Music for 10/17/19!!! Friendship, Emily A. Sprague, Beach Slang

@@@ Friendship: You Might Already Know (Orindal, 2019) A pre-release tune that I got to from a singles of the week list.  This opens up indie and minimalist — a small production sound (I dig), some arpeggiated guitar (agnostic), a rolling snare beat (I dig) and slackish vocals (not my fav).  I think it’s gonna build as I hear a bass pulse and there’s a slide guitar sound.  I’m wrong to think that it’s gonna build as it motors along mellow yellow style.  I dig the minimalism of it in this age of 47 background vocal tracks on every tune.  The vocal hook about there being a portal into his heart is, hmmm, different.

@@@ Emily A. Sprague: Mesa (Ghostly, 2019)  I saw this track being shouted on the Twatter as part of a Ghostly 20 year anniversary compilation.  It sure opens ambiently with some large single note reverbed guitar clouds, then a tinkling electric piano sound.  I like this all right — nice sounds but I don’t sense a lot of interaction between the various sounds and I don’t feel super engaged with it.  It feels like I’m at a fireworks show with just too few rockets by a handful.

@@@ Beach Slang: Bam Rang Rang (Bridge 9 Records, 2020)  A pre-release hard rocker off another singles of the week list.  Uptempo in the hard rock neighborhood just shy of the punk side of town and certainly not in the heavy metal ghetto.  I guess there are folks trying to bring the golden age of rock back but when I hear the cowbell in the beginning of the second pre release track I can’t help but see Will Ferrell in that SNL skit.  This tune is fine but it is odd to hear folks rocking within such a defined set of musical rules which oddly enough makes it come off as rather tame.  If there was a live chicken included in the sounds, or Mike Pence having loud gay sex in a bathroom stall with another reborn Christian I would be up wholeheartedly for it.

YTD recordings listened to: 539
Good music, not list worthy: 321
Not good music: 183

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 8/29/19!!! Saint Abdullah, Missy Elliott, Silent Vigils

@@@ Saint Abdullah: Mechanical Flirtations (True Aether, 2019) I saw a show with these guys up on the Flavorpill weekly email and saw they’re Muslim (check out that NC The Muslims, you bitches) and thought I would throw it a listen.  This is an electronic record and it’s not gonna be a dancefloor banger if the first tune is any indication.  It opens up with a dark, insistent churn and a free jazz sax not quiet wailing.  I dig it, it’s hefty.  In addition to the electronic bits and the sax there is some percussion going on which breaks the repetition of the electronic component.  It is a bold and strong opener.  Let’s see what else they have going.  The second tune opens up with what I believe to be South Asian devotional singing/chanting before the dark electronics enter again.  I’m only on the second tune but my feeling is this type of music is a no go for lots of folks but it hits hard with non verbal impact.  I haven’t loved every bit of this record but there are some really powerful spots on this 31 minute EP

@@@ Missy Elliot: Throw it Back (Atlantic, 2019)  Big fan, Missy Elliot is super funky and strange and just doing her thing.  That said this tune is not full on Missy to my ears and has a pretty standard arrangement with a trappist beat and some trunk shaking low end thumpin.  She’s got some strange funky garnish in places but it doesn’t (imho) have the other worldly funk of her Timbaland sounds.  Compare this to the classic shit of Work It where she goes off vocally and sonically.  I love Missy Elliott, I guess I was hoping for a bit more weirdness.

@@@ Silent Vigils: Lost Rites (Home Normal, 2019) I can’t remember how I got to this record.  I think it was from a best of ambient music on Bandcamp.  This first tune opens up spaciously with some slow rollers and a cloud of static comin’ on in and some sparse piano action.  Notes not runs and big ass chords.  I lasted about a bit over 5 minutes and knowing that ambient music asks you to take less and enjoy it more I could have used a bit more.  The second tune comes out ringing and with bell like hits and ringing metal you might say it has a classic Asian musical feel to it, but with drones and stretching and shit.  This is just right for me.  Harmonically ringing and manipulated guitars highlight the third track so of the three tracks I felt the second tune (the title track) the most.

