Music for 10/31/18!!! Tyga, Cardi B., Shaed, Mumford and Sons

@@@ Tyga: Dip (featuring Nicki Minaj) (Empire, 2018)  A hip hop single at the #1 slot on Apple hot tracks.  It’s pretty pornographic, it’s very pornographic.  I really like the violin sample they’re using with that fat booty bass.  Minaj is the perfect person for a female guest MC — she’s mad raw and rough.  It’s funky and NSFW.

@@@ Cardi B: Money (Atlantic, 2018)  Speaking of Nicki Minaj and Cardi B. grade A New York City beef this tracks is #2 on the Apple hot tracks which is in no way a chart as far as I know.  The Apple Music blurb says this is a track about the trappings of capitalism but to me it’s a celebration of money and checks!  The arrangement here is much more interesting than the lyrics which are both Trumpian and cliche.  Excellent basslines here and the piano part is interestingly percussive.  The high voice chanting ‘money’ cuts through the mix.  Cardi B.’s microphone work is solid though sometimes it sounds off to my ear.  People love this loot based rhyming but I hate it.

@@@ SHAED: Trampoline (Photo Finish Records, 2018) We’ll listen more off the Apple Music hot tracks section.  First off, SHAED is a bad name — it’s just too close to shit.  This is mainstream electro pop with adult alternative touches.  The production here is beyond polished — they’ve shaved every hair off this vagina, metaphorically speaking.  Lots of headphone candy to groove on and as usual somebody could have spent more time on the lyrics.  She had a dream of being on a trampoline and she has a lot of dreams of dying.  That line keeps reappearing and I don’t honestly understand what this song is about.  If you groove on tightly polished sounds and can deal with word salad lyrics you will be rewarded here.  F’real.

@@@ Mumford and Sons: If I Say (Universal Music Group, 2018)  A pre-release single from the earnest Irish pub strummers.  And boy are they going for the full cheese plate on this track.  String swells, super cliche and overwrought lyrics, pop glitch condiment, and lots of big drum tom rolls.  The singer means it, oh wait, gigantic drum fill and full on well almost a giant guitar shred.  I had to take a pause there because it was super meaningful.  You know if he says he loves you he loves you, goddammit!  And equally seriously, if I say it’s cheesy it’s fucking cheesy.

YTD recordings listened to: 614
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 329
Not good music: 249

Best: 9
Honorable Mentions: 7

Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, Slidhr, The Chewers, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, 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, RAM, Fiver, 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, Lawaii, Etran De L’Air, Ruby Karinto, Elysia Crampton, Parquet Courts, Orlando Lopez, Moskus, Kendl Winter, Tkay Maidza, Peregoyo y su Combo vacana, Tim Hecker

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Music for 10/29/18!!! Reason Define, Olympia, Petra Glynt

@@@ Reason Define: Pointing Fingers ( , 2018) I got to this hard rock single via a music publicist email. It’s pretty mainstream ala Super Drag and many many other power pop rock bands. It’s an all female lineup which is cool, especially for Justice Kavanaugh. I kid, I kid. I think the background vocals put a tad too much polish on it for my tastes but the energy is high and this is aimed at the heart of the suburban listeners that crave musical guitar drama.

@@@ Olympia: Star City (EMI Australia, 2018) I got to this Australian singer’s single via an Australian online music mag. Fancy that. It’s an interesting and un-American blend of pop rock. It rocks all right with a classic urgent rock drum beat and some loud guitars but it’s very hook-y in the vocal melodies with some small guitar melodies and a synth tucked back in the mix. It’s a bit hard to put into words so listen if you can be bothered.

@@@ Petra Glynt – My Flag Is A Burning Rag Of Love (Pleasence) I think I got to this record via the same Australian music magazine but I’m not sure. It comes out blasting with an electro rock vibe with some kaleidoscopic vocals panning back and forth across the stereo field. I skipped to the next tune to see if there is a proper vocalist for the record or a bowl of chopped vocals. It is the former as a female singer hits the headphones. I like this tune, Health, much more. She sounds more than a bit like Madonna but she can actually sing. Her mixed salad approach works much better on that second song which I clipped below. Because I care. I find the arrangements interesting, the sounds and tunes a little less so. As always check it out for yourself.

