Active Music Listening Tuesday June 30, 2015

YTD recordings listened to: 509
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 295
Not good music: 174

Honorable Mentions: 14
Buys: 9

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, Mohamed Abozekry, Dawn Richard, Leo Welch, Astral Swans, Mastery, Leviathan, Xibalba, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Ellen Jewell, Akitsa, Chico Trujillo, Richard Thompson, Royce Wood Junior

@@@ Highly Suspect: Mom (300 Entertainment, 2015).  Some purdy mainstream 3/4 heavy post-grunge.  Duder’s voice is grungy, the drums are immaculate and arena-y and the guitars are more ZZ Top than Alice in Chains.  The lyrics are a bit strange, he’s talking to his mom and rockin’ it.  He doesn’t seem sad about her he seems kinda manly about it, I don’t really know what’s going on.

@@@ Royce Wood Junior: The Ashen Tang (PIAS, 2015).  Both this record and the previous single come via the Beats highlights page.  Mr. Junior sounds a bunch like Prince but his r&b is more updated with a notable absence of guitar and synthier sound with some club influence.  He’s got a really nice voice and I really like this second tune, Midnight.  The Prince influence does not fade, but he’s not copying and I think I’m going to have to swing back and check out this record more closely.  He’s got a very fluid voice with an odd rhythmic flow that’s very unusual and interesting and his music is pretty frickin’ funky.

@@@ Linden: Rest and Be Thankful (Slumberland, 2015)  Off last week’s All Music weekly email.  Horn section, the vocalist sounds like the duder from Squeeze and there’s a blue eyed soul tinge to the the first tune.  It’s pretty poppy but the high quality vocal melodies keep it from collapsing into Cheese Valley.  This could be for you Cubicle Dwellers out there — not too heavy, not too complicated, but not completely mindless.

@@@ Nozinja: Nozinja Lodge (Warp, 2015)  Some African electronica off the WRIR weekly playlist email.  Obviously funkier than 99% of the indie electronic going on here in the USA, these guys brings some sweet vocal arrangements over African inflected drum machine patterns.  The arrangements are not as out there as some African electronica I’ve heard but it could be good for some Americans who’ve been rotting their brains on indie electronic.

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Active Music Listening Monday June 29, 2015

YTD recordings listened to: 505
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 293
Not good music: 173

Honorable Mentions: 14
Buys: 9

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, Mohamed Abozekry, Dawn Richard, Leo Welch, Astral Swans, Mastery, Leviathan, Xibalba, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Ellen Jewell, Akitsa, Chico Trujillo, Richard Thompson

@@@ Canaan Smith: Bronco (Mercury Nashville, 2015).  Some new country music off the Beats Highlights page.  I don’t hear the Bon Jovi and AC/DC influence often encountered in today’s new country records, I hear a Christopher Cross, sensitive 1970’s rocker type of vibe.  These aren’t get up and party power chords, they’re more melancholic/sentimental power chords.  Impeccable production, cliche lyrics, references to Southern culture there but not flying the Confederate flag.

@@@ The Weather Station: All of It is Mine (You’ve Changed Records, 2015).  Some fragile indie folk I got to via the CFUV weekly playlist email.  Very waif-y female voice with acoustic guitar, banjo, some ambient drums.  It’s very pretty and inward looking — not necessarily from the lyrics but the way all the sounds are put together.  Check it out.

@@@ Desaparecidos: Payola (Epitaph, 2015).  Also off the Beats Highlights page.  To my ears this sounds like some slight off kilter Southern California style three chord guitar punk but with a singer that sounds like the Modest Mouse singer.  The band is high energy, there’s plenty of old school punk sing along vocal hooks.

@@@ Slacktone: Coffin Closer (Not sure, 2007)  A good antidote to the three chord punk — these guys are a blistering surf band that I saw is playing at a KFJC gig in California, if they haven’t run out of water by then.  The rhythm section is foundational and the guitar player gets into an all American hyper-melodic shred.  Flavor, chops, vibe, he’s got it all going on.  A guitar tone that is sweet and sharp as a knife at the same time — delicious!  Check these dudes out, it’s summer, don’t be such close minded assholes.

