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

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Music for 7/9/18!!! The Faps, Alpheus, Firemelon

@@@ The Faps: Grimelda (Double Lunch Records, 2018)  If you took the Jello Biafra and forced him to have love baby with Frank Zappa or Primus with a better voice it might sound a whole bunch like this punk record I got to via an email from the band themselves.  There are plenty of power chords to be had here but they have guitar melody as well as a splice into a country tune in the the first tune.  These splices continue through the record while throwing down a pretty nice old school emo tune on the third track Good Song.  It’s an interesting record that evokes old school freak punk in an original way.

@@@ Alpheus: Light of Day (Liquidator Music, 2018)  A reggae record off this week’s WRIR playlist email.  It aspires to a vintage roots reggae sound with classic loverboy vocal stylings.  From what I know about Jamaican music this record tilts more towards ’60s sounds than ’70s sounds.  Mr. Alpheus does a convincing and strong job on the microphone — smooth and tender while not being overly soft.  This is not a modern sounding recording which I’m enjoying.

@@@ Firemelon: Goodbye (Self-released, 2018)  A lead single from a California Americana band that I got to via a music publicist email.  It’s got some strong Tom Petty influences but with a lot of steel guitar playing that lends a mournful tone to the tune.  It’s got a straight beat and a pleasantly gruff singer.  With these Americana tunes there’s not a lot to write about as it’s fairly straight ahead but due to the miracle of the interwebz you can check it for yourselves.

YTD recordings listened to: 390
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 204
Not good music: 174

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 7/3/18!!! Self Defense Family, Jim James, Death Grips

@@@ Self Defense Family: Have You Considered Punk…. (Run for Cover Records, 2018)  Presumably a punk record I got to via this week’s All Music notable release email.  I was expecting an anti-social blast of guitar to open the record but it’s opening up slack and a bit downtempo.  It’s got a nice drum shuffle and some moped singing.  Let’s peep some more.  The second tune raises the blood pressure a bit but no freak outs.  Slack and a bit downtempo.  It is certainly not for me to step in and say what is punk music but this is just a bit too flavored coffee and sad-tastic for me.  A little Red Bull might help, especially the singer.

@@@ Jim James: Uniform Distortion (ATO, 2018)  Also off this week’s All Music notable release email.  We switch over to Jim James the front man for My Morning Jacket.  He’s always had a pleasantly haunting voice but my impression is that he’s really interested in cultivating a rock star persona.  I could be wrong, Lord knows I could be wrong.  I’m experiencing a quite shizzy country internet connection where I’m getting little snippets of the beginning of the tune and then it goes to the next one.  My quick impression is that this is designed to be a pretty mainstream rock record.  I don’t like this first tune.  Okay we’re back to streaming normality.  The second tune is a squally rave up with a junior high school guitar riff and I don’t like the way they set his voice in the mix.  I’m not a fan of this record — I can’t tell if it doesn’t know what it wants to be or whether I don’t like how it’s setting out to do what it’s trying to do.  It’s not worth exploring that.

@@@ Death Grips: Year of the Snitch (Third Worlds, 2018) I keep trying on the Death Grips and I try to listen widely because I want to hear what all the kids are listening to.  Which is probably not Death Grips but I’m peeping Death Grips because I dig the album cover.  Jesus, that’s foul whatever it is.  Ah yes, the classic Death Grips aggro electro noise when you hit the play button.  It’s labelled as alternative on the Apple Music and I get that but it’s also a mutant electronic record as well as an escaped hip hop beast.  I get that it’s supposed to be a dystopian dumpster fire and the second tune Flies makes a sort of sense to me.  I’m feeling this fourth track, The Horn Section, it’s a prog like tune that took a shot of meth into the eyeball, turned up the drum machine and just blendered the fuck out of the melody.  I appreciate the fragmented nature of the record, it’s jumpy as fuck and attempts to overwhelm its listeners the way a heavy metal record endeavors to do.   I appreciated passages for sure without eating the whole sandwich.

YTD recordings listened to: 379
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 198
Not good music: 169

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 3/2/18!!! Counterweight, Wolf + Lamb, Logic/Marshmello, Meghan Trainor

@@@ Meghan Trainor: No Excuses (Epic, 2018)  Not just in the Apple hot tracks section, Meghan Trainor gets banner position on Apple Music.  You know the rotating banner, yup up there, cuz Meghan has lost a lot of weight and now she’s empowered and ready to rumble.  Not rumble literally as there is a lot less of her to rumble with.   This tune is full on mainstream biscuit magic — a little funky guitar, overproduced vocals and some recycled disco vibes.  It is a pop confection that has been worked on and smoothed to project Meghan Trainor as fun, smart, hip and entertaining.  As a product it is finely manicured like a porn star’s pussy hair.  As music it is quite soulless and cliche as fuck.  I hear all the fine sounds and the singing and I don’t feel much if anything at all.  In one earhole and out the other!

@@@ Counterweight: Hum (Wide Hive, 2018) A pre-release tune from a jazz collective that I got to via a music publicist email.  The instrumentation is trumpet, sax, guitar, bass or keyboards and drums and it is a tune anchored in ’70s fusion jazz.  I like the trumpet player here, he’s not fully on fire but it’s interesting playing.  It might have rocked more, but it didn’t.  It might have had a guitar solo but it didn’t.  It’s a fine tune, nothing too memorable.

