Frontier Psychiatrist

Posts Tagged ‘Kanye West

Live Music_FP_13

As we’ve reported over the last few weeks, 2011 saw the release of plenty of great music. Luckily, in a year with so many great releases, we also had the opportunity to see plenty of great shows. From arena blow outs to dive bar ragers, the following are the 13 best live performances I saw over the last 12 months.

1/15: Punch Brothers @ Bowery Ballroom (NYC)

Punch Brothers are arguably the most talented touring band today, and their mid-January Bowery Ballroom performance did not dissapoint. Billed as one of their famed “P-Bingo” Nights, Punch Brothers ripped through the high points of their two albums (three, if you count How to Grow a Woman from the Ground) and tackled over 10 pristine (and at times raucus) covers from “Paperback Writer” to Sufjan Stevens’ “Concerning the UFO Sighting” and The Strokes’ “Heart In a Cage.” This show also held my number one music moment of the year, when Chris Thile solo-performed an unplugged Bach concierto on mandolin for an awestruck Lower East Side.

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The year-end albums list is the greatest challenge any music publication faces. It is not only an effort to encapsulate an entire year’s worth of music: it is an effort to convey the entire musical philosophy of a site in one rather gimmicky column.

Of course, it is also a lot of fun.  It allows the opportunity to go through our favorite music all over again; it provides for spirited debate between editors and staffers; and it is ultimately a lesson in compromise and inclusion.  Which is, of course, precisely the philosophy of this site: different people with different musical tastes avoiding snark and snobbery and making the effort to tell you, the reader, why it is that we like what we like, and why we think you should like it too.  So, without further ado, here are 50 albums we hope you’ll enjoy. They happen to be, to our ears, the year’s 50 best.

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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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Watch The Throne

I’ve made no secret of the fact that I happen to like Kanye West.  This was not always the case: back in 2004, when he released The College Dropout, I thought he was just another preening pop idiot.  As for his music, like most excessively popular work, I foolishly dismissed it out of hand.  This all changed last year when Kanye released “Power,” FP’s song of the year for 2010 and a track so turgid with anger and desperation, I still can’t drive responsibly while listening to it.   So, when I heard that Kanye was following his decade-challenging gauntlet My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy with a collaborative effort with world’s-coolest-motherfucker Jay-Z, you would assume I was so excited I peed myself.

Well, I wasn’t.  We won’t go into the actual reason that I peed myself, but I will elaborate on my pre-release skepticism.  First of all, it was all happening too fast.  Read the rest of this entry »

Kanye West & Jay-Z - Otis

Kanye West & Jay-Z ft. Otis Redding – “Otis”

Pusha T & Tyler, the Creator - Trouble on My Mind

Pusha T ft. Tyler, the Creator – “Trouble On My Mind”

In celebration of District Department of the Environment Green DC Day, a preemptive celebration of Earth Day, I’d like to present to you the first Frontier Psychiatrist mixtape: I Wish I Had Glaucoma. Inside are 17 handpicked tracks bound to stimulate, awaken and soothe your percolating mind. We know, 2011 has been rough at times. Take this evening to enjoy some tunes while posting up on your couch, porch or refugee camp.

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Taking notes while drinking is, on its face, ill-conceived.  The authority of one’s recorded recollections is reduced by the circumstance of their transcription, not to mention the reliability of the transcriber.  Nonetheless, it is necessary when developing a new cocktail.  You have to keep track of what you’ve tried, what’s worked, what has not.  Crafting a good cocktail often takes numerous iterations before hitting on a winner.

This was not the case for today’s cocktail, however.  We’re talking about an improbable shot here.  First try, nailed it.  This fact is no doubt due to the universe-controlling attributes of its inspiration.  I speak, of course, about the Kayne.  Having bought the CD — yes, bought — yes, a CD — I was inspired to create a drink.  Given my penchant for dark spirits, e.g. rye and rum, and stirred cocktails, the name was obvious.

My Dark And Twisted Stirred Fantasy

2 oz. dark rum

3/4 oz. Amaro Cio Caro

1/4 oz. Licor 43

2 dashes Xocolatl Mole Bitters

Stir with ice; strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

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Sons of Dionysus

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