Music for 5/29/18!!! Weesp, Jealous of the Birds, Brownout

@@@ Weesp: Black Sails (Self-released, 2018)  A blend of metal with a tad of grunge on this self released hard rock record that I got to via the music blog Indiepulse.  Dramatical singer that you can understand and plenty of guitar distortion.  The drums are heavy in the kick drum, but they sound like arena drums as the record aspires to that sound.  The third tune goes into a sort of rock ballad with strummed acoustic guitar and a lot of tom toms.  Pretty standard stuff.

@@@ Jealous of the Birds: Plastic Skeletons (Canvasback, 2018)  It’s a pleasure to hear an indie rock track that actually rocks a little bit.  I got to this pre release track from a music publicist and while I usually cannot abide by the baby food the PR people are pushing, this has a strong rhythm section in the mix that makes the whole tune more muscular and makes the hipster female doing whatever much more palatable.  The guitar player could use a Red Bull as he/she or both isn’t quite pulling his/her/their weight.

@@@  Brownout: Fear of a Brown Planet (Fat Beats Records, 2018)  Some funk off this week’s WRIR playlist email.  A little Sly Stone and a whole lotta Meters style funk in this first tune Louder than a Bomb.  They take the tempo down a notch in the second tune and bring in the big ol’ organ sound.  It’s a full horn section with an active guitar player so it’s the large ensemble old school funk experience despite the smattering of synths.  There’s also a fairly big nod to James Brown though there is no singer and it’s more melodic than classic James Brown afro powered funk.  I’m enjoying the drummer, and the guitar player and the horns the most.

YTD recordings listened to: 297
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 156
Not good music: 133

Best: 5
Honorable Mentions: 4

Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, 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, 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, Converge, Open Mike Eagle, Criolo, Billy Strings, Flowers of Sulphur, Tal National, Portal, Hernan Sama & Marcelo von Schultz, Jean Grae and Quelle Chris, Lawaii, Los Texmaniacs

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Music for 5/28/18!!! Drake, Dave Matthews Band, Juice WRLD

@@@ Drake: I’m Upset (Cash Money, 2018)  Uh oh, Drake’s upset!  I thought this was going to be a diss track about this ongoing crazy ass Yeezy bullshit but it appears to be a generic money anthem.  He can’t go 50/50 with no ho, you hear?  He’s also upset that there is 500,000 on his head.  For real, somebody has a bounty out on Drake’s head?  That would be like killing Mickey Mouse.  Am I the only one who thinks Drake doesn’t sound that scary when he’s upset?  I mean if you compare this with Pusha T business he comes out soft.  I like the sonics of the track, minimalist and tightly focused.  Some day I will enjoy a Drake track I guess but not this one.

@@@ Dave Matthews Band: That Girl is You (N/A, 2018) He’s back, the king of slack frat boy rock.  I always thought Matthews had a pretty heavy band but his strumming and prognosticating on the microphone I have usually found tiresome.   I like this tune,  he’s got a different vibe on it — less upbeat and fratty, just a bit more weirder than usual for  him.  It’s a minimalist arrangement that builds to a climax then comes back down quietly.  He’s not nearly as upset as Drake, man Drake seems super upset.  He might even smash his tea cup and forego his afternoon biscuits.

@@@ Juice WRLD: Goodbye and Good Riddance (Interscope, 2018)  It doesn’t seem to be a summer party record, but maybe the rest of the record differs from the intro where a woman denounces her man calling him a go nowhere loser.  The second tune is mostly hip hop sounds but Mr. WRLD is an alienated loverboy singer having a hard time with the ladies.  This is a teen hip hop romance break up record with some young people drug use going on.  Not really my cup of tea, maybe yours, check for yourself.  I will be leaving Juice WRLD now.

