Medium Rotation — I Play My Bass Loud; Shook

GINA BIRCH I Play My Bass Loud (Third Man) — In certain circles, Gina Birch is a legend. As bassist and vocalist for post-punk icons the Raincoats, Birch helped create music that was foundational to all manner of off-kilter, independently minded sounds that followed. This was especially true after Kurt Cobain championed the band at the height of Nirvana’s commercial powers. That long, esteemed history, which is storied to only the coolest of the cool kids, makes the late arrival of Birch’s solo debut all the more satisfying and even poignant. Arriving well past the point when its existence could be at all characterized as opportunistic, I Play My Bass Loud is like a victory lap run at a resolutely relaxed pace. Birch doesn’t have a damn thing to prove. She’s just here to make a racket. Join in or piss off, your choice. She brings along a a quarter of fellow female bassists on the title cut on the burbling title cut and admiringly cites some spiritual descendants on the cut “Pussy Riot” to express her riled-up readiness for proper camaraderie. There’s intriguing explorations, as when “Wish I Was You” stomps through the unlikely intersection of the Beatles and the Breeders. Even as she treats different genres like playthings, Birch is never an indulgent noodler. Start to finish, she’s as determinedly direct as ever. Follow Birch’s lead and play these cuts loud: “”Now We’re All Upset (aka Big Mouth),” “I Will Never Wear Stilettos” (“Give me Doc Martens/ Give me shiny red lace up shoes”), “Dance Like a Demon,” and “Feminist Song.”

ALGIERS Shook (Matador) — Who needs genre boundaries anyway. On their fourth full-length, Shook, the Atlanta collective Algiers run roughshod over whatever shaky lines other have drawn, flashing elements of post-punk, hip hop, punk rock, and jazz as easily as flicking out tools from a deluxe Leatherman. At times, the freewheeling lane swerving happens with a single track, as when the hint of roadhouse blues heard on “Bite Back” gives way to rapid-fire rapping or the the easygoing agitprop that recalls Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy collapses into hardcore mayhem in “73%.” Algiers have spent the past few years pursuing all sorts of collaborations, and that spirt extends to the new album as they welcome a raucous array of guests from Rage Against the Machine barker Zack de la Rocha to regular OutKast cohort Big Rube. All this give Shook the feel of a house party that builds in fervor until it explodes into a march to take back the streets, clanging garbage can lids and yelping protest songs the whole way. In addition to those already mentioned, shake, baby, shake with the following cuts: “Irreversible Damage,” “Everybody Shatter,” “A Good Man,” the soulful anguish of “I Can’t Stand It!, “and “Something Wrong.”

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