9/30/16: case/lang/veirs, Trentemoller, Mild High Club, Zedd

@@@ case/lang/veirs: case/lang/veirs (anti-, 2016).  an all female folk rock supergroup off this week’s CFUV weekly playlist email.  The vocal harmonies dominate in this opening track as one would expect.  The second tune Honey And Smoke is a K.D. Lang led tune — a love song with a peppy drum beat and classic cute background vocals.  The third tune is back towards the folk rock from the pop rock and I like this music well enough.  It’s not super emotional, it’s kinda light.  I only say that as sometimes the sheer volume of feelings in some records by female artists can be a bit off putting for me.  Because I’m dead inside.

@@@ Trentemoller: Fixion (In My Room, 2016).  Another record off this week’s CFUV weekly email.  This opener is a very serious art school 1980’s synth rock influenced mope bomb.  Big synth clouds over a thick pulsing bass and a dour female singer.  Half goth with no Cure bounce.  This second tune Never Fade is following the same formula and I need a fucking Red Bull, Imma snoozy.  Black nails, black lipstick, paper clips through ya earholes!  The third tune Sinus is a 15 minute opus about a sinus infection — wait, no.  All right I’m out, stay if you like.

@@@ Mild High Club: Skiptracing (Stones Throw, 2016)  California dream pop (with some funk thrown in at some point because this is out on Stones Throw) I got to via the CFUV weekly email.  The singer sounds a bit like one of the Bee Gees with a sinus infection — I like to tie my post together with annoying repetitive references.  Now that’s not a bad thing, it’s something to aspire to. Singing like you have a sinus infection is a rare skill.  Let’s peep more and see if the pop fades.  The second tune Homage starts a tad more disco/soft rock and now we’re getting a little more interesting swirl of influences here.  I’m postulating that there was some purple cough syrup while this record was getting tracked — it’s got a baked/high vibe to it.  Maybe just a lot of trees and then a swim in Drake’s big pool.  He’s got one in L.A. and it’s bigger than Dre’s.

@@@ Zedd: Ignite (Interscope, 2016).  A major label electro pop rock nugget off the Apple Music Hot Tracks section.  In this case they might mean hot as in hot air from somebody who just rocked a lot of garlic knots and Mountain Dew.  Oh, we’re going full head bob/disco biscuits and this sucks.  Big tension and drama in the verse and then the full EDM money shot in the chorus.  Wow, I would rather listen to dogs fornicate.  7 million hits on the Googletube for this stale fart, people love this shit!  Shame on you America.

YTD recordings listened to: 775
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 437
Not good music: 291

Buys: 15
Honorable Mentions: 12

Possibles: Chris McGregor, Dave Arner Trio, Zomby, Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, Slidhr, The Chewers, Toxic Holocaust, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Fofoulah, Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, Leviathan, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Janelle Monae, Luther Dickinson, Destruction Unit, Graeme Barrett, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Cavanaugh, Gentleman Surfer, Satoko Fuji, Mystic Braves, Divanhana, Unrestrained, Moken, Systema Solar, Brian Eno, Juan Atkins, Drone, Lantern, Twin Peaks, Djelimady Tounkara, Miramar, The Oh Sees, Denny Zeitlin, MILF, Joe Sticky, Unfun, De La Soul, Carl Sagan’s Skate Shoes, Neurosis

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9/29/16: Gallant, Common, Vermin Womb, Gwen Stefani & Justin Timberlake

@@@ Gwen Stefani & Justin Timberlake: What You Working With? Two of our society’s greatest white entertainers that have made millions repackaging black music culture for white folks.  And it’s on full display with Stefani’s street girl stance and Timberlake’s falsetto loverboy.  Complete with fat bass and a non-gangsta beat and it rains dollars and cents from the Micky Mouse crowd.  This tune is off a soundtrack for a movie called Trolls and I can think of no more appropriately title to be associated with these two black culture trolls!  Trolling for dollars, trolling for credibility, trolling for Disney!

@@@ Gallant: Ology (Warner, 2016)  Some alt r&b off the Apple Music Festival page at Apple Music.  Lord this Apple Music festival appears to be going forever.  This first tune is an early Prince-era loverboy falsetto tune without guitars.  The third tune, Shotgun, is an uplifting finger snapper/hand clapper (literally).  I like Gallant’s vocals but the synth-centric arrangments make me miss Prince.

@@@ Common (featuring Stevie Wonder): Black America Again ( , 2016).  A pretty rough anti-police brutality tune I got to via the Best of the Week section at Apple Music.  I’m more than a bit shocked that Stevie Wonder got involved with something like this as he’s been pretty saccharine for a long time.  The tune is basically Common on the mic over a straightforward piano chord progression and beats.

