New New New or New^3
The Flying Club Cup was released by Beirut on October 9 of this year.
One day later, In Rainbows was released by Radiohead on October 10.
Wayne's new mixtape, The Drought is Over Part 4 was leaked on the 19th...or something like that.

I am an avid fan of both bands and rapper, and so you can imagine my excitement when they all happened to drop (or have other people illegally drop) their latest albums in a span of eleven days. Although it is now November and therefore post-prime posting time, these three feats of musicality must not be ignored on Both Sides.

What follows are synopsis and song of Flying Rainbow Drought, or Flying Over Rainbow, or Drought In Cup, or Club Rainbow 4.

The Flying Club Cup
is named after a Parisian hot air balloon festival and a picture taken of the festival by Leon Gimpel in 1910. Surprisingly enough, the music of The Flying Club Cup actually brings Parisian hot air balloons to mind. The opening trumpet blows of "A Call to Arms" would play the moment before the balloon's flight. Once in air, the steady momentum of "Nantes" and "A Sunday Smile" would push the balloon further and further into the atmosphere. The following trio of songs, of which "Cliquot" is the most notable, would see the balloon hitting rocky patches of air, with perhaps a passenger or two falling out the basket, and maybe a mini in-flight mourning. "The Penalty" would serve as a consolation, easing the balloonist back into his journey. Happy times would return once more with "Forks and Knives (La Fete)" and "In The Mausoleum." Peace and descent follow with "Un Dernier Verre (Pour La Route)" and "Cherbourg," respectively. "St Apollonia" is the touchdown, and finally, the glorious "The Flying Club Cup" is the parade and celebration of a flight well flown.

More dramatic than Gulag Orkestar, the impressive instrumental arrangements showcase big, bulky, brass instruments that were previously only represented by Condon's sleek trumpet. Likewise, Gulag's light and whimsical ukelele shares the spotlight with an imposing accordion and organ. Denser and meatier and buffer and showy-er, The Flying Club Cup is the Super Sweet 16 to Gulag Orkestar's sweet family quinceanera.

mp3 Nantes
mp3 Cliquot
mp3 The Flying Club Cup

Oh, how Radiohead has changed. The big opener to it all, "15 Step" sounds almost like Bloc Party. I realize the blasphemy of comparing the god that is Radiohead to other bands (can't it only work vice versa), but even the opening riff of the second song, "Bodysnatchers" reminded me of Hey Mercedes. Have we actually lost Radiohead? The following "Nude" tells us that, no, we have not. The bittersweet, slightly minor, slightly major sound of OK Computer reaches us once more with "Nude," along with "Faust Arp" and the haunting conclusion, "Videotape." However, other songs, like the two openers, show a complete transformation of the band, most notably in percussion. Never before have I heard such peppy drumming on a Radiohead album. "Weird Fishes/Arpeggi" and "Jigsaw Falling Into Place" showcase the same melancholy voice of Thom Yorke, but backed by this energetic rhythm that was, in previous albums, calm and casual. So, what do I make of this something old/something new/something borrowed/something ____ (this album isn't really bluesy) attitude of In Rainbows? I like it. Radiohead has changed with this new album, no doubt, but amidst all the change, they've still managed to remain true to their '90s rock roots.

mp3 Bodysnatchers
mp3 Nude
mp3 Videotape

Now Lil' Wayne is the best rapper alive, no doubt. His latest mixtape, The Drought Is Over Part 4, only restates the fact. A variety of artists make an appearance, from Cassidy to Twista to Babyface to Wyclef to... Franz Ferdinand? Yes, the 15th track is set on a slow-motion cut of Franz Ferdinand's "Burn This City." The collaborations are all dynamic, but my favorite song out of the nineteen would have to be Wayne's own "Brand New." The beat on this track is perhaps the simplest out of the tape, but is, by far, the catchiest. Speaking of catchy, a hit radio-worthy song would have to be "Get Too Comfortable" featuring Babyface. Completely accessible to all music listeners, Wayne's pop appeal is definitely evident in the track. Other favorites include "I Took Her," "Ask Them Hoes" (yes, making another appearance), and "Rider," where he raps using T-Pain's little vocal effect. I think Weezy said it best when he said, "Weezy F. the greatest, battle anybody [n-word] fuck over ya favorite."

mp3 Brand New
mp3 Burn This City
Get Too Comfortable