Music for 1/2/19!!! The Beths, Thou

@@@ The Beths: The Future Hates Me (Carpark Records, 2018) #41 on the NPR best of 2018 list so it’s gonna be soft and intimate, right?  The first tune actually comes out with uptempo energy and a little Queens of the Stone Age guitar grind but toned back for the NPR people.  Oh my, she’s comforting and friendly but they’re actually rockin’ it by 2018 rock standards.  Melodic and hooky it’s an updated Breeders thing with a less acidic and ironic singer and it’s all right.  Reminiscent of the Weezer, of the Superdrag, of the ’90s hooky power rock.

@@@ Thou: Magus (Sacred Bones, 2018)  #43 on the very same NPR list and it’s spieled as gloom folk.  Good stuff.  It’s not folk, I’m an idiot, it’s a metal record.  Oh my somebody has been in the kitchen cooking up the guitar sludge and pouring it all over the listener and I think that special somebody is an orc.  Or somebody with laryngitis.  Oh my, this is quite slow and syrupy and stoned out.  The second tune dabbles in a sci fi drum machine kind of thing but I think it’s just a palette cleanser before they bring out, you guessed it, another pot of high end guitar asphalt.  Right on time, the monster is up and stomping around.  I’m a bit too caffeinated at this point of time to get pulled down in the mud like this but they’re executing this quite well.

YTD recordings listened to: 4
Good music, not list worthy: 2
Not good music: 0

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, 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, 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

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Music for 12/12/18!!! Mammoth Grinder, Primal Rite, Sumac

@@@ Mammoth Grinder: Cosmic Crypt (Relapse, 2018)  I haven’t heard a ton of metal this year that made me jump up and down but I snagged a few choices off a year end list at the AV club and this one led by the drummer for Power Trip looks engaging.  It’s got a nice friendly mosh flavor to it.  Just your meat and potatoes smackdown.  It doesn’t have the same energy as Power Trip’s 2017 release which I really liked but it’s solid.  It’s got a couple of the dudes from Iron Reagan whose name I like but about whom I know little.

 

@@@ Primal Rite: Dirge of Escapism (Revelation, 2018)  This recording has a bit of a different feel to it than the Mammoth Grinder one above.  That band name is very accurately chosen and this first tune is a bit math-y with a nice muscular stomp and some punk flavorings.  The singer’s voice is fucked with and he sounds like he’s inside a big concrete tube and barely understandable.  By the third tune Antivenom the water is at a full boil and the thrashing and grinding about is quite intense.  I’m not feeling like this is best of 2018 for my list but it’s got a lot going for it.

 

@@@ Sumac: Love in Shadow (Thrill Jockey, 2018) Marketed as a largely improvised metal record there are four long ass pieces three of which clock in at over 15 minutes.  I’m listening to the second tune right now and it is a noisy and energetic guitar record without being a full metal meltdown kinda record.  The focus here is on playing as one would expect with 15 minute pieces.  I like how it’s not a sloppy record by any means but it’s looser than most metal records.  It is a big metal jam record.  I like the sound of it and I will circle back on it when I have closer to 1 hour and 6 minutes.

YTD recordings listened to: 684
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 371
Not good music: 265

Best: 16
Honorable Mentions: 8

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, 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, 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

Music for 12/6/18!!! Judas Priest, Sleep, Ghost, Behemoth

@@@ Judas Priest: Lightning Strike (Sony Music, 2018)  I always thought Judas Priest rode the fine line between rough metal and cheesy ass shit.  But folks love it and this single is off their 18th album.  I tell you they do all right putting out a lot of energy and performing at this level after all these years.  Their lead singer is 67 years old and he’s out there tearing it up.  An awesome tune if you love Judas Priest.  I’m working off a loudwire best metal songs of 2018 and this one is #1 on the list.  Imagine that.  Big guitar melodies over the thwacking kick drum, these guys are taking their vitamins.

@@@ Sleep: Giza Butler (Warner, 2018) A ten minute old school hippie metal kinda track off an album released earlier this year on Jack White’s imprint.  Plenty of time to pack your water pipe or get a weed brownie from your stash as this is mad stony.  Opens up with a hypnotic bassline and gets into some fuzzy wah wah f’real.  Very Sabbath.  And right around 2 minutes it crushes the guitar and the singer comes in kinda low key.  It’s well done and indebted to War Pigs.

@@@ Ghost: Rats! (Loma Vista, 2018)  More classic metal.  This video below has 15 million hits.  I hear this tune more rooted in the ’80s than the ’70s.  The singer is quite pretty even with doubletracked vocal harmonies in places.  The hook is the word Rats!  This is a bit light for my taste and guess how they would react to my less than excited review.  Rats!  He didn’t love it!

