Music for 7/27/17!!! The Bombay Royale, Pokey LaFarge, Mr. Eazi

@@@  The Bombay Royale: Run Kitty Run (Hopestreet, 2017)  An Australian/Indian funky large ensemble record.  There are two tracks up for pre-release on the Apple Music and this first track is funky for sure with some tongue in cheek spy movie/spaghetti western influence.  I like the blending of musical cultures and I am enjoying the singers but I’m not jumping up and down.

@@@ Pokey LaFarge: Manic Revelations (Rounder/Concord, 2017)  Some old school rocking’ r&b in the vein of James Hunter that I got to via this week’s CFUV playlist email.  It’s a larger band with a horn section and an organ player.  LaFarge has a very nice voice and this is a celebration of early ’60 r&b.  Pre black power/James Brown.  Aretha Franklin could probably beat LaFarge up and that would be entertaining.

@@@ Mr. Eazi: Life is Eazi, Vol. 1 — Akkra to Lagos (Banku Music, 2017)  A rare African music record on the front page of Apple Music.  I can see why they have him front and center as he sounds like an African Bieber except not nearly as annoying.  Smooth vocals with some nice African guitar playing and beats you would find on a lot of new American mainstream releases.  Regular readers know that I’m a huge listener of all African music but this does not have enough African music in it to super interest me.  It’s probably really interesting to a lot of American mainstream music listeners.  I’m agnostic.

YTD recordings listened to: 491
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 268
Not good music: 201

Buys: 7
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 6/27/17!!! Melis, Vasser, Larkins, KINDER

Today we are back on this Best of Line Fit 25 hot tracks of the week.  I find the indie music to be culturally/philosophically fascinating as it is a projection of white folks’ psychology but this genre is not a place where I find a lot of good music.  I don’t wish to be a black person but I have more than my share of problems with whiteness and all the shit that goes with that.  On to the listening!

@@@ Melis: Flower (Virtuous Sound, 2017)  This indie folk tune opens up super intimate with a fragile female voice and a simple figure behind it.  It is sad and hopeful at the same time.   After about 90 seconds it opens up into a larger sound with an electronic beat, background vocals, electric organ.  I find the lyrics a tad confusing — I heard one line saying ‘everything I need from you is everything I see in you’.  Now we’re building to the full New Age catharsis.  Even though this tune is saturated with feelings there are repeated entreaties to not think about it.  What is this it I’m not supposed to think about?  Is it that the lyrics don’t make sense to me and don’t think about it???#sarcasm.  Confusion is an under discussed aspect of these large indie tunes — I just finished listening and I’m not sure at all what that was about though those were some big ass meaningful sounds.

@@@ Vasser: Little Things (Vasser, 2017)  An updated Peter Gabriel/Kate Bush world rock kinda sound.  The singer enters and he’s feeling a lot as well.  What are we to do with all these feelings?  I like the bass sound, and the beats are all right and though this isn’t my favorite sonic formula there’s some sophistication to it.  The singer, hmm, he’s not bad but he’s not my cup of tea.  I’m finishing up this tune and it’s similar to the first — a lot of focus on the sound and not much on the meaning.  Either I’m supposed to dig through the lyrics and figure it out, or I’m supposed to groove on the sounds and the tone of his voice, or it was supposed to say something and didn’t do a good job of it.  Or I’m stupid and that’s been accepted at the outset.

@@@ Larkins: Sugar Sweet (Mark Lippman, 2017)  The GoogleTubePimp calls this tune sun soaked.  And if you see the title of the tune on the video below this is an uplifter, a bra for the tits of your mind.  It’s a big rock drumbeat with some cutesy guitar playing that goes to half crunch in the chorus.  How was I to know you were in my veins?  How was I to know that we could be more than friends?  Yes, it’s veins.  So he’s celebrating having a romantic relationship with somebody who was previously just a friend.  Okay, big props because the lyrics make sense and I get it.  Whew!  Now he’s rocking a friendly big rock formula that isn’t my cup of tea but it might be yours and I’m just happy I listened to a song that made sense to me.

