Music for 8/14/17!!! Kelsea Ballerina, Antiabalas, Offa Rex

@@@ Kelsea Ballerina: Unapologetically (Black River, 2017)  A pre-release new country single off the Apple Music hot tracks.  Unapologetically cliche lyrics over a barely country track.  It’s an interesting track because Ballerina (real name?) is a gal so there’s no macho going on so by the time they tech the tune out with EDM production flourishes it’s fake apple pie filling.  It’s a very sweet but somewhat homeless/genre less kinda feeling.  As I’ve said many times before the worst music is the stuff that doesn’t make you feel anything making you feel kinda dead.  She’s a pretty singer but I don’t feel anything about the song.  It’s Oxycodone country music.

@@@ Antibalas: Gold Rush (Daptone, 2017)  A single from long running Afrobeat band Antibalas.  It opens up with a nice bashing drum beat and trips out with a quasi-psych guitar shred.  The singer has always had a somewhat righteous tone which isn’t my favorite but that’s just me and the tune has plenty of space for solos.  I dig the main horn line and the solo that comes after.  It’s a big boy weighing in at almost 11 minutes so there’s plenty of time to stretch.  You and the musicians.

@@@ Offa Rex: The Queen of Hearts (Nonesuch, 2017)  Also off this week’s WRIR playlist email.  I consider Nonesuch the label of especially white people and this record sure confirms that notion.  It opens up with harpsichord and an uber female singer.  Not a female singer taking an Uber but a very female kinda gal.  The second tune brings a male singer and they work a folk rock vibe similar to but not as virtuosic as Richard Thompson.  Man, I could go for some shepherd’s pie or a kidney pudding or some such!  This is well played but a little bit low energy baroque folk but if you go for that sort of thing then check it out.

YTD recordings listened to: 525
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 284
Not good music: 218

Buys: 8
Honorable Mentions: 6

Possibles: Chris McGregor, 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, James Brandon Lewis, 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

Music for 8/13/17!!! Han Earl Park!

@@@ Han Earl Park: Sirene 1009 (Buster and Friends, 2017)  On the day after a race riot in Virginia in a society where I can’t even get the straight information as to what happened, how many people were there, etc. and at the end of a summer where so much disturbing awful shit has occurred and nobody appears to acknowledge it except to monetize it into shallow clickbait it’s a pleasure to hear music the echoes the awfulness of our present situation.  This is what drew me to punk rock back in the day — the idea that I’m not alone and other people feel as badly as I feel and are letting it out.

While I enjoy Mr. Parks playing (he is jumpy as fuck, does not respect certain time honored and boring jazz conventions) it is the singer that really takes this music to another place.

As my daddy used to say most people wouldn’t say shit if they had a mouthful of it.  This woman does not have that problem as she lets it all hang out.  She pushes the definition of what a singer is and her priority is to make you feel similarly to her.  That’s a guess but when you hear the range of difficult sounds emanating from her it’s hard to feel great.  I don’t really want to get into the specifics of how she performs as we have this fantastic interwebz and you can click on it yourself and peep.  It is disjointed and chaotic, not all miserable, but raw and wandering.  Sort of like that President Orange Piece of Shit himself.  I don’t want to super overtly tie this music to politics and the vibes here are pretty universal and transcend but there is a connection as I described above.  She brings forward that half human/half animal inner state of mind that millions of people experience yet no one dare speak of.  Grunts, gasps, random word salad, growls, you get the idea.  Everybody in the band is killing but the singer really takes it home.

You can listen to it as you see fit, I’m no fascist.  It exists unto itself while also being part of a larger context.

Let me just sign off by saying there are a lot of guys and gals who sidle up to play some free jazz and drop some skronky ass, light on soul noise for sure.  This is not one of those efforts.

Check it out!

