10/14/15: Toby Keith, Slum Sociable, John McLaughlin, Charles Ellsworth

@@@ Toby Keith: 35MPH Town (Show Dog Distribution, 2015).  Off this week’s All Music weekly email.  The first tune Drunk Americans is an anthem to the American melting pot saying it don’t matter if you wear a turban at the bar, CEOs or GEDs.  It’s a nice thought but it’s completely fucking out of touch and a dangerous mythology that gets people killed.  Is Darren Wilson gonna sit next to Michael Brown at the bar?  I don’t think so.  After that trippy nugget we get into the Las Vegas strip country — big horn section, uptempo beat with some growling country guitars and plenty of pop sounds.  Well the same guy who celebrates Muslims drinking at the bar is the same guy who laments kids growing up without Jesus.  The fourth tune will be my last as it’s the Jimmy Buffett Caribbean inspired tune Rum is the Reason — oy, what’s up with the country dudes and the fake Caribbean rum tunes?  Weird.  I guess Hitler drank beer and Stalin drank vodka martinis….

@@@ John McLaughlin: Like Us (Razor & Tie, 2015).  Opens up with an epic sky full of synth clouds and I have a sinking feeling there’s gonna be a lot feelings on this record.  Maybe too many for my comfort.  McLaughlin’s first line says he doesn’t recognize himself in the mirror — oh boy.  Some cheese is gooey and really salty and some cheese is refined and restrained, this is that latter high end cheese.  This is the kind of music you hear as you stride to the bathroom to take a piss at a gas station or the kind of tune that might be featured in a movie trailer.  These are big screen feelings, woof!  I’m gonna peep one more song but I don’t see why it wouldn’t be a steady diet of high end feelings bangerz.  In this third tune Down In History he says he’s always going to come find me as he rocks a piano fusion vibe.  Don’t come find me, I’m cool.  Off last week’s All Music weekly email.

@@@  Slum Sociable: All Night (Liberation Music, 2015)  A half old school/half new school r&b single off the Beats highlights page.  Waves of tremolo guitar, some restrained piano, and a very good singer doing his thing over chill tinged drum beats.  A little electro synth pumping creeps in towards the end of the tune but it works well within the context of the song.

@@@ Charles Ellsworth: A Packed Suitcase (Not sure, 2015).  A literate roots, alt-country, folks mash single off an upcoming full length.  More than a dollop Cat Stevens to his voice but here he has a shuffling drummer and some guitar work behind him.  Production is pretty high — maybe a touch too much reverb on his voice for my taste, but otherwise ernest music.

You can stream it here.

YTD recordings listened to: 823
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 471
Not good music: 285

Honorable Mentions: 21
Buys: 13

Possibles: Chris McGregor, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Dave Arner Trio, 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, Richard Thompson, Jeremy Pinnell, Pat Thomas, Janelle Monae, The Alchemist, Luther Dickinson, Andra Day, Frog Eyes, Madd Again!, Fuck the Facts, Shannon and the Clams, Destruction Unit, Rim Kwaku Obeng, Graeme Barrett, Kowloon Walled City, Israel Nash

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