Music for 10/18/22!!! Robert Chaney, Sophie Birch/Antonina Nowacka

@@@ Robert Chaney: Breath (Self-released, 2020) A last listen off a Guardian list of pandemic music discoveries. It is slotted as Americana on Apple Music and it is that. Old school style with a very John Prine-y sounding voice. Just vocals and melodic electric guitar. It’s got a clever vocal hook, clever as in literary, not clever as in hipster irony. This is the kind of America I want to live in. Surprisingly catchy guitar playing, he’s got it all going here.

@@@ Sophie Birch/Antonina Nowacka: Pripugale (Mondoj, 2022) An ambient release off this week’s Pitchfork’s 10 most reviewed albums of the week. The video below is the seventh track on the record and it opens with large strums of a (guessing) zither and a warbly female voice. It is a very ambient sound right here on this record but it’s an old school parlor folk flavored thing, though some more ambient stuff is being added to the strums. It’s interesting in its oddness and I dig some of that background business. I’m giving a quick listen to another track, lotta tape hiss which is cool and a tad annoying at the same time. It’s not really my cup of tea, I love ambient music, and I like folk music but I’m not sure I need them blended in this way.

Music for 5/23/19!!! Francine Honey, Silence in the Snow

@@@ Francine Honey: Stay (N/A, 2019)  I got to this tune via the music blog Indiepulse.  A bluesy torch song in the vein of Lucinda Williams but more straigh ahead.  Ms. Honey has a really nice voice and she rides over some minimal guitar noodling, a mellow organ swell, a piano player, drums and bass.  Right around 3 minutes in comes the tambourine when the emotion of the tune reaches its peak.  You can’t fuck with tambourine or cow bell for that matter.

@@@ Silence in the Snow: Break in the Skin (N/A, 2019) I got to this heavy record via an email from the hardcore indie radio station KFJC in California.  Great station with djs with great taste.  I thought this was going to be some ill ambient dark goth metal electro shit, but it’s pretty straight forward dark electro pop.  Frankly I would prefer the other formulation but this is probably better for most folks.  The female singer sounds a bit like Patti Smith and the tunes are dramatical.  This music is an updated ’80s guitar/synth rock but with more drama sauce.  It’s not bad, it’s just not for me.  Check it out if you’re headed out on the town with the black eyeliner.  Maybe they could have held back a little on the delay on vocals.

YTD recordings listened to: 263
Good music, not list worthy: 153
Not good music: 93

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

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 5/15/18!!! McMains, Simian Mobile Disco, Playboy Cardi, Charlie Puth

@@@ McMains: American Soul EP (Welland Intl, 2018) I got to this EP via the music blog Indiepulse.  It opens straight and big sky country with a super engaging vocalist.  He’s gonna hug you with his calloused hands and the drops of rain will fall off his cowboy hat, streaking your face like tears.  It’s just that sensitive.  The second tune has a firmer tempo — it’s about a Confederate soldier so maybe I’ll skip ahead.  The pop appeal of this country record is reflected in the third tune (clipped below).  It sports a strummed Travelling Wilburys/Tom Petty rock vibe to go with the country.  Not really my thing.

@@@ Simian Mobile Disco: Murmurations (Wichita Recordings, 2018)  Off this week’s All Music notable release email.  The addition of choir vocals to the fifth Simian record is supposed to add celestial beauty.  We’ll see, I’m expecting some low IQ booty shaking to be underneath but let us see.  We got about 90 seconds of choir thus far and I get it and could appreciate something else.  Fuck, I skipped to the next tune — oy, more choirs, Jesus what is this Ape Church?  Finally another sound.  I guess this artistic dance music, but it’s not very danceable, there’s too much singing and Imma peeping one more track before tipping.  They have a bunch of world music drumming/sound influences in this third tune but the pace is pretty slow.  I’m feeling this more until the choir comes in.  Oy!

@@@ Playboy Cardi: Die Lit (Interscope, 2018)  Off the precious real estate, the rotating banner at the top of the Apple Music home page.  It’s for sale in some sort of way, you can count on that!  After the intro song, Mr. Cardi gets right into the fat, crunchy bass and the off color lyrics.  Mr Cardi appears to enjoy the ladies graphically and he might also be involved in the gun trade.  That’s cool, we don’t judge.  The sounds here are all right but I think you need to be twisted to enjoy this.  Really twisted.  Cardi sounds mad high and it has a trippy, purple drank feel to it.  I prefer J.I.D. to this for sure.