 

Active Music Listening Sunday June 28, 2015

YTD recordings listened to: 501
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 290
Not good music: 172

Honorable Mentions: 14
Buys: 9

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, Mohamed Abozekry, Dawn Richard, Leo Welch, Astral Swans, Mastery, Leviathan, Xibalba, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Ellen Jewell, Akitsa, Chico Trujillo, Richard Thompson

@@@  Awakening Orchestra: Vol. 1, This is Not the Answer (Innova, 2015).  An avant jazz orchestral recording that I got to via a tweet.  Everybody shits on the Twitter because the don’t make money like the deathstar Facebook, but I wanna give a shout out to the Twitter.  Instrumentation here is plentiful and varied — sax, vibes, drums, scranky electric guitar, trumpet, bass, and there’s more in the stew that I can’t pick out.  It’s a refined stew, sonically that is.  To my ears this is a mostly written music with some space for improvisation.  I can’t hang for the whole record as it’s almost two hours long but I like what I’ve heard.  I have a feeling that this record is going to incorporate many many genres of music as it runs its course — this second tune has spoken word and a jazz fusion as well as a baroque indie feel so it’s already getting out there and mashing up the genres.  Check it out.

@@@ Selena Gomez: Good for You (featuring A$AP Rocky, 2015).  Now let’s check out some music that aims much lower.  Selena Gomez already gets points against her for being with Justin Bieber, as I’m a rabid anti-Bieberite.  To me he’s a low IQ version of Elvis Presley and I don’t think Elvis was breaking any records.  This tune is all about Ms. Gomez singing like she’s about to cream her panties while she puts on her dress and puts her hair up before she heads out to the club.  Here comes ASAP Rocky, a rapper I don’t have a lot of love for.  He’s got a fat tongue and his words come out all lolly and thick.  I’m sure she’s going to be showing plenty of skin in the video so if that’s how you like your music videos have at it.

 

Taylor Swift fought hard for your right to that 1/5th of a cent!

From here:

Breaking: Apple Paying Just $0.002 Per Stream During Its Free Trial Period…

Back in the day selling 10,000 copies of a record on an indie label could get you onto a major label.  Huge indie punk bands like Fugazi would sell 30-40,000 copies of a title and live well on that.

So let’s say 40,000 people stream an entire record that has 10 songs on it making 400,000 streams.

And 400,000 streams at .002 per stream totals to $800.

Now CDs would go out the door from the label at $7 a disc so 40,000 discs was $280,000.  So Fugazi would have made all that money because they ran their own label and didn’t split that pile of loot.

Now say every single person who heard the record shit their pants with joy and streamed it 20 times.  That’s a pretty decent amount of spins.

8,000,000 song spins gets you $16,000.

The part of this math that isn’t all over the internet is that most people will not say talk about what a successful indie band would sell.  People still have this idea in their head that a musician that is on stage playing to decent sized crowds is making big bank on their records, when $280,000 is what an asshole stock broker at Bank of America might make during a decent year.

If you like any band or musician that’s not part of the Taylor Swift/Beyonce/No Direction/Nickelback complex they’re most likely working off the math above.

Active Music Listening Saturday June 27, 2015

YTD recordings listened to: 499
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 289
Not good music: 171

Honorable Mentions: 14
Buys: 9

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, Mohamed Abozekry, Dawn Richard, Leo Welch, Astral Swans, Mastery, Leviathan, Xibalba, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Ellen Jewell, Akitsa, Chico Trujillo, Richard Thompson

@@@ Hellbastard: Sons of Bitches EP (Patac, 2013).  I saw this EP was reissued so I think it’s wise to check out reissues as folks must be feeling a record enough for a label to reissue.  The first tune is pretty tom heavy drumming, some tasty midrange guitar slabs, and a punk metal singer that you can understand.  These guys are working the classic metal neighborhood with pubes of thrash thrown in to bulk it up a bit.  Not my favorite style but they’re tight as a well digger’s ass.

