Music for 2/12/18!!! Billy Strings, Anenon, Erin Pellnat, Holy Motors

@@@ Billy Strings: Turmoil & Tinfoil (Apostol, 2018) Alt-string music I got to via a music publicist email.  This first tune comes busting out of the gate with elevated tempo and redneck shredding as a goal.  It’s interesting to see a 9+ minute tune as the second on the record and I’m expecting some sort of extended jam.  It’s a sung tune til about 3:30 and then it breaks out into a fairly monstrous string jam.  I like the energy of this record — between the playing and the singer’s vibe it’s a hotter than usual string record with plenty of sweetness.  Imma gonna roll back on this record when I have the the time.

@@@ Anenon: Tongue (Ghostly, 2018) I got to this record from the Twatter as well.  It’s been a bit since I’ve felt a Ghostly release but I keep peeping.  This first tune opens up with bird chirps, a little piano tinkling and what sounds like a wood flute.  Not thinking that combo is gonna work out great for me but I will hang tight and listen.  It’s a got a wee bit of a New Age vibe tucked into it as well as a cloudy feel to it.  The second tune opens up with an arpeggiated organ patch — it’s a bit of a churchy patch with maybe a sax interlocking with it.  Let’s try one more tune.  I don’t think I like this ambient horn playing, it’s just not satisfying enough for me.  Folks who dig this should check out some jazz records where people dig deeper into the instruments on this record.

@@@ Erin Pellnat: Do it for Dinero (Self-released, 2018) I got to this well sung country rag/samba tune from an email from the singer herself.  Instrumentation includes accordion, guitar, bass and drums but the star here is the singer.  Loose relaxed and not trying to hard.  A really good tune to bring on the spring, check it out.

@@@ Holy Motors: Slow Sundown (Wharfcat, 2018)  I got to this indie spaghetti western record via a twat on the twatter.  This is your classic indie twang spiel — dreamy female singer, single coil guitar lines, and a leaning back drummer.  I could use some flavors added to this well established formula.  The single above combines ragtime and samba so things can happen.  The sounds are nice and it’s well put together but for me it’s strictly for the opioid users out there.

YTD recordings listened to: 78
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 43
Not good music: 32

Best: 1
Honorable Mentions: 1

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, Klara Lewis, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, 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, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Benjamin Booker, Irreversible Entanglements, Converge, Open Mike Eagle, Criolo, Billy Strings

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Music for 1/8/18!!! Slow Dive, Jay Som, Mount Kimble, Julie Byrne

@@@ Slow Dive: Star Roving (Dead Oceans, 2017) We continue sliding down Pitchfork’s top 100 tracks of the year as this tune opens up a bit Sonic Youth, a bit shoegaze, and a bit indie twee.  When the mellow singer comes in the tune goes decidely shoegaze with that dreamy vocal/guitar storm combo platter.  There’s a sonic breakdown with some female ooh hoos and some phased guitar but otherwise it’s pretty standard.  Very familiar chords and vibes.  I smell a good publicist at work here.

@@@ Jay Som: The Bus Song (Polyvinyl, 2017) A 22 year old woman busting out with some lo fi guitar strum indie that morphs into wistful indie guitar rock.  Man, I’m suddenly overcome with the desire to put on some flannel.  It’s that retro yo.  It’s got a couple of interesting hitches to the arrangement and there’s a shaker (you don’t often get shaker in an indie track) and I think I hear a horn tucked back in the mix but at its heart it’s guitar and vocals over straight beats.  Half sad white folks doing their thing!

@@@ Mount Kimbie: Marilyn (Warp, 2017) An electronic single off the ol’ Pitchfork top 100 list and though I can’t believe I’m typing this I really dig the flavors of the tune.  They start with some marimba/vibes that get swirled in with some indie drums and a tasteful, climbing and descending bass line.  Tightly arranged and focused I can accept the indie slacker conceit as it’s a well put together piece of music.  The arrangement continues to move and evolve while remaining coherent.

@@@ Julie Byrne: Natural Blue (Ba Da Bing!, 2017) The Apple Music blurb says her production is swoon-worthy.  Thus far this is a lush indie folk formula — indie intimate while stradding the two genres.  There is no drummer here so it’s awash with multiple stringed ‘instruments (guitars mostly)  and she’s kind of wearing out the phrase ‘natural blue.  It’s a tad too meaningful for me.  I like Byrne’s slightly husky voice but by time the strings and the electric bass come in I’m ready for something else.

