Music for 12/7/17!!! Protomartyr, Vince Staples, King Krule

@@@ Protomartyr: Relatives in Descent (Domino, 2017)  Take an art school lounge-y singer and put him in a hipster Devo type of band with a quasi frantic drummer and you pretty much have the opening tune of this record.  The second tune, Here is the Thing, is slightly more aggressive and I dig the drummer a whole bunch while thinking the guitar player needs a Red Bull or two.  A little crunch would work for me, but that’s just me.  The crunch comes up on the fourth tune but I don’t feel it.  I got to this via the Guardian’s top 50 of the year, they’re now on the 20-30 top recordings.

@@@ Vince Staples: Big Fish Theory (Def Jam/UMG, 2017)  I don’t think I caught this hip hop record during the year but it made it to the Guardian’s list so it triggers a listen.  Ooh, this first tune is hot with a blend of club sounds, glitch and tight focused rhymes.  The second tune switches to a midtempo party track though Staples’ superior microphone work keeps it moving briskly.  The third tune, Love Can Be…. goes full dancefloor with fat kick four on the floor, synth bass, and funky non-skitter beats.  Whoever did the beats on this record has crazy ass skills, but I dug the first tune most. (Clipped below)

@@@ King Krule: The Ooz (True Panther, 2017)  Also off the Guardian’s best of 2017 list.  A mash of various influences in this first tune — downtempo, jazz/blues/soul guitar vamps, and lounge.  It’s a mood for sure — unsettled, hip, and alienated but in a completely non-rock aesthetic.  Let’s peep more!  The second tune unfolds in a similar lush, dark vein.  It’s trippy and dissatisfied.  The third tune, Dum Surfer (clipped below) has 2 million views on YouTube which is not a little gets the full peep.  It’s an interesting stew and I can’t say that I love it or hate it.  I don’t like all the reverb on the vocals but I like the beats and the guitar.  Check it for yourself.

YTD recordings listened to: 782
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 421
Not good music: 323

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, Les Amazones D’Afrique

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Music for 11/22/17!!! Kweku Collins, Diplo, The Diplomats

@@@ Kweku Collins: Grey (Closed Sessions, 2017)  I saw this hip hop artist on the Twatter giving notice of a tour so that triggered this peep.  I like the sounds here, very fresh and  well put together, especially the marimba solo at the end of the track.  Very creative.  It’s kinda left field without trying to be oddball.  I’m on the fifth tune and the opener remains my favorite of what I’ve heard.  I peeped Collins’ bio and he’s doing all right for 20 years old.  He could really develop into something and this is more than solid.

@@@ Diplo: Get it Right (Mad Decent, 2017)  A single off the hot tracks section on Apple Music.  From what I’ve read Diplo’s shit doesn’t ever smell, he’s just that good.  This is an uplifting, slow EDM banger with a breathy female singer.  After the verse it goes into a Brazilian waxed bush hyper-manicured section with vocal synth actions and a pick up in energy.  The vocals are barely coherent but at the meta level it’s a vow that she or the male singer or Diplo is gonna get it right.  I can appreciate the technicals involved in the Brazilian waxed chorus but the verse is a tad over-syruped.

@@@ The Diplomats: Once Upon a Time (Diplomats, 2017)  A filmtracky hip hop single also off the Apple Music hot music section.  They got a kinda soft instrumentation but the MCs hit the mic medium hard putting down other MCs and even throwing a shout out to Harvey Weinstein so this tune might be hot off the hard drive.  The gospel choir vocal sample that runs the whole way is an interesting backdrop for the MCs to smack talk over.  I don’t love it or hate it, I think it’s weird.

YTD recordings listened to: 753
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 402
Not good music: 313

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 11/17/17!!! Mauno Turning, Maraudeur, DRAM and Playboy Carti

@@@ Mauno: Turning (Idee Fixe, 2017)  Guitar indie off this week’s CFUV playlist email.  This is a classic formula — strummed clean electric guitar, slip slidey vocals.  They also sport a bit of math rock action on this second tune.  That was the third tune with the math.  I’m not going to hang for much longer as I’ve heard this record a bunch.  They do all right with it but indie is a tough sell for me.

@@@ Maraudeur: Marauder (Bruit Direct Disques, 2017) More rock, yippy!  This time in the electro/Devo neighborhood.  Angular non-rock rock with some synth half blasts, female singers, squiggles/video game sounds.  I want to wear a flower pot as a hat!  Things get a little more no wave detached in the second tune and the third tune goes for an angular ’80s half punk thing.  Or a Breeders type of thing without the humor and the rock blasts.  I don’t have much to say to this — it’s krauty so if you like krautrock you’ll feel this.

@@@ DRAM and Playboy Carti: Crumbs (Atlantic, 2017)  I had to tip out on the white folks’ music and I saw this tune Crumbs which seems appropriate for what the upcoming tax ‘reform’ bill gives.  The beats are slick and skittery with some high end Lexus synth bass that goes down smooth.  DRAM is all right, I like his style and I’ve not encountered Playboy Carti before but his rhymes are all right.  All I got is crumbs for you that’s the vocal hook.  Which sounds very of the moment as DRAM is blowing 100k on the weekend and our fantastic Republicans are pimpin’ it pretty hard and blowing hard as well.  It’s a good track, I don’t think it’s destined to be a classic but it’s got a smooth and relentless groove.

