Music for 4/20/17!!! Jacques Greene, Hoops, Arca

@@@  Jacque Greene: Feel Infinite (LuckyMe, 2017)  Some house music out of Montreal via the CFUV weekly playlist email.  This first tune is pretty standard if a bit light on the beats but it sports the standard minimalist vocals — oh there’s the beat.  Solid bass, skinnier than hip hop.  I didn’t really like the second track, the title track, as it grated on my nerves but the third tune is sweeter.  This is the best of what I heard as it has a marimba type voice in the track and I like some world music sounds in my house yo.

@@@ Hoops: Routines (Fat Possum, 2017)  Some mathy, nerdy guitar indie off this week’s CFUV weekly email.  There are three pre-release tunes up and this first one has too much reverb on the singer’s voice and a tad too much chorus on the guitar.  I don’t like this singer — I’m sure he’s an awesome person but I don’t dig his flow on the microphone.

@@@ Arca: Arca (XL, 2017)  Some abstract music also off this week’s CFUV weekly email.  This first tune focuses on a contrasting a descending vocal line with some tightly controlled feedback.  I’m not sure where it’s going but it’s an interesting pairing of sounds.  My fear is that this will collapse into some New Age-y electronic music but I hope I’m wrong.  By the way, I’ve misplaced my glasses and I’m blind as an old fucking dog today so my spelling typos must be forgiven.  This is dragging a tad, let’s move on.  There are some prominent electronic elements but there are also strong classical sounds here.  I like it okay, check it for yourself.

YTD recordings listened to: 256
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 139
Not good music: 95

Buys: 5
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, 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, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Power Trip, Reverend Payton, J.I.D., Oddisee

Music for 4/18/17!!! Chris Stapleton, Actress, ELHAE

@@@ Chris Stapleton: Broken Halos (Mercury Records, 2017)  A pre-release single that I chose to peep because music blogging honcho Bob Lefsetz shit his pants over this track.  My first impression is that I’ve heard this chord progression 300 hundred times before.  Otherwise it’s a decent track, Stapleton puts in a heartfelt vocal performance.  I appreciate the lack of schmaltz as country music has gone full cheddar cheese but his vocals would benefit from some more unique band playing behind him.

@@@ Actress: AZD (Ninja Tune, 2017) An experimental techno record off this week’s All Music weekly email.  The opening of this first tune sounds like a glass of ginger ale popping in a metal tunnel.  I guess it’s a teaser. Okay we’re on to the second tune which sounds like a melted James Bond 007 theme with an ascending but modulated bass line and some salt water taffy synth clouds.  Oh God, let there be more than this.  I could use a beat motherfuckers.  I’m not getting more, let’s peep a last track here.  Okay we got a beat on this third track.  It’s sort of a railroad/industrial beat with some chopped loop garnish.  I don’t think this is for me and I think you might need to be high to enjoy this.

@@@ ELHAE: Aura II (Atlantic, 2017)  Some electro r&b with strong hip hop influences that I got to via Apple Music new music section.  Really fat bass sounds with half skitter beats and synth-centric arrangements.  The first two tunes are booty call tunes and the singing has plenty of Autotune dolloped on.  Personally, I’ve been spinning 6Lack’s record from last year, the arrangements are much more interesting in my opinion.

YTD recordings listened to: 251
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 137
Not good music: 93

Buys: 4
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, 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, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Power Trip, Reverend Payton, J.I.D., Oddisee, Feral Ohms

Music for 4/14/17!!! Halsey, Tei Shi, Arbouretum

@@@ Halsey: Now or Never (Astralwerks, 2017)  A single in the Apple Music hot tracks section from an upcoming big bucket of bangers in the that’s coming out real soon.  From the sound of the single I won’t be checking out that record.  I like some of the sounds here (though they’re pretty standard sultry urban pop sounds) but she needs to get herself a room cuz she’s singing and panting like she’s about to cream her jeans.  Which is fine, get your freak on, but not while you’re singing.  Masturbate first then go sing in front of the microphone.  Call me a stickler but I’m not masturbating while I write this review post cuz those are separate activities.  And this review is more creative than what she’s going on so I would be more justified.

