Active Music Listening Thursday February 5, 2015

YTD recordings listened to: 101
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 59
Not good music: 33

Honorable Mentions: 7
Buys: 4

Possibles: Boyd Rivers, Chris McGregor, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Dave Arner Trio, Bill Horist, MAKU Soundsystem, Zomby, Retox, About Group, Jessie Mae Hemphill, Bone Dance, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, Debruit, Slidhr, The Whammies, The Chewers, Alexander Hawkins, Cheryl Pyle, Toxic Holocaust, Equal Stones, Comeback Kid, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, Spacesuits, T.O.M.B., Sons of Huns, Fofoulah, Lozen, Erase Errata

@@@ Hailu Mergia and his classical instrument (Awesome Tapes From Africa, 2013).  I saw  Mr. Mergia has a new recording out on Awesome Tapes but this is up on the Beats.  I’m going to have to Duck Duck Go this guy as I can’t place this record by ear as he sounds like a guy at a bar mitzvah playing some random keyboard.  I like this second song as it’s more of a Sun Ra space funk vibe.  Mergia had an Ethiopian jazz band from the 70s to the 90s.  I like it without loving it.  I guess he’s still going as he’s been rediscovered so folks should check him out and support him if they dig his music.

@@@ New Kingston: Kingston City (Easy Star, 2015).  Some new roots reggae I got to via the WRIR weekly playlist email.  Modern production, conscious lyrics delivered with some dancehall influence.  I don’t love synths in my roots reggae but these guys are super positive on the lyrics and the vocalists are working overtime.

@@@ Big Sean featuring Drake and Kanye West: Blessings (Not sure, 2015).  Some corporate hip hop with two of my least favorite hip hop musicians on the planet.  Big Sean has outstanding rhythm on the mic but he’s a bratty potty mouth — he’s living the life.  I think Drake is getting the sung chorus.  I like the beat and the stripped down arrangement but not much else.  

You can stream over here.

@@@ Corthia Cottrell: Oak Grove (Forcefield Records, 2015).  Some retro folk/soft rock I got to via a music publicist email.  The main components of the tune are the detached, plaintive female vocals, the death blues acoustic guitar strum and the slide guitar shining through the mix

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