@@@ KINDER: Feeling Gets Too Heavy (Lapsang House, 2017)  A slow electro-banger of an upcoming yet to be released record.  From the sounds I thought this was gonna be a romantic kinda track but it’s got negative feelings in it.   Now he’s in a groove where he keeps saying ‘it’s your light that keeps me going’.    So maybe in the first half of the tune he’s got a lot of heavy feelings and then he kinda moves on to the place where he feels better about his relationship and this other person’s light is awesome and shit.  Again, a lot of feelings, I get that, and I think have some idea of what this tune might be about but I’m not going to the bank on it.  He’s got some Prince falsetto going here and some plinky chorused guitar (which I don’t love) and sonically it’s neither a rocker nor a club banger — it’s a slow quiet storm (of feelings).  Feelings, oh Lord the feelings!

YTD recordings listened to: 404
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 225
Not good music: 160

Buys: 6
Honorable Mentions: 4

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, Power Trip, Reverend Payton, J.I.D., Oddisee, Forro in the Dark, RAM, Fiver, Dona Onete, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Dead Ranch

Music for 5/11/17!!! Cende, The Whistles and the Bells, Little Cub

@@@ Cende: Don’t Want To (Double Whammy, 2017) A little Elvis Costello, a little bit of Squeeze and a pubic hair of The Strokes.  Hi energy rock that back in the day would have been FM classic radio between the big stoner tunes.  It’s 1:36 so it goes in commando style and gets out right away.  Kudos for that.  Got to this via a music publicist email.  Probably cost them at least $3k for that exposure.

@@@ The Whistles and the Bells: Modern Plagues (New West, 2017) This record is slotted as an indie folk on last week’s All Music notable release email but it’s the kind of milquetoast indie that I have problems with.  I’m sure these are all fantastic people but the singer is mad annoying to me.  Kinda cute and smarmy.  I would not go so far as to say that he needs a slap but maybe a good rough cuff.  Now this second tune is less indie and more roots oriented but it’s still the same singer.

@@@ Little Cub: Still Life (Domino, 2017)  Indie electronic off this week’s All Music.  Very smooth Roxy Music opening tune — plinky guitars, laid-back beats and a suave singer.  It’s interesting to see how synth rock has morphed into indie electronic because to me this isn’t really electronic music, but it’s rock music songs with a lot of electronic sounds and vibes.  I think these guys are Brits and this is the kind of music Prince Harry listens to — it’s got dignity and not much muscle.  I don’t know much about Prince Harry’s personal life story so don’t take that comment too seriously.

YTD recordings listened to: 289
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 171
Not good music: 111

Buys: 5
Honorable Mentions: 2

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, Drone, 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, Aethenor, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, James Brandon Lewis, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Power Trip, Reverend Payton, J.I.D., Oddisee, Forro in the Dark

Music for 4/26/17!!! Matthew Logan Vazquez, Mr. Mitch

@@@ Matthew Logan Vazquez: Does What He Wants (Dine Alone, 2017)  I’ve heard Vasquez’s music before and almost put it on a year end list.  This one opens up straight blues rock and I don’t like it much.  The second tune is less rocking and more indie — I like it more but the third tune is back to the big rock.  He has a good voice and the sounds are all right but it seems like a record designed to produce loot as it goes out of its way to be familiar.

@@@ Mr. Mitch: Devout (Planet Mu, 2017)  This electronic musician out of London is being marketed as somewhere between grime and ambient.  This first tune is a slow love song with lush synths and a delayed vocal line.  In the second song, he breaks out the ping pong delay and gets to rhyming.  The beats are not typical American hip hop and the piece has a sort of sci fi feel to it.  Mr. Mitch appears to want to have delicate sounds on top of beats so when he drops the energy of the beats it feels ambient and when he goes into a grime hip hop thing it’s a half rugged video game thing.  Not really for me but check for yourself.