YTD recordings listened to: 521
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 282
Not good music: 217

Buys: 8
Honorable Mentions: 6

Possibles: Chris McGregor, 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, James Brandon Lewis, 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

Music for 8/10/17!!! Warm Digits, Caroline Says, Naomi Punk

@@@ Warm Digits: Wireless World (Memphis Industries, 2017)  Some pumpin’ ’80s synth rock with dashes of New Age.  Oh they are cranking the tempo and it’s getting more like an austere krautrock with some edge to it.  There’s a big prog rock synth solo on this first track so this has a lot of influences to it.  Oy, they’re into a nerdy funk vibe on this second track, its a poo poo platter of sub genres yo.  I’ve sample about half this record and it is a mix of nerd music, funky white boy business, and upbeat New Age threads.  Unique for sure.

@@@  Caroline Says: 50,000,000 Elvis Fans Can’t Be Wrong (New West, 2017)  This and the record above from this week’s All Music notable release email.  The first tune opens up intimately with some arpeggiated guitar and melancholic close mic singing.  The second tune gets into some ’80s rock — oh that guitar sound, I hate that guitar sound and that smooth vocal thing.  Ah well.  They’re back to the mopey, faded Beach Boys indie thing on the third tune so it looks set to bounce around between these two sonic formulas.

@@@ Naomi Punk: Yellow (Captured Tracks, 2017)  74 minutes of indie also off the All Music weekly.  The first tune is an ambient looped thing but I don’t know if that’s to whet your palette or that’s how it’s gonna go.  The guitars and drums have showed up by the third tune but ambient elements remained and it’s sort of a meandering and messy cloud of sound they have going on (which is fine).  These are millennial hipsters getting their freak on.  It’s a kind of punk for sure.  It’s not super aggressive or guitar driven but the attitude is there.

YTD recordings listened to: 517
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 279
Not good music: 216

Buys: 8
Honorable Mentions: 6

Possibles: Chris McGregor, 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, James Brandon Lewis, 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

Music for 8/9/17!!! Cardi B, QUIN, Kesha, Bebe Rexha

@@@ Cardi B: Bodak Yellow (Atlantic, 2017) A mainstream single off the hot tracks section of Apple Music.  Cardi B comes out swinging with a potty mouth, putting down the other bitches and shit.  She don’t have to dance she makes money move.  I like the skittery beats and that fat bottom bass but the star is Miss B.  After a slow start she gets her spit on and she is filthy.  You little bitch you can’t fuck with me! Her pussy glitters like gold, you go Cardi B!

@@@ QUIN: Sticky Situation (Fantasy Soul Music, 2017)  More ladies on the mic off the Apple Music hot tracks.  She only pursued you for the booty babe.  She is drawing on some early ’80s disco/funk type of sounds though she’s got some updated beats for sure.  The lyrics are not as full on raw as Ms. Cardi B but she’s stuck up in a sticky situation so there’s that double entendre going on.

@@@ Kesha: Hymn (Kemosabe, 2017)  The last time we checked in with Kesha was all pro female and telling the menz to keep out of her weed bag dammit.  This is a hymn for the hymn less.  I might be hymn-less, I’m not sure.  I think this is in the wake of Kesha’s public battle with her label and her producer.  She’s gonna stick up for those folks who don’t have anybody to stick up for them.  I give Kesha props for her voice as she can sing and I give props for her I don’t give a fuck attitude but the fact remains that these lyrics are borderline mental hospital.  A hymn for the hymn less, kids with no religion, yeah we keep from sinning, yeah we keep on singing, flying down the highway, yeah we do it our way.  It’s pretty much word salad from where I’m sitting.  It may make sense if you’re baked.  Lyric video for fuck’s sake!  Enjoy!!!

@@@ Bebe Rexha: The Way I Are (Warner Bros, 2017)  We are finishing off our mostly filthy ladies’ day listening show with this single.  And what does this title mean?  It means stay in school yo and learn ya grammar and shit!  I kid.  It’s hard to tell if I’ve heard this tune as it’s biting a lot of other songs that came before.  This is a simple tune as she just wants to somebody who accepts her the way she are.  I like Lil Wayne and they freak-a-fy his voice.  This has a few body references but this is not like Cardi B.’s golden pussy this is a tune about longing.  She don’t care who you are love me the way I are.  The sounds are a mash of electro pop with some EDM pubes sprinkled over that.  I would like the tune more if she didn’t ride that vocal hook mad cowgirl style.