YTD recordings listened to: 294
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 154
Not good music: 132

Best: 5
Honorable Mentions: 4

Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, 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, 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, Converge, Open Mike Eagle, Criolo, Billy Strings, Flowers of Sulphur, Tal National, Portal, Hernan Sama & Marcelo von Schultz, Jean Grae and Quelle Chris, Lawaii, Los Texmaniacs

Music for 5/26/18!!! Pusha T., A Boogie wit da Hoodie, Taylor Swift

@@@ Pusha T: If You Know You Know (Def Jam, 2018)  The lead single off Pusha T’s new recording which is produced by Kanye ‘Sunken Place’ West who did an ill bitch thing with the cover art by purchasing the rights to a picture of Whitney Houston’s bathroom.  I want to shit on this track due to recent Trump blowing antics by Kanye but the sonics are hot, he really overshadows Pusha T.’s microphone work.  I checked out the second track The Games We Play and to my ears the vibe here is hip hop rock star.  Both of these dudes are pretty ill bitches with the slinging and the Trump dick licking and that ridiculous slavery comment, but hot sounds is hot sounds.

@@@ A Boogie wit da Hoodie: Way Too Fly (Atlantic, 2018)  We are all up in the summer jams, bitches and Boogie wit da Hoodie hops on the reggaeton/Caribbean style game with this single from the Apple hot tracks section.  It’s a booty tune, he’s all up in the ladies’ business, he’s at the club and he’s got his loverboy on but I don’t super feel it.  He’s a vampire but he don’t bite, well that pretty much explains the power of the track it’s not much more than a vibe and a sound.  Aka going through the motions.

@@@ Taylor Swift: Delicate (Sawyr and Ryan Teddy Remix) (Big Machine, 2018)  Regular readers know I’m all up in the Tay Tay business.  She is the ice queen every neo Nazi is hard for.  F’real.  If you have half a brain you will realize that Swift’s last record was a bit of a stale turd where she tried to transform herself from a pop money making machine to club hottie/sex queen.  She’s about as sexy as wet cardboard.  This remix is pretty good and does a better job of what her original record aspired to.  Oh well, better late than ever.  It’s still not super hot but the sounds make more sense than what I remember hearing.  It’s not a hot beach bomb, it’s more a biscuit that came out of the oven half an hour ago.  She is trying so hard to be hot it’s a dick wilter for sure.

YTD recordings listened to: 291
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 153
Not good music: 130

Best: 5
Honorable Mentions: 4

Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, 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, 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, Converge, Open Mike Eagle, Criolo, Billy Strings, Flowers of Sulphur, Tal National, Portal, Hernan Sama & Marcelo von Schultz, Jean Grae and Quelle Chris, Lawaii, Los Texmaniacs

Music for 5/25/18!!! Prefuse 73, ACTRESS, Belly, G- Eazy

@@@ Prefuse 73: Sacrifices (Lex, 2018)  Left field hip hop off this week’s All Music notable release email.  Definitely left field sonically and well done on this second tune, late to the Party.  String arrangements with keyboards that sound more than a bit Beatle-esque psychedelic.  The third tune is not really hip hop at all with a female singer and aggro keys.  Ah, in a classic music biz mishap this record is labelled as hip hop in the All Music email but is listed as an electronic record on Apple Music.  It really is much more of an electronic record than a hip hop record.  I don’t love the songs but the sounds are pretty high end and the production well done.

@@@ ACTRESS: Lageos (Ninja Tune, 2018)  Off this week’s All Music notable release email.  The record is done with the London Contemporary Orchestra and what you hear in this first track is mash of electronic sounds — pops, clicks and percussive noises blended and swirled with chopped up orchestral bits.  I was getting ready to give a big thumbs up to this record on conceptual grounds when the third tune goes full video game soundtrack with percussive howitzers going off — it’s pretty not great.  I’m on the fourth tune and each track is pretty far from the one before so that’s great if you’re good with some clunkers like the third tune.

@@@ Belly: What You Want (with the Weeknd) (Roc Nation, 2018)  A bittersweet summer tune that kicks off summer?  That’s what it sounds like to me.  The more important question here is why is the Weeknd such a big deal?  I’ve never heard anything that blew me away.  This is an interesting and not super engaging blend of pop and hip hop and FM radio ready baby food.  Smooth is the key word here.