YTD recordings listened to: 445
Good music, not list worthy: 270
Not good music: 149

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

Music for 6/12/19!!! Brant Brauer Frick, Tengger

@@@ Brant Brauer Frick: Echo (Because, 2019)  Experimental techno out of Germany off this week’s All Music notable release email.  Out of the gate it’s a different sort of techno with an absence of unt-tss beats and a more organic feel to the track.  It uses acoustics sounds and edits them into an electronic music context with medium strong classical urges.  The second tune, Chamber 1, brings in the cello but it’s a brief flavor track.  The third tune, Decades, shows how difficult it is to blend electronic music and classical music and not have it turn into a bit of a New Age candy cotton thing.  I give respect for switching up from standard beats but the overall vibe ends up a bit drained of anything small and mundane.

@@@ Tengger: Spiritual 2 (Beyond Beyond is Beyond, 2019)  Another electronic biscuit off the All Music notable release email.  Here we have a slightly different palette of sounds with classic drum machine sounds with a lot of oscillating drone sounds on top thereby giving the proceedings a more industrial feel.  After establishing a pumping rhythmic vibe we get some angel choir voices and more melodic development.  I like it okay.  The second tune, See, retains the same basic formula including the angel choir which I find unfortunate.  I dig the cominbation of the lo fi sounding beats with the otherworld voices but it’s not jump up and down material for me.  Check it for yourself and I want to jump up and down.  Tim Hecker’s last record, Konoyo, is jump up and down material for me.

YTD recordings listened to: 296
Good music, not list worthy: 176
Not good music: 103

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

Music for 3/14/19!!! The Cinematic Orchestra, Light Conductor

@@@ The Cinematic Orchestra: To Believe (N/A,2019) A couple of pre-release tracks I got to via Bandcamp’s album of the day.  This first tune, the title track, is intended to be both epic and intimate in its intentions.  A couple of falsetto singers, some arpeggiated nylon string guitar and an orchestral arrangement.  The tune is gonna build to a ballad crescendo but I’m not gonna hang.  The second tune, amply splashed with reverb, looks set to be a high end dance floor half banger.  An English accented MC gets somewhat deep over ringing piano chords and I’m out like bell bottom jeans.  It’s just too arch for my taste.

@@@ Light Conductor – Sequence One (Constellation) An electronic record off this week’s CFUV weekly playlist email.  It’s opening windy and staticky but I hear the pan flute patches coming.  Or the video game sounds, either way.  This first tune could be a soundtrack to a half spooky half happy sci fi flick.  The second tune is a swirler with some plinky business and laser gun sounds as well.  I like this all right but I’m not pulled in the way I want to be with great electronic music like Tim Hecker’s record Konoyo last year.

YTD recordings listened to: 141
Good music, not list worthy: 84
Not good music: 51

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

Music for 1/17/19!!! The 4 Korners, Cluster Lizard, Jah Division

@@@ The 4 Korners: Portal of Gold (Ropeadope, 2016)  I saw this jazz fusion outfit is playing BAM in Brooklyn so I thought I would fight my anti-fusion prejudice and check these guys out.  Instrumentation is guitar, keys, electric bass and drums and it is full on.  Finger popping bass, epic rock guitar tones along side those super smooth synth sounds.  There are rainfall samples at the beginning of a couple of tracks and I don’t really get the connection between rain and jazz fusion but it’s standard business here.  The record sounds great with part jam, part rock, a little soft jazz all swirled up and extruded for your listening pleasure.

