Music for 12/31/18!!! Travis Scott, Mitski

@@@ Travis Scott: SICKO MODE (Epic, 2018)  I guess we gotta send out 2018 with Drake showing up like an unwanted erection.  This tune is getting a lot of love and I get the variety of sounds and parts but it’s the bounce and not the lyrics (or Drake) that got this track 151 million streams on the GooglePimp.  It’s a little heavy on the pitch shifted sci-fi vocals and too heavy on the Drake who I can hope will take 2019 off.  I’m not holding my breath on that.

@@@ Mitski: Nobody (Dead Oceans, 2018).  I checked this record out when it first came out and was pretty shocked to see it land on almost everybody’s year end list.  When she gets to the chorus I’m thinking this is some pretty light piano pop rock.  Handclaps, funk guitar riff and just what the fuck why the love?  Let me be clear, it’s not garbage but it’s like a pork rind — light, crunchy and not really good for you.  I’ve never had but I don’t see how they taste good either.  This one gets a big questions mark, c’mon America!

YTD recordings listened to: 701
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 380
Not good music: 270

Best: 16
Honorable Mentions: 8

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, 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, Criolo, Billy Strings, Flowers of Sulphur, Portal, Lawaii, Etran De L’Air, Ruby Karinto, Elysia Crampton, Parquet Courts, Moskus, Kendl Winter, Tkay Maidza, Barro, Daniel Khan, Tallawit Timbouctou, Sumac, Tropical Fuck Storm, Harriet Tubman

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Music for 12/30/18!!! Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper, Post Malone

@@@ Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper: Shallow (Interscope, 2018). There’s an easy joke here but I’ve avoided checking out this tune.  This is dumb ballad cheese with too much reverb on both of their voices.  I guess this is where Lady Gaga’s train was bound the whole time — up on the big screen and slinging arena rock cheese.  It has 171 million views on the GooglePimp which begs the question: don’t folks have something better to do with their time than listen to this.  I have to go brush my teeth as I have the taste of vomit in my mouth.

@@@ Post Malone: Wow (Republic/UMG, 2018).  Impressively groomed sounds on this Christmas hip hop single.  It doesn’t have much Santa in the tune unless he’s ho ho hoe-ing it up at the strip club but the video seems to trigger that holiday sploosh.  I can’t say the lyrics have any conciousness or any sort of legs that would bring back listeners after more than two weeks but the bass and beats and the simple hook, damn wow.

YTD recordings listened to: 699
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 378
Not good music: 270

Best: 16
Honorable Mentions: 8

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, 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, Criolo, Billy Strings, Flowers of Sulphur, Portal, Lawaii, Etran De L’Air, Ruby Karinto, Elysia Crampton, Parquet Courts, Moskus, Kendl Winter, Tkay Maidza, Barro, Daniel Khan, Tallawit Timbouctou, Sumac, Tropical Fuck Storm, Harriet Tubman

Protesting Janelle Monae’s Dirty Computer on year end lists!

I’m all for folks showing who they are in their music and I’m all for equal rights, racial equality, economic equality, etc, but at the end of the day I want banging music that I return to.  I don’t find that in Dirty Computer.

This track below (by Janelle Monae) meets all the requirements and the fact that this track was somewhat suffocated (read about it here) and Dirty Computer is on the year end lists as the best of this year says everything that’s wrong with the music business and the music PR, and music journalism.  Too much about the personal lives and identities of the performers and not enough on the music.

I would rather listen to 1999 and to this tune as a combination of music and politics than the restrained and detached music on Dirty Computer.

Music for 12/21/18!!! Nils Frahm, Django Django, First Aid Kit

@@@ Nils Frahm: All Melody (Erased Tapes, 2018) The #1 record off one of the more varied best of 2018 lists out of Esquire (of all places).  The first tune is titled The Whole Universe Wants to be Touched which is quite an eye grabbing title.  Let us see what Mr. Frahm has for us.  The description of this record was one of combining classical music and pop.  Of which I’m suspicious.  Oh boy, it’s true with some cathedral organ, some choir action.  Right here I want to hear Mother Mary cut a giant pussyfart!  To keep shit fresh.  Fuck that is so inapprops.  This is gonna take its time and I’m not sure I’m up for giving said time.  The third tune, A Place, brings in the electronic action and I’m more up for this combo platter.  I’m finding this a tedious pace.  The sounds are meticulous, they’re arranged well but it’s not holding my interest.  It might hold yours.