@@@ Tei Shi: Crawl Space (Downtown/Interscope, 2017) A major label electro record from the All Music notable release section.  The Apple Music blurb says she always wanted to be Britney Spears.  Yikes!  I can hear that dream in the first tune and she does a better job than Britney because Britney is not about music, she’s about booty.  The arrangements are really tasteful, the sounds are top notch, the singing is really good, but the lyrics and the tunes are standard.  There’s nothing to pull you in besides the sounds.  Say, for example, the brilliant spiritual horniness of Prince’s 1999.  This is much more conservative than that.

@@@ Arbouretum: Song of the Rose (Thrill Jockey, 2017).  A mash of big ’70s rock with a little stoner rock as well as a smudge of the Lord of the Rings epic journey.  Yes, Frodo Baggins rock yo.  Ooh, they’re tickling the Grateful Dead funny bone on this second tune Comanche.  Some tinkly, long meandering guitar solos.  I mean meandering in a good way.  So if you’re a sensitive, fully actualized millennial rocker these guys will serve you up their own particular take on post 9/11 pastoral rock.

YTD recordings listened to: 245
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 133
Not good music: 91

Buys: 1
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, Reverend Payton, J.I.D., Oddisee, Feral Ohms, Orquestra Baobab

Music for 4/13/17!!! Charlotte OC, Spiral Stairs, The Great Malarkey

@@@ The Great Malarkey: Doghouse (Batov Records, 2017)  I was contacted by the label that released this record so I thought I would give a peep to the indie folks as I’m more inclined to boost an indie record than a major label jam.  It was described to me as Balkan mayhem and while I hear the crazy energy this first tune has blues and other genre influences in there.  I like the female singer and the band is excited to put it mildly.  The second tune is a straight ahead rocker with the drums high up in the mix as well as a banjo.  This third tune brings on some fluid ska horns and a little dub wise snare delay.  I’ve made it to the sixth tune and I would say the best tracks are the first 3-4 and then it starts to fade a tad.  Check them out especially the first chunk of the record.

@@@ Charlotte OC: Careless People (Harvest, 2017)  Some downtempo off an All Music notable release email.  This first tune is not downtempo as I define it — I think of downtempo as slow down hip hop/funk beats with a real down/blunted feel.  This is mainstream ballad rock/pop so once again I’m getting a pretzel when I thought I was getting a cookie.  Or vice versa.  Ms. OC has a dramatical voice and she does her torch carrying over big corporate power production.  This is false advertising, where’s my fucking cookie?

@@@ Spiral Stairs: Doris and the Daggers (Nine Mile Recordings, 2017)  Also off an all Music notable release email.  This first tune features a dual guitar attack and a lower register male singer.  Pretty mainstream sounding but not cheesed out pop rock.  Maybe a tad like Bowie but not as artsy.  This second tune is poppier than the opener and it remains that way.  It sounds great, it’s pretty straight ahead guitar rock, I’m not looking for that but if you are well then these guys will hook you up.

YTD recordings listened to: 242
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 131
Not good music: 90

Buys: 1
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, Reverend Payton, J.I.D., Oddisee, Feral Ohms, Orquestra Baobab

Music for 3/27/17!!! Les Amazons D’Afrique, Liniker E Os Caramelows, La Vida Boheme

@@@ Les Amazons D’Afrique: Dombolo (Real world, 2017)  An electro-Afro single off this week’s WRIR weekly email.  It’s got a pretty mean distorted descending thumb piano (?) melody and some very stylish syncopated vocal harmonies featuring Angelique Kidjo.  It sports a well done dance beat and overall it’s a fat track.

@@@  Liniker E Os Caramelows: Remonta (Pomelo, 2016) Some Brazilian music also off this week’s WRIR weekly charts email.  The title track (clipped below) opens up as a sort of Brazilian blues before it goes into a full ensemble circus rock kinda thing.  It’s really quite nice — loose and both melodic and rhythmic.  The arrangement is pretty sophisticated and entertaining.  I’m on the third tune and it’s an interesting combination or hippie rock, cabaret music and a splash of indie quirk.  I think this might be one of my indie rock picks for the year.