@@@ G-Easy: Power (RCA, 2018)  Both this tune and the one above are up in the Apple Music hot tracks section.  My favorite line is ‘you ain’t go no power cuz your pussy’s dry’.  It’s a celebration of cash and cars with plenty of pop bounce.  The trippy panning sample steals the mix for my ears, the vocal hook is pretty stupid and the bass and beats are solid B grade.  It is more than a bit confusing to hear folks go full Trump on a track when they probably despise his actions while celebrating their own similar ones, but the world is complicated.

YTD recordings listened to: 288
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 151
Not good music: 128

Best: 5
Honorable Mentions: 4

Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, 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, 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, Converge, Open Mike Eagle, Criolo, Billy Strings, Flowers of Sulphur, Tal National, Portal, Hernan Sama & Marcelo von Schultz, Jean Grae and Quelle Chris, Lawaii, Los Texmaniacs

Music for 5/23/18!!! Tom Rogerson, K. Michelle, Anathema

@@@ Tom Rogerson: Finding Shore (Dead Oceans, 2017)  I’m peeping some records from an All Music notable release email from late 2017.  This first one is an ambient record where piano improvisations are manipulated into ambient music.  This first tune the piano has been processed and it sounds like a vibraphone.  The second tune, Motion in Field (clipped below) sounds synth like in its manipulation with a little of the acoustic piano left into the effects mix.  I like the starkness of just the piano/processed piano.  It’s got a bit of a New Age feel to it with the large reverb patches but it’s music with some thought behind it and I respect that.

@@@ K. Michelle: Kimberly, People I Used… (Atlantic, 2017) A mash of hip hop, soul, club music etc. that I got to via the All Music notable release email.  The second track, Alert, is a put down track with some extensive rhyming while this third tune, God, Love, Sex and Drugs switches to a band format with singing and bluesy guitar.  Ms. Michelle has a huge, strong voice with some pleasant rock ‘n roll gravel in it but I can’t say these are particularly engaging lyrics.  The third tune is a ballad with piano, electric piano and finger snaps.  The record features super modern production and if you dig the strong female vibes and Ms. Michelle’s voice you might really like this record.

@@@ Anathema: The Optimist (Kscope, 2017)  A proggy/rocky affair from an outfit out of Liverpool.  I’m not usually one for the prog but I will peep most anything and I’m no genre bitch.  My Apple Music blurb says these guys used to be a doom metal outfit so hopefully they drop some of that into this record.  Thus far this record sounds a bunch like a Radiohead rock/electronic mash except this singer has a soaring rock ‘n roll voice as opposed to Thom Yorke’s mumbling reticence (which I dig).  You can really hear the proggy aspirations in the track, Optimist, though it has more than a tablespoon of cheese rock swirled up in there.  I’m a huge fan of the piano in jazz but in rock and prog not so much.  This isn’t really my thing, but if you dig artistic piano rock well then these guys will hook you up.  I could have used some doom metal up in this thing.

YTD recordings listened to: 284
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 149
Not good music: 126

Best: 5
Honorable Mentions: 4

Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, 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, 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, Converge, Open Mike Eagle, Criolo, Billy Strings, Flowers of Sulphur, Tal National, Portal, Hernan Sama & Marcelo von Schultz, Jean Grae and Quelle Chris, Lawaii, Los Texmaniacs

Music for 5/22/18!!! Young Fathers, Eric Chenaux, August Greene

@@@ Young Fathers: Cocoa Sugar (Ninja Tune, 2018)  Off an All Music weekly email from a couple of months ago.  These guys are from Edinburgh and they employ a genre mash that most Americans won’t employ.  They smash together electronic sounds with indie fragility, hip hop, and soul music.  I know there are American musicians working these sounds but there’s a distinctly un-American vibe here.  Unfortunately an overarching impression is one of art school reflection and self conciousness.  I sure wish it hit a little harder but it doesn’t.  I know that I’m a minority in this area and things I’m criticizing here are perfectly acceptable to millions of listeners so check for yourself.

@@@ Eric Chenaux: Slowly Paradise (Constellation, 2018)  Off the same All Music weekly email.  If you took King Crimson and smashed them into the guitar player from Phish you would have something close to this record.  The second tune brings in vocals that change the equation and make it it more of a standards kinda thing.  So it’s some prog vibes, some hippy vibes and some songwriter vibes.  The guitar is highly processed and layered and purposely wanky and chunked up into pieces but that’s been on all three of the tunes so that’s core to the concept.  While I’m not enjoying the music immensely I give him points for creativity.

