Music for 5/29/20!!! Wrangler, Nivhek, Carly Rae Jepsen, Kidbug

@@@ Wrangler: Anthropocene (Bella Union, 2020) Slotted as experimental electro on an All Music notable release email from February, it’s funky/krauty dancefloor bangin’ to my ears.  Funkier and a bit Prince like in certain sounds it then comes with a sorta ominous deeper voice sauce.  I really dig the sounds, the voice I’m agnostic on.

@@@ Nivhek: After its own death/Walking in a spiral (Yellow Electric, 2020) I got to this via an email from Superior Viaduct.  It is an indie musician doing four ambient pieces two of which are 15+ minute fatties.  This first tune opens up with vocal harmonizing and it’s church-y fo sho.  I’m not a huge church-y ambient guy.  I’ve skipped around a bit and it does change but the bass she brings in is an indie punky bass which sounds out of place to me.  The second piece is a 21 minute banger and I’m hoping it’s gonna grab right outta the gate so I can stay engaged.  Hmmm, guitar, not great.  I love mixing peanut butter in my chocolate but guitar in my ambient, it’s gotta be done just right.  I’m not a huge fan of the combination of sounds, to me I want my ambient pure ambient and I guess that means electronic.  And yes, I’m being a genre bitch and I’m setting down rules as to what belongs where but I don’t give a shit, it’s my blog.

@@@ Carly Rae Jepsen: Summer Love (Interscope, 2020) There are two full releases by Ms. Jepsen up on the Apple Music, one is Dedicated and the other is Dedicated Side B.  This tune is off Dedicated Side B and she evokes ’80s Madonna type dancefloor pop sounds but she’s a much better singer than Madonna, which isn’t hard.  Reow, cat fight!  She’s not as flavorful so maybe that’s why she poses topless for this record, kick things up a notch and whatnot.  I like the bass sound, the drum beat is standard, the synths are a bit boring and she’s all right on the mic.  She could use a shot of Red Bull.  Classic disco string melody to fancy up the rhythm.  Lyrics, meh.  So overall a pretty mixed package.  I guess part of being a pop star these days involves being really familiar (boring) so lots of folks can identify.  Maybe I will swing back because she has put out a lot of music here and maybe this is not representative of the record.

@@@ Kidbug: Together (Joyful Noise, 2020)  Take some Smashing Pumpkins and hit it with some purple drank and that’s pretty much what you have here.  You even have that detached white person voice but not quite the Queen Ill Bitch Billy Corgan.  Manicured and panned guitar sounds (panicured?) and a drum beat that could use some Red Bull.  The guitars are stealing the show here f’real.  The drummer is about as exciting as Drake’s beard and the singer should get the other bit of the Red Bull can.  Half rawk, oxy-rawk, you get it.  Myself this is too cute and if I want this vibe I’ll hit up some stoner metal for the full 10 piece bucket.

YTD recordings listened to: 398
Good music, not list worthy: 206
Not good music: 180

Best: 0
Honorable Mentions: 0

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, 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, 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, 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, Ammar 808, Anais Maviel, Chaka Khan, Pom Poko, Fried Egg, Tarek Atoui, Saicobab, General Purv, Shipping News, Big Thief, Mariachi El Bronx, Pour Me a Grog, Sudan Archives, Lakou Mizik, Moodymann, Pharmakon, Alefa Madagascar, Janjao, Luge, Wiki, Mick Jenkins, Jeremiah Jae, Fera, Gambian Griot Kora Duets, Drama, Beatrice Dillon, Mass Worship, mmmonika, Les Deuxluxes, Tony Allen, Fra Fra, Nihiloxica, Hailu Mergia, Pokey LaFarge, Nico Gomez, Nohe and Sus Santos

Music for 5/28/20!!! Reckless Kelly, Jetstream Pony, Christian Sands, Steve Earle

@@@ Reckless Kelly: North American Jackpot (No Big Deal/Thirty Tigers, 2020) All of today’s listens are off the most recent All Music notable release email.  No motherfucker in America loves new country more than me, I’m #1 fan!  #1 fan!  I can’t tell if this is a tune about disillusioned patriotism, he says ‘we hit the jackpot, we were born in America in the 20th century’ — you could take that a coupla ways.  Instrumentation is country band plus piano, a little mandolin, etc.  I think he’s playing both sides of the fence — he’s showing some gratefulness while questioning the direction of American society at the same time.  I know it’s hard for folks to hold both those ideas in their minds at the same time, but it can be so.  The playing is pretty standard, and the fact that I’m even considering where he’s at lyrically is so far past where I’m usually at with new country songs.  It’s usually some dude flying out of town in his pickup truck and his girl taking off her cut off jean shorts, and ya know….

