@@@ Vangarde: The New Normal (Fat Beat Records, 2020) I got to to this independent hip hop tune via a music publicist email. I think the name of the beatmaker Stu Bangas is hilarious. The beats here are decidely pre-trap, they got some scratching going on with a nice panned keyboard part that helps to drive the track. Also a stylish horn sample. The lyrics are non-gangsta and they appear to be rocking a non-materialistic, black philosopher type of viewpoint in the vein of Boogie Down Productions. I like it, this formula is not common these days in hip hop so I appreciate it as it’s not super frequently encountered.
@@@ Susan Alcorn: Pedernal (Relative Pitch, 2020) Some pedal steel jazz I got to via the Twatter if I remember correctly. As long as it doesn’t take the Bill Frissell snoozytime tea approach I’ll be happy. This opens with a upright bass and pedal steel and it’s a pleasing contrast. A drummer comes in as well as a second guitar and a fiddle. Love the fiddle, agnostic on the second guitar, the pedal steel is a bit staid, like the bassist and agnostic on the drummer. I have to modify my view a bit as the tune devolves into bits and a simpler banging rhythm in places and the voices fall out of being in sync which I find more intereting. I could use a bit more fire myself but I like it, especially the fiddle.
@@@ Judith Hill: Americana (Regime, 2020) Another track I got to via a music publicist email. From the video image below it looks like season 2 of Watchmen and I’m up for that, great show! My first impression is that Ms. Hill has heard a lot of Curtis Mayfield records, but not in a bad way. It comes out of a strings and conga intro into a more Prince flavored funk. A very tricked arrangement with some fresh sounds up in here. There’s a bit of politics with a gunshot and the lyric ‘you better run away when you hear the bang bang’. The tune keeps turning over with new sounds and sections and I have to cough up some respect for this — it’s fresh. She takes sounds from various African American musicians and smashes them up into something her own. Most notable are the Prince feels. This is a pre-release track and I would check out more.
@@@ The Whitlams: Blow Up the Pokies (Black Yak, 2000) A long running Australian group I got to via one of the many Australian music magazines I have sliding into my inbox. This is a re-issued track from 2000 and it’s epic, UK/Scotland arena rock which is not my favorite flavor of popsicle. It’s intimate in the verse and it cheeses itself in the chorus, oh boy does that cheddar get slathered on. The string arrangements, the strummed acoustic guitar get your spoon out and lap up the corn that comes with the cheese. I have no clue as to what Blow Up the Pokies means but I’m not sure I’m interested in finding out. It’s some sort of tune about the destruction of the slot machines in Australia which makes it slightly more interesting, but just slightly.
YTD recordings listened to: 926
Good music, not list worthy: 498
Not good music: 395
Honorable Mentions: 7
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, 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, Pole, Naeem, Mekons, Santrofi, DJ Nigga Fox, Flor do Toloache, Alexander Hawkins/Tomeka Reid, Shy One, Protomartyr, Nnamdi, Ekiti Sound, Awa Fall, 25,000 Kittens, Anjimile, Tristan Arp