Music for 2/28/18!!! Swoll, Ssion, Screaming Females, Bazzi

@@@ Swoll: You’ve Gone Away (Blight, 2018) I never thought ’80s sounds would return and last this long and it’s painful to hear. I think the lyrics are sad but the arrangement and the sounds are so cheerful and uplifting I’d like to hang myself. There are multiple tracks of vocals so I can’t exactly get to what he’s on about. I’m hearing Simple Minds and Tears for Fears and I can’t get with it. I get that musicians go wherever their hearts lead them but I don’t have to follow. Check it out.

@@@ Ssion: At Least the Sky is Blue (Cody Critcheloe, 2018) I got to this indie electronic pop single via a NYC event email. It’s opening slowly with a lot of ambient sounds before the singer comes in. After a bit of verse it straightens out into a straight pop song with lush vocals and a lot of other lushness going on. Mad ’80s flavors here if that’s how you roll. Oh the lushness of it is quite staggering — it’s a tune about being young and cruising around. There are a lot of micro sections in the tune which give it a lack of focus, but oy the lushness….you get the idea. Like the first tune I continue to be dumbfounded at the unjust recycling of cornball ’80s sounds.

@@@ Screaming Females: All at Once (Don Giovanni, 2018) A guitar rock record off last week’s All Music notable release email. Female singer, basher at the drumkit and more melodic breaks, at least in this first tune. The singer and her vibe is that of an exhausted middle aged person, not the punk energy of the young. The second tune pumps up the energy a bit and I like the guitar sounds here. She’s a very dramatic singer and somewhat different from what you would usually find in a band like this. No rrrrrriootttt grrrrrl so if you dig her then you’re probably going to feel this record. I’m agnostic. I appreciate the melodies she’s pumping out but I like a good rrrrrrrioooottttt grrrrrl.

@@@ Bazzi: Gone (N/A, 2018) Some mainstream pop of the Apple Music hot tracks section. Space age r&b with big ambient sounds over fat bass and skitter. The singer is all right but the tune kinda unfolded while I read my email and I don’t remember much being noteworthy about it. A lot of the mainstream pop music is about a sound or a flavor and this is no exception. Or it can be a hook that is just worn out like an old streetwalker. I like the combination myself and this is too short on hooks.

YTD recordings listened to: 112
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 60
Not good music: 51

Best: 1
Honorable Mentions: 3

Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, Slidhr, The Chewers, Toxic Holocaust, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, Leviathan, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Janelle Monae, Luther Dickinson, Graeme Barrett, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Cavanaugh, Gentleman Surfer, Satoko Fuji, Moken, Juan Atkins, Lantern, Twin Peaks, Djelimady Tounkara, The Oh Sees, Denny Zeitlin, MILF, Unfun, De La Soul, Carl Sagan’s Skate Shoes, Magrudergrind, A Tribe Called Quest, Noname, Gouge Away, Klara Lewis, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Oddisee, Forro in the Dark, RAM, Fiver, Dona Onete, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Priests, Propaganda, This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez, Integrity, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Irreversible Entanglements, Converge, Open Mike Eagle, Criolo, Billy Strings, Guy One

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Music for 2/27/18!!! Young Jesus, Odesza, S. Carey

@@@ Young Jesus: Self-titled (Saddle Creek, 2018)  I got to this guitar centered indie rock record via a music publicist email.  I love music publicists, they’re the best!  Anyway, if my schooling be correct Jesus died at age 33 which is pretty young.  So if you’re calling yourself Young Jesus Imma thinking you’re focusing on the 18-21 period of Jesus’ life.  When Jesus was out clubbing and doing molly, it was about that time no?  The singer here is pretty sober sounding so that changes the vibe of the band.  Let’s peep a bit more as this first one is almost 6 minutes long.  That’s a whole lotta young Jesus!  The second tune takes the tempo and the energy down to the dirge area.  Was young Jesus this much of a bummer?  It’s hard to tell — he was selling hope but it all ended in the crucifixion.  Well, not really, it began with the crucifixion and continued with the resurrection and that’s uplifting.  The second tune introduces the guitar distortion pedal.  I like the playing, it’s kinda dour, I don’t penalize for that but it’s not really my cup of decaf.