@@@ Behemoth: Bartzabel (Metal Blade, 2018)  5 minutes of epic opening up with some arpeggiated guitars and big toms.  Big big toms.  We got a big intro going here, oy it ended and now it’s threedled guitar, some big pounding and a half caveman singer.  Come to me Bartzabel!  Who is Bartzabel??  GooglePimp, help a brother out!  He is the spirit of Mars.  A planetary spirit, imagine that.  Mars is the red planet and Mars was the god of war so there are some dark, not quite Satanic vibes to the Bartzabel.  I don’t know if I would want to hang with Bartzabel, is it fun to party with a planetary spirit?  I don’t know who could answer this question.  The tune is all right with lots of drums — big fills, big kick drum but I don’t know if it’s worth all the fuss.

YTD recordings listened to: 673
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 366
Not good music: 262

Best: 16
Honorable Mentions: 8

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, 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, 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

Music for 10/25/18!!! Rae Spoon, Tim Hecker, Echo Beds

@@@ Rae Spoon: Bodies of Water (Coax, 2018) #1 out at CFUV in Vancouver.  It’s a singer/songwriter record with a young female singing.  The first tune starts out solo, clean electric guitar and her.  It’s melancholy and sweet.  A band does make a mellow appearnace behind her but it’s still very meaningful and deep.  The second tune brings on the classic indie though with a piano and a small synth part added to the guitar.  I like her voice without liking the lyrics very much.

@@@ Tim Hecker: Konoyo (Kranky, 2018)  I tyr to check out Tim Hecker’s ambient music as he’s a professional ambient music maker with skills.  This first tune, This Life, has a dark and mechanical bent to it with some screeching metallic sounds and offkilter synth playing that is not pillowy or cloudy, it’s unsettling.  The second tune, In Death Valley, focuses on more bell like sounds and there are a lot of delays and a lot of bell like sounds.  It’s got a dark feel to it but not as actively dark as the first tune.  It’s pretty engaging music.  Outside of three 3-5 minute pieces these are all long ones that require some attention.  Thus far I like the pacing and the sounds of this latest Hecker effort and I will swing back on this record when I have more time.

@@@ Echo Beds – Buried Language (The Flenser)  This recording is slotted as industrial music on the Apple Music and is in the loud section of the weekly CFUV playlist email.  It’s opens up with a straightforward drum machine rock/industrial beat but a super needly thin guitar part.  The comes the creepy voice.  I like the muscularity of it but I’m not super into the singer.  I really am in the mood for some dark sounds these days, but this is a bit overwrought.  I guess it works for the Halloween crowd as it has a cartoonish, villain-y feel to it but I would stick with the Tim Hecker record above if you want some dark and submersive music.

YTD recordings listened to: 599
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 319
Not good music: 244

Best: 9
Honorable Mentions: 6

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, 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, RAM, Fiver, 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, Lawaii, Etran De L’Air, Ruby Karinto, Elysia Crampton, Parquet Courts, Orlando Lopez, Moskus, Kendl Winter, Tkay Maidza, Peregoyo y su Combo vacana, serpentwithfeet, Tim Hecker

Music for 9/17/18!!! Dad Nap, Scott Xylo, Immersion

@@@ Dad Nap: Worn Out (Self-released, 2018) I got to this DIY record via the music blog Indiepulse.  Super DIY recording — a one microphone creation with virtually no low end but tons and tons and tons of energy.  Manic acoustic guitar strumming, some harmonica and speedy vocals.  The vocalists are working so fast they sound more than a bit a little like Eminem.  I really appreciate the spirit.

@@@ Scott Xylo: Call Us When You Get there (Black Acre, 2018) I was clipping the above record on to this here blog post when I saw this record posted on the front page of Bandcamp and thought it looked good.  Btw, it’s album of the day at Bandcamp.  I expect a whole lot more low end on this recording as it’s a mash of Afrobeat, jazz, and funk.  Has a pretty intimate and laidback feel to it with mellow ass vocals.  Bits of Maxwell and other loverboy r&b gents.  The third tune, Sam’s Joloff, is the first spot where I felt connected to the sounds going on.  Simple funky bass line, some washed out midnight electric organ, some sax playing and mostly African drumming.  I like it without loving it.

@@@  Immersion: Irreversible Mechanism (2018)   Some metal off the bandcamp.  These guys are from Finland so you know it’s good!  Not really but it’s a great marketing line.  From reading their band camp page, they’re super into atmosphere and not putting out your standard metal bashing.  Which is great for them, but not so much for me.  This is a long intro on this first tune, I’m not feeling punished yet.  This is operatic and slow.  Not really my thing, let me skip to the next track.  Oh no, there it is!  I had to wait almost 4 minutes.  This is an epic artsy metal stomp.  It’s a lot of sustained guitar melodies, a lot of kick drum, and a lot of caveman-esque vocals.  I like the dirtier business myself but this isn’t all about what I like.  Check it out if it seems applicable to you.

