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 9/27/17!!! Miley Cyrus, Light, Kevin Gates, David Crosby

@@@ Miley Cyrus: Week without You (RCA, 2017)  The rehabilitation of mainstream Nice Cyrus continues with this third pre-release single.  Oh no more pasties, bending over, dancing little people and stripper poles for Cyrus as she reaches back to the late ’50s/early ’60s for some vintage girl soul (including outfit — see below!)  Lyrics that can be played at family dinner.  It’s more than a bit like an Elvis track.  Let’s all move to Cali, put on the radio and kick back to the vintage pre rock ‘n roll stylings of shapeshifter Cyrus (who needs to make some payments on her Lamborghini).  Oh I kid, I kid.  It’s not a high bar to beat but she sings better than Taylor Swift.

@@@ Kevin Gates: By Any Means 2 (Bread Winner’s Association, 2017) A hip hop record occupying primo front page real estate on Apple Music’s front page.  This first tune is super Dirty South with some eerie vocal delays, super deep trunk bass, and some cough syrup skitter beats.  After a little intro it goes full gangsta with the gunplay and the dealing of the drugs and the fight to survive.  Whoever did the bass on this track deserves a medal for funk.  It’s just nasty and blobby and extremely satisfying.  Gates’ rhyming style is middle of the road — he’s not super quick but he’s crisp and rhythmic.  He also takes some turns at singing but it’s not extensive.  Where a lot of hip hop records are a loop and a little arrangement and then some blunted dude rhymin’ and rhymin’ these tracks are more fully fleshed out and focused so big points for that.

@@@ Lights: Skin & Earth (Warner, 2017)  Blurbed on the All Music notable release email as ‘a sweepingly romantic, post-apocalyptic, comic book concept album rife with sophisticated pop hooks.’  Oy, that’s a mouthful!!  I predict super slick production and a medium sized tidal wave of cheese.   Oh she’s got the finger snaps working in the verse of this opening track and then there’s a cheesy multi-tracked vocal explosion in the chorus.  She can sing, I’ll give her that but the pimped out production detracts from her performance.  On this third tune she’s doing that breathy near-orgasm shit that drives me insane.  If you need to go rub one out in the bathroom, fine go do it, this is America, but I don’t need to hear you get really close to your peak and sing at the same time.  She’s got a gentle dancehall sway to this tune Until the Light.  Some folks spent a lot of time on this record but it comes up more than a bit short on soul.

@@@ David Crosby: Curved Air (BMG Rights, 2017)  A pre-release single off the Apple Music hot tracks.  You gotta give Crosby credit for not making a CSN single as here he takes Joni Mitchell’s jazz fusion period and takes it for himself.  It’s most notable in the rhythm section where the bass player is very active and the drummer is also not straight hippie rocking it.  He also has a keyboard player and a flutist to round out the ensemble as previously described.  Crosby’s singing is straightforward and it’s not featured with a lot of vocal harmonies as it has been heard for decades.  I did not follow the lyrics closely but it appears they are serious and contemplative.  There ya go!

YTD recordings listened to: 628
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 336
Not good music: 266

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 8/31/17!!! L.A. Salami, Bodies of Water, Brian McKnight

@@@ L.A. Salami: L.A. Salami Presents Lookman and the Bootmakers EP (Sunday Best, 2017) I got to this folk record via a music blog that followed this music blog.  Blog blog blog.  The most dominant element in this first tune is Salami’s highbrow English accent.  I’m not saying he’s highbrow but he’s got literate lyrics going and a mannered delivery.  Simple bass accompaniment and strummed acoustic guitar along for the ride.  That’s a long 4 minute song so let’s peep a bit more.  It’s never a good situation when a song feels mad long.  In the second tune we get a drummer and an electric guitar accompaniment added to the Salami.  This is more of a rock biscuit and it’s all right.  I don’t despise Mr. Salami’s music but I’m not jumping up and down after nibbles on four of the Salami’s tracks.

@@@ Brian McKnight: Genesis (SoNo Recording Group, 2017)  Some pretty futuristic r&b off this week’s All Music notable release email.  The first tune is a pro-environmental  track that I kinda get with.  This second tune is a super huge love ballad with piano and emotive vocals.  He wants her, most definitely.  I’m kinda torn on this space age production — it’s very intricate which I like but it’s also slick and that drains a tad of humanity from the proceedings.  It feels like you’re listening to a robot band, which I’m sure is being designed right now.  Cuz you don’t have to pay royalties to robots, because they don’t have to eat.  It’s not a formula I super feel but if you do this is comfort r&b, very empathetic and emotional.

