10/31/16: Born Dirty, Emeli Sand, Owiny Sigoma Band, Lamb of God

@@@ Born Dirty: Don’t Step Get it (feat. Kid Sister)  Half retro, half futuristic booty anthem I got to via the hot tracks section of Apple Music.  Some awful high end R2D2 blurps and chirps, some unt-sss techno, and a early 90’s flavor.  I think the Star Wars bleeps are more entertaining than the rhymes. C+

@@@ Emeli Sande: Breathing Underwater (Virgin, 2016).  I think if you name your hot track Breathing Underwater and the first line is ‘I believe in miracles’ you are tempting not-down-with-the-program music bloggers to say that could be a useful skill because I’m drowning in the syrup of this song and I’d like to be able to breathe in this sea of cheese.  Keep your chin up little people out there because this is some inspirational shit for you to keep a hold on?  I don’t think so yo.  The chorus/vocal hook is pretty high on the nonsense meter.  Something like flying, it’s hard to describe it, My God, I’m breathing underwater.  File this under what the fuck?

@@@ Owiny Sigoma Band: (Nairobi) Too Hot (Brownswood, 2015)  When African electro funk-a-teer Owiny Sigoma writes a tune saying (Nairobi) Too Hot, he ain’t playing.  This is off of last year’s record, I recognized and shit as soon as I peeped it, but it sounds remixed for maximum trippiness.  A pert vocal hook with a machine gun sample and some hallucinatory guitar work.  I clicked on this song after looking for new KutiMangoes record because I want to suggest that the KutiMangoes go on the road with a band called the Cuchifritos and that would be a great marketing spin.  Yep, more nonsense.

@@@ Lamb of God: The Duke (Epic, 2016).  A mainstream metal single off the Apple Music A-List metal playlist.  Oh boy, bad lyrics alert.  I’m not sure what to do here.  The music is pretty standard with pumping guitars and big arena drums but lyrics are a bag of ass.  I don’t like bullshit philosophical metal lyrics, I just want the big sonic beatdown.  This should not be the #1 metal song on this playlist.

YTD recordings listened to: 858
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 480
Not good music: 322

Buys: 15
Honorable Mentions: 14

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, Magrudergrind, Solange, Acid Arab, Xylouris White, Vadou Game, Michael Wollny/Vincent Peirani, Kadhja Bonet

Chesney’s PR people had to pay up for that yo!

The top of the front page of Apple Music has a visual banner that usually has graphics for up to ten different records.

This morning I logged on to do my daily listening for my righteous blog and every graphic panel was about Kenny Chesney’s new record.

Regular readers know I’m not a super mainstream listener but I’ve peeped Cheney’s new record and it’s awful.  Really highly polished bullshit.

Do you think other PR people and music label people appreciated getting bumped for the giant Chesney biscuit that’s gonna be up there all day?

I don’t think so and Imma guessing some sort of payment of some type had to have been made to make this happen.

10/28/16: Night Gym, Jo Passed, The Shins, Charlie XCX

@@@ Night Gym: Minimal Violence EP (1080P, 2016).  Some electronica off this week’s CFUV weekly email.  I’m not sure if a singer will be making his/her appearance but this first track aspires to be more than your typical unt-tss techno.  Kick back, it’s going to be minimally violent, like Obama’s presidency.  Now we have a half robot vocal sample and some blanket synths and it’s all right.  Solid B.  Let’s peep more.  I like this second track, Girl Talk, better but it has moved from what might have been an abstract electronic record towards an off kilter dance floor mama.  Four songs in, this is a pleasantly abrasive techno jam.

@@@ Jo Passed: Out EP (Golden, 2016).  Some fuzzy yet to be determined type of rock that I got to via the CFUV weekly email.  Engaging guitar work gives way to that detached rock singer flow which I’m not a huge fan of.  I don’t get why a band is building up energy and then a mope hits the mic, it makes no sense to me.  Lose your shit, shit your diaper, entertain me, what am I here for?.  I really like the band playing thus far on this disc and while the singer is better in this second song, it’s not working for me.  Your mileage may vary.

