3/12/16: Brian Fallon, Flatbush Zombies, Mykki Blanco

@@@ Brian Fallon: Painkillers (Island, 2016).  If Bruce Springsteen had a baby with Bryan Adams it would sound like this guy.  A gruff voice and super poppy arrangements behind him — like ginger ale with a  little sand in it.  The guitars are so jangly they make your teeth hurt.  These may be the most guitar jangle I’ve ever heard.  Big mainstream production, tambourine in the second song and I’m expecting cow bell soon.

@@@ Flatbush Zombies: 3001: A Laced Odyssey (Glorious Dead, 2016)  Psychedelic hip hop off the Apple Music front page.  Same with Mr. Janglebones up above.  While I dig the massive bass pulses and the multiple MC attack I think they’re going for an updated Wu Tang Clan vibe and the arrangements aren’t quite up to prime RZA productions.  Solid B, but I could have used more psychedelia.

@@@ Mykki Blanco: Gay Dog Food (Uno NYC, 2014).  I saw this left field hip hop/queercore artist on this week’s Aquarius Records’ weekly email.  This first tune is electro, sparse, and more than a tad ago.  This second tune, New Feelings is certainly not politically correct but he’s flying the freak flag high fo sure.  I’m not sure he’s trying to rock the mic in a particular way he’s just letting it all hang out.  He’s got some nice sounds going around him.

YTD recordings listened to: 244
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 135
Not good music: 89

Honorable Mentions: 5
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, Los Hacheros

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11/28/15: Danny L. Harle, Coldplay, Megadeth

@@@ Danny L. Harle: Broken Flowers EP (Sony, 2015).  Off the Apple Music hot tracks section.  One of the reasons you need to be stoned to listen to most of today’s electronic music is that they take a hook and they beat the fuck out of you with it and it’s not annoying when you’re really high.  The production here is pretty slick with plenty of sonic goodies, the sounds are pretty childish, and the songs are low IQ with standard EDM beats.

@@@ Coldplay: A Head Full of Dreams (Parlophone/Warner, 2015).  Coldplay has a new album out in about a week and thankfully they only have a couple of tracks up on Apple Music.  I prefer the company of ISIS terrorists to the music of Coldplay.  I’m peeping the first track up called Everglow and it’s lounge piano right out of the gate with a flaccid electro beat underneath.  And here comes the earnest wanker of a singer.  It’s not Chanukah but oy!  We just had pizza for dinner I don’t need any more cheese.  Somebody get me a razor so I can kill myself.  He’s really singing now with passion and I can imagine a street vendor squirting cheap mustard on a boiled hot dog.  Okay, let’s check out the next tune.  This one’s gonna be a rocker?  Buckle up, oh wait it’s a lukewarm tea to be sure.  It’s almost a disco tune, fuck me.  Coldplay doing disco, you can’t beat that with a fucking stick.

@@@ Megadeth: The Threat is Real (Universal, 2015).  Megadeth has a new single out that was commissioned by the military industrial complex.  I’ve never been a Megadether and I know the dude is a stark raving mad Republican, so fuck him.  The drums are more arena/hard rock, the guitars have a nice thick smack to them, but the vocals are kinda cheesy.  Ah, he just screamed the threat is real and I shit my pants!  Fuck, I didn’t know it’s real.  The guitar solos are kinda hype in a classic metal kinda way.  Freak out everybody, the threat is real!!!!

YTD recordings listened to: 957
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 541
Not good music: 331

Honorable Mentions: 23
Buys: 13

Possibles: Chris McGregor, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Dave Arner Trio, 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, Mohamed Abozekry, Dawn Richard, Leo Welch, Mastery, Leviathan, Xibalba, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Ellen Jewell, Akitsa, Richard Thompson, Jeremy Pinnell, Pat Thomas, Janelle Monae, The Alchemist, Luther Dickinson, Andra Day, Frog Eyes, Madd Again!, Fuck the Facts, Shannon and the Clams, Destruction Unit, Rim Kwaku Obeng, Graeme Barrett, Kowloon Walled City, Lionel Loueke, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Noisem, Cavanaugh, Gentleman Surfer, Satoko Fuji, Tinariwen

8/19/15: New Politics, The Alchemist, Tom Carter, Doug Locke

@@@  New Politics: Vikings (DCD2/Warner Bros, 2015).  Super bombastic pop rock off the Beats highights page.  Big beat drums, aka known as frat rock beats, with half sung/half rapped lyrics, and a pretty standard guitar riff.  They bite the Beasties with the no sleep til Brooklyn part of their vocal.  Everywhere I Go, I’m as high as United, fly with me, Everbody knows there’s no sleep til Brooklyn.  Hooky and douche-y a the same time.   Oh boy, this second tune heads right out to the shopping mall for a rock banger.  I’ve grown very accustomed to simple lyrics, booty bumpin lyrics, but these guys worked hard to pack extra stupid into their music.

