Active Music Listening Thursday November 20, 2014

YTD recordings listened to: 927
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 572
Not good music: 293

Honorable Mentions: 11
Buys: 17

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, Simo Lagnawi

@@@ Duct Tape: Less We Can (BBE, 2014).  Off this week’s All Music weekly email.  I’m checking this record out because I’m a huge fan of duct tape.  That is one of my favorite types of tape.  Slotted as club/dance by the gatekeepers of PR it has an unexpected and welcome funkiness that is not common in the electro realm.  Funky drum machine beats and synth based arrangements and falsetto vocals.  Lyrics are mostly about partying and not stopping so nobody is gonna walk out of this record enlightened.  But it’s well put together and I love duct tape.

@@@ Bull in the Whiskey Shop: Bull in the Whiskey Shop EP (Self-released, 2014).  I was contacted by this English band to review this EP so I’m doing just that.  As British folks are much less on genre than Americans, this is a bit of a mashup of fuzzy punk guitar, a bit of noise, some classic rock influence.   The male vocalist is reminiscent of Thurston Moore and the female vocalist is more in the Sleater-Kinney riot grrrrrrrrrrl neighborhood.  Sonic Youth with a more hooks and less flat singing is a solid description of this outfit.

@@@ Ben Ottewell: Rattlebag (The End Records, 2014).  An acoustic guitar opening tune on this record I got to (ironically enough) via my heavy metal mailorder weekly email.  When the vocals they come in urgent and heartfelt.  He sound like Ray LaMontagne after a few cups of coffee.  Oh, here’s the band and they sound modern but rootsy — big but not huge drum sound, nice organ.  The rest of the tunes I checked out followed the acoustic guitar, honest singing, and modern production.

@@@ Empress AD: Still Life Moving Fast (The End Records, 2014).  I should check out at least 1 metal record after dipping into the heavy metal email newsletter.  This opens up stark and post-apocalyptic but I expect the beatdown to commence shortly.  And he we are — guitar riffage, stringy and distorted bass guitar, really nice in your face drum sound and a post-punk singer.  Solid and well executed formula.  The singer gets a wee bit Linkin Park-y, but not enough for me to start searching for the next band.  The vocalist sings in the second tune, Deeper into Retrospect, which is a big dividing line for me when you’re listening to metal — you have singers, throat shredders, and caveman suckers.  Caveman suckers sound like they put a turned on vacuum hose up to the mic.  You gotta roll with the art school/heavy vibe these guys put out to dig this record.



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