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+ Donato Wharton - Body Isolations
+ Svalastog - Woodwork
+ Tim Hecker - Harmony In Ultraviolet
+ Rosy Parlane - Jessamine
+ Jarvis Cocker - The Jarvis Cocker Record
+ Múm - Peel Session
+ Deloris - Ten Lives
+ Minimum Chips - Lady Grey
+ Badly Drawn Boy - Born In The U.K.
+ The Hold Steady - Boys And Girls Together
+ The Blood Brothers - Young Machetes
+ The Places - Songs For Creeps
+ Camille - Le Fil
+ Wolf Eyes - Human Animal
+ Christina Carter - Electrice
+ The Decemberists - The Crane Wife
+ Junior Boys - So This Is Goodbye
+ Various Artists - Musics In The Margin
+ Rafael Toral - Space
+ Bob Dylan - Modern Times
+ Excepter - Alternation
+ Chris Thile - How To Grow A Woman From The Ground
+ Brad Mehldau - Live in Japan
+ M Ward - Post-War
+ Various Artists - Touch 25
+ The Mountain Goats - Get Lonely
+ The White Birch - Come Up For Air
+ Camera Obscura - Let's Get Out of This Country
+ Coachwhips - Double Death
+ Various Artists - Tibetan And Bhutanese Instrumental And Folk Music, Volume 2
+ Giuseppe Ielasi - Giuseppe Ielasi
+ Cex - Actual Fucking
+ Sufjan Stevens - The Avalanche
+ Leafcutter John - The Forest And The Sea
+ Carla Bozulich - Evangelista
+ Barbara Morgenstern - The Grass Is Always Greener
+ Robin Guthrie - Continental
+ Peaches - Impeach My Bush
+ Oakley Hall - Second Guessing
+ Klee - Honeysuckle
+ The Court & Spark - Hearts
+ TV On The Radio - Return To Cookie Mountain
+ Awesome Color - Awesome Color
+ Jenny Wilson - Love And Youth
+ Asobi Seksu - Citrus
+ Marsen Jules - Les Fleurs
+ The Moore Brothers - Murdered By The Moore Brothers
+ Regina Spektor - Begin To Hope
+ The 1900s - Plume Delivery EP
+ Alejandro Escovedo - The Boxing Mirror
+ Function - The Secret Miracle Fountain
+ Sonic Youth - Rather Ripped
+ Loscil - Plume
+ Boris - Pink
+ Deadboy And The Elephantmen - We Are Night Sky
+ Glissandro 70 - Glissandro 70
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #2)
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #1)
+ The Flaming Lips - At War With The Mystics
+ The Glass Family - Sleep Inside This Wheel
+ Various Artists - Songs For Sixty Five Roses
+ The Fiery Furnaces - Bitter Tea
+ Motorpsycho - Black Hole/Blank Canvas
+ The Red Krayola - Introduction
+ Metal Hearts - Socialize
+ American Princes - Less And Less
+ Sondre Lerche And The Faces Down Quartet - Duper Sessions
+ Supersilent - 7
+ Band Of Horses - Everything All The Time
+ Dudley Perkins - Expressions
+ Growing - Color Wheel
+ Red Carpet - The Noise Of Red Carpet
+ The Essex Green - Cannibal Sea
+ Espers - II
+ Wilderness - Vessel States

44.1 kHz Archive

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Sage Francis
Personal Journals

Dear Diary: "I'm a real underground rapper: my tape quality sucks, my records are warped, and my CD skips." A peripheral member of the Anticon family, similar in status and stance to Josh Martinez or Buck 65, Sage Francis is a battle-tested MC who's garnered bouquets from mic-wielding meets in all manner of locales. But it's easy to see Sage, from provincial Providence, R.I., as mad poet wandering through the hip-hop world with this painful naïveté. Personal Journals, as its title attests, is a collection of scattered thoughts, ranging from familiar hip-hop territories (how good he is) to unfamiliar confessionals, with countless references to crack coming across the whole. Francis's confessionals are the real deal, too — none of these bullshit manful revelations in which men create a kind of "poetic" disclosure, remaining in the process just as mysterious as if they never even revealed anything. "Specialist" is a stark-naked heart-on-sleeve love poem in smoke-signal form, Sage sage in the knowledge that it's "just a fucking shame this is how I choose to communicate." He knows that revealing all these things he can't say through a song is cowardly in just as many ways as it is brave, knows that it's beyond emotionally retarded that he feels "the most beautifulest thing in the world is making up words when have none else left to say to a girl." But, going on, he ups the confessional, self-aware, self-loathing subject matter to uncomfortable levels, unleashing glimpses of the most intimate intimacies of a union, divulging thoughts like "The one that I'm with thinks sex is a beautiful thing/ She thinks I'm something special/ She's my specialist/ More beautiful than sex/ Because only something like sex makes something so lovely turn ugly." Such sentiments recall the work of Neutral Milk Hotel's profoundly poetic retro-pop hippie Jeff Mangum, whose songwriting oeuvre contains a tune earnestly titled "Song Against Sex," and who has wondered publicly why, if he's found something truly beautiful, he'd want to stick his dick in it.

by Anthony Carew

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