Music for 7/18/18!!! Orlando Caichito Lopez, Balun, Dirty Projectors

@@@ Orlando Caichito Lopez: Caichito (World Circuit, 2001/18) A reissue by premiere Cuban bassist Orlando Lopez. If you can’t enjoy this Cuban music you might be too stupid to live. This ticks a lot of boxes for great music — sophisticated rhythms, beautiful melodies, great playing etc. Instruments on this first piece include flute, trombone, strings, organ and conga in addition to the great bass player. Hipsters rejoice, you can get this on vinyl for the first time. This is a great summer record that works for both cubicle dwellers as well as devoted music listeners. The production is ambient and spacious without being muddled and the playing is great.

@@@ Balun: Anos Atros (Good Child, 2018) Sticking with the Latin musicians we move neighborhoods to a San Juan-Brooklyn outfit and this pre-release single that combines electronica, dreamy vocals and touches of Latin music. It redeems itself with high and real energy as well as scoring high on the quirk scale. The arrangement itself is quite complex with multiple rhythmic sources and a lot of different sounds. I would listen to more of this.

@@@ Dirty Projectors: Lamp Lit Prose (Domino, 2018) Off this week’s All Music notable release email. The gent leading this outfit has been exploring the notion of indie funk (black music) for a bit and this first tune is a pretty good realization with classic soul vocal delivery in places, well placed horn lines as well as indie quirk and stupidness. He also evokes some Paul Simon crossover records which I’m not sure is a great thing. It’s tricked arranging for sure but I’m not sure I love the results. It sounds like it’s trying awful hard to be upbeat and optimistic — regular readers know how much I love the mandatory music cheerleading. If you dig the upbeat indie optimism you will be rewarded by a music nerd’s arranging virtuosity.

YTD recordings listened to: 416
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 217
Not good music: 185

Best: 7
Honorable Mentions: 4

Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, Slidhr, The Chewers, Toxic Holocaust, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Janelle Monae, 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, A Tribe Called Quest, Noname, Gouge Away, Klara Lewis, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Oddisee, Forro in the Dark, RAM, Fiver, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Priests, Propaganda, This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez, Integrity, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Converge, Open Mike Eagle, Criolo, Billy Strings, Flowers of Sulphur, Tal National, Portal, Hernan Sama & Marcelo von Schultz, Jean Grae and Quelle Chris, Lawaii, Etran De L’Air, Ruby Karinto, Elysia Crampton, Parquet Courts, Orlando Lopez

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Music for 7/17/18!!! Luluc, Body/Head, Bjorn Toske

@@@ Luluc: Sculptor (Sub Pop, 2018) Indie folk off this week’s All Music notable release email.  This first tune is part ’70s hippie, a schmear of soft rock, a little James Taylor and big Beach Boys multi-tracked vocal production.  It’s a male/female vocal team and they have the schtick down.  There is both piano and organ as well as the acoustic guitars you would expect so it’s a full space child ensemble.  I don’t like the second tune as much.  It’s clipped below but I would recommend the first tune more and I’m enjoying this less the more I hear.  Okay I’m not lazy fuck I went and got the first tune from the GooglePimp — it’s all for your listening pleasure.

@@@ Body/Head: The Switch (Matador, 2018). Noise rock off this week’s All Music notable release email.  I’m hoping for a little punk rock head crushing but it’s hard to come by these days, the kids are too busy on the (f)instagram.  It opens up buzzy and feedback-ish and ominous.  Imma skeered.  It’s an 8 minute track but I would like them to exit this feedback flim flammery and take a swing at the baseball!  Ah female singer, dramatical has mad her entrance.  A few Sonic Youth pubes here but I’m still waiting for some outbreak/explosion, some action goddammit.  Fuck it,  I skipped ahead and I’m trapped in this same buzzy feedback traffic jam.  Red Bull, this shit needs some Red Bull.  Man, my interwebz player glitched out and it was the second track so I’m back to the first one but there is a similar wait all day attitude to the tune.  I wouldn’t go so far to say it’s boring but I wanted more.  Am I being selfish?  Only time will tell.

@@@ Bjorn Toske: Byen (Small Town Supersound, 2018) Left field house off this week’s All Music notable release email.  Left field house, not normal house, weirdo left field.  I don’t know what’s so odd about left field, it just seems like one of the ordinary baseball positions.  The first tune features a sample of a flock of seagulls — I shit you not.  The seagulls tip out and it assumes a quasi ethnic space groove.  It’s all right.  If Phish had a motherload of synthesizers it would sound like this tune.  Long and jammy, not particularly adventurous.  The sounds are very nice and arranged well.  After a synth-y intro the second tune explodes into a tight disco groove with some delayed piano.  I don’t love it.  The third tune is a similar formula with a slow synth and rhythm build.  As I said I don’t love this, it’s all right.  Not enough funk and action for me.

