Music for 11/21/22!!! Weyes Blood, Fleshwater

@@@ Weyes Blood: Children of the Empire (Sub Pop, 2022) Two listens this morning off this week’s 10 most reviewed albums on Pitchfork. My first impression is that this is a less trick version of Joni Mitchell formulas and vibes. 70s feels delivered in faded rock format, piano driven. I had to click out of that track when it came to the fingersnaps and the tambourine but that’s on me, not on the artist. The next track, Grapevine, is an acoustic guitar track. The full band comes in and it gets big and swirly. I like it, I don’t love it but it’s all right. I could use a bit more energy from the singer and more contrast from the band.

@@@ Fleshwater: The Razor’s Apple (Cloased Casket Archives, 2022) This is the third track on the record and it’s a big rockin’ sound, up in yer face with a female singer, big guitars etc. I’ve switched it out to the first track to see if I cans get some feelings from this — this is a musical formula that’s well worn but I think it’s okay to want a bit more from it. Big rock has been done, if you want me to check out yer slightly grungey big rock hit me with some freshness. I like the drummer but I could use more chaos from the guitar player and the whole outfit. Lose yer shit, I always dig that.

Music for 6/1/22!!! Horsegirl, Tom Aspaul

@@@ Horsegirl: Anti-glory (N/A, 2022) Today I’m recycling a post I set up a coupla weeks ago and I think it’s from Line of Best Fit but I’m not 100% on that. Opens with big tom drum beat and some sideways guitar playing, oh we back in the ’90s! They go a couple of gears below slack and mix in some shoegaze with some background vocals panned out wide in the stereo field. I would put this as a medium rainstorm with a bit of gusty wind, it never seems to pop a clot and go full shitshow. I like a meltdown, I didn’t come here expecting one but it is weird to hear the restraint. Noisy and polite is a tough combo. I’m into the unexpected these days so not great to see a lack of unexpected sounds or flavors going on here, so do label thee ‘music for normies’.

@@@ Tom Aspaul: Let Them (It’s all Love) (N/A, 2022) Opens with a church-y organ and solo voice before it busts out into dancefloor bangin’. Four on the floor but with a nice percussive guitar/synth patch and then bump it up in the chorus. I don’t know this gent Aspaul from a hole in the wall but he’s got positive energy without pouring on the cheese sounds and he’s got an interesting blend of sounds here. He even tucks a tambourine into the last third of the track. I’m pretty sure I hear an undercover Latin flavor here and I dig that. I’m not jumping up and down over this but it’s more than solid work — focused arrangement with some nice unfolding and a really nice vocalization. There might be some different versions of this track from what I can eyeball on the Apple Music.

Music for 3/2/22!!! Sasami, Kalisway

@@@ SASAMI: Need it To Work (Domino, 2022) Some álternative’ rock from Domino and a L.A. based musician. Very retro, ’90s-ish grunge-y especially in the bass and drums area. It’s got that slack, aloof vocal style that can really drain a rock track of its energy but for some reason people dig or tolerate. Around a minute it gets into a stuck place for about 15 seconds where it repeats like a broken record and that I dug and identified with. Not a ton to say here, I would love to get some rock music that has a fresh feel/approach to it, but that’s not happening here. I understand many are okay with the faithful re-enactments but that’s not me.

@@@ Kalisway: Hit ’em with the Funk (Kali, 2022) I got to both of these listens from this week’s Line of Best Fit and this track I can roll with. It’s a slab of minimalist funk with a female singer, slinky beat and pretty standard funk basslines. It’s more the attitude and the arrangement that works for me. The vocalist builds the song slowly until she peaks at the very end but all done over a stylish plate of funk.

Music for 3/13/21!!! Harlow Lake, Jeremy Pinnell

@@@ Harlow Lake: Body in the Bathtub (Woodworm, 2021) I got to this Irish rock tune via a music publicist in that area of that world. Production is manicured and the take is a bit off standard formulas — the guitar player is catching my ear with some offkilter noodling. I find myself digging the verse more than the chorus which goes in a more standard direction. I like how high the drums are in the mix, dig the guitar player, don’t love the prog rock bass tone, don’t love the synth sound they chose and I’m agnostic on the singer. They get props for trying to keep the arrangement fresh and they do a pretty good job of doing that.