@@@ Odesza: Sun Models (Counter, 2017)   A mainstream electronic track I got to via big mouth music blogger Bob Lefsetz.  He says this track has 99 million streams on Spotify so that wins the peep.  The track passes without being particularly memorable — it’s medium funky, it’s got handclaps, an electronic marimba and it has some synth patches.  I find the processed vocal kibbles and bits to be annoying as they are repeated too much.  I can only think that this tune is much better when the listeners is high.  The handclaps are also annoying and cheesy.

@@@ S. Carey: Hundred Acres (Jagjaguwar, 2018)  I got to this indie folk record via last week’s All Music notable release email.  The first tune opens up with strummed acoustic guitar, a minimal melody and bittersweet multi-tracked vocals.  Wow, and a lot of reverb so I guess this is why it’s called indie folk as the production vibe is as important as the performance.  The second tune opens up with piano chords and a fast arpeggiated acoustic guitar part.  And the same vocal sound which I’m not a huge fan of.  It’s super intimate and super lush — I wish the playing stood out a bit more but this is indie music, it’s kinda conservative in order to appeal to the indie ‘hipsters’.

YTD recordings listened to: 111
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 59
Not good music: 48

Best: 1
Honorable Mentions: 3

Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, Slidhr, The Chewers, Toxic Holocaust, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, Leviathan, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Janelle Monae, Luther Dickinson, Graeme Barrett, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Cavanaugh, Gentleman Surfer, Satoko Fuji, Moken, Juan Atkins, Lantern, Twin Peaks, Djelimady Tounkara, The Oh Sees, Denny Zeitlin, MILF, Unfun, De La Soul, Carl Sagan’s Skate Shoes, Magrudergrind, A Tribe Called Quest, Noname, Gouge Away, Klara Lewis, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Oddisee, Forro in the Dark, RAM, Fiver, Dona Onete, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Priests, Propaganda, This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez, Integrity, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Irreversible Entanglements, Converge, Open Mike Eagle, Criolo, Billy Strings, Guy One

Music for 2/26/18!!! Thee Madkapp Courtship, Vibronics, Mitchell Tenpenny

@@@ Thee Madkapp Courtship: By Dawns Early Light (Founders of Filth, 2018)  A club record I got to via a radio dj playlist that I seen posted on the Twatter.  Love the Twatter!  This opens up medium funky and techno with super chill vocals.  Not quite Oxy, but not far.  Let’s peep more before I fall asleep.  These grooves are all right but it’s pretty standard business and I think you need to be mad high to enjoy this.  I’m sober right now and I’m thinking of taking a nappy.  I can see from the age of the videos on the GooglePimpTube that this is most likely a re-issue.  Also I started to feel the last part of the third song and could appreciate more the minimalist funk of the music.  I guess they’re standard grooves because they were fresh back in the day.

@@@ Vibronics and Michael Prophet: Give me Good Feelings (Scoops, 2017)  Some drum machine roots reggae I got to via the WRIR weekly playlist email.  It is a fine and fat bass he’s got going with some concious reggae melodies but the drum machine really changes the vibe.  It is a very brisk tempo so the drum machine is pumping hard.  Not really my cup of tea but check it for yourself.  I like my roots reggae dub smoked out and laidback.

@@@ Mitchell Tenpenny: Mitchel Tenpenny EP (Sony, 2018)  Regular readers know how much I love the new country.  The arena rock production, the stale guitars, the lyrics you can see coming down Broadway!  It’s the musical equivalent of McDonalds.  The opener is about his love of a great pickup he drove in high school.  And then a Bon Jovi guitar solo/cheesy shred….Let’s peep some more, I expect some cut off blue jean shorts and driving down a country road with the windows down (and then pulling over for some illicit gay sex behind the gas station!)  No way.  I won’t make it to that anthem, this second one is the torch song.  He’s been sober since you broke his heart!  God damn you for doin’ that to Mitchell, you bitch.  I should stay out of it.  The music is pretty bad — some U2 inspired guitar, some soaring melodies, some power chords, some awful lyrics.  I shoulda known.