@@@ Charlie Puth: Voicenotes (Warner, 2018)  I’ve seen this Charlie Puth cat pushed in various places including the Apple Music and other PR/propaganda vehicles.  It’s mainstream pop and it’s probably overwrought shit for housewives but it’s my job to peep it.  I have nothing against housewives by the way unless they’re driving around on pills due to their horrible lives.  The album, surprisingly, opens up with a Michael Jackson clean guitar riff.  Puth is a breathless singer, he does a little falsetto, and you can bet he cares about your feelings.  Let’s see if he continues on his quest to be the albino Michael Jackson.  No Michael Jackson jokes here.  I find Justin Timberlake to be a pretty annoying performer but he’s pretty hip compared to Mr. Puth.  Mr. Puth has a not very distinct soapy gray dishwater voice.  The productions here are super polished, shiny and shaved smooth like a porn star’s bush.

YTD recordings listened to: 267
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 141
Not good music: 117

Best: 5
Honorable Mentions: 4

Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, 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, 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, Dona Onete, 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

Music for 2/22/18!!! The Lumineers, Primal Rite, Todd Stewart, A$AP Rocky

@@@ The Lumineers: Angela (Dualtone, 2018) I got to this mainstream single from occasional big mouth music blogger honcho Bob Lefsetz.  Lefsetz is usually a sucker for the schmaltzy white people music and this is no exception.  The singer has a nice vocal melody going, but they Celine Dion his voice with the huge hall reverb patch.  Oy the cheese today, the cheese, what can be done with the cheese?  I fear the second half of the tune is going to fulfill the song’s mission — get the wheel of cheddar across the line into the end zone.  Here come the tom drums right on time.  And the piano!  And the hand claps!  You can put money on these sounds and you can see ’em coming down Broadway!  This is like eating at McDonald’s — same burger every fucking time, no variations allowed.  It’s a nice tune, the tune itself but the production is awful.

@@@ Primal Rite – Dirge Of Escapism (Revelation) Some heavy metal off this week’s CFUV playlist email.  It opens up with a gust of wind, and then a heartbeat, and then the crush.  C’mon, c’mon, there are some big power chords….some feedback and then monster stomp.  It’s a nice stomp though not the monster one I craved.  There’s a singer in the second tune and I like him — he sounds like he’s about to drive a car into a tree.  I’m not sure but I don’t hear any bass on this record — either it’s mixed so low or there isn’t a bass player.  It’s like a 3/4 full bucket of Kentucky, oh there he is but he’s got no whooomph.  If this had more bottom I would feel it.  The drummer is more of a mainstream hard rock kinda fella but he’s beating the fuck out of the kit and driving the bus hard.

@@@ Todd Stewart – Everything You Want (Americana, 2018). Some roots music off this week’s CFUV playlist email.  22 minutes of music on this EP and Stewart’s mainstream voice changes the vibe of the band which features a very hooky slide guitar player.  Shuffle beats, acoustic guitar and a standard guitar centered country band setup.  The first tune sports a loverboy vibe due to the smooth, multitrack vocal.  The third tune is a slow tear jerker and that slide player is the star of the record for me.

@@@ A$AP Rocky featuring Gucci Mane and 21 Savage: Cocky (RCA, 2018). An all star hip hop single I got to via the Apple Music hot tracks section.  I like the rhythmic flow of the MCs, and I like the beats, but the vocal hook is shit.  ‘Too fuckin’ cocky baby, I’m too fucking cocky’.  Just pass me the rock and watch me go…I almost made it to the end of the track but the vocal hook took me out of the game.

