There really are only 10 albums released each week….

….that get a marketing/money push that’s big enough to reach mainstream America and squash any record with a smaller marketing budget.

Have you heard the knew Coldplay single?  Oh God, what a foul piece of cheese music!!!! And that record pushes other records out to the side?  Shameful, bad culture.

From All Music:

AllMusic

CL Tampa:

CLTampa

Exclaim Canada:

exclaim.ca

Dropping the Needle:

DroppingTheNeedle

JS Online:

jsonline

Active Music Listening Friday May 23, 2014

YTD recordings listened to: 380
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 244
Not good music: 113

Honorable Mentions: 1
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, Nat Baldwin, Curtis Harding

@@@ Bo Ningen: III (PIAS, 2014) Some proggy punk off the All Music weekly email.  Some nice vocal melody work over some tasty guitar noise and medium heavy frenetic drumming.  The singer works in a foreign language, wait on the Google, they’re a Japanese outfit — I thought they sounded Scandinavian.    You have to be okay with the singer’s freakiness and the delays put on his voice to get into this record, but they’re definitely pumping a strong band energy.

@@@ Emma Ruth Rundle: Some Heavy Ocean (Sargent House, 2014).  This singer songwriter record opens up Bjork-y on the opening track, Some Heavy Ocean.  General trippiness and delayed vocals that give way to a more standard singer songwriter vibe on the second track.  It is a singer-songwriter record with a lot ambient production thrown as well as a teaspoon of adult alternative rock.

@@@ Yonatan Gat: Iberian Passage (Joyful Noise, 2014).  Some light Latin/Brazilian influences on this noisy guitar rock record.  Light on vocals, heavy on guitar shredding and primal drumming, I like it all right.  It’s got a really solid energy but I’m finding it kinda rambly.  I got to this record via a music publicist.

Active Music Listening Thursday May 22, 2014

YTD recordings listened to: 377
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 242
Not good music: 112

Honorable Mentions: 1
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, Nat Baldwin, Curtis Harding

@@@ Hollis Brown: Gets Loaded (Alive NaturalSound, 2014).  I had these guys as an honorable mention on their debut, but I cut no slack and take each album as it comes.   This is a record of Velvet Underground covers, which might work against my listening as I always found the Velvets to be kinda boring and overrated.  I love the drum sound on this record, the record sounds great, and they do a great job on the tunes, I just don’t really like the Velvet Underground.

@@@ Dave Specter: Message in Blue (Delmark, 2014).  Off the All Music weekly email and I try to listen to Delmark releases anyway.   Specter’s guitar tone is less cranked rock than many of today’s bluesmen and I appreciate that.  His band sounds a bunch like Stevie Ray Vaughan’s Double Trouble.  Production is solid without drawing attention to itself.  Big ups to the organ player on the first tune New West Side Stroll, he’s stealin the tune from Specter. I like a bunch of things about this record, I don’t love the singer, but the band is strong.

 @@@ Hedley: Wild Life (Capitol, 2014).  Slotted as punk pop on the All Music weekly email this is slickly produced shopping mall pop garbage.  Packaged rebellion, every New Age uplifting cliche about not being kept down.  Crap Crap Crap.

@@@ Miss Fortune: A Spark to Believe (Sumerian Records, 2014).  Slotted as post-hardcore in the weekly All Music email this is pretty much mainstream hard rock.  It’s a version of Bon Jovi after an espresso and a tablespoon of cheese scooped out.  False advertising people!

 

 

Active Music Listening Wednesday May 21, 2014

YTD recordings listened to: 369
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 240
Not good music: 110

Honorable Mentions: 1
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, Nat Baldwin, Curtis Harding

@@@ Ages and Ages: Divisionary (Partisan, 2014).  A really nice uplifting indie singalong track I got to via a music publicist email.  They take a simple vocal line of do the right thing, do it all the time…yadda yadda…and get all orchestral with it.  Pretty sophisticated vocal arrangements and good playing behind it.

@@@ Coldplay: A Sky Full of Stars (Parlophone UK, 2014).  Just for shits and giggles let’s check out the title track from these arena cheesemongers.  Oh my, they’re really serving up the cheesy fondue on this tune with the club production flourishes — I think they’re about to have a cheese-gasm right in my ears.  And there it is!!!! Oh my, that’s not what I wanted at all.  This is just a straight run for the shopping mall cheese rock bag of loot.  Every lyrical/musical cliche in the book — shameful.

@@@ Jolie Holland: Wine Dark Sea (Anti-, 2014).  I check out releases from Anti-.  They’re a bit of a mixed bag but I think they at least attempt to release some interesting music.  I like the off kilter vocals and the procuction on the first tune, On and On.   If you took a Tom Waits record and put it in the Vita Mix with a Daniel Lanois production you would get something like this record.  Things are getting messy on this third track, Dark Days, and I think I like it.

