New Orleans always gets a bit slow the first couple of weeks of the year. Between the city’s great collective hangover and the miserable cold motivation can be a little slow to develop. Here is some – in the immortal words of George Clinton – “Music to get your shit together by.”
Funkadelic – One Nation Under a Groove
Source of the aforementioned lyric and one of the great records of all time (and possibly the best funk record of all time) ONUAG has it all. Many of the Parliament/Funkadelic crew are at their absolute best here. One of the main themes is the collaboration necessary to make a fresh start of things. Check out the “P.E. Squad” below.
Alvvays – Antisocialites
After their debut record was shortlisted for the Polaris Prize, the indie pop ensemble Alvvays began work on their excellent release from last year. This is another record that was just a breath away from my top lists for 2017. Molly Rankin’s lighthearted take on the serious and emotional aspects of daily life is perfectly accompanied by a wash of guitar. This record will get you moving with a smile. Check out “Plimsoll Punks” below.
Beck – Colors
This year Beck returned with what is easily his most pop record to date. While it is a departure from his recent work it opens big and stays there with a drive that pushes you along with it. Check out the title track below.
Sacred Paws – Strike a Match
This neat little art punk record perfectly balances the worries of everyday life with the joy of realizing that these things are ultimately of little importance—noticed by no one except yourself. Rachel Aggs’ vocals are truly outstanding here. Check out “Rest” below.
Talking Heads – Stop Making Sense
This one of the records I always return to early in the year. Byrne and company are perfect here. This is also one of Bernie Worrell’s great performances (along with ONUAG above). There is a profound joy in this music. Everything just works—plus you already know all the words so sing along.
To Do This Week
Tonight check out Gal Holiday at the Ogden. Tomorrow night Katy Perry heads to the Smoothie King Center supported by Carly Rae Jepsen. Saturday the 101 Runners are at the Maple Leaf and Cole Williams is at Marigny Brasserie. Sunday the Joe Krown Trio rolls into the Maple Leaf. Wednesday Bit Brigade will perform The Legend of Zelda at Gasa Gasa. Check out the best moment of any concert film ever below.
To Listen This Week
- Great new track from They Might Be Giants via Youtube
- First Aid Kit covers Lorde via CoS
- Check out Laura Marling’s excellent cover of Bob Dylan’s “A Hard Rain’s A Gonna Fall” via Youtube