@@@ Vermin Womb: Permanence EP (Virgin Womb, 2016).  Some truly filthy, crusty ass heavy metal I saw name checked on Invisible Oranges, a big metal blog.   Tasty thrash drumming, cavemen on the mic and a punishing guitar grind.  This second tune Bitterness is just a multi-colored vomit spray of bad feelings.  Excellent work, these guys hold nothing back and leave no ugly stone unturned.  Check them out for a quick blast of anti- shiny, happy people bullshit.

YTD recordings listened to: 771
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 435
Not good music: 289

Buys: 15
Honorable Mentions: 12

Possibles: Chris McGregor, Dave Arner Trio, Zomby, Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, Slidhr, The Chewers, Toxic Holocaust, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Fofoulah, Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, Leviathan, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Janelle Monae, Luther Dickinson, Destruction Unit, Graeme Barrett, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Cavanaugh, Gentleman Surfer, Satoko Fuji, Mystic Braves, Divanhana, Unrestrained, Moken, Systema Solar, Brian Eno, Juan Atkins, Drone, Lantern, Twin Peaks, Djelimady Tounkara, Miramar, The Oh Sees, Denny Zeitlin, MILF, Joe Sticky, Unfun, De La Soul, Carl Sagan’s Skate Shoes, Neurosis

9/28/15: Bon Jovi, Alsarah & the Nubatones, Kedr Livansky, Appleby

@@@ Bon Jovi: Labor of Love (Island, 2016).  I know it might seem out of place but let’s be honest you can’t fuck with Bon Jovi.  These guys were one of the original chef’s of ’80s rock cheese sauce.  This tune seems to bite Bruce Springsteen with some almost country guitar washes in this heartfelt ballad about work and love.  All eyes are on Mr. Bon Jovi — if he needs some sugar he’ll get it from your lips.  Fuck I just got the shivers.  Baby this ain’t working, it’s a labor of love!  I can say the same about listening to this pure gold pouring out of my speakers.  The song is slowly building and I’m still holding out hope for a couple patented Bon Jovi whoa hos.  He wants to die hearing you say his name.  #moreshivers #puddleoflove.  Oh there are some restrained hoo whoas at the back end of this tune but I’ll live with it.  Bon Jovi rules!

@@@ Alsarah & The Nubatones: Ya Watan (Wonderwheel, 2016).  East African sounds via Brooklyn as I got to this via the WRIR weekly email.  It’s a slowish tune punctuated by sharp hand drumming, a female vocalist, and some electronic floaties sprinkled throughout the mix.  It’s a tad restrained for my taste but I dig the drumming.

@@@ Appleby: Glossy Ride (Lekker Collective, 2016).  A slow chopped salad of voices, a big bombastic beat, oh that was the intro it’s broken out into a mid tempo sad hip hop banger.  It’s not cough syrup weird, it’s more heartbroken.  It appears the song is about driving but if your driving speed matched the tempo of the track it would be a mellow ride.

@@@ Kedr Livansky: January Sun EP (2MR, 2016) Electronic music out of Russia.  To my ears this track recalls old school drum ‘n bass with some retro sounds plus a simple chord progression and some tripped out vocal sample sauce over the top.  It’s got a repetitive ascending vibe I dig.  It’s all right.  I’m finding the second track Destructive Cycles to be more sharply focused and interesting.

YTD recordings listened to: 767
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 432
Not good music: 288

Buys: 15
Honorable Mentions: 12

Possibles: Chris McGregor, Dave Arner Trio, Zomby, Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, Slidhr, The Chewers, Toxic Holocaust, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Fofoulah, Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, Leviathan, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Janelle Monae, Luther Dickinson, Destruction Unit, Graeme Barrett, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Cavanaugh, Gentleman Surfer, Satoko Fuji, Mystic Braves, Divanhana, Unrestrained, Moken, Systema Solar, Brian Eno, Juan Atkins, Drone, Lantern, Twin Peaks, Djelimady Tounkara, Miramar, The Oh Sees, Denny Zeitlin, MILF, Joe Sticky, Unfun, De La Soul, Carl Sagan’s Skate Shoes, Neurosis

9/27/16: Elage Diouf, The Breath, Warpaint, Spencer Ludwig

@@@ ELAGE DIOUF: Melokaane  (Pump Up The World, 2016) Some uplifting African music I got to via this week’s WRIR weekly email.  Diouf was born in Senegal and now lives in Quebec.  This first tune has elements of funk, African single line guitar playing, a horn section and a true world music flavor.  This first tune is about Nelson Mandela so it’s gonna be positive.  Let’s peep more.  I’ve listened to pieces of five tunes here and I would say if you are a fan of Peter Gabriel’s mash of world music but you want an African on the microphone this record will work for you.

