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

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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

Music for 9/29/17!!! The Aces, Deep State, Kasha, Primus

@@@ The Aces: Stuck (N/A, 2017)  I got to this all female indie band single from a publicist email.  So far this falls much more — oh wow it segues out of the intro to a super sweet ’80s synth pop explosion.  Extensive but not excessive vocal harmonies in the verse and then it slips right into that synth groove which is catchy but a bit low IQ.  The plinky guitars and the pong synthesizers are the bubbles in this ginger ale.  And they use the word ‘babe’ a ton, like my mother in law.  Not a bad association for others, but not great for me.

@@@ Deep State: Time Unrivaled (N/A, 2017)  Another music publicist single.  I’m peeping it because they have the Minutemen as one of their sonic references in their spieling email.  I don’t want to be a dick (sometimes) but I hear more of the Go Gos than the Minutemen.  It’s more sweet guitar bounce than the fried punk weirdness of the Minutemen.  And crunchier too, in the guitars.  That’s supposed to be a little poetic there.  And crunchier too (pause, nod your head meaningfully, stroke your soul patch), in the guitars.  Yeah right on.

@@@ Kashaka : Tropa Da Jogador (Subterranean, 2017)  I saw some Afrique music festival in the BK this weekend and these guys are listed.  But if my ears are correct this is a Brazilian outfit.  Let me consult with the interwebz, ah the webs.  Ah, it’s a collaboration between artists in Brazil, Brooklyn and Africa.  It’s a true mash with elements of hip hop, Brazilian music, and weird ass keyboards that sound cool.  There’s a lot going on but it holds together rhythmically and it works for me.

@@@ Primus: The Desaturating Seven (ATO, 2017)  Primus is back with their original lineup.  The first tune sports a spoken word opening section that is part Lord of the Rings and part Wizard of Oz.  When the music starts it’s more theater show than Primus punky weird ass funk.  Maybe that will commence.  Ah the weirdness is slowly trickling in.  Ah, the second tune gets into the ol’ school Primus — weird Al freakshow vocals and chopped up funk.  I like it pretty good yo.  This is a concept record based on a children’s book which I think works because the singer works that childlike, anti-social vocal tip well.  The tunes have a slow unfolding quality which you have to be in the mood for.  I respect the ambition of what they’re trying to do here. This third tune is the best of what I heard.

YTD recordings listened to: 636
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 341
Not good music: 269

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 9/6/17!!! Deathroned, Bicep, Courtney Bennett & Kurt Vile

@@@ Deathroned: Curse of Power (Self-released, 2017)  A thrash metal EP record from Paris that I got to via the blog Indiepulse.  This first tune (after the intro) is speed threedling and bouncing around quite a bit.  The singer is actually a singer and I’m feeling the guitar player and the drummer.  They are a trio, they sing in English and I’m feeling this third tune Liberticide.  For fans of classic metal.

@@@ Bicep: Bicep (Ninja Tune, 2017)  58 minutes of electronica off this week’s All Music notable release email.  The first thing I notice is how immaculate the production is.  Super crispy and smooth set for the dance floor dingnuts.  The first tune is a dreamy techno track while the second is an old school funk beat so it looks set to visit a lot of dance sub genres at least in terms of beats.  Both tunes feature layers of delayed synths.  Manicured like a porn star’s va-jay-jay hey hey.  Technically it’s very proficient dance music and well executed but it could use a wee bit of soul to go with the chops.

@@@ Courtney Barnett & Kurt Vile: Over Everything (Matador, 2017)  A pre-release single off an upcoming full length banger.  It’s a hippie classic rock/indie mash with a massive amount of slack.  It’s so slack it might make your teeth hurt.  Shades of Velvet Underground on the vocal side and any number of American bands sporting a shiny, dual guitar attack.  All served up on an arrow straight drum beat.  You better like the guitar playing because this is a 6 minute single.  Yikes!  The lyrics are pretty superficial with the pair talking about their love of making and playing and listening to music.

YTD recordings listened to: 576
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 307
Not good music: 242

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, Tupelo Pine

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.