To Be Continued... Chapter 2
Listen to Magestik Legend's latest mixtape and you'll hear a Detroit rapper finally comfortable in his lyrical style. He has been grinding since his early Subterraneous Record days, and though that bolstered his hip-hop cred, his music lately is closer to his heartbeat.
Chapter 2 is hosted by Rapper Big Pooh from the now-defunct Little Brother crew, but he doesn't make many appearances (he's hosting!) so don't listen for him. Instead, the true guest star is Parisian producer Astronote, who matches Magestik's rap flow almost perfectly and handles the lion's share of beats with occasional production appearances from 14KT, Audible Doctor and Slop Funk Dust.
You'll hear songs dedicated to women, strippers and the old bump-and-grind, and if that varies from earlier M.L., so be it, 'cause you'll be looking forward to his full-length, which drops late November. Standouts: "Brand NEW," "Long Distance" and "What the World Needs." —Jonathan Cunningham
Fright from the bins
Everything's Archie (1969)
Don't let this deceptive album cover fool you — the Archies were not real people! No band in the real world would last a millisecond with a drummer who can't stop eating hamburgers and a lead singer with a tic-tac-toe board on his head — especially on an album that lists "Bicycles, Roller Skates and You" among its contents.
Now to answer your pressing questions: Yes, this does contain the future Wilson Pickett hit "Sugar Sugar." Yes, I'm sure millions of kids blew their allowance on that 45 in hopes the money would help Archie fix his jalopy and maybe once have enough do-re-mi to throw over Betty for the pricier Veronica, all hopes that were doused with cold water when they saw these fruggers on an Archie record instead of Jughead and Reggie. No, these teens were not the beloved Riverdale gang, and I'm not sure they're real people either — just check out the mortified dude on the left looking for a way out of spending the rest of eternity on an Archies album cover. Clearly he hasn't swallowed the cartoon Kool-Aid, and is only half-heartedly doing the Grundy until the Archies' music supervisor Don Kirshner's back is turned. —Serene Dominic
Nowhere To Run
When Abrey Mayhew discovered 24-year-old Johnny Paycheck in late '62, the singer was passed out beneath a Nashville bridge, snoring drunk under old newspapers — an end result of spectacular living alongside George Jones et al. As co-songwriter, producer and manager, Mayhew oversaw Paycheck's career and launched the Little Darlin' label in 1966. This CD collects 29 songs from the handful of Little Darlin' albums Paycheck recorded through 1970, and it's the truest, purest, saddest and most bizarre country music Paycheck — or pretty much anyone — ever created. It's little wonder the cover sticker reads "Imagine David Lynch as a honky-tonk singer."
Nashville session aces and Lloyd Green's weepy pedal steel lift Nowhere to Run's song brilliance, from booze-spilled yarns ("The Pint of No Return") and Jim Thompson-esque menace ("Pardon Me, I've Got Someone to Kill") to quixotic confessionals ("I'm a Coward") and country sadness ("Where All Good Daddies Go"). There's even full redemptive narrative in two minutes or less: "Johnsons of Turkey Ridge" sees a prodigal son return to kill the Kentucky hillfolk who years before hanged his dad and torched their land.
Many songs here make their CD debut — all from original tapes — and the 28-page color booklet is crammed with notations, photos and Paycheck-era ephemera. And kudos to Omni Recordings for unearthing pop music's odd and beautiful historical gems. —Brian Smith
If Radiohead's In Rainbows was the greatest argument for indie-released music, Funstyle is the best in favor of major labels, because they'd never have released this crap. Just because you record an album of songs doesn't mean anyone should ever hear them. Phair's "Bollywood" rap uses "ironic" samples of major label execs saying they "hate" her new songs. Hardy har-har. —Tyler Kane
When the Music Hurts
Don't fight it / taste the tears of blood
never shout never / enjoy the pain
scream out / feel the burn / pray for me
remember me / yell out my name
cover in black / and never speak again
let go of him / move on / don't look back
—Erica Gonzalez, InsideOut Literary Arts project, seventh grade
Download of the Week
This Hamtramck trio makes music fit for Lynchian sex montages; it's slow-churning punkerotica — buzzy and fuzzy without feeling fussy. This hip-hugger wonder, like most off The Door Opened; You Got In album, suggests a mixed era, one of polysexual lovers, pot and blacklights.