Music for 5/31/22!!! Calvin Harris/Dua Lipa/Young Thug, Chance the Rapper

@@@ Calvin Harris/Dua Lipa/Young Thug: Potion (Sony, 2022) It’s the kickoff to summer and somebody felt the urge to drop a Calvin Harris turd into the public sphere. Dua Lipa and Young Thug do a decent job of bringing some life into these sounds which are late ’70s/early ’80s electro funk. Lyrics are stupid and cliche so what you’re left is Dua Lipa’s sexy chic and Young Thug’s hip hop energy. Maybe a tad too much janky guitar work and a bassline that is half as funky as it ought to be on top of a boring ass four on the floor beat. Just sayin’.

@@@ Chance the Rapper: A Bar about a Bar (Self-released, 2022) I’m always up for a bit of Chance though it feels like he’s fallen off or been quiet for a bit. But this has a super fat chopped/glitched feel that percolates underneath his rhymes. Compared to the Calvin Harris biscuit above this 1 minute jam has funkier energy and more creativity packed into it than 3 minutes of Potion. Excellent sounds here, stacked and chopped and then abruptly done. I don’t know if a 1 minute track can be song of the summer but it’s a good step in the right direction.

Music for 5/30/22!!! Doldrum

@@@ Doldrum: The Knockout (N/A, 2022) I got to this bangin’ two metal record that I got to via Invisible Oranges twatting out support for it. The marketing schtick says the music is rooted in the darker side of American dark folk music and occult culture. I don’t hear that very strongly but I hear some really excellent guitar playing and a compelling metal singer. The vibe here is more one of disturbance than metal anger. There’s also a bit of punk and hard rock energy going on here and I dig the package for real. A lot of metal can be quite rigid and the guitar playing, as well as the composition and the whole experience here is looser which is a welcome change of pace for me. The second tune have more of a distinctly death metal flow to it. I still like it a whole bunch it’s just not as different as the first track. Oh shit, I musta been low IQ when I searched for this record on Apple Music because I just found it and it sounds better and I can now bookmark it for inclusion in my podcast. This is a 7 track 37 minute record and check this out as this is high quality business.

Music for 5/29/22!!! Dark0

@@@ Dark0: Shining Star (Year 0001, 2021) I got to this electronic music via a promo email from Crack Magazine featuring a non binary visual artist who name checked this record. I’m starting with the third track and it looks set to be super poppy electronic music with heavy New Age feels/cheese. Some of my least favorite synth sounds for sure. Let me check another track. The video below is the fifth track on the record and it opens with an intimate spoken word bit with a little bit of piano in the back of the mix. Then into a vocoded vocal melody and a heavy reverbed percussion arpeggio. I’m giving the opening track, Eternity, a quick peep and it’s more sci fi than New Age, ooh this isn’t really my cup of tea. Except for a bit of floor shaking bass in the opening track I didn’t feel any whoomph, I like some whoomph with my New Age cookies.

Music for 5/29/22!!!! Zach Bryan

@@@ Zach Bryan: Something in the Orange (Warner, 2022) Music biz honcho commentator Bob Lefsetz absolutely shat his pants over this record so I thought I would throw it a listen. This record is 34 songs that clock in at 2 hours and 1 minute and there’s no way I’m gonna hang for more than just a taste of this big biscuit. The video below is the second track on the record and it opens with acoustic guitar, harmonica, restrained piano chords and Bryan’s voice. Well, it is good, he’s not slinging country cheese here. I don’t know if the whole thing is gonna be of the quality of this track but I’m gonna peep a few bits and then let it go. I like the third tune Heavy Eyes, it’s more straight ahead country with no bullshit. I would recommend this to music fans, not just country fans. Bryan has a really good voice and the music sounds real. This is why you have to check shit out, I don’t think I’ve ever liked anything Lefsetz has recommended but this is a really good record.