YTD recordings listened to: 532
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 280
Not good music: 220

Best: 9
Honorable Mentions: 5

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, 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, 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, Elysia Crampton, Parquet Courts, Orlando Lopez, Moskus, Kendl Winter, KEN mode, Automatisme

Music for 9/5/18!!! Windhand, Martin Van Ruin, KEN mode

@@@ Windhand: Diablerie (Relapse, 2018) I got to this pre-release metal single via a music publicist email.  Of which there are many to be sure.  Music publicist emails that is.  This tune opens up sludgy as fuck with what sounds like a detuned guitar spilling all over with arena rock drum sounds and a singer.  Yes, a singer singing.  So this is more in the grunger/stoner rock neighborhood than the straight metal zone.  It’s a well put together set of sounds with a big guitar solo in the middle of it.  I’m not jumping up and down but if this is a blend you think you might like check it out.  I’ve had enough grunge for a lifetime.

@@@ Martin Van Ruin: On the Level (Self-released, 2018). An indie rock track I got to via a Midwestern music publicist.  The promo email mentioned something about Wilco type business but I (thankfully) don’t hear that at all.  It’s a mainstream rock sound with some ’70s sounds and some ’80s ideas.  It’s got a very straight rock drum beat, a big riff and rock bass holding it down.  I like the video, it’s funny, the footage of a young Milfier Hillary Clinton is super hot.  If I didn’t know better it looks like they’re making fun of white people, and so called hip progressive ones at that.

@@@ KEN mode: Loved (Season of Mist, 2018). I got to this noise rock record via the All Music weekly notable release email.  Notable releases chosen by All Music.  The first tune jumps out of the speaker sounding like a combination of the Jesus Lizard and a messy metal band.  I like the energy a whole bunch.  The guitars are sharp and KEN mode puts some heat and passion into his music.  He’s losing his nut on the microphone.  Great distorted bass sounds, thwacking drum sounds, and throat tearing vocals.  Swings in places, rocks in others, noisy in other nooks and crannies.  I’m going to circle back on this bitch, it’s got some heat to it.  Check it out.

YTD recordings listened to: 507
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 265
Not good music: 213

Best: 9
Honorable Mentions: 5

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, 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, 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, Elysia Crampton, Parquet Courts, Orlando Lopez, Moskus, Kendl Winter, KEN mode

Music for 8/22/18!!! Mitski, Odetta Hartman, Uniform

@@@ Mitski: Be the Cowboy (Dead Oceans, 2018).  Indie rock off this week’s All Music notable release email which we will be rocking for this whole day’s listen.  And shit.  A Japanese-American transplant doing torch songs, at least the opener.  These are finely crafted indie tunes, not fully downer-y but than a bit of melancholy.  Mitski’s voice is great, the lyrics are better than average but well I’m not super into the indie conceit.

@@@ Odetta Hartman: Old Rockhounds Never Die (Memphis Industries, 2018). I got to this alt country/indie thing via last week’s All Music.  It sports redneck sounds as well as indie sounds and Hartman comes off as a Jack White but with a vagina.  I’m assuming she has a vagina, it’s not a primary concern of mine.  Actually it does make you wonder if  Jack White might have a tickle muff betwixt his gams.  Back to the music!  I expected more redneck as the record is out on Memphis industries but besides a stray banjo and what not it’s pretty indie.  Not particularly noisy, they’re pleasantly coffee shop.  She’s got a ‘I want to run to the edge of the earth with you’ vocal hook going on this third tune.  There’s even a drum machine on this fourth tune.

@@@ Uniform: The Long Walk (Sacred Bones, 2018).  This is in the Nine Inch Nail industrial rock tradition though I haven’t heard any synths yet.  A lot of distorted guitars and bass, a distorted voice that sounds like it’s coming up a clogged drain.  I skipped to the second song, not usually a good sign if I can’t make it through the opener.  The guitarist and the drum probably own a fair amount of heavy metal records and they straddle metal, punk, and noise and industrial music but I’m not finding it a super satisfying listen.  You, dear listener, might feel very differently so check for yourself.  There never were any synths, the vocals were Nine Inch Nail-esque, but it’s a heavy rock record, just want to clear that up.

YTD recordings listened to: 486
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 253
Not good music: 204

Best: 8
Honorable Mentions: 5

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, 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, 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, Elysia Crampton, Parquet Courts, Orlando Lopez, Moskus, Kendl Winter, 700 Bliss