Music for 3/2/22!!! Blackberry Rose, Sally Shapiro

@@@ Blackberry Rose: I Can’t Shake the Stranger Out of You (Don Giovanni, 2022) Yowsa, who is singing here, Imma have to google this gent. Ah, that explains it, this is this band’s first album in 50 years, it’s got both a modern and a retro feel to it. The recording sounds recently made but the playing style is not common these days and the singer has some mileage on him for sure. I’m enjoying the second tune Gay Bar Blues more than the opener. From my googling, back in the day this gent released the first country album by an openly gay musician so big respect for that and it seems like he’s working this song with more conviction than the opener.

@@@ Sally Shapiro: Falling Clouds (Italians Do It Better, 2022) This is the kind of wispy, ’80s soft synth pop that I don’t super love. It is the combination of how the voice is presented on a bed of arpeggiated synth as well as some cloud synth action — blech, I don’t like it. It doesn’t mean other folks can’t love it, but I don’t like it. The beat is a little better than what you would expect from this sub genre but the beat is not enough to save the rest of it.

Music for 6/4/20!!! Laura Marling, Joel Plaskett, Rose City Band, Maya Rae

@@@ Laura Marling – Song For Our Daughter (Chrysalis/Partisan)  Today we listen off last week’s CFUV acoustic/folk/bluegrass section.  I dig some styles and formulas within this umbrella of genres there are also formulas I don’t enjoy much.  I’m on a low schmaltz, low sugar diet.  This is a stripped down ballad-y thing, female singer, strummed acoustic guitar and the meaningful piano ringing, and now strings.  I feel the schmaltz meter rising and oh I wish it wasn’t so.  I dig pretty but there’s such a thing as a cookie that’s too sweet, no?.  I was cool enough with the tune to accept the piano but the strings and the feels that emerge in the wake of them might be too much.  This is for people with good paying jobs that eat with manners and take regular showers.  So if you got a fat job and you have manners and wash your body along guidelines set by society this could work for you.

@@@ Joel Plaskett – 44 (Pheromone)  This is a 2.5 hour effort which makes me a bit suspicious.  I can barely listen to that even I was paid but to shit that much music out in one sitting is quite impressive and does make you wonder about quality control.  It’s a lonesome country/folk formula we have here, Plaskett’s lower voice, a mandolin, another stringed instrument, so there might be more instrumentation on the horizon, oh there is!  It’s a full band with slide guitar, a drum kit, and a tambourine to boot.  I’m thinking this is just the tune crying out for a bucket of cowbell, I’m super pro cowbell.  The drums sound a bit muffled, but I like his singing and the mandolin playing.  I like this more than I expected.

@@@ Rose City Band: Summerlong (Thrill Jockey, 2020)  Slotted as psychedelic on Apple Music, it comes on as mostly roots The Band, Lil Feet-esque business with just a schtickl of psych flavors mostly from the singer.  I do think they hit the guitar riff/figure a bit too repetitively but that’s just me.  There’s also some Grateful Dead feels up in here but not super first thing you hear.  The tunes tend to weigh in on the plump side, many at 5+ minutes so there’s gonna be a jammy feel going on here.  I do appreciate the dueling hippie shred that takes the tune out — it’s not exactly what I’m in the mood for but the homies can play.

@@@ Maya Rae: Can You See Me? (Black Hen, 2020)  The lead off track on this coffee house — singer/songwriter — soft rock record.  Rae has a sing song voice that she is showcasing to its fullest.  After that I hear an electric guitar respectfully chugging in the back, electric bass and there’s a bunch of organ vamping going on.  I love organ.  Remove the mask, remove the mask and one, two, three, can you see me?  That’s the hook here and while she’s singing metaphorically please where masks when you’re out in public during this pandemic.  I know it’s very complicated, the messaging that is.  You get a resonator guitar solo just past halfway and then a bunch of ornamental background vocal spirals to take you out.  I think I’m far too hateful to be the demographic of this track — this is for the NPR crowd.  No shame in that, it’s not my cup of sing song.

