Music for 6/22/18!!! Arianne Grande, Physique, Lily Allen, Beyonce and Jay Z

@@@ Arianne Grande: a light is coming (Republic, 2018)  A pre-release single for Disney snowflake Arianne Grande with an intro rhyme from Nicki Minaj.  If you want some toughness on your track, dial 1-800-NickiMM!  I tell you this with the experience of listening to thousands and thousands and thousands of tracks I have no idea what this track is about.  There is a vocal sample ‘you wouldn’t let anybody speak and instead’ that goes circular in various volumes through the WHOLE track and there is a vocal hook ‘a light is coming to give back everything the darkness stole’ but I have no idea how those two things go together or what it may or may not mean.  The verse gets brisk but I can’t glean any meaning off that either.  So there ya go, it doesn’t have to make sense, it would be nice if it did, but it’s a flavor pack from a mainstream ‘artist’.

@@@  Physique: This Punk Life is shit (Iron Lung, 2018)  A full on wall of guitar buzz on a hardcore punk record I saw in the loud section of the CFUV weekly playlist email.  Regular readers know that I’m super open to anti-social expression as being cathartic but the buzz and high end on this record hurts my ears.  Nice punk rockers wouldn’t do this to me.  I’m sure this is full on ripping live but I can’t roll with it, I need my ears and shit!

@@@ Lily Allen: No Shame (Warner, 2018)  Sort of the British equivalent to Arianne Grande.  I got to this record via the Guardian’s best records of 2018 thus far.  I can say that the songs here make more sense than the pre release single from Arianne Grande.  It dabbles in some non pop sounds and while the music is more coherent, I don’t find this to be a particularly interesting collection.  As with the Beyonce and Jay Z music I’ve been peeping over the past week you have to be involved with these musicians as people to find their music engaging.  It’s a lifestyle package which has nothing to do with music.   I love the Guardian but just another example of poor mainstream journalistic music reviewing.

@@@ Beyonce & Jay Z: Nice (Sony Music, 2018)  Speaking of which let’s keep enduring this record!  It opens with the repeating hook ‘I can do anything!’ and the Jay Z comes with his trip.  It’s a boasting song with typical references to their incredible wealth — by the way why is it hip for Beyonce and Jay Z to flaunt their wealth but it’s disgusting for Trump to do the same?  It’s ill and typically American to flaunt wealth regardless of color, naimsayin’?  I find Jay Z’s rhymes more interesting than Beyonce’s here but it is their collective self-absorption that drives this record.

YTD recordings listened to: 349
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 184
Not good music: 157

Best: 6
Honorable Mentions: 4

Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, 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, 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, Gouge Away, Klara Lewis, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, 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, Converge, Open Mike Eagle, Criolo, Billy Strings, Flowers of Sulphur, Tal National, Portal, Hernan Sama & Marcelo von Schultz, Jean Grae and Quelle Chris, Lawaii, Etran De L’Air, Ruby Karinto

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Best of 2018 Pick 4

Magrudergrind: II (Relapse, 2016)

It takes me time to digest all the potential best/honorable records but if you want a record that doesn’t stop once it starts this one will work for you.

All the players in the band are above average and they are tighter than a welldigger’s ass in the middle of the winter but it’s the drummer who takes the gold start.  He thrashes, he sprays, he grooves, he drives the bus.

The guitar player and he get into some really interesting places as the sections of these tunes herk and jerk around.  The various pieces of the tunes with changing vibes make the whole record less predictable and tres engaging.

This is not a record NPR listeners — it’s got a lot of anti-social shit in it.  It takes the bilious fuck society of hardcore punk and smashes that into high impact metal and hard rock.

Have a big ol’ cup of coffee or shoot a Red Bull into your eye and throw this on the platter.

Check it out!

