Music for 7/3/20!!! Ego Ella May, Raleigh Ritchie, JP Saxe, Kelly Lee Owens

@@@ Ego Ella May: Give a Little (UpperRoom, 2020) These listens are from last week’s Line of Best Fit email.  It opens up super trippy and lo fi before a beat comes underneath and Ms. May starts with the vocalizing.  I like her singing and the beat much better than the guitar sounds which I find a bit disorienting, though I do like the contrast of her vocal sweetness when she builds out the tracks against the sound of the janky ass guitars.  Someboy put in a super flavorful horn melody that comes and goes but leaves an impression.  It’s an atypical track with a bunch of nice elements to it.

@@@ Raleigh Ritchie: Sadboi (Alacran Records, 2020)  Cathartic, infectious r&b — that’s how this record is blurbed on Apple Music.  I hear a musician that took bouncy early ’60s pre black power r&b and modernized the sounds, glitched it up here and there and kept the vocal stacking and sophistication of the original style.  I like the skittering drum machine with the saccharine singing and the fat fat bass.  That’s double fat for those reading closely.

@@@ JP Saxe: Hey Stupid, I Love You (Arista, 2020)  Sensitive white boy loverboy electro business.  Very tasty half puffy/half marimba-y synth parts and while many might like Saxe’s supersmooth delivery I don’t.  As I often type here I like contrast in my music the way folks like it in food.  A little crunch with the sweetness, a bit of tang to the whatever flavor.  This is all white chocolate pudding which is nice but some pistachios or some other business, naimsayin’?

@@@ Kelly Lee Owens: On (Smalltown Supersound, 2020)  A pre-release track on a label I dig.  Owen’s voice is framed as dreamy and echoed in the keyboard part with a distantly percolating beat.  I was with it til the background vocals came in and then I was not with it as much.  There’s a little panned sonic nymph like sound bouncing back and forth at the bottom of the mix which I dig but I feel like there could have been a lot fewer vocal tracks here — it just gets too New Age-y and again the concept of contrast could have worked here.  This is so pillowy it makes the track above seem mad crunched out which it wasn’t.  A rougher beat, some more distortion, something in that part of town.

YTD recordings listened to: 512
Good music, not list worthy: 256
Not good music: 227

Best: 0
Honorable Mentions: 0

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

Music for 7/2/20!!! Hoops, The Psychedelic Furs, Kareem Ali, Country Westerns

@@@ Hoops: Fall Back (Fat Possum, 2020) I seen it on the Twatter!  Comin’ out with the mad ’80s feels — a retro beat, chorused guitar and the friendliest gent on the microphone since Ronald Reagan!  Oh Ronny, you Commy fightin’ crazy biatch.  Now here we go with the baking show metaphors — some desserts can be too sweet, different people enjoy different levels of sugar.  This is pixie stick sweet, it’s too sweet for me!  Da doo doo background vocals, I guess the singer is the biggest sweetener. You get a big guitar shred for this type of track but it unfolds within the initial impression.  Also some bouncy bass, everything here is pitched around comfort and awesomeness.  I’m not saying folks shouldn’t like this but it doesn’t work for me.

@@@ Psychedelic Furs: Come All Ye Faithful (Cooking Vinyl, 2020)  I’m checking this track out (I got to it via a music publicist email) because I know the sax player from work I’ve done as an audio engineer.  I remember the singer sounding kinda bombastic and he still is and they’re unapologetically offering up some updated post-classic classic rock for ya earholes.  It’s a midtempo rocker with chopped up guitar sounds and acidic lyrics.  I like the horn playing, I’m agnostic on the guitars and the drums and the lyrics are a small positive for me.  I’m not getting any lasting impression from the track, it goes in both earholes and didn’t land for me.  I like some elements of it.