@@@ Jetstream Pony: I Close My Eyes (712250 Records DK, 2020) Some old school guitar indie with a dreamy female singer.  A little first record R.E.M. with a wee bit of shoegaze frosting and that’s ya cupcake right there!  It’s a nice sweet classic cupcake if not a bit predictable.  Now if this here had some cowbell and then upped the cowbell bigly I would be all up in here.  I kid, I kid, I’m entertaining myself while this tune does its 3 chord classic American thing.  Radio Free Europe, that’s the touchstone here.

@@@ Christian Sands: Sonar (Mack Avenue, 2020)  Some straight jazz.  Not my favorite subgenre of jazz but I’m always hoping for a great sideman or some such to make the proceedings intresting — that’s how interesting in a better world should be spelled.  This is a pre-release track and oh, he just got right into it spiritedly spraying piano notes all over the place, that was ear catching.  What we have here is a piano trio–piano, bass and drums and this arrangement is very tight and moving briskly driven by the aforementioned piano player which is great as he’s the leader.  My main beef with straight jazz it’s slack, retro approach but Sands plays with intensity for a straight piano player — he’s no Cecil Taylor but there’s energy and freshness.  If I’m saying this as not the greatest devotee of straight jazz then this is towards the higher end of the scale for straight jazz as far as I’m concerned.  If the sidemen were more interesting I’d be much more into this.  They’re solid but he’s the one catching my ear.

@@@ Steve Earle: Devil Put the Coal in the Ground (New West, 2020) Steve Earle, grizzled veteran of American society.  A rebel, a fuckup, a person who gives a shit etc.  This tune opens up with a classic dirge flow as well as a modern, pretty abrasive sonic fingerprint.  It’s got a wee bit of rock and it’s thick with Earle’s not quite broken glass, but maybe more than a few packs of cigarettes.  It rocks in a cantankerous, dirty gas station bathroom manner and I’m always up for that.  I would listen to more of this.

YTD recordings listened to: 394
Good music, not list worthy: 204
Not good music: 178

Best: 0
Honorable Mentions: 0

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, 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, 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, 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, Ammar 808, Anais Maviel, Chaka Khan, Pom Poko, Fried Egg, Tarek Atoui, Saicobab, General Purv, Shipping News, Big Thief, Mariachi El Bronx, Pour Me a Grog, Sudan Archives, Lakou Mizik, Moodymann, Pharmakon, Alefa Madagascar, Janjao, Luge, Wiki, Mick Jenkins, Jeremiah Jae, Fera, Gambian Griot Kora Duets, Drama, Beatrice Dillon, Mass Worship, mmmonika, Les Deuxluxes, Tony Allen, Fra Fra, Nihiloxica, Hailu Mergia, Pokey LaFarge, Nico Gomez, Nohe and Sus Santos

Music for 5/26/20!!! Odunsi, 1010 Benja SL, Nohe and Sus Santos, Golden Retriever

@@@ Odunsi: wicked, sexy! (Kimani Moore, 2020)  This was blurbed as Nigerian party rap on a playlist by a website called the Face.  I don’t find tons of African hip hop that blows my mind but it has happened.  It’s a booty track with a stick driven beat and a slurpy keyboard part.  It’s not purely hip hop per se, it’s a blend of hip hop, soul and funk.  A bit Drake-y which isn’t great for me as the big ol’ Drake is such a cartoon figure in my mind.  I clicked to another track in hopes of finding something hotter but alas!  This isn’t really my taste and the mix is a bit too crunchy as well.

@@@ 1010 Benja SL: Woodrow (Young Turks, 2020)  I saw a playlist mentioned on the Twatter and I thought to myself, hey I should check out that playlist.  Some more r&b/soul also off the Face playlist same as the above track.   It’s a breathy flow and then this low voice comes in and says Cool! in a commercial sense.  Like what you would hear in a commercial.  After he does his low down feel he goes full soul with a soaring and contrasting vibe.  He’s got a very fresh flow on the microphone and some of his lyrics are very funny.  I’m not sure what to think, sometimes I think it’s okay to say that.