Music for 11/3/17!!! Spit Syndicate, Willow Smith, Kid Rock, Converge

@@@ Converge: The Dusk In Us (Epitaph, 2017)  Also off this week’s All Music notable release email.  I’m a big Converge fan.  Ah, thank God the bands that discard all manner of bullshit and get on with the transfer of energy.  These guys are obviously close to legends and they blur hardcore punk and metal depending on the record.  This one (to my ears) has an emo feel to it and I’m feeling this first tune.  Let’s peep more.  Oh my this second song is awesome, just full tilt herky jerky, coming off the rails hardcore.  Same with the third tune, this shit is perfect for this Golden Era of Assholes.  I don’t have the time to eat this whole sandwich but this will be on my best of 2017 list in some manner or form.

@@@ Spit Syndicate: Emperor’s New Flows (1 Day, 2017). I got to this hip hop single via an email from Happy Mag.  These guys are in Australia and to my ears they are rocking a quasi retro ’90s New York sound.  Their accent is subtle and changes the vibe of the track.    I would put these guys a few rungs above Macklemore and a bunch of rungs below Eminem who is a rough bitch. Beats are all right, arrangement sorta familiar.

@@@ Willow: The 1st (Roc Nation, 2017).  Some alternative music from the daughter of Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith.  She has an odd singing style and appears to have a British accent at certain points.  It’s an aspirational highbrow sort of thing with big, meta lyrics, quasi improvised string arrangements and a generally artsy feel.  The second tune opens up with a classical-esque piano so that continues.  I’m assuming she’s playing that interlude.  I’m on the fourth tune and it’s a bit all over the place aesthetically — confessional lyrics and unrestrained youthful singing, classical flourishes in places and singer songwriter vibes in other places.  It’s a bit messy for my taste and I think she would be best served with a producer/partner who could focus her energy.

@@@ Kid Rock: Sweet Southern Sugar (Top Dog/BMG Rights, 2017) Motherfucking Kid Rock has a new record and I’ve read in more than one spot that it’s good.  How can this be?  Kid Rock is a super huge dickhead  Let’s peep this shit.  First tune, Greatest Show on Earth, we’ll see.  It’s a classic rock nugget with a hip hop potty mouth.  It sounds pretty good as opposed to his last album which sounded like ass.  The musical arrangements are pretty much xeroxed, beyond familiar from the guitar hooks to the vocal melodies.  I’m on the fourth tune and this one is most definitely a step down in quality from the first three and a step up in cheesy sounds.  Yikes.  One more and that will be enough Bob Ritchie until the next biscuit drops out his ass.  You can call this redneck rock or country rock but it’s classic rock with a little hip hop attitude and this crazy ass trailer trash element thrown in for racial confusion.  This fifth tune American Rock ‘n Roll is going to be on offer at Cracker Barrel as a super cheesy biscuit as part of a cross promotion.

YTD recordings listened to: 711
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 381
Not good music: 297

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

10/18/17!!! May Roosevelt, Irreversible Entanglements, Nasti

@@@ May Roosevelt: Air (Inner Ear, 2017). A single from a female musician on a small Greek label that I review on occasion.  It’s a krautrock/club mash with a dreamy reverbed female voice. Straight up kick-snare instead of a classic techno aunt-tss with layers of ambient synth patches.  It ebbs and flows from section to section.  It builds to a synthy climax with additional percussion and volume.  It’s got some nice sounds and it could be a bit shorter.

@@@ Irreversible Entanglements: Irreversible Entanglements (International Anthem LLC, 2017).  Four long (10-15 minute) pieces on this jazz record that I got to via last week’s CFUV playlist email.  I thought we were headed for a long jammy thing until the black female hits the spoken word and she hits it hard!  Talking some painful truth about life in America for African Americans.  First it’s awesome to have a woman going off on this and let me be one of very few white Americans to praise the hell out of this.  Let it out!  The instrumentation is pretty standard — drums (high in the mix!), bass, and a horn.  It’s hard to say much about the band cuz the spoken word missus is burning the microphone up.  They’re her support and they do a great job.  This will be on my best of year end list as it has what I like in records — passion, anger, folks expressing themselves powerfully, etc.  Turn off the sound on your NFL games and put this record on!