YTD recordings listened to: 610
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 327
Not good music: 247

Best: 9
Honorable Mentions: 7

Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, Slidhr, The Chewers, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, 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, RAM, Fiver, 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, Lawaii, Etran De L’Air, Ruby Karinto, Elysia Crampton, Parquet Courts, Orlando Lopez, Moskus, Kendl Winter, Tkay Maidza, Peregoyo y su Combo vacana, Tim Hecker

Music for 10/29/18!!! Baba Commandant and the Mandingo Band, Bokante and Metropole Orkest

@@@ BABA COMMANDANT AND THE MANDINGO BAND: Loga Fo Djelba (Sublime Frequencies, 2018)  There is just one pre-release track up on this African record I got to via the WRIR weekly playlist email.  It is 8 minutes long and it’s a blend of old school African sounds and newer ones.  It has a kit drummer as well as hand drummers and a guitarist who takes a mellow long shred over a modern sounding bassline.  The singer is a gruff gent who gets into call and response with some background singers.  I’m most impressed by the drummer and the guitar player — excellent energy and interesting playing.  I would definitely listen to more of this record when all of it is released.

@@@ BOKANTE AND METROPOLE ORKEST:  What Heat (Real World, 2018)  This is an impressive mash of world musics.  A singer from Guadalupe, a Dutch big band that has been going since the 1940s and a jazz funk NYC outfit.  The result is a modern sounding collection with a large ensemble and an energetic singer that works in Creole.  It’s sophisticated in a sophisticated way, not your usual music publicist faux sophistication.  The tunes are all of a substantial weight with none under 5 minutes and instrumentation that varies from tune to tune.  A review at the Guardian says there’s too much going on which I’m pretty sensitive to but I see it differently.   The singer is the constant here and the sounds are to provide interesting backdrops for her.  There is a lot of percussion, and some oud, and a lot of string arrangements which make it coherent to my ears.

YTD recordings listened to: 604
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 323
Not good music: 245

Best: 9
Honorable Mentions: 7

Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, Slidhr, The Chewers, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, 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, RAM, Fiver, 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, Lawaii, Etran De L’Air, Ruby Karinto, Elysia Crampton, Parquet Courts, Orlando Lopez, Moskus, Kendl Winter, Tkay Maidza, Peregoyo y su Combo vacana, Tim Hecker

2018 Honorable Mention Pick 7

serpentwithfeet: soil (Secretly Canadian, 2018)

I will not bore regular readers with my grievances against the aesthetic (and racial) assumptions of indie rock, but suffice it to say this alt r&b indie record works for me because it does not succumb to those standard assumptions.

If you don’t like the singer here you’re not going to enjoy this record.  At all.  He’s very dramatical with confessional and hyper emotional lyrics and I’m not usually up for that but the way he works his songs feels genuine to me.   I can’t find a pose here and that’s great.

It also helps that the arrangements for these tunes are more supportive of the vocalist than attempting to overtake him.  Sonically the tunes are not super crowded and overwhelming.  The sounds on the record are pretty stripped down with synths and drum machines — no crazy shredding guitar solos, giant horn sections.  To me this lends a welcome focus to the record and prevents it from sprawling all over the place with over the top arrangements and an over the top singer.

Check it out!

Music for 10/26/18!!! Doe Paro, The Dirty Nil, Mountain Man

@@@ Doe Paro: Soft Power (Anti-, 2018) I got to this singer songwriter, slightly soul, undercover mainstream rock record via this week’s All Music notable release email.  The second tune, Cage of Habits, continues the r&b/soft blues vibe with a piano part and some background vocal arrangements.  The sounds and arrangements here are rooted in the mid to late ’70s.  Musically I don’t find this to be a super interesting record but it’s brilliant as a marketing idea.  It’s a soft rock, adult alternative smooth biscuit being spoon fed to the hipsters.

@@@ The Dirty Nil – Master Volume (Dine Alone)  I got to this classic hard rock record via the loud section of the CFUV weekly playlist email.  We’re talking guitar rock riffs, a singer doing the cock walk with a cucumber in his leather pants, and big hooks, vocal and otherwise.  It’s an interesting blend of Orange County punk vibes with AC/DC and you know I recognize that can make a person’s head hurt.  Those two sonic formulas, that is.  The first tune was the most mainstream one and it gets a little punkier as it progresses but there’s still plenty of classic rock and power pop/punk to be had here.

@@@ Mountain Man – Magic Ship (Nonesuch) Speaking of slipping non-sophisticated music to the hipsters we arrive at this Nonesuch release and that is their business model and bread and butter.  The Apple music editor’s notes describe this as minimalist folk and it sure is as it’s only been vocalizing in these first two tunes.  Some sparse acoustic guitars come in tune 3 but that’s about it for instrumentation as I’m now on track 5.  I’m not opposed to minimalist music but I’m not captivated by the performance I’m presented with.  It’s three females and an acoustic guitar and they sing well.