@@@ Kareem Ali: Night Echoes (890243 Records DK, 2020) Some house dancefloor business that has a bunch of relationship related vocal samples to open it up.  That fades away and and it gets into classic house rhythms with a looped vocal sample which I like but which also drives me a bit nuts at the same time.  I could use a bit more sonic development here, take this out for a bit put something else in for a bit, that sort of thing.  Oy, this vocal sample is making me feel like I’m in a mental hospital.  I stopped listening with 1:45 to go, check it out and if that constant loop at that volume doesn’t make you reach for a rope you’re a more stable person than I!

@@@ Country Westerns: I’m Not Ready (Fat Possum, 2020) I seen this one on the Twatter too!  Described as a garage rock trio, which I get, I do notice the Neil Young style distorted electric guitar sound more than the garage rock.  The singer is an earnest gent with some gravel in his voice.  They rock a classic formula in an uptempo energetic manner.  With the familiar song structure it comes down to the singer and the execution of the playing.  I dig the drummer’s steadiness and the guitar tones while feeling the Replacements style singer.

YTD recordings listened to: 508
Good music, not list worthy: 254
Not good music: 225

Best: 0
Honorable Mentions: 0

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

Music for 7/1/20!!! Nick Norton, Adam Tendler, Michael Mendez, Santrofi

@@@ Nick Norton: Mirror Smasher Zero (N/A, 2020)  I got to this duo piano plus electronics almost 9 minute piece via a music publicist email.  It’s a brisk tempo with a plethora of cascading short piano melodies spiced with some tasteful glitch processing.  I like a well done glitch and these accent the playing and don’t detract from it.  It does have a small bit of ol’ school Who keyboard counterpoint vibe to it, just a bit.  The amount of glitch increases as the track continues but I’m not convinced I need 9 minutes of this.  I appreciate the spirit of this.  At around 5:30 the tune somewhat explodes with the appearance of a distorted chainsawy synth patch and video game shoot ’em up sounds.  This I like, it’s a total shitshow smashing together two things you don’t hear often — a classical influenced arrangement with rampaging electro sci fi sounds.  I was just about click away from tipping out and am glad I didn’t.

@@@ Adam Tendler: Toccata Ostinato (Anthology of Recorded Music, 2019) These solo piano pieces are from compositions by Robert Palmer, an American composer who lived from 1915 til 2010.  This is the opening piece of the record and it’s played energetically.  I know just enough about classical music to make an ass of myself.  To my mostly uninformed ears it’s got a bit of Stravinsky wildness while trying to be more traditionally classical.  Tendler’s playing is great I’m enjoying it bigly.  Palmer’s wikipedia entry notes ‘a lively rhythmic language’ (I agree) and some shouts to vernacular jazz.  I was going to describe it as polite Looney Tunes music but I thought that would be ignant.

 

@@@ Michael Mendez: Love Tko (Derrick Taylor, 2020)  If modern roots and smooth, quiet storm r&b had a music lovebaby it would sound like this.  I don’t love how soft these sounds are but it’s somewhat offset by the thick rhythm section.  He’s gonna just let it go, it’s a love TKO.  It’s the full monty here — female background singers, a rock guitar solo and a roots guitar rhythm part, some organ and shit.  If you have a nice set of headphones (and I recommend that) this meticulously constructed mix will fill your earholes to the very brim.  Somebody labored over these sounds.

 

@@@  SANTROFI: Alewa (Out Here, 2020) I got to this via last week’s WRIR playlist email.  I had to look on the interwebz to see these guys hail from Ghana.  I’m hopeful as the drumming in the first track is tasty and there’s an awesome wheezing sound I can’t even identify.  There is some large chorus singing that sounds familiar to me from listening to South African music — very sweet and soulful.  I’m waiting for the whole band to kick in, if there’s a band in addition to the singing and the drumming.  Yes a complete band kicks in for the second tune, Alewa (the title track) — a wicked kit drummer, a full horn section, a tasteful organ player and at least two guitar players.  It’s not hyper masculine Fela style Afrobeat, it’s a bit more spacious and laidback which gives the playing plenty of space to breathe.  Oh man, what a nice mash of sounds.  I’m pretty sure this will end up on my end of year list as the quality of the playing is quite high — funky and energetic.  The guitar player is off the hook.

