Music for 9/11/20!!! Bettye Lavette, Kabaka Pyramid, Pale Saints, Int’l Teachers of Pop

@@@ Bettye LaVette: Blackbird (Verve/UMG, 2020) Off last week’s All Music notable release email. I’m guessing from the record cover that this is gonna be a world weary, black folks’ fatigue kind of record and right on time. She does cover Strange Fruit and I see from a rando article that these songs are all loosely connected as the experiences of black women. I’m not a black woman but this tune has pretty much everything I want from music — soulful vocals, sweetness from the strings, a minimal but focused arrangement and transparent production that doesn’t turn the track into a Disney type epic thing. Lavette’s singing is more than enough, she’s great. Ms./Mrs. LaVette has been singing for a long ass time so she knows how to sing and how to work the microphone, no doubt about that.

@@@ Kabaka Pyramid: Nice Up the Dance (VP, 2020) Off last week’s WRIR playlist email. Lively up yer day with some reggae toasting. You do get some video game laser sounds but it’s not a complete electro track even if it was constructed electronically. The focus here is Pyramid’s microphone flow — active, pumping, partyistic and friendly. What would you expect from a tune called Nice Up The Dance? He does indeed fulfull the mission, he nices up the dance for sure. Super catchy tiny keyboard figure and some occasional ear catching delayed vocals spash around. This is a very solid party track, check it out.

@@@ Pale Saints: Sight of You (4AD, 1990) Some reissued business of last week’s Stranded Records email. From reading their blurb on Apple Music these guys are/were shoegaze pioneers — I have some affection for the shoegaze subgenre, especially the noisy storminess of the guitars. There are two different versions of this up on the ol’ interwebz jukebox so I’m goin’ rando. I switched versions cuz I wanted to and do notice the shoegaze but also the classic guitar punk/indie of the time. The drumming and the bass playing are a bit boring and the vocalist is just too damned friendly and non-threatening but it storms up in the chorus and there ya go — shoegaze explosion action. Classic indie rock people, classic indie rock. Compared to today’s collapsing society this is absolutley mannered, it’s peeking in a time capsule. Like the guitar player’s sound, nice. Could have tried a cowbell on here to spice things up, no?

@@@ International Teachers of Pop: Gaslight (Desolate Spools, 2020) All Music notable release email!! I’m guessing we’re gonna get some white folks’ dancefloor banger action here. A little krauty, a little cutesy, a little art school, and frankly not funky enough for me. I could deal with these vocal melodies, they’re really all right, but the beat oy put down the Red Bull and put some doobie up in yer funk. Lots of video game keyboard action sounds. Also switch up the bassline, it’s pretty good but not so poppin’ you can’t switch out and return back to it. If this tune was on the Great British Bake Off it would be called out as a bit claggy. It’s 2020, we got that internet shit, hit up somebody and get a fresh beat going, the whole tune would benefit! As usual just tryin’ to help in my low IQ kinda way.

YTD recordings listened to: 700
Good music, not list worthy: 370
Not good music: 309

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, Nnamdi, Ekiti Sound, Insolito Universo, Matt Wilson, Deena Abdelwahed

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