Active Music Listening Thursday July 31, 2014

YTD recordings listened to: 586
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 364
Not good music: 176

Honorable Mentions: 4
Buys: 6

Possibles: Boyd Rivers, Chris McGregor, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Dave Arner Trio, Bill Horist, MAKU Soundsystem, Zomby, Retox, 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,  Toxic Holocaust, Equal Stones, Comeback Kid, Third Coast Kings, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Charming Axe, Eccodek, Bio Ritmo, Pacifika, Kasai All Stars, Viet Cong, Traams, Karol Conka, Open Mike Eagle, Bry Webb

@@@ Kobra and the Lotus: High Priestess (Titan Media, 2014).  Some classic heavy metal shred off the CFUV weekly email.  Most notable is the singer, who sings in a very high range as if a rag has been tied tightly around his genitals.  Full shreddy, rhythmic guitar playing.  Some double kick drum action, but the shrill, epic man howls really steal the show here.

@@@ Fishing: Shy Glow (Create Conrol, 2014)  Some hip hop off the CFUV weekly email.  Opens up with a very sweet and funky tune called, Recoup.  Some chopped electronic sounds, some minimalist female vocals and a breezy midtempo funk beat.  We’ll see how the record unfolds but that’s an awful nice first tune.   Unfortunately, I don’t like the poppy, half sing song MCs that show up after that first tune.

@@@ The Harpoonist & the Axe Murderer: Checkered Past (The Harpoonist & the Axe Murderer, 2012).  With such a vivid title I was expecting some sort of nihilist metal/punk sound, but it’s a mainstream blues/r&b blend.  Female singer, think the Eurhythmics with more muscle.   I saw their new record listed on the CFUV weekly email, but this one is up on the Beats.

@@@ Duologue: Drag and Drop (Not sure, 2014).  A single off a September album I got to via a publicist email.  It’s blue eyed electronic indie.  Some single not guitar playing, some clubby beats, and a fish and chips soul crooner.  Some nice production dwirbles and reverb tails and and a couple nice synth tinkle droplets.  I don’t dig the singer, but you might feel him.

 

 

Active Music Listening Wednesday July 30, 2014

YTD recordings listened to: 582
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 361
Not good music: 175

Honorable Mentions: 4
Buys: 6

Possibles: Boyd Rivers, Chris McGregor, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Dave Arner Trio, Bill Horist, MAKU Soundsystem, Zomby, Retox, 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,  Toxic Holocaust, Equal Stones, Comeback Kid, Third Coast Kings, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Charming Axe, Eccodek, Bio Ritmo, Pacifika, Kasai All Stars, Viet Cong, Traams, Karol Conka, Open Mike Eagle, Bry Webb

@@@ Jenny Lewis: The Voyager (Warner Brothers, 2014).  Well, on her Beats profile picture she’s wearing a hat, a big old school affair, not the Pharrell Williams ranger hat, but I am very suspicious of mainstream musicians wearing hats.  It’s like they’re trying to come off as friendly and quirky — hey, check me out, I’m wearing a hat, I’m different.

This is not full on Miley Cyrus ride the wiener music, but it’s more like Cyndi Lauper quirky girl pop.  Production is slick and shiny, Lewis’ voice is good, but the material, oy.

Remember it’s ride the wiener week here at Deep in the Music so here we go:

miley cyrus rides the weiner

@@@ Wildest Dreams: Wildest Dreams (Smalltown Supersound, 2014).  I think something from Smalltown Supersound should cleanse the sonic palette after that shiny happy encounter with Jenny Lewis and her hat.  I was not fucking around, musicians in hats are a bad signifier.

I would call these guys slow psych with some pretty hip attention to the lyrics.  Wordplay and lyrical complexity are not the hallmark of indie and psych music these days.  And here comes the big ol’ hippie guitar jam.  Nice.  Muy excellent wah wah-tito senors.  These guys are feeling it.

@@@ Ed Motta: AOR (Tummy Touch, 2014).  Off the WRIR weekly playlist email this is smooth r&b fusion.  Full horn section, piano, organ, and most notably Motta’s soft, inviting vocals.  He’s on full loverboy.  Not my thing, really, but check it out if it is.  I guess this record was originally sung in Spanish and then this English version came out.  Imrpressive.