YTD recordings listened to: 602
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 321
Not good music: 245

Best: 9
Honorable Mentions: 6

Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, Slidhr, The Chewers, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, 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, RAM, Fiver, 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, Lawaii, Etran De L’Air, Ruby Karinto, Elysia Crampton, Parquet Courts, Orlando Lopez, Moskus, Kendl Winter, Tkay Maidza, Peregoyo y su Combo vacana, serpentwithfeet, Tim Hecker

Music for 10/25/18!!! Rae Spoon, Tim Hecker, Echo Beds

@@@ Rae Spoon: Bodies of Water (Coax, 2018) #1 out at CFUV in Vancouver.  It’s a singer/songwriter record with a young female singing.  The first tune starts out solo, clean electric guitar and her.  It’s melancholy and sweet.  A band does make a mellow appearnace behind her but it’s still very meaningful and deep.  The second tune brings on the classic indie though with a piano and a small synth part added to the guitar.  I like her voice without liking the lyrics very much.

@@@ Tim Hecker: Konoyo (Kranky, 2018)  I tyr to check out Tim Hecker’s ambient music as he’s a professional ambient music maker with skills.  This first tune, This Life, has a dark and mechanical bent to it with some screeching metallic sounds and offkilter synth playing that is not pillowy or cloudy, it’s unsettling.  The second tune, In Death Valley, focuses on more bell like sounds and there are a lot of delays and a lot of bell like sounds.  It’s got a dark feel to it but not as actively dark as the first tune.  It’s pretty engaging music.  Outside of three 3-5 minute pieces these are all long ones that require some attention.  Thus far I like the pacing and the sounds of this latest Hecker effort and I will swing back on this record when I have more time.

@@@ Echo Beds – Buried Language (The Flenser)  This recording is slotted as industrial music on the Apple Music and is in the loud section of the weekly CFUV playlist email.  It’s opens up with a straightforward drum machine rock/industrial beat but a super needly thin guitar part.  The comes the creepy voice.  I like the muscularity of it but I’m not super into the singer.  I really am in the mood for some dark sounds these days, but this is a bit overwrought.  I guess it works for the Halloween crowd as it has a cartoonish, villain-y feel to it but I would stick with the Tim Hecker record above if you want some dark and submersive music.

YTD recordings listened to: 599
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 319
Not good music: 244

Best: 9
Honorable Mentions: 6

Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, Slidhr, The Chewers, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, 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, RAM, Fiver, 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, Lawaii, Etran De L’Air, Ruby Karinto, Elysia Crampton, Parquet Courts, Orlando Lopez, Moskus, Kendl Winter, Tkay Maidza, Peregoyo y su Combo vacana, serpentwithfeet, Tim Hecker

Music for 10/24/18!!! Farao, Handsome Jack, Deru

@@@ Farao: Pure-O (Western Vinyl, 2018) All Music has this record described as indie electronic and Apple Music has indie pop and indie pop is more apt. This is some cloud synth, indie Abba but with just one singer business. Super female vibes with estrogen stink lines coming off this first tune, Marry Me. Not that that’s a bad thing as the world need estrogen stink lines. This would also work well on a senior citizen cruise ship in line for the buffet and the denture washing station. The second tune, Lula Loves You, is more uptempo but it’s the same trip with a breathy verse and then ‘pet the pretty kitty’ in the chorus. Not really my thing because I’m dead inside.

@@@ Handsome Jack: Everything’s Gonna Be…. (Alive, 2018) White trash blues/punk blues or whatsever you call it off this week’s All Music. The singer sounds like John Fogerty from Credence Clearwater after a semi-truck full of cigarettes (or a distortion plugin on the vocal track). The feel of this is more rock than fucked up Red bull punk but it’s just the first tune. The bass player has a proudly farty ass/wide ass tone to his thumpin’ which I very much appreciate. It’s personal preference but I prefer the messed up feel of Left Lane Cruiser to this but this is all right and could work for the folks out there drinking turpentine and driving an ol’ ass hooptie. I see hoopty spelled as hoopty and hooptie so just know you can roll hooptie or hoopty.

@@@ Deru: Torn in Two (Friends of Friends, 2018) Some experimental ambient music off this week’s All Music notable release email. I’m feeling this slow, metallic and ringing intro to the first tune and it gets more dramatical from there. It’s a blend of frozen landscape and Hollywood soundtrack. The second tune brings in a synth flute and some sandpaper-y sounds but that dramatic, Hollywood feel is still there as well as a medium dark darkness. I like it though I wish it was just dark darkness. It’s a beat-less ambient thing and appropriate for our reality tv star times. Check it out as these third and fourth tunes are working for me. That fourth tune is clipped below and it’s wicked.

YTD recordings listened to: 596
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 318
Not good music: 243

Best: 9
Honorable Mentions: 6

Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, Slidhr, The Chewers, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, 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, RAM, Fiver, 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, Lawaii, Etran De L’Air, Ruby Karinto, Elysia Crampton, Parquet Courts, Orlando Lopez, Moskus, Kendl Winter, Tkay Maidza, Peregoyo y su Combo vacana, serpentwithfeet