Music for 10/13/21!!! Rev. Peyton’s Big Damn Band, Jupiter and Okwess

@@@ Rev. Peyton’s Big Damn Band: Dance Songs for Hard Time (Thirty Tigers, 2021) Also from Ted Gioia, though I’ve been a big fan of Rev. Peyton’s Big Damn Band for years, he’s a nut. This is the last track on a record released earlier this year. Once a bottle slide solo hits you get the full on Rev. Peyton — full mental church revival country redneck rock business, you can’t fuck with him! Come down angels, bring some heaven down to the ground, that’s the hook. Full background choir, manic guitar playing and simple almost thrash metal drumming. I’ve heard the Reverend before and I’m a huge fan. He’s got a couple of uplifters ‘I’ll lift you up’ and ‘Come Down Angels’ some political screeds ‘Crime to be Poor’ and straight roof blasters ‘Rattle Can’ which I enjoyed the most.

@@@ Jupiter & Okwess: Telejayi (Everloving Records, 2021) This is the first track of a record released in April 2021 and it’s a modified Afrobeat formula with additions — rock energy, more complex vocal arrangements in places. The energy is also more danceable and lighter than the righteous Fela business. I really like the space organ, it elevates the track, I’m agnostic on the vocals, and I don’t love the rock guitar tones. So a bit of a mixed bag much like Ted Gioia’s recommendations. Vocals in French, just sayin’. I really don’t like the guitar here but that’s just me.

Active Music Listening Tuesday May 19, 2015

YTD recordings listened to: 381
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 227
Not good music: 124

Honorable Mentions: 12
Buys: 9

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, Xibalba, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Waters

@@@ Circuit Des Yeux: In Plain Speech (Thrill Jockey, 2015).  Off the big ass list of Aquarius Records records from last week.   If the first tune is any kind of indication, oh it’s not, it’s gonna be an electronic record with art school vocals — very highbrow and somewhat abstract.  A little bit like Patty Smith woofing at a picture at an art gallery in Chelsea.  Here come the strings mixed with static and bleeps.  If the cd or lp doesn’t come with a stick to put up yer own ass in solidarity with the music, be prepared to head over to Home Depot to get your own butt stick.

@@@ Banditos: Banditos (Bloodshot, 2015)  This record lives in that dark, swampy ass ball connector sandwiched between garage punk, the blues, and redneck music.  Distorted guitar, banjo tucked in the back, big blues shouting vocals and a general trailer park vibe.  I like the Janis Joplin-esque female vocals of the second tune, Waiting.  A little bit of Credence, a little George Thorogood, a little Golden Earring.

@@@ DMA’S: Self-titled (Mom and Pop, 2015)  Some super sparkly, Oasis-inspired Brit rock.  Lots of anthemic vocal melodies and strummed guitar chords over classic rock drums.  Obligatory third song ballad, and I can’t think of anything cutting or sarcastic or something that makes me appear witty.

@@@ Roisin Murphy: Hairless Toys (PIAS America, 2015).  Off last week’s All Music ‘notable’ releases.  How can you not check out a record called hairless toys?  The first tune is sparse-tronica with a combination of synth sounds and some hammered percussion like vibraphone with some blue eyed falsetto soul vocals floating on the layer of bips and baps.  It’s a love baby of Eurhythmics and the Talking Heads and a couple of pubes of chill lounge music.  Speaking of hairless toys!

