Music for 12/7/17!!! Protomartyr, Vince Staples, King Krule

@@@ Protomartyr: Relatives in Descent (Domino, 2017)  Take an art school lounge-y singer and put him in a hipster Devo type of band with a quasi frantic drummer and you pretty much have the opening tune of this record.  The second tune, Here is the Thing, is slightly more aggressive and I dig the drummer a whole bunch while thinking the guitar player needs a Red Bull or two.  A little crunch would work for me, but that’s just me.  The crunch comes up on the fourth tune but I don’t feel it.  I got to this via the Guardian’s top 50 of the year, they’re now on the 20-30 top recordings.

@@@ Vince Staples: Big Fish Theory (Def Jam/UMG, 2017)  I don’t think I caught this hip hop record during the year but it made it to the Guardian’s list so it triggers a listen.  Ooh, this first tune is hot with a blend of club sounds, glitch and tight focused rhymes.  The second tune switches to a midtempo party track though Staples’ superior microphone work keeps it moving briskly.  The third tune, Love Can Be…. goes full dancefloor with fat kick four on the floor, synth bass, and funky non-skitter beats.  Whoever did the beats on this record has crazy ass skills, but I dug the first tune most. (Clipped below)

@@@ King Krule: The Ooz (True Panther, 2017)  Also off the Guardian’s best of 2017 list.  A mash of various influences in this first tune — downtempo, jazz/blues/soul guitar vamps, and lounge.  It’s a mood for sure — unsettled, hip, and alienated but in a completely non-rock aesthetic.  Let’s peep more!  The second tune unfolds in a similar lush, dark vein.  It’s trippy and dissatisfied.  The third tune, Dum Surfer (clipped below) has 2 million views on YouTube which is not a little gets the full peep.  It’s an interesting stew and I can’t say that I love it or hate it.  I don’t like all the reverb on the vocals but I like the beats and the guitar.  Check it for yourself.

YTD recordings listened to: 782
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 421
Not good music: 323

Buys: 9
Honorable Mentions: 7

Possibles: 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, American Lips, Sudan Archives, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Benjamin Booker, Irreversible Entanglements, Converge, Boubacare Traore, Les Filles De Illighadad, Curtis Harding, Les Amazones D’Afrique

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Music for 12/4/17!!! Dadabots, Ed Sheeran and Beyonce, Xenoula

@@@ Dadabots: Coditany of Timeness (N/A, 2017)  The great thing about computer generated albums….well the first is that record labels won’t have to pay royalties as the machine is a slave.  But for revieweres, computer generated music can be shit upon without hurting any feelings.  It’s just algorithm based sound!  This first tune opens up stormy and a tad boring before the computer gets into a fat thrash.  I don’t know if the record has a robot producer but they could use a little high end in here.  I’m sure they will get the computer to introduce creativity and change into the music but this is not a xerox copy but not very compelling music.  But because humans hate humans and the humans in charge of music hate paying humans who make humans get ready for a tidal wave of computer generated oatmeal-music!!!  Hmmm, the future is bright and tasty and really repetitive.

@@@ Ed Sheeran and Beyonce: Perfect Duet (Asylum, 2017)  A remix of dreams.  The tattoed hedgehog of gooey ballads and the queen troll of veganism combine for something that is difficult to imagine.  Somebody get me a tissue and let me listen to the Bey on the mic.  She’s got the choir behind her, I need some new underwear!!!  This is bigger than Ebony and Ivory with MJ and Paul McCartney.  Oh Ed, you sexy rodent bitch, this is just too many feelings of love.  We’re in the ooh and ahh section, they’re dancing in the dark, it’s mad romantic.  Trump can’t make America great again, but Eddie boy and Beyonce can!  OMG, OMG, OMG the best cheese of this holiday season.  Smooth and intimate, I just want to dance in the dark with this wedge of cheese between my arms.  Kill me now so I can go to heaven!

@@@ Xenoula: Xenoula (Domino, 2017)  Some indie electronic off this week’s All Music notable release email.  You will pardon me if this review is a bit garbled as I’m still pretty broken up over this Ed Sheeran/Beyonce love-gasm.  This is a mash of club music sounds (this first tune is beat-less) and synth rock with a few pubes of indie in the vibes area.  The second tune brings the beats and it evokes ’80s synth rock but weirder.  I appreciate the weirdness of Domino’s records while not having many stick with me.  I’m on the third tune and this is pretty much undercover electro pop — sweet and cute with a lot of electro sounds.

YTD recordings listened to: 773
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 415
Not good music: 321

Buys: 9
Honorable Mentions: 7

Possibles: 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, American Lips, Sudan Archives, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Benjamin Booker, Irreversible Entanglements, Converge, Boubacare Traore, Les Filles De Illighadad, Curtis Harding

 

Music for 11/29/17!!! Futuro de Hierro, blackbear, Shenandoah Davis, Holy

@@@ Futuro de Herrio: Paso en el Vacio (Majia Rojo, 2017) I was contacted by this small European label about a review of this release.  It opens up with an industrial dance groove, some feedback squalls and a gent somewhat losing it on the microphone.  I’m feeling these random sheets of aggro guitar/guitar-like squeals.  I like this second track called A veces somos uno as the vocals are made more abstract with processing and they are set lower in the mix.  I like the sounds on this record, dark and tough, but I didn’t enjoy the vocal work as much.  Check it for yourself, especially the second tune.

