@@@ Algernon Doll: Candy Striped (Struggletown Records, 2014). Intertwining guitars open up this slacker/dreamy indie/quiff hair of shoegaze tune I got to via a music publicist. A yearning and intimate voice and the drummer is pretty good for an indie band. It never really gets to rocking which is fine but there’s a lot of melody and a good drummer.
@@@ Vaudou Game: Apiafo (Hot Casa, 2014). I got to this record via the WRIR weekly email. Oh my, that’s funky drummer right there. He’s joined by a poppin’ bass player, an electric organ player, a chickenscratch guitar player, and a singer singing in — wait on the Duck Duck Go. He’s from Togo. What the fuck, wait a minute — Togo is sandwiched between Ghana and Benin in West Africa. Yes, the geography less is free. The vocals sound like Frank Zappa vocal harmonies over a bumpin’ funky band, especially on the second track Dangerous Bees. I’m gonna check out this record more thoroughly when I have the time. This is some pretty surreal African music with all manner of influences swirled over that rhythm section.
@@@ The History of Apple Pie: Feel Something (Marshall Teller, 2014). I saw this band listed on the latest All Music weekly email and how can you not check out a band called The History of Apple Pie. The music is in the weird indie neighborhood — a bit dreamy, a little rocking, a round female voice nestled in the fuzz, and a nice drum sound. In a rare instance in today’s music business these guys sound like they’re having fun and they don’t really care about formulas — it’s an unusual mix of styles that is difficult to describe. So that’s why we have the Youtube brought to us by the dickheads at Google.
@@@ Moodymann: Moodymann (Kdj, 2014). Some Detroit style funk off the Quietus best of 2014 list which I may abandon after this last listen as it’s unearthed nothing but heartache to this point. It’s definitely a mixture of funk styles — a little black hippie flute funk, some slow D’Angelo moments, and some ol’ school Parliament/Funkadelic influences. There’s a lot of processing on the vocals which lends a trippy vibe to the record and I would have preferred less of that. I like the fourth tune, Desire, a whole bunch but it’s a bit too much of a grab bag to hold my attention.
@@@ Bethan: I Need a Pill to Help Me Sleep (Velvet Blue Music, 2014) A downtempo smoldering rock tune I got to via a music publicist email. Standard rock band instrumentation until the string swells come in about 90 seconds in. I appreciate that they’re taking the time and leaving space in the tune. There’s some intersting spooky instrumental squirgling at the end of the to go with the arpeggiated electric guitar that rolls through the track.