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Active Music Listening Friday May 30, 2014

YTD recordings listened to: 396
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 251
Not good music: 121

Honorable Mentions: 2
Buys: 2

Possibles: Boyd Rivers, Chris McGregor, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Dave Arner Trio, Trap Them, Bill Horist, MAKU Soundsystem, Zomby, Retox, Owiny Sigoma Band, About Group, Jello Biafra, Fat Freddy’s Drop, Jessie Mae Hemphill, Kendl Winter, Shigeto, Bone Dance, Defeater, Sidi Toure, Lindi Ortega, Jonwayne, Christian Kjellvander, Okkyung Lee, Tiger Hatchery, The Ballantynes, Debruit and Aljawal, Slidhr, The Whammies, The Chewers, La Misa Negra, Melingo, Alexander Hawkins, Cheryl Pyle, Mexican Dubwiser, Toxic Holocaust, Equal Stones, Comeback Kid, Curtis Harding, Third Coast Kings

@@@ John Fullbright: Songs (Blue Dirt, 2014).  Roots music off the All Music weekly email.  He’s got a really authentic tone to his voice and the general vibe is no bullshit/straight ahead.  The tunes are torch-y and are about love.  I could use a bit more rockin’ mixed in there, but check it out if you’re lonesome.

@@@ Hundred Waters: The Moon Rang Like a Bell (Owsla, 2014)  Off the All Music weekly email.  Opens up female a capella and then comes the piano and the synth bass.   The record is interesting in that it contains a lot of electronic elements but also has tinges of gospel soul and black music.  Sounds a bit like Kate Bush after she’s smoked a fattie.

@@@ Oren Ambarchi: Tikkun (Cuneiform, 2014).  Some heavy prog I saw on the All Music weekly notable releases email.    Fat buzzy bass and swirling guitars in the opener, Washington DC – T4v1.  I like the bass tone and the drummer, but I’m not a huge fan of the guitar playing.  Check it out for yourself.

@@@ Tussilago: Say Hello (Ingrid, 2014).  A single by a Swedish band that I got to via a music publicist email.  Intimate indie with a pleasant male voice and melodic guitar work (both with a lot of reverb) and medium downtempo shoegaze vibe without the big sad power chords.  The tune does build to a more rocking conclusion but it’s more epic than messy.

Active Music Listening Wednesday May 28, 2014

YTD recordings listened to: 388
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 247
Not good music: 117

Honorable Mentions: 2
Buys: 2

Possibles: Boyd Rivers, Chris McGregor, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Dave Arner Trio, Trap Them, Bill Horist, MAKU Soundsystem, Zomby, Retox, Owiny Sigoma Band, About Group, Jello Biafra, Fat Freddy’s Drop, Jessie Mae Hemphill, Kendl Winter, Shigeto, Bone Dance, Defeater, Sidi Toure, Lindi Ortega, Jonwayne, Christian Kjellvander, Okkyung Lee, Tiger Hatchery, The Ballantynes, Debruit and Aljawal, Slidhr, The Whammies, The Chewers, La Misa Negra, Melingo, Alexander Hawkins, Cheryl Pyle, Mexican Dubwiser, Toxic Holocaust, Equal Stones, Comeback Kid, Curtis Harding, Third Coast Kings

@@@ Mariah Carey: Me. I am Mariah…The Elusive Chanteuse (Island Records, 2014).  I don’t know how I made it through the nine years without a Mariah Carey studio record.  And I missed her MILF cleavage as well.  This is sad Mariah (with mad cleavage), nostalgic Mariah (with big cleavage), and non-5 octave singing (with big cleavage action).  Feel better Mariah, I hope things work out for you and your heart.

@@@ Trash Talk: No Peace (Odd Future, 2014).  Some Linkin Park inspired heavy music off the All Music weekly email.  When I hear monster distorto bass guitar sounds with turntable scratching, I think of the Park of Linkin.   That opening snippet gives way to Jigsaw, which is your classic post hardcore heavy beatdown — rough but not metallic, more hardcore.  I thought this was going to be some art school wang shit, but it’s got some muscle.  Really good, tough drumming with that smelly toilet bass sound.  Check it out.

 

Active Music Listening Thursday May 29, 2014

YTD recordings listened to: 392
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 249
Not good music: 119

Honorable Mentions: 2
Buys: 2

Possibles: Boyd Rivers, Chris McGregor, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Dave Arner Trio, Trap Them, Bill Horist, MAKU Soundsystem, Zomby, Retox, Owiny Sigoma Band, About Group, Jello Biafra, Fat Freddy’s Drop, Jessie Mae Hemphill, Kendl Winter, Shigeto, Bone Dance, Defeater, Sidi Toure, Lindi Ortega, Jonwayne, Christian Kjellvander, Okkyung Lee, Tiger Hatchery, The Ballantynes, Debruit and Aljawal, Slidhr, The Whammies, The Chewers, La Misa Negra, Melingo, Alexander Hawkins, Cheryl Pyle, Mexican Dubwiser, Toxic Holocaust, Equal Stones, Comeback Kid, Curtis Harding, Third Coast Kings

@@@ Brownout: Oozy (Nat Geo, 2012).  I saw their new record on the CFUV weekly email but this 2012 effort is in my streaming store.  I would call this world music funk — latin inflected on the first tune with a funky drum kit, a wide/fat bass sound and swaggering horn lines.  The second tune, Stormy Weather, is pretty righteous with some nice spoken word chants and a high funk factor.  Good shit for the good weather, check it out.  I would like to check out their latest record if it’s made available to me.

