Active Music Listening Monday March 9, 2015

YTD recordings listened to: 188
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 112
Not good music: 64

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, Torche, Leo Welch, Astral Swans, Mastery

@@@ A Place to Bury Strangers: Transfixiation (Dead Oceans, 2015).  Not a record of the week but on the list of new releases at Aquarius Records in San Fran.  A bit of psych and a bit of 1980’s sound palette.  Strange wang-ed guitars, thick U2 style simple bass, and a half creepy/half intimate male singer.  The second tune, Straight, uses the same formula but gets into some rocking’.

http://youtu.be/D7iG_s4PJM8

@@@ Abigor: Leitmotif Luzifer (Avantgarde Music, 2014).  Also off the Aquarius Records list last week.  This is an interesting mash of epic melodies and punishing thrash.  The guitar players and the drummer are the stars here.  Full variety of metal guitar playing — some melodic shredding, some super fast thrash picking, some chord blasting, it’s really quite tasty and unpredictable.  While this is not my favorite metal formula, these guys are not fucking around — they’re a fully formed band and they just get right into the sonic battering.

http://youtu.be/n0pdim4hlEw

@@@ Jose James: Yesterday I Had the Blues (Blue Note, 2015).  A record I saw on the Twitter, and only one song up on my Beats store.  This is an album of Billie Holiday songs (who I love) and Mr. James does a smooth and laid-back rendition of this tune.  Some sparse piano and some drum cymbal ting ting behind James’ voice.  

http://youtu.be/ecFG_n_MqyY

@@@ Wussy: Duo (Shake It Records, 2014).  This band has been championed by the long time Village Voice critic Robert Christgau.  Their vibe is slack, they have sweet vocal melodies, pretty standard guitar parts, and a drum machine.  I know it’s all just personal preference but you’re not getting into my rock ‘n roll hall of fame with a drum machine.  They’re not that far from the band X so I would recommend folks listen to an X record instead.

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