@@@ Patrick Watson: Love Songs for Robots (Domino, 2015). Domino is the king of quirk — quirky indie, weird British rock quirk, so regardless of genre you’re gonna get quirk from this label. This first tune, the title track, is a piano ballad — Watson has a fragile upper register voice, the bass line has a stringy old school melodic tilt, and there is the standard electronic garnish — whooshes, blurps, slides and drones that all the kids are tripping out on these days. The second tune is more of a British rock epic driven by a piano. Watson’s voice is pretty ethereal so when you’re talking about rockin’ it’s a pretty folded napkin rocking in this guy’s case. Very smartly arranged music with a variety of sounds but the voice and the piano remain the same so you have to be into those elements to feel this.
@@@ Secrets of the Sky: Pathway (Metal Blade, 2015). Some metal I saw in the CFUV weekly playlist email, same as Watson’ record above. We open up with a long intro of waves hitting the beach and rain and I might have to pause to go pee (there’s so much water). And that’s done and we’re onto the second tune which is also taking it’s time with a plinky dink guitar intro and now with some long tones over the top. Where is my headcrushing?? I want my skull crushed!!! Let’s get on with it, I don’t have all day, stop dicking around with the hobbit-y art metal. Finally a power chord and some big drums. Well, it’s about time and the singer is really getting his super top of the mountain opera singing voice going — I bet this guy rocks lederhosen pretty often. And he has fabulous but high maintenance hair. Tis an awful burden to be a heavy metal singer carrying all those dark emotions around. Now he’s morphed from epic singer to angry troll/caveman and now we’ve moved from the spilling power chords back into the power ballad heaviness. Third tune, probably the last and we’re back into the lightning and the rain. That’s weird, two rainstorms on one record, maybe this whole thing is about global warming. But rain is the only weather I’ve heard on this record. Color me confused. That little wet nugget is followed by a huge monster riff on the fourth tune, Angel in Vines and I’m just a simple man that wants some ass kickin’ metal sans the epicness.
YTD recordings listened to: 596
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 345
Not good music: 205
Honorable Mentions: 15
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, Mastery, Leviathan, Xibalba, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Ellen Jewell, Akitsa, Chico Trujillo, Richard Thompson, Evan Caminiti, Jeremy Pinnell, Hope Drone, Pat Thomas