YTD recordings listened to: 413
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 215
Not good music: 184

Best: 7
Honorable Mentions: 4

Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, Slidhr, The Chewers, Toxic Holocaust, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Janelle Monae, 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, A Tribe Called Quest, Noname, Gouge Away, Klara Lewis, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Oddisee, Forro in the Dark, RAM, Fiver, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Priests, Propaganda, This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez, Integrity, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Converge, Open Mike Eagle, Criolo, Billy Strings, Flowers of Sulphur, Tal National, Portal, Hernan Sama & Marcelo von Schultz, Jean Grae and Quelle Chris, Lawaii, Etran De L’Air, Ruby Karinto, Elysia Crampton, Parquet Courts

Music for 7/16/18!!! Opium Moon, Sidi Toure, Degres

@@@ Opium Moon: Opium Moon (Be Why, 2018)  Some Middle Eastern inflected world music I got to via the WRIR weekly playlist email.  I like this first track, Gravity = Love, with its slow gait, hand drumming and violin/vocal driven melody.  Four of the five pieces on the record are 10+ minutes long so expect slower and modest unfolding of the tunes given those lengths.  This recording sounds great and if you’re up for the sonic equivalent for watching the sun rise check this record out.  It has a slow inevitability to it that is interesting.

@@@ Sidi Toure: Toubalbero  (Thrill Jockey, 2018)  More world music from the WRIR weekly email.  I’ve heard Mr. Toure before and I like his music.  If I remember correctly it is on the more contemplative side than the full West African rock show.  Somebody got Toure a Red Bull as he comes out strong with a full kit drummer, background singers and multiple string players.  The record sounds super compressed to my ears which makes it louder and rocking but also kinda clipped and a little scratchy.  I like the second tune,
Bk, with its super solid groove and descending melody.  I like the playing here but it sounds too purposely sculpted as a rock record and that detracts from the listening experience.  My mixer channel lights are pretty much pinned at the same point, it’s just loud with no dynamics.

@@@ Delgres: Can’t Let You Go (PIAS, 2018)  I’m gonna have to hit up the Google but I’m guessing these guys are from Cajun country.  It’s a trio of mixed ethnicities and they describe their music as Caribbean blues which is pretty close to Creole/Cajun spirit.  The tune is guitar driven with some pretty mean electric guitar picking and it has primarily a blues feel but has a little extra world music sauce on it.  Uptempo, bluesy and rockin’ and I got to this track via the WRIR weekly email.  #transparency!

YTD recordings listened to: 410
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 214
Not good music: 182

Best: 7
Honorable Mentions: 4

Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, Slidhr, The Chewers, Toxic Holocaust, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Janelle Monae, 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, A Tribe Called Quest, Noname, Gouge Away, Klara Lewis, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Oddisee, Forro in the Dark, RAM, Fiver, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Priests, Propaganda, This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez, Integrity, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Converge, Open Mike Eagle, Criolo, Billy Strings, Flowers of Sulphur, Tal National, Portal, Hernan Sama & Marcelo von Schultz, Jean Grae and Quelle Chris, Lawaii, Etran De L’Air, Ruby Karinto, Elysia Crampton, Parquet Courts

Music for 7/13/18!!! twenty one pilots, Childish Gambino, Alessia Cara, Mary J. Blige

@@@ twenty one pilots: Jumpsuit (Fueled by Ramen, 2018)  This track occupies the #1 slot on the hot tracks section of Apple Music.  My first impression is that this is a bite job on the Imagine Dragon’s tune ‘Believer’ which I can barely stomach.  The singer here is a bit of a moper which is surprising for the position.  There is no moping in mainstream music.  It employs a classic quiet in the verse and the crush it in the chorus technique that took Kurt Cobain to the bank.  It’s an epic sound but to be honest I have no clue what this is about.  The last 90 seconds gets into a sensitive piano driven section which is unfortunate — it has comforting lyrics that amount to a nice side dish of word salad.  Jumpsuit, jumpsuit cover me.  I guess the jumpsuit is a metaphor for a desire for protection.  It’s a bag of ass, the tune that is, not the jumpsuit.

@@@ Childish Gambino: Summertime Magic (Sony Music, 2018)  This is the side of Childish Gambino which is closer to Lionel Ritchie than the activist, soulful Curtis Mayfield side shown is This is America.  I like a bunch of the sounds and I like the dancehall Caribbean slant to the beats.  I like Mr. Gambino, I have respect for him and his skills but this tune sounds more calculated than joyous to my ears.

@@@ Alessia Cara: A Little More (Def Jam, 2018)  A surprising dip into white people feelings music with guitars from the label Def Jam.  This track is also in the Apple Music hot tracks section.  Cara has a husky and pleasing voice, the lyrics aren’t particularly interesting, the guitar part is all right and the vocal hook centers around wanting a little more of you.  It’s a yearning 2 minutes, slow and a wee bit melancholy.

