Music for 6/10/21!!! James Brandon Lews, Teke Teke, Trevor Powers

@@@ James Brandon Lewis: Jesup Wagon (TAO Forms, 2021) All three of today’s listens are from an All Music notable release email from a few weeks ago. I’ve heard Lewis’ music before and have liked it. He’s got a strong tone, a little black church in his playing, and what I would call an upredictable and rebellious flow on his instrument. After a mellow sax intro the cornet player leans in with the rhythm section. I love how the bass player sounds on this record. The energy here is high and righteous. He’s not about sheer skronk. To my ears he’s riding a fine line between straight jazz and the wildness of free jazz but that’s just my ears. I urge folks to check this out, the record is really well recorded and these guys are putting some energy and soul into this music. I just checked the lineup here via the bandcamp page clipped below and he has William Parker on a couple of tracks and the fine drummer Chad Taylor so this is a team effort and a really good one at that.

@@@ TEKE::TEKE: Meikyu (Kill Rock Stars, 2021) This is the second to last track on this record from Kill Rock Stars. Outside of the track titled Serenade it’s all Japanese language titles and the lyrics are sung in Japanese which is very far from a no deal for me, I’m fine with it. This track clipped below is blustery with a jumpy guitar part, tom heavy drumming, some fairly intricate synchronized melodies, and a flute! Fuckin’ A, a flute! I dig the weird rock vibe here, it’s pleasantly art school, a bit weird but plenty of rocking to be had. A quiet flute solo, then a horn solo, then the rockin’ maelstrom returns and respect for mixing it up here. Another track here opens with a surf guitar guitar, then into a drum break, then a horn vamp.

@@@ Trevor Powers: Capricorn (Fat Possum, 2021) I chose the track on this record that is not a nature related title. So Ghosts of Shanghai it is, and it’s pleasantly lo fi with a piano, some swellings up and down, some flute action, and even an electric guitar working in and out. I will peep another track but this doesn’t have that certain slow hypnotic thing that draws me into an awesome ambient track, this sounds more like a song or a series of sounds. I clicked over to the second track Earth to Earth and the combination of the sounds chosen and the arrangement of the chosens sounds, that formula isn’t super working for me.

Music for 3/6/21!!! Terror, The Armed

@@@ Terror: Out of My Face (Good Fight Records, 2021) Some in your face metal with a generous dollop of hardcore feels. These guys are definitely not up for a hang as this tune is called Out of My Face and the next tune is Keep Your Distance. That’s pretty aggro and clear. I like the drummer, he’s got some really good vibes going on, I like the guitar playing — it’s pretty standard but it’s good. I think the singer is a bit klunky he could use a mint, something to refresh him a bit. He’s definitely got the pissed thing down pat but a little swing would elevate this.

@@@ The Armed: Average Death (Sargen House, 2021) A little something different off the Apple Music metal section as this gets into a heavy pop place with a lot of electro elements. It doesn’t sport a frog stomping rhythmic approach and they whip a pretty solid post punk shitty in the chorus. The singer is layering in his whatever on top of this maelstrom and for the most part it works. I have a feeling this outfit has some art school graduates in it. I like the chorus, very Husker Du-ey. Both of these tracks are pre-release listens and there will be more when the full biscuit comes out.

Music for 8/27/19!!! Nardeydey, Ohtis, Squid

@@@ Nardeydey: Speedial (Lucky Number, 2019)  I got to this genre mashing single via the Line of Best Fit.  A bit of indie, a little No Wave, and some old school rock.  I was gonna denounce the singer as low energy when she went high and clear in an above average manner.  The bass player is laying down some pretty serious low end but it kinda drags the tune down at the same time it provides nice contrast with the singer when she goes high.  It’s got a Talking Heads disguised polyrhythmic feel to it, but I’m not sure I really love this tune and I’m not sure why.  Seems a bit in its own head but check for yourself.  Yeah, as I get to the end I feel it’s overly stuffed with all these different sounds that end up just there.

@@@ Ohtis: Runnin (Full Time Hobby, 2019)  A genre consistent flat alt-country tune from an about to blow up feature in Line of Best Fit.  Reminiscent of a lot of alt-country bands that have been huge in the past 15-20 years (sad whiny Wilco and such) though I’m really feeling the slide guitar here.  It provides such a sweet contrast with the singer’s baritone.  I guess I’m a bit fatigued with what I consider under-rhythmed indie music that is gushing into the ears of the public.  Outside of the slide guitar it’s just too straight an arrangement for me to get down with.  Am I wrong or a bitch to ask for a bit more?  I guess so.

@@@ Squid: The Dial (Manata, 2018)  Some angular, retro rock a la Devo from that same Line of Best Fit.  Oops, it switches out of that into a quasi-aggro rock thing with a disgruntled singer on about quite mundane matters.  It grows in energy with a guitar solo and some flavorful synth playing.  I don’t usually typed the words flavorful synth playing but it’s the singer who’s putting this tune over the top with his schtick.  I don’t mean schtick in negative way.  Just shy of three minutes the rock falls away to a more dreamy space rock kind of thing so maybe the whole thing has been some sort of prog joke/symphony as it hasn’t stayed in one particular place for very long.  He goes back to his hook/rant about the dial doesn’t change, the dial stays the same which is fine and good to see he’s committed to sounding like a mental patient for the whole tune.  This is the best of what I heard today.

