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Music Staff Picks: The Best Releases of April

billy woods – Aethiopes On Aethiopes, billy woods reestablishes his strengths as a storyteller, with help from producer Preservation’s experimentally jazzy beats. By now, woods has cemented himself as one of hip hop’s greatest writers, and his brooding yet clever introspection sounds especially powerful over Preservation’s musical backdropping. Samples of pianos will twinkle across some tracks, and pound discordantly on others, while electric guitars ring and horns blow. By the time the harmonica enters the equation, the beats here are unparalleled. It is an enveloping atmosphere completed by excellent percussion, which moves between hand drums, full kits, and shuffling jangles … Continued


Milo Hamilton: Iowa Alum and Baseball Icon

The end of the 2012 season signals the end of an era for the Houston Astros. I’m not talking about the “Killer B’s” (Jeff Bagwell, Craig Biggio, Derek Bell, and Lance Berkman), who are about as far removed from Houston these days as Albert Pujols’ homerun against Brad Lidge in the 2005 NLCS. Judging by their roster, I’m not talking about losing. I’m not even talking about their switch from the National League to the American League next year. I’m talking about Milo Hamilton, the longtime Astros broadcaster who decided earlier this year that 2012 would be his last season … Continued

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