Active Music Listening Friday August 8, 2014

YTD recordings listened to: 612
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 381
Not good music: 184

Honorable Mentions: 4
Buys: 9

Possibles: Boyd Rivers, Chris McGregor, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Dave Arner Trio, Bill Horist, MAKU Soundsystem, Zomby, Retox, About Group, Jello Biafra, Fat Freddy’s Drop, Jessie Mae Hemphill, Kendl Winter, Shigeto, Bone Dance, Defeater, Sidi Toure, Lindi Ortega, Jonwayne, Christian Kjellvander, Okkyung Lee,  The Ballantynes, Debruit and Aljawal, Slidhr, The Whammies, The Chewers, La Misa Negra, Melingo, Alexander Hawkins, Cheryl Pyle,  Toxic Holocaust, Equal Stones, Comeback Kid, Third Coast Kings, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Charming Axe, Eccodek, Bio Ritmo, Pacifika, Kasai All Stars, Viet Cong, Open Mike Eagle, Lenguas Largas

@@@ Lenguas Largas: Come on In (Recess Records, 2014).  Sort of a dirty, punky band outfit I got to via a music publicist.  Some solid manic energy on this first track, the title track, Come on In.  We’ll see how things unfold — the second tune is a bit of a stranger, midtempo melancholic number called Blizzards of Snow.  The third tune is back to the buzzy guitars but a pretty sweet vocal melody.  These guys have skills — the layering of the vocal melodies over the dirty undercarriage works for me.  Check these guys out.

@@@ Adult Jazz: Gist Is (Spare Thought, 2014).  Off this week’s All Music weekly email.  Another genre masher — an out indie electronic/pop record.  If you can’t get with the singer you’re gonna find this to be an unpleasant listening experience.  He’s very ethereal sounding, a tad New Age due to his tone and delivery.  I like the drummer, and I find the arrangements to be pretty interesting.  It’s very interesting how this record is extremely quirky and poppy/accessible at the same time.

@@@ Spider Bags: Frozen Letter (Merge, 2014).  Slotted as garage punk on the All Music weekly email I clicked through until I saw the label was Merge.  And you know if it’s a Merge production it’s not gonna be too rough and I like garage punk raw and rough.  And as Elvis Costello sang My Aim is True.  The record is laced with a medium dose of racket, but a distinct lack of slash and burn garage punk.  If you like your garage punk kinda pudding sweet this could work for you.

@@@ Crater: Gross Relations (Mermaid Avenue, 2014)  A more interesting indie electronic tune that I got to via a music publicist email.  Standard reverberd out female vocals, but the arrangment is pretty smart with some interesting sonic changes as well as changes in the dynamics.

@@@ Minus the Bear: The Lucky Ones (Dangerbird Records, 2014)  A bit of a genre mash tune that I got to via a music publicist email.  A little prog, a little indie electronic, a little classic guitar indie, and a tad of a jam band feeling.  Lead voice is mellow and centered between the panned guitar lines.  I don’t like the synth part and I felt it was getting a bit bogged down in the title hook when they broke out of it into a jam.

Active Music Listening Tuesday April 2, 2013

YTD recordings listened to: 253
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 164
Not good music: 69
Buys: 9

Possibles: Sidsel Endresen & Stan Westerhus, Boyd Rivers, Abdoulaye Alhassane Toure, Cryptopsy, Nick Waterhouse, Patterson Hood, Skyzoo,  Chris McGregor, Brother Ali (2009), Alvin Youngblood Hart, Bob Gluck Trio, Ether Net, Oddisee, Holly Williams, Matt Davis’ Aerial Photograph, Hollis Brown.

@@@ Beached: Ride Your Heart (Dead Oceans, 2013).  I guess we have reached that point in rock music where the Strokes are considered to be a great influence.  Brisk tempos with minimalist arrangements, distorted but not disgusting sounding guitars, and a lack of solos.  If you take that formula, plug in a female singer and add a bunch of reverb to the various components of the mix, you pretty much have this record.  It’s solidly executed indie guitar rock, but not particularly noteworthy.

@@@ The Black Angels: Indigo Meadow (Blue Horizon, 2013)  A MOG new release page record.  A fuzzy stoner/garage thing with strong late ’60s/early ’70s post-hippie influences.  Great bass sound, but in my opinion the singer can’t carry the weight of the band.  I was never a big Blue Cheer kinda fella during my more youthful years, but I just checked one of their records on MOG and these guys are a more smoothed out and predictable Blue Cheer outfit.  Myself, I prefer Blue Cheer, it’s much wilder and the drummer is smokin’.