@@@ The Shins: Dead Alive (Columbia, 2016)  A major label pop glam track also off the Apple Music ‘hot tracks’ section.  T-Rex bumptious rock beat, strummed acoustic guitar and a slack, reverbed singer.  It’s a nice vocal melody and a nice organ break but the singer sounds so far away.  Catchy, medium energy rock single, come and get it!

@@@ Charlie XCX: Afterparty (Warner, 2016).  I’m peeping this track because Lil’ Yachty is on this track but Charlie XCX is pretty awful.  She’s going for a full on electro dance floor banger but the sing-a-long tracks are cheesy and she sounds 8 years old.  Lil’ Yachty has a decent rap but I regret having sent a fraction of a penny Charlie XCX’s way.  Off the Apple hot tracks.

YTD recordings listened to: 854
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 478
Not good music: 320

Buys: 15
Honorable Mentions: 14

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, Magrudergrind, Solange, Acid Arab, Xylouris White, Vadou Game, Michael Wollny/Vincent Peirani, Kadhja Bonet

10/27/16: Square One, TKAY, Quin, Animals as Leaders

@@@ TKAY: Simulation (Downtown/Interscope, 2016). Off the Apple Music hot tracks section and she’s going straight for the electro pop dance floor jam.  She’s stuck in a simulation (that’s the vocal hook) and I have no clue what that means.  Did anyone out there read about this theory going around in Silicon Valley that human civilization is a computer created simulation?  Them nerds need a smackdown yo.  She’s got some decent flow on the mic, I don’t like the handclaps, and overall it sounds to me like a white people’s wedding song.  Bouncy, light as a feather with a couple crumbs of stupid for good measure.  Liquor will help with the enjoyment of this song.  And I resisted the urge to say I’m stuck in a song called Simulation.  Kinda.

@@@ Square One: In Motion (Square One, 2016).  Some straight jazz featuring piano and guitar that I got to via the London Jazz blog.  I like the guitar player’s tone, I’m not super feeling the piano player and the drummer is active.  Let’s peep a little more.  If you’re looking for a super clean jazz record with mannered playing, well here ya go!

@@@ Animals as Leaders: The Madness of Many (Sumerian Records, 2016).  Three songs off an upcoming full length that I saw on the Apple Music metal section.  Very rhythmically interesting track here with a bizarre, distorted bass sound, some high end midtempo guitar shredding.  It’s basically a metal prog tune and it’s all right — they’re working pretty hard and throwing off some off kilter energy.  Oh wow, they’re kind of going into a jazz fusion section, that’s pretty interesting.  This is not my favorite type of music but I always give respect to musicians that get out there and play unexpected sounds.  The second preview tune opens up with nylon string guitar and they’re going into a pretty and more muscular fusion sound.  You go Animals as Leaders, a heavy update to the old school Yes sound.

@@@ Quin: Math (Quin, 2016) Electro soul off the hot tracks section of Apple Music.  A fat hip hop bass, laidback beats, major swirling action and delayed trippy female vocals.  I really like the swirling sounds, but her vocals are a bit affected.  This single (not clipped below, I couldn’t find it and shit) off a full length bag of bangers.

YTD recordings listened to: 850
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 476
Not good music: 318

Buys: 15
Honorable Mentions: 14

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, Magrudergrind, Solange, Acid Arab, Xylouris White, Vadou Game, Michael Wollny/Vincent Peirani, Kadhja Bonet

10/26/16: Tanya Tagaq, Super Unison, Jenny Hval, Emma Ruth Rundle

@@@ Tanya Tagaq: Retribution (Six shooter, 2016).  I saw this record on this week’s CFUV weekly playlist email and I’m not sure what it’s going to be.  Let me Duckduckgo this artist.  I’m glad I did as Tagaq is a Canadian throat singer and I never would have guessed that.  The instrumental backing is dark and sparse with some hand drumming and a fair amount of delays on various sounds.  This second tune Retribution is hype — an electro arrangement and some trippy vocals.  I don’t love the spoken word section in the middle but overall this is some pretty dark and trippy music.  If you haven’t heard throat singing before you should check this out.