@@@ Cluster Lizard: Prophecy (Prostir Records, 2018)  An electronica duo out of the Ukraine that I got to via an email from awesome indie radio station KFJC in California.  Song titles such as Come from Forever, and You will Go Everywhere give you an indication of what the flavor of this record might be.  It’s opening with a cathedral organ with sawtooth (again, sorry!) synth on top of it.  A rhythm consisting of staticky spashes comes in and the whole tune is exploding outward.  It takes a left turn out into a metallic percussion space and some rhythm-free out keyboard playing.  And then it turns again with a drum beat, some urgent thumping bass and the aggro synths.  So these are not going to be slow developing cloudy pieces, it’s gonna hop and pop.  I’ve checked out portions of three pieces and like a bunch of songs but the I don’t need to hear all the sawtooth synths myself.  I’m a fickle bitch.

@@@ Jah Division: Isolation Dub (Ernest Jenning, 2019)  I got to this dub reggae cover of a Joy Division track from a music publicist email.  It is a blend of old school and newer dub sounds with some pretty dubbed out synth sawtooth blasts ricocheting around.  I’m enjoying a lot of the hi hat dubwise sparks as wells percussion run through the dub-a-lyzer.  It’s a good track if a tad long.  Go for the rhythms and stay for the dub effects.

YTD recordings listened to: 36
Good music, not list worthy: 24
Not good music: 11

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 1/12/19!!! boygenius, George Fitzgerald

@@@ boygenius: boygenius EP (Matador, 2018)  There are solid reasons to hesitate before peeping an indie guitar superband called boygenius on Matador to boot!!!  I think the first tune says it all about my view:  I can’t love it as it wants me to.  This EP is by three female indie bigwigs and overall I find indie musicians overrated and underaccountable for the thousands of naps their records have brought on.  There are some really nice vocal harmonies going here, I’m a bit surprised the production is so mainstream sounding.  It’s a bit caveman-ish to say this one is for the clam bake, but it’s a mad estrogen-y vibe.

@@@ George Fitzgerald: All that Must be (Domino, 2018)  A dancefloor producer that is making the jump to ambient and songs.  I like the first tune, it’s still got plenty of groove, but it has some vocal structure to it as well.  Sporting un updated unt-sss beat it’s got synth swirl and some chopped vox that create the feel of tunes/songs.  Let’s peep more.  I got to this via the Esquire best of 2018 list by the way.  I like this record but it’s not ambient enough for me.  The tempos are brisk, which is fine, but if you’re gonna call it ambient and not an updated dancefloor record then well….that’s not really true.

YTD recordings listened to: 24
Good music, not list worthy: 18
Not good music: 5

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 11/30/18!!! Jeff Tweedy, Chris Carter

@@@ Jeff Tweedy: Warm (dBpm, 2018)  When I hear the simple rock basics of the opening tune and Tweedy’s world weary voice it sounds to my ears that he’s channeling John Lennon (or aspiring to).  He’s going for that straight ahead shot to the heart.  I get that Tweedy has been in the game for a long long time and people love him but I find his music to be pretty pedestrian and his lyrics and singing not enough to overcome that.  I’d rather listen to Tom Petty, he’s more interesting to me.  It’s not awful music, it’s just very typical, something you might hear in a doctor’s office and it’s a mystery to me how or why people flip out over this musician.  He’s ended up as a late ’70s classic FM slack country half rocker — that’s not a personal attack, that’s what he is.  Maybe people remember what he was like way back in the day when he first started out and they hold that close to them but I listen to the record as it exists in this moment in time without all the footnotes or history.

@@@ Chris Carter: Disobedient (Self-released, 2018)  I saw this musician mention on the All Music notable release email and saw this record just came out when I went on the Apple Music.  I can’t tell if this is a new record or a re-issue so I gotta head over to All Music and verify.  It’s a reissue of a 1998 record and it sounds it.  The synths have a dated sound to them, I don’t really care one way or the other.  The record sounds a bit sci-fi and a little undercover rock ‘n roll as it maintains a tempo without being a fully abstract piece of music.  I like the pieces but like some of the more out pieces more.

YTD recordings listened to: 664
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 360
Not good music: 260

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, Daniel Khan, Vaudou Game, Tallawit Timbouctou