@@@ Jeremy Pinnell: Joey (SOFABURN, 2021) This is a countrified cover of a tune from back in the day. I liked the original but I’ve heard Pinnell before and I’ve been into his music — his 2014 oh/ky. I don’t know why they chose such a massive reverb patch as it doesn’t seem necessary given that Pinnell can carry the melody in the chorus. He goes stripped down with just a guitar and his cowboy hat. He really puts some vibe into the vocals and I dig that.

Music for 6/2/2020!!! Bobby Vylan, The Unfit, Tiny Bit of Giant’s Blood, Bacchae

Oy, I spaced on posting this here!!!  Better late than never.

@@@ Bobby Vylan: We Live Here (Venn Records, 2020). I picked this track from the Face playlist last week for describing it as punk/hip hop.  He is rhyming which I dig, and you get a healthy dose of power chords and it’s just moving along when he loses his shit in the chorus — we didn’t appear out of thin air, we live here, that’s pretty great and he delivers it with the proper fuck you attitude.  You gotta give props for the chorus and the message and the energy with which he delivers it.  I thought it was going to remain restrained but he brought the passion which is what I’m always up for.  In the neverending war between passion and technical skills, I choose passion every last time.  Lose your shit.

@@@ The Unfit: Picture (Self-released, 2020) Some self-released Washington State kinda rock/grunge/indie I got to via a music publicist email.  Comin’ out the gates with that big ass farty, buzzy bass and splashy drums, hopefully they lose their shit.  The tempo tends to more grunge-y than the classic freakout punk.  I’m feeling the guitar playing, there’s some variety going on there, the drummer needs a jolt of what the fuck, this isn’t the Republican Convention.  The singer has adequate snarl so I’m feeling a bunch of this outside of the tempo.  I checked out another track and it’s more ramped up but with the same intestinal bass sound and interesting guitar playing.  I unattached that one and put this one as I think it’s much more fiery and heartfelt.  Works better at higher pressure, that’s my view.

@@@ Tiny Bit of Giant’s Blood: Five Foot Heels (Jumbo Records, 2020) I got to this Chicago glam rock/punk via a Midwestern music publicist.  I guess the key point here is whether the embrace of classic rock/cock rock is a tongue in cheek (no pun!) entertainment move or whether they believe it.  I’m betting they’re doing for the shits and giggles, that’s the impression I’m getting.  Not full Spinal Tap satire — ha, this is funny!  The Queen backing vocals and the singer’s attitude is that this is for entertainment.  Which I guess begs the question whether all the ol’ school over the top rock bands like Queen believed in their awesomeness or was it a bit of send up as well.  The production of the tune is pretty clear but it’s not full on major label which I think works.  I like this tune a whole bunch, check it out.

@@@ Bacchae: See it Coming (Get Better, 2020)  Some punk rock off last week’s CFUV playlist email.  Female singer, trimmed, restrained and minimalist which I’m not sure about because she’s singing over an absolutely massive bass sound and a energetic drummer and guitar player.  She’s got to keep her weight up and stand tall.  I know it’s a rough comparison but I’m thinking of the smoldering hole prime Sleater Kinney leaves in the middle of your skull.  She’s freaking out more as the tune goes on but I suggest whipping a shitty right out of the gate.  The band is pretty kicking, not full punk meltdown but high temperature and high pressure.  I checked this tune and am thinking B+ but I’m giving a quick spin to the first track, Leave Town and I think this might have been a better first foot forward.