@@@ Melancholy and the Grave: We Need Secrets (St. Marie, 2014).  Opens up with a shoegaze distorted guitar and a slow voice nested in the middle of the noise.  It all explodes into a panned hard left/right guitar explosion.  After that there’s some

@@@ Johnny Aires: This Grave is My Bed tonight (Frenchkiss, 2014).  A Cheap Trick pop rock tune I got to via a music publicisit.  Except the guitars are chorused and the singer is a bit of a mope.   All right I change that, it’s more like a Smiths tune.  Nice bass sound and a classic 1980’s snare sound.

You can stream over here.

 

Active Music Listening Tuesday July 29, 2014

YTD recordings listened to: 577
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 358
Not good music: 173

Honorable Mentions: 4
Buys: 6

Possibles: Boyd Rivers, Chris McGregor, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Dave Arner Trio, Bill Horist, MAKU Soundsystem, Zomby, Retox, 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,  Toxic Holocaust, Equal Stones, Comeback Kid, Third Coast Kings, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Charming Axe, Eccodek, Bio Ritmo, Pacifika, Kasai All Stars, Viet Cong, Traams, Karol Conka, Open Mike Eagle, Bry Webb

@@@ Kali Mutsa: Souvenance (Shock Music, 2014).  Some world music electronica off the CFUV weekly email.  I’m gonna have to hit the Duck Duck Go to find out where these musicians are from.  Chile!  The music is heavily electronic while retaining a Latin vibe.  Not a super readily visible Latin vibe, but mostly in the rhythms.  There are gypsy music influences here as well, and most of the energy seems to have gone into the vocal arrangements.  I didn’t love it, but it’s interesting.

@@@ Melaza: Melaza (Chulo, 2013).  Some old school salsa off the CFUV weekly email.  I’m noticing the piano player a lot, and there horns are robust with plenty of room to solo over the pulsing bass.  I like the slinkiness of the second tune Estas A Tiempo and I’m feeling the singer.  He works these tunes well.

@@@ Five Alarm Funk: Abandon Earth (Five Alarm Funk, 2014).  A funky rock record off the CFUV weekly email.  As in some guitar riffage and a full horn section.   Oh Lord, a bit of Primus/Gogol Bordello vocal weirdness tucked up in here as well.  Prog-o-licious.  Very high energy, but I could use more swinging myself.

@@@ Teenanger: Hot Rods at the Loser Convention (Telephone Explosion, 2014) A slack Weezer type tune that I got to via a music publicist email.  A grinding sort of guitar chord progression and a straight kick-kick-snare-snare beat.  I’m not super connecting with the vocalist.

Active Music Listening Monday July 28, 2014

YTD recordings listened to: 573
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 355
Not good music: 172

Honorable Mentions: 4
Buys: 6

Possibles: Boyd Rivers, Chris McGregor, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Dave Arner Trio, Bill Horist, MAKU Soundsystem, Zomby, Retox, 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,  Toxic Holocaust, Equal Stones, Comeback Kid, Third Coast Kings, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Charming Axe, Eccodek, Bio Ritmo, Pacifika, Kasai All Stars, Viet Cong, Traams, Karol Conka, Open Mike Eagle, Bry Webb

@@@ 5 Seconds of Summer: Self-titled (Capitol, 2014).  Regular readers of this blog know that I will expose myself to mainstream music so I can hear for myself what’s going in teen cubicle America.  I made it seven song through Miley Cyrus’ Bangerz, so you can say I like to ride the weiner too.

miley cyrus rides the weiner

So let’s celebrate summer and ride the weiner with 5 seconds of Summer.  Big, big singalong choruses, some shopping mall power chords, and a general cotton candy vibe.  These guys ride those big choruses like they’re, well riding the big hook weiner.

This is a special kind of garbage, let’s call it shiny, happy garbage.

As a pledge to everybody out there in music land, I’m going to try to ride the weiner every day this week.  I’m not sure what that means but I’m still pledging that.

@@@ Bry Webb: Free Will (Idee Fixe, 2014).  I found this roots/folk record on the CFUV weekly email.  Strong Chris Whitley vibe on this first tune, Fletcher, and I like the slightly dissonant sample loop that rolls through the tune.  So far so good with this record.  The second tune, clipped below, is a more rolling mid tempo country roller — I like the sound of this record and the tasteful arrangement.  I’m going to check out more of this record when I get a chance.