@@@ Mary J. Blige: Only Love (UMG, 2018)  Mary J. Blige goes for the big disco dancefloor empowerment anthem.  This is a fully realized arrangement with complex string arrangements, a load of background vocals, some clavinet (I think) and Ms. Blige doing her thing on the microphone.  This is the best of what I heard today because it sounds genuine in its performance.  It’s not particularly a summer song despite its updated disco beat action with lyrics about love building you up and breaking you down.  Not really grilling music unless you enjoy searing meat to the heartbreak of other humans.

YTD recordings listened to: 404
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 212
Not good music: 181

Best: 7
Honorable Mentions: 4

Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, Slidhr, The Chewers, Toxic Holocaust, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Janelle Monae, 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, A Tribe Called Quest, Noname, Gouge Away, Klara Lewis, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Oddisee, Forro in the Dark, RAM, Fiver, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Priests, Propaganda, This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez, Integrity, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Converge, Open Mike Eagle, Criolo, Billy Strings, Flowers of Sulphur, Tal National, Portal, Hernan Sama & Marcelo von Schultz, Jean Grae and Quelle Chris, Lawaii, Etran De L’Air, Ruby Karinto, Elysia Crampton, Parquet Courts

Music for 7/12/18!!! Mini Mansions, Psychic Pollution, Factor Chandelier

@@@ Mini Mansions: Works Every Time (UMG, 2018)  I got to this mainstream rock via a music publicist email.  Check this quote which I find very interesting: “Works Every Time” finds the band in their prime – open, honest, and full of real tangible emotion but counterbalancing those feelings with musically fun songs.  Real tangible emotions — is this an acknowledgment that many bands are trafficking in plastic emotions.  This is pretty awful business and I’m not feeling real tangible emotions.  It’s rooted in ’80s pop rock with a pouting vocal stylings, some synth clouds floating back in the mix and guitar work that is defined by the formula.  Nobody is gonna get their hair mussed up during or listening to this song and that is real and tangible.  Very predictable and boring.

@@@ Psychic Pollution: Memoirs from a Flat Planet (Records DK, 2018)  Some electronica off this week’s CFUV playlist email.  It’s unfolding slowly and it is coming across as a video game soundtrack or a sci-fi movie soundtrack.  Let’s peep further but they gotta get some Red Bull up in there and start cranking out the Model 3s.  Tesla reference there.  This third tune Interstate Blowout sounds like it should be a rough ass piece of music.  It sounds like what happens when a long haul trucker has a giant burrito and can’t find a truck stop.  But the music doesn’t reflect the excitement of my song title interpretation.  It’s sleepytime tea.  I like a chainsaw synth patch (not really) as much as the next guy.

@@@ Factor Chandelier – Wisdom Teeth (Fake Four Inc) We finish today’s listening session with a hip hop recording I got to from the CFUV weekly email.  This first tune opens up synth-y and sounds like it might be biting the theme from Rocky.  The second tune brings on a singer but I don’t like the singer or the way he’s been placed in the mix.  I’m not sure this record knows if it’s a pop record or a hip hop record or is both at the same time.  I don’t love the arrangements and the sounds are okay but not head spinning.

YTD recordings listened to: 400
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 210
Not good music: 179

Best: 7
Honorable Mentions: 4

Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, Slidhr, The Chewers, Toxic Holocaust, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Janelle Monae, 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, A Tribe Called Quest, Noname, Gouge Away, Klara Lewis, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Oddisee, Forro in the Dark, RAM, Fiver, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Priests, Propaganda, This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez, Integrity, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Converge, Open Mike Eagle, Criolo, Billy Strings, Flowers of Sulphur, Tal National, Portal, Hernan Sama & Marcelo von Schultz, Jean Grae and Quelle Chris, Lawaii, Etran De L’Air, Ruby Karinto, Elysia Crampton, Parquet Courts

Music for 7/11/18!!! Lil Pump, Lil Yachty, Six Feet Under, ChanHays

@@@ Lil Pump: Drug Addicts (Warner Bros, 2018)  Lil’ Pump at the top of the hot tracks at Apple Music with a 2 minute track making the world a better place.  I hope Lil Pump was stoned when he hit the mic cuz that would explain his poor performance.  He goes down the list of all the drugs he takes on a daily basis and I could really care less.  His pills and shit probably make him constipated so maybe he could change his stage name to Lil Dump.  Low grade, pre canned hip hop shit for sure.  I came in not a Lil Pump fan and leave disliking him more.

