Music for 8/11/17!!! Whitney K., Whitehorse, Pink, The National

@@@ Whitney K: When the Party’s Over (Egg Paper Factory, 2017)  Some super laid-back roots music off this week’s CFUV playlist email.  Imma thinking there was some purple drank up in that studio or the coffee was running low.  This first tune has multiple guitars, a pulsing bass, and no beats.  The singer has made his appearance and he’s mad slack.  The first two tunes I dig the electric guitar playing but when the acoustic dirge starts up on the third track Imma movin’ on.  Oh that was just the intro as the full band comes in and they get a little Crazy Horse-y on this jam.  I like it all right.

@@@ White Horse: Panther in the Dollhouse (Six Shooter, 2017)  Super smooth electro-rock off this week’s CFUV playlist email.  A male and female singer going together, a rock guitarist, super smooth background vocals and arena rock drums.  The second tune gets a bit funkier with a nice, sparse baseline but then it explodes into a big mainstream rock chorus.  It’s Radiohead without the angst and the slick production doesn’t super work for me.

@@@ Pink: What About Us? (RCA, 2017)  I have fondness for Pink but I’m not sure this tune is going to work for me.  Cheesy ass lyrics and epic reverb patches that explode into a four on the floor EDM What About Us vocal hook?    What about us?  What about all the plans that ended in disaster?  What about love?  What about trust?  I’m guessing this is about somebody who leaves their family.  I checked around the web and this is referred to as an empowering tune so it functions at many levels.  Not for me but others I guess.

@@@ The National: Carin at the Liquor Store (4AD, 2017)  I think I dislike The National almost as much as Wilco.  This pre-release single is a Nick Cave wannabe but with less misery and more epic-ness.  My main problem is that of faux sophistication as these guys sound as if they feel themselves to be exquisitely unique artistes but I hear a pretty standard arena indie band that is too predictable to be focused on not much except moving units.  Now streaming units not actual plastic/metal discs.

YTD recordings listened to: 521
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 282
Not good music: 217

Buys: 8
Honorable Mentions: 6

Possibles: Chris McGregor, Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, Slidhr, The Chewers, Toxic Holocaust, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, T.O.M.B., 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, 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, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, James Brandon Lewis, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, J.I.D., Oddisee, Forro in the Dark, RAM, Fiver, Dona Onete, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Priests, Propaganda, This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez, Integrity

Music for 7/21/17!!! The Grape and the Grain, Umoja, Lafo Taylor and Aabo, Jeremy Pinnell

@@@ The Grape and the Grain: Holy Rollin’ (The Grape and the Grain, 2017)  If you’re looking for some sexy boy classic rock for your hot summer day these guys will hook you up.  I got to this EP via a music publicist.  The singer is feeling his hormones.  I’m not sure about the guitar player as he sounds like he’s been holed up in his room studying great rock differs from days gone by.  Big Foghat/Led Zeppelin/Lenny Kravitz/Bad Company vibes here for sure.  The drummer is pulling his weight or otherwise this trip into very familiar territory would fall apart.  I liked the opening track the best.

@@@ Umoja: 707 (Awesome Tapes from Africa, 2017)  A South African bubblegum disco re-issue I got to via this week’s WRIR review email.  I tend to be a bit prejudiced against South African music as the beats don’t have the heaviness of the West African music.  The reviewer makes the good point that these early synths and drum machines are making a comeback in the tight blue jean indie crowd so folks should check out the African working of these sounds.  They’re not my favorite sounds but they’re deployed in a much funkier manner here than white boys and white girls and their wonder bread funk.

@@@ Lafa Taylor & Aabo: Feel (Mixto, 2017).  Some hip hop influenced club boom/titch I got to via the new release section of Apple Music.  A couple MCs freestylin’, some synth bass and other non bass patches.  The second tune has a less pleasing vocal hook.  This is the kind of music they have on in Wall Street bars — bouncy, low IQ, and faux funky just like the folks listening.

@@@ Jeremy Pinnell: Different Kind of Woman (Sofaburn 2017)  A pre-release singer from a down and out country singer whose debut made my year end list.  I like Pinball’s voice — it’s world weary but not so flat and boring that I want to turn the stereo off.  On top of that Pinnell’s band is pretty top notch, especially the guitarist.  This is not your standard Nashville babyfood, and thank God for that.

YTD recordings listened to: 475
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 260
Not good music: 194

Buys: 7
Honorable Mentions: 6

Possibles: Chris McGregor, Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, Slidhr, The Chewers, Toxic Holocaust, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, T.O.M.B., 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, 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, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, James Brandon Lewis, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, J.I.D., Oddisee, Forro in the Dark, RAM, Fiver, Dona Onete, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Dead Ranch, Priests, Propaganda. This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez

Music for 7/16/17!!! Kesha, American Football

@@@ Kesha: Woman (Kemosabe, 2017)  Post sexual harassment Kesha returns with a feminist  banger that combines old school horn lines and cheesy mainstream soul pop.  For example, the beat has no crunk to it at all and she seems intent on saying the word motherfucker more than anything else lyrically.  She does have an interesting line telling everyone to get off her weed but she wears out the line til it’s clever no longer.  Something a little deeper musically and lyrically would have worked better for me, but it’s shallow so it’s probably gonna be huge.

