On The Radar: Tobias Jesso Jr.

Vancouver’s Tobias Jesso Jr. is currently crafting his helplessly romantic racket from the City of Angels. His Dylan-esque sensibilities are rooted in the sure-footed songwriting of the early 70’s.  He wails away while his piano creaks beneath him.  It’s as if he’s channeled Jackson Brown with a sprinkle of Elliot Smith’s heartache dropped in for good measure.

“How Could You Babe” would fit right in on a nickle juke in some factory town dive bar. He’s singing into his ashtray and Coors Original can, because he’d rather not complain. Why bother? Nobody’s listening… but not for long. Goon will be released March 17th.  More info here. Enjoy.

Welcome To Broad City

As Hurricane Wanda closes in on NYC, the Broad City crew takes refuge at Abbi’s apartment. In attendance is partner in crime Ilana, as well as Ilana’s sex pal/dentist Lincoln, Abbi’s obnoxious roommate Bevers, and his unbearable lesbian sister Marla.  The power goes out and it gets weird. Someone shits in a shoe. Someone has an 11th toe. Someone is flexible enough to blow himself. Someones balls end up in coffee mug. Someone refers to herself as a doo-doo ninja. All this in 22 minutes, and all on cable.

Comedy Central has struck gold with Broad City. Abbi and Ilana stumble through New York City with nothing but their hearts on their sleeves and lint balls in their pockets. Struggling to make a dollar is never easy, but these two manage to fuck it up on the daily between Facetime sessions and bong rips. The show feels strangely real, thanks to cleverly written bits and a cast of up and coming comedy stars and Upright Citizens Brigade improv alums.

Broad City is easier to digest than HBO’s Girls or Sex In The City. It simmers and it’s brash, but doesn’t take your breath away. It’s a blast on a budget using NYC as a playground in a way that’s neither unique or annoying; it just makes sense. Check out season one on demand, and new episodes air Wednesday’s at 10:30 on Comedy Central.

Listen: Action Bronson- ‘Big League Chew’

Action Bronson, the raunchiest foodie MC in Queens, is back with a new episode of his Munchies hit ‘Fuck That’s Delicious’. Between gourmet small plates at Ink with Simon Rex, to a taco shack with the legendary B-Real, Action manages to cook up one of his strongest tracks to date with LA native The Alchemist. The beat bangs, chopped and spliced together from bits and pieces of old funk records.  A head-nodder that would have been a classic “had this been 1996″. Prepare yourself for Action’s debut, Mr. Wonderful, which is on the way. Enjoy fuckers.

Listen: Your Old Droog- ‘Kinison’ EP

Stereogum’s writer called the punchlines on Your Old Droog’s new tape Kinison “deeply goofy”. Stereogum should stick to covering bands that are so cool they’ve retired by the time you’ve heard of them. Droog’s bars are balanced, clever, and deftly delivered. Even when musing on cornball topics like loving Joan Baez and Rage Against The Machine, this Coney Island Russian raps like life depends on it. Which is to say the kid rhymes like he breathes. Effortlessly.

Kinison riffs on the comedians bit which he declared his hate for rap music. Droog uses that sample to kick off the tape and continues to weave in band names and heavy samples throughout. This will hold fans over until a proper debut record. Check out the tape and download below. Your reign at the top was short like leprechauns.

Meek Mill Feat. Big Sean and A$AP Ferg- “B Boy”

Meek Mill crept up in late January and smacked us over the head with”B Boy”, a posse cut that’s a true banger. Debauchery at its finest, broadcast perfectly from some lavish house in the hills. Guns. Thongs. Racks on racks. Ciroc. Turn up.

Pardon Meek for flexing so hard.  He’s home from jail, busy crafting what may be the best hip hop record of 2015, and has consistently been feeding the streets with freestyles and singles from the upcoming Dreams Worth More Than Money that are nothing short of stellar.

Truthfully, I was worried Ferg wouldn’t hold his weight. Dare I say he truly stole the show? Enjoy.

The Sidekicks: Runners In The Nerved World

The Sidekicks got started playing Cleveland basements around 2008. From there the band found success with higher profile support spots following 2012’s amazing Awkward Breeds record. The Sidekicks are one of the best young bands in America, but household names? Not quite yet.

2015 brings us Runners In The Nerved World, their first release on the illustriously punk Epitaph Records; home to Rancid, Bad Religion, and Bouncing Souls. Produced by Phil Ek, don’t expect liberty spikes and circle pits. Instead, ready yourself for sugary-sweet melodies that trigger the Built To Spill and Band of Horses reflex. Not bad company.

There’s nothing weak or weary about The Sidekicks. They’re not soft or scared to plug in and turn up. They’ve simply managed to find a balance between the size and the sound. They’re also writing stronger songs every time out of the gate. “Everything In Twos” and “Century Schoolbook Grown-Ups” will haunt you long after they’re done. Play this record over and over again here. Enjoy.

French Montana- Mac & Cheese: The Appetizer

Fans of French Montana should be excited that he’s prepping his next record, Mac & Cheese, for a 2015 release.  As a casual listener, who thinks Montana is equal parts marketing genius and borderline forgettable, I completely missed the drop of The Appetizer with Harry Fraud last month.  My mistake entirely.

The Appetizer is everything that Montana’s debut lacked.  The consistency in these seven songs make you wonder why he hasn’t harnessed this energy each time out. Working again with Harry Fraud seems like an obvious move. His production brings back old school French, allowing him to prowl around the tracks with a playful stream conscious flow. The clever moments of this EP feel unscripted, giving the project a very real feel. The tape is available here.  I’ve been playing it nonstop all weekend, so enjoy.