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Crash & Burn & Playlist


Turns out my body is just not interested in recovering from that last ME/CFS crash in February. At least, it’s not recovering anytime soon. Hopefully, the (expensive) new treatment I’m on will kick in within the next few months and really help things, but until/unless that happens, I’m stuck in a pretty rough spot for a while. My muscles ache and my brain feels a bit fuzzy. It’s tough to work on music, hard to edit interviews, and difficult to do much of anything, honestly. Certainly, no house shows in the near future.

However, one thing I can still do is listen (at least for a little while). And there’s been a lot of music worth listening to lately! I put together a playlist of 24 songs from 2024 for you, in case you want to get some new tunes into your ears. The mix spans jazz, country, punk, soul, and beyond–this year is off to an impressive start!

Listen on Apple Music, Spotify, or YouTube. Find all the artist/song names listed below.

Here are three tracks worth paying extra attention to, especially if you’re interested in what happens when mid/late-career artists leave behind the projects that got them successful in the first place:

Brittany Howard looking psychedelic, photo by Bobbi Rich.

Brittany Howard, formerly of the Grammy-winning Alabama Shakes, explores esoteric soul, deep funk rock, and heavy dance beats on her latest solo album. That sounds like a lot, but she makes it feel so easy. The title track, “What Now,” sports a heavy groove that oughta make Janet Jackson proud, while Howard belts an intense, soulful chorus about leaving a lover who’s bringing her down.

Kim Gordon looking iconic, photo by Danielle Neu.

After decades of churning out guitar-centric noise rock in Sonic Youth, the charred hip-hop vibe of Kim Gordon‘s latest solo album, “The Collective,” might come as a bit of a surprise. But the 70-year-old’s spoken word, stream-of-consciousness delivery somehow feels totally natural inside these aggressively distorted trap beats. On “I’m A Man,” Gordon takes on the perspective of a man who doesn’t want to be called toxic, playing with gender tropes and expectations in the process.

The Messthetics & James Brandon Lewis looking shadowy, photo by Shervin Lainez.

Back in high school, when I was watching Fugazi tear through a loud, blistering art-punk set, I could never have imagined the rhythm section in front of me would later release a full-fledged jazz album on legendary jazz label Impulse! Records. But that’s exactly what Joe Lally and Brendan Canty, bassist and drummer respectively, have done.

The two formed The Messthetics a few years ago with DC guitar virtuoso Anthony Pirog, initially as a less-defined improvisational trio. However, for their newly released third album, they joined forces with sax player James Brandon Lewis and set out to make a bonafide jazz record. They succeeded, and they wove in a fair amount of groove as well. Album opener “L’Orso” kicks off with an unconventional melody, leans into some funky drum-and-bass interplay, and later opens up to some raucous guitar squeals. It’s a wild ride, and it sounds right at home on Impulse!

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Welp, I’m not sure exactly when I’ll be able to post “normal” Patreon content again (interviews, collaborations, etc.), but I’ll keep sharing what I can, when I can. Your support is still dearly appreciated!


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24 from 2024

DJ Harrison – Lil Birdie
Brittany Howard – What Now
Justice – Saturnine (feat. Miguel)
Mannequin Pussy – Nothing Like
Helado Negro – I Just Want To Wake Up With You
St. Vincent – Broken Man
Pissed Jeans – Cling to a Poisoned Dream
Mdou Moctar – Funeral for Justice
METZ – Entwined (Street Light Buzz)
Kim Gordon – I’m A Man
Ibaaku – Bukut
Four Tet – 31 Bloom
serpentwithfeet – Safe Word
Faye Webster – Lego Ring (feat. Lil Yachty)
Waxahatchee – Right Back to It (feat. MJ Lenderman)
Adrianne Lenker – Fool
Yaya Bey – chasing the bus
Kacey Musgraves – Deeper Well
Mary Timony – Dominoes
The Messthetics & James Brandon Lewis – L’Orso
Kamasi Washington – Prologue
Mary Halvorson – Collapsing Mouth
Shabaka – End of Innocence
Nils Frahm – Butter Notes

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