YTD recordings listened to: 406
Good music, not list worthy: 210
Not good music: 183

Best: 0
Honorable Mentions: 0

Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, Slidhr, The Chewers, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Luther Dickinson, Graeme Barrett, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Cavanaugh, 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, Noname, Klara Lewis, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Oddisee, RAM, Fiver, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Priests, Propaganda, This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez, Integrity, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Criolo, Billy Strings, Flowers of Sulphur, Portal, Lawaii, Etran De L’Air, Ruby Karinto, Elysia Crampton, Parquet Courts, Moskus, Kendl Winter, Tkay Maidza, Barro, Daniel Khan, Tallawit Timbouctou, Sumac, Tropical Fuck Storm, Harriet Tubman, Ammar 808, Anais Maviel, Chaka Khan, Pom Poko, Fried Egg, Tarek Atoui, Saicobab, General Purv, Shipping News, Big Thief, Mariachi El Bronx, Pour Me a Grog, Sudan Archives, Lakou Mizik, Moodymann, Pharmakon, Alefa Madagascar, Janjao, Luge, Wiki, Mick Jenkins, Jeremiah Jae, Fera, Gambian Griot Kora Duets, Drama, Beatrice Dillon, Mass Worship, mmmonika, Les Deuxluxes, Tony Allen, Fra Fra, Nihiloxica, Hailu Mergia, Pokey LaFarge, Nico Gomez, Nohe and Sus Santos, schroothoop, Tiny Bit of Giant’s Blood

 

Music for 4/24/20!!! Sammy Brue, Shabazz Palaces, RJD2, The Howling Hex

@@@ Sammy Brue: True Believer (New West, 2020) I got to this young dude’s music via a music publicist email.  This is a pre-release single off an upcoming June release.  It opens up quite intimate with some soft vocal melody reflecting guitar and his voice starts to build.  He’s got a really nice voice and he takes it to that big Oasis-style vocal anthem hook in the chorus.  It’s a pretty minimalist band backing track that fits itself around his voice.  Oh Lord, they brought in the big choir background chorus for the second round of the chorus.  It’s high end cheese, not a soft stinky French one, maybe a black wax Gouda from Holland.  It’s firm and retro old school cheese.  It’s a bit epic for my taste.  It ends as a type of New Age/classic rock empowerment tune.

@@@ Shabazz Palaces: Fast Learner (Sub Pop, 2020) Off last Friday’s notable release email from All Music.  This track comes out hardcore electro with a bit of cough syrup.  It’s got a stanky and trippy vibe to it, echoes on the rhymes, some oddly filtered guitar playing (?).   I don’t like the beat especially the snare sound, that big clunky gated snare sound annoys me.  The rest of it I get with.  He’s got some nice George Clinton feels here but if that beat had some swag to it I’d be more interested.  I think he should’ve backed off the delay buss a bit as it muddies up an already murky adventure.  I dig murk, it’s cool, it’s just a question of how much.

@@@ RJD2: No Helmet Up Indianola (RJ’s Electrical Connection, 2020) Same All Music notable release email.   More hip hop, black Friday!  This time it’s old school horn driven business with a bright thwacking snare sound.  Somebody pops in with an overdriven Fender amp classic guitar sound and Imma not sure if a singer will be getting up in this track.  Maybe it’s instrumental funk and if it is, that’s all right.  You even get some cowbell in this track, so don’t bitch and moan as it’s not everyday that you get some tasty  cowbell.  There’s a ball of delayed vocal snatch that screams in for the very end of the track which is cool and a pleasant non sequitur to wrap up.  It says it’s rap/hip hop in Apple Music but that was a instrumental funk track.  It’s a problem this label problem the music business has, like going to the supermarket looking for an orange and the motherfuckers sell you a grapefruit.

@@@ The Howling Hex: Lies (Fat Possum, 2020) If you want some fuzzy ass punk blues ass with a tiny bit of grunge this might work for you.  Steady rock drum pounding, a loose guitar shred making hay while some poor sap fuzzes his or her way through the chord progression.  If you want to die, believe in lies, that’s the vocal hoook.  I dig the drummer who just gets behind the mule and plows, but it could have used a bit more spice and leadership from the singer.

