Music for 1/13/23!!! Black Flower

@@@ Black Flower: Magma (SDBan Ultra, 2022) I’m a bit surprised to see this blend of electronic music and jazz on highbrow critic Ted Gioia’s honorable mention list for 2022. While this release tilts to normies, it’s got a lot going for it including a fresh blend of sounds, space organ and walking bassline in the first tune being high up on the list for me. I’m doing a bit of reading on this outfit’s bandcamp page and they are from Belgium and aspire to be rocking a blend of jazz, afrobeat and dub. I can get with that and let’s peep a bit more. It’s also got a bit of old school Doors type jam band swirled up in there. The second tune O Fogo brings on the afrobeat with some stanky drums colliding with the space organ and a circular flute part. Not the most amazing shit ever but solid and I am feeling the rhythm section here bigly. Nice tight snare sound and a popping bass player, this dude or lady or them/they is smackin’ it around. Shit starts to fall apart in a more interesting way in the third track as they come with the messy intro that fuses into some very stylish groove playing.

Music for 2/18/22!!! Etuk Ubong, Frank Turner

@@@ Etuk Ubong: Ekpo Mmommom (Night Dreamer, 2020) I got to this via a tweet from bandcamp via the Twatter. Slotted as jazz on Apple Music, Ubong is a trumpet player and this track, the opener on a record called Africa Today is a thick slab of rhythm and melody driven by an excellent organ sound which is church-y, high in the mix, and pretty unique to African music I’ve heard. The drummer is on fleek, super full of energy and bringing a few arena rock fills in his backpack. Fusion-y bass and big horn lines though thicker and not super brassy in the mix. I stayed for the beginning of the second track African struggle and it is smokin’. Faster tempo, congas pumpin’, space organ this time, and more intricate horn lines. These guys (and maybe gals what do I know) can play!!! Check it out.

@@@ Frank Turner: The Gathering (Polydor, 2022) I got to this via a music publicist email. Classic UK/Irish pub punk that’s been added to with cock rock and big So Cal singalong choruses. Turner is a veteran and he has no trouble working the microphone and keeping up with this bombastic and not so simple pump it up punk. Fairly big guitar solo and a lot of vocal tracks here. It works fine as a technical achievement but does detract a bit from the fuck it and let’s get on with it attitude. After reading Turner’s bio it’s clear he doesn’t hew to any one genre/sound/style as he started in post-hardcore and then went acoustic. So that explains the blend of sounds up in here, he don’t give a fuck which I respect. The song is meant to rouse and I would find it more rousing if it was a bit more stripped down.

Music for 1/20/21!!! Justin Bieber, Made Kuti

@@@ Justin Bieber: Anyone (UMG, 2021) Tweeted and blurbed as a return to form I thought I would throw it a peep. I’m guessing it will be some chocolate-y smooth loverboy business but who knows. Opening with a ping pong-y synth, a little flusing synth and Bieber bringing that high end cheese as I expected. If this was a baseball it would be high and tight. Oh God, the chorus is trash, fucking trash I say! He didn’t put a real sound or a real lyric in this whole track, it is detached from any reality that I know. An ’80s synth arrangement, giant reverb patches, wow I’m completely blown away at how awful this is and as it unfolds it just gets more and more awful. Wow, get fucked.

@@@ Made Kuti: Free Your Mind (Partisan, 2020) I don’t know if I’ve heard this Kuti before, and that’s no criticism or slight. He brings a slightly modified more interwoven Afrobeat flavor here on this single I got to via the WRIR playlist email. It’s got the standard thick mix of flavors but it sports an unusual vocal arrangement with a lot of almost chant-y set up with a lot of rhythmic feels and not the sole supreme leader style of Fela. I prefer this style. It’s about a 5 minute track with the last third given over to a collective horn solo. I like the ensemble, the energy and I really dig the more humble vocal approach. Afrobeat is not my favorite subgenre of African music so it’s not easy for me to shit my pants but this is a more than solid Afrobeat track with unique vibes.

