Music for 4/30/28!!! Baloji, Garotas Suecas, Andy Mineo, LIMBS

@@@ Baloji: 137 Kaniama (Bella Union, 2018). Off this week’s WRIR playlist email.  Some Congotronic African music via Belgium.  This first tune emphasizes complex vocal arrangements over the grit of Konono No. 1 distorted thumb piano and a generally more driving sound.  The second tune dabbles in the sweeter side of African music with an updated high life sound.  I like it all right but I prefer funk over sweetness in my African music.  It’s also a bit too shiny in the production for my taste.

@@@ Garotas Suecas: Futuro Do Preterito (Vampisoul, 2018). A Brazilian funk outfit I got to via the WRIR weekly playlist email.  It’s an old school funk outing with an emphasis on instruments and not on electronic sounds.  I like the guitar playing and hand drumming as one would expect from a rhythmic powerhouse society such as Brazil.

@@@ Andy Mineo: I the Arrow (Reach/Miner League, 2018)   Some hip hop off the Apple Music hot tracks section.  This first tune opens up with a sung old school vibe though the record is slotted as a hip hop thing.  Ah, there’s the MC and he’s all right.  The arrangements are an interesting combination of organic and glitched up sounds.  I like the sounds a whole bunch and went to All Music to see what’s up with this MC to see that he’s a Christian rapper.  Propaganda is about as much Christian hip hop I can take.

@@@ LIMBS: Father’s Son (UNFD, 2018).  A post hardcore outfit I got to via the Apple Music genre pages.  After a sort of epic first tune, they get into some art school post metallic post hardcore.  The singer is melodic and at the end of his rope which lessens the roughness of the tunes.  On the whole it’s an energetic outfit but it comes off a bit lightweight compared the heaviness of Pig Destroyer or early Converge.  Everything sounds good, I guess I’m tilted a bit against the singer.

YTD recordings listened to: 231
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 122
Not good music: 101

Best: 4
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, 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, Flowers of Sulphur, Tal National, Portal, Hernan Sama & Marcelo von Schultz

Advertisements

Music for 4/28/18!!! Jennifer Lopez, Dierks Bentley

@@@ Jennifer Lopez: El Anillo (Sony, 2018)  I have not heard a Jennifer Lopez tune in ages.  I’m more than a bit shocked at the freshness of the sounds here.  It is a blend of Spanish language lyrics, Latin percussion rhythms and electronic sounds.  Lopez does a good job at not oversinging and bringing lady funk to the tune.  She’s not particularly feminine in her vocal style which is also a bit surprising.  There is a small part of the tune where the vocal melody becomes more romantic but it is sandwiched by tough dancefloor sounds on either side.

@@@ Dierks Bentley: Living (Capitol Nashville, 2018) A pre-release new country single off the Apple Music hot tracks seciton.  Regular readers know how much I love new country music with its arena music production and it’s piquant lyrical blend that consists mostly of corn and cheese.  Now I like corn and cheese as much as the next guy but I like it when I go out for Mexican.  This is a tune about being grateful for your life and I’m down with that except these are third grader lyrics and should come with a baby food spoon and a Disney cap.  Some days you’re living, that’s the big vocal hook.  Oy.

YTD recordings listened to: 231
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 122
Not good music: 101

Best: 4
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, 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, Flowers of Sulphur, Tal National, Portal, Hernan Sama & Marcelo von Schultz

2018 Honorable Mention Pick 2

Benjamin Booker: Witness (ATO, 2017)

This is a really good album for cubicle dwellers.  Nothing particularly surprising in the sounds and the lyrics but it’s a fresh blend of sounds.  The first tune, Right on You, is my favorite tune on the record (clipped below) so though while the rest of the album unfolds at a less rocking tempo it is the best showcase of Booker’s guitar playing and his raspy voice.

There is some politics in here but not overtly so, it’s mostly a collection of blues inflected rock with updated indie sounds.

I’m a big fan of mixtures of African-American musical influences and white people music and Booker does a really good job blending the two into his own thing.

Music for 4/27/18!!! J. Cole, Sugarland, Father John Misty, Wiz Khalifa

@@@ J. Cole: ATM (Roc Nation, 2018). A hot track at Apple Music that once it gets past the vocal intro gets into full twitchy hi hats and fat bass.  It appears to be an anthem to having a lot of money.  Just as Yeezy flirts with our orange haired piece of shit President, Mr. Cole’s anthem would be right at home on at Fox News.  Count it up!!!  Count it up bitches!!!! He’s got a Rolodex, a bill counting machine sample in the tune and a generally regressive ‘tude towards the issue of cake.   Cole is impressive on the mic but the lyrics are super stupid.  Overall about as inspiring as the water in Flint Michigan.

@@@ Sugarland: Babe (N/A, 2018). I’m peeping this cuz it features Tay Tay Swift.  Regular readers know how much I adore the Ice Queen Swift.  It is a breakup song and that’s right in Swift’s wheelhouse.  Big guitars in the chorus, lots of vocals and arena rock production.  There’s a line in there about how we’re not going get through this and that’s true of me and this song.  Woof.

@@@ Father John Misty: Disappointing Diamonds are the Rarest of them all (Sub Pop, 2018). People love the Father John Misty.  I’m not one of those people but I do peep the joys of others.  This is a celebration of ‘70s classic rock with strong John Lennon/George Harrison/ELO vibes.  The vocal melody sounds like a lot of work with piano, straight rock drums, and familiar guitar work.  I could use a surprising sound or two sprinkled on this late ‘70s/early ‘80s rock business.  Gimme something, I don’t ask for much.