YTD recordings listened to: 410
Good music, not list worthy: 212
Not good music: 185

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, Tarek Atoui, Saicobab, General Purv, Shipping News, Big Thief, Mariachi El Bronx, Pour Me a Grog, Sudan Archives, Lakou Mizik, Moodymann, Pharmakon, Alefa Madagascar, Janjao, Luge, Wiki, Mick Jenkins, Jeremiah Jae, Fera, Gambian Griot Kora Duets, Drama, Beatrice Dillon, Mass Worship, mmmonika, Les Deuxluxes, Tony Allen, Fra Fra, Nihiloxica, Hailu Mergia, Pokey LaFarge, Nico Gomez, Nohe and Sus Santos, schroothoop, Tiny Bit of Giant’s Blood

 

 

Music for 11/26/19!!! Allison Moorer, Gulcher Lustwerk, Gibson Wilbanks

@@@ Allison Moorer: Blood (Autotelic/Thirty Tigers, 2019)  I got to this record via its 5 star review in the Guardian.  Moorer is country musician Shelby Lynne’s sister and they share a violent family event.  The first tune, Bad Weather, is sweet and melancholy highlighted by some eerie electronic garnish in the background and female vocal harmonizing.  I like it without loving it.  It’s a pretty straight country singer-songwriter record but I’m feeling this third track Nightlight.  Lyrically, the chorus works very well for my ears.  The fourth tune pivots to a funky rock sound on a track called The Rock and the Hill.  I think this is a very good record, but it’s not a 5 star record for me.

@@@ Galcher Lustwerk: Information (Ghostly, 2019)  This techno record has been getting mad visibility on Twatter from Twatter ads I suspect.  After a half sweet synth intro track it gets into banging the dancefloor.  Lightly spiced funk is how I would phrase it.  I don’t like the capitalist striving message of the second track I see a Dime but the third track, Another Story, pops all right with some deliciousness on the hi hat.  There is some rhyming going on in this third track and the combination of hip hop and techno is pretty uncommon in my listening adventures.  Given how big a push this record is getting I was expecting more from the record, it is a bit light.

@@@ Gibson Wilbanks: Oh Sweet Baby (Self-released, 2019) I got to this alt country tune via a music publicist email.  This title track is a classic country with a whole lot of sweetness.  I guess that’s why he called it oh sweet baby.  I’m a sucker for slide guitar, I think it’s a great sound.  Wilbanks’ voice is not the core sweet component of the track, it’s got a bit of gravel to it.  He is, however, joined by a female singer backin him at many points in the tune.  It’s not a lonesome tune.

YTD recordings listened to: 616
Good music, not list worthy: 370
Not good music: 208

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, Kelly Moran, Canalon de Timbiqui, Pour Me a Grog, Loscil, The Good Ones

 

Music for 7/16/19!!! Roisin Murphy, Lil Nas X, (Sandy) Alex G

@@@ Roisin Murphy: Incapable (Loaded/BMG, 2019)  I have not heard of this dancefloor diva til I peeped the Guardian’s songs of summer article that came yesterday.  This is some classic retro disco biscuitry with low key vocals — she’s not a 5 octave Mariah Carey kinda gal.  I don’t mind her vocal style but it would be more compelling if the sounds were less canned and fresher.  I’ve heard this track many many times and you have too without realizing it.  8:26 of white wedding dancing?  Perhaps.  Some people just want to get out their and wiggle their ass and there’s no shame in that but….c’mon there’s enough vanilla ice cream out there to fill many stadiums, naimsayin’?

@@@ Lil Nas X: Old Town Road (Sony, 2018) I’ve read tons about this song and Lil Nas X but I haven’t peeped it til now as I’m looking at the Guardian’s songs of the summer.  It’s a mildly country tune over a fat jeep bass and a trap beat.  It’s an unusual pairing sonically but it’s pretty simple like a popsicle and it comes and goes without making much more than noticing he black country drawled over some hip hop beats.  I don’t understand what all the fuss is about.  This smells a bit one hit wonder-y.

@@@ (Sandy) Alex G: Gretel (Domino, 2019)  A pre-release offkilter entry into the Guardian’s songs of the summer.  It gets into an indie groove with some Tim Hecker screaming types of drones in the back.  In come the shoegaze-y vocals and it’s the musical equivalent of an almost broke carnival.  At around 90 seconds the tune morphs into a strummed acoustic sing-a-long type of thing with what sound like calliope pipes.  Also gets garnished with shaker and mandolin it is both bright and dark at the same time.  Me personally I’m not feeling this as a summer track but that’s just me and it seems more like a music publicist’s successful crashing of a summer song list.