@@@ The Besnard Lakes: Until in Excess, Imperceptible Ufo (Jagjaguwar, 2013).  I’m a little lazy getting back in the swing of things, so I’m just going to write off the new release page on MOG.  Pretty and mopey indie rock with touches of shoegaze and 1980’s synth/soft rock.  Fear not, this is indie that takes you in its arms and gives you a meaningful hug.  The sound of the reord is well put together, but the songs just seemed to move past my ears without grabbing my attention.  Just to wrap up, I’m hearing a hint of Beach Boys threaded through the record so I just wanted to pass that on as accuracy matters.

@@@  The Band Perry: Pioneer (Republic, 2013).  Corporate country rock from the MOG new release page.  Very predictable songs and lyrics presented with expensive, modern production.

Active Music Listening Friday December 21, 2012

YTD recordings listened to: 987
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 574
Not good music: 356
Buys: 40 (not all 2012 releases)

Possibles: Zani Diabate, Isaiah Toothtaker (2011), Ondatropica, Sidsel Endresen & Stan Westerhus, The Ones to Blame, Boyd Rivers, Abdoulaye Alhassane Toure, Cryptopsy, Nick Waterhouse, Patterson Hood, Skyzoo,  Bettye Lavette, Philippe Petite, Chris McGregor, Brother Ali (2009), Bio Ritmo, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Mrs. Medicine, Nico Muhly, Bob Gluck Trio, Eric Boeren Quartet, Wadada Leo Smith/Louis Moholo, Converge, Unrecognizable Now.

@@@ Propaganda: Excellent (Humble Beast, 2012).  This is the shit.  This dude gets into some deep and cosmic rhymes on this record.  Instant year end best of list.  Smart and catchy production, but the rapper steals the show with all manner of topics on this record.  Excellent, excellent work.

@@@ Matthew Perryman Jones: Land of the Living (Cante Jondo, 2012)  An epic not so indie U2/Radiohead blend.  The singer is an eeire Thom Yorke and world saver Bono blend.  It’s well executed, but I wish it was more original.

@@@ Trip Lee: The Good Life (Reach Records, 2012)  More old school production than new school sounding, and a hard edged rapper that’s not gangsta.  High on energy, funkiness is present but not key.  It’s not my favorite formula, but this guy most definitely has skills and folks should check him out.

@@@ Wovenhand: Black of the Ink (Glitterhouse Records, 2012).  Finish off the day with some bleak country music.  While it’s not totally working for me, I appreciate the straight ahead no-bullshit, non-shiny approach of this musician.

Active Music Listening Friday October 26, 2012

YTD recordings listened to: 787
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 461
Not good music: 283
Buys: 26 (not all 2012 releases)
Possibles: Zani Diabate, Isaiah Toothtaker (2011), Ondatropica, Sidsel Endresen & Stan Westerhus, The Ones to Blame, Boyd Rivers, Abdoulaye Alhassane Toure, Cryptopsy, Nick Waterhouse, Patterson Hood, Wahid, Wadada Leo Smith ‘Ten Freedom Summers’, Skyzoo, Pig Destroyer, Bettye Lavette, Philippe Petite, Paul Giallorenzo, Chris McGregor, Brother Ali (2009)

@@@ The Emperors of Wyoming: I Never Got Over You/Cornfield Palace (Proper Records, 2012)  A couple tracks off this country rock record with Butch Vig on drums.  There’s a huge spread on the making of this record, all manner of gear porn, over here.  The drums sound great, the guitars are good, and the songs are solid but I would go for some classic John Hiatt records if you’re looking for some lyrics to listen to.