@@@ Logic & Marshmello: Everyday (Def Jam, 2018)  Some mainstream pop electronica out of the Apple Music hot tracks section.  The #1 slot on the hot tracks section, actually.  It opens up a bit glitchy and then unfortunately Logic makes his appearance.  He sings for a bit and then he does some quick rhymes but his rhythmic work is overshadowed by his tired ass lyrics.  It’s not just awful, it’s really awful shit.  He works hard every day, but today is my day!  That’s it, that’s the best you got motherfucker?  The sounds are pretty standard and then he starts in on his old girlfriend’s daddy issues.  #wordsalad.  Oh fuck, Logic has jumped the shark y’all.  I made it 2:37 and I feel like I wasted 2:30.

@@@ Wolf + Lamb: Love You Still (Wolf + Lamb Records, 2018) I got to this EP of remixes from a promo email from Flavorpill.  This is a half techno/half disco club banger.  I think the first tune is the original mix (clipped below) and then it gets re-imagined in the mixes after that.  It’s an all right, classic flavored jam.  One of the things this tune has going for it is that it doesn’t have Logic on it!  I’m not a huge club music guy but the vocals here are well done and the remixes all repackage the tune well.

YTD recordings listened to: 120
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 63
Not good music: 55

Best: 2
Honorable Mentions: 3

Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, Slidhr, The Chewers, Toxic Holocaust, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, Leviathan, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Janelle Monae, Luther Dickinson, Graeme Barrett, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Cavanaugh, Gentleman Surfer, 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, Magrudergrind, 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, Dona Onete, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Priests, Propaganda, This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez, Integrity, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Irreversible Entanglements, Converge, Open Mike Eagle, Criolo, Billy Strings, Flowers of Sulphur

My favorite hip hop track of ’17/2018 Honorable Mention Pick 3

J.I.D.: Never (Interscope, 2017)

I was checking out Jay Z’s tune ‘The Story of OJ’ and I was more than annoyed with his digression into how the Jews control credit and how bad ass his art collection is.  I really liked the arrangement of the Jay Z song but the rhymes were lame.  In my humble cracka opinion, this tune takes Jay Z out on a stretcher — incredible bounce on the microphone, smart lyrics and a really tight arrangement.  It’s J.I.D.’s rhymes that are the star of the show here.

Music for 1/30/18!!! The Vaccines, Anarouz, No Age, Charlotte Day Wilson

@@@ The Vaccines: Nightclub (Sony, 2018)  Some major label super clean guitar rock off the Apple Music hot tracks section.  The vocal is ‘it makes my head feel like a night club’ — better than most but not quite sure it is more than word salad.  Big sculpting efforts have been made on the guitars.  Great sounds with limited passion, perfect for yuppie rockers.

@@@ 3MA: Anarouz (Six Degrees, 2018)  A brunchy world set with two string players (I’m guessing two koras) and a hand drummer that looks to be more North African or Middle Eastern.  Of course the koras are gorgeous and they shred them but I want more drumming.  Why can’t I have more drumming?  I’m on the fourth or fifth tune and this is most definitely for people who wear clean clothes and work in cubicles.  The playing is beautiful but restrained and packaged like a pork chop.

@@@ No Age: Snares Like a Haircut (Drag City, 2018)  Marketed as a blend of noise rock and shoegaze thrills.  We can only hope as the music business never lies!  I got to this via last week’s notable release email from All Music.  The first tune is like a mid ’80s Sonic Youth rave up but with better singing.  Oy, I could never deal with that with the Youth of Sonic.  It’s pretty noisy but I’ve heard fuzzier — not that this is a contest.  The vocalist is working a fairly melodic area which really changes the tunes and not necessarily in a bad way.  I’m on the third tune and Sonic Youth really is the touchstone band for this record.  Pretty manic drumming, noisy guitars and nice vocal hooks.

@@@ Charlotte Day Wilson: Nothing New (Self-released, 2018)  A self released single off the Apple Music hot tracks section.  It’s super polished r&b and Imma waiting on Ms. Wilson to drop some vibes on the microphone.  She’s mourning a relationship (I think) and that gives the polished drums and pulse bass more substance.  It gets a little overwrought about 2 minutes in but it’s an all right tune for the ladies.  Just sayin’.

YTD recordings listened to: 58
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 32
Not good music: 25

Best: 0
Honorable Mentions: 0

Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, Slidhr, The Chewers, Toxic Holocaust, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, Leviathan, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Janelle Monae, Luther Dickinson, Graeme Barrett, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Cavanaugh, Gentleman Surfer, 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, Magrudergrind, A Tribe Called Quest, Noname, Gouge Away, Anna Hogberg, Klara Lewis, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, J.I.D., Oddisee, Forro in the Dark, RAM, Fiver, Dona Onete, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Priests, Propaganda, This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez, Integrity, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Benjamin Booker, Irreversible Entanglements, Converge, Open Mike Eagle, Criolo