YTD recordings listened to: 306
Good music, not list worthy: 162
Not good music: 134

Best: 0
Honorable Mentions: 0

Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, Slidhr, The Chewers, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Luther Dickinson, Graeme Barrett, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Cavanaugh, 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, Noname, Klara Lewis, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Oddisee, RAM, Fiver, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Priests, Propaganda, This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez, Integrity, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Criolo, Billy Strings, Flowers of Sulphur, Portal, Lawaii, Etran De L’Air, Ruby Karinto, Elysia Crampton, Parquet Courts, Moskus, Kendl Winter, Tkay Maidza, Barro, Daniel Khan, Tallawit Timbouctou, Sumac, Tropical Fuck Storm, Harriet Tubman, Ammar 808, Anais Maviel, Chaka Khan, Pom Poko, Fried Egg, Tarek Atoui, Saicobab, General Purv, Shipping News, Big Thief, Mariachi El Bronx, Pour Me a Grog, Sudan Archives, Lakou Mizik, Moodymann, Pharmakon, Alefa Madagascar, Janjao, Luge, Wiki, Mick Jenkins, Jeremiah Jae, Fera, Gambian Griot Kora Duets, Drama, Beatrice Dillon, Mass Worship, mmmonika, Les Deuxluxes, Tony Allen, Fra Fra, Nihiloxica, Hailu Mergia, Pokey LaFarge

 

Music for 3/13/19!!! Xiuhtezcatl, Criminal Hygiene

@@@ XIUHTEZCATL: BOOMBOX WARFARE (N/A, 2019). Mainstream non-trap hip hop I got to via a music publicist. It opens up with orchestral flourishes that I like and it is Mr. Xiuhtezcatl’s earnest hymn to his ancestors. He throws in some Spanish at certain points which keeps things fresh and I like this an awful lot more than I thought I would. It’s a bit dramatical but it doesn’t tip over the edge into cheese.

@@@Criminal Hygiene: Dangers of Convenience (Dangerbird, 2019) I don’t know how I ended up at this track but from the sound of it I bet it’s a music publicist what emailed me about this track. It’s got a retro ’90s guitar rock just after grunge vibe to it. and the video (I usually got out of my way to not watch videos but today I watch to avoid opening up the Apple Music.) It’s got mad slackness to it. Time was spent on these vocal melodies which bump back and forth between standard rock and power punk pop hookiness. Reminiscent of Superdrag, the Fighters of Foo, and many many other American bands.

YTD recordings listened to: 120
Good music, not list worthy: 70
Not good music: 45

Best: 0
Honorable Mentions: 0

Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, Slidhr, The Chewers, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Luther Dickinson, Graeme Barrett, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Cavanaugh, 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, A Tribe Called Quest, Noname, Klara Lewis, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Oddisee, RAM, Fiver, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Priests, Propaganda, This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez, Integrity, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Converge, Criolo, Billy Strings, Flowers of Sulphur, Portal, Lawaii, Etran De L’Air, Ruby Karinto, Elysia Crampton, Parquet Courts, Moskus, Kendl Winter, Tkay Maidza, Barro, Daniel Khan, Tallawit Timbouctou, Sumac, Tropical Fuck Storm, Harriet Tubman, Ammar 808, Anais Maviel, Chaka Khan

 

Friday 7/3/15 — Failure¡ Miguel¡ Bilal¡ Self Defense is a Family¡

YTD recordings listened to: 521
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 301
Not good music: 180

Honorable Mentions: 14
Buys: 9

Possibles: Chris McGregor, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Dave Arner Trio, Bill Horist, MAKU Soundsystem, Zomby, Retox, About Group, Jessie Mae Hemphill, Bone Dance, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, Debruit, Slidhr, The Whammies, The Chewers, Alexander Hawkins, Toxic Holocaust, Equal Stones, Comeback Kid, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, Spacesuits, T.O.M.B., Fofoulah, Lozen, Erase Errata, Mohamed Abozekry, Dawn Richard, Leo Welch, Astral Swans, Mastery, Leviathan, Xibalba, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Ellen Jewell, Akitsa, Chico Trujillo, Richard Thompson, Royce Wood Junior

@@@ Failure: The Heart is a Monster (Failure Records, 2015).  Off the Beats highlights page.  These guys are a blast from the grungy past though I can’t say I remember them.  Oh yeah, there’s yer fuzzy punk bass, yer arena rock drum sound and yer big grunge guitar.  Detached voice, oh the stench of slackness fills my ears.  Singerman sounds like the dude from Bush, yikes, bad luck there.  Pearl Jam pubes, Nirvana pubes, Bush pubes, and even an Alice in Chains pube.  Brrrr, tread carefully or ye shall be wearing the flannel forthwith.

