Music for 5/16/19!!! Della Mae, Full of Hell, General Purv

@@@ Della Mae: The Butcher Shop EP (Rounder, 2019)  I’ve dug Della Mae records before.  They do the bunch of females harmonizing but they’re a bit more rocking than some of the more mainstream versions of their formula who bring more cheese to the singing and the playing.  This first tune, Bourbon Hound, pumps the tempo and the energy.  The rock three uptempo barn roof raisers before they get to a bluesy rendition of ‘Sixteen Tons’.  These are all classic tracks but it’s the energy they bring to them that makes it a worthwhile listen.

@@@ Full of Hell: Weeping Choir (Relapse, 2019)  Three pre-release tracks up on the Apple Music with the first one being Burning Myrrh (clippped below for your earholes)  It’s pretty close to double red bull time — a delicious storm of octopus drumming, guitar noise and an orc sounding bitch on the microphone.  Not just an orc as I believe this to be a multi-vocalist crew.  It’s a quick 2:12 blast of dirty crunchy ass so I will stick around for another one to catch the other flavors.  Armory of Obsidian Glass is a detuned, oozing thing though this could be the intro before they whip another shitty.  It does break out into a medium slow grind with a pretty complex vocal arrangement.  It’s a 7 minute biscuit and Imma gonna tip after about 5 but it’s solid metal.  I really dug the opening meltdown.

@@@ General Purv: The Astounding Exploits of General Purvis Attaboy (Baffled Octopi)+. First off, great band name and album title.  I found it on this week’s CFUV weekly playlist email.  I thought it was going to be a classic punk throwdown but it’s an electronic record with an arena rock attitude.  The beats are solid but the stars here are the synthesizer, well arranged and rocking.  I like these tracks, they’re unpredictable, funky and spontaneous.  If you are a listener that has checked out electronic music before and found it more than a bit nerdy, these guys/gals/humans could be a good fit for you.  Much more accessible but not stupid, there’s some good doobie in these arrangements as they’re not committed to doing one particular thing with their music.  I’m going to swing back on this record and listen to it when I have more time.  Check it out!

YTD recordings listened to: 256
Good music, not list worthy: 148
Not good music: 91

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

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Music for 4/29/19!!! Regina Carter, Heather Woods Broderick

@@@ Regina Carter: Reverse Thread (E1 Music, 2010)  I saw this violinist mentioned on the Twatter.  She is across genres from classical to American jazz to this African music influenced record.  I dig some classical music but I’m going to choose the African music every time.  The first tune (clipped below) opens up with some uptempo fiddle playing, a well fingered and brisk bassline, and most notably an accordion or an accordion type instrument.  At about 1 minute it settles into a standard straight jazz groove.  This is most definitely music for people with good jobs that wear nice sweaters and drink coffee because they enjoy the flavor.  I’m hearing a some kora (a good thing), electric bass (not a great thing on a jazz record imho) and some big jazz drumming on this second tune.   I like the fiddle playing as well as the accordion, the rest not so much.

@@@ Heather Woods Broderick: Invitation (Western Vinyl, 2019) I got to this alt country release via last week’s All Music notable release email.  The album opens with an ambient tune called A Stilling Wind.  Some electronic swirls and garnishes and an arpeggiated guitar and then Broderick’s somewhat breathy and intimate vocal.  By about 2 minutes we’re at full band with a cello, some shuffling drums and the aforementioned elements.  It’s a little bit country and a bunch Barbara Streisand.  Heavy on feeling.  I didn’t make it all the way through, I made it to about 4 minutes.  The second tune is called I Try and it’s a piano rock thing.  I think there was a time when Western Vinyl was an alt country imprint but I should adjust my notebook as the past few releases I’ve checked have not been that.  There’s a slide guitar here and there on this record but it’s mostly an adult alternative record, which is fine but I’m not really an adult alternative guy.

YTD recordings listened to: 217
Good music, not list worthy: 131
Not good music: 76

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, Wyxz, Tarek Atoui, Hawktail

Music for 4/17/19!!! John Paul White, Shovels and Rope

@@@ John Paul White: The Hurting Kind (Single Lock Records, 2019) An Americana record off last week’s All Music notable release email that traffics in adult alternative, Byrds era folk rock, and straight up classic FM.  I must say straight up that while White is quite a capable singer he is milking the emotional titty a bit hard.  So if we are to accept that this is the sonic equivalent of a manly Midwestern country steak, it sure is a steak that is slathered with more than a bit of Philly cheesesteak sauce.  And if you protest the use of the word cheese then you could substitute the word corn.  It’s all American corn.  Unfortunately.

