Music for 4/23/17!!! Warm Soda, Gas

@@@ Warm Soda: I Don’t Wanna Grow Up (Castle Face, 2017)  Off this week’s All Music weekly email.  These guys own mad Ramones/Strokes records.  Big vocal hooks, rock guitars, rock drumming.  Rock, rock, rock ‘n roll high school.  I don’t hate this music, I don’t find it particularly interesting.  But if you like the Ramones and the Strokes you might love it.

@@@ Gas: Narkopop (Kompakt, 2017) Ambient techno also off this week’s All Music notable release email.  This first track is a floater with no beats and a tad of classical symphony shards.  This is a monster shot of 2.5 hours of ambient music but we’re just gonna dip in for a few spoonfuls.  Thus far he’s putting the narco- in it for sure.  Imma sleepy peanut over here.  The second track is unfolding slowly as well — I’m not opposed to that but I do have things to do today.  I think if you’re gonna do this you gotta have such ridiculous face ripping minimalist shit going on to make me feel mesmerized.  This record could be the soundtrack for a stoned Hobbit movie where they just smoke it up and wander around the forest looking for Gandalf.

YTD recordings listened to: 261
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 143
Not good music: 96

Buys: 5
Honorable Mentions: 1

Possibles: Chris McGregor, Dave Arner Trio, Zomby, Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, Slidhr, The Chewers, Toxic Holocaust, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Fofoulah, 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, Aethenor, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, James Brandon Lewis, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Power Trip, Reverend Payton, J.I.D., Oddisee

Music for 4/18/17!!! Chris Stapleton, Actress, ELHAE

@@@ Chris Stapleton: Broken Halos (Mercury Records, 2017)  A pre-release single that I chose to peep because music blogging honcho Bob Lefsetz shit his pants over this track.  My first impression is that I’ve heard this chord progression 300 hundred times before.  Otherwise it’s a decent track, Stapleton puts in a heartfelt vocal performance.  I appreciate the lack of schmaltz as country music has gone full cheddar cheese but his vocals would benefit from some more unique band playing behind him.

@@@ Actress: AZD (Ninja Tune, 2017) An experimental techno record off this week’s All Music weekly email.  The opening of this first tune sounds like a glass of ginger ale popping in a metal tunnel.  I guess it’s a teaser. Okay we’re on to the second tune which sounds like a melted James Bond 007 theme with an ascending but modulated bass line and some salt water taffy synth clouds.  Oh God, let there be more than this.  I could use a beat motherfuckers.  I’m not getting more, let’s peep a last track here.  Okay we got a beat on this third track.  It’s sort of a railroad/industrial beat with some chopped loop garnish.  I don’t think this is for me and I think you might need to be high to enjoy this.

@@@ ELHAE: Aura II (Atlantic, 2017)  Some electro r&b with strong hip hop influences that I got to via Apple Music new music section.  Really fat bass sounds with half skitter beats and synth-centric arrangements.  The first two tunes are booty call tunes and the singing has plenty of Autotune dolloped on.  Personally, I’ve been spinning 6Lack’s record from last year, the arrangements are much more interesting in my opinion.

YTD recordings listened to: 251
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 137
Not good music: 93

Buys: 4
Honorable Mentions: 1

Possibles: Chris McGregor, Dave Arner Trio, Zomby, Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, Slidhr, The Chewers, Toxic Holocaust, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Fofoulah, 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, Aethenor, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, James Brandon Lewis, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Power Trip, Reverend Payton, J.I.D., Oddisee, Feral Ohms

Music for 4/14/17!!! Halsey, Tei Shi, Arbouretum

@@@ Halsey: Now or Never (Astralwerks, 2017)  A single in the Apple Music hot tracks section from an upcoming big bucket of bangers in the that’s coming out real soon.  From the sound of the single I won’t be checking out that record.  I like some of the sounds here (though they’re pretty standard sultry urban pop sounds) but she needs to get herself a room cuz she’s singing and panting like she’s about to cream her jeans.  Which is fine, get your freak on, but not while you’re singing.  Masturbate first then go sing in front of the microphone.  Call me a stickler but I’m not masturbating while I write this review post cuz those are separate activities.  And this review is more creative than what she’s going on so I would be more justified.

@@@ Tei Shi: Crawl Space (Downtown/Interscope, 2017) A major label electro record from the All Music notable release section.  The Apple Music blurb says she always wanted to be Britney Spears.  Yikes!  I can hear that dream in the first tune and she does a better job than Britney because Britney is not about music, she’s about booty.  The arrangements are really tasteful, the sounds are top notch, the singing is really good, but the lyrics and the tunes are standard.  There’s nothing to pull you in besides the sounds.  Say, for example, the brilliant spiritual horniness of Prince’s 1999.  This is much more conservative than that.