YTD recordings listened to: 504
Good music, not list worthy: 252
Not good music: 223

Best: 0
Honorable Mentions: 0

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

Music for 6/30/20!!! The Positive Force, Beyonce, Lionmilk, Shy Troy

@@@ The Positive Force: The African in Winter (Jazzman, 2007) I got to this retro funk/spoken word via the reissue site Stranded Records.  Imma on their email list.  The bandcamp page for this release shows a June 4, 2020 release date so this should be a remastered recording.  It’s got a chill funk jazz retro vibe, a bit like Alice Coltrane but not as transcendant as that.  A couple of horns playing in unison and it’s a fully, no wait here’s the spoken word part about an African man freezing his ass off in Detroit.  I’ve heard a fair amount of jazz spoken word and this is a solid specimen — solid groove, nice horn melodies and an austere spoken word section.

@@@ Beyonce: Black Parade (Columbia/Sony, 2020) I saw this on the Twatter.  I’m pretty convinced that Beyonce has cultivated such a cult of personality that she could fart in a microphone for 5 minutes and people would throw their hands up in the air in ecstasy.  Oh Beyonce, what a glorious fucking fart you dropped on us unworthy peasants.  It opens trunk shaking with some nice fat bass, a thick layer of chopped vocal bits and her.  Motherland drip on me, that’s all right.  As the song builds it starts to get more epic and mainstream and Disney sounding which I find unfortunate.  Lyrically Beyonce loves to refer to things while not really defining anything with a big vocal hook.  The melodies are all solid and the bass is my favorite part of the track.  It’s a lot of lyrical fragments and it feels long but I’m a bit prejudiced against her.  If a late Michael Jackson song had a baby with itself and got stick blendered it would sound like this.

@@@ Lionmilk: Break My Legs (leavingrecords, 2020)  I saw this label namechecked on the Twatter.  The twatter be rocking, well in this case it be helping to push electro r&b styles out into the Twatter-sphere.  Falsetto singing, a fairly big stack of woven vocal tracks, a side stick snare sound and pumping keyboard flavors.  Think lofi drippy Prince, I dig it.  It clicked through to the next track which is more dancefloor-y.  I think a murky, trippy flavor unites all the tracks I’ve heard, I’m checking the opener which I’m feeling most of the three I’ve heard to this point.  Nice sounds, funky and organic.

@@@ Shy Troy: Up in Smoke (LW Records, 2020) I saw this Australian musician’s debut single on a Australian music magazine email.  Folks in the USA don’t really believe in rock anymore but it’s still alive in other parts of the world such as Australia.  Here we have an example of literate guitar rock with a mainstream production style.  The vocals are right up close to your ears and there’s a sinuous guitar part that drives the tune.  I’m waiting for the tune to fully rock but sometimes it doesn’t but I’m thinking it might.  I dig there are a lot of words at the same time I don’t have the energy to pay attention to all of them.  I don’t think there’s gonna be a big rock part.  The lyrics consist of a hook saying ‘let’s pretend that I’m cool.’  Okay, you’re cool.

YTD recordings listened to: 500
Good music, not list worthy: 254
Not good music: 222

Best: 0
Honorable Mentions: 0

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

Music for 6/29/20!!! Lilla Vargen, The Mekons, Braids, HAIM

@@@ Lilla Vargen: Cold (Futurekind, 2020) Line of Best Fit listen!  Hold up your umbrella cuz it’s raining drama.  Mad feelings storm!  Ringing piano chords, stacks of background vocals panned hard left/right.  Is she a fool for loving you??  I don’t know the answer to that, but 9 out of 10 nutritionists recommend that folks ease up on the cheese and the sugar especially at the same time.  Light sprinkles of cheese and refined sugar but Ms. Vargen went full cheese/sugar.  Girl yer right, he’s gonna let you down and I want what’s best for you despite the cheesy production going on in this song.  You can partially blame Celine Dion for this arena biscuit ballad, she made mad bank on this flow.