@@@ Abstruse: Outer Space-Inner Void (Self-released?, 2014).  The band emailed me to check out their record.  It’s a rolling dark sonic collage, more than a bit of industrial noises, kit drumming and percussion, cabaret/vaudeville, and prog.  A very wide range of influences, cinematic shall we say.  It’s a very unique listen — now we’re getting some symphonic classical, this is ambitious.

@@@ No Lands: Negative Space (New Amsterdam, 2014).  For indie electronic, which is mostly young white dork disco, this is pretty deep.  It’s chopped sample salad, undulating synths, some nice static, some delayed guitar, and a soft intimate voice floating over the top.  The voice is like the smooth dressing on the salad to continue the metaphor.   He’s got skills, but I wanted him to go deeper with the sounds, more abstract, but he plays it a bit safe to stay in the indie flock.

 

Active Music Listening Friday July 25, 2014

YTD recordings listened to: 569
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 353
Not good music: 171

Honorable Mentions: 4
Buys: 6

Possibles: Boyd Rivers, Chris McGregor, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Dave Arner Trio, Bill Horist, MAKU Soundsystem, Zomby, Retox, 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,  Toxic Holocaust, Equal Stones, Comeback Kid, Third Coast Kings, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Charming Axe, Eccodek, Bio Ritmo, Pacifika, Kasai All Stars, Viet Cong, Traams, Karol Conka, Open Mike Eagle

@@@ Reigning Sound: Shattered (Merge, 2014).  I saw a very flattering article about the singer in the band over here at Slate.  On the down side this record is on Merge, a bit of a schizophrenic label engaging in releasing some real music while simultaneously trafficking in some pretty salty cheese.

There’s a decent dollop of retro rock on here.  The first tune North Cackalacky Girl is very reminiscent of Credence Clearwater Revival while the second tune shifts gears into a midtempo torch song with string swells.  The record sounds really great and there are some real nice arrangements on here, but I don’t love the singer’s voice and I’m not moved very much.

@@@ Sugar Stems: Sugar Stems ‘n Friends (Dirtnap, 2014).  A live record of classic three chord indie guitar rock.  Above average female singer over standard arrangements.  If that’s how you roll.  Off the All Music weekly email.

@@@ Martyrdod: Paranoia (Southern Lord, 2012).  I saw this band’s new record listed on the All Music weekly email.  I try to check out as many Southern Lord releases as possible as I think they have good ears.  These guys are a power rock outfit, not full metal ka-chunk/solo but with plenty of energy, a shredded throat vocalist and a wee bit o’ thrash.  Outstanding guitar tones and excellent drumming here.

@@@ BEAU: Karma (Kitsune 3) Hipster dreamy femme pop I got to via a music publicist email.  Downtempo and building to a dramatical ending — I can’t get the same feeling of depth from the lyrics as I do the big musical swell.  Outside of his voice, I thought the song had the customary inspired American cheerfulness/hope thing that’s driving us right over the cliff.

@@@ Christopher Denny: Watch Me Shine (Partisan, 2014).  Some jangly indie (complete with tambourine) I got to via a music publicist.  Denny comes in with an engaging androgynous voice — at first I thought it was a woman singing.  He’s working a gospel singer vibe over an indie/songwriter band arrangement and that’s something you don’t hear every day.

Active Music Listening Thursday July 24, 2014

YTD recordings listened to: 564
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 352
Not good music: 169

Honorable Mentions: 4
Buys: 6

Possibles: Boyd Rivers, Chris McGregor, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Dave Arner Trio, Bill Horist, MAKU Soundsystem, Zomby, Retox, 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,  Toxic Holocaust, Equal Stones, Comeback Kid, Third Coast Kings, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Charming Axe, Eccodek, Bio Ritmo, Pacifika, Kasai All Stars, Viet Cong, Traams, Karol Conka, Open Mike Eagle

@@@ Chris Schlarb: Making the Saint (Asthmatic Kitty, 2014).  A genre mashup from a SoCal guitarist that I saw mentioned by the jazz blog Bird is the Worm.  This is not free jazz, it’s intimate acoustic guitar/small room vocal folk.  Oh, here’s some minimalist single line melodic electric guitar over the arpeggiated acoustic.   Only two of the tracks from the record are up on the Beats but the Americana guitar playing on My Foolish Heart is minimalist, fragile, and beautiful.

