Music for 7/31/22!!! Tom Prekop/John McEntire, Chat Pile

@@@ Tom Prekop/John McEntire: Crossing at the Shallow (Thrill Jockey , 2022) A coupla listens off this week’s 10 most reviewed albums via Pitchfork email. Slotted as ambient on Apple Music this is the second track on the album and it comes out grooving with a classic techno beat. It’s not the only beat happenin’ (great!) and there’s some interesting shit going on in here — to reduce them to squiggles and sheets of sound is a bit degrading but there’s there’s some melodic funk/junk on top that really breaks the rigidity of the beat. This is a record with four tracks and the shortest banger on here is just shy of 9 minutes so buckle in as they’re gonna stretch you shit out. I’m checking out the first track, A Ghost at Noon, and it comes on with some nice sci-fi/space synths. I will hang for the full flowering of the track as I hear the hi hat coming, now the kick. Not a lot of ambient dancefloor music is gonna have this level of melodic development so get with that.

@@@ Chat Pile: Slaughterhouse (The Flenser, 2022) Slotted as rock on the Apple Music it’s got more of a punk/metal flow to my ears but we don’t want to harm the delicate sensibilities of the mainstream listeners. Medium big mess here, slicing guitar notes, grizzy bass guitar and thick ka-chunky drums, it’s more muscular rock than I’ve hear in a bit. I skipped the second track Why and it’s uglier and I like it, it’s just a foul bucket of distortion and bashing. I wish more people would get into this rough stuff, it really helps get the bad feels out. Big ups not only to the sounds, but this second track Why is a really creative lyrical smash in the face.

Music for 7/30/22!!! Hurray for the Riff Raff, Max Johnson

@@@ Hurray for the Riff Raff: PIerced Arrows (Nonesuch, 2022) Aargh, I can’t remember how I got to this track, an ethical lapse!!! It opens with a muscular New Wave flavor, nice growl on the lower frequencies and a good singer. It’s got a bit of an epic vocal hook, or the buildup to the chorus is epic, and then the cheese starts to ooze out from between the slices of bread in the chorus. The strings panned out wide and just a bit of downtown hipness swirled into the mostly mainstream music sounds. I don’t know if they have a new honcho at Nonesuch but this doesn’t sound like normal Nonesuch business. I like the fourth track Rhododendron because it’s more stripped down. They got a good band vibe and the songs are very focused. Myself I would like to hear more rocking as the energy and focus is mostly on the singer. And Lord somebody get some flavors for the drummer, homie is stuck!!!

@@@ Max Johnson: Why the Moon is Blue (Fresh Sounds, 2022) I got to this record via the Twatter I believe. It’s a chill sitch with piano, bass and drums as instrumentation. The video below is for the first track and it does percolate as it moves through its 5 minutes of length. Today I give not a fuck for grammar, tomorrow maybe. I’m listening to the second track, Presently, and it’s energetic and contained straight jazz. Nothing for me to personally jump up and down about but others are different. There are moments where they start to get into it, yeah I think the second track works better for me. Imma give a peep to track 3 and then head out for the day. Of the three tracks I heard the second one works best for me.

Music for 7/29/22!!! $uicideBoy$, Pigeon Pit

@@@ $SuicideBoy$: Sing Me a Lullaby Sweet Temptation (G59, 2022) I mean I like the formula and a whole bunch of the sounds but are they hyped? Maybe a bit. There’s never a hot shit moment, like this is super hot shit how did they make this? The dark nihilistic worldview hits with today’s society, it’s a toilet out there people. Let me peep a bit more oooh, they just made me a liar with the third tune, F***** Your Culture, it’s a flowing throwdown with the best rhymes of what I’ve heard to this point. I’m gonna go out after this fourth track 1000 Blunts — it’s cool, maybe a step down from that third tune, but the third tune is the hot spot on a record. Solid double to left center field not a home run for me.

@@@ Pigeon Pit: Hot Knives (N/A, 2021) I got to this publicist described DIY folk punks via a music publicist email. Hot Knives is the second track on a record called Treehouse and I’m not sure this meets what I call punk. Not to be a bitch and shit. It’s some urgent acoustic guitar strumming and poetic, confessional lyrics which may be punk but it’s also just a branch of folk music. The strumming branches out into a few runs and I don’t hate the singer’s delivery but I am not loving it. Plus he’s a bit low in the mix and straining to hear is only good if it’s some biblical prophesies shit. Solid B, more punk sauce please.

