Music for 8/14/20!!! Jenny O, Immanuel Wilkins, Joe Bonamassa, Arca

@@@ Jenny O: God Knows Why (Mama Bird, 2020) I saw this record on last week’s All Music notable release email.   There’s no greater lover of indie rock than not me!  This tune is the leadoff track from the record and it sports a retro vibe — huge tunnel-y type reverb on the voice a la the ’60s era San Fran hippie-psych (not as much), I mean just look at her outfit on the cover in the video below.  But never fear there’s plenty of indie slack to be had here.  You got your major chord guitar strum and straight rock drumming so if you need that, mission accomplished.  The twist here is the vocal arrangement and the organ swell and I’m agnostic on the formula.  I like it all right without jumping up and down while realizing that a lot of folks don’t want to jump up and down.  A lot of people want background music.  The drummer is doing good work here.

@@@ Immanuel Wilkins: Warriors (Blue Note, 2020)  Also off last week’s All Music notable release email.  Wilkins is the sax player and bandleader and he’s joined by a piano player, bass and drums.  This tune kicks off the record and I’m finding myself listening to the piano player quite a bit and feeling like the drummer could use some flavors.  I know this contained drumming is a core feature of straight jazz but I don’t have to love it.  Some wild drumming here would make me happy.  Micah Thomas is the piano player here and I haven’t heard him before, but I wanted to give him a special hat tip for his playing.  I also have to upgrade the drummer as he does turn it up over the course of the tune.  From a bit of interwebz reading I’m seeing Wilkins saying the record is connected to recent African American protests and fighting for one’s beliefs.  About a minute from the end the tune reaches a straight jazz peak before building to another peak and then seguing into the second track entitled Ferguson – An American tradition.  Solid, could use some more fire.

@@@ Joe Bonamassa: Why Does it Take So Long to Say Goodbye (J&R, 2020) I got to this via big mouth music writer Bob Lefsetz.  I’ve heard Bonamassa before and like his stuff while not being enthralled with his modern blues electric guitar tone, it’s a bit too rock for me, but hey that’s just me.  This is a tear jerker with lots of late ’70s classic rock feels so it’s an equal marriage of blues and classic rock.  The chorus gets more earnest and a bit cheesier right before he hits that vocal hook and if this doesn’t make you reach for a Bic lighter and spark it in the air, well then you’re not a lover of classic rock.  The production is pretty polished which doesn’t make the tune work better for me,.  It’s a six minute long super rock biscuit which gives plenty of time for a proggish breakdown which sounds more math-y, ooh they just hit a thick guitar riff section so I get that, meh I don’t need that myself that’s just a bit too arena rock for my style.  Big shred about two minutes from the end.  When he leaves, he leaves for good, that’s the hook.  I feel the same.

@@@ Arca: Mequetrefe (XL, 2020) I saw this artist with a feature on the Nation website.  Pretty out there electronic dancefloor banging from a Brazilian female artist.  Small references to drum and bass in the rhythms but plenty of Brazilian feels up in here — there’s also a bucket of glitch, rhythmic acceleration and postmodern sonic deconstruction going on as well so it’s a three dimensional stew that requires some mental focus.  I’m not sure I find the almost complete wrecking of the track enjoyable though I’m not in it strictly for the joy.  I’m feeling the track after the one I started with and find it to be a better blend of voices, sounds and production.  What seems to be most visible here is the defiant combination of different sonic ideas expressed at a high level of energy.

YTD recordings listened to: 623
Good music, not list worthy: 314
Not good music: 279

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, schroothoop, Tiny Bit of Giant’s Blood, Pole, Naeem, Mekons, Santrofi, DJ Nigga Fox, Flor do Toloache, Alexander Hawkins/Tomeka Reid, STORMLIGHT, Venomous Concept, Chezidek, Shy One, Muqata’a, Protomartyr



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