YTD recordings listened to: 839
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 518
Not good music: 263
Honorable Mentions: 11
Possibles: Boyd Rivers, Chris McGregor, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Dave Arner Trio, Bill Horist, MAKU Soundsystem, Zomby, Retox, About Group, Jessie Mae Hemphill, Kendl Winter, Bone Dance, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, Debruit and Aljawal, Slidhr, The Whammies, The Chewers, La Misa Negra, Alexander Hawkins, Cheryl Pyle, Toxic Holocaust, Equal Stones, Comeback Kid, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Bio Ritmo, Lenguas Largas, Khun Narin, Doug Seegers, Shakey Graves, Jungle Fire
@@@ Black Clouds: And Then I Dove (Collect Records, 2014) Instrumental rock I got to via a music publicist email. Just the way Deafheaven was a big, heavy post-rock metal record for the mainstream last year, this looks to be heading down the same road. Heavy but not too chaotic with epic production. As a quasi-afficianado of heavy metal there’s a difference between ‘I haven’t washed in two weeks dirty’, and boy ‘I’m jogging really fast and I just broke out in a wicked sweat dirty’. Good to get you started, but a bit of a heavy music pose. I wants my dirt.
Stream it at the home of clean white people, NPR.
@@@ Ben Howard: Conrad (Republic Records, 2014) Opens up with a half trippy delayed descending guitar line with some reverse guitar parsley garnish, I’m thinking this is aimed at John Mayer’s old audience now that everybody thinks John Mayer is a total douche. John Mayer could be a really cool guy but I do agree he sports douche lines. Very intimately produced voice with a well trimmed reverb patch and a very minimalist stripped down to just a kick drum rhythm — oh, here’s a little more drummage. I think they’re probably trying to create a panty quaker, feelings based adult alternative cat. It’s not fully up its own ass but it’s partially shoved up there.
@@@ T.I.: Paperwork (Columbia, 2014). Some major label hip hop off the All Music weekly email. I was gonna peep the new Stevie Nicks, but I keep my black music reviews coming on the blog. T.I.’s formula is a fast flow with mostly bombastic production with some vintage r&b samples for authenticity. I’ve clipped the Pharrell ‘the Hat’ track called Paperwork — it’s lighter than the opener King, still an uptempo flow. I’m partial to independent hip hop as I find the production to be more interesting, but this is better than 95% of the major label hip hop which tends to absolutely awful.
@@@ Jessie Ware: Tough Love (Interscope, 2014). If Prince had a hetero-man/woman baby with Cyndi Lauper their child would make an album that sounds like this. I think they clipped a drum beat straight out of Sign o’ the Times on the first track, Tough Love. Full 1980’s vibes to be had — plinky guitars, synth bass, and the aforementioned drum machine beats. Ware has a pleasing voice, she doesn’t oversing and the 1980’s flow is renewed and slightly expanded on in the second tune, You & I. There’s no edge to this music, it’s like macaroni and cheese for your mind.
@@@ Soft Swells: Floodlights (Not sure, 2014). I think I’ve peeped this outfit before, but to be honest and not to be racist and shit, but all these indie bands tend to look and sound the same. This is meaningful, and poppy music, with some hooky organ and oohs and ahs. Man, I suddenly feel like a bologna sandwich on wonder bread and a cold can of soda pop.