@@@ ABYSSAL: Antikatastaseis (Profound Lore, 2015)  Off this week’s Aquarius Records weekly email, these guys sound like they were mixed in a warehouse.  I dig the drummer with his spraying rolls that segue into that suffocating kick/snare thrash thwack I dig.  The overall feel is pretty epic with jammy sounding guitars and an oozing caveman singer tucked pretty far back in the mix.  They really throw some lighter fluid on themselves in the second tune, The Cornucopian.  Big doom, big shred, big caveman.  Excellent drummer.

This has been the music biz’s downfall for decades

From here:

If you have an unsatisfactory stay in an Airbnb property and leave a review that reflects your experience, your name is attached to your negative review forever. This might dissuade you from being honest, because then future hosts who see your negative reviews might be reluctant to rent to you, fearing you’ll give them a bad review, too.

If you’re an Airbnb user, just think about it: When was the last time you checked out a property you might want to rent and actually saw a bad review? The site has barely any — and it’s just not possible that every property could be as good as the reviews make them seem.

Subsitute the word ‘record’ for the word ‘property’.

I don’t hand out mediocre reviews because it’s fun (well, I try to make the mediocre reviews entertaining), but the music review system is broken and corrupt, worse than anything Airbnb has going.

‘It’s just not possible that every record could be as good as the reviews make them seem.’

Sing it, man, sing it out loud.

Active Music Listening Friday June 26, 2015

YTD recordings listened to: 497
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 287
Not good music: 171

Honorable Mentions: 14
Buys: 9

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, Mohamed Abozekry, Dawn Richard, Leo Welch, Astral Swans, Mastery, Leviathan, Xibalba, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Ellen Jewell, Akitsa, Chico Trujillo, Richard Thompson

@@@ Slothrust: Of Course You Do (Ba Da Bing!, 2015).  Some slack power punk pop I got to after I saw a music publicist email regarding some upcoming tour or whatnot.  If you took some Violent Femmes and swirled in with the Weezer douchebag you’d get pretty close to this record.  Some skinny thin guitar melodies that explode into big panned wide guitar power chord action — you know you love it America, oh here’s the different lead guitar shred.  I think these guys have some Smashing Pumpkin records on their shelves.  Big drum sound, really well done there.  Lyrics are mostly pretty shallow so good for drinking cheap beer and playing paintball in the woods.

@@@ Exoxho: The Ghost is Clear (Self-released, 2015).  A self-described chamber rock powerhouse I got to from a music publicist email out on the Left Coast.  Very earnest lyrics, some big organ laid down in the mix with other unconventional sounds as I hear a fiddle, an ’80s sounding bass guitar, some medium crunch guitar.  The vocalist sounds a tad like Death Cab for Cutie duder but not annoying as that guy.  Oy.  Here’s another vocalist and he sounds like the They Might Be Giants guy.

@@@ Flesh World: The Animals In My Life (Iron Lung, 2015).  A queercore tune I got to via a music publicist email.  If you took Daydream Nation era Sonic Youth and blenderated it with a jangle indie band you would get this tune.  A little gunked up and dirty but still sweet, like when you drop an ice cream cone on the ground.

@@@ Oscar: Beautiful Words (Wichita Recordings, 2015).  Oh, this guys sounds just like somebody….c’mon hard drive don’t fail me now.  He’s a little in Morrissey’s neighborhood and he’s got a little bit of that band that did that tune Shout, Shout — oh fuck, bad sectors on the disk.  Other notable aspects of this record include simple yet smashed drums, a lot of synth ka-chankin’ and some big ’80s sounding phase/chorused guitar.  Oy these kids as they jump around stylistically as the second tune features the same smashed drum sound but more of a white boy soul skank.  It’s all right, check it for yourself.