Music for 2/9/21!!! Celeste, The Telescopes, A.J. Croce

@@@ Celeste: Love is Back (UMG, 2020) Off this week’s All Music notable releae email and it’s most notable for taking retro r&b/soul and fully modernizing the production making it more intimate and individualized. Not a Daptone phase-y thing, much more of a pumped major label thing. I like the production as well as kinda hating it as it makes the tune sounds more like a technological accomplishment than a song. The song is all right but I can’t say I’m shocked or surprised at it, major label music isn’t built to surprise or hit you hard. Celeste has a very nice voice, sometimes soaring and sometimes more nasal and intimate.

@@@ The Telescopes: Mesmerized (Tapete Records, 2021) Labelled as psychedelic I got to this via this week’s All Music notable release email. It opens up well but it sags when the singer comes in all mopey and Beck-y. Wow, this is oxy-rock as I feel the energy draining out of me though I do like the guitar player. As the ol’ soul singers used to say there’s a thin line between mesmerization and sedation, they said that right? I made it halfway through but Imma check the next track and maybe they popped a Red Bull between tracks. The next tune is called Come Bring Your Love and it’s even less energetic, I can’t deal. We all have our lines and I understand mine is different from y’allz but make sure you get some tea before you hit this bitch or you may not survive. At least be ready for a nap.

@@@ A.J. Croce: Nothing from Nothing (Compass, 2021) This is some grown up rock/blues rock for people with jobs. Oh wow, super crispy and compressed mix here for maximum impact. It’s a cover so discussion of the tune is limited, it’s a great track and it’s about the plating and the presentation here. I like his voice, I like the band playing and his piano playing but it’s a bit aggressive to my ears. The mix and the compression that is and it squashes the swinging and vibe. Most people do not fucking notice this so have at it but I hear what I hear.

Music for 11/4/19!! IV League, Larkin Poe, Michael Kiwanuka

@@@ IV League: When You Lose Me EP (IV League, 2019)  I got to this Australian band’s record via a contest they won in Australia.  Slotted as indie rock the first tune comes out with updated ’80s mainstream rock sounds.  Female singer, big energy, and lots of tom toms in that first tune.  This is a Cranberries type of record with less grunge and less epic-ness, but not by a lot on the epic-ness.  I know that’s not a word, I could give a shit.  I don’t like the guitar sounds here, too washed out and chorused for my taste and lest you think I’m a bitch, when they do that to the guitars it declaws them and makes the rock instantly diluted to my ears.  I appreciate some of what these guys are doing and I like the singer but I’m not sure I believe in this big rock sound, if I ever did.

@@@ Larkin Poe: Venom and Faith (Tricki-Woo, 2019)  Another Australian female outfit, this time blues rockers.  Starting with an old scholl chant presented in an arena rock style, they do bring some horns and a rolling snare into the proceedings.  I give props to that as they don’t just hit it with the giant guitars and the white folks’ rock blues.  Bleach Blonde Bottle Blues — there ya go for white folks doing the blues!  It feels a little strange to hear Australian women do what is an old African American art form but I’m not one to say they’re not allowed, it’s not my shit.  If folks dig this then I urge them to check out Howling Wolf and get some Smokestack Lightning going on.

@@@ Michael Kiwanuka: Kiwanuka (Polydor, 2019)  A five star record I got to via the Guardian.  A five star rating from the Guardian, let’s be accurate!  I listen to so much music but I believe that I heard a pre-release tune by this artist.  This first tune does open up the big bag of retro soul sounds from the early to mid ’70s era.   A large ensemble (including tambourine) with a sweeping emotional vibe to it.  I was reading a Christian prayer book for mothers that I found on the street this weekend and on one page it says the biggest room is the room for improvement.  This record is aspirational in the same way that prayer book was.  Outside of this record and its spot in our current society it is jarring to hear a record so earnest in such a cynical environment and I give big respect to him for going there.  The sounds are very well done, I could use a tad more freshness to give a nod to the passage of time as well as a nod to a retro sound.  It’s a black soul/slightly spaced out, slightly hippie rock thing, check it out!!!

YTD recordings listened to: 575
Good music, not list worthy: 340
Not good music: 196

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, Danny Brown, clipping., Deafkids, Michael Kiwanuka

 

Music for 9/13/18!!! Mary Elaine Jenkins, Blood Orange, Billy Moon, $uicideBoy$

@@@ Mary Elaine Jenkins: Hold Still (Good Child Music, 2018) I got to this ‘modern yet timeless singer songwriter’ via a music publicist.  The first tune, The Rooster, is a full band twangy tune with a lot of percussion serving as a hook.  It’s a pretty familiar arrangement.  I don’t know if I misread the promo email or the record has been mislabeled but this is a blues rock record sporting Jenkins’ thick and slightly husky voice.  The lyrics center around the rottenness of men which would be standard for the blues.

@@@ Blood Orange: Negro Swan (Domino, 2018) I got to this record via the CFUV weekly playlist email.  This is blurbed on Apple Music as a look at black depression as well as the anxieties of queer people/people of color.  I’m a little shocked at the first tune as I think of Domino as one of the least funky labels going.  The tune, Orlando, comes out slinky and modern with punchy and funky keyboard sounds.  Puff Daddy and A$AP Rocky both make guest appearances on this record which is strange.  The second tune, Saint, is a full blown gospel tinged anthem — I’m not sure why this record isn’t on an American label releasing black music but I guess that’s not the business here.  I think the record gets a little lost in the vocal arrangements but Puff Daddy busts mad yos on his appearance and lets the female singer do the singing.

@@@ Billly Moon: I’ll Push the Pedals and You Steer EP (Graham Caldwell, 2017)  I saw a new record listed on the CFUV weekly playlist email but this 2017 EP is up on the Apple Music.  The first tune busts out with some sloppy ass Replacements guitar blasting with glam rock vocals over that.  Moon tosses big time classic rock vocal hooks regardless of musical arrangement.  It’s not what I’m most looking for in a record, but many many singers try to throw the hooks and come up empty so it’s an impressive piece of work.

@@@ $uicideBoy$: I Want to Die in New Orleans (G*59 Records, 2018)  This hip hop record is one of the new releases scrolling new music banner on Apple Music.  I’m expecting a trap affair with plenty of props for New Orleans.  This first tune is notable for the half sung rhymes and the vibe is depressive for sure.  I like the keyboard figure on this first tune, it really burrows into your brain.  I’m most interested in the keyboard arrangements, the vocals after that, and the beats least of all.  The fact that they do some white people emo style singing is interesting while not putting the record over the top.

YTD recordings listened to: 526
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 277
Not good music: 218

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