Active Music Listening Thursday November 6, 2014

YTD recordings listened to: 887
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 546
Not good music: 283

Honorable Mentions: 11
Buys: 15

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, The Coral, Sleaford Mods, Simo Lagnawi

@@@ Thurston Moore: The Best Day (Matador, 2014).  I’ve almost always thought Mr. Moore is more than a bit overrated.  Here on this solo outing he’s shifted focus from the Sonic Youth meltdown post-punk shitshow to a mannered, Pavement/Velvet Underground mostly clean guitar American rock.  I really like the guitar tones, his voice is all right.  The first tune is dragging a bit so we’re gonna hit that fast forward.  The second tune, Forevermore, feels a little like that’s how long it’s gonna be and I can’t believe I’m saying this but I kinda miss Sonic Youth right now.  This smells a tad precious.

@@@ Deerhoof: La Isla Bonita (Polyvinyl, 2014).  Off the All Music weekly email.  I’ve always appreciated the quirky as fuck aesthetic of this band.  It’s just off kilter, splintered and compositionally jumpy so there good for some surprises.  This one is marketed as punk and funk, and I would just caution that we’re not talking Maggot Brain here, it’s more like Red Hot Chili Peppers funk here, and a bit less funky than that even.  Very nice drum sound and the recording sounds very good.   The second tune is much more ambient than funky.  It’s not punky either, which is fine.  I didn’t really like the third tune, but I might circle back to check out more of this record.

@@@ Grouper: Ruins (Kranky, 2014).  Off last week’s All Music weekly email.  Lo-fi legend, apparently.  What the fuck, this first tune was just someone tapping a drum two beats at a time?  Hello, I don’t show up for that shit.  Ah, second tune, Clearing, and it’s some somber piano and some whispered vocals.  It’s wistful and lonely and whatnot.  I know the indie hipsters find this vibe enthralling.  It’s wispy, that’s for sure.  I’m going to remain agnostic on this as she’s trying to do something more than than the average indie asswipe, but it’s not a bullseye for me.

@@@ Clark: Clark (Warp, 2014).  Also off last week’s All Music weekly ‘notable’ releases, this is slotted as experimental techno so it might be boom-titch with a little strange sauce or it might be a total wank.  I’m hearing a lot of ambient winds, and now comes the kick drum on the second tune, Winter Linn.  I’m thinking this is gonna be a slightly more sophisto boom-titch — all the club sounds are there but it’s a tad mimimalist and more tastefully arranged.  No awful fucking lyrics, that’s a plus.  It gets a bit New Age-y as it unfolds, but that’s an undercover part of the EDM sound.



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