Music for 6/21/17!!! Brownout, Adam Rudolph’s Moving Pictures, Evacuate the Earth, Lorde

@@@ Brownout: Over the Covers EP (Fat Beats, 2017)  A mash of funk and classic rock that I got to via a music publicist email.  Full horn section, percussion, lotsa singers, two guitars, it’s a crowded stage.  I like this first tune though I could use some more slop.  I think the weak point here is the drummer, he’s all right but he could use some dookie stick to take this large ensemble to the next level.  Horn section outta sight, the singer meh.

@@@ Adam Rudolph’s Moving Pictures: Dream Garden (Meta Records, 2016)  I saw this jazz musician name checked on this week’s London Jazz blog and thought I would check him out.  The first tune from this largeish ensemble is warmly percolating improv — drummer and percussionist, at least two horns, bass.  I’m not a huge fan of this guitar tone but let’s peep more.  The second tune is more loosely structured and I prefer it to the opener, though it was just a teaser and the third tune opens up into an even more expansive spot.  I like this flute playing.

@@@ Evacuate the Earth: Evacuate the Earth (N/A, 2017)  An old school inspired freak show type of record that I got to via a music publicist in the Chicago area.  I like the strangeness of this opener but I hope they bring some heat to the proceedings.  They’re getting there with the manic drumming and rapidly spinning horns.  It’s kind of like klezmer on crack with a proggy synth player.  This second tune is an off kilter spy movie/stripper themed tune.  The klezmer vibe creeps back in on the third tune and it’s a welcome addition the post-apocalyptic flow.  Myself I dig this record but I think they should go further and get raucous sooner in their tracks.  Check it out, this is what I thought John Zorn was supposed to sound like.

@@@ Lorde: Green Light (Universal Music, 2017)  Everybody is popping wood over this record so let’s peep the opener and we might eat this record in pieces.  Oh yeah, I’ve heard this track as a pre-release, fuck it stinks like shit.  There are some nice moments in the track but it’s overproduced and when she gets to the chorus I want to hurl a dirty diaper at her and her retinue.  And I don’t want to get into any sort of mouth shaming but in the course of this short post I’ve encountered four or five images of her and there’s something weird about her mouth.  Maybe she was attacked by a swarm of botox flies, she needs some mouth therapy.  I only mention this because all these pop stars have teams of handlers that do the marketing and the photos and it’s surprising nobody thought anybody would mention her mouth looking weird.  Anyway it’s been way more fun to talk smack about her lips than to listen to this track.  I know it has 74 million views but that don’t make it good!!!

YTD recordings listened to: 386
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 216
Not good music: 152

Buys: 6
Honorable Mentions: 4

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, Power Trip, Reverend Payton, J.I.D., Oddisee, Forro in the Dark, RAM, Fiver, Dona Onete, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Dead Ranch

Best of 2017 Pick 6

Drone: Reversing Into the Future (Pomperipossa, 2017)

This ambient record that has been on my listening list for a little over the year gets called up to the ‘best of’ list.  It is just right for me in terms of what I want from an ambient record.

It has a tasteful amount of long tones/ideas coming across the stereo field and they rotate at a speed where I’m engaged, enjoying what I’m listening to and eager to hear what’s next.  There are no cheesy sounds here, big fat cotton candy cloud synths but it’s not too annoyingly industrial and dark.  It has a pleasant combination of sounds — some nice long high energy particulate matter, some metallic grinding, some motor like noises and some, of course, drones.

There six tracks on the record and they’re all titled This Strange Life 1, This Strange Life 2, etc.  Some of my favorite passages are on track four (clipped below for your listening convenience).  It all goes down like one giant cinematic piece with variations.

Check it out, it’s high quality ambient for ya earholes!

 

 

Music for 6/20/17!!! Dead Ranch, No Goods, Kobra and the Lotus

@@@ Dead Ranch: Brumation (No List, 2017) Some buzzy punk metal off this week’s CFUV weekly playlist email. Oh I like this first tune as they grind out a nice upifting punky struggling grind. This is no death metal/doom shit (thus far). This second tune is pretty much an old school punk emo tune — the singer has a nice at the end of his rope vibe to his vocal stylings. This is some really high quality energy for all involved with interesting arrangements for the genre. Imma check back on this record when I have time to eat the whole sandwich.

@@@ Buzzer: No Goods (Kingfisher Bluez, 2017) Some high energy rock that I got to from this week’s CFUV playlist email. Lots of guitar and rock drumming — good beer drinking music. Tighter than the Replacements and a little rougher than Superdrag if you know those bands. Straight ahead rawk for ya.

@@@ Kobra and the Lotus: Prevail I (Napalm, 2017) Epic classic metal off this week’s CFUV playlist email. The band is fronted by a young blond woman and I don’t usually watch the videos for these metal bands but this is some melodramatic classic metal for sure. It’s like going to a Broadway play/opera but with lots of guitars.

YTD recordings listened to: 382
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 214
Not good music: 150

Buys: 6
Honorable Mentions: 4

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, Power Trip, Reverend Payton, J.I.D., Oddisee, Forro in the Dark, RAM, Fiver, Dona Onete, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Dead Ranch

Music for 6/19/17!!! Professor Wouassa, Fleet Foxes, GospelbeacH, Calvin Harris

@@@ Professor Wouassa: Grow Yes Yes! (Chiz Records, 2015)  I got to this Afrobeat record via the WRIR music review email.  Regular readers know that I have problems with Afrobeat, namely it’s decidely macho posturing and vibe.  This horn section is full of jazz players so the vibe is more subtle and the singer is very quiet in front of this large ensemble.  I guess the male singer on the opener was a guest and it’s been mostly the ladies holding down the vocal responsibilities.  If you’re looking for more chilled out Afrobeat check this record out, it’s a pro outfit.