Music for 5/7/20!!! San Cha, Alex Weiser, David Walters, Franck Biyong

@@@ San Cha: Capricho del Diablo (Outside Inside, 2018) I saw this Los Angeles based Latinx artist in a music publicist email doing some quarantine multimedia thing but I found this track from last year.  It opens with some standard electric indie style guitar before the Mexican elements come in.  Ms. Cha has a freight train voice when she wants it to go that way but it is quite tender at the same time.  There is no kit drummer, it’s a hand drum and a percussion instrument I can’t recall the name of.  There are a couple of background singers joining the lead so it’s a lot of vocals because the lead singer counts as two.  This is quite fresh in its way — a bit weird, a bit world, a bit indie lots of clashing that works together.  The background singing is particularly freaky in the impression it leaves.

@@@ Alex Weiser: And All the Days Were Purple: 1. My Joy (Cantaloupe Music, 2019)  I saw this composer namechecked on an email from adventurous music club Roulette and found this record on Apple Music.  These are vocal pieces celebrating Jewish culture in a classical music environment.  On this track it’s piano, violin and a female singer (a cello as well I believe) and this is highbrow music for people who own nice suits and have high paying jobs.  Very restrained and cultured.  It’s nominated for a Pulitzer Prize which doesn’t say much about the Pulitzer as I don’t hear much here that is particularly original or exciting.  I want to like it, if you gave me some Stravinsky type shit I would crap myself a brick and get up in here.

@@@ David Walters: Krye Mwen (Heavenly Sweetness, 2020) Some Caribbean music off this week’s All Music notable release email.  I don’t think I’ve checked this out yet.  It opens up a bit ol’ school r&b, a bit fusion-y, and a bit Caribbean as you would expect.  The intro is driven by hand claps and gourd/shaker, but it segues into a full band groove when the drummer enters.  It’s thick, not Funkadelic thick but thick and it’s smooth but not too smooth.  If you’re looking for some world music inflected groove music this guy lays it down.

@@@ Franck Biyong: Anywhere Trouble (Hot Casa, 2020)  Another WRIR weekly playlist email!  Updated Afrobeat with a guest singer.  A synth bass here, for example, a sound you don’t often hear in Afrobeat.  It’s got more of a dancefloor feel than classic swaggering horn driven Afrobeat.  I miss Tony Allen!  I had to throw that in there.  I’ve often commented that Afrobeat with some newer sounds or slight twists would be welcome to my world and I’m feeling the freshness of this.  I did a little GooglePimpin’ to find out that Biyong is from Cameroon — Afrobeat originated in Nigeria and I don’t know Cameroon’s historical involvement in classic Afrobeat.  I appreciate the dancefloor feel and the layers of percussion here as well as the vocal arrangements which enhance the track.  All sorts of little sonic goodies up in here, check it out.

YTD recordings listened to: 342
Good music, not list worthy: 178
Not good music: 152

Best: 0
Honorable Mentions: 0

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, 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, 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, Criolo, Billy Strings, Flowers of Sulphur, Portal, Lawaii, Etran De L’Air, Ruby Karinto, Elysia Crampton, Parquet Courts, Moskus, Kendl Winter, Tkay Maidza, Barro, Daniel Khan, Tallawit Timbouctou, Sumac, Tropical Fuck Storm, Harriet Tubman, Ammar 808, Anais Maviel, Chaka Khan, Pom Poko, Fried Egg, Tarek Atoui, Saicobab, General Purv, Shipping News, Big Thief, Mariachi El Bronx, Pour Me a Grog, Sudan Archives, Lakou Mizik, Moodymann, Pharmakon, Alefa Madagascar, Janjao, Luge, Wiki, Mick Jenkins, Jeremiah Jae, Fera, Gambian Griot Kora Duets, Drama, Beatrice Dillon, Mass Worship, mmmonika, Les Deuxluxes, Tony Allen, Fra Fra, Nihiloxica, Hailu Mergia, Pokey LaFarge

Music for 10/21/19!!! Hatari, Alma Afrobeat, Luka Productions

@@@ Hatari: Klefi (Svikamhylia, 2019)  I can’t remember how I got to this Icelandic electro drama group.  I like the heavy, slightly dark weight to this dancefloor banger and I like the Arabic/Middle Eastern flavors in both the arrangement and the vocals though I don’t dig the standard kick-bap rhythms that come to the forefront.  It’s mad dramatical that’s what’s key to the tune.  I have no idea what the tune is about but it’s got that Nine Inch Nails aggro dancefloor thing but with the Arabic spicing.  If it didn’t have such a clunky beat I would feel it more for sure.

