Music for 11/16/18!!! The Writhing Squares, Les Gruff and the Billy Goat, Sydney Wright

@@@ The Writhing Squares: A Whole New Jupiter (N/A, 2018) I got to this jazz/psych almost 20+ blast via an email from a musician who is playing a show with them.  The bandcamp description explains that it is constructed from bass, sax, and drum machines and other bits and bobs.  It slips between normal genre descriptions as it’s a wee bit fusion-y, a little jazzy, a little psych, and a little electro.  It also a bit of a jam band feel as it meanders (in a good way) through its 20 minute orbit.  I really dig the bass sound, I like the sax playing without loving it.  It connects back to ’70s prog/jazz jams.  I like the set of sounds but I could use a bit more action.

@@@ Les Gruff and the Billy Goat: Evil Dancers (N/A, 2018). I got to this alt country business via a music publicist email.  It’s a down out and drunken regret tune with a slightly atypically pretty sounding male singer.  He’s got no gruffness and he’s not overtly manly which I find refreshing.  The band is solid with a mournful fiddle line, some twangy tremolo guitar and more than a bit of rock in the drummer.  He goes from sadness to bitterness as the tune moves through its paces.  I like the sounds and all the components but I think it’s a bit long for my taste.  The fiddle and piano solos are my favorite elements.

@@@  Sydney Wright: Wait for the Wave (N/A, 2018) I got to this music by a recording engineer in Austin, TX from a music publicist email.  It still confounds me how music publicists operate out in the open yet their influence remains unacknowledged and undenounced.  At the very least bloggers and music writers should acknowledge their machinations.  This is a ballad with piano and torchy vocals.  There are some nice sonic goodies tucked in here — a nice swirling guitar figure foremost in my ear.  It’s a bit dramatical but that could be because I’m dead inside.  Lyrically it employs a metaphor of waiting for a wave to crash over her.  There ya go, not much to say to that.  It’s an undercover pop tune with a brief giant, arena rock climax at the end.  Have at it if it sounds good to you.

YTD recordings listened to: 644
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 350
Not good music: 254

Best: 11
Honorable Mentions: 8

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, 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, 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, Converge, Open Mike Eagle, Criolo, Billy Strings, Flowers of Sulphur, Tal National, Portal, Hernan Sama & Marcelo von Schultz, Lawaii, Etran De L’Air, Ruby Karinto, Elysia Crampton, Parquet Courts, Orlando Lopez, Moskus, Kendl Winter, Tkay Maidza, Gouge Away, Barro

Advertisements

Music for 11/15/18!!! Barro, J.I.D./J. Cole, J. Lo/Bad Bunny

@@@ Barro: Samos (self-released, 2018) Some Northern Brazilian music I got to via the weekly music reviews at WRIR in Virginia, a most excellent world music station.  It’s a blend of traditional modern Brazilian with some rock flavorings.  Also some hip hop, funk flavors. A pretty hip opening track.  The second tune gets into a more indie, feelgood vibe, but with more sophistication than 99% of indie folks out there.  There is a mellowness in this music that is not overdone and wilts the music.  The playing is tight and an interesting mash of rhythms and genre influences so it keeps itself fresh.  Big respect for how far afield the rhythm section reaches.  Check this out, it’s hip.

@@@ J.I.D. and J. Cole:  Off Deez (Interscope, 2018)  I’m a huge fan of J.I.D. — his microphone is just full on — witty, quick, all manner of flavors.  He comes out Red Bulled with his afro fully blown out on this single.  They paired his rhymes with a demented little surf rock guitar figure.  J. Cole starts slowly but he gets up in it.  It’s impossible to tell how gangsta the lyrics are because the shit is just flying past your ears.  I like this, this is super hot and fresh.

@@@ Jennifer Lopez and Bad Bunny: Te Gusta (Sony, 2018)  I’m not a huge Bad Bunny fan as I think he has a weird voice.  He sounds like he has some sort of bowel obstruction, but the last J Lo single I checked out was really good.  This is a loverboy track though I have no clue as I have zero Spanish skills but J Lo is in her underwear in the video below.  The sounds are very slick in a good way, it’s uber manicured Latino urbano, and I like it but he’s a bid of a bad burp.  Other folks who understand the lyrics might enjoy it a whole lot more.  I do all right for a gringo motherfucker but I’m not from around the block.

YTD recordings listened to: 641
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 347
Not good music: 254

Best: 11
Honorable Mentions: 8

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, 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, 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, Converge, Open Mike Eagle, Criolo, Billy Strings, Flowers of Sulphur, Tal National, Portal, Hernan Sama & Marcelo von Schultz, Lawaii, Etran De L’Air, Ruby Karinto, Elysia Crampton, Parquet Courts, Orlando Lopez, Moskus, Kendl Winter, Tkay Maidza, Marianne Faithfull, Gouge Away, Barro

Music for 11/14/18!!! Black Belt Eagle Scout, Gouge Away, Kate Danser

@@@ Black Belt Eagle Scout – Mother Of My Children (Saddle Creek)  Some indie business off this week’s CFUV playlist email.  Some identity politics around this release — the singer is an LGBT first person as in indigenous person with people at Standing Rock.  I’m a huge fan of the Standing Rock and their fight to defend themselves.  That’s outside of the music but I like this first tune.  It’s not super complex guitar indie but it feels authentic to my ear with little posing which I can’t stand.  I understanding sounding authentic is in the ear of the listener, it’s a personal preference.  I judge it by how much emotion is being put out there.  The more emotion shared the more I’m drawn to it.  The second song, Indians Never Die, is a slow one with a simple guitar vamp and simple percussion.  It’s building slowly and then it dies back down.  It’s a mopey record, at least the beginning part is and I like the singer’s voice.  Indie is a tough sell for me but I give this a B/B+.

