8/24/16: Jaclyn Bradley Palmer, Michael Buble, Sabaton, Metallica

@@@ Jaclyn Bradley Palmer: The Dutch Sessions (Self-released, 2016).  Powerfully female folk rock I got to via the Indiepulse music blog.  If you sport an external appendage in your underpants be forewarned that there are a lot of feelings going on here.  Unabashedly as well.  The second tune, All That Might Have Been is an acoustic guitar strummer and it’s a song of lost love and again, many many feelings.  Let’s finish up this listen with the third tune, I Choose Joy.  As one would expect from a tune called I Choose Joy it’s a happy stomper with a tambourine.  When she’s down she chooses joy.  I’m not sure that makes a lot of sense but choose joy dammit.

@@@ Michael Buble: Nobody But Me (Gets Paid!) (Reprise Records, 2016).  I love the Buble and wailing upon him cuz he is a cheese slinger par excellence.  This is a snazzy little Elvis Presley-esque pop confection.  Not Fat Elvis either, snappy Elvis.  Would it be cheeky to call this bubbly by Buble?  Catchy is one thing, low IQ achiever is a whole nother.  This song is what it smells like when a rich old lady farts in an elevator and makes the elevator operator gasp.  He’s got an MC rapping on this tune, kill me!  I’m not going to finish this tune so hopefully he won’t get paid his 2/10ths of one slim cent.

@@@ Sabaton: The Last Stand (Nuclear Blast, 2016).  A heavy metal record I got to via the Apple Music heavy music section.  Power chord, synth blast, war chants, and cue the despair on my part.  I’m predicting an epic singer, a real rag tight around the dick type.  I am wrong as we get not a screamer but a serious intoner.  Wrong again! This first tune commemorates the final stand of Sparta vs. the Persians and I had no idea the Spartans had a last meal solely consisting of stinky cheese.  Let’s peep one more as this is painful.  I guess this is heavy metal.  Not the stuff I really like but heavy metal, it’s kinda Disney metal.  Mickey metal.

@@@ Metallica: Hardwired (Blackened, 2016).  A single off a full length due in November.  Oh how times have changed, Lars is wearing a hat on Apple Music because he’s bald as a baby’s dick.  The tune is an old school thrash bumper with Hetfield’s classic delivery — We’re so fucked, shit out of luck is the vocal hook.  Sing it brother.  I was going to say the mix sounds a little thin and the kick drum sounds like a sock full of dead rats but I thought I would check that up against other Metallica records.  I’m listening to Enter Sandman (1991) and it’s much thicker.  Same with Master of Puppets.  And back to this new track and it is just squashed to fuck, loud as shit but kinda clippy and stupid.  What can you do — it’s so fucked.  7.5 million views for this soggy squashed biscuit?  That’s fucked!

YTD recordings listened to: 677
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 377
Not good music: 248

Honorable Mentions: 12
Buys: 11

Possibles: Chris McGregor, Dave Arner Trio, Zomby, Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, Slidhr, The Chewers, Toxic Holocaust, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Fofoulah, Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, Leviathan, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Janelle Monae, Luther Dickinson, Destruction Unit, Graeme Barrett, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Cavanaugh, Gentleman Surfer, Satoko Fuji, Mystic Braves, Divanhana, Unrestrained, Moken, Systema Solar, Brian Eno, Juan Atkins, Drone, Lantern, The Lickshots, Twin Peaks, Djelimady Tounkara, Miramar, The Oh Sees, Denny Zeitlin, MILF, Changui Majadero, Joe Sticky, Vieux Kante, Keefe Jackson, Unfun

8/23/16: Frank Ocean, Lindsey Stirling, Watsky, HIRIE

@@@ Frank Ocean: Blonde (Boys Don’t Cry, 2016).  If you’re a music fan you know already that you can’t take a shit in the last week or ten days without finding Frank Ocean in your bathroom.  Did he seel out by going exclusive with Apple Music, is he for real any more?  He’s got a freakass pitch shifter (?) on his voice on this first tune and I think it’s kinda cool he did that and it also detracts from the tune.  I thought Mr. Ocean’s last record was more than a bit hyped — he’s got a real simple lo-fi approach sonically which if you’re not into it could come across as not geniues but rather shallow and simple.  As far as I can tell Senor Ocean is all about the vibe.  Oh I don’t love this second tune Ivy, let’s peep more.  This third tune is more polished and sonically interesting — a tight drum loop and nice bass line here.  He’s got some skills but this isn’t really jump up and down material for me.