@@@ Miguel: Wildheart (ByStorm/RCA, 2015)  Off last week’s All Music weekly notables.  He’s got some pretty whack guitar power chords in this first tune, Beautiful Exit.  He sounds a whole bunch like geek rockers ELO in this track.  Let’s skip ahead as he can’t rock.  The second tune, Deal, is slinkier with some disco garnish including some Nile Rodgers flavored guitar, some partyistic whoa-ohs, and a gated snare disco beat.  The third tune, The Valley is better but I’d rather listen to a Prince record — this is a bit of a warm mess.  I guess this guy is huge but I’m not feeling it.

@@@  Bilal: Pleasure Toy (eOne, 2015).  Just this one tune up on the Apple Music store.  The bass player is hot, the beats are old school and light and Mr. Bilal wants to be your pleasure toy.  Bilal steps back for a rap by Mr. Big K.R.I.T.  Lots of double entendres about dildos and arousal.  I would feel it more if the beat hit harder, it’s a bit of a Lionel Richie butter bomb.

@@@ Self Defense Family: Heaven is Earth (Deathwish, 2015).  Also off last week’s All Music notable blah blah blah.  I try to check out Deathwish releases as they’ve hit the bulls eye previously.  This first tune is an emo spoken word with some ambient guitar tones rolling through and a mostly hi hat.  It doesn’t build, it rolls steady.  The second tune has the same just above slow gait but the singer is starting to get more worked up.  It’s not an art school heavy record, it’s just not super heavy but it’s dark.  It’s cool, but I really enjoy listening to folks lose their shit.

Active Music Listening Thursday April 11, 2013

YTD recordings listened to: 284
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 187
Not good music: 77
Buys: 9

Possibles: Sidsel Endresen & Stan Westerhus, Boyd Rivers, Abdoulaye Alhassane Toure, Cryptopsy, Nick Waterhouse, Patterson Hood, Skyzoo,  Chris McGregor, Brother Ali (2009), Alvin Youngblood Hart, Bob Gluck Trio, Ether Net, Oddisee, Holly Williams, Matt Davis’ Aerial Photograph, Hollis Brown, Dave Arner Trio, Graveola Today’s records have been pulled from the All Music weekly email.

@@@ The House of Love: She Paints the Words in Red (Cherry Red Records, 2013).  Quirky guitar based indie.  Slacker-y and melodic, not hipster or rocking.  It’s a very shiny record, and I’m enjoying some of the playing.  The fourth tune, Lost in the Blues, is pretty good.    These guys aren’t from the U.S. so the emphasis here is more on the music and the songs than it is the sound and the pose, which I dig.  Check it for yourself.

@@@ Face to Face: Three Chords and a Half Truth (Rise, 2013).  Your basic shouter style guitar rock punk.  Very Clash-y without the reggae influence crossed with a classic American Orange County punk band.  I like the singer and the songs are pretty standard fare.

@@@ Kleenex Girl Wonder: Let it Buffer (This Will Be Our Summer, 2013). This record is on the MOG new release page, not the All Music weekly email. I fully expected this to be an all female band, but shocker there are dudes out front. I’m catching hipster lyrics and a strong Weezer heavy pop rock influence.  Catchy and funny are the keywords here.  It’s pretty good at what it’s aspiring to do.

@@@ Volbeat: Outlaw Gentlemen and Shady Ladies (Universal, 2013).  Elements of Creed, Bon Jovi and clean grunge and hair metal combine to produce a mainstream, suburban musical wankfest.