@@@ Nohe & Sus Santos: Cumbia Triste (Self-released, 2020)  I’ve gotten more than one email from the band about this record and we do love the cumbia music at this blog.  Two singers, a gal and a gent. Tasty electric guitar, even two if you listen closely all served up on a strong rhythm.  It’s smooth, energetic, and partyistic, what else could you ask for?  For some reason I thought these guys were Brazilian, but they’re from New Mexico.  I’m a total idiot and that explains the rocking guitar solo which I feel.  Good shit, check it out and other parts of the record as well.  These guys have it going on and the track after this one on the record is a Latin music celebration of Nirvana’s Come as You Are which I found really good and an interesting take on the ol’ grunger.

@@@ Golden Retriever: Empty Quarter (Thrill Jockey, 2020) A pre-release track off last week’s All Music notable release email.  It is ambient music and to my ears this a blend of synths and some electric guitars.  Long tones/drones, layered up and moving at a steady but not 60mph pace.  I like it but I prefer ambient music without guitar/guitar like sounds.  The underneath parts are pretty cool and very engaging.  It is a monster 13 minute piece and the guitar like sounds give way mostly to classic modulated synth sounds.  I give this a B+ as there’s a lot of interesting sonics here.  Moments here I’m mesmerized and parts I find less compelling.

YTD recordings listened to: 394
Good music, not list worthy: 204
Not good music: 178

Best: 0
Honorable Mentions: 0

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, 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, 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, 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, Ammar 808, Anais Maviel, Chaka Khan, Pom Poko, Fried Egg, Tarek Atoui, Saicobab, General Purv, Shipping News, Big Thief, Mariachi El Bronx, Pour Me a Grog, Sudan Archives, Lakou Mizik, Moodymann, Pharmakon, Alefa Madagascar, Janjao, Luge, Wiki, Mick Jenkins, Jeremiah Jae, Fera, Gambian Griot Kora Duets, Drama, Beatrice Dillon, Mass Worship, mmmonika, Les Deuxluxes, Tony Allen, Fra Fra, Nihiloxica, Hailu Mergia, Pokey LaFarge, Nico Gomez, Nohe and Sus Santos

 

Music for 5/25/20!!! We Versus The Shark, Count Ossie, Charli XCX, Sleaford Mods

@@@ We Versus The Shark: We All Get a Raise (Earnest Jennings, 2020) An Athens (Greece!) math rock band track that I got to via a music publicist email.  It may be mathy but it’s not nerdy, they got a fat bass sound and somebody pumped these drums and guitars.  It’s borderline frickin’ epic!  Two guitars, one in each ear and a sorta slack female singer.  I’d like to hear more energy out of the singer but it’s not my call.  If you’re gonna pump the band up, let’s giddy up with the vocals!  Apparently not.  There’s a gent who hops on the mic towards the end of the tune.  I like it, I’m not jumping up and down but I like it.

@@@ Count Ossie And the Mystic Revelation of Rastafari: Wicked Babylon (Soul Jazz,2020) I got to this early ’70s roots reggae via the reissue site Stranded Records.  Oh Lord this is old school, super old school golden age roots reggae.  The drumming here really imparts a more rasta flow as it takes you back before the drum kit to era of the hand drum.  I’m checking out other tracks on this record and it’s not a stereotypical roots record — some pretty rippin’ sax work in places, a lack of guitars, a ton of hand drums and tons of singing.  But at its core it does have a strong roots reggae essence.

@@@ Charli XCX: 7 Years (Warner UK, 2020) Off last week’s All Music notable release email.  I’ve listened before and haven’t felt her but I’m nothing if not open minded.  Her quarantine record is getting a lot of respect, whether for its business acumen or its creativity remains to be seen.  She sits between Taylor Swift and Arianna Grande — more upbeat than dour Grande and more substantial than Tay Tay.  There isn’t that much to this tune after you take out the voice(s).  There’s a keyboard chord progression to guide her vocal melody, some stabbing percussion synths, and a beat.  The tune is almost insufferably loud, I keep turning it down but they’ve compressed the fuck out of it.  I will listen to another piece of the tune, but the outro here when she goes low volume is the most interesting part.  The main body of the track is just a lot of volume and voices.  I’m peeping a bit of the third tune, claws, is more electro pop dominated by her voice.  Myself I like a blend of good singing, interesting arrangement and I’m really slutty to still enjoy well written lyrics that make sense.  This is hype in my opinion.

@@@ Sleaford Mods: Blog Maggot (Rough Trade, 2020)  Also off last week’s All Music notable release email and a very different flavor to Charli XCX.  It’s classic Sleaford Mods — a blend of in your face lyrics (well done), some classic bass sound but simple and kinda punky, and then a hip hop/rock beat.  This works for me, partly because they keep referring to all this death — the phrase ‘all this death’ and that feels relevant to me.  They also have tossed in a completely mental chomping sound after they say/rap the word blog maggot.  I enjoy the lack of pretension to the Mods and I think a bit of anti-social blasting is appropriate for these times.