@@@ Lindsey Stirling: Brave Enough (Lindseystomp Records, 2016).  Off this week’s Apple Music new music section.  Ms. Stirling is an EDM-violin sensation, I can’t wait for that EDM club snare roll and some four on the floor.   Oh this first tune has a heavy New Age stench to it — like a warehouse full of cheese in Iowa and the refirgeration has gone kaput.  This first tune will probably outperform the second tune Brave Enough.  If a song has the title Brave in it you’re pretty much fucked from the git go.  Oddly enough I’m drawn to it like a car wreck.  And I will quote lyrics!  There’s some things she should have said, but she was too afraid!  And now it’s too late!  I wish I was, I wish I was brave enough to love you (and this record).  Oh man this is an ugly dog that ate a synthesizer and a violin and is trying to pass them and get on with his leg humping life.

@@@ Watsky: x Infinity (Steel Wool/EMPIRE, 2016)  White boy hip hopalert!! And produced by vegan billionaire russell Simmons.  At least Eminem had the decency to rap really high and that made his schtick more interesting.  Watsky has a thin tone to his rapping and I say this as a card carrying white person (white person in skin only) but this guy sounds mad Wonderbread and nerd-a-fied.  I would rather listen to Christian hip hop and this brother needs a George Clinton dookie stick.

@@@ HIRIE: Wandering Soul (Rootfire, 2016).  An updated, partially electro lovergirl record I got to via the WRIR weekly email.  Very slick production and relaxed feeling to this first tune.  There is an urgent climax to the first tune before it gears down to a slower second song, Good Vibration.  I like some of the sounds and a few of the dub effects are really ear catching but I prefer the rougher reggae business and while I like the singer I don’t love her work on the microphone.

YTD recordings listened to: 673
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 375
Not good music: 246

Honorable Mentions: 12
Buys: 11

Possibles: Chris McGregor, Dave Arner Trio, Zomby, Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, Slidhr, The Chewers, Toxic Holocaust, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Fofoulah, Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, Leviathan, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Janelle Monae, Luther Dickinson, Destruction Unit, Graeme Barrett, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Cavanaugh, Gentleman Surfer, Satoko Fuji, Mystic Braves, Divanhana, Unrestrained, Moken, Systema Solar, Brian Eno, Juan Atkins, Drone, Lantern, The Lickshots, Twin Peaks, Djelimady Tounkara, Miramar, The Oh Sees, Denny Zeitlin, MILF, Changui Majadero, Joe Sticky, Vieux Kante, Keefe Jackson, Unfun

 

 

8/22/16: Lisa Hannigan, Ed Harcourt, Eddie Levert

@@@ Lisa Hannigan: At Swim (ATO, 2016)  ‘Gently mystic’ folk tunes off this week’s All Music weekly email.  The first tune is pretty with some very nice vocals, muted acoustic guitar strum, and electric guitar wash in the background.  The second tune, Prayer for the Dying, brings on the piano and the drummer.  I don’t hear anything particularly ear catching in the playing or the lyrics but the music is very pretty.  I’m not sure pretty is enough for me (and I don’t mean to be a bitch about it), but check her out.

@@@ Ed Harcourt: Furnaces (Polydor, 2016).  Some more meaningful white people’s music off this week’s All Music notable release email.  These are ‘regal and powerful indie hymns’ according to his Apple Music blurb for the record.  After a choir-y intro piece the second tune, The World is on Fire, is a bit of a Nick Cave inspired slow tear jerker.  Unfortunately for Mr. Harcourt, Mr. Cave does it better.  Let’s peep a tad more.  Third tune and it’s still a bit overwrought and Imma finishing up my listen with the title track and it’s just a wee bit much for me.  Check for yourself.

@@@ Eddie Levert: Did I Make You Go Ooh? (Blackbyrd, 2016).   A new record from one of the frontman from the O’Jays.  I would say the closest reference I have for this record is Sign O’ the Times by Prince.  Upbeat funk with some guitars.  I like Levert’s vocals, they’re understated and work well within the arrangements.

YTD recordings listened to: 669
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 373
Not good music: 244

Honorable Mentions: 12
Buys: 11

Possibles: Chris McGregor, Dave Arner Trio, Zomby, Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, Slidhr, The Chewers, Toxic Holocaust, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Fofoulah, Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, Leviathan, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Janelle Monae, Luther Dickinson, Destruction Unit, Graeme Barrett, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Cavanaugh, Gentleman Surfer, Satoko Fuji, Mystic Braves, Divanhana, Unrestrained, Moken, Systema Solar, Brian Eno, Juan Atkins, Drone, Lantern, The Lickshots, Twin Peaks, Djelimady Tounkara, Miramar, The Oh Sees, Denny Zeitlin, MILF, Changui Majadero, Joe Sticky, Vieux Kante, Keefe Jackson, Unfun

Changes to the list Aug ’16 Part 2!

