YTD recordings listened to: 631
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 393
Not good music: 191
Honorable Mentions: 4
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, Lenguas Largas
@@@ Benyoro: Benyoro (Self-released, 2014). We love the self-released records here on this humble blog. This is Malian music by way of New York City. It opens up with the tune An Sera and there’s some righteous single line African guitar picking. Ooh, they start with a medium hot jam and it’s pretty smoking by the end of the tune. Great energy. The use of the kora and (I think) another traditional African stringed instrument within the Western electric band setup makes this record stand out. Check it out.
@@@ Shawn Mendes: The Shawn Mendes EP (Island, 2014). This week’s breathy piano record. This is the full major label production cheese journey. Oh no, he’s doing a white boy reggae tune called Show You! This is really stunning and about as unfunky as anything can be. I implore you, all you white people out there, shopping at the malls and buying at the Gap — please God don’t listen to this music. It’s just wrong and a sign of our collapsing society.
@@@ Dirtwire: Ondar (Six Degrees, 2014). A genre mashup tribute record to a well known throat singer. You can read more here. There are a lot electronic elements framing the playing and the throat singing. Production is polished and high. I like the musical formula.
@@@ Owl John: Owl John (Atlantic UK, 2014). Some meaningful mainstream indie out of the UK. Willowy male singer and a lot of tribal sounding drums in the opener, Cold Creeps. The second tune is more urgent than dreamy, but the production is epic and when they push the tempo and energy I just hear soft butter. Strong ’80s vocal sounds don’t help me to embrace the record.
@@@ SOJA: Amid the Noise and Haste (ATO, 2014). Some contemporary reggae I found on the All Music weekly email. The record is shinier than what I think works for a reggae record — I don’t feel that bass/drum push that you get on a classic reggae record. I would refer folks who want to get into reggae to Burning Spear’s classic Marcus Garvey.