YTD recordings listened to: 355
Good music, not list worthy: 210
Not good music: 123

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

Music for 12/21/18!!! Nils Frahm, Django Django, First Aid Kit

@@@ Nils Frahm: All Melody (Erased Tapes, 2018) The #1 record off one of the more varied best of 2018 lists out of Esquire (of all places).  The first tune is titled The Whole Universe Wants to be Touched which is quite an eye grabbing title.  Let us see what Mr. Frahm has for us.  The description of this record was one of combining classical music and pop.  Of which I’m suspicious.  Oh boy, it’s true with some cathedral organ, some choir action.  Right here I want to hear Mother Mary cut a giant pussyfart!  To keep shit fresh.  Fuck that is so inapprops.  This is gonna take its time and I’m not sure I’m up for giving said time.  The third tune, A Place, brings in the electronic action and I’m more up for this combo platter.  I’m finding this a tedious pace.  The sounds are meticulous, they’re arranged well but it’s not holding my interest.  It might hold yours.

 

 

@@@ Django Django: Marble Skies (Ribbon Music, 2018)  Off the same best of list from Esquire.  This is proudly marketed as straddling every genre they can reach which is usually a red flag for my ears.  This first tune is a luxurious ’80 anchored synth/guitar thing with a lot of energy and maybe less purpose.  Or porpoise whichever way you go.  The second tune has a wooden dancehall beat and too many vocals.  I fear this release is not going to work for me.  This isn’t working for me.  It’s too soft and nowhere for my taste.

 

@@@ First Aid Kit: Ruins (Columbia, 2018) These days an album of Swedish farts would go gold.  Here we have two Swedish singers singing pop in various sonic settings.  This first tune is kinda alt country sad.  Okay, it looks like this is not pop, they’ve been rocking country/folk on the GooglePimp.  Let’s check more but my first impression is that there are dozens of American outfits that do this schtick much better.  I correct that, this is out there for non-country fans to hear pop singers do country songs.  This is like Abba having a lesbian love baby with Emmylou Harris.  It’s not awful, it’s pretty light.

YTD recordings listened to: 697
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 377
Not good music: 269

Best: 16
Honorable Mentions: 8

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, 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, Converge, 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

Music for 3/2/17!!! Aaron Watson, Fruko Y Sus Tesos, Mokoomba

@@@ Aaron Watson: Vaquero (BIG Label, 2017)  Honcho music blogger Bob Lefsetz had a glowing email review of this country record.  This first tune is neither cheesy new school country nor stripped down old time-y old country.  Instrumentation is guitar, drums, bass, slide, acoustic and fiddle.  This first tune is a soldier’s song and it’s all right.  The second tune is an upbeat love song with more bounce.  This third tune These Boots have Roots is the one that’s gonna move me to a new record.  It’s just too epic and arena-ey for my tastes, the lyrics being especially cloying for me.  Now if you’re a Trump-kin maybe you dig this but I can’t really abide it.

@@@ Fruko Y Sus Tesos: A La Memoria Del Muerto (Vampisoul, 2017)  Hard hitting salsa out of Colombia that I got to via the fine folks at WRIR in Virginia.  This is relentless music both rhythmically and melodically with a full ensemble of players and singers.  I’m going to have to hit the interwebz and check out if this is a new recording or a re-issue.  I re-read the review from the radio station and it looks like this album was recorded in 1972.  Wow, this is the business.  Check this record out, it will be on my best of year list for sure.

@@@ Mokoomba: Luyando (Outhere, 2017)  A single from the African country of Zimbabwe and though I prefer the West African music stylings this tune is all right.  It’s got an active singer, a bad ass flute player, a guitar player (I think) bass and multiple percussionists.  High energy, nice arrangement.

YTD recordings listened to: 145
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 79
Not good music: 45

Buys: 0
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, Fruko Y Sos Tesos

2016 Honorable Mention Pick 4

The Reverend Peyton and his Damned Big Band: So Delicious (Shanachie, 2015)

This roots rock record is both dirty and nerdy.  The band is high energy and pretty rocking (for the style) and the singer sports a unique lower register voice.  Combine his voice with some pretty whacky lyrics (the second tune is titled Pot Roast and Kisses) and you have an atypical and flavorful record.

In addition there is some pretty high end guitar pickin’ and playin’ going on here. When he hits the hook on the pro working class anthem Dirt with a cadre of female background singers it’s pretty entertaining.

There are a lot of good tunes on this record.  My favorite tunes are sport titles like Pot Roast and Kisses, Dirt, Scream at the Night, Front Porch Trained, and Music and Friends.  There is no irony or hipness to be found on this record, just some pro working people hayseed country pogo action.