Music for 4/19/17!!! The Maine, Chris Shiflett

@@@ The Maine: Lovely Little Lonely (8123, 2017)  Some mainstream half rocking, half bittersweet faux thoughtful white boy rock.  Not as gloomy as the Goo Goo Dolls, but a tad soft at its emotional core.  Call me crazy but I find this music scary.  These are finely manicured false emotions designed to bolster people who are already sporting a somewhat tenuous connection to reality, many of them very young and just starting out in life.  Records like this perpetuate the idea that art may be completely cliche and recycled and somehow passionate and emotional at the same time.  And as the music soaks in through an already troubled society people hear this music and think fake emotions are not only normal but acceptable and encouraged.  Fake emotions are so much more toxic than fake news, this is a dangerous donut people and it’s best to stay away and head for something with some splank to it.

@@@ Chris Shiflett: West Coast Town (Side One Dummy, 2017)  I’m consistently amazed at how flexible the new country music has become.  This first tune is minority country and mostly a Cracker tune with a funky white boy beat.  It’s really quite something and it does fall in the same category as going into a bagel store and getting a donut.  The second tune has more twang for sure, but I think he’s been listening to mad Cracker tracks.  I own more than a few Cracker records and frankly his lyrics are better.

YTD recordings listened to: 253
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 138
Not good music: 94

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 4/16/17!!! Coincidence Bizarre, Royal Blood

@@@ Coincidence Bizarre: Invisible Man I’m not sure of the bio of this hip hop outfit as the blurb on their Soundcloud page is obtuse.  Think a more chocolate version of Beck’s mellow hip hop.  I don’t think this a live outfit but there is instrumental (and instruments) on this track.  The beats are solid but not from a specific time or place and the MC is lower register and medium energy.

@@@ Lights Out: Royal Blood (Warner UK, 2017)  A corporate rock single off the Apple Music hot tracks section.  The drums sounds great, the guitars sound more than a tad buzzy and the singer is a star for sure.  At least trying to be a star.  The chorus explodes into a big riff and a vocal crescendo.  Great sounds, well executed performance, not much soul connection.

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

Buys: 3
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, Orquestra Baobab

Music for 4/9/17!!! The Chainsmokers, Mack Wilds

@@@ The Chainsmokers: Memories…Don’t Open (Disruptor/Columbia, 2017)  On the Apple Music store it describes this mainstream electro record as the sound of domination in 2017.  That’s quite a bold statement and as it’s seder season that is a helluva matzoh ball hanging out there.  This first tune is a cheesy electro piano ballad — it’s not quite a bleu cheese that’s been left outside on a table on a summer day, it’s more of a mozzarella at an underfunded pizza place.  Cheese with some other chemical shit in it.  Oooh, robot sounds and gingersnaps, there’s nothing I like more!  This second tune, Break Up Every Night, has more of a rock feel with a pulsing synth bass and some Bon Jovi arena background vocals.  This third is hitting now and we’re back on the piano, yikes.  No good.  I certainly hope this is not the sound of world domination because these are some punkass cliche sounds.  No freshness fellas, no funk, just a boatload of cheap pizza toppings.  These guys should re-christen themselves the cheesemakers.  Christ.

@@@ Mack Wilds: After Hours (Empire, 2017)  Some r&b/soul off the new music section of Apple Music.  The most interesting aspect of this first tune is the doo wop vocal loop he’s got going.  Wilds has a loverboy approach on the microphone with the arrangements dominated by multiple vocal tracks and synths.  I like this third tune Senses far more than anything in the first two tunes, he shoulda opened the record with that tune.

YTD recordings listened to: 233
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 126
Not good music: 87

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 4/7/17!!! Harry Styles, Future Islands

@@@  Harry Styles: Sign of the Times (Columbia, 2017)  I have heard Harry Styles’ name but I had to see on the interwebz that he was in One Direction.  I fucking love One Direction!  They are so awesome.  Now this single is going in one direction and that’s straight downtown to Cheese City, where the streets are paved with cheese and people wear clothes woven with fine cheese threads.  I would guess that the music honchos behind Harry Styles (not behind his young behind) are trying to make Mr. Styles into an adult because this song oozes with cheap, shallow quasi-philosophical sentiments.  You know, the way adults are.  The main vocal hook is ‘stop you’re crying, it’s a sign of the times.’  I’m not sure what the fuck he’s talking about but my panties are quaking just listening to him reach for those falsetto notes.  You go Harry, you super hot cheese monger.  This pop biscuit streaks across the sky like a fecal comet, raining down tiny droplets on those outside while it flies by.  Well done!!