@@@ Arbouretum: Song of the Rose (Thrill Jockey, 2017).  A mash of big ’70s rock with a little stoner rock as well as a smudge of the Lord of the Rings epic journey.  Yes, Frodo Baggins rock yo.  Ooh, they’re tickling the Grateful Dead funny bone on this second tune Comanche.  Some tinkly, long meandering guitar solos.  I mean meandering in a good way.  So if you’re a sensitive, fully actualized millennial rocker these guys will serve you up their own particular take on post 9/11 pastoral rock.

YTD recordings listened to: 245
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 133
Not good music: 91

Buys: 1
Honorable Mentions: 1

Possibles: Chris McGregor, Dave Arner Trio, Zomby, Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, Slidhr, The Chewers, Toxic Holocaust, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Fofoulah, 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, Divanhana, 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, Aethenor, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, James Brandon Lewis, Yotoco, Tinariwen, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Power Trip, Reverend Payton, J.I.D., Oddisee, Feral Ohms, Orquestra Baobab

Music for 4/11/17!!! Jake Xerxes Fussell, Saturn, Geotic

@@@ Jake Xerxes Fussell: What in the Natural World (Paradies of Bachelors, 2017)  Lonesome folk off this week’s All Music notable release email.  The record opens up with clean, arpeggiated electric guitar and Fussell’s voice.  I think this is a cover so Imma move ahead and we got a full band on this second tune (clipped below). Nice production influenced by Daniel Lanois.  I like this track, nice playing, no extra cheese, just playing and singing.  Very pretty but not over the top.

@@@ Saturn: Beyond Spectra (Rise Above, 2017)  Some proggy metal with some mainstream hard rock that I got to via the All Music notable release email.  This is some leather pants with large cucumbers stuffed down there music (Spinal Tap reference!)  The first tune is called Orbital Command but I thought he was singing Vegetables on Demand, which is fine as well.  Very intricate guitar and bass work with an operatic singer.  This second tune has a bit of boogie rock up in there.  If you dig a big ass guitar riff with big vocal sauce slather all over it, well then come and get it.

@@@ Geotic: Abysma (Ghostly Int’l, 2017)  Some chill techno off last week’s All Music notable release email.  A super pleasant, dare we say uplifting boom titch that gets some comfort synths layered over the top.  As a way of saying where this is at the first tune is called Sunspell and the second one is called Actually Smiling, the latter coming in with some tremolo oscillator action and a happy beat.  It’s not my thing but the sounds are real nice and there’s no shame in it.  Not for a rainy day, but more for the day you get a new puppy!  Yeah, a new puppy!!!!

YTD recordings listened to: 236
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 128
Not good music: 88

Buys: 1
Honorable Mentions: 1

Possibles: Chris McGregor, Dave Arner Trio, Zomby, Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, Slidhr, The Chewers, Toxic Holocaust, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Fofoulah, 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, Divanhana, 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, Aethenor, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, James Brandon Lewis, Yotoco, Tinariwen, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Power Trip, Reverend Payton, J.I.D., Oddisee, Feral Ohms, Orquestra Baobab

Music for 3/24/17!!! Century Palm, Greg Gaffin, High Plains

@@@ Century Palm: Meet You (Deranged Records, 2017) Devo-esque guitar punk off last week’s All Music notable release email.  Ah, the second tune brings the synths.  I dig the energy of this outfit, it’s more high octane rock than the full punk explosion.  The singer is not full on nerd but this is no rock star trip for him.  I like the blend of synth and guitar, I don’t usually like the way they go together, but this is good.

@@@ Greg Gaffin: Millport (Anti-, 2017)  Off last week’s All Music notable release email.  This first tune is Richard Thompson-like — a blend of rock, folk and country music.  A little less British but definitely related.  Gaffin’s voice is pleasant but by no means glamorous but they are stacking those background vocals fairly high in this second tune which brings in some CSNY vibes.  There are very nice guitar sounds on this record, the songs are quality, and Graffin does his job well.  If you want some earnest country hippie rock with good energy check him out.

@@@ High Plains: Cinderland (Kranky, 2017)  Experimental ambient music off last week’s All Music notable release email.  I like this first tune opening up spaciously with a low-isa pulse, a couple of dissonant pianos and a thing string sound up high.  A solemn cello carries the melody and I think I like it more before the cello does that.  The second tune opens up spacious again with an abstract cloud, a wave like sound and a simple drum beat.  The cello returns but more as ambient streaks than as a melodic component.  I like the ambient part of this record and could groove on it in its sparse minimalist form and the cello makes it more of a movie soundtrack, but that’s just me.

