Record Bulletin

Record Bulletin, 7/4

Serengeti

No secret I love David Cohn, possibly a better character actor than Doom or Em, able to switch his cadence and delivery on a dime. So this Independence Day, treat yourself to one of America’s better lesser-knowns.

Over a month with no Record Bulletin. Sad stuff, to say the least, even though I sort of kept up a regular posting habit by writing other bits. I’ve got several album now in the A-list ready to be written up. Said I’d have two posts this week, so look for something on Saturday, if I can muster up the wit and patience these things demand.

serengeti kenny dennis lpSERENGETI – The Kenny Dennis LP (Anticon): Dennehy-admiring, O’Douls-downing, Chicagoan sports fanatic Kenny Dennis ups the ante on last year’s EP, losing his temper and letting Workaholics buddy Anders Holm reminisce on the skits; spying Dennis at the Sharper Image arguing with the clerk about a faulty no-fog shaving mirror, getting out of a ticket when the cop recognizes long-lost Da End iz Near Grimm Teachaz EP coming out of Ders’ stereo, pushing Kenny’s buttons when his friend Steve wears a Shaq shirt. Odd Nostram returns as producer, perfectly capturing the O’Douls-chugging, nostalgic Ditka-ite’s ethos; sloppy, needle-scratched beats for Cohn’s loudmouthed, thick-tongued character narratives where he slaps down street challengers, eats breakfast with lover Jueles, and shares his “metaphor for life”: “You like ‘em, you bang ‘em / You like ‘em, you bang ‘em / Sometimes you don’t like / But you still bang ‘em.” A MINUS

087coverSERENGETI – Saal (Graveface Records): Originally I dropped a *** on this, only to revisit in light of The Kenny Dennis LP, this time abandoning the five bonus tracks and enjoying the eight-song, twenty-five minute minimalist dreamscape producer Sicker Man creates as backdrop for Cohn’s surrealistic warbling. So the A Minus here is awarded in spite of the extras, which I still think weigh it down, and the seven or something bucks I spent is worth the proper album. As Q ineloquently put it, his “deadbeat rhymes [are] at odds with the rap mainstream,” one of those places Cohn wouldn’t fit anyway, least not by showing his vulnerability; wears a false nose to his ex’s wedding, admits he’d redo it all if he could redo it all, knows he’s not a big shit but doesn’t love obscurity. Who else could say that and get away with his cred intact? A MINUS

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