@@@ Nasti: Big Achievements (Iron Lung, 2017) An angular and abrasive punk record off this week’s CFUV playlist email.  Oh and they drop into a classic hardcore punk grind. Yeah kiddies, punk rock.  They are spanking the baby here purdy good yo and let’s peep more.  With titles like parasites, slugs, and blisters (all separate tracks) you know what you’re in for.  You get a fat dose of guitar feedback to go with your working man’s thrash — ’tis the ying/yang of hardcore.  I initially typed ying/yank which is a sort of masturbatory Asian philosophy a lot of TED talk folks employ.  Heavy on the yank.  But I digress.  This will most def harvest the crust from your eyes so if you have crusty eyes or you get the Fugazi reference have a go.  Good for those who are feeling worn down by El Trump-o, the great American rapist.

YTD recordings listened to: 675
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 363
Not good music: 284

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, Kelly Moran, Irreversible Entanglements

Music for 8/16/17!!! American Lips, Soft Dov, Bleachers, Marshmello

@@@ American Lips: Kiss the Void (Ancient Fashion, 2017)  Elvis Costello type New Wave punk I got to via this week’s CFUV playlist email.  These guys have a nerdy angular thread but they have solid brisk energy with catchy vocal melodies.  I hate the term power pop or pop punk but this applies to the 10 songs here clocking in at 22 minutes.  A solid balance of sweetness to muscle and I will check the whole record when I have the time.

@@@ Soft Dov: Massacre Through Seduction (Horror Pain Gore Death Productions, 2017)  Some punk metal off this week’s CFUV email.  The singer is somewhere in the psych/hardcore area though he sings which is quite an occurrence these days in metal.  They have a spastic punky drummer but they’re classified as a metal band.  It’s loud, it’s aggressive, I won’t be a bitch about it.  I would use nihilistic Iggy Pop photo-punk as a touchstone for this record.  Check it out.

@@@  Bleachers: Gone Now (RCA,  2017)  Jack Antonoff’s side project.  He writes tunes for a lot of headline empty head singers.  This is supposed to be an ode to American suburban rock and this first tune is inspired by Bruce Springsteen.  It sports earnest vocals and a long rock build.  However, the rocking is extremely flaccid.  I mean flaccid enough that some Cialis should be sprinkled over this track to firm it up.  All cheese, no angst.  The second tune is blue eyed soul track and I’m not sure who inspired it.  Oh shit, he’s trying to rock a Prince 1999 vibe.  I’m sorry but this is a war crime!!  Fucking shameful pimp job.  I had to hit the stop button I can’t abide by this music as it is a shameful bite job and poorly done at that.  Check out the Prince clone below.

@@@ Marshmallo: Science (RCA, 2017)  A mellow, quasi-loverboy mainstream r&b single off the Apple Music best of the week.  Oh wait take that back as he gets medium EDM funk on after the intro.  I can’t tell if he’s singing ‘I found peace in your body’ or ‘I found peace in the violence’  Maybe because dude is wearing that giant marshmallow helmet/mask/hat.  Yo take that shit off in the studio so I can hear what you’re on about.  The sounds are fairly bittersweet for a mainstream tune.  Usually it’s bubble gum and Xanax for all those involved but he’s trying for something else here.  I thought the word salad quotient was pretty high, I’m really not sure what this is about.

YTD recordings listened to: 533
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 287
Not good music: 222

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

Music for 8/15/17!!! Jackie Venson, Queens of the Stone Age, White Poppy, Limp Wrist

@@@ Jackie Venson: Flying (Self-released, 2017) I got to this single by a female Austin musician via a music publicist.  It’s an interesting mash of blues rock and New Age lyrics/melody.  It’s more updated hippie lyrics about being conscious rather than straight New Age business but the more important question is whether she’s going to take a shred on the guitar.  She takes a short one but I wish she had aired it out more but that’s just me.  Interesting mash.

