Active Music Listening Wednesday August 6, 2014

YTD recordings listened to: 602
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 374
Not good music: 182

Honorable Mentions: 4
Buys: 9

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,  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, Open Mike Eagle

@@@ Empyrium: The Turn of the Tides (Prophecy Productions, 2014).  I got to this record from my heavy metal weekly email, but we’re opening up tinkly piano and synth New Age.  Oh my, we’ve gone full unicorn on this tune.  I’m getting a longing to visit Middle Earth and smoke shire weed with the hobbits.  Oh my, it’s hard to convey the attempted epic-ness aspired to on this record.  Big reverb on the drums, a somber voice, and the piano, the solemn unicorn riding piano.   And the synthesizers, and the zither?  Maybe a zither or a harp and the church organ — oh this is totally not what I’m into but I appreciate these guys getting their freak on.  I’m glad I waited on this second track as we are treated to a multi-layered guitar shred — a slow circular melody with the same operatic singer and a sudden, unexpected appearance from an orc sounding/caveman voice.  Please do yourself a favor and check this bad boy out.  And if you start rock the whole thing, it’s totally worth it.

@@@ Laurence English: Wilderness of Mirrors (Not sure, 2014).  I saw this record described as gorgeous on last week’s Aquarius Records email and found this clip on Youtube.  Not much else on the Beats, the Soundcloud, etc.  This track is some pretty high end ambient music deftly put together.  There’s a pulsating cloudy sound that provides some rhythm, there’s a more than a couple of longass metallic tones that fill in the background, and some slashing sounds and trinkles.

@@@ Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers: Hypnotic Eye (Reprise, 2014)  I know Petty made some anti-organized religion comments to draw attention to his latest effort, which is weird but how things work in our dysfunctional society.  I can see how folks would not attach themselves to this Tom Petty, it’s not his typical gauzy stoner American roots pop.  It’s more like a 1960’s garage-y affair and it’s not as shiny and happy as what mainstream bubblehead Americans demand.   I don’t love this record, but it’s better than I thought it would be and he gets respect for pushing himself.

@@@ Misha Tsiganov: The Artistry of the Standard (Cris Cross Jazz, 2014).  Some straight jazz off the London Jazz blog.  Some crisp rhythmic work from this piano, trumpet, trombone, bass and drums quartet.  These guys are precise and there’s plenty of room for solos.  Myself, I like more wildness to my jazz, but that’s just me.

@@@ Due Diligence: Copy Cat (Black Bell, 2014). Music publicist email!  A slacker indie Joe Walsh type tune.   After a quiet verse, the tune explodes into a Pixies type power chord chorus — then back to the verse.  Super simple, single note bass fatness, Violent Femmes stripped down drums and while I dig the singers ragged delivery the outro coulda been 30 seconds shorter and I would’ve been more interested.


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