11/30/15: Erykah Badu, Sunflower Bean, Givers, Randy Valentine

@@@ Erykah Badu: But You Can’t Use My Phone (Motown, 2015).  Some intimate, chill hippie hop I got to after seeing the single on Apple Music.  The sounds are ridiculous, I don’t love Andre’ 3000’s rhymes, and she bites a melody from back in the day.  Now I’m gonna head back to the beginning of the record as the single Hello is the last track on the record.  This first tune opens up trippy and I could use some beats.  I skipped ahead as it was boring.  The second tune opens up less trippy and more chill with some laid-back organ, simple strummed acoustic and a simple rimshot beat.  I like this track, the arrangement is stylish.

@@@ Sunflower Bean: Human Ceremony (Fat Possum, 2015).  A retro ’90s indie guitar tune off an upcoming full length platter.  Nice buzzy guitars in the chorus and a dreamy female at the center of the verses.  A variant on the classic coil in the verse and explode in the chorus made famous by Mr. Cobain.  It’s a nice hook but I’m feeling a little beat over the head with it.  You may be dying to be whipped around the neck and shoulders with this hook.  Off the Apple Music indie highlights section.

@@@ Givers: New Kingdom (Glassnote, 2015).  More indie cuz I just can’t get enough of the hipster white boys.  After a little electro intro we get into the second track Bermuda.  A lot of ’80s influences with big stacks of vocals over the top.  Big Peter Gabriel drum rolls, some Simple Minds and a lot of other ’80s band sprinkled up in heah.  The third tune picks up the tempo and I think they dusted off a mad old school drum machine for this record.   Not really my cup of tea and it’s off the Apple Music highlights.

@@@ Randy Valentine: Love Advocate (Maximum Sound, 2015).  A new reggae single off the Apple Music reggae section.  I’ve read there’s been a revival of roots reggae sounds and I hear some it going on here.  Tasty dub echoes, some pumping organ, and loverboy vocals.

YTD recordings listened to: 961
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 543
Not good music: 333

Honorable Mentions: 23
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, Lionel Loueke, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Noisem, Cavanaugh, Gentleman Surfer, Satoko Fuji, Tinariwen

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2015 Honorable Mention Pick 23

Dief-Dieul De Thies: Aw Sa Yone Vol. 1 (Teranga Beat, 2015).

8 tunes, 80 minutes.  You know you’re in for some extended African jams with this record.

Instrumentation is drums, hand percussion, guitars, bass, vocals, and saxophone.  I think that’s pretty much it.

I love the singing, I like the guitar playing but the phased/chorused tone isn’t my favorite guitar sound, and I wish the drums/percussion were higher in the mix.

But outside of that it’s pretty monster playing that’s both mellow and intense at the same time.

The tune clipped below, the sixth one on the record, is one of my favorites.

11/28/15: Danny L. Harle, Coldplay, Megadeth

@@@ Danny L. Harle: Broken Flowers EP (Sony, 2015).  Off the Apple Music hot tracks section.  One of the reasons you need to be stoned to listen to most of today’s electronic music is that they take a hook and they beat the fuck out of you with it and it’s not annoying when you’re really high.  The production here is pretty slick with plenty of sonic goodies, the sounds are pretty childish, and the songs are low IQ with standard EDM beats.

@@@ Coldplay: A Head Full of Dreams (Parlophone/Warner, 2015).  Coldplay has a new album out in about a week and thankfully they only have a couple of tracks up on Apple Music.  I prefer the company of ISIS terrorists to the music of Coldplay.  I’m peeping the first track up called Everglow and it’s lounge piano right out of the gate with a flaccid electro beat underneath.  And here comes the earnest wanker of a singer.  It’s not Chanukah but oy!  We just had pizza for dinner I don’t need any more cheese.  Somebody get me a razor so I can kill myself.  He’s really singing now with passion and I can imagine a street vendor squirting cheap mustard on a boiled hot dog.  Okay, let’s check out the next tune.  This one’s gonna be a rocker?  Buckle up, oh wait it’s a lukewarm tea to be sure.  It’s almost a disco tune, fuck me.  Coldplay doing disco, you can’t beat that with a fucking stick.

@@@ Megadeth: The Threat is Real (Universal, 2015).  Megadeth has a new single out that was commissioned by the military industrial complex.  I’ve never been a Megadether and I know the dude is a stark raving mad Republican, so fuck him.  The drums are more arena/hard rock, the guitars have a nice thick smack to them, but the vocals are kinda cheesy.  Ah, he just screamed the threat is real and I shit my pants!  Fuck, I didn’t know it’s real.  The guitar solos are kinda hype in a classic metal kinda way.  Freak out everybody, the threat is real!!!!

YTD recordings listened to: 957
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 541
Not good music: 331

Honorable Mentions: 23
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, Lionel Loueke, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Noisem, Cavanaugh, Gentleman Surfer, Satoko Fuji, Tinariwen

2015 Honorable Mention Pick 22

Israel Nash: Silver Season (Loose Music, 2015).

Mr. Nash does a pretty spot on Crosby, Stills and Nash and Young country hippie thing in the first tune, Willow.  That includes the fragile voice, the slow but firm tempo and the slide guitar.

The second tune keeps the slower pace but adds some nice wah guitar washes, but I don’t like the third tune as much.  The fourth tune, LA Lately has a percussive cinematic opening before settling into the same tempo.  It’s as nice as the first tune.

There’s a little string swell action in the fifth tune Lavendula and the record is very pretty with above average melodies and arrangements.   T’s also a very lonesome affair.  He definitely owns a lot of Neil Young records but the rocking that he does is a bit more restrained than the aforementioned Mr. Young

Check him out.

