  Allow me to list the most glaring of these up front:

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(Today, we continue our countdown of the top 20 albums of 2011 so far.  For previous entries in the series, click here.)

5. Clams Casino – Instrumental Mixtape + Rainforest EP

Instrumental Mixtape and its companion Rainforest EP (or, as we like to call them, “The Shape of Hip Hop to Come”) are like a telescope that provides breathtaking views of the nebulas, supernovas and star systems that 21st century production should provide. Let’s just say Clams Casino gives new meaning to the term “inter-stellar.” -PL Read the rest of this entry »

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Listening To:

Sons of Dionysus

A Transmedia Novel of Myth, Mirth, and the Magical Excess of Youth.