@@@ Bodies of Water: Spear in the City (Secretly Canadian, 2017)  Somebody in this band has some David Bowie records in their collection.  I think it’s the singer.  This is some art school indie, serious in intent but with a tambourine.   A tambourine is almost always a great sign!  Let’s peep more.  I can’t place exactly who this singer sounds like — yes, it’s that bald bitch in Midnight Oil, who I am sure is a great fella.  He’s just bald.  It’s not a David Booey record, it’s a closeted arena rock record with a serious singer.  I’m not a big fan of the sexy frontman, nor the serious frontman.  I like some of the guitar player’s work, he’s grabbing my ear in places.  This is too earnest for me, maybe the singer’s name is Ernest.  That would be fitting.

YTD recordings listened to: 566
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 303
Not good music: 237

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

Music for 8/23/17!!! Quantum Tangle, Sudan Archives, ABRA, No Goods

@@@ Quantum Tangle: Shelter as We Go (Coax Records, 2017)  A roots record off this week’s CFUV playlist email.  I’m going to search but I think this is a record by Native Americans.  It has intricate vocals, sometimes what might think of as traditional singing but other than that outside of the lyrics there are no indications of the culture this is emerging out of.  Ah, the search engine has revealed this is music by Inuit folks.  The singers rotate and the musical arrangements do as well.  They range from folk, to slack rock and a cappella.  I really like this tune clipped below.

@@@ Sudan Archives: Sudan Archives EP (Stones Throw, 2017)  Smooth and pumping r&b off this week’s CFUV playlist email.  Thick on the low end with plenty of chopped vocals and half glitch sauce to go over the top.  The second tune brings an African hand drum and some tasty violin playing to go with the snappy percussion and fat bass.  This tune Come Meh Way is hot and clipped below.  I’m on the fourth tune and it’s a pretty hot EP, check it out.  The mash of musical influences is really well done, imho.

@@@ ABRA: BOUNTY (Acid Palace, 2017)  More ambient r&b off this week’s CFUV playlist email.  Big delay washes of sound and a female singer nestled in a well done synth cloud sky.  Somebody manicured these beats and I like their work.  More solid sounds including nice delay work serving up engaging sounds.

@@@ No Goods: Buzzer (Kingfisher Bluez, 2017)  Modern electric blues off this week’s CFUV playlist email.  Well it’s not blues, it’s rock and it’s pretty good with some solid rhythm guitar work and a classic sounding rock singer.  It’s local music, it’s not all epic like the Foo.  I’m down on the Foo, I’m hoping for retirement.  This is in the tradition of the Replacements, ah my hard drive just spit up Cracker, that’s a good sonic reference for these guys.  These gents rock harder but the singer’s voice sounds mighty close.  Solid B+.

YTD recordings listened to: 548
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 295
Not good music: 228

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

Music for 8/1/17!!! Control Freaks, Zack Keim, Ego Kill Talent

@@@ Control Freaks: Mindless Entertainment (Slovenly, 2017)  Some old school, big mouth punk off this week’s CFUV playlist email.  Think the Sex Pistols without the opioids.  There’s a more than a dash of humor to this high energy punk rawk with lots of call and response vocals and singers taking their turns on the mic.

@@@ Zack Keim: First Step (Get Hip Recordings, 2017)  A young man takes his Bob Dylan obsession out into the world.  It’s quicker to say what’s not Dylan influenced than it is to say what is not Dylan influenced.  His strumming, the tone of his voice, his delivery, he’s got it going on.  Well the second tune thankfully drops the Dylan love with a different tone, slower arpeggiated guitar playing and a different tone of voice.  This third tune is a folk Radiohead kinda tune — mournful, slow, he shoulda put this tune first.  I think Keim is off to a decent start but he has to find a more distinctive voice for himself.  Just my opinion.

@@@ Ego Kill Talent: My Own Deceiver (Elemess, 2017)  A mainstream glam rock single I got to via the Indiepulse music blog.  Think Marilyn Manson without that tremendous prickface Marilyn Manson.  The guitar riffs are pretty standard and the singer is all right but maybe a tad soft.

YTD recordings listened to: 494
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 270
Not good music: 202

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 7/20/17!!! Nine Inch Nails, Rococo, Larissa Tandy, The Lemon Twigs

@@@ Nine Inch Nails: Less Than (The Null Corporation, 2017)  We won’t spend much time discussing that the leader of Nine Inch Nails is a senior executive at Apple Music (or was at it’s predecessor Beats) and his new track is in the first slot on the hot tracks section at Apple Music.  Hey, what the fuck, that smells like the digital version of old school music business mafia action!! Hey, it’s not gonna matter because the song is pretty boring — it’s the classic Nine Inch Nails mixture of darkness and alienation but with some pretty rote guitar power chords and Reznor’s downer singing/lyrics.  Pole position won’t save this ship from sinking.