YTD recordings listened to: 514
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 278
Not good music: 214

Buys: 8
Honorable Mentions: 6

Possibles: Chris McGregor, 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, James Brandon Lewis, 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

Music for 8/8/17!!! Brett Eldredge, Briana Marela, Dead Cross, Jack Johnson

@@@ Brett Eldredge: Brett Eldredge (Atlantic, 2017)  I love contemporary country, it makes me shit my pants!  This record is on the front of the Apple music home page and at the top of last week’s All Music notable release email.  This first tune is upbeat, no opioid addicts allowed!  Handclaps, an echoed guitar figure and a friendly voice.  Such a friendly voice, like Donald Trump slipping into your bed at midnight with a giant orange erection and a verbal tic.  Let me love you Donald whispers, I’m so lonely my mail-order wife just left me!  The second tune gets more mainstream with a Bon Jovi bass line and a quasi- classic FM rock beat.  Oh Jesus, I love it!  One more tune, the third one, with synths and he’s never seen  your kind of pretty.  This is not cliche, this is familiar and friendly and epic and more than a bit cheesy.

@@@ Briana Marela: Call It Love (Jagjaguwar, 2017)  Also off this week’s All Music notable release email.  Female angels people, draped in reverb and sitting atop cloudy synth patches!  No dirty underwear (or opioid addicts) in this clean and lovely world.  It’s morphed from the intro to a New Age sorta rock.  Let’s peep a bit more but I’m not long for this record I fear.  Remember, I want to like it, I really do.  This second tune is a jacket sewn from the same cloth — hyper twee with a standard drum beat.  It does bust out into a crazy and interesting EDM sorta stomp but this isn’t really aimed at me as I’m dead inside.

@@@ Dead Cross: Dead Cross (Ipecac, 2017)  Some hardcore punk to clear my mind after that last record which kinda fucked me up.  They whip up a pretty good shitstorm in this first tune and the singer is kinda glammy or heavy metal for hardcore.  Just my opinion.  I see from gathering a video from the GooglePimp that these guys are a sort of supergroup and the singer is from, well I don’t know these bands and they don’t specify the player’s positions.  It’s like Megadeth humped a punk band, let’s put it that way.  It’s not a formula I love but check it for yourself.

@@@ Jack Johnson: Sunsets for Somebody Else (Jack Johnson, 2017)  A pre-release single from Gen X’s Jimmy Buffett.  Super slack and unthreatening and sending out all manner of airy vibes.  I like his vocal delivery and the guitar playing is pretty if not standard but the lyrics, eh not my cup of tea.  And I remain consistently against the woo hoo background vocals from anybody.

YTD recordings listened to: 510
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 278
Not good music: 210

Buys: 8
Honorable Mentions: 6

Possibles: Chris McGregor, 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, James Brandon Lewis, 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

Music for 8/7/17!!! Ondatropica, Girl Ray, Julian Borrego, Motograter

@@@ Ondatropica: Baile Bucanero (Soundway, 2017) These guys made my list with their 2012 record so they get a repeat listen.  They do a mash of styles — Brazilian music as well as other Caribbean musics including a dash of reggae and a splash of Mexican music.  Also some funk music and electronic music elements.  They’re excellent and creative players.  These first two tunes are very laid-back.  I’m on the fifth tune and it’s not super breezy but I don’t feel it to be super hard hitting.  I like it all right but you should check for yourself as it’s a hard record to describe.

@@@ Girl Ray: Earl Grey (Moshi Moshi, 2017)  Some vintage indie guitar pop I got to from the blog Line of Best Fit.  That’s where I go to listen to the tracks of the week and usually when I do that the internet just breaks.  It shits itself and breaks out of sheer joy.  This first tune is a female vocalist fuel cotton candy nugget with eagerly strummed clean guitar chords and some falsetto singing.  Do not listen to this record when you’re eating ice cream as it will make your teeth hurt.