Music for 5/27/22!!! Dehd, Brian Jackson

@@@ Dehd: Window (Fat Possum, 2022) A blend of classic rock with a big fat synth for a modern update to the aforementioned classic rock chunk. I got to this via this week’s All Music notable release email. I thought the first track was most notable for the chill electric keyboards, and the second tune is good as the singer really works the microphone. It’s hard to breathe fresh energy into rock music so I respect this track. It’s a clear ’80s vibe here but they don’t go for that annoying fucking snare sound and a bad chorused guitar sound, it’s presented plainly with a good singer. I’ve really enjoyed two of the four songs here which is a pretty high ratio for me and any variation of rock.

@@@ Brian Jackson: All Talk (BBE Music, 2022) Though listed as jazz on Apple Music I would classify this as smooth funk. I give him respect for the overly political lyrics in the opening track, All Talk. There’s an interesting sense of contrast as he pumps the smooth sounds and then gets into some pretty explicit black pride business. The second tune, Force of Will, is a more of a ballad-y slow burner. I think I like the third tune, C’est Cette Cornete, most of all. It’s got some oohs and aahs and shooby doops and the groove is pretty tight. It’s no George Clinton but he does all right with the pallette that he’s interested in.

Music for 5/24/22!!! Moon Tooth, Televeangelism

@@@ Moon Tooth: Grip on the Ridge (Pure Noise, 2022) I’ve seen this record mentioned in a coupla different places. From my extensive listening I think there’s been some action in terms of recasting rock music to get people interested in it again. This would qualify as one of those efforts as it’s rocking, but with the singer doing a very heartfelt thing over a descending riff, it’s most definitely neither Wilco or a metal band. I clicked to the second tune as I thought the guitar player was getting a bith mathy for my taste and he comes out laying down the power chords in this second track. The second and third tracks both sport some Van Halen-y boogie rock flavors which I haven’t heard in these parts in a long ass time. I don’t dislike it, but this maybe a formula that takes a bit of time to adjust to. On the surface it feels a bit contradictory with the non-rock singer — this dude could be in a Death Cab for Cutie cover band, for real.

@@@ Televangelism: Ethel Cain (Daughters of Cain, 2022) A rare miss here as I can’t remember how I got to this track. Most likely a promo email from a music publicist or an online outlet. And it matters even if you don’t care! This track opens with a heavily reverbed and slightly delayed piano intro. It’s kinda cool and annoying at the same time. It reminds me a bit of Prince’s heartbreaking track ‘Sometimes it snows in April’ — if you don’t know that track you should get on that. Now we’re getting into the more openly delayed bit and it’s officially annoying as far as I’m concerned. It’s too explicitly epic for my taste. There are some vocal washes that kind of act as an industrial smoothing agent so there’s that. It dies back down and well it’s gonna go out like this. I’m giving a quick peep to the second track, American teenager and I think somebody shoulda dialed back the reverb as it’s awash.

Music for 5/22/22!!! Aubrey Haddard, Static Dress

@@@ Aubrey Haddard: Processing Power (Beverly Martel, 2022) Line of Best Fit!!! If you take some electro bits and layer them over a grunge guitar sound, a gated 80s snare sound and pop lyrics, well then you get the formula for this single. It’s currenly clean guitar in the verse and Imma guessing and putting money on the crunch in the chorus. Whoops, there it is, grunge lives on. I like her voice but as for lyrics I’m not sure what the hook revolving around the words ‘processing power’ means. The most interesting thing here is the use of non-use of rock beats here, followed by the smashing of the electro and the electric guitar. Overall, it’s more a technical thing than an explosive feel something thing.

@@@ Static Dress: fleahouse (Static Dress, 2022) More rawk people, more rawk people!!! This times it’s much more punky, post-punk, post rock with a jump around vibe and a big stack of vocals over slashing guitars and aforementioned octopus drumming. Maybe I didn’t mention the spray style drumming but it is a core component of the track. It’s a lotta lotta (that’s two lottas) energy and a lotta young person angst.