@@@ Ambassador Gun: Golden Eagle (Prosthetic, 2012).  I got to this recording from a metal mail order email.  A nice bass heavy thrash band — a thick volcanic guitar, bass bubbling interrupted by quick changes into thrashy sections.  The singer is shredding himself quite virulently — these guys are pretty upset.  I would give them an 8 on the Upset-O-Meter.  The second tune ‘Christbastard’ ups the upset even more.  Wow.  I like the kick drum sound they got on this record — it’s thick and wallopy instead of a super click-y kick.  If you want to get your thrash on for the weekend these guys are more than happy to oblige.

@@@ Rush Midnight: The Night Was Young Enough (Cascine, 2012).  From a music publicist email.  You can stream and read about it here at Spin.  Above average beats and a real bass line with the requisite layered synthesizers and average vocals.  Some better vocals would have really helped to elevate this track.

@@@ La Big Vic: Avenue B (Underwater Peoples, 2012).  You can stream or download this track over here at Stereogum.  I got to this track via a publicist email.  In typical music publicist fashion, one of the members of the group is an avant garde composer and the blurb for the track at Stereogum says it’s a jazz accented number.  This is all done to signal you that this is not dumb music, it has substance.  The tune does have a trumpet melody, but there’s nothing avant garde or particularly jazz-y about this track.  Please trust me on this as I’ve listened to hundreds of jazz records.  The tune has a laidback and quirky feel — it’s cool.

Active Music Listening Thursday October 18, 2012

YTD recordings listened to: 752
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 441
Not good music: 271
Buys: 25 (not all 2012 releases)
Possibles: Dennis Bovell, Zani Diabate, Isaiah Toothtaker (2011), Ondatropica, Sidsel Endresen & Stan Westerhus, The Ones to Blame, Boyd Rivers, Abdoulaye Alhassane Toure, Cryptopsy, Nick Waterhouse, Patterson Hood, Wahid, Wadada Leo Smith ‘Ten Freedom Summers’, Skyzoo, Pig Destroyer, Bettye Lavette, Philippe Petite, Paul Giallorenzo

@@@  Jasmine Lovell-Smith’s Tower Poppies: Fortune Songs (Paintbox, 2012)  I found this record via an email for a free improvisation series in Philadelphia.  For those folks who are put off by the skronk of high octane free jazz shredding Ms. Smith offers a more laid back but engaging style for your earholes.  The second tune, Darkling I Listen, is what I would call a small room piece where the playing is tightly knit and on the quieter side dynamically.

@@@ Black Pistol Fire: Big Beat ’59 (Rife Bird Records, 2012).  I got to this proud to be shitkickin’ hillbilly blues record via a weekly email from CFUV in Canada.  Not quite as dirty as the gents in Left Lane Cruiser, oh, I might have to take that back — shit is melting down in the second tunes Stripes or Keys in quite a pleasant manner.  Now we’re getting some real nice guitar playing in the third tune ‘Crows Feet’.  If you’re a fan of this sub-genre of dirty ass white boy blues, check these guys out.

@@@ The Home of Easy Credit: Self-titled (Northern Spy, 2012).  I found this duo sax/processed bass record over here at Killed in Cars.  The first tune is some saxophone improv on top of a sort of agitated non-static more metallic electronic noise, which I believe is an amplified acoustic bass.  I’m not sure the waves of sound in the second track ‘The Dream of a Democracy of Goods’ is bass generated but I find I’m listening more to the backdrop than the sax.  Solid but not mesmerizing.

@@@ Beans: End it All (Anticon, 2011).  This hip hop record is on the MOG Editor’s Picks page.  Mr. Beans is primarily interested in delivering a packed verbal flow experience to the listener.  I’m short of breath just listening to him spit.  The overall vibe of the music is old school, which I dig, and I always appreciate the non-gangsta topics.  I thought it was kind of less funky than I wanted then the second tune ‘Deathsweater’ hit and it’s pretty funky.  I don’t think I really appreciate the technical aspects of his microphone skills enough to be blown away by this record, but he does indeed have skills.