YTD recordings listened to: 390
Good music, not list worthy: 202
Not good music: 176

Best: 0
Honorable Mentions: 0

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, 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, 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, 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, Ammar 808, Anais Maviel, Chaka Khan, Pom Poko, Fried Egg, Tarek Atoui, Saicobab, General Purv, Shipping News, Big Thief, Mariachi El Bronx, Pour Me a Grog, Sudan Archives, Lakou Mizik, Moodymann, Pharmakon, Alefa Madagascar, Janjao, Luge, Wiki, Mick Jenkins, Jeremiah Jae, Fera, Gambian Griot Kora Duets, Drama, Beatrice Dillon, Mass Worship, mmmonika, Les Deuxluxes, Tony Allen, Fra Fra, Nihiloxica, Hailu Mergia, Pokey LaFarge, Nico Gomez

 

Music for 5/21/20!!! Nico Gomez, Falle Nioke, Prince Fatty, Dzambo Agusevi Orchestra

I forgot to post this earlier in the week, May 21st that is!

@@@ Nico Gomez: Baila Chibiquiban (Omega, 1971/2020) A reissue track I got to via the WRIR weekly playlist email.  It’s from way back in the day and this track pops out with a mash of psych hippie, Santana style guitar rock, and Latin music vibes.  It’s pretty tasty.  Lots of vocal tracks both male and female, frequent wailing guitars and a big groove with lots of sprinkles.  I let the play button continue and it opens a track El Condor Pasa which is a recycling of a classic melody whose origins I’m not qualified to speak of.  I’ve poked around this record and there’s some really good shit up in here, it’s a party record at a time when who knows where folks’ party is at.  The drumming and playing is really strong.

@@@ FALLE NIOKE AND GHOST CULTURE | “Barke” [Single] | (PRAH, 2020) A pre-release single from an upcoming EP.  Let me google this gent, see where’s he’s from and what his dilly is.  Ah, Guinea (it’s in Africa you bitches) a quiet hotspot for great music.  This is an electronic based arrangement with a nice helping of sweet vocals both gents and females (maybe shemales as well!) Nice bass sound, not reminiscent of trap hip hop and it has a ’80s feels to it.  Nioke’s voice is pretty straight ahead but with a lightness to it.  It doesn’t stand out to my ears but it’s solid.

@@@ Prince Fatty ft Shniece McMenamin: Deep Sleep (Evergreen, 2019) I went looking for another track and got to this 2019 record.   This is a new record of roots reggae from Prince Fatty with a slew of guest vocalists, this one from Shniece McMenamin who I have not encountered before.  It’s got that classic roots sweetness combined with rhythmic power, made sweeter by McManim’s voice.  There’s not much to say here, it’s a great track kick back, hopefully you’re not on a ventilator somewhere, and enjoy the ol’ school Jamaican vibes.

@@@ Dzambo Agusevi Orchestra: Brasses for the Masses (Asphalt Tango, 2020) Off the WRIR weekly email.  Slotted as folk music, this record comes out sounding like Balkan disco business on this first tune.  This is not folk music, it’s horn driven party music.  I think they would like to be Earth Wind and Fire with tubas holding it down on the low end.  I appreciate the sheer nuttiness of this record’s premise, and I’m impressed with the horn playing, these guys can work the horns for sure.  The third tune, Shukri Dvojka, is more traditional Balkan music and I dig that more than the more pandering first two tracks.

YTD recordings listened to: 382
Good music, not list worthy: 198
Not good music: 172

Best: 0
Honorable Mentions: 0

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, 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, 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, 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, Ammar 808, Anais Maviel, Chaka Khan, Pom Poko, Fried Egg, Tarek Atoui, Saicobab, General Purv, Shipping News, Big Thief, Mariachi El Bronx, Pour Me a Grog, Sudan Archives, Lakou Mizik, Moodymann, Pharmakon, Alefa Madagascar, Janjao, Luge, Wiki, Mick Jenkins, Jeremiah Jae, Fera, Gambian Griot Kora Duets, Drama, Beatrice Dillon, Mass Worship, mmmonika, Les Deuxluxes, Tony Allen, Fra Fra, Nihiloxica, Hailu Mergia, Pokey LaFarge, Nico Gomez

 

Music for 5/22/20!!! Tall Black Guy, Austra Hirudin, Future, Jonas Brothers

@@@ Austra Hirudin:  Anywayz (Domino, 2020) Domino business is often a blend of highbrow and the twisted mindset of the British upper class.  I kid, I kid.  This is some Kate Bush flavored electronic music and the first minute is pretty straightforward.  Oh wow, it then explodes out into a Eurovision super nerdy dancefloor banger with her dreamy voice and and plenty of cushy synth patches for your earholes.  Some resonant piano chords for meaning, and vocally she runs her hands across your spine when you’re not there.  Yeah, that’s right, it’s like that.  With about a minute left it segues into a slightly less dancefloor/more intimate thing, vocally at least.  Not really my cup of tea.