@@@ Entrails: Resurrected from the Grave (Demo Collection) (Metal Blade, 2014).  You gotta get yer fill of heavy music.  I saw this record listed on my Omega Records weekly newsletter.  There’s a long-ish Halloween type intro a lot of spooky sounds and moaning voices and an epic piano thing-y.  I await the sonic beatdown, I’m ready.  Yes, and we’re on to the show — thrash drums, a super tasty compressed midrange guitar buzz and a Neanderthal singer.  Ooh, now we have some double kick drum and a bit of guitar shred layered over the top.  Ironically, they’re really starting to heat things up on the third tune, The Morgue.  It’s usually quiet at the Morgue, I imagine.

@@@ Moka Only: Sex Money Moka (Urbnet, 2014).  Some lighter left field hip hop from a Canadian hip hopper that I saw on the CFUV weekly email.  Seems to be aimed at the non-gangsta listening public.  Beats are slightly funky and Mr. Only’s flow on the mic is solid — sometimes playful and partyisti sometimes a little dirty and perved out.

@@@ Death Valley Girls: Electric High (Burger, 2014).  Some fuzzy punk rawk off a publicist email.  Female caterwauling singer, midtempo straight rock pounding.  They got a bit o’ the Led Zeppelin in the second tune, Sanitarium blues.  It branches out from the straight ahead Ramones style punk into more melody and other rock music forms so it’s not a one dimensional sound.  The drummer is scoring points here, the guitarist/s are a tad sloppy time tea and are getting kinda smoked by the drummer.

@@@ Money: The Shadow of Heaven (Bella Union, 2014).  A Coldplay-y type Brit rock tune I got to via a music publicist.  A bit more reverbed/tripped out than Coldplay but there’s that classic Brit rock feeling in here.  It has a classic slow build, but I didn’t find myself connected to the tune.

Active Music Listening Wednesday July 23, 2014

YTD recordings listened to: 559
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 349
Not good music: 167

Honorable Mentions: 4
Buys: 6

Possibles: Boyd Rivers, Chris McGregor, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Dave Arner Trio, Bill Horist, MAKU Soundsystem, Zomby, Retox, 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,  Toxic Holocaust, Equal Stones, Comeback Kid, Third Coast Kings, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Charming Axe, Eccodek, Bio Ritmo, Pacifika, Kasai All Stars, Viet Cong, Traams, Karol Conka, Open Mike Eagle

@@@ Got a Girl: I Love You But I must Drive off this cliff (Bulk, 2014).  Some modern, classic soul off a music publicist email.  Fresh computer beats, kinda sultry/intimate female voices and a lot of production tricks out of the trip hop/electronica playbook.  I like the formula but this record could use some lyrics that reach out and grab — this is pretty ho hum lyrical action so it ends up as a lot of nice sounds and no much to say.

You can stream over here at KCRW in the California.

@@@ Common: Nobody’s Smiling (ARTium/Def Jam, 2014).  I know Common from his media presence but I can’t say I’ve checked out his music recently.  Anybody who starts their record with a Curtis Mayfield sample is all right with me.  This is some pretty detailed and heavy description of inner city black life.  It has the same weight as a Roots record when they discuss the same topic.  I’m no hip hop expert but Common knows his way around the microphone — rhythmically strong and tight.

@@@ Tom Vek: Luck (Moshi Moshi, 2014).  Off a publicist email.  Opens up slack-y with a repeating phrase ‘how am i meant to know’.  Oh boy, not a good start for me.  How am I meant to know if this is a good record?  I’m gonna be nice and skip that first track and pretend I didn’t hate on that.  The second tune is much better — uptempo drums, a string-y, buzzy bass sound.  I don’t like Vek’s voice, but maybe you’ll dig it so check him out.

@@@ Nightmare and the Cat: Desert Heir (Capitol Records, 2014). Major label rock, I get points for even going down this dark road.  Oh, these are the sons of Eurhythmics duder, Dave Stewart.  .I can hear the influence.  Straight white rock beat, some ’80s sonic scraps floating around, a strong pop sensibility.  By the time it gets to the chorus it’s a straight pop tune with multiple vocal tracks.  There are some nice sounds here, but the singer needs to refrain from the breathy orgasm breathing — it’s an instant toilet flusher for me.

You can stream over here.