@@@ The Mekons: Exquisite ( , 2020) I saw this legendary punk group’s new record shouted on the Twatter.  Me Likey the Twatter!  These guys are more hyper-artistic than mohawk spiked hair punks and the manner in which they assembled this record is testament to their creativity.  The parts to these tracks were stacked and passed around the interwebz sequentially and then assembled and optimized/mixed.  They’re certainly structured but not in the same way as a band playing in a room.  The sounds are mostly classic rock and the record sounds more than a bit like The Clash with haunted ballads and unison singing.  I like the spirit of these tracks — they’re a bit melancholy, they’re a bit rockin’ and a bit art school.

@@@ Braids: Young Buck (Secret City, 2020) Another Line of Best Fit listen!  It’s a Victoria Secret catalog cover clipped below and they get into some ’80s video game feels combined with feel good vibes.  Cheery vocals, friendly white people drum patterns, but it’s mostly on the singer here and she’s quite waif-y.  It’s the combination of the synth sounds and the vocal stylings that make me a bit underwhelmed but I understand I’m in the minority on this — tons of folks are up for comforting sounds and feeling good.

@@@ HAIM: I Know Alone (Columbia, 2020)  HAIM’s label has been trying to foist this femme trio on the world for a bit now.  I don’t really know where the meta project stands but I haven’t head anything quite pants shitting yet.  But I will peep it and if I have to shit my pants I will jump up and down and shit my pants.  I think these gals have focused more on guitar type stuff but here we have some bedroom indie r&b with a thick layer of vocal harmonies and some somewhat funky sounds.  It’s not bad, it’s not great.  This vibe of sad funk was perfected by Prince so I would check out something like 17 Days or Sometimes it Snows in April.  Feels more like a bite job than a heartfelt expression but that’s partially because I’m skeptical of major label acts and their handlers.

YTD recordings listened to: 496
Good music, not list worthy: 252
Not good music: 221

Best: 0
Honorable Mentions: 0

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

Music for 6/24/20!!! Pineapple Thief, Bella Blair, Orkesta Mendoza, Kate Teague

I forgot to post this on 6/24.

@@@ The Pineapple Thief: Threatening War (KScope, 2019) I got to this arena rock outfit via an old ass All Music notable release email.  If you take Radiohead and strip away the darkness and the spaciousness and leave the fragile vanilla rock part it would sound like this.  It’s very nice acoustic guitar playing, nice vocal harmonizing but definitely tame when I love wild business but that’s just me.  It does bust out and rock later in the track but it’s still tame.  I made it halfway through.  It’s not that it’s bad it’s just not for me.

@@@  Bella Blair: Gimmie A Light (Frankie, 2020) Modern dancehall off this week’s WRIR playlist email and right off the bat I hear some stony trap sounds put up in here before it busts out into a dancehall thing.  It’s sports both an intimate vibe and a thick dancefloor sticky thing.  The female rapper/singer Bella Blair works the microphone with flavor.  It’s a pro-weed anthem and she goes so far as to sing she can’t imagine life without weed which I find a bit weird.  Tasty ass sounds here folks should peep this.

@@@ Orkesta Mendoza: Paleta (Glitterbeat, 2020) Off this week’s WRIR playlist email.  Glitterbeat usually rocks the African business but they’re taking a step to the side and doing some cumbia rock with this release.  Oh man, there’s nothing I love more than accordion unless it’s a cowbell which is the shit.  A thick stew of melody and rhythm including violin, electric guitar, multiple percussion instruments (including the cowbell’s skinny cousin the metal triangle!!)  Interplay between a male singer and female backup singers.  I’m checking out the third tune Boogaloo Arizona because these rightwing Boogaloo bitches are in the news and I like this a bit better.  Sweeter and less rocking but with some really beautiful horn work and vocal arrangements.