YTD recordings listened to: 197
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 108
Not good music: 73

Buys: 1
Honorable Mentions: 1

Possibles: Chris McGregor, Dave Arner Trio, Zomby, Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, Slidhr, The Chewers, Toxic Holocaust, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Fofoulah, 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, Divanhana, 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, Aethenor, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, James Brandon Lewis, Yotoco, Tinariwen, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Power Trip, Reverend Payton, J.I.D., Oddisee

Music for 3/20/17!!! Milky Chance, Jacaszek, Niyaz

@@@ Jacaszek: Kwiaty (Ghostly Int’l, 2017)  I keep checking out Ghostly releases but I haven’t come upon anything that has really caught my ear.  This first tune opens up dark with low indistinct voices, bass waves and some swirl.  Also a higher bell chime/drone.  After an abstract intro it brings in a dreamy, heavily reverbed female voice over the darkness.  It’s pretty good.  The second tune brings in a harp/nylon string guitar, keeps the female voice and nudges the record towards a more New Age neighborhood which is not my favorite neighborhood.  I like some of the sounds here, especially on the fifth track Love (clipped below) but I’m not super feeling the singer.  It’s not her, it’s me I’m quite finicky.

@@@ Milky Chance: Blossom (Lichdicht, 2017) Dance pop off this week’s All Music weekly notable release email.  It’s mainstream pop rock with ragged/slack vocals styles and danceable sections and electro garnish.  This music is a couple of notches above what you would expect to hear at the gas station snack store.

@@@ Niyaz: The Best of Niyaz (Six Degrees, 2017)  Imma have to search on Niyaz because I can’t place her music geographically more than North African/Middle Eastern.  Iran by way of Canada.  I love Iran!  It’s Navroz, aw shit I have to spell that correctly.  It’s Persian New Year, get hip.  Niyaz is rocking a dramatic style, big polished production, a very serious package.  I’m on the fifth tune and the truth is I don’t love the super refined sound, it detracts from the power of the performance.  In my opinion, that is, check it for yourself.

YTD recordings listened to: 185
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 100
Not good music: 69

Buys: 1
Honorable Mentions: 1

Possibles: Chris McGregor, Dave Arner Trio, Zomby, Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, Slidhr, The Chewers, Toxic Holocaust, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Fofoulah, 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, Divanhana, 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, Aethenor, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, James Brandon Lewis, Yotoco, Tinariwen, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Power Trip, Reverend Payton, J.I.D., Oddisee

 

Music for 3/13/17!!! Mexican Dubwiser, Ememl Mathlouthi, Frank Ocean

@@@ Mexican Dubwiser: Broder Frequency (Kin Kon Records, 2017)  A funky electro Mexican record off this week’s WRIR weekly email.  Not all lyrics are in Spanish as it bounces back and forth between Spanish and English.  The beats are medium funky, the arrangements are centered around synth hooks, and there are a bunch of guest vocalists which some people like to get more flavors.  I prefer fewer rather than more but that’s me.

@@@ Emel Mathlouthi: Ensen (Partisan, 2017)  Also off this week’s WRIR playlist email. Strongly Arab inflected electronica fronted by a woman.  Sinuous melodies, pretty sparse but not minimalist arrangements.  I’m feeling this third tune, Layem, as it’s got a really nice string part but I was not able to attach it for your sampling pleasure.  I tried!  Overall the production and the tunes are more for folks who like big, dramatic music — that’s not exactly where I’m at but it’s all right.

@@@ Frank Ocean: Chanel (Blonded, 2017)  A single off the hot tracks on Apple Music. I kinda feel like Frank Ocean is overrated but I keep listening.  I dig the simplicity of his arrangements and his ragged vocal delivery, but I’m not jumping up and down.  The vocal hook revolves around him singing ‘I see both sides like Chanel’ which I guess references his bisexuality or some aspect of it.  I’ve always had trouble with slack vibes in music, I could never get into Pavement or Lou Reed so it’s fair to say my no love for slackness does indeed cross racial lines.  It’s not an awful tune it just confirms the he’s either hyped or I’m not very bright.

YTD recordings listened to: 168
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 91
Not good music: 63

Buys: 0
Honorable Mentions: 1

Possibles: Chris McGregor, Dave Arner Trio, Zomby, Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, Slidhr, The Chewers, Toxic Holocaust, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Fofoulah, 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, Divanhana, 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, Aethenor, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, James Brandon Lewis, Yotoco, Tinariwen, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Power Trip, Fruko Y Sos Tesos