Five musical moments

  • Mos Def’s Black on Both Sides came out 18 years ago yesterday. It’s a dynamite album, of course, but I’ve always loved “Mathematics” in particular. When will its lyrics drift into irrelevancy in America? (Never.)


  • I think Alfa Mist’s Antiphon is my favorite new album of 2017. “Created around a conversation with his brothers, Alfa blends melancholy Jazz harmony with alternative hip-hop and soul.”


  • “Here’s a song for my honey.” Leftover Salmon comes to Kent, Ohio, next week; their recent live album, 25, is a true delight. “Keep Driving” is a really great song, and the dynamics on the 25 version are spellbinding at times.


  • I’m just now seeing that the Barr Brothers put out a new album. (!) They’re a wonderfully eclectic folk-ish band out of Montreal, spawned by the brothers themselves, Brad and Andrew, who anchored the jazzy soulful Boston-based jam band The Slip in the 2000s. (And — look-ee — they’ll be at the Rex in Pittsburgh on Dec. 5. I have no choice but to attend.) But while we’re here, I need to point to The Slip’s “Before You Were Born,” an absolutely endearing love song.


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