YTD recordings listened to: 108
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 57
Not good music: 47

Best: 1
Honorable Mentions: 3

Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, Slidhr, The Chewers, Toxic Holocaust, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, Leviathan, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Janelle Monae, Luther Dickinson, Graeme Barrett, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Cavanaugh, Gentleman Surfer, Satoko Fuji, Moken, Juan Atkins, Lantern, Twin Peaks, Djelimady Tounkara, The Oh Sees, Denny Zeitlin, MILF, Unfun, De La Soul, Carl Sagan’s Skate Shoes, Magrudergrind, A Tribe Called Quest, Noname, Gouge Away, Klara Lewis, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Oddisee, Forro in the Dark, RAM, Fiver, Dona Onete, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Priests, Propaganda, This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez, Integrity, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Irreversible Entanglements, Converge, Open Mike Eagle, Criolo, Billy Strings, Guy One

My favorite hip hop track of ’17/2018 Honorable Mention Pick 3

J.I.D.: Never (Interscope, 2017)

I was checking out Jay Z’s tune ‘The Story of OJ’ and I was more than annoyed with his digression into how the Jews control credit and how bad ass his art collection is.  I really liked the arrangement of the Jay Z song but the rhymes were lame.  In my humble cracka opinion, this tune takes Jay Z out on a stretcher — incredible bounce on the microphone, smart lyrics and a really tight arrangement.  It’s J.I.D.’s rhymes that are the star of the show here.

How does Tim Cook survive as half man/half bullshit slinger?

From CNBC here:

Apple says it’s not in the music business to make money. Instead, its investments in the HomePod and Apple Music are aimed at “doing the right thing,” CEO Tim Cook said in an interview with Fast Company.

“You’re right, we’re not in it for the money. I think it’s important for artists. If we’re going to continue to have a great creative community, [artists] have to be funded,” Cook said in the interview published Wednesday.

This is breathtaking, the stench of it is absolutely revolting.

Apple is in the music game to sell hardware — Macs to musicians and studio owners, iPads to the same crew, etc.

The most revolting part is where Cook talks about how Apple is funding artists???  Yeah, what the fuck?  The great majority of artists making any money on Apple Music are already funded by their large record labels – your Biebers, your Drakes, your awful mainstream booty swingers.

The artists who need to be funded the most are the non-mainstream artists and for them Apple is a disease.  Apple does not fund them at all, they don’t give a flying fuck whatsoever.

To take some sort of goodie points for funding ‘artists’ that are already funded and then not acknowledging how Apple Music’s payment structure does not help to fund artists who need it the most is vomit inducing.

Music for 2/23/18!!! Janelle Monae, Flatbush Zombies, Logic

@@@ Janelle Monae: Make Me Feel (Bad Boy/WEA, 2018)  A pre-release single off the Apple Music hot tracks section.  I loved Janelle Monae’s single about police shootings and she’s getting a lot of press for her bisexuality.  I don’t really care what she does with her va-jay-jay or any other va-jay-jay but I do think she owes Prince’s estate for biting it hard.  His influence is all over this track — the guitar from Kiss, in the phrasing of some of the lyrics and the synth player definitely owns 1999.  I love funky music and I think I know the difference between an homage and a bite and to me this sounds like a bite that leaves teeth marks.  Stick with Hell You Tambout (posted below.)

@@@ Flatbush Zombies: Headstone (Glorious Dead, 2018)  Another pre-release black music single off the Apple Music hot tracks section.  The cover of this tune would lead you to believe this would he some hippie influenced hip hop but I don’t think that’s the case.  I dig the stick sound on the beat but the vocal hook is kinda week — here lies a n**** getting paper.  I’m a bit confused as to what that means.  I tipped out after the line ‘I smell pussy, let me count my guns.’  That sounds like some Trump ass shit, life’s too short.

