Welcome to the pre-Thanksgiving edition of our weekly local music roundup. This is all good stuff you should hear, see, and know about.
Is Low’s Hey What the “Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical” of 2021? Sure, Why Not?
If 25 years ago, someone would have told me or you that Low would be someday be nominated for a Grammy, I don’t know what we’d have said. Maybe something like “The Grammys? This is the ’90s, man, and we’re too cool to care about that corporate shit. Don’t you ever bother us while we’re ironically listening to Esquivel ever again.” And then we’d make a joke about Bob Dole talking about himself in the third-person. Different times.
Fortunately we are all less cool now and so we can just be happy that Low’s great 2021 album Hey What (does the title make anyone else think of the beginning of Madonna’s “True Blue”?) has been nominated for an engineering award. Congrats also to engineer BJ Burton (who has previously been nominated for his work with Bon Iver). As a longtime Low appreciator rather than fan, I was personally happy to embrace this new work fully, as I went into a little here.
Low’s competitors in the category are the Marías’s Cinema, Yebba’s Dawn, Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga’s Love for Sale, Pino Palladino & Blake Mills’s Notes With Attachments. I’m guessing Bennett and Gaga will win because they’re famous? I don’t know, I’m lousy at Grammy predictions. (I just wanted to mention Gaga again as an excuse to my review of House of Gucci.) In conclusion, yes, giving awards to art is a goofy concept, but “money” is a pretty goofy concept too, and in both cases wouldn’t you rather have some than not?
Longshot and Lazerbeak Will Spread the Love on Friday
As always, Thanksgiving weekend will be just as stuffed with great live music as such famously stuffed things as a Thanksgiving turkey and a person who has just eaten a Thanksgiving dinner. Just look at those listings below for Friday and Saturday, willya? Something there will suit your taste. So while it feels odd to zero in on just one dish from such a table of goodies, like saying “I am ONLY eating the green bean casserole this year!” frequent collaborators Longshot & Lazerbeak deserve the attention. The Chicago-bred MC and the Doomtree producer will mark the early November release of their new album, Spread Love,at the Entry on Friday, joined by Jus Justice, Ms. Lakesha, Mo Bluntz, Kat Luna, and Taylor Ray. The album itself is a half-hour of soulful production, triumphant horns, and righteous rhyming that’s positive without being corny. Go celebrate.
The Bad Man Releases Good Video
I personally am too old to be a “90’s Kid.” (I was a “90’s Man,” I guess, which sounds kind of gross.) But I’m not too old to groove to the way raucous guitars and saxophones compete for space with Peter Memorich blurting “I am the kid selling drugs in the jungle gym” on the Bad Man’s new song, “90’s Kid.” (I am old enough to know better than to use a phrase like “to groove to,” but let it stand!) The black and white video, directed by Patrick Pierson, shares the same rough and tumble energy as the song, with the band’s eyes concealed behind spooky white-lensed glasses. This is our first taste of a 2022 EP, Flying Couch. The Bad Man are (is?) also a great live act, and they’re at Mortimer’s tonight, taking part in the last night of Cole Diamond’s November residency at the Whittier hang.
Are These the Best New Bands?
First Avenue has announced the lineup for its annual Best New Bands show in January, which as always offers a bit of a scenester cheat-sheet. And they are good bands, even when they’re not actually bands. You’ve read interviews with the TikTok-jump-started Durry and the not-at-all-vile VIAL in Racket already. (We’re giving you the benefit of the doubt.) And I raved recently about papa mbye. The rest of the lineup consists of genre-straddling performer EVV, the folk-jazz-bossa-nova-pop group Honeybutter, the Liberian-American fusion artist Kokou Kah, and Duluth singer-songwriter Sarah Krueger’s new project Lanue. A good reason to leave your house in January.