@@@ Ellen Goulding: Halcyon (Interscope, 2012).  Both breathy and wispy pop.  A bit of New Age vibe swirled with a modern Broadway thing and a little club music diva goin on.  Not as assaulting as the current wave of electro-pop, so I welcome that.  I continue to denounce any singers for the over breathing orgasm singing.  Both female and male singers, please don’t do it, it’s awful and distasteful.  Orgasm breathing is readily available on the net in the pornier district.

@@@  Anberlin: Vital (Republic, 2012).  A MOG front page release.  Meticulously curated corporate rock. it’s hard for to get much feeling off this music, which is why I listen to music.  I appreciate the work that went into it, but it doesn’t work for me.

Updates to Best of 2012 list

Left Lane Cruiser and James Leg: Painkillers (Alive Naturalsound, 2012).  I was about to put this record in my honorable mention category as I really enjoyed Junkyard Speedball from last year so much that I thought this record couldn’t hang with that one.  But I gave this album of covers done in a punk blues manner another spin and the vibe is tighter than a bull’s ass at fly time.  This is the sort of anti-social nastiness the world needs more of.  I think of this as the pinnacle of trailer park culture and about as funky and down in the gutter as white people can get. (Added 10/14/12)

Seluah: Red Parole (Karate Body Records, 2012).  I tend to want to push up smaller releases but don’t want to be another music biz hack pushing my own agenda over the music itself.  I thought maybe I was making this record better than it is, but it’s pretty hot.  The core of its appeal for me is the way the singer’s detached voice and delivery floats over the rest of the band in a really alienating and fresh way.  Some serious time was spent pimping out the drum sound on this record.  There are moments of rockin’, and moments of lyrical prettiness.

I say this about certain records, but if the music business was a meritocracy and knew how to function in a healthy manner this record would be huge. (Added 10/14/2012)

Honorable Mention:

Donnie & Joe Emerson: Dreamin’ Wild (Light in the Attic, 2012).  A re-issue of a 1970’s diy lo-fi thing, this recording is a wet dream for the hipster community.  It’s got musical integrity for surfacing after all these years, it’s funky and a little ironic coming in a capsule form, and it’s a swirl of late 70’s dream rock, funk and pop.  I dig the second song ‘Gimme a Chance’ and the schmaltz of the ballad ‘Baby’. (Added 10/14/2012)

Active Music Listening August 23, 2012

YTD recordings listened to: 534
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 307
Not good music:196
Buys: 17 (not all 2012 releases)
Possibles: Le Super Borgou De Parakou, Left Lane Cruiser/James Leg, Dennis Bovell, Seluah, Donnie and Joe Emerson,  Zani Diabate, Isaiah Toothtaker (2011), Ondatropica, Lianne Le Havas, Alexandra Grimal, Sidsel Endresen & Stan Westerhus, The Ones to Blame, Boyd Rivers

@@@ Boyd Rivers:  Living Country Blues USA (L&R Records, 1983).  Found this old school, now deceased bluesman over here at Big Rock Candy Mountain.    The record cover says Country Gospel Rock and the brother will not let you down.  A jaunty fingerpicking style and a big roaring voice — you just can’t fuck with this American music.

I guess there’s a new anthology of his music out on Mississippi Records, but it’s not on Spotify so if you feel this country gospel rock brother go seek out more and ye shall be delivered, naughty sinner.

God bless the fringers of the internet for keeping these guys visible.  This guy has the spirit and you can hear it.

@@@ Karen Dalton: 1966 (Delmore Recording Society).  It don’t get much more stripped down than this.  A woman singing and accompanying herself on guitar singing classic folk/people songs.  Good thing she has a very good voice because it’s pretty minimalist up in here.

