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

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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

Music for 1/29/18!!! Justin Timberlake, Jack White, Buscabella, Hector Guerra

@@@ Justin Timberlake: Say Something (RCA, 2018)  Another pre-release single from panty quaker Timberlake.  This tune is a mash of r&b sounds and strummed acoustic guitar with Timberlake’s yearning vocals.  He also is dueting here with Chris Stapleton to raise the redneck quotient.  You cannot take a shit without Chris Stapleton being there — I’m not sure why but it is such.  As a grown ass adult I can’t really tell you what this song is about — the lyrics are pretty nonsensical.  Ah, there was just a line saying that the greatest way to say something is to say nothing at all.  Yo, that’s heavy sentiment to package with this cheese.

@@@ Jack White: Corporation (Columbia, 2018)  Any hope that Jack White had outgrown trying to out Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin are partially rewarded here.  He brings in the fat beat and then some heavy riffage but there are funk flavors here, most notably Sly Stone.  What happened to messy Jack White when he would bust a nut with that half-mutant drummer he got famous with?  This is accomplished riffing but it’s kinda fucking boring.  No mess, no runs, no errors, all manicured like a porn star’s bush.  I ask you doesn’t the funk have some mess swirled up in it.  The problem here is that this is the first track of the record so that’s usually putting your best foot forward.  He sings at the end and I don’t feel much better.

@@@ Buscabulla: EP II (Baby Making Records, 2018)  Some dreamy, indie Latino electronica.  Super tinkly and ethereal and shit.  There’s a funky undercurrent beneath the clouds of synth sprinkles and delicate metal percussion.  I would prefer the female singer’s voice be not bathed in reverb but alas this is the style with the kids today.  Solid B, not jumping up and down.  I got to this from a Flavorpill announcement email.

@@@ Hector Guerra: Desde El Infierno (Kasba Music, 2018) Some Latin hip hop I got to via the WRIR weekly playlist email.  The first tune most definitely has hip hop beats but it also has a didgiridoo kinda of drone and Guerra mostly sings this first track.  It’s pretty downtempo and hypnotic in its way.  The second tune sheds that vibe for a decidely upbeat singalong with Mexican accordion (which I love) and some singalong choruses before he gets on some Spanish rhyming.  The tune clipped below is the best of what I heard so check that out.

YTD recordings listened to: 54
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 30
Not good music: 23

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