@@@ Gouge Away – Burnt Sugar (Deathwish Inc)  Some ‘loud’ music off this week’s CFUV playlist email. Oh my, speaking of emotion and letting it all out this record hews to that concept.  Female singer at the end of her rope, or at least close to it and a band that rocks in a pleasingly sloppy ass way.  Quick grinds lurching into some other brief idea.  The second tune, Fed Up, is working bigly for me.  It’s a punk missile with little restraint — doesn’t it feel better when it all comes out?  I think so, you can’t keep all that shit inside.  I’m feeling all the members of the band from the drummer’s spray, to the stringy/splatty bass sound to the mess of guitar sounds to the singer who might need a lozenge.  Imma circle back on this bad boy.

@@@ Kat Danser – Goin’ Gone (Black Hen)  Blues/folk/roots music off this week’s CFUV weekly email.  This looks to be a laidback blues band record with a female singer.  Harmonica, upright bass, shuffling drums, you know the classics.  I like this record — really catchy guitar player and solid players at all the positions.  The production is really flattering without cheesy reverb and too much of any particular sound, and the songs are solid.

YTD recordings listened to: 638
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 345
Not good music: 254

Best: 11
Honorable Mentions: 8

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, 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, 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, Converge, Open Mike Eagle, Criolo, Billy Strings, Flowers of Sulphur, Tal National, Portal, Hernan Sama & Marcelo von Schultz, Lawaii, Etran De L’Air, Ruby Karinto, Elysia Crampton, Parquet Courts, Orlando Lopez, Moskus, Kendl Winter, Tkay Maidza, Marianne Faithfull, Gouge Away

Music for 11/12/18!!! Kelly Clarkson, Pierre Akendengue

@@@ Kelly Clarkson: Never Enough (Atlantic, 2018)  A monster shot of mainstream sonic cheese from the Greatest Showman Reimagined sountrack.  I have no clue why the Greatest Showman was reimagined but these decisions are out of my hands.  Unfortunately.   The shine of a thousands spotlights will never be enough, other stuff will never be enough, never enough, that’s the hook people.  When she hits the chorus it’s full throated Cheez Whiz.  I know we’re all on the same side but I don’t understand how this infantilizing, arena pop actually effects people at an emotional level.  To my ears it sounds ridiculously plastic.  That’s just me and folks is free to enjoy their shit as they see fit but be careful, too much cheese can kill your ass, you dig?

@@@ PIERRE AKENDENGUE: La Couleur De L’Afrique  (Lusafrica, 2018)  Switching gears bigly, here we have an EP of African music that I found this week’s WRIR playlist email.  The first tune kicks out a mellow laidback vibe with a simple drum beat and accompanying hand drumming.  The twist here lies in the string arrangement, but otherwise it’s pretty familiar.  It’s a nice track that builds to a big swell in the chorus before dying back down in the verse.   The production here is very clean and shall we say arch?  I like the grittier sounding African music — that’s my preference.  I don’t have anything against this music and its sound though I prefer a stronger swing.  If I wanted the soaring music I could always cut myself a big ass slice of Kelly Clarkson cheese.  This record undoubtedly surpasses the Greatest Showman soundtrack but they’re not completely unrelated.

YTD recordings listened to: 635
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 343
Not good music: 254

Best: 11
Honorable Mentions: 8

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, 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, 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, Lawaii, Etran De L’Air, Ruby Karinto, Elysia Crampton, Parquet Courts, Orlando Lopez, Moskus, Kendl Winter, Tkay Maidza, Marianne Faithfull

Music for 11/9/18!!! Laura Jane Grace, Planningtorock

@@@ Laura Jane Grace: Bought to Rot (Bloodshot, 2018) Brisk punk right out of the gate from this release I got to via the All Music notable release email.  After a little quietude in the verse, they get into a brief, furious pissy punk smashup.  I hate these records with great songs cuz it gets my hopes up.  Let’s peep some more.   I’m on the third tune and I like this record but I like that first tune the most of what I heard.  It’s the first tune for a reason.  Okay, I’ve gotten all confused regarding whether the singer is male or female.  When I went to the GoogleTube I see that the singer is trans so that explains everything and lifts the confusion.