@@@ The Breath: Carry Your Kin (Real World, 2016).  Here we have more world music off a WRIR weekly email from June.  The opener, Harvest, is slow with big production and an inward focused female singer.  This is some Tori Amos/Kate Bush/Sarah McClachlan sounding music with big reverbs and an orchestral feel to the arrangements.  This is signified as big, meaningful music — I’m not sure I experience it that way but if you’re into the epic female soft rock marinated in a stew of strong feelings you might dig this big time.

@@@ Warpaint: Heads Up (Rough Trade, 2016) Blurbed as gauzy post-punk I got to this record via this week’s All Music notable release email.  I get the angular minimalism of this tune, but I usually think of the term post-punk as code for kinda punky and I don’t hear that on the first track Whiteout.  The second tune By Your Side confirms that this is more of a stripped down krautrock take on 1980’s mainstream rock/pop bands that I can’t remember.  The band is tight and tough and I dig the vocals.

@@@ Spencer Ludwig: Diggy (Warner Bros, 2016).  Wow, Mr. Ludwig sounds a whole lot like Prince.  He’s trafficking in the same blend of funk and black music influences but unfortunately not at the same level Prince did.  This is big updated disco track with a big slather of trumpet sauce over the top.  Maybe a tad too much trumpet.  Pop music is a tough sell for me and I guess the genius of Prince was the guitar work he threaded through his music that gave it more muscle.

YTD recordings listened to: 763
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 430
Not good music: 286

Buys: 15
Honorable Mentions: 12

Possibles: Chris McGregor, Dave Arner Trio, Zomby, Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, Slidhr, The Chewers, Toxic Holocaust, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Fofoulah, Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, Leviathan, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Janelle Monae, Luther Dickinson, Destruction Unit, Graeme Barrett, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Cavanaugh, Gentleman Surfer, Satoko Fuji, Mystic Braves, Divanhana, Unrestrained, Moken, Systema Solar, Brian Eno, Juan Atkins, Drone, Lantern, Twin Peaks, Djelimady Tounkara, Miramar, The Oh Sees, Denny Zeitlin, MILF, Joe Sticky, Unfun, De La Soul, Carl Sagan’s Skate Shoes, Neurosis

9/26/16: Audiopush, The Weeknd, Shabaka Hutchings, Passenger

@@@ Audiopush: 90951 (Good Vibe Tribe, 2016).  Some West Coast ratchet, whatever that is.  I know Miley Cyrus was deep into marketing herself as ratchet, but she’s a low self esteem victim of Walt the Mouse so it’s unclear what ratchet may be.  I’m noticing how unfocused and scattershot this opening tune is.  Let’s peep more.  This second tune, Leftside, is more focused with a fat jeep bass and a higher quality rap.  I don’t know who sequenced this record but the third tune is the best of what I heard — what’s up with that lazy flapdoodle opening track?  I’ve attached the third tune, Control Us.

@@@ The Weeknd: Starboy (featuring Daft Punk) (Republic, 2016).  I don’t know what Daft Punk is performing in this song besides wearing those stupid sci-fi outfits but this is more than the first time I’ve peeped the Weeknd thought it overrated.  He sounds like a weird blend of Michael Jackson and Drake (who has a big ass pool).  Big electro production with old school beats and Weeknd’s loverboy falsetto.  This is the lead single off a late November full banger that I will probably not be checking out.

@@@ Shabaka and the Ancestors: Wisdom of Elders (Brownswood, 2016)  African jazz I got to via this week’s All Music notable release email.  This first tune Mzwandile is a slow cooked Afrobeat/straight jazz mash with a solid bass line and some space organ on top.  There is also a female singer.  I like the bass player a lot, the sax player less.  To my ears this seems to be a somber affair and I would like it more if it burned a little hotter and wasn’t quite so serious.

@@@ Passenger: Young as the Morning Old as the Sea (Nettwerk, 2016) Blurbed as ‘inviting folk’ on Apple Music I got to this record via this week’s All Music notable release email.  I like the singer’s voice and the production is slick and I don’t have a problem with the music per se but more the way this kiind of music is marketed as meaningful to shiny happy people.  They lyrics are jumbled folky wisdom presented in an epic folk rock context.  Let’s peep more.  I don’t think these particular confessional lyrics don’t work for me, they’re just a bit on the cliche side.

YTD recordings listened to: 759
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 428
Not good music: 284

Buys: 15
Honorable Mentions: 12

Possibles: Chris McGregor, Dave Arner Trio, Zomby, Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, Slidhr, The Chewers, Toxic Holocaust, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Fofoulah, Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, Leviathan, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Janelle Monae, Luther Dickinson, Destruction Unit, Graeme Barrett, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Cavanaugh, Gentleman Surfer, Satoko Fuji, Mystic Braves, Divanhana, Unrestrained, Moken, Systema Solar, Brian Eno, Juan Atkins, Drone, Lantern, Twin Peaks, Djelimady Tounkara, Miramar, The Oh Sees, Denny Zeitlin, MILF, Joe Sticky, Unfun, De La Soul, Carl Sagan’s Skate Shoes, Neurosis

9/25/16: Devendra Banhart, Forma, Avvolgere

@@@ Devendra Banhart: Ape in Pink Marble (Nonesuch, 2016).  ‘Surrealistic soft rock’ I got to via this week’s All Music notable release email.  This first tune Middle Names is acoustic guitar and Banhart, intimate and okay.  The second tune brings on the full band with more arpeggiated guitar, some minimalist bass and some electronic goodies sprinkled.  I don’t think I love these vocals.  I’m not a big soft rock and this is a king sized pillow slab of soft rock.  I’m not sure how much softer rock could get than this.