@@@ Future: Trillionaire (Epic, 2020)  I guess the appeal of being a big rapper is to be super high and making money as part of your job as that’s the image that’s being sold here.  I love the bass, the beats are a bit low and it’s a double MC attack.  These guys are aspiring trillionaires, oy.  They hang out with millionaires but they’re gonna be trillionaires.  The sounds outside of the bass and drum are sorta soft more ballad-y which is interesting.  There’s not a lot going on her lyrically that I can get with so I have to find interest where I can.  Just to reiterate for the umpteenth time folks should understand how aspiring to be a trillionaire puts you right in line with the racist pumpkin President Trump.  He’s been paper chasin’ before these dudes were fertilized.

@@@ Jonas Brothers: X (UMG, 2020) It was only a matter of time when the Jonas brothers would have peas and rice, some fried plantains and then go reggaeton.  Oh lord, I would hate if they weren’t so sexy in such a clunky blockheaded frat boy style.  These boys have no flow and this rhythm doesn’t come naturally to them.  Oh they got a breathy Latina to help out and she just makes them sound worse.  I like corn when it’s prepared as a tortilla but corn pone with my reggaeton?  Naw.

@@@  Tall Black Guy: We Rollin’ For You (N/A, 2020) A minty fresh updated version of some classic late ’70s/early ’80s fusion/funk type sounds.  There’s a lot of falsetto Earth Wind and Fire type background vocals and some low in the mix chant-ish type vocals.  So the emphasis here is on the arrangement and the feel of the music which is pretty sophisticated and tricked out.  The bass player is quietly killing it, and though I’m not 100% sure if this is a drummer or a programmed situation the beats are high in the mix and stylish.  Overall a super well executed track and I dig it without being a fan of this particular blend of sounds.  I think it’s a drummer.

YTD recordings listened to: 386
Good music, not list worthy: 200
Not good music: 174

Best: 0
Honorable Mentions: 0

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, 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, 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, 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, Ammar 808, Anais Maviel, Chaka Khan, Pom Poko, Fried Egg, Tarek Atoui, Saicobab, General Purv, Shipping News, Big Thief, Mariachi El Bronx, Pour Me a Grog, Sudan Archives, Lakou Mizik, Moodymann, Pharmakon, Alefa Madagascar, Janjao, Luge, Wiki, Mick Jenkins, Jeremiah Jae, Fera, Gambian Griot Kora Duets, Drama, Beatrice Dillon, Mass Worship, mmmonika, Les Deuxluxes, Tony Allen, Fra Fra, Nihiloxica, Hailu Mergia, Pokey LaFarge, Nico Gomez

 

Music for 5/20/20!!! Wasted Shirt, Cirith Ungol, ALMA, Jess Williamson

@@@ Wasted Shirt: All is Lost (Famous Class, 2020) The first two listens today are from last week’s CFUV playlist email and the second two are from the Line of Best Fit from last week.  Rock with updated flavors people!  There’s freaking out guitars and an accelerated beat and everything, snowflakes be rocking.  It’s got a bit of a long ago hippie lose your wig vibe to it but I dig the energy.  Pleasantly buzzy bass and the drummer does not need a Red Bull, he might have to actually chill out a bit or he’s gonna hurt himself.  I’m checking out the second track, Zeppelin 5 and it’s not very Zeppelin like — thus far the guitars on this record are more of the stabbing sound variety and not the long bizarro melodies type but maybe it’s a hipster joke, the title Zeppelin 5.  They get into some fake metal caveman singing in this third tune, so I’m thinking they’re taking the piss here.