YTD recordings listened to: 20
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 10
Not good music: 9

Best: 0
Honorable Mentions: 0

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, 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, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Benjamin Booker, Irreversible Entanglements, Converge, Open Mike Eagle

Music for 12/5/17!!! Trio Da Kali/Kronos Quartet, Lisa Knapp, Mount Eerie

@@@ Trio da Kali & Kronos Quartet (World Circuit, 2017)  The Guardian is out with the beginning of their top 50 records of 2017.  I don’t usually like these mashes of African music with Western music but I’m nothing if not open eared.  And really fun to be around.  I also don’t like chocolate in my peanut butter.  On this first tune the Kronos Quartet plays the role of garnish on a plate of African food, which works but it’s not equal billing.  A few string flourishes in an African arrangement with a female singer.  I’m on the third tune and it remains pretty much the same and the question you ask yourself is the addition of Kronos Quartet string flourishes make this a favorite African record of the year?  Not to me.  It’s pretty staid in tempo and I prefer the burning African music and this appears to be designed to draw non-African music listeners to the genre.  Just as I write that the marimba player takes a burning solo, you shoulda put that tune first fellas.

@@@ Lisa Knapp: Til April is Dead – A Garland of May (Ear to the Ground, 2017) A throwback British folk record updated and bestowed with a modern chopped and looped feel.  It’s a creative aesthetic decision I must say as I’m not very interested in May Day but I’m listening.  The instrumentation is pretty standard for this style of music — hand drums, acoustic guitars, drones,  lots of samples, male co-singers and Ms. Knapp’s waif singing.  I can see how Brits would really get into this fusing of newer musical production techniques combined with their music heritage but check it out on this side of the pond.

@@@ Mount Eerie: A Crow Looked at Me (P.W. Elverum, 2017)  An indie reflection about the death of a musician’s wife.  For once I can say the slack vibe is justified and works well for the mostly raw lyrics and the subject matter.  It’s mostly the singer, the lyrics and an acoustic guitar.  I could have used some drums or other instrumentation just to offset and contrast the slack.  This record is #47 on the Guardian’s top 50 of the year.  Check out the fifth tune Swims for the full misery tour.

YTD recordings listened to: 776
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 418
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 11/30/17!!! Benin City, Poppy Ajudha, Melis

@@@ Benin City: All Smoke, No Fire (Moshi Moshi, 2018)  A pre-release electronic single off the Line of the Best Fit tracks of the week.  Ah, after a somewhat menacing British MC, some hip hop skitter breaks out.  It’s hard to say if this is hip hop or not but I do appreciate that this track is about gentrification.  You’re flat is in my dancehall, you’re parking in my market, that’s a great line.  It’s got a pretty insistent pong keyboard arrangement that drives me a tad crazy and the MC gives way to a singer and then back so it’s got some disorientation built into it, but I dug the spirit.

@@@ Poppy Ajudha: Tepid Soul (Poppy Ajudha, 2017)  Another single off the Line of Best Fit.  More of a chill track than the first firestarter.  Female singer, mellow guitar, trippy keyboard, and a beat that’s a couple of steps above lounge.  Soak your hands in my tepid soul, I can’t really get a handle on what that line means as it’s the hook.  I’m pretty sure using the word tepid in a vocal hook is not the greatest idea.

@@@ Melis: Parallels (Virtuous Sound, 2017) Serious pop off the same Line of Best Fit tracks of the week.  Female singer keeping it trim and together until the exploding slightly kaleidoscopic chorus.  More like pop/adult alternative as the cheese factor is there but it’s lower than mainstream pop.  Let’s peep a bit more.  The second track opens up with piano and more fragile singing.  The third track sinks deeper into the bad relationship feelings.  This one is for the aggrieved ladies.

YTD recordings listened to: 771
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 413
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 11/7/17!!! Hamilton Leithauser, Josh Nelson, U2, Beans on Toast

@@@ Hamilton Leithauser: Heartstruck (Glasnote, 2017)  I saw a shout for this retro soul single on the Twatter where somebody had twatted about the singer’s greatness.  It’s more early ’60s r&b style with an emphasis on string flourishes over grooves.  It has a groove but the strings eat away at it.  Leithauser does a good job with the vocals and the guest female vocalist does well.  It has a wee bit of indie pretension but people love that shit.