@@@ Margo Price: Midwest Farmer’s Daughter (Third Man, 2016). The first tune on this country rock record is a keeper but by the time you get to third tune that opens up with Led Zeppelin beat you know it’s smelling mad Jack Whitey up in here.  Y’all know how much I dig a good mash but I don’t need Zep beats up in my country peanut butter.  Otherwise it’s pretty standard country.

@@@ Seratones: Get Gone (Fat Possum, 2016).  I would gladly have this record on my year end list if all the tracks were like the first tune.  It’s marketed as a ferociously sung record and then only the first tune unleashes the beast.  They prettified this band and personally they should have left them raw as fuck.  This is classic music business bait and switch — they also should have made the guitar player sound rougher.   All in all it looked like they were sculpting for the Alabama Shakes piggy bank but they took a wrong turn, imho.

@@@ Akitsa: Grands Tyrans (Hospital Productions, 2015) I really like the first tune Devoile with it’s wall of guitars and pained shrieking.  I enjoy the hearing the pain and misforune of others — just shitting.  Then the second tune moves over into a trashier riffy biker bar thing.  And then back to the tortured business on the third tune and I feel confused because I’m not very bright.  There are some really good tunes on this record so pick through.

@@@ Comeback Kid: Die Knowing (Victory, 2014).  This is a emo punk/metal and I really dig the at the end of the rope singer.  Man, they’re really cranking the energy on this second tune Lower the Line.  I want to go carjack some yuppie scumbag.  It’s a very good record that doesn’t quite make my cut but some hardcore kiddies out there may dig it.  This band is mad tight and they really bring the energy.

 

 

8/19/16: Cody Jinks, VIXX, Jake Miller, Tory Lanez

@@@ Cody Jinks: I’m not the Devil (Cody Jinks Music, 2016).  I got to this country roots record via the new music sction of Apple Music.  Jinks has a deep and forlorn country voice that lends weight to his music.  Instrumentation is electric and acoustic guitar, bass, drums and fiddle (so far).  The title track takes the tempo down from the opener and it’s a notch or two above dirge-y.  Wow, bummer country.  Well I guess it’s better than the arena redneck Bon Jovi country.  The third tune, No Guarantees, brings the tempo up and while it’s well played it’s pretty standard stuff.

@@@ VIXX: Hades – EP (Korean label, 2016).  Check out this super melodramatic K-Pop showing that super cheesy pop drama is (unfortunately) a world wide affair.  It’s interesting that the verses are in Korean and the chorus bangs you in English.  It’s also interesting because I thought Koreans don’t consume cheese. Pee-whew, this stinks.

@@@ Jake Miller: Overnight (Warner, 2016)  Mainsstream, breathy electro off the Apple Music new section.  It’s a mash of old school mellow disco sounds and loverboy Drake stylings.  Also a few Justin Timberlake and Jonas Brothers’ pubes up in here.  Four on the floor with sugar on top.

@@@ Tory Lanez: I Told You (Interscope, 2016).  A mash of r&b and hip hop that I got to via last week’s All Music weekly email.  Lots of autotuned vocals, some solid rapping, a simple piano part and supportive beats.  There are a lot of skits on this record which I’m not a big fan of but I’m peeping this tune 4am Flex and I like this late night booty call better than the opener.  Lanez has skills, I don’t adore the Autotune and some of the vocal arrangements but it’s all right.

YTD recordings listened to: 666
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 372
Not good music: 243

Honorable Mentions: 12
Buys: 11

Possibles: Chris McGregor, Dave Arner Trio, Zomby, Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, Slidhr, The Chewers, Toxic Holocaust, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Fofoulah, Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, Leviathan, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Janelle Monae, Luther Dickinson, Destruction Unit, Graeme Barrett, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Cavanaugh, Gentleman Surfer, Satoko Fuji, Mystic Braves, Divanhana, Unrestrained, Moken, Systema Solar, Brian Eno, Juan Atkins, Drone, Lantern, The Lickshots, Twin Peaks, Djelimady Tounkara, Miramar, The Oh Sees, Denny Zeitlin, MILF, Changui Majadero, Joe Sticky, Vieux Kante, Keefe Jackson, Unfun

8/18/16: Blind Pilot, Hibria, Goon, D.R.A.M.

@@@ Blind Pilot: And Then Like Lions (ATO, 2016)  Off the Apple Music front page.  This is meaningful rock, at least the first tune is.  After a mellow first third it opens up into an emotional section with some plings, vibes, strummed acoustic, a lot of vocals and a shaker.  A shaker can often be a signal for a NPR serious rock band.  I predict this second tune, Joik #3, is where the cheese will slide in as they’re right on the line.  But they don’t go full cheese just a medium serving of heartfelt cheddar.  There’s just a tad too much melancholy beauty here — it feels one dimensional to me.