@@@ Mike Dillon: Life is Not a Football (Royal Potato, 2017)  Some experimental rock off this week’s All Music notable release email.  This first tune opens up somewhat Captain Beefheart-y with a mid tempo weird groove and lower energy vocals.  The second tune Man C**t gets more fractured with some wild slashing vocal blasts, tom tom drumming and some squirgles.  Yes, squirgles.  I’m on the third tune, I like the marimba/vibes but I for those who want to roll this way I would head out to Beefheart’s Trout Mask Replica or some vintage Zappa.

YTD recordings listened to: 250
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 148
Not good music: 99

Buys: 5
Honorable Mentions: 1

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., Fofoulah, 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, Drone, 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, Aethenor, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, James Brandon Lewis, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Power Trip, Reverend Payton, J.I.D., Oddisee, Forro in the Dark

Music for 4/2/17!!! Kodak Black, Body Count

@@@ Kodak Black: Painting Pictures (Atlantic, 2017)  Big label hip hop off the Apple Music new music section.  Mr. Black sounds more than a bit like Q-Tip and the first tune is a slightly above downtempo track about his time in prison and other problems he’s had.  I want to check this second track cuz I would like something mo brisk and funkier.  Nope, more cough syrup tempo but the bass is quite ridiculous and a lot of the sounds are kind of ballad-y.  The fourth tune is the most uptempo with some really nice backwards guitar and some skittery beats.  I’m attaching the tenth tune, Tunnel Vision, because it has 93 million views on the GooglePimp.  He’s got this rough/sweet combo to his sound that I bet helped him garner that many views.

@@@ Body Count: Bloodlust (Century Family, 2017)  I saw that Ice T has released another record with his old Body Count moniker.  It’s not hip hop it’s metal with rhymes over the top.  I like Ice T, he’s not up his own ass.  This first tune Civil War is about our fucked up American politics with big power chord guitar action, Rage Against the Machine funky drumming.  The second tune The Ski Mask Way is uptempo and mixes in mainstream hard rock with his Rage formula.  I’d put 50 bucks that Ice T is not robbing folks with a ski mask on these days but it’s a solid tune.  Ice T is super raw in this second tune, you gotta give him respect for his lyrical rawness — he’s on the other side of his Law and Order character on this record.

YTD recordings listened to: 216
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 115
Not good music: 81

Buys: 1
Honorable Mentions: 1

Possibles: Chris McGregor, Dave Arner Trio, Zomby, Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, Slidhr, The Chewers, Toxic Holocaust, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Fofoulah, 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, Divanhana, Moken, Juan Atkins, Drone, 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, Aethenor, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, James Brandon Lewis, Yotoco, Tinariwen, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Power Trip, Reverend Payton, J.I.D., Oddisee, Feral Ohms, Orquestra Baobab

Music for 2/20/17!!! Ibibio Sound Machine, Hunck, D.O.C.

@@@ Ibibio Sound Machine: Uyai (Merge, 2017)  This world music outfit has two tunes up on the Apple Music and this record is reviewed this week by WRIR in Virginia.  This first tune more than subtly bites Michael Jackson’s ‘Don’t Stop til you Get Enough’.  As WRIR says in the review these guys are trying to leave the world music ghetto and they’ve filed a lot of edges down here to get to mainstream listeners.  The energy is very high and the female singer is quite active on the mic.  I dig the rhythm section on this tune as well.  I guess I’m not feeling the synth hooks here, they’re not awful but they change the complexion and aspirations for the record.

@@@ Hunck: Little Women (Not sure, 2017)  I’ve been getting mad publicist emails about this band Hunck so I will give a peep and maybe a Trumpian pee.  Dance rock beats, medium strong ’80s rock vibes, and an aspiring porn star singer.  I’m feeling the drummer as he’s pulling off the sleazy vibes, but the guitar player, eh not so much.  Pretty standard stuff for the earholes.

