good kid. m.A.A.d city
Sounds like: The Compton boy and homie to ScHoolboy Q, Ab-Soul and Jay Rock’s label debut is a flawless mix of beats, lyrics, storytelling and mind-blowing flow.
Free association: Easily one of 2012 hip-hop’s most impressive pieces of work.
For fans of: Dre x Drake, Das Racist/Frank Ocean/MellowHype, rags to riches. (Bill Chenevert)
Black Moth Super Rainbow
Sounds like: Pa.’s own secretive supergroup of tripped-out electronic freaks does us proud with a drugged-out, dreamy batch of weird pop on their fifth collection.
Free association: If Air and Beck had an unruly teenage son who loves mushrooms. And not the store-bought kind.
For fans of: Tobacco x Broadcast, Starfucker + Empire of the Sun, Pittsburgh stoners. (B.C.)
Sounds like: The gender-bending, glam 27-year-old from Toronto’s synth-heavy electropop gets a little more sophisticated and serious on his solid sophomore.
Free association: Unfortunately, this takes his weirdness down too many notches.
For fans of: Lovers/Dom x Bowie/Grace Jones, Robyn + Owen Pallett, rainbow makeup. (B.C.)
Godspeed You! Black Emperor
Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend!
Sounds like: Wordless, post-punk chamber goth from Montreal, their fourth and first in 10 years is a characteristically powerful dark sonic landscape.
Free association: Just imagine the emotionally twisted men you’ll meet at this show.
For fans of: Pelican/Tortoise x Explosions in the Sky + Low, barren metal hearts. (B.C.)
Landing On A Hundred
(Red Eye Label)
Sounds like: It’s been 10 years since his two-disc The Headphone Masterpiece; the 44-year-old soul singer’s back with a beautiful blend of blues, hip-hop and funk.
Free association: “I used to smoke crack back in the day” has never been so charming.
For fans of: The Roots x CeeLo, D’Angelo/ Maxwell/Raphael Saadiq, veterans. (B.C.)
Sounds like: The sleazeglamball from Toronto’s proper LP debut is a more mature progression from his party-vibed EP, with a subtle, smart batch of tracks.
Free association: “Rock and Roll Nightclub” caught us in the spring, and we’re still sold.
For fans of: Hunx (sans Punx) + Ariel Pink x Liz Phair, morning cigarette glamour. (B.C.)
Thursdays, 8pm, ABC
Captive audience: Crimson Tide fans, people who love seeing Andre Braugher in bad-ass mode.
Moment of truth: My pick for the season’s most awesomely addictive new show that everyone should be watching is this weekly thriller, co-created by Shawn Ryan (The Shield). The unlikely yet electric duo of Andre Braugher (Homicide, Men of a Certain Age) and Scott Speedman (Felicity) star as the head officers of a U.S. ballistic submarine that goes rogue once it gets hit by a U.S. missile after they question a command to launch a missile at Pakistan. As the crew dodges everything from enemy subs to island warlords, this show will definitely keep you watching to see how it all goes down.
Emmy or phlegmmy: Emmy. (Craig D. Lindsay)
The Houstons: On Our Own
Wednesdays, 9pm, Lifetime
Captive audience: Whitney Houston fans, people who are still waiting for Being Bobby Brown to drop on DVD.
Moment of truth: What better way for the family of a recently deceased pop superstar to mourn than to put all their business in the damn street? That’s exactly what happens on this reality show, which takes trifling shamelessness to a whole ‘nutha level. The show follows around Whitney Houston’s manager/ sister-in-law Pat and her family as they pick up the pieces after Whitney’s untimely death. They also take on the responsibility of looking after niece (and Whitney’s gap-toothed pride and joy) Bobbi Kristina. Yeah, I gave up on this embarrassing-ass mess in the middle of the second episode.
Emmy or phlegmmy: Oh, hell to the naw! Phlegmmy. (C.D.L.)
Premiering Saturday, 10pm, TBS
Captive audience: Wedding Crashers fans, middle-aged rock-star wannabes who think they still got it.
Moment of truth: Finally, a show that reminds all those past-their-prime musicians that just because they never made it doesn’t mean they can’t rock. This hour-long comedy—yeah, you heard me—is centered around a cover-band quartet (whose members include Beverly Hills, 90210’s Brian Austin Green and Lost’s Harold Perrineau) and their rowdy experiences as they play weddings, bachelor parties, sci-fi conventions, etc. Let’s just say if the lame (and therefore quite accurate) musical numbers don’t keep you away, the show’s tired, tawdry attempts at making you laugh for an hour will.
Emmy or phlegmmy: Phlemmy. (C.D.L.)
Henri David Halloween Ball
Wed., Oct. 31, Sheraton Philadelphia Downtown Hotel
Overall vibe: Fabulously flamboyant. Besides being the most extravagant Halloween bash in town, now in its 44th year, the annual costume ball is also the longest-running event of its kind.
Most memorable moment: The midnight costume contest rewarding the most imaginative, humorous and elaborate get-ups in several different categories. With the exception of only a handful of folks, everyone in attendance proved a decent contender.
Scene stealer: Mr. David’s crew of super-hunks who, donning nothing more than thongs and neckties, flaunted and flopped their assets around all night long. (Nicole Finkbiner)
PW's Music Issue 2014