@@@ Hibria: Silent Revenge (AFM, 2013).  I saw in an email that this Brazilian power meta band’s 20th anniversary tour has been postponed.  I thought I’m up for some Brazilian power metal, let’s peep that shit.  Thus far I’m really feeling the drummer and the guitarist and the singer not as much.  He’s got that old school Scorpions epic thing going.  I’m four tunes in and my opinion has not changed.

@@@ D.R.A.M.: Broccoli (feat. Lil Yachty) (Epic/Empire, 2016)  A hip hop single off the Apple Music hip hop page.  He’s got medium obscene lyrics over a very playful arrangement.  Imma have to search the urban dictionary for broccoli cuz it’s not just a vegetable.  Yes, another word for the weed/ganja/chronic/herb/Mary Jane.  This is a tune about smoking weed, hittin’ the ladies and spending money.  46 million hits on the GooglePimp, people are feeling this track!

@@@ Goon: Scab (Not sure, 2016).  A downer, alt-indie tune I got to via a music publicist.  The marketing has these guys compared to an Pixies track but I don’t get that at all, I hear more of smacked out Nirvana ballad but without desperation of Cobain’s voice.  Also the extensive background harmonies lift it out of the punk slot and put it more of the noisy indie section.  It’s aight.

YTD recordings listened to: 662
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 370
Not good music: 241

Honorable Mentions: 12
Buys: 11

Possibles: Chris McGregor, Dave Arner Trio, Zomby, Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, Slidhr, The Chewers, Toxic Holocaust, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Fofoulah, Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, Leviathan, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Janelle Monae, Luther Dickinson, Destruction Unit, Graeme Barrett, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Cavanaugh, Gentleman Surfer, Satoko Fuji, Mystic Braves, Divanhana, Unrestrained, Moken, Systema Solar, Brian Eno, Juan Atkins, Drone, Lantern, The Lickshots, Twin Peaks, Djelimady Tounkara, Miramar, The Oh Sees, Denny Zeitlin, MILF, Changui Majadero, Joe Sticky, Vieux Kante, Keefe Jackson, Unfun

8/17/16: Don Gallardo, Brian Wilbur Grundstrom, Unfun, Dae Dae

@@@ Don Gallardo: Hickory (Self-released, 2015) An Americana record I got to via a music publicist in Chicago.  This first tune is a lush affair with sweet vocal harmonies and a measured pace.  Instrumentation is dobro, fiddle, mandolin, bass, drums, acoustic guitar and vocals. Let’s peep more.  The second tune is more of a summer shuffle with some pretty sweet acoustic slide.  The playing is very sweet and the record sounds great.  I don’t love Gallardo’s voice and lyrics as much as I like the playing.  Check him out.

@@@ Brian Wilbur Grundstrom: An Orchestral Journey (Navona, 2016).  A new classical composer I got to because I’m on the label’s mailing list.  The first tune is not available on Apple Music and the second one is slightly downtempo, very pleasant and driven by the string section.  I’m not going to gas readers by passing myself off as a classical music afficionado so I will relate that the marketing blurb for the records says Grundstrom favors long melodic lines and I hear that as well as harmonic sweetness and midtempo energy.  This is mellow classical not the ‘I’m going to invade your country classical.’

@@@ Unfun: Waterboarding (Debt Offensive, 2016)  Switching gears!  I thought this was going to be a hardcore punk record but it’s open up sludgy with waves of guitar ooze and tasty bass ooze as well.  Hmmmm…..now we’ve gone from that to a sort of Husker Du wall of guitar punk.  I like this and I hope they can keep it up.  And it sounds like they’re doing a good job on this second tune, Death Majesty.  These guys have a less dour singer than Bob Mould which changes the vibe of the record a whole bunch and I think Imma have to swing back on this record when I get a chance.

@@@ Dae Dae: Wat U Mean (Aye, Aye, Aye) (Nitti/300, 2016).  A rough hip hop single off the Apple Music front page.  I like the beat all right, I don’t like the sounds that constitute the arrangement but Dae Dae is energetic and convincing on the microphone.

YTD recordings listened to: 658
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 366
Not good music: 239

Honorable Mentions: 12
Buys: 11

Possibles: Chris McGregor, Dave Arner Trio, Zomby, Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, Slidhr, The Chewers, Toxic Holocaust, Comeback Kid, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Fofoulah, Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, Leviathan, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Akitsa, Janelle Monae, Luther Dickinson, Destruction Unit, Graeme Barrett, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Cavanaugh, Gentleman Surfer, Satoko Fuji, Mystic Braves, Divanhana, Unrestrained, Moken, Systema Solar, Brian Eno, Juan Atkins, Drone, Lantern, The Lickshots, Twin Peaks, Djelimady Tounkara, Miramar, The Oh Sees, Denny Zeitlin, MILF, Changui Majadero, Joe Sticky, Vieux Kante, Keefe Jackson, Unfun