Music for 4/20/19!!! Madonna, Loyle Carner, Lizzo

@@@ Madonna: Medellin (Sire, 2019)  I decided to peep this after seeing positive words about it in the Guardian.  Madonna gets in on the Latin music bandwagon with her pre-release single off her 14th album.  She is attempting to put a new coat of paint on her ongoing shapeshifting that she’s done through her career.  Virgin, whore, yawn.  I do appreciate the minimal arrangement, it’s pretty tasteful and her singing partner does most of the heavy work as he gets a big slice of the tune.  At around 2:45 the tune really fills out and achieves liftoff but it comes back down with Madonna doing her thing.  The arrangement is best here followed by the dude.  This has been Madonna’s flow for decades — she’s better at putting sounds and ideas together than she is at performing.

@@@ Loyle Carner:  You Don’t Know (AMF/EMI, 2019) Both this listen and the Lizzo listen below is from a Line of Best Fit email.    Right out of the gate I’m struck by the blend of old school soul and bombastic hip hop.  It contains a sung hook and then comes the British MC with rhymes.  I don’t think all British MCs should stop, but maybe they should think about it.  For some reason it doesn’t work for me.  I don’t know if it’s the posh accent or what but it just comes off weak.  Oh boy, I don’t really like the sounds and I don’t really like the rhymes.

@@@ Lizzo: Like A Girl (Nice/Atlantic, 2019) First off, big ups for Lizzo revealing the big booty on her record cover as seen below.  However, I think she’s more radical going no clothes than she is with the lyrics and the music on this track.  She does indeed, fire a shot from the cheese cannon.  I’m thinking these lyrics focused on self-empowerment are getting a tad tired.  The sounds here are pretty standard hip hop/pop with some dancefloor vibes to go with the diva vocals.  I don’t hate it but it doesn’t hit me deeply, it’s a bunch of hooks with no real weight.

YTD recordings listened to: 205
Good music, not list worthy: 124
Not good music: 72

Best: 0
Honorable Mentions: 0

Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, Slidhr, The Chewers, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Luther Dickinson, Graeme Barrett, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Cavanaugh, Satoko Fuji, Moken, Juan Atkins, Lantern, Twin Peaks, Djelimady Tounkara, The Oh Sees, Denny Zeitlin, MILF, Unfun, De La Soul, Carl Sagan’s Skate Shoes, A Tribe Called Quest, Noname, Klara Lewis, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Oddisee, RAM, Fiver, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Priests, Propaganda, This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez, Integrity, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Criolo, Billy Strings, Flowers of Sulphur, Portal, Lawaii, Etran De L’Air, Ruby Karinto, Elysia Crampton, Parquet Courts, Moskus, Kendl Winter, Tkay Maidza, Barro, Daniel Khan, Tallawit Timbouctou, Sumac, Tropical Fuck Storm, Harriet Tubman, Ammar 808, Anais Maviel, Chaka Khan, Pom Poko, Fried Egg, Horndal, Wyxz, Tarek Atoui

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Music for 4/18/19!!! Bibio, Glenn Hansard

@@@ Bibio: Ribbons (Warp, 2019) Both of today’s listens come from the All Music notable release email from last week.  It’s an electronic record that opens up with a gentle descending guitar part.  More complex than standard indie and I can say upfront I don’t usually dig guitar in my electronic music.  Okay I skipped to the second tune and it’s acoustic guitar with some sort of pan flute synth patch and the general vibe is, oh boy, not my scene.  It’s a 2019 hippie/New Age bigly vibe.  I’m not going to say it nauseates me but it’s not what inspires me these days.  We finally get some drums and a little bit of funk in the third track but it’s still butter soft.  I don’t object to soft sounds, not everything has to be hard and uptempo but there’s no contrast and there’s most definitely something lost when all the roughness is smoothed over.  If this had some hard driving funk to go with the New Age white boy business I would find that much more interesting.

@@@ Glenn Hansard: This Wild Willing (Anti-, 2019)  Okay I dig the premise of this record.  Up on the Apple Music it talks about his frustration of being trapped in a singer-songwriter framework and he wanted to break out of that.  So this record is an effort to get out of stereotypical singer-songwriter setup and I’m all for people evolving and pushing against what is supposed to be.  This first tune has elements of singer songwriter but is darker and features a drum machine.  This first tune starts very lo-fi and bedroom-y and builds to a massive orchestral/guitar noise crescendo.  The second tune don’t settle opens up with piano and pretty raw lyrics.  The third tune, Fool’s Game, introduces some electronic elements and does embrace and break out of the singer songwriter thing.  I’m not jumping up and down about the tunes, but that’s just me and I can see folks getting into it.  Big respect for the concept behind the record.

