Active Music Listening Wednesday February 25, 2015

YTD recordings listened to: 155
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 91
Not good music: 52

Honorable Mentions: 7
Buys: 5

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., Fofoulah, Lozen, Erase Errata, Mohammed Abozekry, Dawn Richard

@@@ Natalie Prass: Self-titled (Star Time International, 2015).  Also off the New Artists You Gotta Know About Now from Stolling Rone.  Prass has a delicate, withdrawn voice and she’s doin’ sort of a slacker white r&b/Van Morrison kind of thing.  A big rock band ensemble with piano, strings, horns, even flute.  She’s definitely taking her time with this first tune My Baby Don’t Understand Me, so if you’re expecting some slashing commando soul performance take a few breaths and slow yourself down.  This is the full 1970’s laid-back rock performance so get yer bag of doobie out.

@@@ Seinabo Sey: For Madeleine (Virgin, 2015)  Some major label pop/soul off the Stolling Rone must hear list.  Handclaps, synth bass and a lot of blues inflected vocal melodies.  To my ears it’s a bit like Moby’s big record, you know the one nobody listens to anymore.  Take some old school black music and update it and dance-ify it where you can.  This second tune has an organ in it and she’s singing about redemption and there’s your electronic process vocal hook.  Sometimes I actually know what I’m talking about.

@@@ Catfish & the Bottlemen (Communion Records, 2015).  These young Brits are on Rolling Stone’s You Gotta Know About these Bands Right Now here.  They got a little bit of Oasis goin on — not full on Gallagher brothers but when they push the pedal down.   There’s a couple of big tablespoons of Squeeze-style pop.  They got a big sound going on but I don’t hear a lot of charisma going on here — it’s a bit too familiar.

@@@ Hundred Visions: Ritual (Pau Wau Records, 2015)  Described by their publicist as ripping garage punk it’s really some pretty melodic pop punk with decent crunch.  I guess garage punk is cooler than pop punk.  The drummer is fully caffeinated and the vocalist does good work.

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