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Tuesday Reviewsday: Arca, Martin Crane, Cavanaugh and more




Scene from Cavanaugh's music video, Screenplay.
Scene from Cavanaugh's music video, Screenplay.

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Every week we look at a whole host of new music. This week, music writer Chris Martins reviews a few choice selections.  

Arca from the album, "Mutant"

Arca is a Venezuelan-born electronic music maverick whose interests run decidedly dark. His blackened touch is all over Kanye West's freaky 2013 opus, "Yeezus."

There are flickers of dub and hip-hop and dark house music and huge swaths that sound like abstracted classical.

Martin Crane from the album Physical Therapy

Martin Crane is an Austin based musician who's put out records before using the name Brazos. It was a solo thing that became a trio and sure enough, his pals are on this album too. The same guys, which for the music nerds includes drummer Ian Chang of Son Lux and Matthew Dear, and Spencer Zahn, who plays bass with Twin Shadow.

This isn't forceful music, it's a little wispy and fey, but it's also just great.

Cavanaugh from the album Time and Materials

This is a concept-rap crew named Cavanaugh. It's two guys who've got really colorful, insightful, adventurous catalogs apart from one another. Serengeti and Open Mike Eagle.

The album supposedly takes place in a fictional place called Detroit, Florida, where the fellas play bizarro versions of themselves: Dave (Geti's real name) and Mike. They are maintenance workers in a building that's half luxury condos and half low-income housing project.

There is a different entrance for each, but all of the residents rely on the same pipes, the same wiring, and these two guys. They're caught in the middle of this bizarre, living, social experiment, 

Shovels & Rope from the album Busted Jukebox Vol. I 

This recommendation actually comes from Chris's father. The band is from South Carolina and they play punky country-folk.  

"Busted Jukebox Vol. 1," and it's a set of covers performed as duets with other artists they've met and befriended over the years. I picked these songs to show the kind of range they're working with. One is "Unknown Legend," from Neil Young's 1992 LP "Harvest Moon." They're joined by Austinite Shakey Graves, who brings his gruff, Springsteeny vocals to the party. The other song is coincidentally also from '92.  It's Last from Nine Inch Nails' first EP, "Broken." This one's dirty gritty psychobilly, like a Johnny Cash track sped up and pushed off its center, so it chugs along like a train with a deep list. 

 Chris Martins is a music writer living in Los Angeles.