@@@ ALMA AFROBEAT ENSEMBLE | Monkey See, Monkey Do (Slow Walk, 2019)  Off this week’s WRIR playlist email.  I don’t see this record up on my Apple Music so you have to head out to the righteous bandcamp to peep this Spanish Afrobeat band’s latest record.  The music seems pretty strongly tied to Fela which is great for fans of Fela.  I like Fela all right but I also dig Tony Allen’s stylized Afrobeat and I’m open to other variations.  There is some resonator guitar/banjo type instrument that really switches up the vibe in the third tune and that’s the favorite of mine to this point.  Some unusual instrumentation and sounds appear in the the brief fourth tune so I will take back my statement that these guys are so strongly connected to Fela’s music.  I’m enjoying the horn section most here.

@@@ LUKA PRODUCTIONS: Falaw | Sahel Sounds, 2019 Also some African music from Mali off the WRIR weekly playlist email.   Blurbed as a blend of Afrobeat, folk and hip hop on Apple Music.  It opens up with a laidback more traditional arrangement and some mellow singing.  The second tune Bbni brings in the African rhymes but the overall feeling is not very similar to American hip hop.  There are African MCs that aspire to American style African hip hop but this is not that.  However there is an updated and more energetic vocal approach to this music from Mali.  You still get a blast of kora and guitars and kit drumming.

YTD recordings listened to: 545
Good music, not list worthy: 324
Not good music: 186

Best: 0
Honorable Mentions: 0

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, 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, 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, Criolo, Billy Strings, Flowers of Sulphur, Portal, Lawaii, Etran De L’Air, Ruby Karinto, Elysia Crampton, Parquet Courts, Moskus, Kendl Winter, Tkay Maidza, Barro, Daniel Khan, Tallawit Timbouctou, Sumac, Tropical Fuck Storm, Harriet Tubman, Ammar 808, Anais Maviel, Chaka Khan, Pom Poko, Fried Egg, Horndal, Wyxz, Tarek Atoui, Hawktail, Saicobab, Shannon and the Clams, General Purv, Shipping News, Big Thief, Emma Louise, Andre Bratten, Nathan Corder/Tom Weeks, Oli XL, Buzzherd, Logistic Slaughter, The Muslims, Tobe Nwigwe, Saint Abdullah, Bug Martin, Kaleta and the Super Yamba Band, Toko Telo, Brittany Howard, The Garifuna Collective, Mariachi El Bronx, Bonnie Baxter

 

Music for 4/12/18!!! Alma Afrobeat Ensemble, Paul Metzger

@@@ Alma Afrobeat Ensemble: Monkey See, Monkey Do!  (N/A, 2019) I got to this Spanish Afrobeat record via a music publicist email.  They have elements of classic Afrobeat with a lyrical focus on politics.  I also hear some small swinging big band feels and a few Spanish music flavors.  The slide guitar solo at the beginning of the third song is very interesting and something I would like to hear more of.  Some sort of variations on a form that keeps it fresh.  This is for fans of classic Afrobeat.  Myself I could use an update on that sound.

@@@ Paul Metzger: Paul Metzger/George Marich (Self-released, 2018)  An improvised guitar and drums record I got to after seeing this musician’s name on a gig announcement for awesome California independent station, KFJC.   One 23 minute piece and one 17 minute monster shot so kick back and don’t have a Red Bull.  After some percussive swishing to open the track Metzger comes in with a clean tone and some off kilter melodic work.  His playing is interesting and unpredictable while maintaining a non fire breathing style.  I really like this first piece and the connectedness between the two musicians.  Let’s peep the second track.  The beginning of the second track has more bluster to it but it’s not extreme, it is in relation to the opener.  Folks should check this record out, it’s good to listen to while you’re on Instagram or writing code for Facebook!

