Active Music Listening Thursday October 31, 2013

YTD recordings listened to: 827
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 505
Not good music: 256

Honorable Mentions: 18
Buys: 16

Possibles: Boyd Rivers, Abdoulaye Alhassane Toure, Cryptopsy, Chris McGregor, Brother Ali (2009), Alvin Youngblood Hart, Dave Arner Trio, Trap Them, Bill Horist, MAKU Soundsystem, Joseph Arthur, Melt Yourself Down, Zomby, Retox, Owiny Sigoma Band, About Group, Andrew Cedermark, Jello Biafra, Fat Freddy’s Drop, Jessie Mae Hemphill, All Pigs Must Die, Chris Shifflett, Kendl Winter, Shigeto, Bone Dance, Cage the Elephant, Carcass, Defeater, Tal National, Sidi Toure, Tim Hecker

@@@ Tim Hecker: Virgins (Kranky, 2013).  I saw this record as an Aquarius Records record of the week.  People love this guy — I like him and find his music very intelligent.  Instead of a beat based ambient electronic formula his music has more of a cut and paste collage feel to it.  More sounds bumping into each other than layered on top of one another.  This is a substantial record and I will be checking it out when I have more time to do so.  Instrumentation is a combination of acoustic sounds with a lot of random ambient sounds, but not a lot of synthesizers floating around.

@@@ Roy Harper: Man and Myth (Science Friction, 2013).   Some old school, full band folk/soft rock that I found on the All Music weekly email.  Harper’s bio at All Music shows he’s got some mileage and this is his first new music in 13 years.  His music sounds the way a musician from the mid-60’s is supposed to sound.  Pleasantly loose with poetic aspirations.  There is no twerking going on here.

@@@ YU: The Earn (Mello Music, 2013).  This record was recommended to me after I ‘liked’ a record by Oddissee.  I think of this as a Wu-Tang Style record, except more enlightened.  The arrangements are instrument-based rather than synth based, there are multiple rappers taking the microphone, and the beats seem to refer back to that age of hip hop.  I’m not expert on hip hop and don’t pretend to be, I just want to state that openly.  I like this record, but I don’t love it.

@@@ Laurel Halo: Chance of Rain (Hyperdub, 2013).  Off the MOG new release page, the record opens up with a fairly tasty and soulful keyboard intro.  Wow an electronic record where music is manipulated AND a human is playing an instrument.  Imagine that!  The second tune, Oneirot, is a brisk titschy beat with some blasts of low mid frequencies over it.  I think I was hoping for that performed/manipulated ratio to remain the same throughout the record but it didn’t, but it’s still way more solid than the current avalanche of electronic dreck.

@@@ Foxes: Youth (Sign of the Times, 2013).  Some electronic r&b with a super dramatical female singer.  She sounds like she’s about to cum and she is most definitely milking the microphone over the classic club boom-titch.  Americans who spend much of their lives strolling the fake flower scented halls of corporate malls will enjoy this cheese.

 

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Corporate dildo Jay Z fights to retain black cred so he can make money off white folks

From here:

Excerpt 1:

NEW YORK (AP) — Jay-Z — under increasing pressure to back out of a collaboration with the luxury store Barneys New York after it was accused of racially profiling two black customers — said Saturday he’s being unfairly “demonized” for just waiting to hear all of the facts.

Excerpt 2:

“I move and speak based on facts and not emotion,” the statement said. “I haven’t made any comments because I am waiting on facts and the outcome of a meeting between community leaders and Barneys. Why am I being demonized, denounced and thrown on the cover of a newspaper for not speaking immediately?” he said, referring to local newspaper headlines.

Is Jay Z more connected to corporate America than he is to black folks?  I think so.
Does Jay Z need to retain the good will of black folks to maintain his credibility with white folks?  I think so.

Is this an uncomfortable situation for Jay Z to try to figure out how to make money with the white folks at Barneys without looking like he condones the racial profiling that has occurred?  I think so.

Do I hope Jay Z is exposed as the corporate, money making predator that he is?  Oh yeah.

Active Music Listening Wednesday October 30, 2013

YTD recordings listened to: 822
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 503
Not good music: 254

Honorable Mentions: 18
Buys: 16

Possibles: Boyd Rivers, Abdoulaye Alhassane Toure, Cryptopsy, Chris McGregor, Brother Ali (2009), Alvin Youngblood Hart, Dave Arner Trio, Trap Them, Bill Horist, MAKU Soundsystem, Joseph Arthur, Melt Yourself Down, Zomby, Retox, Owiny Sigoma Band, About Group, Andrew Cedermark, Jello Biafra, Fat Freddy’s Drop, Jessie Mae Hemphill, All Pigs Must Die, Chris Shifflett, Kendl Winter, Shigeto, Bone Dance, Cage the Elephant, Carcass, Defeater, Tal National, Touche Amore, Sidi Toure

@@@  Necro Deathmort: Ep1 (Distraction Records, 2013).  Some Wednesday heaviness of my weekly heavy metal mailorder email.  Opens up static with a blanket synth and a bouncing synth in front of it.  It looks like this is not a heavy metal record, but a dark ambient electronic record.  The second tune, Titan, is dark and funky and I really dig it.  I don’t like the third tune, Probe, as much as the second tune, but this is solid electronic music.