@@@ Future Islands: The Far Field (4AD).  I’ve peeped Future Islands in the past (ah, confusing) but I saw on this week’s All Music notable release email that these guys have a new full length.  These guys are rooted in ’80s synth rock with the accompanying sounds, thought the singer is gruff and more energetic than what you might expect from a band of that style.  I’m sorry to report that I’m more than a bit distracted because I’m still all hotted up by Harry Styles’ performance.  I would say this record is for folks who like a little adventure.  The band is pretty tame and smoothed out but the singer has just a little danger going on. #HarryStylesRocks

YTD recordings listened to: 229
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 123
Not good music: 86

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 4/1/17!!! Anathema, Tim Darcy

@@@ Anathema: Springfield (Snapper, 2017) Some polished arena rock I got to via the music blog Indiepulse.  I guess this is this band’s 11th record and I never have heard of them.  They’re rocking a Talking Heads sentiment — how did I get here? over and over.  the answer is fuck if I know.  After a somewhat lengthy ambient opening section they get into a proggy shred, which is not a Thai dish.  Wow, this is a big fat slapping dual guitar attack, I’m not sure I deserve this.  I guess they’re really quite passionate about how they did or did not get here.  It’s a tad vague and New Age for me to get my head around this big rock chunklet.

@@@ Tim Darcy: Saturday Night (Jagjaguwar, 2017)  Some old school nerd punk stylings off this week’s CFUV weekly playlist email.  This is off the Jiggedy Jagjaguwar imprint which I threw in there because I like the two words Jiggedy Jagjaguwar.  This music is firmly in the Velvet Underground slack rock tradition with a tad more bash to it.  The Velvets were, you know, stoned out of their gourds.  This is not my favorite branch of the rock ‘n roll tree but this guy does it all right.

YTD recordings listened to: 214
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 113
Not good music: 81

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 3/28/17!!! Betty Who, Colton Dixon, Creeper

@@@ Betty Who: The Valley (RCA, 2017) A sophomore arena pop record off the new music section of Apple Music.  After a decent a cappella opening tune it gets into the full electro cheese with the lyric ‘some kind of wonderful’ repeating over and over.  I’m not feeling that way, to be honest.  Oh boy, I’m not gonna make it too far into this big ass sausage of pop cheese.  Too upbeat, too gooey — awkward funk, stupid lyrics, full shopping mall production.  Oy!

@@@ Colton Dixon: Identity (Sparrow, 2017)  Some modern Christian music off the Apple new music section.  I like to peep the Jesus folks out once in a blue just to see how they’re mixing the J Man with the sounds.  This first tune is like a movie soundtrack mashed up with some Eye of the Tiger syrup.  If you don’t know that Eye of the Tiger reference you have to GooglePimp that track and get with it.  A little rock, a little electro.  I’m on the third tune as I can only take this in small shots.  Wow, it just morphed into a exploding Jesus Cheese Grenade, that’s really quite something.  I like old school gospel (mostly the African American stuff) so I’m not opposed.  However, I am a rabid anti-cheese-ite.  I gotta tip on this record, it’s just a bit much for me.  Big whoa ho background vocals and whooshes and all manner of positivity.

@@@ Creeper: Eternity, In Your Arms (Roadrunner, 2017) Punk revival (?) off this week’s All Music notable release email.   This first tune is punky in the guitar sound, not so much in the lyrics and the production.  It’s more than glam punk, it’s gummy kinda xanthin gummy or chewy.  Those are all metaphorical words but the idea is to take big arena vocal arrangements and plop them on a shiny, medium rough punk rhythmic undercarriage.  Like chocolate syrup on a chainsaw, hmmm, bloody and unsatisfactory.  It doesn’t super work for me as I think of punk as being somewhat or very dirty but I’m no punk nazi.  Check it for yourself.

YTD recordings listened to: 203
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 108
Not good music: 76

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 3/26/17!!! Boss Hog, Trementina

@@@ Boss Hog: Brood (In the Red, 2017)  A new release from an old school Gen X punk blues band.  It’s a tad light on the blues, it’s staticky punk rock.  The rhythm section is pretty kicking with a huge, fuzzy bass sound over funky white boy crushed.  The female singer I don’t dig as much.  Just a tad on the boring side.  Ah, here we have some blues on this fourth tune Shh Shh Shh.  I like this all right but it’s kinda half punk as fuck and not quite enough blues for me.

@@@ Trementina: 810 (VeggieBurger Records, 2017)  Slotted as shoe gaze on this week’s All Music notable release email, it opens up kinda twee and pretty rather than introspective and cacophonous.  I’m on the third tune and I’m feeling a tad hosed.  This is dreamy guitar pop not shoe gaze.  It’s like going to Baskin Robbins and asking for a chocolate ice cream cone and getting rum raisin.  I don’t want rum raisin I want my god damned chocolate ice cream cone.  If you like dreamy female fronted pop arena rock, get on it.

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