@@@ La Vida Boheme: La Lucha (Nacional, 2017) More world music, take that white people!  This second tune (after the intro) is a blend of upbeat indie rock, a little rock, and rock en Espanol.  It’s an interesting mix of sounds including the electro rock vibes, but I don’t really like synth rock when it’s done with English lyrics.  It’s better in Spanish because I can space on the lyrics but these aren’t my favorite sounds.  It’s very uplifting so  if you’re in need of some lifting up check it.

YTD recordings listened to: 200
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 108
Not good music: 73

Buys: 1
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, Reverend Payton, J.I.D., Oddisee

Music for 3/24/17!!! Century Palm, Greg Gaffin, High Plains

@@@ Century Palm: Meet You (Deranged Records, 2017) Devo-esque guitar punk off last week’s All Music notable release email.  Ah, the second tune brings the synths.  I dig the energy of this outfit, it’s more high octane rock than the full punk explosion.  The singer is not full on nerd but this is no rock star trip for him.  I like the blend of synth and guitar, I don’t usually like the way they go together, but this is good.

@@@ Greg Gaffin: Millport (Anti-, 2017)  Off last week’s All Music notable release email.  This first tune is Richard Thompson-like — a blend of rock, folk and country music.  A little less British but definitely related.  Gaffin’s voice is pleasant but by no means glamorous but they are stacking those background vocals fairly high in this second tune which brings in some CSNY vibes.  There are very nice guitar sounds on this record, the songs are quality, and Graffin does his job well.  If you want some earnest country hippie rock with good energy check him out.

@@@ High Plains: Cinderland (Kranky, 2017)  Experimental ambient music off last week’s All Music notable release email.  I like this first tune opening up spaciously with a low-isa pulse, a couple of dissonant pianos and a thing string sound up high.  A solemn cello carries the melody and I think I like it more before the cello does that.  The second tune opens up spacious again with an abstract cloud, a wave like sound and a simple drum beat.  The cello returns but more as ambient streaks than as a melodic component.  I like the ambient part of this record and could groove on it in its sparse minimalist form and the cello makes it more of a movie soundtrack, but that’s just me.

YTD recordings listened to: 197
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 108
Not good music: 73

Buys: 1
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, Reverend Payton, J.I.D., Oddisee

Music for 3/20/17!!! Milky Chance, Jacaszek, Niyaz

@@@ Jacaszek: Kwiaty (Ghostly Int’l, 2017)  I keep checking out Ghostly releases but I haven’t come upon anything that has really caught my ear.  This first tune opens up dark with low indistinct voices, bass waves and some swirl.  Also a higher bell chime/drone.  After an abstract intro it brings in a dreamy, heavily reverbed female voice over the darkness.  It’s pretty good.  The second tune brings in a harp/nylon string guitar, keeps the female voice and nudges the record towards a more New Age neighborhood which is not my favorite neighborhood.  I like some of the sounds here, especially on the fifth track Love (clipped below) but I’m not super feeling the singer.  It’s not her, it’s me I’m quite finicky.

@@@ Milky Chance: Blossom (Lichdicht, 2017) Dance pop off this week’s All Music weekly notable release email.  It’s mainstream pop rock with ragged/slack vocals styles and danceable sections and electro garnish.  This music is a couple of notches above what you would expect to hear at the gas station snack store.

@@@ Niyaz: The Best of Niyaz (Six Degrees, 2017)  Imma have to search on Niyaz because I can’t place her music geographically more than North African/Middle Eastern.  Iran by way of Canada.  I love Iran!  It’s Navroz, aw shit I have to spell that correctly.  It’s Persian New Year, get hip.  Niyaz is rocking a dramatic style, big polished production, a very serious package.  I’m on the fifth tune and the truth is I don’t love the super refined sound, it detracts from the power of the performance.  In my opinion, that is, check it for yourself.

YTD recordings listened to: 185
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 100
Not good music: 69

Buys: 1
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, Reverend Payton, J.I.D., Oddisee