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6 Score

The Rockometer: The Powers That B by Death Grips

Death Grips' double album, The Powers That B, features both the best and worst of these Sacramento noise-rap agitators. On the first album, subtitled, Niggas on the Moon, we get principals MC Ride and Zach Hill indulging their worst impulses. I'll be damned if there's a song here, but there's a lot of busted up beats and slobbering spit takes from MC Ride. Believe it or not, Icelandic national treasure, Bjork is on here, too. Unfortunately, her vocals and pitched, cut up and wrecked to the point where she's no more than another source of irritation, perhaps the primary irritation.
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Bill vs The Beachland Ballroom: DJ Playlist 3.29.15

Last night was an interesting nigh at the Beachland. Pop act, Bleachers, had sold out the main room, so the Beachland asked me to throw down some vinyl in the Tavern. It's something I've done many times. I do the jams. The extra bar space gets the venue more money and everyone's happy. Except this show turned out to be a milk & cookies show, if you know what I mean. The first hundred through the door weren't old enough to drive a car, let alone imbibe. Still, any time I get to play jams in the Tavern is a good time. The lack of boozehounds at the bar had some positives, too. Like, no one came up and requested Red Hot Chili Peppers, and multiple Jawbreaker tracks, and ending the night on Pissed Jeans. Every dj set should end with Pissed Jeans, not just my sets, all of them, by every dj, even the ones that play that thing called EDM. "False Jesii Pt 2" is such a banger, the banger to end all bangers.
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9 Score

The Rockometer: Sometimes I Sit and Think, Sometimes I Just Sit by Courtney Barnett

Much like the beloved American sitcom, Seinfeld, a show about nothing, Courtney Barnett's debut album, Sometimes I Sit and Think, Sometimes I Just Sit, managers to be highly entertaining while working with the most banal source material. Man plays hooky from work. Couple goes house hunting. Courtney swims. Courtney buys groceries. These are but a sampling of the seemingly ordinary scenes recreated over the course of eleven songs. There's even a track, "Small Poppies," where Barnett thinks about moving the lawn. She doesn't actually cut the grass, mind you, she just thinks about it.
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Play Me: “Lonesome Street” and “There Are Too Many of Us” by Blur

One of these two new Blur tracks released over the past week made me add the April 28th release date of Magic Whip to my calendar within seconds. The other did a shit job of generating any real excitement beyond the usual promotions cycle of read, re-post, and maybe listen, and in the process you get your name all over the web for a day.
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Should You Buy the New Blues Explosion Album? Take the Quiz

'90s alt-rock innovators, the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, have a new album out. Should you buy it? Take the quiz and find out.
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A Fistful of Jams: New Jams by Liturgy, Death Grips, and Thee Oh Sees

The tech world loves its disrupters, those whose ideas and products shake up the status quo. The music world has a much more troubled relationship with those who dare challenge convention. Acting out in public is disruptive and accepted. Flamboyance and egos can be accepted form of disruption, too. Can you say Kanye? Live hard and live fast, destroy your shit and destroy yourself and you'll be admired for your edge. But try to change the way people engage with music through philosophy? No, no, no, now you're being a conceited asshole.
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New Jam City: New Jams by Obnox, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, and Flesh Lights

After two albums where the lines between rock and hip-hop became increasing blurred, Obnox offers up something different as a first taste from his second album of 2015: a rocker, no slashes, no dashes, just a rocker.
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Mikal Cronin’s New Jam, “ii) Gold,” Is the Jam

The best power pop artists, from Big Star on through Matthew Sweet, Teenage Fanclub, and Sloan, make it sound so easy that they leave you wondering why aren't more bands capable of the perfect three-minute rock single every time? After all, it doesn't take a rocket scientist, or even a drummer, to write a simple melody and put a guitar on it.
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