@@@ Queens of the Stone Age: The Evil Has Landed (Matador, 2017)  A riff rock pre-release off an upcoming full length banger.  I haven’t felt anything by this outfit for a bit but this has some nice pop.  It’s a fairly lengthy circular riff but there’s a pretty nice but brief shred about a third of the way through this hefty 6 minute single.  I don’t hear the phrase ‘the evil has landed’ so that’s a bit odd as in this age of Trumpy the title appeared possibly political.  I don’t think it’s unfair or bitchy to think they might have made this shorter or split it into 2 to 3 songs.

@@@ White Poppy: The Pink Haze of Love (Self-released, 2017)  A dreamy indie record that is #1 at high quality Vancouver radio station CFUV.  Layered vocals, arpeggiated clean electric guitar sounds sort of a vaginal Beach Boys.  Faded and bittersweet.  I’m on the fourth tune and boy are they sticking with the formula.  No drums, a lot of guitar tracks, a lot of vocal tracks and no drummer.  Dream all day except if you’re driving.

@@@ Limp Wrist: Limp Wrist (La Vida Es Un Mas Discos, 2016)  I’m going to have to Google these guys but Imma guessing this is some queer punk.  It don’t take a super high IQ with song titles like Fake Fags and a band called Limp Wrist.  Whew I got that right, I’m not too bright but that wasn’t too challenging.  These are buzzy nuggets of old school hardcore with super high energy, a ton of power chords and some relentless mic screaming.  It looks like this is a re-issue of a 2008 EP — no difference to me just trying get the facts out there as we don’t need more fake news.  I think they have a new record so if you’re feeling the urge get on with it.  Excellent energy and they really bring the hardcore.  Also off the CFUV weekly playlist email.

YTD recordings listened to: 529
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 286
Not good music: 220

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 8/8/17!!! Brett Eldredge, Briana Marela, Dead Cross, Jack Johnson

@@@ Brett Eldredge: Brett Eldredge (Atlantic, 2017)  I love contemporary country, it makes me shit my pants!  This record is on the front of the Apple music home page and at the top of last week’s All Music notable release email.  This first tune is upbeat, no opioid addicts allowed!  Handclaps, an echoed guitar figure and a friendly voice.  Such a friendly voice, like Donald Trump slipping into your bed at midnight with a giant orange erection and a verbal tic.  Let me love you Donald whispers, I’m so lonely my mail-order wife just left me!  The second tune gets more mainstream with a Bon Jovi bass line and a quasi- classic FM rock beat.  Oh Jesus, I love it!  One more tune, the third one, with synths and he’s never seen  your kind of pretty.  This is not cliche, this is familiar and friendly and epic and more than a bit cheesy.

@@@ Briana Marela: Call It Love (Jagjaguwar, 2017)  Also off this week’s All Music notable release email.  Female angels people, draped in reverb and sitting atop cloudy synth patches!  No dirty underwear (or opioid addicts) in this clean and lovely world.  It’s morphed from the intro to a New Age sorta rock.  Let’s peep a bit more but I’m not long for this record I fear.  Remember, I want to like it, I really do.  This second tune is a jacket sewn from the same cloth — hyper twee with a standard drum beat.  It does bust out into a crazy and interesting EDM sorta stomp but this isn’t really aimed at me as I’m dead inside.

@@@ Dead Cross: Dead Cross (Ipecac, 2017)  Some hardcore punk to clear my mind after that last record which kinda fucked me up.  They whip up a pretty good shitstorm in this first tune and the singer is kinda glammy or heavy metal for hardcore.  Just my opinion.  I see from gathering a video from the GooglePimp that these guys are a sort of supergroup and the singer is from, well I don’t know these bands and they don’t specify the player’s positions.  It’s like Megadeth humped a punk band, let’s put it that way.  It’s not a formula I love but check it for yourself.

@@@ Jack Johnson: Sunsets for Somebody Else (Jack Johnson, 2017)  A pre-release single from Gen X’s Jimmy Buffett.  Super slack and unthreatening and sending out all manner of airy vibes.  I like his vocal delivery and the guitar playing is pretty if not standard but the lyrics, eh not my cup of tea.  And I remain consistently against the woo hoo background vocals from anybody.

YTD recordings listened to: 510
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 278
Not good music: 210

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