@@@ Kate Teague: The Temporary (Muscle Beach, 2020) An indie Twatter listen!  Will it be guitar indie or synth indie?  It’s synth indie with an ’80s guitar sound so it’s both and neither at the same time.  God bless you indie pinheads out there!  Teague comes on breathy and this is a super lush biscuit like a blast of air conditioned air across your bare ass on a super hot day.  I assume many of you are partially nekkid by the A/C, wait ’til climate change really kicks in ya ignorant bitches!  There I go entertaining myself which is what I do when the music is fine but I’m not super engaged.  I like one of the synth elements, this sort of tricked delayed bit but the singing and the general purpose agenda of the track doesn’t sync with where I’m at.

YTD recordings listened to: 484
Good music, not list worthy: 246
Not good music: 215

Best: 0
Honorable Mentions: 0

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

 

 

Music for 6/26/20!!! French Mouth, Gregory Allen Lisher, Teyana Taylor, John Legend

@@@ French Mouth: Paper Tiger (Frank Haus, 2020)  A post-punk hard rocker I got to via a music publicist email.  Has a bit of At the Drive In wildness to it with jumpy sections to the song and fresh guitar sounds and vocal stylings.  I’m looking at the promo photo and I see non-white faces and I hear it a bit in the playing.  Hard to put into words but it’s subtle.  I like this and would listen to more though I would mention that I could take even more chaos.

@@@ Gregory Allen Lisher: Three Kings (N/A, 2020) I got to this pre-release track from a Camper Van Beethoven guitarist via a music publicist email.  It’s an interesting blend of sounds — a little folk, a little proggy, a little hippie business and a little rock all swirled up.  There’s a shaker in the track but no drums and a supporting cello part I really like.  Now when we are discussing the shaker we should mention the idea that maybe the tune could be remixed with a cowbell.  Nothing would be finer than more cowbell up in this pastoral track.  I was not expecting to dig this but I like it.

@@@ Teyana Taylor: Boomin’ (Def Jam, 2020) Missy Elliott is always a good thing, Future not so much.  Taylor comes on thick and sensuous on this slow booty jam.  Very sultry voice, occasionally skittering beats, fat ol’ bass.  The keyboard sounds and arrangement is a perfect layer of trippy frosting that glues this piece of cake together.  Future is a bit of a distraction to my ears, I would much rather listen to Taylor and the sounds that aren’t him that surround her.  There’s not a lot of Missy Elliott to be had here which is fine.

@@@ John Legend: Bigger Love (Columbia, 2020)  I think John Legend is a high quality human being who makes pretty cheesy music.  Those two things can co-exist as bad humans can make great music, music quality and human being quality are not connected!  Looks like John Legend had a medium sized glass of Drake loverboy business and Imma little scared.  Oh, he drops the Drake business in the chorus and goes for the full cheesebomb.  It’s a big chorus for a tune called Bigger Love.  I associate Legend with Disney style sounds and he does retain some of that but the tame dancehall beats is unexpected.  You can think of this as big ol’ Chipotle/Disney burrito with a plantain on the side.  Yikes that was a rough listen.

YTD recordings listened to: 492
Good music, not list worthy: 2250
Not good music: 219

Best: 0
Honorable Mentions: 0

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

Music for 6/17/20!!! Ambrose Akinmusire, Melanas, Modern Nature, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever

Aargh, I keep not posting old posts.  Enjoy this post from the great time that was June 17th!

@@@ Ambrose Akinmusire: On the Tender Spot of Every Calloused Moment (Blue Note, 2020)  First off great album and from checking out his videos on GooglePimp he’s a specialist.  The first tune is called Tide of Hyacinth and I dig it.  The focus here is way less on a stereotypical straight jazz feel and more of a janky sonic exploration.  Interplay between musicians and the ebb and flow of energy is high.  I haven’t liked anything from Blue Note in a long long time.  It could be a great first tune situation so I will peep a bit more to see if straightens out into a more predictable flow.  The second tune is a ballad where I could have used more fire.  The third tune has a female singer and it looks like the album will bounce around various jazz subgenres which is perfectly within an artist’s right but I was looking for a boatload of that first track as it’s quite rare these days.