Music for 7/28/22!!!! Afrodelic, Cumbiamuffin

@@@ Afrodelic: Weleli (Afrodelic, 2022) I got to this African recording via this week’s WRIR weekly playlist email. I assume that the band Funkadelic partially inspired this music as there’s some shreddy rock guitar and the name, you know Afrodelic Funkadelic, Funkadelic Afrodelic. I’ve checked out this musician’s bio and it’s a blend of influences – African father, European mother, lived in both of those continents so it’s a mash which I dig. I don’t hear a ton of Funkadelic but there is a fair amount of more modern electronic sounds that make this more than a traditional African recording with a blend of electric guitars and African percussion. It’s got a jump around feel that I’m agnostic on but there are places where I be like this is awesome. I will circle back on this record later when I have more time as there’s a lot up in here.

@@@ Cumbiamuffin: Ritmo De Sinaloa (Peace and Rhythm, 2022) Another listen off this week’s WRIR playlist email, that station kicks ass. A kickass cumbia record is a special kind of pleasure and this record has it all — thick and tight rhythms, a female singer working it both melodically and vibe wise and great playing. It would be annoying to get into why this record is slamming but that’s annoying as it’s the complete package. If you can’t recognize music that’s heartfelt, energetic, and pretty much perfectly played I don’t know what to tell you. Year end list for sure. I don’t know how they got to the band name cumbiamuffin, it’s quite unusual but hey get yer freak on!

Music for 7/27/22!!! Damien Jurado, Wilco

@@@ Damien Jurado: Meeting Eddie Smith (Maroqopa Records, 2022) I’m a fan of Mr. Jurado, I believe I had his record Maraqopa, it had an epicness that ’70s influenced indie rock rarely achieves. Here the vibe is more downer-y though on track 7, Day of the Robot, the full band with a drummer does make its appearance. Earlier in the day I was listening to the beginning of the record and found it well let me go back and repeep. The first tracks lean more Nick Drake than Neil Young and that’s cool but I guess these songs don’t work for me as I would like them to. Oh yeah, since we have these streaming things now I went back and checked Mariqopa (a double repeep!!) out as I haven’t peeped it for a bunch of years and it’s just banging. Not that every record has to be the same, it’s just preferences. Even on this record Mariqopa I think I like his work with a full band more than the solo flavored stuff.

@@@ Wilco: Tired of Taking it Out on You (dBpm, 2022) It’s not Wilco’s lyrics that annoy me or the arrangements, they’re skilled. When I click on it it’s just such a predictable and dated package that I find it somewhat shocking that they get the props they get with such a clear lack of any sort of evolution sonically or songwriting wise. It makes me feel that their art is an invitation to never change anything about yourself and celebrate that. I will list 5 things off the top of my head that these guys could do — get a super hip background singer to shift the emphasis off Tweedy, get an organ player, change the tempo of some tunes, please God do something. How about some tasty hornlines? No? I can’t go down the frozen in time hole with these dudes, I got better shit to do.

Music for 7/26/22!!! Haley Kiyoko, Marina Herlop

@@@ Haley Kiyoko: For the Girls (Atlant, 2022) A pre-release track I got to via music blogging honcho Bob Lefsetz. This is the third track on the record and it’s gonna be rough, rough as in a pop cheesebomb. Retro electric bass sound, some fingersnaps, and a lot of old school pop sounds and new pop sounds mashed up. For example the electric bass sound morphs into a trap bass sound in the chorus. Plenty of electro bits and a fucking shit ton of vocal tracks. Is it a technical achievement for the produce and the recording engineers that put this together? Absolutely. Is it a great song with a ton of soul? Noop. I will take back what I said before, it’s not a cheesebomb and it’s a fireworks show of pretty empty sonic manipulation.

@@@ Marina Herlop: abans abans (PAN, 2022) I got to this electronic artist via a festival promotion email from Crack Magazine. I can’t tell if I’ve heard this before, I’m not sure, I listen to so much shit. You could look at this first track (clipped below) as a prepared piano type piece. As it moves forward I don’t think I’ve heard this. It’s super composed electronic music, very detailed with a lot of in time piano manipulation as well as manipulation of the voice. It shares a hyper focused approach to the sounds that the above track does but it serves a different master. It does have some New Age feels but thus far I don’t find it annoying and that may change. I’m a slutty bitch so would love some funk swirled up in here but you can’t be too greedy and let’s face it most folks love the Lord of the Rings/New Age epicness. She does get into some slightly harder beats in the third track so I can get with that. I will be checking out this record more closely. There’s almost a jazz like presence to the arrangements which I dig, maybe most folks wouldn’t even notice.

Music for 7/23/22!!! FelixThe1st, Nina Nastasia

@@@ FelixThe1st: Own Brand Freestyle (UMG, 2021) UK hip hop/drill, it sports both an imperial feel and a dark trappy feel. It’s mostly a booty anthem, lots of X rated business here. I like the farty bass and the sparse tinkling piano, but there’s a pile of spaghetti vocals here that sound not half assed but not far off from half assed. Beats are slick and up to date, the farty bass rules.

