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New Releases

Reviews of records by Good Dude Lojack and Mike Stout

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Good Dude Lojack
Sevenandtwenty EP
(La Squadra)
la-squadra.bandcamp.com

On Sevenandtwenty, Good Dude Lojack cherry-picks some of electronic music’s best quirks and molds them into something cohesive, gratifying and hard to put down. The four songs are unrushed (five-plus minutes apiece), but active and filled with satisfying details. They operate on repetition, but the tunes are upfront about it, and the production pulls off some impressive tricks beneath the redundancy — like in the closer “Calm and Lost (Always Late),” a pulsing seven-minuter built on a reverbed-out vocal sample that might remind you of underground ’90s dance music. But Sevenandtwenty isn’t too beholden to any particular style, nor does it try to re-write the book. The success of the album is in its balance of ambition and minimalism. – Alex Gordon


Mike Stout
Blue and Green in Black and White
(American Blue Collar Records)
www.mikestoutmusic.com

On this record, the prolific guitarist/songwriter continues his career-long project of using music to drive social change. He got his start playing protest music in New York City in the 1960s. In the ’70s, he began working in a Pittsburgh steel mill and used his songs to help rally workers at union meetings. On Blue and Green, Stout — along with a large band of local music veterans — delves into some of our most pressing social and environmental crises. “Stand Up — The Water’s Running Out,” for one, presents a sobering picture of the water crisis in Flint and beyond. But between Springsteen-esque rockers, Celtic stompers and folky jams, this record won’t leave you feeling hopeless. As Stout puts it, “You’re never gonna fall as long as there’s solidarity.” — Margaret Welsh




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