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1. All The Way Korean! - "Down In The Hole"
Hot Springs is undergoing some sort of harrowing post-punk revival at the moment, between Times Showcase winners Ghost Bones and All The Way Korean!, who are recommended for fans of bass and pessimism.
2. Fizzy Mahabba - "Glass Hack"
Fizzy Mahabba is the best, worst and strangest acid-damaged art-pop group ever to hail from Harrison, Arkansas, world-famous these days as the mailing address for the KKK.
3. Ma'Leak - "Tennessee Honey"
From Little Rock's Trilly Mob and/or Nostalgic Recordings, here's a new EP by Ma'Leak, an immersive, rasta-influenced dreamscape of a rap tape called "4 ATL" that sounds like it was recorded on cassette then catapulted into the center of the ocean. Can't help but be reminded of the scarier, sadder era of Lil Wayne's mixtape output or of the heyday of the Based God. It's desperate, druggy, lost music.
4. SpidaCrazy8 - "Mrs. Green"
Not entirely Safe For Work, here's the video for Springdale rapper SpidaCrazy8's new single "Mrs. Green," which doesn't actually start until about 1:41 but which is completely worth your time. Incidentally, SpidaCrazy8 is an all-time-great rap name.
5. Ryan Cook - "Always Raining Always Pouring"
The other day I was on YouTube looking up computer games from my childhood — not even fun ones, really, strange stuff like "The Pagemaster" — and I was struck by the fact that the space of the games no longer seemed three-dimensional, it seemed so limited and cramped and pixelated and pathetic. I either misremembered these environments or my own digital literacy and expectations just got more sophisticated with time. These are the sorts of dilemmas explored in the music of Hot Springs' Ryan Cook, who I'm pretty sure made this record on an Android phone.
6. The Lampliter Boys - "Lady Tobacco"
The newest release from Fayetteville's Let's Talk Figures camp is a three-song EP by The Lampliter Boys, who claim they "fell off of the train somewhere between Cheyenne and Chiapas." Pitched somewhere between the Flying Burrito Brothers and Pavement, they make semi-ironic country music that's part Western Swing and part Southern Gothic. "Some say they found the final home of Ambrose Bierce, while others suggest they drank all the whiskey in Guadalajara," they say in their bio. "Few things are certain."