@@@ Burzum: Umskiptar (Byeloblog Productions, 2012).  I saw this band had a bunch of their releases re-done on vinyl so I thought I would check them out.  This was on my heavy metal email newsletter.  Dark and heavy without being headcrushing, I have no clue what language they’re working in.  I gotta google that.  Ah, Norway a hotbed of dark metal.  Right now we’re in a midtempo rock space but I hope to get my head in a vice presently.  Low self-esteem I guess.  I’m on the third tune and I’m ready for my beatdown but I’m getting a stoner rock jam with the weird ass Norwegain spoken word vocals so I’m gonna take my Frodo Baggins action figure and head out of town.

@@@ Malka Spiegel: Tall Grey Buildings (Swim Stream, 2014).  A shoegaze/’80s chorused guitar blend with a downtempo and detached male voice in the middle of the mix.  Nice drum sound but not really my cup of tea.

Active Music Listening Tuesday May 20, 2014

YTD recordings listened to: 364
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 238
Not good music: 107

Honorable Mentions: 1
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, Nat Baldwin, Curtis Harding

@@@ Curtis Harding: Soul Power (Burger, 2014).  Off the CFUV weekly email.  Opens up with the tune Next Time, a steady rock beat with medium soul funk.  Thus far I like Harding’s voice — he sounds a bit like Al Green and Otis Redding in a blender.  The drums sound great, I hope this isn’t a case of a really good first tune and the record fades hard.  I had to replace the video clip which is the official single as I thought it’s not as good as what I’ve heard.  I like the tunes which are a balance of rock and soul, they work better for me.  This is a really good record and I want to check it out more when I have time to listen more closely.

@@@ Ratking: So It Goes (XL, 2014) Some hip hop off the CFUV weekly email.  Never claiming to be a hip hop expert, this record sounds like it has influences from 1990’s gangster hip hop with some updated sounds.  I like the urgency of the MCs and I think I dig the sound of the record more than I dig the lyrics though the lyrics caught me a couple of time.  Really good beats, strong performances on the mic, wanted more lyrically.

@@@  Seun Kuti: A Long Way to the Beginning (Knitting Factory, 2014).  I caught this record by Fela’s youngest son off a publicist email. I like the mix as it gives more space to other instruments behind the horns.  Straight ahead Afrobeat as the son keeps the father’s legacy (and band) going

You can stream over here

@@@ Tangerine: Nothing Better (Fin Records, 2014).  Indie pop focused on having mindless fun that I got to via a music publicist email.  I don’t like the chorus on the guitar, the singer is all right and the rhythm section is capable, but the overall vibe is, let’s say, superficial.  So if you’re up for it they are here for you.  The singer and the drummer are mad cute, they’re gonna be huge, it doesn’t matter if the music is cotton candy that will rot your brain.

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Active Music Listening Monday May 19, 2014

YTD recordings listened to: 360
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 236
Not good music: 106

Honorable Mentions: 1
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, Nat Baldwin

@@@ Miklos Lukacs: Cimbalom Duo (Folk Europe, 2010).  I saw this artist mentioned on a jazz promo email although it sounds more like a folk/classical combo platter rather than an improvised record.  Lukacs plays the cimbalom, which I’m going to have to google.  OK, I’m back and the cimbalom is a stringed instrument in the dulcimer family that is connected to Eastern European gypsy culture.  To my ear this instrument sounds a bit like a harpsichord when they get going, like a piano in other places, and this is definitely brunch music I can recommend.  Very melodic and beautiful with substance and a distinct lack of cheese.

@@@ Ryan Joseph Anderson: The Weaver’s Broom (Not sure, self-released, 2014).  Some downer alt-country slacker soft rock I got to via a music publicist.  I like Anderson’s voice, he sounds genuine and not manipulative.  A little bit of The Band, a schmear ofTom Waits, a little roots, and a generous helping of 1970’s laidback rock.  I really like the third tune, Weep Caroline.  I like this record, folks should check it out.

You can stream/buy over here at his website.

@@@ Clara Barker: Fine Art and the Breslins (Small Bear Records, 2013).  Somewhat dark lyrics from a female singer that lurk underneath a rather bubbly band.  I was contacted by the label that released this record.  Intricate background vocals support the strummed acoustic guitars and the banjo.  I struggle a bit with upbeat music but this is well done.

@@@ Marvelous Mark: Bite Me (Slumberland Records, 2014).  Some power pop/punk I got to via a music publicist email.  Nice crunchy ass guitars with a slack but not sedated voice nestled in the noise.  Reminiscent of poppier Bob Mould and Superdrag.   Oh yeah, and that Weezer duder.

@@@ Collin Herring: Some Knives (Not Sure, 2014).  A blend of rock and alt-country that I got to via a music publicist email.  Herring’s voice sounds vulnerable and that filters through the sound of the band.  Lot’s of reverb on the guitar.  I’m a bit surprised to hear the synths come out on this record, but that’s the he rolled.  I like his voice but I wish he had stuck with one style and dug deeper.  That’s how I roll when I listen.

You can stream over here.