@@@ Julian Borrego: Ouroboros (Julian Borrego, 2017) An older school funk record I got to via the indie music blog Indiepulse.  Big funky bass lines, medium bounce beats, falsetto vocals, it’s all here, skranky guitars, etc.  I would say Earth Wind and Fire is the best touchstone for this music.  Funky and friendly.  I like it but I wish it hit harder.  Ya know, a tad more doobie in the funk.

@@@ Motograter: Dorian (EMP Label Group, 2017)  A hard rock single also off the indie music blog Indiepulse.  Opens up with a monster riff and a clippy kick drum sound.  Let’s see how the singer hits, Imma guessing cucumber in the leather pants rock star action.  Yeah, mostly that but not too dramatic.  It gets pretty mainstream in the chorus and here we encounter the self-loathing of many mainstream hard rock bands.  I will fade away, become nothing, a ghost of who I used to be — some such wallowing.  Oh boy, life’s too short for this I’d rather listen to dogs fornicate.  It’s an okay song, they play all right I don’t get the sentiment.

YTD recordings listened to: 506
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 276
Not good music: 208

Buys: 8
Honorable Mentions: 6

Possibles: Chris McGregor, 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, James Brandon Lewis, 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

Music for 8/3/17!!! Indonesian Junk, Lucy Rose, Skrillex & Poo Bear, Mick Jagger

@@@ Indonesian Junk: I’ll Run Away (Rum Bar, 2017)  A late ’70s/early ’80s old school rumble punk/rock single I got to via the music blog Indiepulse.  The singer has a bit of Joey Ramone and they’re a bit looser than the Ramones.  There is an unexpectedly nice guitar shred solo but it’s a tad long on the outro.  It’s a cool tune but feel free to call it a day when you need to.

@@@ Lucy Rose: Something’s Changing (Lucy Rose/Communion, 2017)  Folky singer songwriter that features a harp on the first tune.  This is just the intro so the flavors may change.  The second tune brings in some super mellow reverbed electric guitar and Daniel Lanois sounding production.  It’s super soft and intimate music — no feelings are going to get hurt in the listening of this record.  #guaranteed.  Get out your chamomile tea and just kick back into these welcoming sounds if that’s how you float.

@@@ Skrillex & Wool Bear: Would You Ever? (WEA, 2017)  An electro single off the hot tracks section of Apple Music.  Tis a chopped vocal salad dance floor banger.  The male singer’s voice fades in and out of processing as he keeps asking the lady in his life ‘would you ever run away with me?’  I’m assuming Poo Bear is the singer and Skrillex is at the computer.  As a technical show it’s a solid B, as music it’s C-.  The last 15 seconds is actually mad hot but that’s too long to wait and they should have started with that boom titch and maybe eased up on the chopped salad.

@@@ Mick Jagger: England Lost (Universal, 2017) This single has been getting press in various locations and on music blogs that I follow.  It’s Mick Jagger bitching about Brexit over a grime arrangement.  It’s not so grime-y imho.  I just looked up the definition of grime (electronic music that came out of jungle/UK garage and hip hop) and outside of the featured vocal by Skepta this is surprisingly Stones-y with harmonica, a few guitar riffs, mid Stones-era disco influence all served up over a pretty straightforward funky beat.  I don’t want to get into the politics of Brexit as it’s mad complicated but the idea that people would vote against their own economic self-interest seems to freak people out.  Contrary to ruling class behavior which is always focused on economic self-interest, many folks are good for an old fashioned fuck you to those at the top and why that is shocking is more than a bit sad.  The assholes who have been gorging at the financial pig trough in London deserve a hale and hearty ‘Go fuck yourself’.

YTD recordings listened to: 502
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 274
Not good music: 206

Buys: 8
Honorable Mentions: 6

Possibles: Chris McGregor, 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, James Brandon Lewis, 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