Active Music Listening Friday June 5, 2015

YTD recordings listened to: 435
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 255
Not good music: 147

Honorable Mentions: 130
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, Mohammed Abozekry, Dawn Richard, Torche, Leo Welch, Astral Swans, Mastery, Leviathan, Xibalba, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Waters, Ellen Jewell

@@@ Kiesza: Stronger (Universal, 2015).  A single tune from a soundtrack that I’m checking out as she’s in the lineup at the Governor’s Ball music festival this summer.  She also got 180 million streams on Youtube for her first tune ever and my suspicions that her music is overwrought, superdramatical, New Age-y, Disney type garbage.  Woof.  You know all these anthems about people being stronger, or that Sarah Bareilles song Brave (which I loathe) are poisonous.  They’re like self-help tunes for people who don’t need a song about being stronger and braver, but who need to like inside and get their shit worked out.  Blech.

@@@  Rae Sremmurd: Sremmlife (Interscope, 2015).  Also on the Governor’s Island roster and it looks like that festival is going to suck balls.  This is a mostly hip hop record with a few pubes of urban pop thrown in.  I like the bass in the first track, but the MCs are annoying — bitches and riches, yadda yadda yadda.  It looks like the IQ couldn’t dip any lower than the opener Lit Like Bic, but this second Unlock the Swag manages to accomplish the mission.  This third tune, No Flex Zone has a hype beat, but man these young gents got no flow.  More Blech.

@@@ A-Trak: Push (Fool’s Gold, 2015).  Now most people would check out two acts from a festival, hate on them and just move on.  But not me, I’m going deep up the anus of the upcoming Governor’s Island festival.  Here we have some catchy club music.  Fo on the flo, falsetto dude, some synth arpeggios and the titch gets married to the boom in the chorus.  Just fo on the flo in the verse and then you get what you need.  Next tune, I can’t wait.  Oh fuck, they have 9 remixes of this one tune up on my Beats on.  I thought it was an album and shit.  I think if Uncle Sam is still torturing people down at Guantanamo Bay the Spooks should think of picking up a few copies of the 9 remixes.  Oh yeah, I’m feeling this, let me check out the next remix.  Different synth sound, mo titch on this one, lemme check out the next one.   Oh, this one has a funk guitar loop in it, sweet.  Next one, I can’t get enough.  Here’s a vocoder remix, sweet, chainsaw/power chords, ooh that’s hot.  I’m goin for the re-up.  This one has more of a squiggly synth and an ol’ school Prince beat from the 80’s.  Okay, I need someone to come over and hang me.

@@@ Zella Day: Kicker (Pinetop, 2015).  Off the Beats Highlights page.  A little mainstream, a little alt electronic a la Beck.  While the first tune is high in tambourine and a certain faded California vibe, the second tune is much rockier and not as good.  Day has a decent voice but she’s a bit of a drama queen on the mic — a lot of flagellation and breathy shit, one of my pet peeves.  How ’bout you just sing the song and take your pants off and frig yourself later?

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