@@@ Logic: 44 More (Def Jam/UMG, 2018) We’re gonna stick with the mainstream black music today.  Super Red Bulled rhyming on this track with standard themes — making a lot of money, excelling this rhyming game, and general outstandingness.  Duder is so worked up I can barely keep up.  I hear he’s blowing up like C4!  While the rhymes are super spat the music is pretty standard — skitter and fat ass, my two favorite super heroes.  Clicky hi hats and wide wide bass with some eerie synth kinda horror movie-ish holding it together.  I appreciate the energy but I prefer J.I.D.’s funky Never in a heartbeat.

YTD recordings listened to: 105
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 56
Not good music: 45

Best: 1 Continue reading

Music for 2/22/18!!! The Lumineers, Primal Rite, Todd Stewart, A$AP Rocky

@@@ The Lumineers: Angela (Dualtone, 2018) I got to this mainstream single from occasional big mouth music blogger honcho Bob Lefsetz.  Lefsetz is usually a sucker for the schmaltzy white people music and this is no exception.  The singer has a nice vocal melody going, but they Celine Dion his voice with the huge hall reverb patch.  Oy the cheese today, the cheese, what can be done with the cheese?  I fear the second half of the tune is going to fulfill the song’s mission — get the wheel of cheddar across the line into the end zone.  Here come the tom drums right on time.  And the piano!  And the hand claps!  You can put money on these sounds and you can see ’em coming down Broadway!  This is like eating at McDonald’s — same burger every fucking time, no variations allowed.  It’s a nice tune, the tune itself but the production is awful.

@@@ Primal Rite – Dirge Of Escapism (Revelation) Some heavy metal off this week’s CFUV playlist email.  It opens up with a gust of wind, and then a heartbeat, and then the crush.  C’mon, c’mon, there are some big power chords….some feedback and then monster stomp.  It’s a nice stomp though not the monster one I craved.  There’s a singer in the second tune and I like him — he sounds like he’s about to drive a car into a tree.  I’m not sure but I don’t hear any bass on this record — either it’s mixed so low or there isn’t a bass player.  It’s like a 3/4 full bucket of Kentucky, oh there he is but he’s got no whooomph.  If this had more bottom I would feel it.  The drummer is more of a mainstream hard rock kinda fella but he’s beating the fuck out of the kit and driving the bus hard.

@@@ Todd Stewart – Everything You Want (Americana, 2018). Some roots music off this week’s CFUV playlist email.  22 minutes of music on this EP and Stewart’s mainstream voice changes the vibe of the band which features a very hooky slide guitar player.  Shuffle beats, acoustic guitar and a standard guitar centered country band setup.  The first tune sports a loverboy vibe due to the smooth, multitrack vocal.  The third tune is a slow tear jerker and that slide player is the star of the record for me.

@@@ A$AP Rocky featuring Gucci Mane and 21 Savage: Cocky (RCA, 2018). An all star hip hop single I got to via the Apple Music hot tracks section.  I like the rhythmic flow of the MCs, and I like the beats, but the vocal hook is shit.  ‘Too fuckin’ cocky baby, I’m too fucking cocky’.  Just pass me the rock and watch me go…I almost made it to the end of the track but the vocal hook took me out of the game.

YTD recordings listened to: 102
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 56
Not good music: 42

Best: 1
Honorable Mentions: 2

Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, Slidhr, The Chewers, Toxic Holocaust, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, Leviathan, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Janelle Monae, Luther Dickinson, Graeme Barrett, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Cavanaugh, Gentleman Surfer, Satoko Fuji, Moken, Juan Atkins, Lantern, Twin Peaks, Djelimady Tounkara, The Oh Sees, Denny Zeitlin, MILF, Unfun, De La Soul, Carl Sagan’s Skate Shoes, Magrudergrind, A Tribe Called Quest, Noname, Gouge Away, Klara Lewis, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, J.I.D., Oddisee, Forro in the Dark, RAM, Fiver, Dona Onete, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Priests, Propaganda, This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez, Integrity, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Irreversible Entanglements, Converge, Open Mike Eagle, Criolo, Billy Strings, Guy One