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Once a month, our assistant editor Andrew Winistorfer "sounds off" on a handful of music things he's been feeling this month that he thinks you should listen to/read/watch.
3. Today’s best new album is Brothers Osborne’s Pawn Shop, a rootsy, whiskey-and-40oz-soaked country album from the Osborne Brothers. There’s a song about selling stuff at a pawn shop to pay rent (“Pawn Shop”), an ode to rum (“Rum”), and smoking weed (“Greener Pastures”). I know I’m not exactly selling them as some left-field guys blowing up the country formula, but that’s their charm: they make down-home songs about being down home. This is my favorite album of the year right now; I’ve spun this thing 20 times in the last 2 weeks. Listen below:
4. It’s fitting that I waited till after the first snow fall here in Wisconsin before listening to Pusha T’s King Push—Darkest Before Dawn: The Prelude, because that thing is another in a long line of cocaine cowboy classics. Pusha has been a wildly underrated quotable machine since 2002, but it feels like this one has finally ascended him to meme status; he’s inarguably the best lyricist out in hip-hop right now. “They say its hate but its these well dressed snakes that learn to walk on the concrete, I just saw it and spoke to it,” he says here, and you’d be well served to not confuse Push for a snake. His promised 2016 album, King Push, just vaulted everything to be my most anticipated for this year.
5. Welcome back to Storfer’s Book Nook, where I uncover (book pun) some new music-related books I have read recently. First up is The Underground is Massive, a book by Michaelangelo Matos about the history of electronic dance music in America. The book covers the rise of scenes like Detroit techno and Chicago house extensively, to the point where specific parties in places like Milwaukee get their due. The parts on more current EDM are lacking, largely because the history of the boom (and now bust? Who can say?) of EDM in the 2010s is still being written.
Peter Guralnick’s book on Sam Phillips, the founder of Sun Records, is big enough to use as a murder weapon, but you’d be hard pressed to find a more complete telling of one of the most interesting dudes in pre-rock and roll history. He signed Elvis, he signed Cash, he signed Howling Wolf, he signed everybody in those days before anyone was sure rock could even be “the music business.” The insightful, hilarious and eyebrow raising anecdotes here are too many to mention, and you learn that Phillips basically lost the passion to make records when Jerry Lee Lewis’ career imploded. Read it, and you’ll be listening to the same records your grandma did in no time.
Andrew Winistorfer is Director of Music at Vinyl Me, Please, and a writer and editor of their books, 100 Albums You Need in Your Collection and The Best Record Stores in the United States. He’s written Listening Notes for more than 30 VMP releases, co-produced multiple VMP Anthologies, and executive produced the VMP Anthologies The Story of Vanguard and The Story of Willie Nelson. He lives in Saint Paul, Minnesota.
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