YTD recordings listened to: 439
Good music, not list worthy: 265
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

 

Music for 9/24/18!! French Montana, Young Father

I am finishing up on a brief tour working as a live sound and video projection dude so massive listening is not possible.  Onwards and remember you always get what you pay for.

@@@ French Montana (featuring Drake): No Stylist (N/A, 2018)  The #1 track in the Apple Music hot tracks section.  I would call this glamorous trap music with fat bottom but buffed up and polished rhymes about Gucci bags, Lear Jets, and women getting wet.  Probably not from the great conversation but bank account wetness.  Drake cuts in with a nasal rap that contrasts with Montana’s husky then falsetto business.  Don’t call this motherfucker until the checks clear, naimsayin’.  I will say for the umpteenth time that it is a bit inconsistent to denounce this behavior in CEOs and in Trump’s house but celebrate it here in popular culture.  It would be nice if we got our shit straight or at least more straight and less crooked.  I don’t care about Trump’s wealth, and I don’t care about French Montana’s Gucci handbags.  I really could give a fuck.

@@@ Young Father: Toys (N/A, 2018)  Also in the Apple hot tracks section.  It’s an art school hip hop punk project and I think I’ve heard tracks from this record which came out in the spring but it has been revived in the hot tracks section in the fall.  If you want to mix up your nihilistic punk vibes with your hip hop/r&b type beats then I would recommend the gents at Sleaford Mods.  Their lyrics are much more acidic and they punch their weight.  This tune uses more conceptual lyrics that detract from the straight ahead kraut bass and the squirty, slightly chopped beats.

YTD recordings listened to: 541
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 286
Not good music: 224

Best: 9
Honorable Mentions: 5

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, Gouge Away, Klara Lewis, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Oddisee, Forro in the Dark, 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, Jean Grae and Quelle Chris, Lawaii, Etran De L’Air, Ruby Karinto, Elysia Crampton, Parquet Courts, Orlando Lopez, Moskus, Kendl Winter, KEN mode, Automatisme

3/1/16: From Ashes to Now, Santigold, Nap Eyes, Blades of Steel

@@@ From Ashes to Now: Day One (Better Noise, 2015).  The Apple Music front page banner says these guys mash up metal, EDM etc and basically invent a new genre.  Whoever blurbed this record has never heard a Linkin Park because this shit is mad close to a Linkin Park biscuit.  I guess it’s fitting that the opening tune is called Land of Make Believe because that’s where this new genre wang has descended from.  Regular readers know of my intense distaste for art school Linkin Park offal (an old school word for intestines) so let’s check out one more tune for shits and giggles.  This second tune, Farther From Home,  stinks in a slightly different way.  I fully recognize that folks can love this music — that’s what makes this country great — you can love shitty music and not be jailed for it.

@@@ Santigold: 99 Cents (Atlantic, 2016).  Also off the Apple Music front page.  The first tune is called ‘I Can’t Get Enough of Me’.  At least she’s honest about her self-absorption — there’s not much more annoying than watching half woman/half gazelle Taylor Swift act ‘charitably’.  This opener is an electro banger mixed with old school cutesy r&b.   Lots of little quirky melodies and vocals.  The second tune Big Boss Big Time Business documents the singer’s time in the porn business.  No, that’s made up.  More pop funky beats and light lyrics.  It’s interesting that she suffuses her tunes with strains of world music but the lightness of the tunes (mostly the vocal arrangements) is not appealing to me.

@@@ Nap Eyes: Thought Rock Fish Scales (Paradise of Bachelors, 2016)  Some indie lounge rock off the CFUV weekly email.  Yowsa, this singer sounds a ton like Lou Reed so when he does his thing over the indie lounge thing you can’t help but get Velvet Undergound flashbacks.  This guy sings better than Lou Reed, I could never stand Lou Reed’s flatness.  The second tune sports a slightly different slackness — rolling tempos, a mellow yellow dual guitar attack and Lou Reed’s son on the mic.  It’s definitely all right, but I always have the same feeling after I have a sesame pancake at a Chinese restaurant.  This is a tasty appetizer, when’s the meal cuz I’m ready for more.  Slacker unite behind these guys they do it all right!

@@@ Blades of Steel: Kind Face (Blades of Steel, 2015).  Self-confessed Canadian white man hip hop off the CFUV weekly email.  They have rock sounding guitars on this first tune, OneTwoTwo.  The beats aren’t as weak as Macklemore, and I like the bass.  The second tune is synthier.  I don’t love the lyrics, a little too preachy and self-improvementy.

YTD recordings listened to: 206
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 114
Not good music: 73

Honorable Mentions: 4
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 Walker, Divanhana, Troum, Unrestrained, Carrie Rodriguez, Moken, Ghostlimb, Michael Daves