YTD recordings listened to: 202
Good music, not list worthy: 123
Not good music: 70

Best: 0
Honorable Mentions: 0

Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, Slidhr, The Chewers, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Luther Dickinson, Graeme Barrett, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Cavanaugh, Satoko Fuji, Moken, Juan Atkins, Lantern, Twin Peaks, Djelimady Tounkara, The Oh Sees, Denny Zeitlin, MILF, Unfun, De La Soul, Carl Sagan’s Skate Shoes, A Tribe Called Quest, Noname, Klara Lewis, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Oddisee, RAM, Fiver, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Priests, Propaganda, This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez, Integrity, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Criolo, Billy Strings, Flowers of Sulphur, Portal, Lawaii, Etran De L’Air, Ruby Karinto, Elysia Crampton, Parquet Courts, Moskus, Kendl Winter, Tkay Maidza, Barro, Daniel Khan, Tallawit Timbouctou, Sumac, Tropical Fuck Storm, Harriet Tubman, Ammar 808, Anais Maviel, Chaka Khan, Pom Poko, Fried Egg, Horndal, Wyxz, Tarek Atoui

Music for 4/17/19!!! John Paul White, Shovels and Rope

@@@ John Paul White: The Hurting Kind (Single Lock Records, 2019) An Americana record off last week’s All Music notable release email that traffics in adult alternative, Byrds era folk rock, and straight up classic FM.  I must say straight up that while White is quite a capable singer he is milking the emotional titty a bit hard.  So if we are to accept that this is the sonic equivalent of a manly Midwestern country steak, it sure is a steak that is slathered with more than a bit of Philly cheesesteak sauce.  And if you protest the use of the word cheese then you could substitute the word corn.  It’s all American corn.  Unfortunately.

@@@ Shovels & Rope: By Blood (Dualtone, 2019) Also off this week’s All Music notable release email.  The first tune, I’m Comin Out, is a bombastic anthem.  Maybe they’re gay?  Not gay in a bad way, just straight up gay.  Maybe they’re emotionally gay which I’m not sure what that is.  The second tune is a sing-a-long strummer with a female singer.  It’s also super bombastic and mainstream.  So there’s that word bombastic again.  I’m going to peep one more track and while these guys aren’t milking the drama titty they sure as shit are firing the corn cannon.  I’m more than a bit peeved that these two listens work in more of a simulated emotional world rather than something that feels real and passionate to me.  I’m sure these are great people but I think I might prefer watching some house paint dry.  Remember I want to love it, I really do.

YTD recordings listened to: 200
Good music, not list worthy: 122
Not good music: 69

Best: 0
Honorable Mentions: 0

Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, Slidhr, The Chewers, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Luther Dickinson, Graeme Barrett, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Cavanaugh, Satoko Fuji, Moken, Juan Atkins, Lantern, Twin Peaks, Djelimady Tounkara, The Oh Sees, Denny Zeitlin, MILF, Unfun, De La Soul, Carl Sagan’s Skate Shoes, A Tribe Called Quest, Noname, Klara Lewis, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Oddisee, RAM, Fiver, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Priests, Propaganda, This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez, Integrity, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Criolo, Billy Strings, Flowers of Sulphur, Portal, Lawaii, Etran De L’Air, Ruby Karinto, Elysia Crampton, Parquet Courts, Moskus, Kendl Winter, Tkay Maidza, Barro, Daniel Khan, Tallawit Timbouctou, Sumac, Tropical Fuck Storm, Harriet Tubman, Ammar 808, Anais Maviel, Chaka Khan, Pom Poko, Fried Egg, Horndal, Wyxz, Tarek Atoui

Music for 4/16/19!!! Escort, Tarek Atoui

@@@ Escort: City Life (Escort, 2019)  I got to this electronic mash of Brazilian, dub and other electronic styles.  After a mashed up intro it gets into an updated disco track called ‘City Life’.  I like the energy but I don’t think it stands out as much as I would want it to.  I’m on the fourth tune and I don’t really hear much dub which I want to hear as I love dub — it’s basically a disco record with some funk touches.  It’s all right.