@@@  Josh Nelson: The Sky Remains (Josh Nelson, 2017)  On the very same twat I saw this record described as being one of the best of 2015 which is a bit confusing as the Apple Music has a 2017 date for this release.  Details, schmetails….this has a polished, highbrow sound to it that doesn’t work great for me but it does have a pleasant orchestral feel to it.  It doesn’t make me want to reach for the international coffee flavors but I do want to put on clean clothes and nice sweater.  This is music for people with jobs and purpose.  The second tune has a female vocalist and it’s just a couple of steps away from being a Disney movie title track.

@@@ U2: The Blackout (Island, 2017)  I’m really enjoying the awfulness of U2’s new music.  Bono made a deal with the devil and dodged his taxes and his music has suffered.      I guess he’s up late at night smoking a fat cigar and counting his money — 100! 200! (Achtung Baby reference there).  Bono has always been a cornball blowhard but the New Age tint to his recent lyrics is pretty bilious.  This tune is manicured like a porn star’s va-jay-jay.  The guitar riff is all right but you can see the lyrical hook below.  Don’t doubt the light that you can really be — I gotta pee on that.  I don’t listen to rock music for self help lyrics.  He should go back to dodging taxes where he’s doing much better.

@@@ Beans on Toast: Jamie & Lily (Xtra Mile, 2017)  A pre-release single I got to via a music publicist email.  I’m all for lesbian love affairs so I don’t know why I find this song kinda annoying.  It’s simple in structure with strummed acoustic guitar, a friendly coffee shop folks singer and fiddle playing.  I guess I’m not feeling these lyrics and the delivery, it’s just so….it’s a painfully explicit lifestyle song.  I don’t care about the veggie lasagna and the glasses of juice.  Maybe I would feel better about the proceedings if the video didn’t cheese the whole thing out more.

YTD recordings listened to: 718
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 385
Not good music: 300

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

Music for 10/25/17!!! Elan Noon, The Deep Dark Woods, Holy Hum

@@@ Elan Noon: Have a Spirit Filled (Self-released, 2017)  An intimate hippie/lo-fi folk mash that is #1 on CFUV’s Weekly playlist email.  Seriously shy bedroom vibes up in this first tune with arpeggiated acoustic guitar and voice.  That’s it yo.  It’s not content to rest there as the second tune brings in the synths and the soft rock vibe.  I’m guessing the sensitive gent is still gonna be on the mic.  Whoops, there he is!  The fourth tune features a different singer (ladybits!) but you’ll be thoroughly softened by the tidal wave of feelings of the first three tunes.  It may seem like I’m dogging this record but I’m not — I appreciate its sincerity while acknowledging it’s not my bag.

@@@ The Deep Dark Woods: Yarrow (Six Shooter, 2017)  Also off this week’s CFUV playlist email.  There are three pre-release tunes up on the Apple Music and this first tune, Fallen Leaves, is a sad one.  Watch out, forlorn alert!  Stripped down band arrangement and there’s an Emmylou Harris sounding lady joining sad gent on vocal duties.  It’s a Daniel Lanois-esque production sound they got going here.  This music is so American it makes me want to buy a horse and ride around collecting tumbleweed!  How’s that for analysis?  The second pre-release tune, Deep Flooding Waters — hold up, I got these three tunes all mixed up due to interwebz music player horseshit.  The first tune is a midtempo rocker with some space organ (still lonesome), the second tune is the acoustic saddie, and the third one is a slack, drunk in yer boots kinda track.  I’m sure this level of fatigue haunts El Trump-o’s wife as her miserable life with that orange haired pee brain must be quite a handful.  Overall, I got the gist of what they have on offer with a tad of rambly.

@@@ Holy Hum: All of My Bodies (Andrew Yong Hoon Lee, 2017)  Some ambient electronic off this week’s CFUV email.  Oh, here comes a vocalist which changes the vibe a lot.  The singer has an arch, highbrow tone which elevates the proceedings into earnets art-tronica.  Let’s peep more….the third tune brings on an indie band with a slack straight beat, strummed clean electric guitar and a wood flute (guess!)  I like this track, it has the sparseness of John Lennon’s first solo record though the singer is just too ethereal for me.  Also he sounds a bunch like the singer of Coldplay and that’s not working for me.  I can see people digging this so check it out if the description works for you — stripped down indie with ambient sound vibes and a white shoe singer.

YTD recordings listened to: 689
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 369
Not good music: 287

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