YTD recordings listened to: 102
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 56
Not good music: 42

Best: 1
Honorable Mentions: 2

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, Irreversible Entanglements, Converge, Open Mike Eagle, Criolo, Billy Strings, Guy One

Music for 11/25/17!!! The Light Wires, The Body and Full of Hell

@@@ The Light Wires: The Invisible Hand (Sofaburn, 2017)  I dug Jeremy Pinnell’s first solo record so I wanted to listen to the band he had before he went solo.  This is a reissue of previously released music.  This first tune sports a heavy Replacements vibe (including his voice) which I dig.  Big American guitars.  The second tune is a couple notches above a ballad still with the big ass guitars.  It’s more rocking and less lonesome than his first solo — more classic American rock and I like it.  It’s crazy how much he sounds like Paul Westerberg on these tracks.  I’m going to swing back on this record but fans of Tom Petty, the Replacements (obviously), and Soul Asylum should check this.

@@@ The Body and Full of Hell: Ascending a Mountain of Heavy Light (Thrill Jockey, 2017)  Some death metal/black metal off this week’s CFUV playlist email.  I would say this definitely has some art school noise blended into this black metal.  It’s full on but with art sauce.  I like it.  The second tune does the same thing as it presents a little electronic intro before diving deep into the mosh pit.  A mosh pit whose overlord is an orc.  The guitars are noiser and less slab like than a typical metal record so there are most definitely variations to the formula going on here.  I usually don’t like to mix electronic elements with my heavy metal but this works for me.  Check for yourselves.

YTD recordings listened to: 758
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 405
Not good music: 315

Buys: 9
Honorable Mentions: 7

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, 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, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Benjamin Booker, Irreversible Entanglements, Converge, Boubacare Traore, Les Filles De Illighadad, Curtis Harding

Music for 10/25/17!!! Elan Noon, The Deep Dark Woods, Holy Hum

@@@ Elan Noon: Have a Spirit Filled (Self-released, 2017)  An intimate hippie/lo-fi folk mash that is #1 on CFUV’s Weekly playlist email.  Seriously shy bedroom vibes up in this first tune with arpeggiated acoustic guitar and voice.  That’s it yo.  It’s not content to rest there as the second tune brings in the synths and the soft rock vibe.  I’m guessing the sensitive gent is still gonna be on the mic.  Whoops, there he is!  The fourth tune features a different singer (ladybits!) but you’ll be thoroughly softened by the tidal wave of feelings of the first three tunes.  It may seem like I’m dogging this record but I’m not — I appreciate its sincerity while acknowledging it’s not my bag.

@@@ The Deep Dark Woods: Yarrow (Six Shooter, 2017)  Also off this week’s CFUV playlist email.  There are three pre-release tunes up on the Apple Music and this first tune, Fallen Leaves, is a sad one.  Watch out, forlorn alert!  Stripped down band arrangement and there’s an Emmylou Harris sounding lady joining sad gent on vocal duties.  It’s a Daniel Lanois-esque production sound they got going here.  This music is so American it makes me want to buy a horse and ride around collecting tumbleweed!  How’s that for analysis?  The second pre-release tune, Deep Flooding Waters — hold up, I got these three tunes all mixed up due to interwebz music player horseshit.  The first tune is a midtempo rocker with some space organ (still lonesome), the second tune is the acoustic saddie, and the third one is a slack, drunk in yer boots kinda track.  I’m sure this level of fatigue haunts El Trump-o’s wife as her miserable life with that orange haired pee brain must be quite a handful.  Overall, I got the gist of what they have on offer with a tad of rambly.

@@@ Holy Hum: All of My Bodies (Andrew Yong Hoon Lee, 2017)  Some ambient electronic off this week’s CFUV email.  Oh, here comes a vocalist which changes the vibe a lot.  The singer has an arch, highbrow tone which elevates the proceedings into earnets art-tronica.  Let’s peep more….the third tune brings on an indie band with a slack straight beat, strummed clean electric guitar and a wood flute (guess!)  I like this track, it has the sparseness of John Lennon’s first solo record though the singer is just too ethereal for me.  Also he sounds a bunch like the singer of Coldplay and that’s not working for me.  I can see people digging this so check it out if the description works for you — stripped down indie with ambient sound vibes and a white shoe singer.