@@@ Cirith Ungol – Forever Black (Metal Blade)  This is a band making a comeback after 30 years, fuckin’ A!  When you type fuckin’ A is it a capital A or a small a?  Talk about the healing power of classic metal.  And they comeback as they went out but with more updated sounds.  Big ass guitar riffs, a singer that is operatic and reaching for the clouds in the sky.  Look into my eyes, they reflect the darkening skies, forever black, not the most hopeful line in the middle of a pandemic but you gotta let it out if you gotta let it out and these guys took a 30 year break and now they gotta let it out.  Big guitar solo, all twirly and shit if that’s your thing.  Horns up, ya shittaz!

@@@ ALMA: Loser (Sony, 2020) Technicolor pop, that’s how they describe it on the Apple Music.  It sounds like electro pop with a downer female singer.  It’s one of those mainstream, low self-esteem quasi-empowerment things.  Baby I’m a loser if you want to lose it with me.  Don’t need a hero, don’t need a bad man.  I’m sure she’s an awesome person but this is a trash, childish comic book trash.  Lyrically, and sonically it’s a manicured bush.  The singing is all right though her voice which works with the lyrics does clash a bit with today’s upbeat pop sounds.  I would skip this.

@@@ Jess Williamson: Wind On Tin (Mexican Summer, 2020) Country rock with a few smidges of Tom Petty feels (big guitar strums, familiar chord progressions) on this track I got to via Line of Best Fit.  Female singer, straight beat plus some bonus tamborine.  This would be much better with more cowbell.  Most everything is improved with cowbell.  It’s got a breathy ambient break where I would tell you the hook if I could understand her vocalization but alas I could not.  I don’t fully object to the dreamy female vocal style on top of mainstream country rock but it’s not moving me, the vibe washes the track out a bit for me.  To my ears they don’t go together.  She’s got a very nice voice and the playing is solid.

YTD recordings listened to: 378
Good music, not list worthy: 196
Not good music: 170

Best: 0
Honorable Mentions: 0

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, 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, 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, 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, Ammar 808, Anais Maviel, Chaka Khan, Pom Poko, Fried Egg, Tarek Atoui, Saicobab, General Purv, Shipping News, Big Thief, Mariachi El Bronx, Pour Me a Grog, Sudan Archives, Lakou Mizik, Moodymann, Pharmakon, Alefa Madagascar, Janjao, Luge, Wiki, Mick Jenkins, Jeremiah Jae, Fera, Gambian Griot Kora Duets, Drama, Beatrice Dillon, Mass Worship, mmmonika, Les Deuxluxes, Tony Allen, Fra Fra, Nihiloxica, Hailu Mergia, Pokey LaFarge, Nico Gomez

Music for 5/19/20!!! Redress, Ariana Grande and Justin Beeber, The Primitive Painter, Major Surgery

@@@ Redress: Redsphere (1982362 Records DK, 2020) Some self released electronic that sits #1 out at Vancouver’s CFUV weekly playlist email.  This track tastefully straddles a high minded level of abstraction and dancefloor banging.  This second tune starts out chill and a tad kraut-y before it heads into manic variation on drum ‘n bass with a symphonic string patch, it’s wacky.  It does not require a Red Bull.  I like the variety of sounds here and the boldness of the arrangements so it does tick a lot of boxes for my brain and my ear holes but it’s not quite jump up and down material for me.

@@@ Ariana Grande & Justin Bieber: Stuck With You (UMG, 2020) Two of today’s more self absorbed pop stars and they’re going old school soul with the guitars and the vocal arrangements.  The trap beats have been replaced by something emulating a simple Motown drum beat so Ariana can just fly all around with her voice.  She’s got skills but I tell you she’s a bit short on soul, that’s my take on her.  Beebs comes in and he’s still annoying but he’s not as annoying as he could be.  Isn’t that 2020 America, it’s great when it’s not as annoying as it could be.  The main question here is if two musicians with similar skills — cuz let’s be honest these two can sing but they’re not extraterrestrial rare, right?  If two others did this with the same sounds would it be on the front page of Apple Music with 32 million GooglePimpTube hits.  Imma guessing no.  There’s no need to shit on it, it’s an all right track, but this is a faithful update on something great that dropped long ago.  It’s Make America Soulful Again but not really.

@@@ The Primitive Painter: Hope (Apollo, 1994) I saw this early ambient/IDM record namechecked on the Twatter as a record that has had a long afterlife and is still getting respect to this day.  It opens ambient chainsaw percolating drone before the cloud synth comes in.  This fatboy weighs in at 10+ minutes so make sure you don’t have to piss before you listen, unless you on the phone and shit and you’re sitting on the can.  Right at 2 minutes the drum machine comes in and it’s neither techno nor funk, it’s just ooh we’re heading into a New Age synth cloud, wait a second take a deep breath and gather your feelings, just the good ones cuz you don’t want to shit on the clouds and the uplifting feels coming your way!!  I’m not sure who kept this tune going but it takes all kinds of folks to fill the world.  I find this not super inspiring, it’s kinda a perfect representation of McDonald’s type electro sounds.  I made it exactly halfway through, that’s a pretty good effort.