@@@ Fumigation: Integrated Pest Management (CDN Records, 2013).  I’m a huge gardener/permaculture person so how could I not check out a record called Integrated Pest Management?  Integrated Pest Management is what organic gardeners call their version of pesticides.  This band is pretty much a new school metal battering ram.  Heavy double kick, a barely audible grunting singer.  An abundance of riffage over power chords make this stand out.  It’s not quite as compressed as some of the suffocating nu school metal, but it’s roughneck to be sure.  If you like a little hard rock mixed in with your beating these guys are happy to provide it.

@@@ White Denim: Corsicana Lemonade (Downtown Records, 2013).  If you took the muscular stony-ness of Queens of the Stone Age and replaced it with the riffy space vibe of ’70s bands like Thin Lizzy, you would have a band that sounds a lot like White Denim.  I like the drummer and the singer, but the guitar player is bitin’ it a bit too much for my taste.  There’s also a teaspoon of Steve Miller and the Doobie Brothers up in this bad boy.  It’s well done, but I could use some more originality to get me pumped up.  It’s more of a faithful reproduction at this point.

@@@ Oddarrang: In Cinema (Edition Records, 2013)  Some ambient instrumental jazz/rock/fusion that I found via the weekly London Jazz email.   The first tune, Introducing, is open and downtempo, somewhat what you would expect from a record titled In Cinema. The second tune, Self-Portrait, is a piece you might find on a more recent Bill Frissell record – mournful violin, minimalist guitar, some muted drums that explodes into a big rock finale.  The record sports a transparent production sound — no cheesy reverbs or big arena sound.

@@@ Thomas Rhett: It Goes Like This (Valory Music Company, 2013).  Some super hip new country music off the MOG new release page.  This is a record that traffics in big ideas as the first tune is an ode to coffee.  While I would say that this music offers more nutrition than say, Work Bitch by Miss Britney Jean Spears, it does not offer that much more.  It’s good ol’ boy stupid fun, and he’s really good looking so he’s gonna be famous.

Active Music Listening Tuesday October 29, 2013

YTD recordings listened to: 817
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 500
Not good music: 252

Honorable Mentions: 18
Buys: 16

Possibles: Boyd Rivers, Abdoulaye Alhassane Toure, Cryptopsy, Chris McGregor, Brother Ali (2009), Alvin Youngblood Hart, Dave Arner Trio, Trap Them, Bill Horist, MAKU Soundsystem, Joseph Arthur, Melt Yourself Down, Zomby, Retox, Owiny Sigoma Band, About Group, Andrew Cedermark, Jello Biafra, Fat Freddy’s Drop, Jessie Mae Hemphill, All Pigs Must Die, Chris Shifflett, Kendl Winter, Shigeto, Bone Dance, Cage the Elephant, Carcass, Defeater, Tal National, Touche Amore, Sidi Toure

@@@ Minor Alps: Get There (Barsuk Records, 2013).  Off the MOG new release, the first tune has a space folk sound to it.  Multiple voices harmonizing, some panned acoustic guitars and minimal rhythm.  The second tune, I Don’t Know What to Do With My Hands, has the band sounding very much like Neil Young’s Crazy Horse.  Simple driving rock, and long rolling, distorted guitar sounds.  The third tune, Far From Roses, is a midtempo rocker but what all these tunes have in common is multiple vocal tracks harmonizing.  That’s the basic formula.

@@@ Los Campesinos!: No Blues (Wichita Recordings, 2013).  Some rock off the MOG new release page.  A buzzy bass, and a regal male voice influenced by 1980’s mainstream synth rock.  It’s a lot of pretty energy being put out here, and you do get your daily recommended dosage of synthesizers.  I like the drummer, he/she sure has skills, but I’m less enamored with the epic tunes.

@@@ Juana Molina: Wed 21 (Crammed, 2013).  I dig the Crammed label due to the Konono No. 1 records, so I give them the benefit of their past good deeds and checked this out.  Jumpy, section wise, indie music with an intimate feel to it.    I would say the common thread to the tunes is the use of a synth/drum pulse that propels the tunes forward.  Like Minor Alps record, there has been extensive work on the vocals — multiple tracks and a polished feel.  Did I mention that Juana sings in Spanish?