 

11/27/15: Marduk, Wolfheart, Danzig

@@@ Marduk: World Funeral (Century, 2014).  I say Black Friday should be changed to a celebration of heavy metal (black or otherwise) from a mindless orgy of shopping.  I got to this record from my heavy metal mail-order email and these gents bring it.  A spraying drummer with tasty thrash sensibilities and a power chord monster on the guitar.  The singer is suitably pissed and on the opener With Satan and Victorious Weapons these guys are on full tilt smegma right out of the gate.  The second tune, Bleached Bones, is more of a mid tempo shot with some big riffage and hard rock drums.   And as you would expect from a tune called Cloven Hoof, the Go Satan! tune is full on meth lab thrash/shred business.  A solid Black Friday metal choice.  The Beats page says this is a 2014 release and the GoogleTube has it at 2003.  Who knows?

@@@ Wolfheart: Shadow World (Spine Farm, 2015).  Some more metal off this week’s CFUV weekly playlist email.  They get a little piano going and then the animals show up.  The guitar player is rolling in distortion, the drummer is more of a basher than a sprayer and they got Neanderthal Jim on the microphone.  Wow, some really nice frantic guitar treedling on this first tune.  These guys can get a good hard rock thrash going, but the epic sections are a bit wanky.

@@@ Danzig: Skeletons (Nuclear Blast, 2015) I’ve never been a huge Danzig kinda guy, but I thought I would finish off this bullshit Black Fucking Friday with another heavy music recording because I’m looking for the people to turn Black Friday into a heavy metal holiday instead of a mindless orgy of shit buying.  This first tune is very old school punk so I’ve strayed out of the heavy metal neighborhood, but really who gives a fuck.  No Miley muffin today pop people!  At least the second tune is called Satan and it’s a white trash hippie blues.  Go Satan!  Go Danzig, you hardcore/metal Elvis bastard!

YTD recordings listened to: 954
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 541
Not good music: 328

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, Lionel Loueke, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Noisem, Cavanaugh, Gentleman Surfer, Satoko Fuji, Dieuf-Diehl De Thies, Tinariwen

11/26/15: Moody Good, Cloves

@@@  Moody Good: Musicbx (Owsla/Nest, 2015).  ‘Breathtaking’ music off the Beats highlights page.  After an medium extended chopped static/typewriter intro, I’m waiting and here we go into a more trippy pop/dubstep flow.  I believe there must be some sort of digital klusterfuck either on the Beats or in my head, let me switch to this other release, a single that is breathtaking.  Oh lord, this digital record collection concept has not been perfected yet.  This song Musicbx features Erica Allen Kane and it features the same aggro-funk style I caught in the other jam.  This is most definitely a technically tricked track with a super sophisticated arrangement but her over-breathing lends a false drama to the tune.  Also she’s too low in the mix.

@@@ Cloves: XIII (Interscope, 2015).  I hear a lot of major label epic r&b pop like this record I found on the Beats highlights page.  This first tune has a massive (I would say too way too big) reverb patch on the female voice as it skitters and epics is way over the resonant piano chords ringing out underneath.  Tres meaningful.  I could use a beat here.   The second song dispenses with the piano and takes up the minimally strummed electric guitar.  The singer has a fat tongue and her words sound weird.  This is a bit too dramatical for my tastes.  Take the reverb down, put some beats, get away from the epic production and get on with the songs.

YTD recordings listened to: 951
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 538
Not good music: 328

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, Lionel Loueke, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Noisem, Cavanaugh, Gentleman Surfer, Satoko Fuji, Dieuf-Diehl De Thies, Tinariwen

11/25/15: Tinariwen, Upset, Idiot Glee, Jutes

@@@ Tinariwen: Live in Paris (Anti-/Epitaph, 2015).  Though I haven’t been blown away by the last few records, a Tinariwen live record sounds like a really good idea.  The sound quality of the first track is high and the lack of studio polish brings their musicianship to the fore.  After a drum and vocal first piece the guitars come out.  Most excellent.  They take this second track slow and the circular guitar figures and the singing create a welcoming hypnotic state.  I urge you white boy indie hipsters to peep this record to see how guitars should be played.  Things are really starting to heat up on this third tune and Imma gonna swing back on this record. This is looking like it’s going on one of my best of 2015 lists.

@@@ Upset: Away (Lauren, 2015).  Some super retro-90s femme guitar indie.  Medium crunchy guitars, sweetness over the top, some bread and butter guitar solos.  Slack, slack, slack for the holidays.

@@@ Idiot Glee: I Don’t Feel Right (Hop Hop Records, 2015).  A single off an upcoming January full length blaster.  Opens with a big straight beat, a little mesmerizing organ in the back, and winsome vocals.  It opens up with some sonic twinkles and layers of background vocals.  If you don’t like the singer’s mope-esque voice you’re probably not gonna feel the orchestral arrangement.

@@@ Jutes: Coming Soon (Not sure, 2015).  The music pr email says this is a hip hop tune but it opens up all strum-dee drum.  Oh, there it is after the sung intro.  He’s barely in the hip hop neighborhood with the beat but he’s gotta a pretty white boy mash going on here.  A vocal hook, Babe I’m Coming Soon (get a tissue!), some purdy acoustic guitar and some power chord guitars in the background.  This dude makes Drake look like Chocolate Thunder.

YTD recordings listened to: 949
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 536
Not good music: 328

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, Lionel Loueke, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Noisem, Cavanaugh, Gentleman Surfer, Satoko Fuji, Dieuf-Diehl De Thies, Tinariwen