@@@ Fleet Foxes: Crack-Up (Nonesuch, 2017)  Some meaningful white boy indie music off this week’s All Music notable release email.  After an ambient opening they get into a fairly rambunctious hippie sing a long kinda thing.  They cold filter a Simon and Garfunkel intimate folk thing through a cold water brew indie rock coffee maker.  There’s a lot of reverb to be had here, I could use a bit less myself, but this is clearly supposed to be quietly uplifting music by virtue of it’s beauty.  It doesn’t rock, it’s not supposed to, it holds you in its arms and gives you a designer hipster pacifier.

@@@ GospelbeacH: Another Summer of Love (Alive NaturalSounds, 2017)  I think of Alive NaturalSounds as a home for unwashed, trailer park white people but this is smoother and more classic rock than usual.  Super sweet vocals here going for a faded California sound which I’m hearing a lot lately.  Check out the cover below which is decidely faded so I’m not bloveating here.  I like this all right but it’s pretty straight — for those hardcore music listeners out there I would go for some classic Big Star and the various pills they were taking at that point.  They operate in this neighborhood but the music has more impact.  At least on me.

@@@ Calvin Harris: Feels (Sony, 2017)  I peep Calvin Harris’ music because he bites everything that came before him so hard.  Here we have a late disco track but a shiny, modern nugget lacking in soul.  Woke Katy Perry is up on this track and maybe Calvin and other guests ate at her buffet!  Oh I would watch a video of that.  In the middle of the track it breaks down for a rhyming break but the problem here is the lyrics — there’s a lot of them but the hook ‘Don’t be afraid to catch feels’.  Oh Calvin, that’s it?  I got feels, Mr. Harris and some of them are bad feels.

YTD recordings listened to: 379
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 213
Not good music: 149

Buys: 5
Honorable Mentions: 4

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, Drone, 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, Power Trip, Reverend Payton, J.I.D., Oddisee, Forro in the Dark, RAM, Fiver, Dona Onete, Succumb Succumb, Gloom

Music for 6/18/17!!! Macklemore, Iced Earth

@@@ Macklemore: Glorious (Bendo, 2017)  I check out Macklemore’s jams cuz he cracks me up with his cornball flow.  This single is no exception to his usual ways.  He’s mad grateful for his life in this track and he mashes a gospel choir with some EDM four on the floor and other sounds.  It’s supposed to be uplifting but I find the cliche nature of the lyrics and the arrangement to be very hollow.  He’s testifying and I wish he wouldn’t.  I made it 2:53 through the song before I had to shut it off yo.

@@@ Iced Earth: Incorruptible (Century Media, 2017)  Highlighted in the metal section of Apple Music they start out gloomy church choir and big thunderous tom fills.  But I suspect bones will be crushed forthwith.  It has begun!  I came for the beatdown and all I got was a cheese sandwich.  I guess there’s no escape from America’s tidal wave of cheese regardless of genre.  This is an epic, slightly more muscular classic metal formula with that kind of singer that sounds like they gots their balls in a vice.  This second tune opens up with the line ‘A storm is raging on the open sea…’  I would call this Metallica with cheddar.  Ah well.

YTD recordings listened to: 375
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 211
Not good music: 147

Buys: 5
Honorable Mentions: 4

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, Drone, 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, Power Trip, Reverend Payton, J.I.D., Oddisee, Forro in the Dark, RAM, Fiver, Dona Onete, Succumb Succumb, Gloom

Music for 6/17/16!!! Joe Gifted, The Drums, Com Truise

@@@ Joe Gifted: Water (Warner Bros, 2017)  Satan could be from Atlanta and he would get a record deal.  That’s how hot that city is right now for hip hop.  This is a single and Mr. Gifted has some nice skitter in the beats and mad bounce in the bass but he also sports a mainstream sound and a kinda friendly flow.  Kinda friendly as he’s definitely for young kids with that potty mouth and he aspires to a lot of stuff and a lot of women.  Beats and bass win here.

@@@ Com Truise: Iteration (Ghostly, 2017)  I follow Ghostly on the Twatter but I didn’t see this new release.  I would call this electronic arena rock as the main voices are synths but the big drums and the overall feel is one of epicness.  Let’s see what some of the other tracks hold for us.  The second tune Ephemeron is not as epic, it’s an inflated early hip hop kind of sound with a fatty fat (but not hip hop) bass and a lot of delayed synth sound ping pong-ing around.  I don’t love the beats or the synths — I guess folks is mad ’80s retro and eat this corn up big time but it’s not for me.

YTD recordings listened to: 373
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 211
Not good music: 145

Buys: 5
Honorable Mentions: 4

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, Drone, 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, Power Trip, Reverend Payton, J.I.D., Oddisee, Forro in the Dark, RAM, Fiver, Dona Onete, Succumb Succumb, Gloom

2017 Honorable Mention Pick 3

Aethenor: Hazel (VHF Records, 2017)

I had to do some searching around to get a handle on the folks that made this record.  It was made by musicians of varying backgrounds and that makes sense as it is a mash of jazz, ambient electronics, and a wee bit of jam rock.

The drummer is a jazz drummer that has played with Peter Brotzmann and he’s pretty much the star of the show.  He’s a very engaging drummer, switching up on a regular basis but all within the context of what’s going on around him.

It’s hard to describe the music these guys crank out.  It has elements of Sigur Ros but not as dreamlike and noisier.  Check it out.