@@@ Don Bryant: Your Love is to Blame (Fat Possum, 2020). Some old school funk-soul I got to via this week’s All Music new release email. Big horn section, pumping beats, more active than usual guitar vamping, background singers — the whole shlemiel. If I check Bryant’s bio there’s a 40% chance he’s been a preacher in his life, he’s got that flow for sure. He started singing in church at age 6 and he made gospel records through the ’80s and ’90s so I’m thinking I pretty much hit the mark on that. I like it, it’s not particularly out there playing but I do dig the guitar and he shouts his business from the rooftop. Smoother than James Brown and not as smooth as vintage Al Green.
@@@ Masaki Batoh: Smile Jesus Loves You (Drag City, 2020). The last song on a record of the same name and it’s at least two woodwinds that open this up and it has contemplative, Bach-y church-y flow. Not super so but long and pretty tones for you to kick back so maybe he was thinking that too as he threw a J-man in there in the title. Oh Lord, that was the 2 minute intro to a 12 minute tune that gives way to banjo and slide guitar and Batoh’s singing. I don’t have a grounding in hipster bands but upon a wee bit of Googling I see Batoh is the most known member of Japanese experimental rock group Ghost and as the song starts to morph and weird out he’s doing what I guess he’s been doing for a long time, fucking shit up sonically and smashing sounds into each other. By the time we get to 6 minutes you can expect oohs and aahs, guitar feedback, a saxophone, and that feedback is really starting to screw itself into my brain sponge. I never ever squash the weirdos as I’m one myself but Imma move on!
@@@ Natalia Lafourcade: Mi Religion (Sony, 2020) I know it’s not popular with the Trumpers but I love Mexican music and Mexican culture and Mexican people! Fuck you assholes. This is out on Sony so it’s a super polished, high class presentation of more traditional Mexican music. A ripping accordion player, velvet-y string section, a bevy of background singers, the whole shlemiel as they say. Shlemiel is word of the day. Lafourcade’s singing stands up to all the instruments but it’s a tough fight as it’s a packed track. This is for people with solid jobs, super fleshed out mix to make you listeners out there feel sophisticated even if you’re listening with no pants on.
@@@ El Michels Affair: Rubix (Big Crown, 2020) I can’t quite remember how I got to this track but I got here. It’s slotted as r&b/soul on the Apple Music but it’s got a wee bit of indie in the guitar (and the bass sound as well) to go with the retro sounding beats and other r&b flavors. Imma guessing we’re getting an instrumental here but this is a slippery time (in many ways!) and who knows for sure. It is an instrumental track and I like a bunch of the sounds here and the arrangement is fresh and interesting. It’s not jump up and down music for me, but this could work for some people and it does sport a different approach.
YTD recordings listened to: 362
Good music, not list worthy: 188
Not good music: 162
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