 

 

@@@ Django Django: Marble Skies (Ribbon Music, 2018)  Off the same best of list from Esquire.  This is proudly marketed as straddling every genre they can reach which is usually a red flag for my ears.  This first tune is a luxurious ’80 anchored synth/guitar thing with a lot of energy and maybe less purpose.  Or porpoise whichever way you go.  The second tune has a wooden dancehall beat and too many vocals.  I fear this release is not going to work for me.  This isn’t working for me.  It’s too soft and nowhere for my taste.

 

@@@ First Aid Kit: Ruins (Columbia, 2018) These days an album of Swedish farts would go gold.  Here we have two Swedish singers singing pop in various sonic settings.  This first tune is kinda alt country sad.  Okay, it looks like this is not pop, they’ve been rocking country/folk on the GooglePimp.  Let’s check more but my first impression is that there are dozens of American outfits that do this schtick much better.  I correct that, this is out there for non-country fans to hear pop singers do country songs.  This is like Abba having a lesbian love baby with Emmylou Harris.  It’s not awful, it’s pretty light.

YTD recordings listened to: 697
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 377
Not good music: 269

Best: 16
Honorable Mentions: 8

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, 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, Criolo, Billy Strings, Flowers of Sulphur, Portal, Lawaii, Etran De L’Air, Ruby Karinto, Elysia Crampton, Parquet Courts, Moskus, Kendl Winter, Tkay Maidza, Barro, Daniel Khan, Tallawit Timbouctou, Sumac, Tropical Fuck Storm, Harriet Tubman

Music for 12/18/18!!! Lonnie Holley, U.S. Girls

@@@ Lonnie Holley: MITH (Jagjaguwar, 2018) I’m intrigued as to how a black cat at this age got on a hipster imprint like Jagjiggedjaguwarnicious.  He’s got a strange and slightly nasal voice that I dig and this first tune puts that into a chill keyboard centric arrangement.  He’s taking the non-confrontational route to putting songs with titles like ‘I Snuck off a Slave Ship’ and ‘I Woke Up in a Fucked Up America’ out into the universe.  This is the most startling lounge singer piano record I’ve heard in a long ass time.  I appreciate his boldness and the sounds he puts with his lyrics are extremely unusual.  My only criticism is that the tunes are all kinda long and rambly so I find it detracts a bit from what I think he’s trying to do.  However, I give props to the formula and it’s an extremely creative set of decisions he made here.

@@@ U.S. Girls: In a Poem Unlimited (4AD, 2018)  Released in February and brought back for U.S. Today’s best of 2018 list.  I have not heard anything on 4AD that I’ve loved since the Pixies!  This first tune is an indie funk kinda thing — slinky funk rock beat, some wah wah guitar, and a sexiness that is attempted but not convincing.  At least to me.  The second tune, Rage of Plastics, is a similar but with a different anchoring beat.  I’m feeling like this is an attempt to turn the ABBA sound into an indie effort with concious lyrics.  I’m not super into it but I get that we all have different tastes.

YTD recordings listened to: 694
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 375
Not good music: 268

Best: 16
Honorable Mentions: 8

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, 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, Criolo, Billy Strings, Flowers of Sulphur, Portal, Lawaii, Etran De L’Air, Ruby Karinto, Elysia Crampton, Parquet Courts, Moskus, Kendl Winter, Tkay Maidza, Barro, Daniel Khan, Tallawit Timbouctou, Sumac, Tropical Fuck Storm, Harriet Tubman

Music for 12/17/18!!! Idles, The 1975

@@@ Idles: Joy as an act of resistance (Partisan, 2018) #6 on the Guardian’s best of 2018 list.  I don’t know what I expected but this is a rock/Brit rock/punk type of mash.  I do like the jagged ridiculousness of the second tune ‘Never Trust a Man with a Perm’.  The singer is full of accent and pugnacity.  I guess being American stuck with this ass nugget Trump and seeing the word ‘resistance’ I was expecting something political.  This is mostly a bar fight punk blaster which I’m into.  I’m surprised it made it to the top ten at the Guardian for sure.