@@@ Planningtorock: Powerhouse (DFA, 2018)  This electronic record is also from this week’s All Music notable release email.  The first tune is a torchy voice and synth tune called ‘wounds’ but the second tune Transome, (clipped below) is the full computer band.  Drum machine, synth bass, melodic synth and a vocal synth-ed out voice.  The third tune, Dear Brother, is the most interesting tune of what I’ve heard.  It’s autobiographical with a playful synth figure, an interesting beat and autobiographical lyrics.  I dig it and comes off as beautiful and heartfelt.  He keeps singing ‘I wrote this song so I can forgive you.’  Working one’s shit out through art — there are much worse ways to work one’s shit out.  I like a bunch of tunes and it’s cool to hear a dancefloor type of record with singer songwriter type of lyrics.

YTD recordings listened to: 633
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 342
Not good music: 253

Best: 11
Honorable Mentions: 7

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, 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, 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, Lawaii, Etran De L’Air, Ruby Karinto, Elysia Crampton, Parquet Courts, Orlando Lopez, Moskus, Kendl Winter, Tkay Maidza, Marianne Faithfull

Music for 11/8/18!!! Fucked Up, Jerusalem in my heart, Frontperson

@@@ Fucked Up: Dose Your Dreams (Merge, 2018)  Matador mainstays drop a classic punk biscuit on the Merge imprint.  They’ve added a few non punk touches like a little horn here and there as well as some synths and interestingly a female background vocal chorus.  The singer sounds a whole bunch like an old school cigarettes and whiskey shredded windpipe hard living fella.  It’s a concept record/song cycle but I’m listening to it as tunes because I can’t grok the singer when he’s going quickly on the mic.  These guys are obviously tight as fuck and know what they can do in a studio having been around the block more than once — I like the tunes without loving them.  The fifth tune, Normal People (clipped below), is the best of what I heard.

@@@  Jerusalem in My Heart: Daqa’iq Tudaiq (Constellation, 2018) Contemporary Arabic music mixed with electronic music or contemporary Arabic electronic music, I’m not really sure.  I’m on the third tune and it’s more contemporary Arabic music with some electronic music garnishes.  I’m not sure regular readers caught the excellent Arabic electronic record Acid Arab out on Crammed Discs last year but it’s not that.  These days I’m more up for the integrated smashup of Arabic melodies and electronic music and this flirts with that more than goes fully into it.  If you like Arabic music check it out, if you like electronic music check out Acid Arab.

@@@ Frontperson – Frontrunner (Oscar St) All of today’s releases I got to via the weekly CFUV playlist email.  This one is more straight indie with a symphonic feel and a serious tone.  This is not a beer can smashing party here at all.  The second tune switches up into a more Crosby, Stills, and Nash vocal harmonies thing.  I’m struggling to find the right adjectives to describe the vibe of this record.  It’s not art school, it’s not proggy, it’s partially indie, not particularly folky but it’s a lot of sophisticated harmonies over a mostly straight indie band.  I guess it’s an old school hippie/indie record.  I like some of the singing and it’s an interesting formula they’re using.

YTD recordings listened to: 631
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 340
Not good music: 253

Best: 11
Honorable Mentions: 7

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, 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, 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, Lawaii, Etran De L’Air, Ruby Karinto, Elysia Crampton, Parquet Courts, Orlando Lopez, Moskus, Kendl Winter, Tkay Maidza, Peregoyo y su Combo vacana, Marianne Faithfull

Music for 11/7/18!!! Mineral, Little Mix, Metro Boomin

@@@ Mineral: Aurora (House Arrest, 2018)  I caught this comeback emo single on the Twatter.  I love the Twatter and the fake news.  We have some fairly non-rough emo though this might crush later in the song.  It’s a lot of arpeggiated guitars and a soaring singer.  It crushes around 2:25 but it’s more of an epic rock crush than an ‘at the end of my rope’ emo fragile crush.  The sounds are very pretty but I find it a tad long and a bit stodgy as they would say on the Great British bake off.

@@@ Little Mix: Joan of Arc (Sony Music, 2018)  A pre-release single of black female hip hop/r&b mash.  A dancefloor banger revolving around empowerment following in the footsteps of famous women with a masturbation reference.  It’s got a solid funky arrangement and these gals don’t need no man, they’ll put their own rock on their hand.

@@@ Metro Boomin: Not all Heroes Wear Capes (Republic, 2018)  Trap producer Metro Boomin’ with a lot of guests MCs.  The first tune (clipped below) is mellower than your usual trap track with some really interesting sounds.  The second tune is not a party track either — maybe Mr. Boomin is trying to expand the emotional palette of trap which would be cool.  The vibe here is very different from your usual business — lots of trippy sounds but with the aggressiveness dialed down which I’m really enjoying.  The sounds are pretty exquisite and intelligent and the MCs come across differently when the whole idea of the record has been shifted.

YTD recordings listened to: 628
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 338
Not good music: 252

Best: 11
Honorable Mentions: 7

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, 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, 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, Lawaii, Etran De L’Air, Ruby Karinto, Elysia Crampton, Parquet Courts, Orlando Lopez, Moskus, Kendl Winter, Tkay Maidza, Peregoyo y su Combo vacana, Marianne Faithfull