@@@ Tarek Atoui: Mort Aux Vaches (Staalplat, 2015)  I got to what I would call an improvised electronic record via Line of Best Fit, the same means of communication as the above disco record.  After a completely glitched out but also dreamy instrumental track the second track is much more chopped as well as being laced with a larger variety of sounds including voices which are always game changers.  I read a bio of this Lebanese artist and while he’s described as a player of original instruments I’m hearing him as an electronic artist that uses pretty straightforward electronic techniques to present his music, which I like a bunch.  It’s jumpy and energetic, a little disorienting but still coherent and engaging.  The pieces vary according to what I would call the source material but the techniques are interesting and make for above average listening.  There’s some humor and this is far from pretentious music so feel free to check it out though it’s not your standard business.  You will not hear Bruno Mars rolling like this for sure!

YTD recordings listened to: 198
Good music, not list worthy: 122
Not good music: 67

Best: 0
Honorable Mentions: 0

Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, Slidhr, The Chewers, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Luther Dickinson, Graeme Barrett, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Cavanaugh, Satoko Fuji, Moken, Juan Atkins, Lantern, Twin Peaks, Djelimady Tounkara, The Oh Sees, Denny Zeitlin, MILF, Unfun, De La Soul, Carl Sagan’s Skate Shoes, A Tribe Called Quest, Noname, Klara Lewis, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Oddisee, RAM, Fiver, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Priests, Propaganda, This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez, Integrity, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Criolo, Billy Strings, Flowers of Sulphur, Portal, Lawaii, Etran De L’Air, Ruby Karinto, Elysia Crampton, Parquet Courts, Moskus, Kendl Winter, Tkay Maidza, Barro, Daniel Khan, Tallawit Timbouctou, Sumac, Tropical Fuck Storm, Harriet Tubman, Ammar 808, Anais Maviel, Chaka Khan, Pom Poko, Fried Egg, Horndal, Wyxz, Tarek Atoui

Music for 4/15/19!!! Inter Arma, Wxyz

@@@ Inter Arma: Sulphur English (Relapse, 2019) I got to this new release via the metal blog Invisible Oranges.  When the monster is released he is slow and thumpy with detuned guitars and a thick kick drum.  The drummer engages in some fantastic thrash drumming and he’s really the star here for me.  I appreciate the slowed down Sabbath lava flow show but I do prefer an uptempo wig out over the sludge-fest.  I liked the fourth tune, Howling Lands, the best of what I heard.  Tune in for the drummer if you’re a drummer or an afficionado.

WyxzYiY (N/A, 2019). I got to this fully fucking red bulled prog/Zappa rock metal shitshow also via Invisible Oranges.  The first tune is an 11:43 shot of static and jumpy twitched out sonic blasting.  It’s like somebody put both ends of the jumper cables on your taint.  That image works for all genders and non-genders.  It’s hard to describe this accurately past the extreme jumpiness feature.  It’s somewhat rock, some punk, very proggy but not with proggy tones to it.  Myself I would not call it heavy metal while it is a heavy record for sure.  I don’t usually go for the super fast technical playing but here it is served up with slathering of foulness and dirty ass tone I’m quite enjoying it.  Well done and I will circling back to this record when I have more time.  Be forewarned this will fry your fucking face off.  How refreshing to hear something like this on tax day!  Bravo!!!

YTD recordings listened to: 196
Good music, not list worthy: 121
Not good music: 67

Best: 0
Honorable Mentions: 0

Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, Slidhr, The Chewers, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Luther Dickinson, Graeme Barrett, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Cavanaugh, Satoko Fuji, Moken, Juan Atkins, Lantern, Twin Peaks, Djelimady Tounkara, The Oh Sees, Denny Zeitlin, MILF, Unfun, De La Soul, Carl Sagan’s Skate Shoes, A Tribe Called Quest, Noname, Klara Lewis, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Oddisee, RAM, Fiver, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Priests, Propaganda, This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez, Integrity, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Criolo, Billy Strings, Flowers of Sulphur, Portal, Lawaii, Etran De L’Air, Ruby Karinto, Elysia Crampton, Parquet Courts, Moskus, Kendl Winter, Tkay Maidza, Barro, Daniel Khan, Tallawit Timbouctou, Sumac, Tropical Fuck Storm, Harriet Tubman, Ammar 808, Anais Maviel, Chaka Khan, Pom Poko, Fried Egg, Horndal, Wyxz

Music for 4/14/19!!! Kevin Abstract, Tame Impala

@@@ Kevin Abstract: Arizona baby EP (RCA, 2019)  There’s been some dudes using hip hop sounds but getting into some non hip hop territory.  This tune from the Apple hot tracks section does just that getting into some indie electronic action in the arrangement (including guitars and a saxophone) while he gets a good head of steam going on the microphone over new style but not quite full trap beats.  Regular readers know I enjoy a mashed up style if it’s done well and Mr. Abstract is all right at it.  I think Abstract is indebted to Andre 3000 of Outkast — he doesn’t bite him but he is inspired by his uniqueness, no holds barred style.  This music is not a bullseye for me, but for mainstream music on the hot tracks section it’s pretty interesting.  I’m feeling this third tune Georgia the most of what I’ve heard.

