Basement Dwelling: “SATURATION” by BROCKHAMPTON

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“I want Brockhampton to be something that lasts beyond me. Yeah, that’s the goal.” – Kevin Abstract, founding member of BROCKHAMPTON.

The story of L.A.-based hip-hop outfit BROCKHAMPTON is a bit of an unconventional one, especially in the world of hip hop. The group formed after Kevin Abstract (real name Ian Simpson) made a post on a Kanye West fan forum looking for artists to collaborate and make music, following him being disowned by his family after coming out as gay (a main topic of his last project under the Kevin Abstract moniker, called American Boyfriend). He and the others that responded then relocated to a house in L.A., where each member resides and creates music together. Kevin just turned 20 a couple weeks ago, and the other members of the group are around the same age. Yes, that really is the story behind this group; material that I don’t think even some of the most skilled storyteller could come up with easily.

BROCKHAMPTON has been gaining traction steadily ever since their formation, with a healthy dose of singles and a scatterbrained, albeit super enjoyable mixtape with 2015’s All American Trash, which showed a great deal of promise and great tracks to match. Don’t begin to think that this level of heart and ambition doesn’t shine through on their new album, SATURATION (BROCKHAMPTON’s first proper LP), because that feeling permeates and consumes this project wholly.

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Basement Dwelling: The Top 15 Albums of 2017 (So Far)

It’s been a year in which a week can feel like a year within itself, given the crazy-ass state of our world right now. But we’ve made it to June, and so we are at the midpoint of the year. You know what that means…LISTS! And you’re probably saying to yourself, “But Dan, it’s not the end of the year yet?” Yeah, I know, but why not talk about some of the best album releases so far.

In a year that’s been rife with amazing records, these are my top 15 albums released from January to May. My hope is that a lot of these choices flew under your radar, and that I can do my job properly by presenting you with new music. But if not, then hey, weren’t these records great? I also like the prospect of doing a list like this, simply because it will be interesting to see how drastically this list will change by December. It’s sure to be affected both by upcoming releases and the chance to dive deeper into some albums I previously missed.

Before we get into the nitty gritty, here are a few honorable mentions for y’all:

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Basement Dwelling: “Humanz” by Gorillaz

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It’s bothersome to hear people talk about Gorillaz. Sure, Gorillaz are a widely loved and celebrated act, and they have been for nearly 20 years now. But one of their greatest strengths is also one of their biggest setbacks.

It’s idiotic to me that the animated world of Gorillaz, co-created by legendary underground comic artist Jamie Hewlett, and which serves as the stylistic umbrella for a global and multigenerational collaborative music project, proves to be such a turnoff for people.

I often hear, “I’m not in the mood to listen to a new Gorillaz record.” Or, “I haven’t listened to Gorillaz in years,” said with an uppity, I-have-no-time-for-this-kids-crap kind of pretension. I hear it all the time. But the worst is when I simply hear someone say, “I hate them.”

These all translate to, “I don’t want to listen to something that my anime-watching, comic-reading coworker listens to.” It’s bullshit and it totally exists — don’t deny it. It’s a very lazy argument, and I’d say that even without my personal bias. Gorillaz is a project that represents artistic unity and bridging gaps to deliver a message that we as a people desperately need, especially in our current turbulent dystopia. This is the point of Humanz’ entire existence.

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Jet Fuel Jukebox: Late Night Edition

We’ve got just a little over an hour before it’s no longer Tuesday, so let’s get this Jukebox out into the world!

This week’s Jukebox is similar to last week’s, but the roles are reversed. Jake’s half is the throwback, with 10 tracks that all came out in 2007, while my picks revolve around a number of brand new tracks from some of my favorite artists.

If you listen this week, you’ll find new songs from Phoenix, Gorillaz, and Foster The People, as well as Top-40 hits from a decade ago, featuring Rihanna, Akon, and T-Pain.

I also want to give a shout out to the new HAIM track, that’s only on Youtube as of now. Listen to their new track, “Right Now.”

— Michael Lane, Blog Editor

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Jet Fuel Jukebox for 4/25/17

The day you’ve waited for eagerly has finally come! It’s Tuesday, and with that comes a brand new entry in our Jet Fuel Jukebox series.

I didn’t find a single new song this past week to share, unfortunately, but I did have the pleasure of seeing Donnie Darko in theaters for its 15th anniversary this past weekend! Being set in the 80’s and featuring an incredible, decade-appropriate soundtrack, the film has inspired me to reach into the time period for my picks this week.

Jake didn’t seem to run into the same problem as me, as he’s included several brand new singles, including the 80’s-inspired Paramore hit “Hard Times,” and the new song from Lana Del Rey and The Weeknd. Rounding out the playlist are tracks from Tears For Fears, Sonic Youth, and Katy Perry.

— Michael Lane, Blog Editor

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Jet Fuel Jukebox for 4/18/17

Imagine: it’s Tuesday, and you’re desperately searching for new music to listen to. If this is you, then you’ve come to the right place, as the Jet Fuel Jukebox has has all your music needs.

We were finally blessed this past weekend with Kendrick Lamar’s new album DAMN., and it’s damn good. So good, in fact, that both Jake and I have highlighted a track from the record. Other than Kendrick, we have highlights from the new Little Dragon full-length release, and tracks from Michael Jackson, The Cure, and Metric.

I also had the pleasure of seeing one of the final performances of pop duo Chairlift this past weekend, so I’ve concluded my half of the playlist with one of my favorite songs by them. R.I.P. Chairlift, you will be missed.

— Michael Lane, Blog Editor

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Jet Fuel Jukebox for 4/11/17

You know what day it is? It’s Tuesday, and that means Jake and I have yet another incredible playlist of 20 songs for your listening pleasure.

Unfortunately, Kendrick Lamar’s new album Damn was not released this past Friday as it was rumored, but it was officially announced for release this Friday, April 14!

Good news, however, is that Joey Bada$$’ latest record, ALL-AMERIKKKAN BADA$$ did see its release this past Friday, and it’s damn good. For the Jukebox opener, I’ve highlighted my favorite track from the record, “Temptation.”

Along with this, I’ve featured Gorillaz’ latest release and Jake has featured Harry Styles’ new solo single, “Sign of the Times.”

— Michael Lane, Blog Editor

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