YTD recordings listened to: 689
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 369
Not good music: 287

Buys: 9
Honorable Mentions: 7

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, 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, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Benjamin Booker, Irreversible Entanglements

7/21/16: Ashly Monroe, Christian Lopez Band, Milk Carton Kids, Margo Price

@@@ Ashley Monroe: Winning Streak (Warner Bros , 2016)  I’m peeping the Apple American playlist email and after the first three top slots that I’ve heard already I found Ms. Monroe.  It’s pretty old school country, no Bon Jovi background vocals and it’s got a very tasty piano hook and the piano player is more than just the hooks as the track unfolds.    I’ve decided to click through and be more than a little playlist ho and I like the tune on the playlist more.  This one has more rock flavorings and does not feature the same stripped down production.  I like her all right, but I like the band more.

@@@ Christian Lopez Band: Will I See You Again (Blaster, 2015).  Lopez has that kind of voice that record labels spring a boner for.  Open and warm and engaging, as in the opposite of Bob Dylan.  However Bobby Zimmerman holds the power of the pen and Mr. Lopez traffics in more ordinary sentiments.  There’s a nice organ swell in this tune and the band gets a little ’70s soft roots rock going which is all right.

@@@ The Milk Carton Kids: Wish You Were Here (Anti-, 2015)  A Pink Floyd cover from a band I’ve heard of but have never peeped.  Also off the Apple Music editor lists.  This version is more lonesome and prettier than the stoned, space rock ’70s Floyd business.  They’re evociking some pretty strong Crosby, Stills, and Nash vibes with the stack of vocals.  I like this!

@@@ Margo Price: Desperate and Depressed (Warner, 2015) It’s full on Americana and what better way to commemorate the Republican (and Democratic) conventions than with this tune, Desperate and Depressed.  The giant cheese doodle vs. the Lying Pantsuit.  She opens up the tune old school hillbilly which I dig.  Oh man, what a rarity to have tunes that are not all cheesed out just singing and playing, a well aimed break from the bullshit.  She’s got a little Janis Joplin thread to her voice.  Not the boozed up broken Janis, but the lonesomeness.  My Apple Musice is busted to fuck so I’m streaming this off the Googletube but I will definitely check out more from Ms. Price.

YTD recordings listened to: 584
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 320
Not good music: 215

Honorable Mentions: 10
Buys: 9

Possibles: Chris McGregor, Dave Arner Trio, MAKU Soundsystem, Zomby, Retox, Jessie Mae Hemphill, Bone Dance, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, Slidhr, The Chewers, Alexander Hawkins, Toxic Holocaust, Equal Stones, Comeback Kid, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Fofoulah, Lozen, Erase Errata, Dawn Richard, Mastery, Leviathan, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Akitsa, Janelle Monae, Luther Dickinson, Destruction Unit, Graeme Barrett, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Cavanaugh, Gentleman Surfer, Satoko Fuji, Mystic Braves, Divanhana, Unrestrained, Moken, Systema Solar, Brian Eno, Juan Atkins, Drone, Lantern, The Lickshots, Twin Peaks, Djelimady Tounkara, Xenia Rubinos, Miramar, The Oh Sees, Denny Zeitlin, MILF, Margo Price

3/17/16: Nap Eyes, Stone Jack Jones, Magister Templi,Boxhead Ensemble

@@@ Nap Eyes: Whine of the Mystic (Paradise of Bachelors, 2016).  I have cracked open the Aquarius Records customer favorites  and are going to start chewing through it.  I think I peeped the other Nap Eyes record Thought Rock Fish Scales but it looks like this one will hew to their Lou Reed/Velvet Underground sound.  Clean guitars, rock drumming and a voice extremely reminiscent of Mr. Reed.  This record is stormier than the other one I peeped a few months ago and I have a slight preference for this one.  These guys are more than solid I’m just not a huge Lou Reed/VU fella.

@@@ Stone Jack Jones: Love & Torture (Western Vinyl, 2015).  Also off the Aquarius customer favorites list.  This first tune is a downtempo roots moper with Jones’ gruff voice.  The production is big with plenty of reverb and strains of Daniel Lanois Emmylou Harris records.  I find the feel and the sound of the record to be more interesting than the songs/lyrics.  I dig the guitar sound and the banjo playing.

@@@ Magister Templi: Into Duat (Criz Del Sure, 2015).  Some epic metal half stomp off the Aquarius customer favorites list.  Hints of prog and mucho classic metal, especially when the singer starts in.  Big Deep Purple and Motley Crue vibes, ooh and a little Queen action.  Big guitar sound, more arena rock than super squashed metal drum sounds.  Not really my cup of tea.