@@@ American Football: American Football (LP2) (Polyvinyl, 2017)  This looks to be some meaningful rock that I got to via a music publicist.  Lots of arpeggiated indie guitars and yearning vocals in this first tune.  It’s very pretty.  This feels a bit operatic and long so let’s peep past this first tune.  Oh my, this is highly manicured and overwrought as this second tune My Instincts are the Enemy.  It’s interesting to me that rock was initially about rebellion and energy and this is somewhat the complete opposite.  The energy here is so polished and contained it sounds mad Republican.

YTD recordings listened to: 455
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 250
Not good music: 185

Buys: 7
Honorable Mentions: 6

Possibles: Chris McGregor, Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, Slidhr, The Chewers, Toxic Holocaust, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, T.O.M.B., 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, 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, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, James Brandon Lewis, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, J.I.D., Oddisee, Forro in the Dark, RAM, Fiver, Dona Onete, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Dead Ranch, Priests, Propaganda. This is the Kit.

Music for 7/14/17!!! Prins Thomas, Randall Bramblett, This is the Kit

@@@ Prins Thomas: Square One (Smalltown Supersound, 2017)  A left field electronic record I got to via last week’s All Music notable release email.  This first tune is not particularly left field as it opens up with a very straight beat and minimal kinda rock sounds on top of it.  Snoozy, let’s peep more.  The second tune follows a similar low key formula.  I’m not sure I get the appeal here.  I think this record would be great background listening for yuppie assholes to sit around and drink $20 cocktails to but as the main course, it’s pretty conservative and not particularly engaging.

@@@ Randall Bramblett: Juke Joint at the end of the World (New West, 2017)  Updated bar rock from last week’s All Music notable release email.  Bramblett has a gravelly voice and his full band sounds a bunch like a not drunk version of the Blues Brothers.  The organ player stands out for catching my ear.  The production is bright and cheery.  The third tune, Trippy Little Thing, is the best of what I heard.  The mainstream sound of the record seems a bit at odds with the vibe of the music.

@@@ This is the Kit: Moonshine Freeze (Rough Trade, 2017)  Indie folk off last week’s All Music notable release email.  I like this first tune a bunch for it’s tasteful arrangement but this is music for snowflakes.  Wow, really nice orchestration and arranging skills on display here.  Regular readers know that I feel indie music, as a genre, is greatly overrated as music but this works as music despite its use of a pretty soft palette.  I don’t know who put these songs together in the studio but they did a really good job.

YTD recordings listened to: 453
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 250
Not good music: 183

Buys: 7
Honorable Mentions: 6

Possibles: Chris McGregor, Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, Slidhr, The Chewers, Toxic Holocaust, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, T.O.M.B., 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, 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, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, James Brandon Lewis, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, J.I.D., Oddisee, Forro in the Dark, RAM, Fiver, Dona Onete, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Dead Ranch, Priests, Propaganda. This is the Kit.

Music for 7/6/17!!! Ifriqiyya Electrique, Mister Mellow, Ezra Furman

@@@ Ifriqiya Electrique: Ruwahine (Glitterbeat, 2017) Sufi trance music out of North Africa mixed with electronic sounds that I got to via this week’s WRIR music charts email.  I’m into the second song and it’s heavy on the hand drumming and the chanting vocals.  This is not beach music, do not listen to this while you’re drinking shitty beer.  I was about to politely step away from this record when they brought in the guitar and get into an epic hand drum/chant/guitar mashup.  I’ll stay longer now, it’s very interesting and I can imagine this being pretty face peeling live.  I’m in the fourth tune and I like it without super loving it.

@@@ Mister Mellow: Burn Out Blues ( , 2017)  Off the Apple Music best of the week list.  Slacker dude voice with a very tasteful bass pulse and some tight twinklesauce.  You even get cowbells, motherfuckers!  That’s what I expect from Trump, more cowbell!  The vocals are a weak point but the rest is pretty spot on for a popular track.  Mister Mellow needs a Red Bull yo, the arranger is cool where he’s at.

@@@ Ezra Furman: Big Fugitive Life (Bella Union, 2017)   I saw the Line of Best Fit has an interview with this modern day rocker.  After hitting the play button I think I’ve heard Mr. Furman’s music before.  He’s got sweetness and glam swirled up into his tracks, most notably in the vocal melodies.  He’s also laying claim to Clarence Clemon’s  sax solos and big American Bruce Springsteen rock.  This second tune gets into Elvis Costello type rock (more mid period Elvis, not the early shit) — the sax player is back on the third tune and I appreciate Furman mixes whatever he wants and lets it all hang out.  No pretension, just get your freak flag on.