@@@ D.O.C.: Parched Dredge EP (Iron Lung, 2017)  Some rough, sped up metal off this week’s CFUV playlist email.  Hardcore singer with a little caveman grunting, herky jerky sizzly guitars — quite an impressive wall of them actually.  And the drummer, somebody get the drummer a beverage he’s drumming his nuts off.  Thrashing about like a fish on the bottom of a boat.  The bass player lays down a bed of sweet stanky bass.  These are all 30 second to 1 minute blasts of hate, really quite well done.

YTD recordings listened to: 119
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 64
Not good music: 39

Buys: 0
Honorable Mentions: 0

Possibles: Chris McGregor, Dave Arner Trio, Zomby, Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, Slidhr, The Chewers, Toxic Holocaust, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Fofoulah, 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, Divanhana, Moken, Juan Atkins, Drone, Lantern, Twin Peaks, Djelimady Tounkara, The Oh Sees, Denny Zeitlin, MILF, Unfun, De La Soul, Carl Sagan’s Skate Shoes, Magrudergrind, Acid Arab, A Tribe Called Quest, Noname, Gouge Away, Anna Hogberg, Klara Lewis, Aethenor, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, James Brandon Lewis, Yotoco, Tinariwen, Jungle Fire, Sandoz

Music for 2/2/17!!! Major Lazer, Kreator, Emptyset

@@@ Major Lazer: Run Up (featuring Nikki Minaj) (Mad Decent, 2017)  I think it’s cool to see dancehall Caribbean rhythms hit the mainstream but the Justin Bieber loverboy butter merchant on the mic is not great.  The sounds are hot but the vocals, outside of Minaj, are pretty weak.  I think the male singer may be this guest dude PARTYNEXTDOOR which is a fairly HORRIBLE name for a vocalist.  She most definitely raises the temperature on the track but she makes the WETPAPERTOWELNEXTDOOR sound SOGGY.  Great sounds, pick your singers better.

@@@ Kreator: Gods of Violence (Nuclear Blast, 2017)  Some heavy metal off last week’s All Music notable release email.  It’s a full on Hollywood soundtrack intro before it launches into a classic metal smashup with a great drum sound.  These guys sound like a super hopped up version of the Scorpions from back in the day.  The band is medium rough but they sure have a love affair with arena rock sounds.  This third tune, Satan is Real, could be a Metallica tune with a light sprinkling of parmesan cheese.

@@@ Emptyset: Borders (Thrill Jockey, 2017)  Some experimental electronic also off this week’s All Music notable release email.  It opens with a throbbing bass sound and a parallel rattle and some buzz sauce.  It’s looped and it’s a nice mash of sounds with some chopping and rhythmic elements coming in.  The second tune, clipped below, brings a higher tempo with some bounce but still plenty of rattle and buzz.  I like the opener more but as it unfolds it gets more chopped and sliced which is stylish.  This is an interesting combination of accessible rhythms and medium unpleasant sounds.  These pieces don’t sound fully baked to my ear but I don’t mean that in a bitchy way, I could just use a little more.

YTD recordings listened to: 76
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 46
Not good music: 23

Buys: 0
Honorable Mentions: 0

Possibles: Chris McGregor, Dave Arner Trio, Zomby, Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, Slidhr, The Chewers, Toxic Holocaust, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Fofoulah, 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, Divanhana, Moken, Juan Atkins, Drone, Lantern, Twin Peaks, Djelimady Tounkara, The Oh Sees, Denny Zeitlin, MILF, Unfun, De La Soul, Carl Sagan’s Skate Shoes, Magrudergrind, Acid Arab, A Tribe Called Quest, Noname, Gouge Away, Anna Hogberg, Klara Lewis, Aethenor, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof