Active Music Listening Friday March 27, 2015

YTD recordings listened to: 235
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 138
Not good music: 81

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, Leviathan, The Skints, Lightning Bolt

@@@ Lightning Bolt: Fantasy Empire (Thrill Jockey, 2015).  I’ve always thought these guys were long on raw, vomitous vibe and short on musicality but I’m impressed with the arrangement and the musicality of this first tune, the Metal East.  Frenetic guitar over the monster aggro-bass and some really piquant spray punk drumming.  Makes you wanna go out and burn somebody’s house down.  I hope it’s not one great tune followed by a trail of sloppy droppings.  Sweet, they come out swinging in this second tune, Over the River and Through the Woods — some pile driving power chord action with the same meth drumming and a delayed, fucked in the head Butthole Surfers vocal stylings.  Here’s why you have to listen — I’ve really disliked some of the stuff this band has done but this is some bad ass, intelligent sonic bulldozing.  Will be checking this out more when I get the chance.

@@@ Twin Shadow: Eclipse (Warner, 2015).  Off the weekly All Music email, same as the Lightning Bolt record above.   This first tune is a slow power ballad with the full drama.  Oy, open up the pipeline into the malls and ready the injection.  If you take the cheese of the ballad and mix it with the cheesy drama of the new school r&b and mix it with the cheese of 1980’s synth rock — what was that mainstream pizza chain that sold some 6 cheese pizza where the crust was stuffed with cheese and it’s served in a box made out of cheese.  That’s what this is.

@@@ Allison Moorer: Down to Believing (eOne, 2015).  Also off the All Music weekly email.  A new country/roots/rock mash — shiny mix, uptempo (first tune.  The second tune is a big epic burner — wailing, big guitar, a schmear of Bon Jovi with a cowboy hat.  Pretty standard formula, I would stick with my Lucinda Williams off kilter version of this sound.

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