YTD recordings listened to: 430
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 238
Not good music: 172

Buys: 7
Honorable Mentions: 6

Possibles: Chris McGregor, Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, Slidhr, The Chewers, Toxic Holocaust, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, T.O.M.B., 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, 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, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, James Brandon Lewis, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, J.I.D., Oddisee, Forro in the Dark, RAM, Fiver, Dona Onete, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Dead Ranch, Priests, Propaganda

Music for 7/5/17!!! Tough Age, Moor Mother, Haviah Mighty

@@@ Tough Age: Unclean (Mint, 2017)  Take the Violent Femmes, give them a Red Bull enema and a gal as the singer and voila, this record.  Also plenty of Ramones mustard floating around.  The second tune takes it down a notch with the same sounds while the third tune is more epic and longer with less manic and more dreamy indie guitar rock stylings.  It’s just a three pack so there it is!

@@@ Moor Mother & Mental Jewelry: Crime Waves EP (Don Giovanni, 2017)  Off the hip hop section of the CFUV weekly playlist email.  It’s left field to be sure with plenty of echo and a chopped vibe to the sounds.  The MC is gritty with some weirdness which goes with the unusual sounds.  The second tune is a post-apocalyptic cough syrup jam with a low barely percussive loop and plenty of low frequency swirl and loads of reverb on the MC’s voice.  This second tune is called Death Booming so the sounds match the vibe here.  I couldn’t peep the third tune due to interwebz issues but this fourth tune is a continuation of a dark post-industrial sounds though I’m catching more political lyrics.  Check it if you’re hanging at home blasted out on Oxycontin and waffles.

@@@ Haviah Mighty: Flower City (Self-released, 2017)  A more standard and self-released hip hop record also off this week’s CFUV weekly email.  On this first track a female MC mixes her rhymes with synth-y, clubby sounds, skittery beats and well crafted bass grizzle.  I prefer the rhymed sections to the sung sections and if you dig the rhyming/singing combo platter and synth based hip hop works for you check her out.

YTD recordings listened to: 427
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 235
Not good music: 172

Buys: 6
Honorable Mentions: 6

Possibles: Chris McGregor, Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, Slidhr, The Chewers, Toxic Holocaust, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, T.O.M.B., 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, 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, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, James Brandon Lewis, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Power Trip, J.I.D., Oddisee, Forro in the Dark, RAM, Fiver, Dona Onete, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Dead Ranch, Priests, Propaganda

Music for 6/30/17!!! Catharsis, Benny Cassette, Propaganda, OneRepublic

@@@ Ryan Keberle & Catharsis: Find a Common, Shine a Light (Greenleaf, 2017)  My favorite jazz singer is Billie Holiday.  I love that blues sadness and I struggle with the more intricate and slightly New Age sentiments of the opener (and title track) of this record.  I see folks might find these lyrics meaningful and important but I don’t.  I like the horn work, I wish they had a piano instead of an electric organ, and I find the production a bit highbrow for my taste.  Everybody plays and sings well, it’s just not my cup of tea.

@@@ Benny Cassette: Heart Of Darkness (Warner Bros, 2017)  A breezy trip hop-like single I got to from a music publicist.  It’s love and broccoli that’s what I hear.  I’m good but not great with the beat, I like the bass, the singer is tad light but it’s the lyrics that I can’t get with.  We’re broken and we can’t be fixed – f’real yo, that’s what you got?  I see with the love and the weed there is a sadness cuz he’s breaking up but it’s not fully fleshed out and it’s prettified rather than being focused.  From the promo blurb, Mr. Cassette is a producer so he’s got the sounds.

@@@ Propaganda: Crooked (Humble Beast, 2017)  I’ve always liked Propaganda’s voice and his racial politics, but I haven’t connected with anything since his record Excellent.  However, he’s on it and direct on the opener and title track so let’s hope he throws down like this the whole track.  This first tune slays and I don’t mean Beyonce spectacle-style.  I’m on the fourth tune and I like the sounds here and I love the two political tunes a whole bunch.  Propaganda

@@@ OneRepublic: Truth to Power (Interscope, 2017) I’m pretty sure this tune is gonna blow dogs but it’s fascinating from a political perspective.  I get OneRepublic confused with OneDirection and OneErection, but this is coopting a sentiment that some people feel deeply about and transform into sweet and pretty cheese for the unthinking folks out there.  They may mean it, I can’t say it, but I don’t buy it.  This is pandering as far as I can see and I ask good Americans not to put this cheese on two slices of bread and eat because it’s poison.  The gospel choir (for seriousness), the falsetto crooning (for passion), the rote sentiments (for going down smooth), you hear me?

YTD recordings listened to: 416
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 230
Not good music: 166

Buys: 6
Honorable Mentions: 6

Possibles: Chris McGregor, Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, Slidhr, The Chewers, Toxic Holocaust, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, T.O.M.B., 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, 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, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, James Brandon Lewis, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Power Trip, J.I.D., Oddisee, Forro in the Dark, RAM, Fiver, Dona Onete, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Dead Ranch, Priests, Propaganda