Active Music Listening Monday May 4, 2015

YTD recordings listened to: 339
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 202
Not good music: 111

Honorable Mentions: 11
Buys: 8

Possibles: 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, 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, Xibalba, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Waters

@@@ Josh Groban: Stages (Reprise, 2015).  An album of Broadway tunes I got to via the Beats ‘Highlights’ page.  The first tune is from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory — it’s a fudge wave of romantic violin flourishes and Groban’s voice is a silky hug.  No feelings are gonna get hurt here — put this album on, take a handful of Xanax, squint your eyes and you can almost not see the world falling apart.  The second tune is from the Chorus Line and it features the same string flourishes but with a big soaring vocal part.  It’s moving me, I can barely type through the tears.  God, I guess this is the feeling of great art, it’s not cheesy at all.

@@@ Death Grips: The Powers that B (Universal, 2015).  I’ve always thought Death Grips is more than a bit overrated but this is his last biscuit and I thought maybe he’s going out in a blaze of glory.  Mr. Grips sounds like he’s losing his grip in the first tune, Up My Sleeve, and the arrangement has a generous help of industro-aggro noise and abrasiveness.  This is the Death Grips trip, the grating feeling — I can appreciate the emphasis on freakishness over bling and club dang.  I like this third tune, Black Quarterback, and I got a Googletube for you below.  It’s a very clear example of the Death Grips trip.

@@@ Danko Jones: Fire Music (MRI, 2015).  #1 in the loud section at the CFUV.  A pubic hair of Buckcherry, a Stone Temple Pilots pube, and maybe even a Pearl Jam pube.  Guitar driven medium heavy hard rock.  You can hear a lot of different pubes in this record.  Big rock music people, get the Bud Light out!  Now when I say there’s a pube of this band and of that band, it’s not meant to be negative.  Pubes are cool.  I could just as easily say there’s a packet of ketchup of Buckcherry, a packet of ketchup of Stone Temple Pilots, but  packet of ketchup is clunky and pube gets the job done.  Boom, pube.

@@@ Moaning: Misheard (Not sure, 2015).  Shoe gaze vocals nestled in delayed distorted guitars (verse) and full sheets of guitar noise (chorus).  A tune I got to via a music publicist email.  A little outdo guitar shredding with some synth fluff in the background.  Stereogum says it’s gorgeous and heartbreaking — I think it’s a solid track and I think Stereogum should put down the pipe.


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