@@@ Forma: Physicalist (Kranky, 2016).  Experimental ambient music also off this week’s All Music notable release email.  We open up with the tune Collapse of Materialists, a really party banger!  Something to bend Miley Cyrus over to for sure.  After a little synth cloud intro it gets into a delicious spaceship arriving rumble.  And then a high synth ribbon and there’s some really nice interplay between the slow moving elements of this tune.  Awww, after that sweet abstract piece it’s into the video game pong synthesizers.  #disappointing.  The third tune continues the instrumental krautrock with a bit more bounce and I’m out like bell bottom jeans.  I’ve clipped the track I dug because I give I give I give.

@@@ True Widow: Avvolgere (Relapse Records, 2016)  Post rock off this week’s All Music notable release email.  From the cover for the video below I’m predicting these guys are gonna bring some art school heavy to the show.  Thus far my low IQ aim is true with this tune Back Shredder which sports an outstanding distorted bass sound, a trashy drum beat and some aloof, low in the mix vocals.  I’m really feeling the sludgy low end on this record, the dreamy grungy vocals not as much.

YTD recordings listened to: 755
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 426
Not good music: 282

Buys: 15
Honorable Mentions: 12

Possibles: Chris McGregor, Dave Arner Trio, Zomby, Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, Slidhr, The Chewers, Toxic Holocaust, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Fofoulah, Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, Leviathan, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Janelle Monae, Luther Dickinson, Destruction Unit, Graeme Barrett, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Cavanaugh, Gentleman Surfer, Satoko Fuji, Mystic Braves, Divanhana, Unrestrained, Moken, Systema Solar, Brian Eno, Juan Atkins, Drone, Lantern, Twin Peaks, Djelimady Tounkara, Miramar, The Oh Sees, Denny Zeitlin, MILF, Joe Sticky, Unfun, De La Soul, Carl Sagan’s Skate Shoes, Neurosis

9/23/16: Neurosis, Isis, Ludicra

@@@ Neurosis: Fires Within Fires (Neuron, 2016)  These guys have been in the metal game for a long ass time so you can raise the bar as far as expectations when you peep their records.  This first tune is a gloomy and more than a bit stony with a tasty ass drum sound and some slow epic riffage.  The tempo and energy pick up when the singer starts in and he’s more in the post-rock/hardcore neighborhood.  #unhappy #desperate This is definitely heavy music but not necessarily full on metal and this second tune reminds me of last year’s record Grievances by Kowloon Walled City.  Imma wing back on this and give it more ear when I have the time.

@@@ Isis: Panopticon (Ipecac, 2004).  No not the terrorist group.  This and the Neurosis record I found via the Apple Music editor’s playlists.  This tune is in the avant garde metal section and I guess that’s where they put the heavy music that’s not straight molten metal.  this tune has large swathes of dual guitar dueling arpeggios, more an indie flavor than a metal thing.  It’s a big thing, but if you’re up for a slab of grunge flavored heavy guitar jam action  well this will get yer weekend started proper.

@@@  Ludicra: The Tenant (Profound Lore, 2010).  Another track off the avant garde metal section.  Sporting an orc singer these guys are (again) more like a mainstream heavy rock band than a full meltdown spasm metal blowout.  It’s another almost 7 minute slab of double guitar action and it’s solid.  Not necessarily my favorite metal flavor but I’m here for the people.

YTD recordings listened to: 752
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 424
Not good music: 281

Buys: 14
Honorable Mentions: 12

Possibles: Chris McGregor, Dave Arner Trio, Zomby, Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, Slidhr, The Chewers, Toxic Holocaust, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Fofoulah, Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, Leviathan, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Janelle Monae, Luther Dickinson, Destruction Unit, Graeme Barrett, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Cavanaugh, Gentleman Surfer, Satoko Fuji, Mystic Braves, Divanhana, Unrestrained, Moken, Systema Solar, Brian Eno, Juan Atkins, Drone, Lantern, The Lickshots, Twin Peaks, Djelimady Tounkara, Miramar, The Oh Sees, Denny Zeitlin, MILF, Joe Sticky, Unfun, De La Soul, Carl Sagan’s Skate Shoes