@@@ Shovels & Rope: By Blood (Dualtone, 2019) Also off this week’s All Music notable release email.  The first tune, I’m Comin Out, is a bombastic anthem.  Maybe they’re gay?  Not gay in a bad way, just straight up gay.  Maybe they’re emotionally gay which I’m not sure what that is.  The second tune is a sing-a-long strummer with a female singer.  It’s also super bombastic and mainstream.  So there’s that word bombastic again.  I’m going to peep one more track and while these guys aren’t milking the drama titty they sure as shit are firing the corn cannon.  I’m more than a bit peeved that these two listens work in more of a simulated emotional world rather than something that feels real and passionate to me.  I’m sure these are great people but I think I might prefer watching some house paint dry.  Remember I want to love it, I really do.

YTD recordings listened to: 200
Good music, not list worthy: 122
Not good music: 69

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, Wyxz, Tarek Atoui

Music for 1/9/19!!! Christine and the Queens, Brandi Carlyle

@@@ Christine and the Queens: Chris (Because Music, 2018). This record has been all over the best of 2018 lists. The record is funkier than a typical Madonna record, she sings a bit better than record and it has a dash of Prince in it. The production is outstanding — clean and balanced with sounds rooted in the ’80s. The Madonna flavors are even more apparent in the second tune, Girlfriend. I am agnostic on the singer — she’s solid but there hasn’t been a moment where I thought: wow she is tearing this tune to pieces. She’s no black diva, Whitney Houston, She’s raining men lady and she has a pretty limited range. She’s average to above average but it’s the identity politics in the lyrics that are most likely blowing this record up in every gay/lesbian bar in the world. Not that it’s not for the straights, it’s just primarily for the LGBT crowd.

@@@ Brandi Carlisle: By the Way I Forgive You (Warner, 2018). A country singer/songwriter record also off the NPR list (like the Christine and the Queens record above.) I’m not sure if I’ve heard her before but she sounds remarkably like Emmylou Harris with a similar record sound. The second tune, The Joke, is a piano ballad and I’m finding maybe there’s a bit too much reverb on the singer’s voice. I like the opener more and it’s a tad arena rock-y for my taste. The third tune is more uptempo and a rocking style so it’s gonna be a full spectrum country record which is fine. The third tune also explodes into an Irish bar sing-a-long shout-a-long which you would find on a Chumbawumba record so that pretty much punches my ticket out of town. I don’t hate it, it’s just not for me.

YTD recordings listened to: 17
Good music, not list worthy: 15
Not good music: 2

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

Music for 1/8/19!!! John Prine, Mary Gauthier

@@@ John Prine: The Tree of Forgiveness (Oh Boy Records, 2018) #28 on NPR’s best of 2018 and I have great respect for John Prine.  Talk about a motherfucker that has showed soul for decades and is still at it.  His voice has aged for sure but it’s miles ahead of Bob Dylan who has devolved into a prehistoric croak.  Unfortunately.  Prine still has a sweetness to go with the plainness.  It’s hard for me to dispassionately assess this music because I’m happy Prine is still alive and making music.  It’s literary old school country rock so if that sounds like it might work for you well get in there and hit it.

@@@ Mary Gauthier: Rifles and Rosary Beads (In the Black, 2018) #23 on the NPR best of 2018 list.  There’s an interesting story that goes with this record as she made this record with military veterans.  The first tune Soldiering is a power ballad with strummed acoustic guitar and power chords.  I’m really into the lyrics on this third tune, The War after the War — very essential for these stories to be out there in the universe.  The record sounds really good but the lyrics where it really shines.  Now you can imagine that this is not going to be the most uplifting record and that is indeed the case but if these GIs can suck it up for much worse duty you can as well.