@@@ Super Unison: Auto (Deathwish Inc, 2016).  I try to check out Deathwish records as I’ve found quality music there before and this record is on this week’s CFUV weekly email.  Oh yeah, female singer losing her shit on the microphone, you can’t beat that with a stick.  Dual guitar attack and some high end splayed drum work.  I’m on the third tune, Losing You, and they are throwing a high quality shitty.  Imma have to swing back on this record for the full monty when I get a chance — excellent guitar work, solid drumming, and a really good singer.

@@@ Jenny Hval: Blood Bitch (Sacred Bones, 2016)  Keeping the clam bake going over heah and I also got to this record via the CFUV weekly playlist email.  The first tune is mostly a dark ambient haze and some spoken words and it’s just a little nibble on a cracker.  A shorty in other words.  The second tune opens up with a dreamy reverbed vocal and a bunch of delayed instruments pulsing.  I’m not super into this but let’s check one more.  If you like art school ambient rock then this will do you fine.

@@@ Emma Ruth Rundle: Marked for Death (Sargent House, 2016).  Some more downer femme rock off the CFUV weekly email.  It’s an all female listening session today – grrrrl power.  This first tune is doom indie with some thunderous low end, distant guitar and plaintive vocals.  There’s a big stormy guitar shred in the middle part of the song.  Let’s peep more.  This is an interesting sounding record — a little bit like a Daniel Lanois produced Emmylou Harris record but P.J. Harvey darker.  This is not exactly my cup of tea but I can see a segment of folks getting into this record, so check it out if you’re up for some pretty gloom.

YTD recordings listened to: 846
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 473
Not good music: 317

Buys: 15
Honorable Mentions: 14

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, Magrudergrind, Solange, Acid Arab, Xylouris White, Vadou Game, Michael Wollny/Vincent Peirani, Kadhja Bonet

10/25/16: Jack Savoretti, Eminem, Roy Montgomery, Crocodiles

@@@ Jack Savoretti: Sleep No More (BMG Rights, 2016)  A poet turned folk star. I got to this record via the Apple Music front page.  I can see why he gave up poetry because his lyrics are horribly cliche and predictable — Jon Bon Jovi writes better lyrics and Bon Jovi is on his hair more than he is on his lyric pad.  I just wish he had given up poetry and taken up another profession like pouring concrete, HVAC installer, something where he works with his hands and I don’t have to listen to his music.  If you want to listen to a poet that makes music check out Leonard Cohen — you might want to hang yourself afterwards but he’s real.  Savoretti might also try porn, he’s hot and he might make some headway there.

@@@ Eminem: Campaign Speech (Aftermath, 2016).  Eminem has an 8 minute tune called Campaign Speech two weeks before an election and while I thought it was funny to say somehow it will end up come around to beating women he spits some nasty anti-women shit not long into it.  It’s much more a spoken word piece than a rap tune – minimalist arrangement, extremely light on beats, just Eminem spewing venom.  He made an early anti-woman sentiment, then he set it aside and now he’s back on that.  To be fair he’s hating on a lot of people here, a lot.  It’s vaguely political and Eminem appears quite enamored by penises and things that go with them and despite my fear that he’s about to pop a clot right on the mic Eminem can still rhyme hard and nobody goes undenounced in this 8 minute non-banger.  The last line ‘why am I such a dick?’ is a worthwhile question.  He gets points for introspection.

@@@ Roy Montgomery: RMHQ Headquarters (Grapefruit, 2016).  A just shy of 3 hours record that I got via this week’s All Music notable release email.  It’s a downer indie first tune with Montgomery’s low voice and strummed clean electric guitar, and some ambient goodies for your earholes.  Tres Leonard Cohen, who has a new album out that I haven’t heard.  Let’s peep more.  The second tune, Dear Future Loser, is mopey right out of the gate so this is gonna be a long ass three hours if you make the full ride.  I can either hang myself or hang around this record but I don’t think I can hang with this record without hiding the rope.  Oh lord, get your big ol’ bummer pants on and get out the oxycodone.