@@@ Rococode: Young Ones (Marquis Services, 2017)  We switch up gears to some bouncy and hopeful indie electronic, ’80s flavored pop rock.  Oooh boy, bouncy bass, snappy drums, friendly synths, and an engaging male singer.  The second tune has a female singer but the formula is mostly the same especially in the rhythm section.  These aren’t sounds I like but they’re well done.  Songwriting is pretty standard pop so it’s sweet musical baby food for adults.

@@@ Larissa Tandy: The Grip (Larissa Tandy, 2017)  Off the folk/roots section of the CFUV weekly playlist email.  I like the plainness of the production and the music is in that folk/soft rock/indie/adult alternative neighborhood.  Tandy has a bit of an odd accent to her voice that catches my ear.  I’m on the fourth tune and she’s hopping around a bit stylistically while overall becoming more indie rock than folk roots.  This is not my favorite style of music but I can see more mainstream listeners digging this — she’s got some rocking, some passion to her voice and a bit of spark with familiar sounds.

@@@ The Lemon Twigs: Brothers of Destruction EP (4AD, 2017) A pre-release single off an upcoming full length.  I would put this in the quirky, lo-fi, classic rock reprisal of the indie area.  If you took the Velvet Underground and they had a baby with Captain Beefheart’s adopted son it would sound a bit like this.  There’s a bit of a sour-ish sound to the music and the singer is annoying (in my opinion and it’s my blog) so I probably won’t be checking out the full length when it happens.

YTD recordings listened to: 471
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 258
Not good music: 192

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 7/10/17!!! Anna of the North, Wyldest, The Anatomy of Frank, Peakes, R.L. Boyce

A couple of weeks ago I did a bunch of indie listening at Line of Best Fit’s tracks of the week and the Internet pretty much broke.  People went fucking nuts so it’s back again.

@@@ Anna of the North: Someone (Honeymoon/+1 Records, 2017)  A synth pop song fronted by a dreamy young female.  Those of you who love ABBA should be sporting major erections/moist panties.  Big pillow-y synths, angel choir background vocals — she’s only human, she needs someone to save her.  Gated snare sound, this is the total Reagan/Thatcher throwback.  She’s really wearing that vocal hook out.  I’m not a buyer of this but that’s just me.  More mopey than ABBA but still, major wood.

@@@ Wyldest: Hitchhiker (Hand in Hive, 2017)  Lucky us, more synth pop!  And another female singer.  Synth bass and what is going on with these massive angel choir background vocals??  If this is a trend it’s not going to be good for my mental health.  This tune has some really tasty drum machine hand claps so that’s something to look forward to.  This is a very similar formula to the first tune and that’s a bummer.  Let’s keep moving!

@@@ The Anatomy of Frank: Holy Mountain (Polar Islands, 2017)  Super intimate acoustic guitar and singing.  The intimate and soft feelings are everywhere here, watch your step you might crush one!  If Simon and Garfunkel had a gay love baby with gentleman junkie James Taylor it would sound a lot like this.  And that would be one fine looking gay love baby.  Towards the end the tune opens up a bit with some orchestral pieces but it doesn’t go over the top and I give Frank (and his anatomy!) credit for that.  Watch the feelings, they’re everywhere and delicate like salamanders.

@@@ Peakes: Saint (Peakes, 2017)  A balanced blend of synth and guitar on this just under mid tempo contemplative mope nugget.  They do have a nice ambient sound to the arrangement here.  The lyrics are somewhat dour –  what’s done is done appears a lot and that’s pretty much what America has been telling the country of Iraq and the Middle East for over a decade now.  Hey sorry about the invasion thing, what’s done is done!  But I digress.  How can I be a saint with the choices I’ve made?  That’s the lyrical essence of the tune.  The guitarist is the star here and the singer needs a Red Bull!  Onward.

@@@ R.L. Boyce: R.L.’s Boogie (Waxahatchie, 2017)  I’m more than a bit shocked to hear this old school electric blues track on an indie tracks of the week.  Who let Rosa Parks on the front of the bus??!!  Congrats to you Mr. Boyce and I dig your funky swinging guitar and the drummer is killin’ it!!!   It’s a rambler and it doesn’t have much of a lyrical point but it does swing like a motherfucker and I’m feeling this drummer.  You indie kids listen to how the old school brothers rock it as you could learn a thing or two.

YTD recordings listened to: 438
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 242
Not good music: 176

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