Music for 4/20/17!!! Jacques Greene, Hoops, Arca

@@@  Jacque Greene: Feel Infinite (LuckyMe, 2017)  Some house music out of Montreal via the CFUV weekly playlist email.  This first tune is pretty standard if a bit light on the beats but it sports the standard minimalist vocals — oh there’s the beat.  Solid bass, skinnier than hip hop.  I didn’t really like the second track, the title track, as it grated on my nerves but the third tune is sweeter.  This is the best of what I heard as it has a marimba type voice in the track and I like some world music sounds in my house yo.

@@@ Hoops: Routines (Fat Possum, 2017)  Some mathy, nerdy guitar indie off this week’s CFUV weekly email.  There are three pre-release tunes up and this first one has too much reverb on the singer’s voice and a tad too much chorus on the guitar.  I don’t like this singer — I’m sure he’s an awesome person but I don’t dig his flow on the microphone.

@@@ Arca: Arca (XL, 2017)  Some abstract music also off this week’s CFUV weekly email.  This first tune focuses on a contrasting a descending vocal line with some tightly controlled feedback.  I’m not sure where it’s going but it’s an interesting pairing of sounds.  My fear is that this will collapse into some New Age-y electronic music but I hope I’m wrong.  By the way, I’ve misplaced my glasses and I’m blind as an old fucking dog today so my spelling typos must be forgiven.  This is dragging a tad, let’s move on.  There are some prominent electronic elements but there are also strong classical sounds here.  I like it okay, check it for yourself.

YTD recordings listened to: 256
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 139
Not good music: 95

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

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Music for 2/14/17!!! Sloucher, The Bohemian Trio, Black Joe Lewis

@@@ Sloucher: Wait to Start (Swoon, 2016).  A grunge-y shoe gaze track opens up this record I got to after I got a music publicist email calling these guys the best indie band to come down the pike in a long time.  Or some such shit.  They have a Pearl Jam vibe going in this opener except no super annoying singer — I can’t stand that self-important dude.  Oh, big Nirvana vibes on this second track, I don’t like this one as much.  The singer can’t do that Kurt Cobain slack thing at all.  If you took the whole punk/grunge area these guys would come at the end as this is pretty mainstream grunge with plenty of melody and light on the punk acidity.  However, very manicured and thought out guitar tones.

@@@ The Bohemian Trio: Okonkala (Innova, 2017)  I saw this trio name checked on a Brooklyn club show listing email spiel.  They’re blurbed as being beyond genre but to my ears they play a sort of classically tinged jazz that says ‘I’m fancy and I dress well’.  And there’s nothing wrong with that.  The instrumentation is piano, cello and clarinet and this music is straight up the alley of 65+ PBS viewers.  Extremely pretty and light, like one of Beyonce’s goddess farts.

@@@ Black Joe Lewis: Backlash (Black Joe Lewis, 2017)  I’m a huge fan of the 2011 effort Scandalous so I thought I would give a peep to this new one.  It opens up more rocking than soul-ing but there are horns back there underneath the crunchy guitar.  I’ve peeped portions of 4 of the songs and while there are some moments where the tunes come together but I think I’m going to stick Scandalous.  Check that record out!

YTD recordings listened to: 105
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 55
Not good music: 34

Buys: 0
Honorable Mentions: 0

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, Acid Arab, A Tribe Called Quest, Noname, Gouge Away, Anna Hogberg, Klara Lewis, Aethenor, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, James Brandon Lewis, Yotoco, Tinariwen

8/17/16: Don Gallardo, Brian Wilbur Grundstrom, Unfun, Dae Dae

@@@ Don Gallardo: Hickory (Self-released, 2015) An Americana record I got to via a music publicist in Chicago.  This first tune is a lush affair with sweet vocal harmonies and a measured pace.  Instrumentation is dobro, fiddle, mandolin, bass, drums, acoustic guitar and vocals. Let’s peep more.  The second tune is more of a summer shuffle with some pretty sweet acoustic slide.  The playing is very sweet and the record sounds great.  I don’t love Gallardo’s voice and lyrics as much as I like the playing.  Check him out.

@@@ Brian Wilbur Grundstrom: An Orchestral Journey (Navona, 2016).  A new classical composer I got to because I’m on the label’s mailing list.  The first tune is not available on Apple Music and the second one is slightly downtempo, very pleasant and driven by the string section.  I’m not going to gas readers by passing myself off as a classical music afficionado so I will relate that the marketing blurb for the records says Grundstrom favors long melodic lines and I hear that as well as harmonic sweetness and midtempo energy.  This is mellow classical not the ‘I’m going to invade your country classical.’

