Critic’s Notebook: Shooter Jennings, Twiggy Ramirez, Jamey Johnson; Todd Terje; Fat Trel, Uptown XO, Garvey the Chosen


Country music maverick Shooter Jennings. (Photo: James Minchin III)

Notable recordings from the world of pop music.

Shooter Jennings, Twiggy Ramirez, Jamey Johnson

Set up for a joke with no punch line, just a punch: Waylon Jennings’s son, Marilyn Manson’s bassist and country music’s darkest horse walk into a recording studio to cut a version of “You Are My Sunshine” that feels like a slow-motion sock in the gut.

Now more than 70 years old, the song has been bent into odd shapes over the decades by Johnny Cash, Bryan Ferry and the Beach Boys, but it’s never sounded more worthy of a David Lynch flick than it does here.

Todd Terje

Spend 10 minutes inside a Todd Terje song and you’ll come out the other side feeling happier, sweatier and closer to the meaning of life. The Norwegian producer unleashed two sprawling disco vamps last week — “Spiral” and “Q” — and both are flush with anticipation, ecstasy and blotted bass lines that make it impossible to sit still.

Fat Trel, Uptown XO, Garvey the Chosen

It’s been a big year for local rap anthems, but don’t leave “Straight Up Killa” off your year-end playlist. The late-entry duet features the delicious trash talk of Fat Trel, the cool-headed observations of Uptown XO, and enough chemistry between the pair to suggest they should extend this partnership beyond one meager song.

“Straight Up Killa” appears on “Stay Schemin,” a recent mix tape from DJ Schemes, a Brooklynite with DMV connections — he’s a regular on the decks at Stadium Club on Queens Chapel Road NE. To wit, the mix tape also includes a burst of staccato angst from Washington rapper Garvey the Chosen.

Warning: This song contains explicit lyrics.

Chris Richards became the Post's pop music critic in 2009. He has covered D.I.Y. house shows, White House concerts, go-go and Gaga.
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