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Saturday, September 1st, 2012
Music Reviews

Nik Flagstar, Scars & Stripes and More... The Beat’s Record Roundup

Antibalas 

Antibalas

Daptone Records


Antibalas (Spanish for “bulletproof”) is an Afrobeat “collective” band, based in Brooklyn, also home to its label, Daptone. Inspired to a deep degree by the work of Nigerian musician/activist Fela Kuti, Antibalas has a fluid membership, currently at 14 but with many alumni. This latest self-titled album offers six tracks of fat sounding, horn-heavy, relentlessly rhythmic African and Cuban -flavored music. Though the themes are often social or political, listening to the album is never a chore, and you can’t help but dance. Just ask my 19-monthold daughter; she hasn’t a political bone in her body.

- Bruce Collier


Nik Flagstar and His Dirty Mangy Dogs

Chase Pussy

Southeast NoiSE


Mix one part Nick Cave, one part Hank, and one part Misfits to make the crazy cocktail that is Nik Flagstar and his Dirty Mangy Dogs. From countrified crooning to a song about hockey-masked movie serial killer Jason Voorhees, each track is an exploration into a different theme. The title track helps set the tone—it’s fun and intentionally a little over the top.

- Nikki Hedrick


For Shame

For Shame

www.forshamemusic.com


The self-titled, self-released five-song EP from local hard rockers is crushingly good. The production is a little muddy, but the songs rise above it with catchy melodies and an impassioned vocal delivery backed by sludgy grooves. Fans of bands like Sevendust will embrace For Shame and scratch their heads as to why they aren’t being played on radio stations nationwide. Available for FREE at the band’s Web site.

- Nikki Hedrick


Branford Marsalis Quartet

Four MFs Playin’ Tunes

Marsalis Music


This is the latest from Wynton’s saxblowing older brother and his quartet (Joe Calderazzo on piano, Eric Revis on bass, and newcomer Justin Faulkner on drums, replacing the departed Jeff “Tain” Watts). Branford always seems to be more relaxed, less driven than his brother. This eight-track, 63-minute session sounds as fun as it probably was to make. Marsalis, on tenor and soprano, has one of the cleanest tones in jazz, and offers some originals as well as tributes to Monk (“Teo”) and to the House of Marsalis’ Crescent City roots (“Endymion”).

- Bruce Collier


Sauce Boss

Live at the Green Parrot

Burning Disk


Recorded last November at a popular Key West bar, this is live blues as it should be. It isn’t overly polished or produced, and the music is allowed to speak for itself. The band is led by the slide guitar playing, singing, and gumbo-cooking Bill Wharton. His guitar work on “Let the Big Dog Eat” is phenomenal and worth the price of the album. The Green Parrot proudly carries the slogan “A Sunny Place for Shady People,” and that makes it a perfectly fitting place to capture a live blues performance with a hot sauce-laced edge.

- Nikki Hedrick


Scars and Stripes

The Cost of Living

Durty Mick Records


Fort Walton Beach-based punkers with a penchant for anthemic songs. The album is full of surprises, from the beautifully honest “The Apology”— about a relationship in shambles—to “I Don’t Want to Live,” 53 seconds of pure vitriol. The songwriting features a raw emotional maturity that doesn’t sacrifice high-energy songs worthy of any mosh pit.

- Nikki Hedrick