@@@  Hookworms: Pearl Mystic (Domino, 2013).  Off the CFUV weekly email where these guys came in atop the ‘Loud’ section.  It takes a bit of time to get cranked up, but when it does the music is much more in the spaced out/psych neighborhooed than your metal heaviness.  I hear phased guitars, delayed guitars and a general slackness to the proceedings.  Has a pinch of Jane’s Addiction tossed in.  Some nice guitar tones here, and some interesting song changes where the tune goes from psych into a big rock section.

Active Music Listening Monday October 28, 2013

YTD recordings listened to: 813
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 498
Not good music: 250

Honorable Mentions: 18
Buys: 16

Possibles: Boyd Rivers, Abdoulaye Alhassane Toure, Cryptopsy, Chris McGregor, Brother Ali (2009), Alvin Youngblood Hart, Dave Arner Trio, Trap Them, Bill Horist, MAKU Soundsystem, Joseph Arthur, Melt Yourself Down, Zomby, Retox, Owiny Sigoma Band, About Group, Andrew Cedermark, Jello Biafra, Fat Freddy’s Drop, Jessie Mae Hemphill, All Pigs Must Die, Chris Shifflett, Kendl Winter, Shigeto, Bone Dance, Cage the Elephant, Carcass, Defeater, Tal National, Touche Amore, Sidi Toure

@@@ The Mast: Up Up Up (Self-released?, 2013)  From a music publicist, it’s a twerdly turning drone, a chopped up beat with a congo popping condiment, some magic fairy bouncing synths and female voice.  Has the feel of an early drum ‘n bass tune but a poppy top.  Nice sounds and not a super compelling tune.

@@@ Pillars and Tongues: Points of Light (Empty Cellar, 2013).  Another music publicist tune.  Slacker alt-indie tune with spacious layerd percussion, an old school melodic bass line and some downtempo vocalizing.  It’s professionally done, but I’m not super moved by it.  Maybe you will be and that’s great.

@@@ Yuck: Glow and Behold (Fat Possum, 2013).  Some epic indie/space/shoegaze/arena rock.  The second tune, Out of Tune, reveals the vocalist, a soft singing fella takin his time and somewhat floating over the proceedings.  Some very nice, manicured guitar sounds here.  This is more spaced out than blissed out but you can sit back on this one.

Miley Cyrus’ pathetic attempt to stand for something

From here:

“I don’t want to say that I’m on top right now -– I feel like I’m kind of an underdog in a cool way,” she continues, adding her two cents about society’s view on her. “It’s almost punk rock to like me because it’s not the right thing to do. Like, society wants to shut me down.”

I think she’s confusing Miley Cyrus fatigue with some vague rambling of a societal shutdown.

Do people want to shut Miley Cyrus down the way Mayor Bloomberg and the 1% wanted to shut down the Occupy encampment on Wall Street.

Hardly.

I’m sure this came from her public relations handlers and she’s free to phrase this pre-formulated sentiment the way she wants.

Active Music Listening Saturday October 26, 2013

YTD recordings listened to: 810
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 496
Not good music: 249

Honorable Mentions: 18
Buys: 16

Possibles: Boyd Rivers, Abdoulaye Alhassane Toure, Cryptopsy, Chris McGregor, Brother Ali (2009), Alvin Youngblood Hart, Dave Arner Trio, Trap Them, Bill Horist, MAKU Soundsystem, Joseph Arthur, Melt Yourself Down, Zomby, Retox, Owiny Sigoma Band, About Group, Andrew Cedermark, Jello Biafra, Fat Freddy’s Drop, Jessie Mae Hemphill, All Pigs Must Die, Chris Shifflett, Kendl Winter, Shigeto, Bone Dance, Cage the Elephant, Carcass, Defeater, Tal National, Touche Amore, Sidi Toure

@@@ Brett Dennan: Sweet Smoke and Mirrors (F-Stop Records, 2013).  Coffee shop/retail shopping upbeat soft-rock/folk off the MOG new release page.  The second tune, Wild Child, has some power chords but I guarantee nobody is gonna get their feeling hurt here.  Lots of lyrics about the sun shining, and the good vibes, and wanting to be with you.  An arrow straight to the heart of cubicle dwellers out there in corporate America.

@@@ AFI: Burials (Republic, 2013).  Something both sludgy and neat from the MOG new release.  More dark and alienated than angry and lashing out,  this is more mainstream rock than your underground shot of amphetamine.  Lots of tom fills, some Nirvana type thin in the verse/power chords in the chorus action.  A shot to the heart of bummed out suburban adolescents.

@@@ CFCF: Outside (Paper Bag Records, 2013).  Another fresh nugget from the MOG new release page.   The first tune opened up with the big, meaningful tom fills and a circular guitar riff and the second tune is more in the electronic/soft pop neighborhood.  Lots of pipe synths and a sort of static, chilled to the music.