@@@ Nina Nastasia: Just Stay in Bed (Temporary Residence, 2022) Another listen off this week’s Line of Best Fit. This is the second track on the record and it’s pretty mainstream folk-y soft rock kinda thing. Arpeggiated acoustic guitar and what may be sorta ironical vocalizing. I’m not sure if I’m supposed to feel like it’s a tongue in cheek hipster thing but I’m not sure it matters. I’m peeping the third tune after peeping the second one and I’m struck by how unremarkable the components are here. I guess this is for fans of Lucinda Wiliams without the backing band. I would need to feel much more pulled in by the lyrics to embrace this record but the lyricas don’t really stand out.

Music for 7/25/22!!! M. Geddes Gengras, Cheri Knight

@@@ M. Geddes Gengras: The Harmony and Also I Became Square (Hausu Mountain, 2022) A couple more listens off this week’s 10 most reviewed albums at Pitchfork. This track is the fourth on a six track album and I’m immediately a bit bummed about the New Age soft jazz horn and the pillowy synth sound that starts whooshing through the stereo field. I switched to another track, Parts of a Private Moment and it doesn’t have that horn and it has a a bunch of panning drones and what seems to be an emerging harp like string patch. Oy, I like it hard, I like my ambient music stripped, abstract and unpadded. If you’re listening to instrumental music then tones and sonic choices matter a lot. I know tons of folks can get with this but the New Age feels don’t work for me.

@@@ Cheri Knight: Prime Numbers (Freedom to Spend, 2022) This is the first track on a rock record and it’s a weird opener, I’m a bit confused but also impressed that it opens so strangely. It’s got a weird angular rock and a bit of spoken word flow on a track with no drums and driven rhythmically with handclaps. That said I’m not sure it’s the most entertaining opener so I clicked through to the second track which opens with some long slow guitar tones. This is some odd music, I’m not sure how to classify not that it has to be categorized. The second tune is driven by hammered percussion and a drum kit and more vocal chanting so the spoken word/chanting seems to be core and the rest is up in the air.

Music for 7/24/22!!! Scarcity, Lil Silva

@@@ Scarcity: Aveilut (The Flenser, 2022) I got to this death metal/black metal record via Pitchfork’s 10 most reviewed albums of the week. There are five tracks on the record and all of them are big fat 5, 8, 10, 13 minute bangers. They’re titled I-V and the first one is a slow unfolder with big sheets of distorted guitar and now some steady tom tom intro drumming that morphs into speed rolls. I skipped to the second track because the opener wasn’t really working for me and it’s more straight ahead rock/metal. I listen to a fair amount of metal and this is decent stuff but I could use something to really draw me in, it’s got a bit of a restrained art school feel to it, gimme a fucking meltdown and I’ll hit that.

@@@ Lil Silva: Another Sketch (Nowhere, 2022) This is slotted as electronic music on Apple Music but it has a vocalist in the opener and really sounds like r&b. Electro r&b, but r&b nonetheless. Like if Stevie Wonder rocked all his tracks in a computer — not all cuz there’s a guitar here but it’s mad friendly and is pretty electro. I like it, but I often come back to a similar theme — a lack of contrast in sonic elements. If there was some hard funk nestled in the middle of some of these tracks I would be much more interested. As it is it’s kinda of a sci-fi, electro friendly thing but it could use some teeth. Like when your cat lets you pet her but then she play bites you out of the blue to keep you on your toes. Some equivalent to that.

Music for 7/22/22!!! Zola Jesus, Automatic

@@@ Zola Jesus: The Fall (Sacred Bones, 2022) The video clipped below is the second track of the record. It opens with a slow piano chord progression before a medium processed vocalist enters. The vibe here is mad dramatical, a bit dark with big vocals at certain points, big drums/rhythms at other points, it’s an emotional roller coaster! There are mainstream pop production values going on here and it’s a bit interesting but overall I’m a bit against the big dramas, I don’t need it myself and I view it somewhat as a drug and not a core part of a listening experience. I’m letting the player click through and it’s the same combo platter of piano, electronic flourishes, and epic vocal aspirations. On the whole I’m agnostic.

@@@ Automatic: New Beginning (Stones Throw, 2022). There’s a whole spiel for this record on Apple Music and it revolves around the mainstreaming of punk rock into New Wave whenevs that happened. I get that once the first song proper kicks in, but the surprising thing here is the sleepytime vocal feels going here. It’s got that brisk rock drumming, simple and insistent bass playing, two big signifiers of the New Wave state of mind. The second tune bites ELO’s tune ‘Don’t Bring Me Down’ pretty hard — that’s not a great sign. It’s not for me to say what a proper homage to New Wave would look like, that would be quite fascistic. This works okay for me, but it doesn’t make me jump and down. I think it could use more energy, more giddyup. I want to jump and down.