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+ 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
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+ Barbara Morgenstern - The Grass Is Always Greener
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+ Peaches - Impeach My Bush
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+ Jenny Wilson - Love And Youth
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+ The Moore Brothers - Murdered By The Moore Brothers
+ Regina Spektor - Begin To Hope
+ The 1900s - Plume Delivery EP
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+ Function - The Secret Miracle Fountain
+ Sonic Youth - Rather Ripped
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+ 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
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+ Sondre Lerche And The Faces Down Quartet - Duper Sessions
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44.1 kHz Archive

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Josh Martinez
Buck Up Princess

Whilst Doseone's fallen far enough to go hanging his ass out in The Wire (no, like, literally), the lyricist who birthed the best damn disc in this whole extended Anticon acktion — Josh Martinez, a Canadian cat whose real name is something far less funky — finally returns, three long years after authoring his amazing Made in China longplayer, with a new album to remind cats why this whole witty-riff-on-hip-hop thing seem'd so damn'd charmed back in that first place of those early days. Buck Up Princess is an ongoing sprawl featuring, seemingly, everything he's been doing in the time b'tween albums, which means it's all a little hard to take in in a single session, even if Martinez's delivery makes his songs come across with charm'd ease. Martinez resides in the realms of straight out "best" b'cause he's blessed with a voice that innately gives him a signature style; his high, melodic, raw-throated, swiftly-syncopated musings deliver lyrics with distinctive clarity, such easily-decipherable lyrical tangles traipsing through easy emo(tional) honesty, self-deprecating comedy, and an occasional yen for abstract storytelling. As he wanders along, Martinez doesn't stay far from the path whacked in the weeds by his fellow deep-as-an-ocean Nova Scotian/Nova Scotia escapee Buck 65, spinning his thoughtful lyrical tangles over tracks plied with warmth, piled high with murky beats and twangy acoustic guitars and tuneful pianos. And, just as his boy Buck — for whom, you'd guess, this title is either affectionate shout-out or a cute kick-in-the-pants — was inspired by meeting Parisian people-of-the-streets on his Talkin' Honky Blues, and just as his collectivist Canadian comrades 1200 Hobos have long made like they're riding the rails of itinerant tall-tale storytelling, on this disc Josh crafts an ode called "Hobo's Lullaby." To be honest, such a standout song is less notable for its subject matter than it is notable for being a number of beaming wonder, going alongside the heartbroken breakup song "Breakdown" at the apex of Martinez's output. And comparing his two most amazing musical moments thus far also shows the difference b'tween his prior album and this one. Where the last disc was born of self-analysis, self-obsession, and dear-diaryist confession, Buck Up Princess finds Martinez looking more at the world around him than the world within him — concerned with the historic character of cities, musing on the misguided egos growing from minor-league fame, and, well, he also lets himself talk about the weather. And "Hobo's Lullaby" is where this all-grown-up looking around hits paydirt, although maybe that's just b'cause the music's so amazing. The tuneful production — by the heretofore unheard-of Dren — is filled with such memorable melody, cut-up acoustic guitars and a pseudo-country lilt lingering over busy beat-loops whose smoky chug approximates the rhythms of locomotive motion; Martinez matches such with his softly-singing/half-spoken double-time rhymes, which manage to make a most memorable chorus out of the sing-song "Day-old donuts and cans of beans/ Dumpster chicken and river greens/ Hopping on trains with Lysol for wine/ It's just another drink 'til the end of the line." This song also commences with one of the numerous bits of "Ghost World" dialogue that litter the disc — most of which, truth be told, are basic comic riffs around the joke that the guy in the film-of-the-book was also called Josh, even though the one where the film's Enid says, in sample, "I think Josh is becoming too mature for us" shows that Martinez is well aware he's growing up, personally and, in turn, musically, too.

by Anthony Carew

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