@@@ The Alchemist & Oh No: You Disgust Me (Mass Appeal, 2015).  Some left field hip hop I got to via the Beats Highlights page.  Twangy spaghetti Western guitars, some dub delays, and a generally dirty ass vibe in this second tune, Reversals.  I like the beats on this tune, though I can’t tell if it’s a drummer or programmed.  A toilet flush, most excellent!!  The third and fourth tunes have the soiled funk of the Wu, but with less stripped down arrangements.  I’m usually pretty put off by the gangsta lyrics but the arrangements here are hot and it’s not full gangsta, tho a couple folks get bullet tatted in the third tune.  Imma gonna swing back on this record.

@@@ Tom Carter: Entraertne (Three Lobed Recordings, 2015)  A very well done, multi-tracked and processed guitar piece I got to via the Twitter.  I like to check out the Twitter records they’re brief.  I can hear loops of backwards guitars, a short arpeggio, and some improvised guitar over that.  The tune peaks at around 4 minutes (8 minutes total) and I like the understated but epic ending to the track.

@@@  Doug Locke: Give it Up (Doug Locke, 2015).  An electro r&b single I got to via a music publicist email.  Falsetto vocals, a fat synth bass, with some ping pong synths on top of that, all over the classic boom titch club beat.  He does a good job on the vocals and there’s a nice wanky guitar hook.  The promo email likens him to Lenny Kravitz, which is pretty deceiving.  It’s an r&b/disco club banger yo, better than most.  Nice string arrangement at the end.

YTD recordings listened to: 657
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 382
Not good music: 225
Honorable Mentions: 16
Buys: 10

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, Mohamed Abozekry, Dawn Richard, Leo Welch, Mastery, Leviathan, Xibalba, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Ellen Jewell, Akitsa, Chico Trujillo, Richard Thompson, Jeremy Pinnell, Hope Drone, Pat Thomas, Knauti, Janelle MonaeDefeater, 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, Mohamed Abozekry, Dawn Richard, Leo Welch, Mastery, Leviathan, Xibalba, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Ellen Jewell, Akitsa, Chico Trujillo, Richard Thompson, Jeremy Pinnell, Hope Drone, Pat Thomas, Knauti, Janelle Monae, The Alchemist

Active Music Listening Saturday October 27, 2012

YTD recordings listened to: 790
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 463
Not good music: 284
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)

@@@ Kariem Riggins: Alone Together (Stones Throw, 2012).  I got to this record after seeing a write up here at the Quietus.  It’s an instrumental hip hop record and Riggins is the jazz trained drummer driving the bus.  I’m a total hip hop square, but they mix him like he’s a drum machine — they don’t give his playing a real live drum room sound.  The arrangements are good, but I was hoping for some drum shredding to go with the arrangements.

@@@ Sky Ferreira: Ghost EP (Capitol, 2012).  A surprisingly restrained piece of singer songwriter pop from a major label.  No orgasm breathing, just a band with a woman out front singing.  Oh wait, I’m fucked.  The first tune was a slow tune with instruments and then the second tune ‘Lost in My Bedroom’ brings the breathy singing and the electro pop.  I feel so all alone in my bedroom with my breathy breating hiding under my blanket made out of electro pop fatigue.  I need a hug and a break from the market tested formulas for shifting musical units.

@@@ Bat for Lashes: Haunted Man (EMI UK, 2012)  This MOG front page release opens up with a wispy female voice over a tiny guitar.  Dramatic.  And here comes the synthesizers and the beats.  Oh, the beats.  I’m starting to wonder if there is a tidal wave of this music happening right now as it’s relatively cheap to produce compared to a traditional band release, or whether folks are lapping this music.  In my blog travels, from hipster to Main Street, I don’t see a ton of ebullience for it.  Think Tori Amos without the piano.   This record does have drums and other instruments in addition to the electronics and these are songs with changes and flow.  I would put this in the ambient New Age pop rock category as it has elements of all those genres hot glued together.