@@@ Boxhead Ensemble: La Hora Magica (Astral Spirits, 2015).  Last listen of the day off the Aquarius Customers’ list.  After a solo guitar piece opening up the record, the second tune gets into a spacious combo of minimal bass pulse and a few guitar loops.  The basic formula appears to be some ambient loops with guitar noodling sauce over the top.  I have yet to hear any drums here.  I like the guitar playing all right but I find the loops more engaging.  Oh, there’s a fiddle and a sweet typewriter sounding loop on this fifth tune, the one clipped below.  By far the best of what I heard on this record.

YTD recordings listened to: 263
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 145
Not good music: 97

Honorable Mentions: 5
Buys: 3

Possibles: Chris McGregor, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Dave Arner Trio, MAKU Soundsystem, Zomby, Retox, Jessie Mae Hemphill, Bone Dance, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, Debruit, Slidhr, The Whammies, The Chewers, Alexander Hawkins, Toxic Holocaust, Equal Stones, Comeback Kid, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Fofoulah, Lozen, Erase Errata, Dawn Richard, Mastery, Leviathan, Xibalba, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Akitsa,  Janelle Monae, Luther Dickinson, Destruction Unit, Graeme Barrett, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Cavanaugh, Gentleman Surfer, Satoko Fuji, Mystic Braves, Matt Parker, Divanhana, Troum, Unrestrained, Carrie Rodriguez, Moken, Ghostlimb, Los Hacheros, Cruciamentum

Active Music Listening Thursday April 9, 2015

YTD recordings listened to: 267
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 160
Not good music: 89

Honorable Mentions: 8
Buys: 5

Possibles: Boyd Rivers, Chris McGregor, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Dave Arner Trio, Bill Horist, MAKU Soundsystem, Zomby, Retox, About Group, Jessie Mae Hemphill, Bone Dance, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, Debruit, Slidhr, The Whammies, The Chewers, Alexander Hawkins, Cheryl Pyle, Toxic Holocaust, Equal Stones, Comeback Kid, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, Spacesuits, T.O.M.B., Fofoulah, Lozen, Erase Errata, Mohammed Abozekry, Dawn Richard, Torche, Leo Welch, Astral Swans, Mastery, Leviathan, Lightning Bolt, Xibalba, Hartley C. White, Weed

@@@ Nikki Blum and the Gramblers: Waiting on Love (Not sure, 2015).  Somebody has to keep Americana music going and Blum does a good job on this single.  A bongload of Tom Petty, a little bit of the Byrds, a pube of the Band, Bob Dylan’s son, you get the idea.  Crisp production, not looking to break any ground here but dropping the pleasing American rock.

@@@ Grace Potter: Alive Tonight (Not sure, 2015).  I can’t place where this drum sound comes from — it’s just like a tune that I can’t pull off my hard drive right now.  Very ’80s with a little rockin’ whirled up in there.  Potter sounds like the lesbian lovechild of Melissa Etheridge (in the verse), and a club diva (in the chorus).  I don’t know if regular readers want to imagine Kelly Clarkson going down on Melissa Etheridge, but it really is just like that.

@@@ Ava Luna: Infinite House (Western Vinyl, 2015).  I went to the Press Play site at the New York Times for another record but it wasn’t there so I thought I would peep this one.  Ben Ratliff has all sorts of pretentious off the mark comparisons — I think the most notable aspect is the quiet verse/explosive art punk choruses.  The second tune is a white boy funk thing that the Dirty Projectors have tried and didn’t go great with.  Ratliff says you should be prepared to dance but I don’t feel the funk, I smell the art school rock pretensions that usually result in a stop button.  It’s all over the place and kinda up it’s own butt at the same time.  And I mean up their own butt in a good way.  Like hey, nice butt, you should put your music up there it’ll sound good up there.

You can stream here.

@@@ Night Drive: Easy to Lie (Sound Control, 2015).  I’d like to put these guys in the ring with Iron Reagan as this sound is straight out of the ’80s.  Oy.  Gated snare sound, tamborine (fuck yeah!), sultry and flat singer, U2 stringy bass, and the synths.  Oh the synths.  Mid tempo rocker, come and get it!!