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SEE-I/Knowledge Shine Bright: George Clinton made it clear that DC was chocolate city, but he didn't say what kind of chocolate and who doesn't think most chocolate is yummy? The area's hot shot roots/reggae band tears it up in fine style here with the help of the Thievery Corporation live gang. A high octane party with this flavor of DC chocky, this is the kind of stuff that you might think you can start out as background music but it'll over take you in due course. A wild time for anyone who fearlessly wants to get flat. Hot stuff.

KARIKATURA/Eyes Wide: Road warrior cumbia players, this crew takes a Latin flavored take on the Busboys when they were moaning about gentrification 30 years ago. What changes? Maybe just the groove and vibe. A high octane crew that shows they must have it in their DNA to transcend, they kick ass and do it with a smile. The group's world view comes naturally and their ultimately landing in Brooklyn probably provides just the right smidge of seasoning to round it all off mightily. With a lot of mix mastering tossed into the cumbia, this is the real nu world order. Hard hitting, winning stuff.

CY AMUNDSON/Lovesick in Toledo: A solid workaday cat that might just seem like your everyday guy telling stories, but he has an eye for the absurd lurking in that normal guy exterior. Funny stuff that doesn't rely on switchbacks so much as plowing ahead and bowling you over with how life just isn't linear. A load of solid laughs power this set that shows his mastery of the club environment. Well done.

COURTNEY McCLEAN & the Dirty Curls/This One's for Dad: Remember when you were wondering what would happen if Amy Schumer hooked up with Homer & Jethro? No? Where here's what would happen. Spurred by having to keep warm in the frozen north, McClean and pals have conjured up what they call ‘naughtybilly' in which they do Amy's sex stuff set to bluegrass. The naughty is actually kind of mild as she probably doesn't really want to embarrass her pop, this is a fun diversion for anyone that wants it lightly raw and out of the ordinary.

ADAM QUESNELL/Can We Afford This Much Despair?: Suppose Jackie Vernon came back to perform for the Ritalin generation. Quesnell is upfront about his screwiness and works it to his advantage. Working his way out of the frozen north, admitting he'll take any gig to get his minutes in, if this cat has been practicing in front of the mirror waiting for just the right time, his practice has been well worth it and feels like it's about to pay off. Brimming over with unexpected asides that really put the frosting on the cake, Quesnell is one to watch out for. Well done.

GEOFF TATE/Just Another Clown: The candid funny man brings the offbeat once again and makes it clear you won't confuse him with the metal man. Happily malcontent, Tate is right in the today pocket with observations as contemporary as this minute. This is the after hours cat you want to kick back with and let the good times roll. Funny plus.

BIO RITMO/Puerta Del Sur: Forgive us our inaccuracies as a gringo but this is the coolest salsa stuff since Tito Puente. Together for 23 years, this bunch knows their stuff and knows all the right moves and they have it down so well you wouldn't think they come from Richmond, VA., that hot bed of salsa (written with a smirk). A killer party record for any non-hipster that ain't too cool for school, every cliché, like heat for the feet that can't be beat, rings true here. A non-stop party on a platter just in time for the start of summer, you have to be dead not to dig this. A winner throughout.

Volume 38/Number 211
May 29, 2014
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2014 Midwest Record

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