YTD recordings listened to: 192
Good music, not list worthy: 119
Not good music: 66

Best: 0
Honorable Mentions: 0

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, 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, Criolo, Billy Strings, Flowers of Sulphur, Portal, Lawaii, Etran De L’Air, Ruby Karinto, Elysia Crampton, Parquet Courts, Moskus, Kendl Winter, Tkay Maidza, Barro, Daniel Khan, Tallawit Timbouctou, Sumac, Tropical Fuck Storm, Harriet Tubman, Ammar 808, Anais Maviel, Chaka Khan, Pom Poko, Fried Egg, Horndal

Music for 2/14/19!!! Cass McCombs, Seun Kuti

@@@ Cass McCombs: Tip of the Sphere (Anti-, 2019)  Mostly mainstream rock but with a slack, indie vibe to it.  The singer sounds awfully like Jackson Browne, it’s almost spooky.  The second tune gets into a more rocking and country flow but it’s certainly not gonna muss anyone’s hair up.  The sounds are good, the playing is clean and well done, but the arrangements are extremely familiar to my ears and I don’t love the singer.  Is it old fashioned to want your rock to have a little rock in it?  This is just a bit too comforting for me, it feels like baby food.  His formula works best on the third tune, Estrella.

@@@ Seun Kuti: Black Times (Strut, 2018) I was going through some old All Music notable release emails and saw this one from early 2018. Gotta balance the white and black musics folks. It’s a pretty classic Afrobeat formula with a big ass horn section, a couple of guitar players and background singers. It’s interesting he had Carlos Santana come and shred on the title track and it really freshens the Afrobeat stew, I dig it. I don’t know if I’m up for almost ten minutes of Carlos but it’s good. I like the title of the third tune, Corporate Public Control Department. The band puts out a lot of energy and I like the record without loving it. Very trick horn lines, the singer is on the low energy side and it’s not Tony Allen on the kit. My favorite Afrobeat has Tony Allen on the kit.

YTD recordings listened to: 85
Good music, not list worthy: 48
Not good music: 33

Best: 0
Honorable Mentions: 0

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, 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, Criolo, Billy Strings, Flowers of Sulphur, Portal, Lawaii, Etran De L’Air, Ruby Karinto, Elysia Crampton, Parquet Courts, Moskus, Kendl Winter, Tkay Maidza, Barro, Daniel Khan, Tallawit Timbouctou, Sumac, Tropical Fuck Storm, Harriet Tubman, Ammar 808, Anais Maviel

Music for 9/17/18!!! Dad Nap, Scott Xylo, Immersion

@@@ Dad Nap: Worn Out (Self-released, 2018) I got to this DIY record via the music blog Indiepulse.  Super DIY recording — a one microphone creation with virtually no low end but tons and tons and tons of energy.  Manic acoustic guitar strumming, some harmonica and speedy vocals.  The vocalists are working so fast they sound more than a bit a little like Eminem.  I really appreciate the spirit.

@@@ Scott Xylo: Call Us When You Get there (Black Acre, 2018) I was clipping the above record on to this here blog post when I saw this record posted on the front page of Bandcamp and thought it looked good.  Btw, it’s album of the day at Bandcamp.  I expect a whole lot more low end on this recording as it’s a mash of Afrobeat, jazz, and funk.  Has a pretty intimate and laidback feel to it with mellow ass vocals.  Bits of Maxwell and other loverboy r&b gents.  The third tune, Sam’s Joloff, is the first spot where I felt connected to the sounds going on.  Simple funky bass line, some washed out midnight electric organ, some sax playing and mostly African drumming.  I like it without loving it.

@@@  Immersion: Irreversible Mechanism (2018)   Some metal off the bandcamp.  These guys are from Finland so you know it’s good!  Not really but it’s a great marketing line.  From reading their band camp page, they’re super into atmosphere and not putting out your standard metal bashing.  Which is great for them, but not so much for me.  This is a long intro on this first tune, I’m not feeling punished yet.  This is operatic and slow.  Not really my thing, let me skip to the next track.  Oh no, there it is!  I had to wait almost 4 minutes.  This is an epic artsy metal stomp.  It’s a lot of sustained guitar melodies, a lot of kick drum, and a lot of caveman-esque vocals.  I like the dirtier business myself but this isn’t all about what I like.  Check it out if it seems applicable to you.

