1/11/16: Zun Zun Egui, James McMurtry, Aidan Moffat/Bill Wells, Painted Shut

@@@ Zun Zun Egui: Shackles (Bella Union, 2015).  I caught this record on the top 10o of 2015 over here.  I gotta Duck Duck Go these cats as they’re trafficking in world music but I’m not sure form where it comes.  They’re from the UK and it’s a mash of funky New Wave synth rock with some ’80s rock and some club action.  It’s a thick stew of cheesy sounds, so if you enjoy cheesy pop sounds you’ll shit yourself over this outfit.  The second song, African Tree, is more of a rocker.  A medium soft butter rocker, but kinda rocking nonetheless.  I don’t see why this record made the top 100 on anybody’s list, it kinda stinks.  If the lead singer of Duran Duran had a kid with a gay version of himself it would sound like this.

@@@ James McMurtry: Complicated Game (Complicated Game, 2015).  An Americana record off the same end of year list.  This first tune is pretty sweet, with a slow descending chord progression with some pretty but not ostentatious arpeggiated acoustic guitar.  McMurtry’s voice is pretty straight ahead.  I hope the record continues in the same vein.  He’s working a John Prine working class folks vibe and he does it all right.  I’m sure the earnest and unironic nature of roots/Americana music makes hipsters feel uncomfortable, but Imma gonna swing back on this record.

@@@ Aidan Moffat & Bill Wells: The Most Important Place in the World (Chemical Underground, 2015).  Also off the same list as the other two records above.  This record is described as a folk record on the list I been rocking, but to my ears this almost rock opera territory.  The first piece opens up with a serious spoken word section, oh now it’s back, oy.  The second tune opens up with piano and the same overly literate male singer.  I’m not sure what to make of this music.  It’s a bit too dramatic for my taste, but if you’re up for some serious and cinematic quasi-spokenword music maybe folks will get into it.  Points for getting out there even though it’s not my style.

@@@ Hop Along: Painted Shut (Saddle Creek, 2015).  Also off this album of the year list I been chewing through.  I’m not sure if I’ve connected with any records put out by Saddle Creek — it’s quite a Caucasian kinda imprint.  This first tune is standard old school guitar indie with an overwrought female singer.  The second tune has a tambourine, and some plinky rhythm guitar to go with the straight rock guitars.  This is perfect coffee shop rock for middle America.

YTD recordings listened to: 36
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 23
Not good music: 12

Honorable Mentions: 1
Buys: 0

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, T.O.M.B., Fofoulah, Lozen, Erase Errata, Dawn Richard, Leo Welch, Mastery, Leviathan, Xibalba, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Akitsa,  Janelle Monae, Luther Dickinson, Destruction Unit, Graeme Barrett, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Cavanaugh, Gentleman Surfer, Satoko Fuji, Mystic Braves, Reverend Peyton, James McMurtry

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