@@@ The 1975: Love It If We Made It (Polydor/Interscope, 2018) I got to this tune via an awful ass year end list.  I think I’ve heard these guys before and wondered what the fuss is about.  The production is flawless, a fly on this car is not to be tolerated.  I’m not sure what you call this music.  It sounds like a band, but it’s not rock and it’s sure as fuck cheesy.  The sound of it is awful to my ears, it’s pure shopping mall arena business.  The chorus is particularly notable for the mess of it.  It’s got a synth bass, a guitar plink, some synth splashes, big vocal splanks, a guitar wail, and some drum fills.  Talk about a buffet!!!  Yet I hate it.

YTD recordings listened to: 692
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 374
Not good music: 267

Best: 16
Honorable Mentions: 8

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, 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, Criolo, Billy Strings, Flowers of Sulphur, Portal, Lawaii, Etran De L’Air, Ruby Karinto, Elysia Crampton, Parquet Courts, Moskus, Kendl Winter, Tkay Maidza, Barro, Daniel Khan, Tallawit Timbouctou, Sumac, Tropical Fuck Storm, Harriet Tubman

Music for 12/14/18!!! Tropical Fuck Storm, Tracy Thorn, Harriet Tubman

@@@ Tropical Fuck Storm: A Laughing Death in Meatspace (Joyful Noise, 2018). It’s a great name and I got to this via the Slate best of 2018 list which hasn’t turned up any gems thus far.  My first impression is that this first tune ‘You Let My Tyres Down’ is an update ’70s era classic rock tune.  I like it, it’s just funny to hear.  The second tune is more adventurous blending some noisy blasts with staccato guitar and oddly spaced out doubletracked vocals.  I can tell you it’s been so long since I’ve heard a halfway interesting rock record I’m almost in shock.  I’m going to swing back on this record.

@@@ Tracy Thorn: Record (Merge, 2018).  Also off the Slate best of 2018.  I’m not usually psyced about Merge releases and I notice they also put the ’18 Superchunk record up on their list so maybe they’re bffs or some such shit.  It’s straight out of the previous sloppy rock to the ’80s influenced straight ass synth rock.  This is most definitely for vanilla ice cream eaters — no funk, straight than Trump’s dick at a Miss America contest.  I kid, I kid, I bet that shit is hooked like a banana.  I don’t really like this kind of music so Imma tip without sending bad vibes out there.  Everybody likes what they like even if I don’t like it.

@@@ Harriet Tubman: The Terror End of Beauty (Sunnyside, 2018)  I’m a huge Wadada Leo Smith fan, he’s a badass trumpeter who does real ass music.  This is blurbed as a power trio and usually when jazz cats go that way I think it’s gonna be soft (cuz it usually is) but this first tune is thick and dubby and surprisingly muscular.  The artists and the label only give listeners 2 tracks to stream for free which I think is a tad cheap but they’re free to do as they wish.  Ah, I found it up on the Apple Music.  I’m also a fucking idiot because Wadada Leo Smith is not on this record, it’s a power trio with a guitar player.  #dumbass.  Any seasoned jazz listener would compare this to Sonny Sharrock’s Ask the Ages which does sport a horn player and is not in the trio format.  I’m really feeling the rhythm section here, it’s really pleasurable listening.  I like the guitar player just a tiny bit less but I’m feeling him more in the second tune.  I’m going to have to swing back on this as I consistently love the rhythm section and am back and forth over the guitar player.

YTD recordings listened to: 690
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 373
Not good music: 266

Best: 16
Honorable Mentions: 8

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, 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, Criolo, Billy Strings, Flowers of Sulphur, Portal, Lawaii, Etran De L’Air, Ruby Karinto, Elysia Crampton, Parquet Courts, Moskus, Kendl Winter, Tkay Maidza, Barro, Daniel Khan, Tallawit Timbouctou, Sumac, Tropical Fuck Storm, Harriet Tubman