Music for 9/14/20!!! Genesis Be, Fenne Lily, Jouska, The Staves

@@@ Genesis Be: The Edge (Genesis Be Publishing, 2020) I saw on abcnews.com how this underground Mississippi rapper has been waging a personal war against the Confederate flag and I want to support that. Fuck the Confederate flag. The tune opens up with a panning distorted synth that sounds a lot like a big rock arena guitar. Then the drum machine hits and Ms. Be gets into some modern Beyonce-esque style singing. Then rhymes. The rhymes are heavy, not gangsta, much more spiritual about the illusion of life. Also world weary which is a central feature of a lot of African American culture that I’ve been checking out. The second part of the tune turns into a road song, they’re tipping out in a car with some weed and cognac. I get that and I’m not even black. To my ears this has more rock ‘n roll vibes than hip hop — hit the road, crank up the rock guitar like sounds, and talk about how much the world sucks. I like this, I like the uncommon combination of sounds and ideas here.

@@@ Fenne Lily: Solipsism (Dead Oceans, 2020) The next three listens are off last week’s Line of Best Fit email. Some old school guitar indie with medium crunchy guitar, high in the mix rock guitars, and then refined dreamy female vocal sauce over the top. Very Cranberry-esque arena rock but with the Velvet Underground swirled in not big Brit rock stadium rock. Sounds are neatly manicured and the refined vocal style makes the listening experience not sweaty and maybe not super convincing. To my ears at least. Coffee shop background rock.

@@@ Jouska: Everything is Good (Jouska, 2020) I find this record/video cover to be a bit baffling. She looks like she got in a fight that she lost and then she fell in water. Sonically the tune revolves around an arpeggiated synth patch with big flushes of bass and Jouska’s whispered and ironic/unconvincing ‘everything is good’. How can it be so good when she looks the way she does below? She can’t I tell you. The final 25 seconds explode into a frantic mash of kick drum, crunchy synths and Jouska’s insistence that everything is good. I get the sentiment and the real life parallel but when the second tune comes on it’s much more joyous pop with the title ‘I Really Don’t Mind’. So everything is good and she really doesn’t mind. She’s taking grunge lyrical sentiments and smashing them into electro sounds. It’s jarring. Not necessarily bad but certainly jarring.

@@@ The Staves: Trying (Atlantic, 2020) Opens up mopey with sing song melancholic female vocals and some breathing organ synth that I like. More voices added and a switch to the synth sound, sad and pretty with a bit of church thrown in for good measure. She’s sorry and you should be sorry, the tune settles into that chant with even more vocals added til we’re close to full choir. There’s a bit of electro garnish in spots but the focus here is on the female singer and the organ. She doesn’t oversing (big plus there) and the organ is quite well presented. Like it more than I usually would when presented with this formula. No drums and I like drums.

YTD recordings listened to: 704
Good music, not list worthy: 373
Not good music: 310

Best: 1
Honorable Mentions: 1

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, Protomartyr, Nnamdi, Ekiti Sound, Insolito Universo,  Deena Abdelwahed

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