@@@ Major Surgery: The First Cut (Next Records, 1977/2013)  I saw this jazz record being reissued and then namechecked by the London Jazz Blog.  Being from the mid to late ’70s it does have fusion-y feel which I don’t love, but it does have an old school analog tape feel that is pleasing.  Active drums, guitar and horn melodies played almost not for note together in the head section.  As the guitar takes his solo it has more than a bit of rock feels to it.  I often say rude shit like this dude needs a Red Bull, but neither the guitar player nor the sax player here need a Red Bull, they got energy, mad energy.  This is not my favorite flavor of jazz nor my favorite set of sounds, but they are straight up poppin’ with straight jazz farm fresh goodness/energy and I give props to that.

YTD recordings listened to: 374
Good music, not list worthy: 194
Not good music: 168

Best: 0
Honorable Mentions: 0

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, 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, 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, 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, Ammar 808, Anais Maviel, Chaka Khan, Pom Poko, Fried Egg, Tarek Atoui, Saicobab, General Purv, Shipping News, Big Thief, Mariachi El Bronx, Pour Me a Grog, Sudan Archives, Lakou Mizik, Moodymann, Pharmakon, Alefa Madagascar, Janjao, Luge, Wiki, Mick Jenkins, Jeremiah Jae, Fera, Gambian Griot Kora Duets, Drama, Beatrice Dillon, Mass Worship, mmmonika, Les Deuxluxes, Tony Allen, Fra Fra, Nihiloxica, Hailu Mergia, Pokey LaFarge, Nico Gomez

Music for 5/15/20!!! Sonic Boom, Samora Pinderhughes, Dua Saleh, Phats

@@@ Sonic Boom: Just Imagine (Carpark, 2020) I got to this track via the weekly reissue email from Stranded Records.  Just so you know if a record label is pressing vinyl the band has a fanbase because pressing vinyl costs a certain amount of money and involves shipping, etc.  It doesn’t mean a band is great but it is a positive sign.  A pre-release track that is up on the Apple Music it’s an ambient, video game-y arrangement with a singer that comes in.  Low voice on the singer, understated and maybe a bit low on energy.  I’m a pretty big fan of the synth arrangment here that ends up sounding like a giant rube goldberg machine of horn like and organ like and video gamish sounds.  Still not a fan of the singing, I’m tuning it out.

@@@ Samora Pinderhughes: For Those Lost, For Those Taken (Self-released, 2020) A protest song denouncing the long and horrifying line of police killings in our society.  I got to this via a music publicist email.  Off the Black Spring EP, it’s blackalicious Friday here at Deep in the Music.  If the piano is any indication this is going to be a sad one, and it is.  Tragic actually.  Excellent lyrics, dramatic singing but not oversung and pretty straightforward piano playing.  The subject matter of police killings dominates here, this is not a dancefloor banger it’s just a gent and his piano and as an idea for a song on this topic it does great work — it’s powerful without being overly dramatic and it’s stripped arrangement keeps the ears on the lyrics.

@@@ Dua Saleh: Sugar Mama (colorxstudios, 2019)  I saw this musician name checked on the Twatter and let us once again celebrate our love of the Twatter, it’s good shit.  A Sudanese-American female MC that sounds in tone a bit like Billie Holiday.  A really stylish track both sonically and lyrically.  It’s a sparse beat that ends up sounding like a ticking clock, and the rest of the arrangement is sprinkled lightly — a kick drum here and there, some string plucks, a few female vocals whispers and Saleh being pretty obscene.  She might be lesbian, and if she is go lesbians!  I like her flow, it’s unusual and her rhymes are off kilter as well.  Two minutes of style, check it out!

@@@ Phats: Saved (IRMC Norway, 2020) I got to this via a music publicist email and Phats is a Scandinavian hip hop artist.  You go Phats, that’s all I can say and what else do you say to somebody stage named Phats?  Let me know.  Opening up with Bieber style loverboy guitar Phats comes in half sung/half rhymed.  All the lyrics in the verse are echoed by background vocals.  It’s more rhymed in the chorus and you also get a reggae-ish guitar part up in there as well.  It’s uplifting fo sho, and I’m not sure if this is Christian music on the down low.  I’m not sure how I feel about the smoothness and the positivity packaged together.