@@@ Melanas: Dias Raros (Trouble in Mind, 2020)  Four young women from Spain doing an indie guitar thing.  The tune itself is purposely familiar but they put a bit of trippy into it which is cool and the general sound is a bit different from the American version of this.  I also like the presence of the organ here.  I understand the dreamy female vocal approach but it’s not my favorite thing to listen to.

@@@ Modern Nature: Flourish (Bella Union, 2020)  I clicked on this track and it came out with an intimate jazz-ish feel to it.  The singer comes in a tad freaky on the mic and they’re just doing their thing.  Most indie/alternative doesn’t have saxophone but also it’s pretty standard musically while this has quiet weirdness in a lot of places.  We’re on to the next tune and I’m most impressed with the drummer, he’s killing it.  I dig the singer though he kind of stays where he started and I could use more flavors there.  The guitar player does some interesting things as well.  This is not jump and down music for me but it’s not standard indie.  Plus it has a shaker in it — I hope they at least tested out cowbell for the same gig.  It’s the right thing to do.

@@@ Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever: Cars in Space (Sub Pop, 2020) An Australian quartet serving up a ramped up old school guitar indie platter reminiscent of the Feelies, Yo La Tengo, that nieghborhood.  The brisk tempo sure makes the medicine go down for me.  I like the singer and the drummer is killing it.  Somehow they flirt with cheesy indie and don’t fall in the fondue pot.  I’m thinking I dig the singer cuz he sounds more than a bit like Alex Chilton.  The song is cool enough but it’s the energy and those two performances that make it work.

YTD recordings listened to: 460
Good music, not list worthy: 234
Not good music: 203

Best: 0
Honorable Mentions: 0

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

Music for 6/25/20!!! Public Enemy, Wayne Alpern, Peacebird, Bad Wolves

@@@ Public Enemy: State of the Union (STFU) (Enemy Records, 2020) I got a music publicist email for this track and I’m a huge Chuck D fan — a super high quality human being for sure.  It’s not fully retro sonicallybut it’s a thick ass Public Enemy mix — stacked up samples with Flavor Flav doing his full street show.  It’s an anti-Trump track and they just go off on the Pumpkin.  State of the Union, shut the fuck up, sorry ass motherfucker, stay away from me — that’s the hook in the chorus.  You don’t get more direct than that.  It’s not full en fuego Public Enemy from back in the day but they don’t pull any punches and I love listening to Chuck D rap.

@@@ Wayne Alpern: She’s Not There (Self-released, 2020) A straight jazz record of covers, this one that ol’ track She’s Not There.  I like the addition of violin and btw I got to this via the CFUV weekly playlist email.  He does Thriller and I had to click over to his cover of Journey’s Don’t Stop Believing a classic piece of cheese from back in the day.  I give big ups to picking this track — I’m not expert but I don’t think most jazz cats wouldn’t choose this track.  He does a good job making me like it much more than the original.  If you click around a bit you can enjoy a straight jazz cover of Journey’s mega hit/cheesebomb Don’t Stop Believing and it is as delicious as it sounds.

@@@ peacebird: redsphere (Self-released, 2020) I got to this electronic music via this week’s CFUV playlist email.  It starts out ol’ school video game style and then starts bringing in more elements including drum and bass and just nutty fast electronic sounds.  then a techno dancefloor banger synth melody with some four on the floor action.  i think i heard this before but i’ll give it a second spin but i ‘member these drum and bass feels.  i like ’em and want an updated version of this track.  The video game sounds, i used to hate them and now i find them entertaining.

@@@ Bad Wolves: Sober (Eleven Seven, 2020) I got to this track via sometimes right-sometimes wrong music biz honcho Bob Lefsetz.  It’s slotted as metal on Apple Music but as it opens it’s a grunge/hard rock combo platter.    The lyrics are the centerpiece here but for me the cheesy presentation detracts from the admirable mission.  Big stacks of vocals and hand claps and other production flourishes end up over sweetening a dark-ish subject.  It’s a ballad about having an alcoholic partner.  I’m not a hits guy and this track is why.

YTD recordings listened to: 488
Good music, not list worthy: 248
Not good music: 217

Best: 0
Honorable Mentions: 0

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