@@@ Unfun: Waterboarding (Debt Offensive, 2016)  Switching gears!  I thought this was going to be a hardcore punk record but it’s open up sludgy with waves of guitar ooze and tasty bass ooze as well.  Hmmmm…..now we’ve gone from that to a sort of Husker Du wall of guitar punk.  I like this and I hope they can keep it up.  And it sounds like they’re doing a good job on this second tune, Death Majesty.  These guys have a less dour singer than Bob Mould which changes the vibe of the record a whole bunch and I think Imma have to swing back on this record when I get a chance.

@@@ Dae Dae: Wat U Mean (Aye, Aye, Aye) (Nitti/300, 2016).  A rough hip hop single off the Apple Music front page.  I like the beat all right, I don’t like the sounds that constitute the arrangement but Dae Dae is energetic and convincing on the microphone.

YTD recordings listened to: 658
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 366
Not good music: 239

Honorable Mentions: 12
Buys: 11

Possibles: Chris McGregor, Dave Arner Trio, Zomby, Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, Slidhr, The Chewers, Toxic Holocaust, Comeback Kid, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Fofoulah, Lozen, Erase Errata, 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, Miramar, The Oh Sees, Denny Zeitlin, MILF, Changui Majadero, Joe Sticky, Vieux Kante, Keefe Jackson, Unfun

7/20/16: Mamadou Barry, Lil Yachty, Jherek Bhischoff, Lindstrom

@@@ Mamadou Barry & Afro Groove Gang: Tankadi (Label Bleu, 2016).  Some large ensemble African music off this week’s WRIR weekly email.  There is a connection to Afrobeat but it’s more jazz like in its vibe.  Barry’s sax playing is fluid while I dig this hand drum solo it’s a tad smooth for my taste.  As evidenced by the fusion-y bass sound.  Let’s peep more.  From the review I read that Barry founded a band back in Guinea called Kaloum Star and I’m checking them out now.  I guess I’m a fan of the old school stuff, check it out.

@@@ Lil Yachty: Lil Boat (Quality Control/Capitol, 2016).  A blend of mainstream and left field hip hop off the Apple Music front page and the essential question is how can you sleep on a MC named Lil Yachty?  He’s got a little skit cooking on this first tune and some sort of alter ego between Yachty/Boat and I think the Yachty is the rich one and Boat is the normal one.  The second tune is Wanna Be LIke Us does two things I don’t like in hip hop or any genre for that matter.  First he’s talking about possessions and how rich his shit is and there’s a lot of panting and breathy rapping here.  Maybe he’s about to jizz hisself over all the stuff he has that other people don’t have.  I like a bunch of the sounds here, the arrangements are fresh but the lyrics is hit or miss.

@@@ Jherek Bhischoff: Cistern (The Leaf Label, 2016).  Experimental rock off this week’s All Music notable release email.  Experimental rock is a large umbrella so a little description may be in order.  This first tune is orchestral with string swells and no rocking.  Some woodwind action and light percussion.  Let’s peep further mabye this is the appeteaser.  I’m on the second tune and there’s still no rock which is fine except for the marketing label.  The third piece is a pleasant ambient and the fourth piece is another classical music piece.  Can you imagine Apple selling iPhones as iPads?  I can’t.

@@@ Lindstrom: Windings (Smalltown Supersound, 2016).  I’m checking out this record as I usually try to give a listen to Smalltown Supersound records.  This one is a bit different as it’s pretty friendly electro with handcalps and generous disco sprinkles.  This is not full frat boy trouser sausage music but it’s not super far away.  Let’s peep the second tune.  I like the rhythms here but I’m not a huge fan of the synth work — it’s a tad kindergarden-y.

YTD recordings listened to: 580
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 318
Not good music: 214

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

6/5/16: Fionna Brice, Troller, Gevurah

@@@ Fionna Brice: Postcards From (Bella Union, 2016).  I got to this experimental rock record from this week’s All Music notable release email.  Each song is a place, the first is Berlin, the second is Paris yadda yadda yadda…..this tune Berlin open up with melodic violin playing over some layered drones.  Purdy but not rock and starting to sound a bit repetitive and precious.  On to Paris!  The second tune opens up with solo piano and occasional violin.  I just went back to the All Music email and it does indeed say experimental rock.  That’s funny because to my ears this sounds like a pop/classical record with slightly New Age production.  Oddly not rocking for a ‘rock’ record.  Ah well, it’s the music business you really never know what you’re gonna get because they don’t bother to label music correctly.

@@@ Troller: Graphic (Holodeck Records, 2016).  One of the records of the week at Aquarius Records out in San Fran.  Poor San Fran, ruined by all those tech assholes.  The first tune opens dark, synth-y, metallic, and drone-y.  It may be an appetizer to ease you into the darkness.  And it is.  The second tune, the title track, features a full band with synths out front and a super reverbed female voice.  Dark and unsettling is what I believe what they’re going for.  This is odd as it’s not rocking enough to be a rocking record and not dark enough to be a real gloomer.  It retains a middle of the ground pop feel amidst the detached vocal sound and the layers of synths.  That actually sounded like a real record review.  Fuck!