Upon Wikipediation, this is an older recording from the 1960’s and she gets compared to Billie Holiday and Bob Dylan sang with her and it’s cool.

@@@ Golden Retriever: Occupied with the Unspoken (Thrill Jockey, 2012).  Hmmm, synthy.  Two minutes into the first tune and we’re ass deep in about 3-4 synthesizers.  I could use a beat.  Can I get a beat?  We’re getting a synth version of an epic guitar solo.  Some might say this is a bit self-indulgent.  It gets pretty epic when the sub bass starts rumbling underneath Eddie Van Moogin’, but I don’t know, it’s not super my thing although I appreciate the extremeness of its synthiness.

@@@ Mikael Simson: Narkokys.  You can peep this tune over here at Russian adults.  It has a Sigur Ros feel, but more folk-y and less abstract with the Sigur Ros sonics in the background.  It felt long, which isn’t usually a good sign.

@@@ Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti: Mature Themes (4AD, 2012).  Sort of Devo/Frank Zappa/They Might Be Giants synth-y weird indie rock.  I know this guy is a darling of the indie hipsters and I don’t want to upset any hipsters for I am scared of the hipsters and their tight blue jeans.  He’s got a level of musicality and creativity I can get with and his arranging skills are pretty sharp , but man could he sound any whiter?  I guess it’s quirkiness uber alles these days.  B.

Active Music Listening Wednesday August 22, 2012

YTD recordings listened to: 529
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 305
Not good music:194
Buys: 17 (not all 2012 releases)
Possibles: Le Super Borgou De Parakou, Left Lane Cruiser/James Leg, Dennis Bovell, Seluah, Donnie and Joe Emerson,  Zani Diabate, Isaiah Toothtaker (2011), Ondatropica, Lianne Le Havas, Alexandra Grimal, Sidsel Endresen & Stan Westerhus, The Ones to Blame

@@@ The Ones to Blame: Better Times (Self released, 2012).  You can hear these guys over here.  An update on the legendary X formula — less punky but great male/female singer shit kickin’ music.  Oh my, after going to CD Baby, it appears that there is not a male singer in the band but a lady with a deep voice.  My mistake.

These ladies are deep underground — you can stream them over here at CD Baby.

I’d like to check this whole record out.

@@@ Ernest Ranglin:  Guitar Ska Roots (Master Classics Records, 2011)  I was reading about Ernest Ranglin over here and ended up listening to this record.  I can not be sure that this is a new recording from last year or a re-issue.  If it’s a new recording then Mr. Ranglin can surely play his ass off at 79 years young.  Being from Jamaica maybe the roti is keeping him young, whatever it is, it’s impressive.  Mr. Ranglin has a tone reminiscent of the great Les Paul — percussive, bright and catchy.  Ranglin has been on more records than you could possibly imagine so hes got the bona fides.

If you dig instrumental rocksteady music, and I do, you should surely check this out.

@@@  Ircha-Mikolaj Trzaska Clarinet Quartet:  Watching Edvard (Kilogram Records, 2012)  I was looking over here for some non-American music, came across the name Waclaw Zempel and ended up on Spotify listening to this record.  I don’t have a lot of clarinet quartet references but I found this record very soothing — clarinets droning together and then breaking out is pretty cool.

Via the glory of Youtube here they are:

@@@ Kati Mac: Save me From Myself. (Self-released, 2012).  Sultry female voice in front of a clean country/blues band.  I like the dirty sound.  It’s not really my cup of tea.

@@@ Blonds: The Bad Ones (Gluck, 2012).  These guys have the song of the day over here at KEXP.  R&B-ballad-tronica, think of Adele with a drum machine, but with less drama.  An interesting formula.  Layered vocals the female singer can sing, which is more than an awful lot of indie outfits can claim.  There are even some strings up in there with the usuall electronica frames we all know.

Doesn’t really blow me away, but I give respect to a creative formula.  Very cool combination of sounds I would never have thought of.