@@@ The Shivas: If I Could Choose (Tender Loving Empire, 2021) Both of today’s listens are off this week’s All Music notable release email. Oy, this was slotted as garage punk and what I’m hearing is some medium energetic alt country indie business. I’ve been ripped off and deceived, naimsayin’? Nice guitar work and tongue in cheek singing with ironical lyrics it’s well executed and enjoyable, it’s just not garage punk. Garage punk is a label a lot of folks enjoy pimping because it has a rough, macho feel to it combined with the wiseass punk attitude. Due to my music listening thoroughness I’m peeing the first track and it’s got some classic rock in it, a bit of Beach Boys and a bit of Alex Chilton, but alas…..
@@@ Sufjan Stevens & Angelo De Augustine: A Beginner’s Mind (Asthmatic Kitty, 2021) I’m a bit prejudiced against Mr. Stevens as he’s a New York Times kinda icon and gets, in my opinion, a level of interest in his music that he doesn’t deserve. This collaboration album is no exception — it’s very literate and very beautiful but also a bit detached and over intellectualized. Instrumentation is mostly piano and voice with a little string action. The Apple Music blurb says they would watch a movie in the evening and write a tune the next day, oy a schoolboy’s exercise in creativity. Let’s just disconnect and issue forth sweet smelling farts for the masses to inhale and admire. My problem here aren’t even the songs but all the ideas and concepts that bring forth these types of songs. Let me conclude this by putting forth the idea of contrast — here we have a strictly beautiful thing here, nothing mixed in there to show the complexity of other things besides beauty.