@@@ Chris Schlarb: Making the Saint (Asthamatic Kitty, 2014).  Fragile unaccompanied folk guitar/voice that I got to after seeing the record listed on the All Music weekly email.  Only two tunes are up on my streaming store, but I want to correct the description here as there are two acoustic guitars and an electric guitar in this tune, Great Receiver.  Schlarb’s voice is more downtempo than downtempo — he’s almost mental hospital downtempo.  Not bad, just very far away and lonesome.  The other tune, My Foolish Heart, is a sparse instrumental guitar tune and it’s very sweet.

@@@ Tiny Victories: Systems (The Sleepover Party, 2014).  Confessional lyrics in an electro pop setting that I got to via a music publicist email.  Very nice drum sound, but we’re still talking an assload of synthesizers which works against the emotional lyrics.  The tune gets a tad overstuffed on the outro — a lot of components that kind of bog the system down.

@@@ Kitsune America 3 Compilation (Kitsune, 2014).  I got to this via a music publicist email.  I’m not sure how much I”m going to dig a record put out by a fashion label/record label, but I’ll give it a shot.  The music I’ve checked out is slick and modern and lounge-y style songs

You can stream over here at Nylon.

 

 

Active Music Listening Monday May 26, 2014

YTD recordings listened to: 384
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 245
Not good music: 115

Honorable Mentions: 2
Buys: 2

Possibles: Boyd Rivers, Chris McGregor, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Dave Arner Trio, Trap Them, Bill Horist, MAKU Soundsystem, Zomby, Retox, Owiny Sigoma Band, About Group, Jello Biafra, Fat Freddy’s Drop, Jessie Mae Hemphill, Kendl Winter, Shigeto, Bone Dance, Defeater, Sidi Toure, Lindi Ortega, Jonwayne, Christian Kjellvander, Okkyung Lee, Tiger Hatchery, The Ballantynes, Debruit and Aljawal, Slidhr, The Whammies, The Chewers, La Misa Negra, Melingo, Alexander Hawkins, Cheryl Pyle, Mexican Dubwiser, Toxic Holocaust, Equal Stones, Comeback Kid, Curtis Harding, Third Coast Kings

@@@ Third Coast Kings: West Grand Boulevard (Record Kicks, 2014).  Some late ’60s early ’70s full ensemble funk.  Big horn lines, wah wah hippie rock guitar and organ.  I dig organ in funk bands.  Nice thick sound with modern punch, folks should check these guys out.  I’m gonna check out more of this when I have time and this could be a hot record for the summer for a lot of folks out there.

@@@ Cloud Nothings: Here and Nowhere Else (Carpark, 2014).  Some medium rough power popper I found on an older Aquarius Records list.  Big guitar swagger with a propulsive drummer and slacker vocals.  Not as spaced as a shoegaze record, but a pleasant combination of rockin’ — reminiscent of old Lemonheads.

@@@ Fennesz: Becs (Edition Mego, 2014).  Off the Aquarius Records weekly email.  Heavy processing on instrumental tunes — the first tune featuring a strummed acoustic guitar with some chopped up melodies and stuttered and fucked up beats.  Fucked up in terms of the phaser, the delays, etc.  It’s got a New Age, but all melted and mental.  The second tune is more synth-y with some distorted guitar veins within it.  I like it all right, I’m not sure why it’s a record of the week, but it’s their store.

@@@  DID:Skills (Not Sure, 2014).  Marketed as avant pop in the publicist email I received it’s basically a disco track played by a band.  Sounds like live drums, some guitar, some ping pong synth action, and some Autotune processing on the vocals.  Not much avant about it, but leave it to the music business to put some high end marketing dressing on a simple salad.  It’s a decent tune.

Honorable Mention 2014 Pick 2

Nat Baldwin: In the Hollows (Western Vinyl, 2014).

My main beef with indie rock is that the level of musicianship is very low and the level of posing is very high.

Baldwin can play upright bass very well, but vocally he’s pretty out of hand.  There were at least two ‘Oh shit, this guy can sing’ moments when I was spinning it.

The bulk of the music revolves around Baldwin’s bass, his voice, and a drum kit.  This minimalist setup gives his voice an awful lot of time to roam.  There are additional strings in the arrangments and I’m pretty sure it’s violin but I’m not 100% on that.

His bass sounds great, the vocal melodies are very above average — I wish the lyrics were more memorable, but there’s a lot of creativity on this record.

It’s not a rock record, or an indie rock record, there’s no rockin’ to be had here, and that’s cool.