Arts Desk

This Week in Music: X.O., Numero Group, Roland White

In this week's One Track Mind, Andrew Noz takes a look at X.O.'s "I Got Doe" off of his forthcoming album Capitalism. The song integrates the city's go-go roots with raw, synth-heavy beats while X.O. spits about hood credibility and government corruption. The song invokes hip-hop's classic materialism, but X.O. pulls a bait and switch, claiming he's kept his soul. "That was the worm on the hook," he says. "Materialistic shit sells, [but] you don't have to lower your standards to get money." Read more, and listen to the song, here.

In album reviews, David Dunlap Jr. looks at Eccentric Breaks and Beats from the Chicago-based archival label The Numero Group, which is known for being fastidious about clearing song licenses and paying musicians royalties.  When the label discovered that the production team Shoes had bootlegged and reworked their compilation, it prepared a cease and desist letter, but never sent it. Instead, Numero seized the plates from the pressing plant and is now releasing Shoes' reworkings itself. Read Dunlap's full review here.

Dunlap also reviews mandolinist Roland White's reissued 1976 bluegrass album I Wasn't Born to Rock'n Roll.  White made the album after his brother Clarence, who played for the Byrds, was fatally hit by a drunk driver while he was loading  equipment up after a gig. I Wasn't Born to Rock'n Roll stands out as a testament to his buoyant spirit and is an enthusiastic take on traditionalism that pays tribute to the greats White played with. The only song that is not a cover is "Powder Creek," an airy instrumental penned by Roland and Clarence in 1963 on the New Jersey Turnpike. Check out the full review here.

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