@@@ Wiz Khalifa:  420 Freestyle (   , 2018)  I like Wiz though I’m concerned his brain is gonna turn into a cannabis soaked mush.  He’s a little rough but not overly so, he’s chasing paper, but most of all he’s smoking mad weed.  I like the vocal sample in the arrangement but it could use a little more to keep my interest.  He just claimed he’s made a 100 million and ready for another 100.  I doubt that Wiz but whatevs.  If he’s gonna get another 100 million, he’s got to focus a bit more.  Put the vape machine down and get it tight.  Somebody owed somebody a favor to get this tune into the Apple hot tracks.  Bigly

YTD recordings listened to: 229
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 121
Not good music: 100

Best: 4
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, 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, Flowers of Sulphur, Tal National, Portal, Hernan Sama & Marcelo von Schultz

Music for 4/26/18!!! Bruce Forman, YUZIMA, FRIGS, Visigoth

@@@ Bruce Forman: Junkyard Duo (Self-released, 2018)  I got to this mash of old time-y jazz guitar playing and drums via a music publicist in the Chicago area.  It’s not exclusively old school guitar playing as evidenced by the lyrical playing on the third tune, Objection of Infection.  The drums/percussion tracks tend to be reverbed in a larger room.  The vibe of the session is loose but far from half assed while the tunes tend to be on the shorter side of and skip around to keep the listener engaged.  I find the majority of jazz guitar players to be quite boring but these guys keep it moving.

@@@ YUZIMA: Black Supremacy (N/A, 2018)  I got to this track via the music blog Indiepulse.  I’m not sure what I expected but it’s not what you would expect from a track titled thusly.  It’s got an industrial dance feel to it with a funky feel but but the singer is also very processed and nested in buzzy as shit mix.  A little over halfway through the track switches to an undistorted mix with a simple drum beat and some acoustic guitar track.  It’s a dance track but an uncommon one.

@@@ FRIGS: Basic Behavior (Arts & Crafts, 2018) #1 out at CFUV in Vancouver.  The first tune opens up slow and heavy with a purple dranked female singer.  I expect a shitstorm of guitars presently.  I find myself listening to the guitar player a whole bunch, I appreciate his/her angular playing.  The second tune is more indie but I’m on the third track and it’s back to the slow, epic doom rock but not metal thing.  I hear pubes of FLTR, Jane’s Addiction, Stone Temple Knuckleheads, etc.  Smells like dark music for dark times to me.

@@@ Visigoth: Conquerer’s Oath (Metal Blade, 2018)  Also on the charts at CFUV.  Mount ye white stallion and head out to battle with this classic metal record!  When white men fought the heathens and the good fight, wait that’s supposedly still happening but it just looks like aimless slaughter.  The second tune, Warrior Queen, is everything you would hope it to be.  It is epic with huge vocal chorus shout outs, big guitar riffage and I would imagine some cucumbers placed strategically in the band’s leather pants before they head out onto stage for a show.  Yowsa!

YTD recordings listened to: 225
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 119
Not good music: 98

Best: 4
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, 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, Flowers of Sulphur, Tal National, Portal, Hernan Sama & Marcelo von Schultz

Music for 4/25/18!!! The Tallest Man on Earth, Lazyeyes, Hernan Sama/Marcelo von Schultz, Slug

@@@ The Tallest Man on Earth: Somewhere in the Mountains, Somewhere in New York (AWAL, 2018)  I’ve checked out Mr. Tallest Man on Earth before and I really enjoy the tone of his voice.  I’m not sure why this GooglePimpTube video is 10:24 while the tune on Apple music is just over 4:30.  It’s standard Mr. Earth with strummed acoustic guitar, a little organ and vocals.  Sometimes it’s very soothing to be presented with so little (if you like the singer’s voice).  The obvious reference here is Mr. Zimmerman but Mr. Earth’s voice is better.  It’s a melancholy love song — just trying to keep you informed.

@@@ Hernan Sama & Marcelo von Schultz: Sonidos desde el campo para los animales y la vida salvaje (Self-released, 2018) I got to this self-released sax and drums jazz record via an email from the artists themselves.  I’m usually disappointed when listening to requests like this, but I really like the first couple of pieces here.  There is no place to hide when it’s just a duo record but both these players have personality — the sax player is not interested in technical playing but more on sonic interestingness.  I have trouble writing good jazz reviews as it’s not hard to get lost in abstraction and bullshit.  If you haven’t heard a lot of free jazz playing this is a good record to check out.  It has good energy, the playing is interesting and you can just kick back and let it wash over you.  I’m going to swing back on this record and it may end up on my end of year list.

@@@ Lazyeyes: Echoes (Egghunt, 2018) A shoegaze ’80s single I got to via a music publicist email.  What the world now needs is more ’80s influenced rock!  Not me but the world at large as there is so much of it coming out.  Half dance/half rock drumbeats, Edge style guitars and a jagged rock/pop sound.  A little Sonic Youth, a little Flock of Seagulls, a strange mash of indeed.  Not a huge fan of the youth of sonic but this is much cleaner.  There is a shoegaze singer here, a little reverbed out and almost overwhelmed by the guitar noise.

@@@ Slug: No Heavy Petting (Memphis Industries, 2018)  I saw this record on last week’s All Music notable release email.  It has a nerdy guitar rock flow in this tune clipped below, but the white boy falsetto is supposed to funk-ify the proceedings.  By the time you get to the chorus it’s pretty mathy and nerdy and funky.  I’m not a huge fan of this formula but if you are, well then here you go.

YTD recordings listened to: 221
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 118
Not good music: 96

Best: 4
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, 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, Flowers of Sulphur, Tal National, Portal, Hernan Sama & Marcelo von Schultz