YTD recordings listened to: 744
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 396
Not good music: 310

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 11/15/17!!! Pink Siifu, Walk the Moon, RVIVR

@@@ Pink Siifu: Bills (Twothousandnine, 2017)  I saw this hip hop outfit shouted out on the Twatter and I scooped this b-side from a split single from the Apple Music.  It’s a pretty stripped down and funky arrangement with trippy synth layers and a fat bass pulse.  The MC is pleasantly nasal on the mic and he works the microphone in a subtle stop and start manner.

@@@ Walk the Moon: What if Nothing (RCA, 2017)  Some major label rock that occupies one of the prestigious banner positions up on the Apple Music.  Money changed hands.  I’m thinking as the intro to the first tune unfolds that this is gonna explode into a shopping mall rock cheese bomb.  No, they go for a white funk rock thing.   The lyrical component of this tune is blue eyed loverboy and the rhythmic undercarriage is a mash of prog and electro and arena rock.  Weird yo, points for an interesting blend.  The second tune stinks so I clicked through and we’re getting into Bon Jovi whoo hoos in this third tune.  The first tune was by far the most interesting track I’ve peeped.  It is coagulating into cheese as I click on the tracks.  Get some bred out for the third tune (clipped below).

@@@ RVIVR: The Tide/Shaggy (Dead Broke Rekerds, 2017)  Something about the moist weather in the Northwest makes for fertile ground for pop punk.  I saw on the CFUV weekly email that the music director had seen these guys live so that triggered a peep.  Crunchy guitars, caffeinated drumming and big ass chant a long vocal hooks.  Big pop punk energy if you’re in the mood.  Myself I dig it but I would rather toilet tweet.  The second tune on the 7″ (yes, fucking 7″!) features some guitar shred, a female singer.  Earnest kids, earnest white kids.

YTD recordings listened to: 738
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 392
Not good music: 308

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 11/10/16!!! Rich Chigga, NE-HI, The Used

@@@ Rich Chigga: Crisis (Empire, 2017)  A trap single occupying the #1 position on the Apple Music hot tracks section.  Slack rhymes in the verse but the chorus opens up into a half sung description of a touring hip hop act going through cities all the time each city containing ladies, if you know what I’m saying.  Standard skitter/fat bass contrast and a thin arrangement with some trippy synth arrangements.  Mr. Chigga is pretty clear that he will steal your bitch and I have no reason to doubt him.  I get that the slack vocal rhyming is a style/pose but it’s snoozy unless you’re busted out on cough syrup or something similar.

@@@ NE-HI: The Times I’m Not There (Manic Static, 2014) I saw on the Twatter that this track had been reworked so Imma guessing it’s a great indie track (or hipsters think thus) and they’re recycling it for some deep reason.  Let us peep and talk amongst ourselves.  It’s gonna benefit Chicago Public Schools so you can’t shit on that.  I saw that on the GooglePimp, I love the GooglePimp.   It starts out with an indie guitar riff and then they bring in some luscious female r&b vocals which is a nice flavor combination.  After the initial musical statement it kinda remains and floats in that vibe — I coulda used a bit more flavor added at the end.  Don’t call me a bitch, I’m just saying.

@@@ The Used: The Canyon (Hopeless Records, 2017)  I got to this post hardcore record via last week’s All Music notable release email.  It starts with the singer talking about holding somebody’s hand and telling them how much they loved them.  Okay!  After that it’s a man and his acoustic guitar and while the dude does a really good job with the vocal melody it’s a cheese fest for sure.  Let’s peep more and see how this goes.  The second tune abandons all that and goes into a clean, mainstream hard rock groove.  By the time it reaches the chorus it’s a lot of energy and tempo though it is careful not to fully melt down.  The singer is driving the bus here as the band is not as powerful as his voice and its deployment.  Big choruses here, it’s arena rock with a few pubes of emo and a lot of heavy pop.  This is aimed right at the heart of alienated mall walkers.  For me it’s short on genuine, messy human emotions and for that folks should check out Rites of Spring.

YTD recordings listened to: 729
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 391
Not good music: 305

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

Music for 11/6/17!!! Diamante Electrico, Mr. Lif & Brass Menazeri, The Illustrious Blacks

@@@ Diamante Eléctrico: Dias Raros (ft. Billy Gibbons) (Mercado Negro, 2017)  I saw this artist on the WRIR weekly email.  I guess he’s a guitar hero and he’s joined on this track by ZZ Top’s own Billy Gibbons, a great guitarist in his own right.  The song sound a whole lot like a ZZ Top track sung in Spanish — a straight rock beat and a straight rock bass, and Billy Gibbons.  Where’s my shred?  You get a little riff break down, rhythmic in nature but no shred.  Two guitar heroes and no shred?  I came for the guitar shred and all I got was a few riffs.

@@@ Mr. Lif & Brass Menazeri: Resilient  (Waxsimile, 2017) Imma have to look up the whereabouts of the musicians in this single off the WRIR weekly email.  I can’t see from the website where the Balkan sounding band is from but the MC is from Boston.  It’s an interesting mash to have an acoustic band behind a MC — rolling snare and a lot of sinuous horn lines.  The band does well in providing a base but I wish the MC had more energy and flavor.  For some reason the single they put up on Apple Music is not available on the GooglePimp.  Weird.

@@@ The Illustrious Blacks: Neo Afro Futuristic Psychedelic Surrealistic Hippy EP (Concierge, 2017)  A blend of Flashlight-era George Clinton and ’90s Dee Lite dance floor funk that I got to via a Flavorpill promo email.  And a bit of Prince as well.   There are four tunes on this EP and I’m on the fourth one and I recommend the first track and then tip after that.  The opening track is posted below.

YTD recordings listened to: 714
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 383
Not good music: 298

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 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