YTD recordings listened to: 532
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 280
Not good music: 220

Best: 9
Honorable Mentions: 5

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, 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, Orlando Lopez, Moskus, Kendl Winter, KEN mode, Automatisme

Music for 2/13/18!!! Guy One, Calvin Harris, Tiavara

@@@ Guy One: #1 (Philophon, 2018) I got to this record via the WRIR weekly playlist email.  It’s out on an African label out of Berlin and the musician is from the Ghana/Benin area.  After a more traditional acoustic number it gets into some high energy full ensemble funk in the second tune Bengere Tomme.  It’s got a pretty manic guitar part that drives this tune hard with some electronic garnish.  Thus far I hear strands of Afrobeat but there is plenty of other weirdness for listeners to groove on.  That might be a kora and not a guitar, by the way.  I really like what I hear thus far, most notably the arrangements of the tunes — funky and unexpected.  The singing is very good but it’s the sounds that set it apart.  I will be swinging back on this record when I have the time but it sounds like it will end up on my year end list.

@@@ Calvin Harris: Nuh Ready Nuh Ready (Sony, 2018)  Calvin Harris continues his appropriation of black music forms with a dancehall influenced banger and an island accented toaster/singer.  Talk about a motherfucker that puts his finger in the air and then bites it hard.  Super hard.  Super slick production but underneath it has a wooden fakeness that belies Calvin’s copycat soul.  Looking at Drake and Bieber and how they’ve gone to the bank Mr. Harris has moved from his funk thieving to Caribbean heisting. #CorporateTurdery.

@@@ Tiavara: When Silence Reigns (KC/RC, 2018)  I got to this Russian metal band single from a publicist email.  The singer does his thing in English and he sounds a bit like a college professor — somber and dramatical to be sure.  It’s a dual guitar classic metal shredshow with a hard rock drum sound.  It’s not really my thing as far as metal goes but listen for yourself.

YTD recordings listened to: 78
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 43
Not good music: 32

Best: 1
Honorable Mentions: 1

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, 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, Billy Strings, Guy One

Music for 8/30/17!!! Iron & Wine, Filthy Friends, Fifth Harmony, ESSO Afrojam Funkbeat

@@@ Iron & Wine: Beast Epic (Sub Pop, 2017)  A pillar of the slack indie scene I like this first tune and I got to this via this week’s All Music playlist email.  The singer is extremely welcoming and warm and the playing is medium energy and also not abrasive.  Myself I dig contrasts but I am a freak as I prefer the collision of different feelings.  That’s life.  Is it bitchy for me to lament that I wish there was a tad more muscle tucked up into this business.  You put some toughness subtly tucked with the tenderness then I’m all for it.  And you say how can something be too pretty and I say it happens all the time.  I like it, but there would be more depth if there was more contrast.

@@@ Filthy Friends: Invitation (Kill Rock Stars, 2017)  Some guitar indie also off this week’s All Music notable release email.  This is a watered down Sleater Kinney kinda thing and I don’t mean that in a mean way.  It’s just not amped the same way.  The singer is very similar to the Sleater Kinney gal.  There’s a few pubes of arena rock up in this sonic formula — it’s like Cheap Trick dry humped Sleater Kinney.  Not really my thang but have at it.  Guitar shreds, some hooks, some dirt but not too much.

@@@ Fifth Harmony: Fifth Harmony (Sony Music, 2017)  The video clipped below has 11 million views so we know we up in the mainstream shit people.  Three sisters busting out some singing over a Drake like arrangement.  God, I’m sure Drake is a great human being but I fucking hate him.  His shit is like pudding — there’s only so much pudding one person can eat, right?  This is an undercover dancehall variant.  Let’s peep more but it’s pretty clear how things are going here.  Gucci Mane taking some rhymes…meh.  I like the ladies and how they harmonize and I don’t hate the arrangements it’s just they’re Drake-y.  That’s right, I’ll shit on Drake, he’s just a dude from Toronto.

@@@ Esso Afrojam Funkbeat: Somos Hermanos (Self-released, 2017)  A pre-release single off an upcoming full length and it’s a Latin variant on Afrobeat.  Less swaggering horn lines, big vocal chant singing, lyrics in Spanish and a very rhythmic but lighter approach to the Afrobeat concept.  I would call this breezy and an interesting mash of Latin and African flavors.  Check it out.

YTD recordings listened to: 563
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 302
Not good music: 236

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, American Lips, Sudan Archives