YTD recordings listened to: 15
Good music, not list worthy: 14
Not good music: 1

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

Music for 12/21/18!!! Nils Frahm, Django Django, First Aid Kit

@@@ Nils Frahm: All Melody (Erased Tapes, 2018) The #1 record off one of the more varied best of 2018 lists out of Esquire (of all places).  The first tune is titled The Whole Universe Wants to be Touched which is quite an eye grabbing title.  Let us see what Mr. Frahm has for us.  The description of this record was one of combining classical music and pop.  Of which I’m suspicious.  Oh boy, it’s true with some cathedral organ, some choir action.  Right here I want to hear Mother Mary cut a giant pussyfart!  To keep shit fresh.  Fuck that is so inapprops.  This is gonna take its time and I’m not sure I’m up for giving said time.  The third tune, A Place, brings in the electronic action and I’m more up for this combo platter.  I’m finding this a tedious pace.  The sounds are meticulous, they’re arranged well but it’s not holding my interest.  It might hold yours.

 

 

@@@ Django Django: Marble Skies (Ribbon Music, 2018)  Off the same best of list from Esquire.  This is proudly marketed as straddling every genre they can reach which is usually a red flag for my ears.  This first tune is a luxurious ’80 anchored synth/guitar thing with a lot of energy and maybe less purpose.  Or porpoise whichever way you go.  The second tune has a wooden dancehall beat and too many vocals.  I fear this release is not going to work for me.  This isn’t working for me.  It’s too soft and nowhere for my taste.

 

@@@ First Aid Kit: Ruins (Columbia, 2018) These days an album of Swedish farts would go gold.  Here we have two Swedish singers singing pop in various sonic settings.  This first tune is kinda alt country sad.  Okay, it looks like this is not pop, they’ve been rocking country/folk on the GooglePimp.  Let’s check more but my first impression is that there are dozens of American outfits that do this schtick much better.  I correct that, this is out there for non-country fans to hear pop singers do country songs.  This is like Abba having a lesbian love baby with Emmylou Harris.  It’s not awful, it’s pretty light.

YTD recordings listened to: 697
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 377
Not good music: 269

Best: 16
Honorable Mentions: 8

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, 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

Music for 11/16/18!!! The Writhing Squares, Les Gruff and the Billy Goat, Sydney Wright

@@@ The Writhing Squares: A Whole New Jupiter (N/A, 2018) I got to this jazz/psych almost 20+ blast via an email from a musician who is playing a show with them.  The bandcamp description explains that it is constructed from bass, sax, and drum machines and other bits and bobs.  It slips between normal genre descriptions as it’s a wee bit fusion-y, a little jazzy, a little psych, and a little electro.  It also a bit of a jam band feel as it meanders (in a good way) through its 20 minute orbit.  I really dig the bass sound, I like the sax playing without loving it.  It connects back to ’70s prog/jazz jams.  I like the set of sounds but I could use a bit more action.

@@@ Les Gruff and the Billy Goat: Evil Dancers (N/A, 2018). I got to this alt country business via a music publicist email.  It’s a down out and drunken regret tune with a slightly atypically pretty sounding male singer.  He’s got no gruffness and he’s not overtly manly which I find refreshing.  The band is solid with a mournful fiddle line, some twangy tremolo guitar and more than a bit of rock in the drummer.  He goes from sadness to bitterness as the tune moves through its paces.  I like the sounds and all the components but I think it’s a bit long for my taste.  The fiddle and piano solos are my favorite elements.

@@@  Sydney Wright: Wait for the Wave (N/A, 2018) I got to this music by a recording engineer in Austin, TX from a music publicist email.  It still confounds me how music publicists operate out in the open yet their influence remains unacknowledged and undenounced.  At the very least bloggers and music writers should acknowledge their machinations.  This is a ballad with piano and torchy vocals.  There are some nice sonic goodies tucked in here — a nice swirling guitar figure foremost in my ear.  It’s a bit dramatical but that could be because I’m dead inside.  Lyrically it employs a metaphor of waiting for a wave to crash over her.  There ya go, not much to say to that.  It’s an undercover pop tune with a brief giant, arena rock climax at the end.  Have at it if it sounds good to you.

YTD recordings listened to: 644
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 350
Not good music: 254

Best: 11
Honorable Mentions: 8

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, 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, Open Mike Eagle, Criolo, Billy Strings, Flowers of Sulphur, Tal National, Portal, Hernan Sama & Marcelo von Schultz, Lawaii, Etran De L’Air, Ruby Karinto, Elysia Crampton, Parquet Courts, Orlando Lopez, Moskus, Kendl Winter, Tkay Maidza, Gouge Away, Barro