@@@ Crocodiles: Dreamless (Zoo Music, 2016).  Calling all Cure fans to this record I got to via this week’s All Music notable release email.  Strum-dee-dum acoustic guitar with synth melodies woven in and a singer that is half mope.  The second tune, Maximum Penetration (are we doing phrasing here?) moves a bit into the quirky indie neighborhood a la The Coral.  Let’s peep one more to get a clear idea of what these guys are about.  The third tune, Welcome to Hell, is a white boy ’80s funk tune in the vein of INXS so this is gonna be a poo poo platter of ’80s sounds.

YTD recordings listened to: 842
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 470
Not good music: 316

Buys: 15
Honorable Mentions: 14

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, Magrudergrind, Solange, Acid Arab, Xylouris White, Vadou Game, Michael Wollny/Vincent Peirani, Kadhja Bonet

10/24/16: Sho Barraka, Kadhja Bonet, The Radio Dept., Big Baby D.R.A.M.

@@@ Sho Barraka: The Narrative (Humble Beast, 2016).  I would put Christian hip hop in the left field hip hop dropbox.  It surely is concious hip hop with the religious element not visible in this first tune.  The instrumentation and playing is pretty mellow and laidback and Barraka’s flow on the microphone is precise and the his voice is pleasantly sharp.  The second tune is uptempo with a James Brown black power funk arrangement.  Not surprising as the tune is called Soul, 1971.  I’ve peeped three tunes and this is an uplifting and funky listen.

@@@ Kadhja Bonet: The Visitor (Fat Possum, 2016).  Blurbed as an alternative folk record on this week’s All Music notable release email Apple Music has this record blurbed as a sort of soul/folk mash flavor pack with elements of jazz and r&b.  For sure Ms. Bonet has been blessed with a gorgeous voice and on this second tune, Honeycomb, I most definitely hear the old school soul sounds.  String swells, a really nice drum sound and mellow instrumentation.  Due to Bonet’s voice and the playing there is a super meticulous vibe to this record –usually I’m not a big fan of that but to my ears she’s singing from her heart.  I’m a bit surprised a record like this would appear on Fat Possum which usually traffics in white boy blues/noise/punk/indie and I think it’s a disservice slapping a folk label on this record.  It’s an out soul record to me and Imma swing back on this when I have more time.

@@@ The Radio Dept.: Running out of Love (Labrador, 2016).  Mainstream pop rock off this week’s All Music weekly email.  It’s not a rock guitar record but the synths do sound a bit like guitars and the feeling is rock brisk not fully electro.  My main problem is dude’s voice — it’s kind of mopey and dour.  Not a fully flat bike tire but definitely deflated.  Meticulous production, everything in its place but not an overabundance of soul going on here.  Groomed like a Nordic ski trail.

@@@ Big Baby D.R.A.M.: WiFi (Empire/Atlantic, 2016)  I was pretty into Big Baby’s summer jam Broccoli — yet another slang for smoking the weed and whatnot.  This tune is  a love song, slow with a nice guitar sample and I’m thinking this is Big Baby on the mic.  Erykah Badu has a guest appearance and she’s all sultry and whatnot about her WiFi connection.  No strings attached, we’re still connected, no strings attached, we’re still connected — that’s a pretty smart and funny lyric for a tune called WiFi.  I like Big Baby D.R.A.M. (that stands for Does Real Ass Music) and I’m gonna have to swing back and check the whole record.  And you gotta check that tune Broccoli.

YTD recordings listened to: 838
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 468
Not good music: 314

Buys: 15
Honorable Mentions: 14

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, Magrudergrind, Solange, Acid Arab, Xylouris White, Vadou Game, Michael Wollny/Vincent Peirani, Kadhja Bonet