@@@ 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
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