@@@ Tame Impala: Borderline (Island, 2019)  Super slick indie disco off the Apple Music hot tracks section.  Unfortunately, a somewhat so standard it hurts four on the floor beat could use a funk injection.  Throw some melancholic falsetto vocals about being in L.A. by yourself and you get #sadface disco biscuit.  I like the flute part, real or canned.  It’s a bit of a colander of synth spaghetti comprising the mix.  I count four or five layers of synth-y goodness.  Could use some funk and a more interesting arrangement.

YTD recordings listened to: 194
Good music, not list worthy: 120
Not good music: 67

Best: 0
Honorable Mentions: 0

Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, Slidhr, The Chewers, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Luther Dickinson, Graeme Barrett, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Cavanaugh, Satoko Fuji, Moken, Juan Atkins, Lantern, Twin Peaks, Djelimady Tounkara, The Oh Sees, Denny Zeitlin, MILF, Unfun, De La Soul, Carl Sagan’s Skate Shoes, A Tribe Called Quest, Noname, Klara Lewis, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Oddisee, RAM, Fiver, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Priests, Propaganda, This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez, Integrity, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Criolo, Billy Strings, Flowers of Sulphur, Portal, Lawaii, Etran De L’Air, Ruby Karinto, Elysia Crampton, Parquet Courts, Moskus, Kendl Winter, Tkay Maidza, Barro, Daniel Khan, Tallawit Timbouctou, Sumac, Tropical Fuck Storm, Harriet Tubman, Ammar 808, Anais Maviel, Chaka Khan, Pom Poko, Fried Egg, Horndal

Music for 4/12/18!!! Alma Afrobeat Ensemble, Paul Metzger

@@@ Alma Afrobeat Ensemble: Monkey See, Monkey Do!  (N/A, 2019) I got to this Spanish Afrobeat record via a music publicist email.  They have elements of classic Afrobeat with a lyrical focus on politics.  I also hear some small swinging big band feels and a few Spanish music flavors.  The slide guitar solo at the beginning of the third song is very interesting and something I would like to hear more of.  Some sort of variations on a form that keeps it fresh.  This is for fans of classic Afrobeat.  Myself I could use an update on that sound.

@@@ Paul Metzger: Paul Metzger/George Marich (Self-released, 2018)  An improvised guitar and drums record I got to after seeing this musician’s name on a gig announcement for awesome California independent station, KFJC.   One 23 minute piece and one 17 minute monster shot so kick back and don’t have a Red Bull.  After some percussive swishing to open the track Metzger comes in with a clean tone and some off kilter melodic work.  His playing is interesting and unpredictable while maintaining a non fire breathing style.  I really like this first piece and the connectedness between the two musicians.  Let’s peep the second track.  The beginning of the second track has more bluster to it but it’s not extreme, it is in relation to the opener.  Folks should check this record out, it’s good to listen to while you’re on Instagram or writing code for Facebook!

YTD recordings listened to: 192
Good music, not list worthy: 119
Not good music: 66

Best: 0
Honorable Mentions: 0

Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, Slidhr, The Chewers, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Luther Dickinson, Graeme Barrett, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Cavanaugh, Satoko Fuji, Moken, Juan Atkins, Lantern, Twin Peaks, Djelimady Tounkara, The Oh Sees, Denny Zeitlin, MILF, Unfun, De La Soul, Carl Sagan’s Skate Shoes, A Tribe Called Quest, Noname, Klara Lewis, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Oddisee, RAM, Fiver, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Priests, Propaganda, This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez, Integrity, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Criolo, Billy Strings, Flowers of Sulphur, Portal, Lawaii, Etran De L’Air, Ruby Karinto, Elysia Crampton, Parquet Courts, Moskus, Kendl Winter, Tkay Maidza, Barro, Daniel Khan, Tallawit Timbouctou, Sumac, Tropical Fuck Storm, Harriet Tubman, Ammar 808, Anais Maviel, Chaka Khan, Pom Poko, Fried Egg, Horndal