Music for 5/23/22!!! Julieta Eugenio, Moneybagg Yo

@@@ Julieta Eugenio: Efes (Greenleaf, 2022) I got to this debut jazz record by an Argentine woman via a twat on the Twatter. I really like her tone in this opening track and I like the mix, it’s very full with drums and bass not mixed into the background. The sax playing skews lower in energy than fire, maybe she will fire it up at some point in 5 minute track. I clicked through to the second track and am finding myself listening to the rhythm section more than Eugenio which isn’t a great sign. I like her slower and more thoughtful playing but honestly I could use a bit more fire. That’s just me but hey it’s my blog.

@@@ Moneybagg Yo: Rocky Road (Interscope, 2022) I think we’re entering the decadent rock star phase of hip hop. It seems much more about stardom and weed and girls than anything else. He even used the words rock ‘n roll, imagine that! This is a double MC attack and I like the rhythm and bass sounds, it’s slicked out and bumpin’. After that it’s a light garnish of pitch shifted vocal samples but it’s just sorta an afterthought. Black parsely y’all. One of the MCs sounds really high and slurring big time but the formula here is clear. If you’re here for anything more than a groove with some bumpin’ bass you’re in the wrong place.

Music for 5/18/22!!! Kalia Vandever, Tank and the Bangas

@@@ Kalia Vandever: Regrowth (New Amsterdam, 2022) I see tons of record covers and seeing the dress Vandever wears and with a title such as ‘Regrowth’ I thought we were heading for some pretty vapid coffeeshop singer songwriter business but alas it’s really solid trombone jazz recording. I do confess to having a soft spot for trombone, it’s a beautiful instrument. I’m on the second track and it sports a lot of dynamics and the players do their thing quite crisply. It has a pleasantly tight feel. This is no skronk fest, they burn a little bit but it’s more patchouli rather than the Twin Towers burning down. Vandever’s playing is complex and feels circular as she keeps reshaping her ideas and building on them; she’s a really interesting player. I’ve checked out a bunch of tracks and the ideas seem to start with a short phrase or melody that just spiral out from there. There are some moments I like less than others but overall it’s both accessible and substantial.

@@@ Tank and the Bangas: Red Balloon (Verve, 2022). Oh wow, this is some smooth ass, corporate groomed, expertly manicured pubic bush r&b from Verve. This is so for folks with jobs who seek to pump themselves up with feel good jams it hurts. I’m hurtin’ over here. If you say Prince put a lot of pop into his music to appeal across the board, this is more flattering to the listener and I can just hear how some poor recording engineer worked on these mixes for months smoothin it out and then over mixing with little goodies here and there. There is nary a tack sticking up here, yowsa. Ironically the music would be more effective in my opinion if it was a bit grittier, but grit there isn’t, it’s fully processed like one of them orange cheese slices. A miracle in its way but not so tasty.

Music for 5/21/22!!! Jacob Garchik, Eric Hilton

@@@ Jacob Garchik: Fanfare (Yestereve, 2022) I can’t find this track on Apple Music so well have to satisfy ourselves with some GooglePimpTube action clipped below. It’s a multitude of horns arranged tightly, often playing the same line with each other accompanied by piano, drums and bass. It has a distinctly proggy feel to it without being fusion. Fusion, in my mind is more of a set of sounds and a vibe. Oh wait, the tight arrangement has given way to a ballad-y horn and piano section. I like the slow jam section more and am not quite sure how it connects with the manic section that comes back and then back to the lounge blues slowdown. But here they are, the crocodile and the parakeet, trying to work it out.

@@@ Eric Hilton: Flowering Soul (Montserrat, 2022) I got to this super smooth, lounge-y typa funk via a music publicist email. I like the bassline, both it’s tone and it’s composition and honestly not much else. This is for people with jobs who like to drink seltzer with flavors. Flavors like very berry and future bubbles. Maybe if you were super baked this would be stylish but me I’m in much more of a combative looking for action frame of mind. This doesn’t provide action for me, but maybe it works for regular readers.