@@@ Gevurah: Hallelujah! (Profound Lore, 2016).  A black metal/death metal record off this week’s Aquarius email.  The first tune opens up conspiratorial, with a lot of whispering and a slow, buzzy guitar before it gives way to the doom.  Slow, ominous doom coming down Broadway, people!  After a bit of that it gives way to a most tasty thrash — sweet and suffocating like the Catholic church.  The second tune, Cosmic Putrefecation, starts again with the quasi-Satanic chanting and guitar buzz but I predict the crush will be commencing forthwith.  And here it is for your earholes!  The singer is more on the post-hardcore tip and you can make out what he’s shouting about if you strain the ears.  He is not dirty, funk ass Neanderthal grunting pig/human.  These guys are from Canada, I thought I would throw that non-sequitur in.

YTD recordings listened to: 483
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 269
Not good music: 180

Honorable Mentions: 9
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

Active Music Listening Monday April 20, 2015

YTD recordings listened to: 299
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 176
Not good music: 98

Honorable Mentions: 9
Buys: 5

Possibles: 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, 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, Khaira Arby

@@@ The Sandwitches: Play It Again Dick (Empty Cellar, 2015).  I got to this record via a music publicist email.  I thought it was going to some tongue in cheek innuendo tune from this all female outfit, but it’s an ambient dirge.  I little bit of alt-country, a bit of ringing psych and some indie.  I like the slowness and sloppiness of this record and I will listen to more of these guys when their last record comes out this summer.  This may be one of the only times I’ve ever responded positively to a music publicist email tune.  Quite shocking.

@@@ Timothy McAllister — Zae Munn: They were Mysterious Guests (Parma, 2015).  An ensemble new classical recording featuring McAllister on saxophone playing chamber works by Zae Munn.  McAllister’s tone is both sharp and warm and his playing is very interesting.  I’m used to hearing the wailing of free jazz sax so it takes a bit of time getting used to the more restrained manner of McAllister.

@@@ Hutch and Kathy: Brilliance (Not sure, 2015).  If Bob Dylan had a gay love baby with Death Cab for Cutie, that kid would make a tune like this.  Big friendly and hook-y vocal melodies over a rootsy mostly old school rock arrangement including harmonica.  Harmonica from hipsters!  Music publicist email!

@@@ Bill Gable: No Straight Lines (Bill Gable, 2015).  An adult alternative/singer songwriter release with world music influences.  Gable’s voice is straight ahead and he’s an above average guitar player.  Instrumentation includes percussion, acoustic guitar, upright bass, and piano.  Songs are feelings based.

 

Active Music Listening Monday February 23, 2015

YTD recordings listened to: 148
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 87
Not good music: 49

Honorable Mentions: 7
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

@@@ Quitapenas: Quitapenas (Mas Tropical, 2015)  A Latin rock record off the WRIR weekly email.  Opens up with a big Santana guitar intro for the tune Valle Moreno that segues into some call and response vocals and a lot of hand drumming.  An interesting mix of rock and Latin world music.  Not rockin’ rock, but the guitar player definitely owns a lot of rock records.  I really dig the third tune Guyabo which features a pulsing salsa style bass with the shredding guitarist and some great vocal chanting.

@@@ Ibeyi: Ibeyi (XL, 2015).  Our last listen for the day — a pair of sisters doing Afro-Cuban downtempo electro soul.  Yowsa, what a mouthful.  This is out on a large indie so the production is pretty slick.  The second tune, Oya is pretty slow and torchy with a focus on the vocals in a sparse arrangement.  I’m on the fourth tune and while there have been a couple of moments of interesting singing, it’s not very remarkable music.  This could be intended to be sophisticated background music in yuppie bars and restaurants.

@@@ Melisande: Les Metamorphoses (Self-released, 2014) Another record off the WRIR weekly email.  Female vocalist singing in French, heavy electronic and world music influences.  Not sure if this is French Canadian, or French French but it’s a bit poppy for my taste.  Ah, the Google Tube says Canada, mystery solved.  Canadian electro-pop with a shmidge of world.

@@@ Nillson Matta’s Black Orpheus (Motema, 2013).  I saw the listing for Matta’s new record on the weekly WRIR email, but this effort from two years ago is on my Beats store.  This is a highbrow, quasi-classical jazz record with strong Brazilian music influences — think Sketches of Spain with more instruments.  You have to be wearing pants and be freshy showered to listen to this record and there’s room for everybody in the world music/jazz tent.