YTD recordings listened to: 366
Good music, not list worthy: 190
Not good music: 164

Best: 0
Honorable Mentions: 0

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, 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, 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, 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, Ammar 808, Anais Maviel, Chaka Khan, Pom Poko, Fried Egg, Tarek Atoui, Saicobab, General Purv, Shipping News, Big Thief, Mariachi El Bronx, Pour Me a Grog, Sudan Archives, Lakou Mizik, Moodymann, Pharmakon, Alefa Madagascar, Janjao, Luge, Wiki, Mick Jenkins, Jeremiah Jae, Fera, Gambian Griot Kora Duets, Drama, Beatrice Dillon, Mass Worship, mmmonika, Les Deuxluxes, Tony Allen, Fra Fra, Nihiloxica, Hailu Mergia, Pokey LaFarge

 

Music for 5/18/20!!! Mrs. Piss, Righteous Rainbows of Togetherness, TOPS, Buttechno

@@@ Mrs. Piss: Downer Surrounded by Uppers (Sargent House, 2020) Music publicist email, they’re like a virus, it’s everywhere!  A pre-release single that evokes, who the fuck is this biting, Sonic Youth, Sonic Youth my hard drive is still spinning somewhat!  It’s not a full bite, the guitar parts are very similar and feels, c’mon feels.  The singer is more of a howler than Kim Gordon but the shitstorm kicked up by these guys is tres Youth-y.  I like it all right.  The beginning of the next pre-release track is gloomier so maybe there are additional flavors in this pack of gum.

@@@ Righteous Rainbows of Togetherness: Acid Fury (Self-released, 2020)  Some techno business I got to via the CFUV weekly email.  I guess these guys market themselves as a live techno act, they play live and shit.  It’s pretty basic techno dancefloor banging here in the beginning of this 6 and half minute banger.  It’s pretty classic from what I’m hearing.  A steady mix of kick snare and hat variations with some delay on the bass, a little eq filtering, and little electro garnish and boo ya!  Right at 4 minutes we reach full techno madness, it’s bangin’, peoples is sweating on the dancefloor and it’s dramatical unt-sss.  As a record it’s not that compelling for me, but live I’m sure these folks tear it up.  Not for the abstract techno crowd.

@@@ TOPS: I Feel Alive (House Arrest, 2020) There’s a big difference between jangly and janky.  Me, I love janky shit, Imma freak but this tune is sweet and super jangly.  It’s almost so jangly that it could be considered janky but that would require certification that I’m not qualified to give.  I can guarantee that these musicians shower and they wear deodorant, they’re members of society looking to make a positive contribution.  Me, well that’s a different story.  There’s absolutely nothing wrong with this track, it’s just not for me.  Female singer with a dude helping her out on background vocals and it’s got a little classic rock feels in here besides big time jangly indie rock feels.

@@@ Buttechno: Masse Metal (The Trilogy Tapes, 2020) Techno dude from Moscow that I got to via an Australian music magazine.  Imma listen the first couple of tracks and then head out as there’s so much music out there to listen to.  It’s not dancefloor bangin’, it’s beat free almost theatrical sonic design with lots of voices, sounds that sound both industrial and war like.  This first tune Stroyevaya is cool but definitely unexpected.  There are metallic rhythms but they’re not continuous and there’s a free floating sense to the proceedings.  The second tune, the Snare of Doom provides a steady rhythm and a little bit more with some sort of abstract pings and smashes here and sheets here and there.  The third tune, 302, is the closest to techno with a pumping beat with alien glitch action and that percolating steady build you hear in techno.  I’m not sure why I like this but I do.  I will swing back in a couple of days and recheck to see if it’s still working for me.

YTD recordings listened to: 370
Good music, not list worthy: 192
Not good music: 166

Best: 0
Honorable Mentions: 0

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, 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, 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, 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, Ammar 808, Anais Maviel, Chaka Khan, Pom Poko, Fried Egg, Tarek Atoui, Saicobab, General Purv, Shipping News, Big Thief, Mariachi El Bronx, Pour Me a Grog, Sudan Archives, Lakou Mizik, Moodymann, Pharmakon, Alefa Madagascar, Janjao, Luge, Wiki, Mick Jenkins, Jeremiah Jae, Fera, Gambian Griot Kora Duets, Drama, Beatrice Dillon, Mass Worship, mmmonika, Les Deuxluxes, Tony Allen, Fra Fra, Nihiloxica, Hailu Mergia, Pokey LaFarge