@@@ blackbear: anxiety (Interscope, 2017)  Off the Apple Music hot tracks section this is an electro pop record with tons of hip hop MCs as guest vocalists.  The production is meticulous and occasionally creative but otherwise it surely puts caramel on the rotten apple of any sort of real life anxiety.  Lots of chopped and synthed vocals.  He’s anxious without her love, blah blah blah.

 

 

 

 

 

@@@ Shenandoah Davis: The Wings (Plume Records, 2017) An indie recycling of early ’60s dramatic pop.  Davis has a thinnish (not Finnish) voice but the string flourishes are the star here.  They are reverbed and panned wide for epic effect.  There are drums but placed back in the mix so it’s her sweet voice and the strings and maybe some electro garnish tucked back there.  Could be an organ, hard to tell, insert joke here.  I got to this via a music publicist email.

 

 

 

@@@ Holy: Heard Her (Pnkslm, 2017)  A pre-release single I got to via Line of Best Fit’s tracks of the week.  It’s a bombastic, Beatles influenced psychedelic Brit rock track.  I have no idea if they are Brits or not.  Not the tooth grinding psychedelic business — it has plenty of guitar crunch (and some really nice drumming) with spacious organ to balance shit out.  I’m not jumping up and down but it’s a quality tune well put together with really good energy.

YTD recordings listened to: 768
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 411
Not good music: 320

Buys: 9
Honorable Mentions: 7

Possibles: 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, American Lips, Sudan Archives, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Benjamin Booker, Irreversible Entanglements, Converge, Boubacare Traore, Les Filles De Illighadad, Curtis Harding

Music for 11/22/17!!! Kweku Collins, Diplo, The Diplomats

@@@ Kweku Collins: Grey (Closed Sessions, 2017)  I saw this hip hop artist on the Twatter giving notice of a tour so that triggered this peep.  I like the sounds here, very fresh and  well put together, especially the marimba solo at the end of the track.  Very creative.  It’s kinda left field without trying to be oddball.  I’m on the fifth tune and the opener remains my favorite of what I’ve heard.  I peeped Collins’ bio and he’s doing all right for 20 years old.  He could really develop into something and this is more than solid.

@@@ Diplo: Get it Right (Mad Decent, 2017)  A single off the hot tracks section on Apple Music.  From what I’ve read Diplo’s shit doesn’t ever smell, he’s just that good.  This is an uplifting, slow EDM banger with a breathy female singer.  After the verse it goes into a Brazilian waxed bush hyper-manicured section with vocal synth actions and a pick up in energy.  The vocals are barely coherent but at the meta level it’s a vow that she or the male singer or Diplo is gonna get it right.  I can appreciate the technicals involved in the Brazilian waxed chorus but the verse is a tad over-syruped.

@@@ The Diplomats: Once Upon a Time (Diplomats, 2017)  A filmtracky hip hop single also off the Apple Music hot music section.  They got a kinda soft instrumentation but the MCs hit the mic medium hard putting down other MCs and even throwing a shout out to Harvey Weinstein so this tune might be hot off the hard drive.  The gospel choir vocal sample that runs the whole way is an interesting backdrop for the MCs to smack talk over.  I don’t love it or hate it, I think it’s weird.

YTD recordings listened to: 753
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 402
Not good music: 313

Buys: 9
Honorable Mentions: 7

Possibles: 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, American Lips, Sudan Archives, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Benjamin Booker, Irreversible Entanglements, Converge, Boubacare Traore, Les Filles De Illighadad, Curtis Harding

Music for 10/24/17!!! Trivium, Post Malone, Colleen, Kelly Clarkson

@@@ Trivium: The Sin and the Sentence (Roadrunner, 2017)  A hard rock/classic metal mix off this week’s All Music notable release email.  The singer is arena style and the drummer is catching my ear the most as far as the band goes.  I had to go look up the definition of metal core as they are described as such in the All Music email.  This is not a metalcore record, it’s a variation of the Linkin Park pretty boy metal sound.  I’m not protesting the music, it’s all right (a tad forage-y for my taste and aimed at the suburbs) but I am not psyched for the deceptive marketing.

@@@ Post Malone: Candy Paint (Republic, 2017)  Off the Apple Music hot tracks section.  It’s looking like it’s gonna be a sweet hip/hop track.  Not as humorous as DRAM or Lil’ Yachty but similar in vibe.  It’s very surprising to hear the skittering beats and the cotton candy sounds and happy chorus.  Well done for what it is, not my thing.

@@@ Colleen:  A Flame My Love, A Frequency (Thrill Jockey, 2017)  An electronic record also off this week’s All Music notable release section.  The first tune is a chattery piano/keyboard sound, bouncy and arpeggiated.  The second tune takes a similar repeating keyboard mash and adds a slightly delayed, reverbed female singer.  It’s quite indie.  I’ve listened to snippets of about half the tunes and the aloof, electronic, part video game aesthetic is in full play.  It’s all right as background but I’m not really being pulled into the music.  I like to be pulled into the music.