@@@ Lil Yachty: Who Want the Smoke? (UMG, 2018)  I have fondness for Lil Yachty but he really didn’t up his lyrical game with this Apple Music hot track.  This sounds like a Halloween haunted house track with Lil Yachty playing the weird ass Frankenstein character.  Cardi B. makes an appearance, albeit not her best, she shoulda left it for the summer with biting the ol’ boogaloo track ‘I Like it Like That’.  I can see this working as a commercial for recreational weed shops running sales.  Who Want the Smoke?  Offset at least rhymes with some energy but Lil Yachty needs some coffee.

@@@ Six Feet Under: Unburied (Metal Blade, 2018)  A sizzly and full grinding metal record I got to via the CFUV weekly email.  They got a little boogie going in the second tune, Midnight in Hell, while the third tune (clipped below) is a very nice thwack to the head.  I would describe the singer as some sort of brownshirt caveman bitch, much like an ICE agent.  He’s tight and on the rhythm of the band, which you could bounce a nickel off the ass of btw, but as for what he’s saying that’s a bit of a rough go.  This is solid metal business if you can get with proto man on the mic.

@@@ ChanHays – The Creepy (Droppin’ Science)*  We switch back to the hip hop neighborhood and check out this release I saw on the hip hop adds list at CFUV.  This first tune is a retro laidback style — funky but friendly and chill.  While I expect the sound of the record to remain somewhat stable listeners get a plethora of guest MCs so the vocal stylings will be rotating.  Some of the middle tunes up the urgency with nice sounds and solid rhyming.

YTD recordings listened to: 397
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 209
Not good music: 177

Best: 7
Honorable Mentions: 4

Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, Slidhr, The Chewers, Toxic Holocaust, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Janelle Monae, 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, A Tribe Called Quest, Noname, Gouge Away, Klara Lewis, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Oddisee, Forro in the Dark, RAM, Fiver, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Priests, Propaganda, This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez, Integrity, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Converge, Open Mike Eagle, Criolo, Billy Strings, Flowers of Sulphur, Tal National, Portal, Hernan Sama & Marcelo von Schultz, Jean Grae and Quelle Chris, Lawaii, Etran De L’Air, Ruby Karinto, Elysia Crampton, Parquet Courts

Music for 7/10/18!!! Foxtrott, Death Wheelers, Brad Mehldau Trio

@@@ Foxtrott – Meditations I (One Little Indian)  A three song, 9 minute indie electronic EP with somewhat strong classical vibes.  I got to this record via the CFUV weekly playlist.  The keyboard stylings are where you get the classical stink lines.  The female singer has a husky voice and she comes off as pretty serious.  I really like this second tune (clipped below) as it switches gears to a funkier place with a similarities to the first tune.  The third tune has more of a glitchy stardust feel in the keyboards and I would have reordered the three tunes and put the second and third tunes first but that’s just me.  For indie electronic, this is really good.  The keyboards set the tone but the beats are well done and tasteful and she certainly does not oversing.

@@@ Death Wheelers – I Tread On Your Grave (Riding Easy, 2018)  Some heavy music off the CFUV weekly email with a focus on the motorcycle subculture.  This first tune opens up with some pretty big riffs and the sound of the record is in the hard rock/rough punk/speed metal neighborhood.  Let’s see what the singer brings to the party.  Probably a huge handlebar moustache!  This has morphed into a Black Sabbath-y jam with long ass solos and full on drum spraying.  Thus far there has been no singer so I’m thinking this is an instrumental hard rock jam band.  This third tune is full tilt riff/boogie and it’s all right.  I’m not super in the market for an instrumental hard rock record but hey, if that’s how you roll who am I to judge and have at it!

@@@ Brad Mehldau Trio – Seymour Reads the Constitution! (Nonesuch)  The certainty with which Brad Mehldau is presented to the world as the great jazz pianist of his generation is breathtaking.  To me he is like Oxycontin without the addictive qualities — he will numb you out and make your world one dimensional and fuzzy around the edges.  I don’t want to come across as bitchy but I don’t get the hub bub regarding this musician.  There’s not much except fake sophistication to hold onto here.  He doesn’t play with much energy (get a red bull for fuck’s sake) and his melodies are prefab pop and fresh biscuits.  No offense to Hillary Clinton but this is straight jazz for Hillary Clinton supporters that really don’t know what’s going on.

YTD recordings listened to: 393
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 207
Not good music: 175

Best: 7
Honorable Mentions: 4

Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, Slidhr, The Chewers, Toxic Holocaust, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Janelle Monae, 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, A Tribe Called Quest, Noname, Gouge Away, Klara Lewis, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Oddisee, Forro in the Dark, RAM, Fiver, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Priests, Propaganda, This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez, Integrity, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Converge, Open Mike Eagle, Criolo, Billy Strings, Flowers of Sulphur, Tal National, Portal, Hernan Sama & Marcelo von Schultz, Jean Grae and Quelle Chris, Lawaii, Etran De L’Air, Ruby Karinto, Elysia Crampton, Parquet Courts