@@@ August Greene: August Greene (Self-released, 2018)  Super concious hip hop off the All Music weekly email.  This is not going to be a down and dirty trap excursion this is aimed at a different demographic with Robert Glasper adding sparse piano in this first tune.  And the whole record for that matter.  I like it all right.  I’m all for the uplifting lyrics but there’s something about the overall impression produced by the music that seems a bit predictable and set up for NPR listeners.  Regular readers know that I’m obsessed with hip hopper Open Mike Eagle and if you contrast his ultra original concious hip hop with this music it makes this seem wooden and closed off to a lot of sonic possibilities available to hip hop.  Be sure to check out Open Mike Eagle, I don’t really see how if you’re a real music fan you could not be blown away by his 2017 Brick Body Kids Still Daydream.

YTD recordings listened to: 281
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 148
Not good music: 124

Best: 5
Honorable Mentions: 4

Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, 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, 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, Converge, Open Mike Eagle, Criolo, Billy Strings, Flowers of Sulphur, Tal National, Portal, Hernan Sama & Marcelo von Schultz, Jean Grae and Quelle Chris, Lawaii, Los Texmaniacs

Music for 5/21/18!!! Nickodemus, Los Texmaniacs, Anderson .Paak, Pharrell (The Hat) Williams

@@@ Nickodemus: A Long Engagement (Wonderwheel, 2018)  I got to this record via the WRIR weekly email.  I’m thinking this is going to be an electronic/world mash but we we’ll see.  It opens up with a vocal chant, some non-American string playing, a large horn section and bounce.  Old school bounce not trap bounce.  The second tune references classic funk and then the third tune brings in some Caribbean sounds and influences.  I’m not super into this type of record — it’s a poo poo platter of music styles all centered around upbeat dance rhythms but I always prefer a smaller group of sounds rather than the larger scope.

@@@ Los Texmaniacs: Cruzandos Borders (Smithsonian Folkways, 2018)  Speaking of old school here comes some classic Mexican music that I got to via the WRIR weekly playlist email.  I’m a sucker for this style of accordion playing and these guys bring a dancefloor energy as much as the previous record.  Great singing, great playing and a blazing accordion player, there’s not much more you can ask for.  I can only imagine how many gigs these guys have played to get this tight.  They’ve probably done these tunes drunk out of their minds, exhausted, or both.  Also big respect to the drummer who drives the rest of the band.  I’m going to swing back on this record as it’s smoking.

@@@ Anderson .Paak: Bubbling (Aftermath, 2018)  I dug the last Anderson .Paak track so I thought he earned a peep for this one.  Plus, I respect the .Paak last name though I have no clue what the period is for.  It’s a money party track of which I am not fond at all.  Look at the cash bubbling, that line could be the soundtrack at the White House as President Cheese Doodle loots and pillages.  He sound s a bit like Kendrick Lamar on this track and he did an interesting thing giving the tune a James Bond soundtrack feel.  I got to this track via the Apple Music hot tracks section.

@@@ Pharrell Williams x Camila Caballo: Sangria Wine (Columbia, 2018)  Everybody is dropping the summer party tracks in hopes of becoming the track of the season.  Nobody knows how to bit the styles of others more than Pharrell Williams and his hat.  He’s got a little dub flavor, some Latin flavors from the singer, some pop hip hop beats so all the ingredients are there.  I guess how much you dig this track depends on if you like to hear new or original sounds and/or arrangements.  This is pretty well manicured sameness.   You haven’t eaten this exact sandwich but you’ve eaten something very similar to this sandwich.  And that’s the point.

YTD recordings listened to: 278
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 147
Not good music: 122

Best: 5
Honorable Mentions: 4

Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, 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, 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, Converge, Open Mike Eagle, Criolo, Billy Strings, Flowers of Sulphur, Tal National, Portal, Hernan Sama & Marcelo von Schultz, Jean Grae and Quelle Chris, Lawaii, Los Texmaniacs