@@@ Kelly Clarkson: Meaning of Life (Atlantic Recording, 2017)  If Beyonce is a lifestyle brand for African American women to live vicariously through, Kelly Clarkson is  that for white women.  Honkeys and crackalackas!!  This tune continue what I’ve heard recently as she tries to meld old school soul with updated, modern electro pop.  She can sing for a white person — she might be able to set fire to the rain the way Adele does.  I wouldn’t expect much from the lyrics, it’s pretty recycled.  She sees the meaning of life in the eyes of her lover.  Yup, you lift me up, we’re flying higher, yada yada yada.

YTD recordings listened to: 686
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 367
Not good music: 288

Buys: 9
Honorable Mentions: 7

Possibles: 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, American Lips, Sudan Archives, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Benjamin Booker, Irreversible Entanglements

Music for 10/6/17!!! Hans Ludemann, Pink, 5j

@@@ Hans Ludemann and Trio Ivoire: Desert Rooms (Intuition, 2017)  I got to this straight jazz record from a twat on the Twatter.  This is the second piano trio record I’ve heard in the last week or so.  I think the straight jazz piano record is the king of straight jazz in terms of seriousness and purpose.  This one is spiced with an African instrumentalist to go with the piano and the drummer.  Right now he’s taking a marimba type solo.  There are a ton of wooden percussion marimba type instruments coming out of Africa so I can be forgiven for not knowing the name.  God bless, this African dude is really changing the record for me.  The piano player is pretty straight and the drummer I haven’t noticed much.

@@@ Pink: Whatever You Want (RCA, 2017)  I checked out Pink’s other pre-release single What About Us and that was a massive cheese bomb and this one picks up right where that left of.  I like Pink’s voice, it’s very strong and she works it hard but the lyrics — I don’t know when mainstream pop lyrics were a dime store New Age support group.  I guess a bunch of these mainstream stars are more lifestyle brands than musicians.  Pink is the sympathetic, no bullshit feelings guru and I actually find her more tolerable than Beyonce.  It’s an electro pop arrangement with Pink doing her combination of bolstering and lamenting on the singer side of the equation.

@@@ 5j: barrow (5j barrow, 2017) I got to this indie folk EP via a music publicist email.  This record is being touted as old school Greenwich Village folk and while that’s not necessarily my favorite sub genre I dig this first tune.  I can imagine the young hipsters feeling this — the singer is polished, he’s no nasal Dylan sandpaper voice.  The arrangement is stripped down with bass, acoustic guitar and voice, but it’s the singer that’s really the star here.  This first tune (clipped below) Seagreen Dress does indeed explode with a drummer coming on and a female singer and a lot more energy.  And back to the mellowness.  Let’s peep more.  I somehow skipped ahead because I’m more than a bit out of my mind but I’ve checked three tunes and I dig the opener the best (clipped below).  As the NPR Tiny Desk brand displays there is more than a bit of NPR up in this folk record.

YTD recordings listened to: 648
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 348
Not good music: 274

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, American Lips, Sudan Archives, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Benjamin Booker

Music for 10/5/17!!! Sabrina Claudio, Ascending Dawn, Iglooghost

@@@ Sabrina Claudio: Belong To You (featuring 6Lack) (SC Entertainment, 2017)  Super booty knocking r&b.  I don’t think 6Lack is on the single but he’s on the remix so that explains my peep.  Wow, he’s singing on this track and I dig his voice, it changes the track from straight lush to a blend of lush and something else.  #eloquent.  He de-cheeses the track and gives more dimension to it.  There’s plenty of lush reverb for everybody to have a slice and the instrumental side of the arrangement is dominated by long keyboards and string patches.  Solid for a mainstream track and I continue to dig 6Lack.

@@@ Ascending Dawn: Cannonball (Ascending Dawn, 2017)  I got me a publicist’s email about this band and it’s what I call a mainstream metal track.  It’s got some roughness to it, but it has a lot of arena rock and even pop elements to it.  Big guitar riffs for you to bounce around on and arena rock drumming with a soaring female singer.  Plenty of background vocals as well.  It’s got a tad of Foo in it, more than a schmear of Linkin Park and it has Heart vibes due to the singer.  Not really my cup of tea.

@@@ Iglooghost: New Wax Bloom (Brainfeeder, 2017)  An experimental electronic record last week’s All Music notable release email.  It opens up sort of Japanese royal court mashed with Alvin the Chipmunk and some New Age-y synth sounds.  That’s quite a mash.  The second tune brings in a jazz-ish horn line and some manic beats so this bad boy is gonna jump around more than a tad.  It’s an interesting blend of different sonic emotions — some childish, cartoon sounds, some club action, a tad of hip hop, some abstract electronic and pubes of whatever Mr. Iglooghost throws in.  Notable more for the production and the execution than the musical impact, imho.

YTD recordings listened to: 645
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 346
Not good music: 273

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, American Lips, Sudan Archives, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Benjamin Booker