Music for 1/3/17!!! Kelela, The Bjork, Jay-Z

@@@ Kelela: Frontline (Warp, 2017)  Let’s keep on with Pitchfork’s top 100 songs of 2017.  I didn’t get the hype of this record when I checked it upon release but she’s at #9 for the year.  They call her vocals bold and stunning but I don’t hear it.  She’s got a good voice and she’s got some standard double track for background.   Compare this track to Prince’s Lady Cab Driver and get back to me.  The tune is solid, it’s focused but I don’t get chills and I don’t fill my diaper.  I wanted to fill my diaper in joy, but I didn’t.

@@@ Bjork: The Gate (One Little Indian, 2017)  People love the Bjork — she’s part superhero, she’s part feminist kickass, part weirdo.  Here again we have an artist’s brand/personality overshadowing her music.  This opens up Bjork-apella with a couple of wind instruments.  It’s like Lord of the Rings had a love baby with Blade Runner — both ancient and futuristic.  After the Bjork-apella shit gets mad emotional — slow, contemplative storytelling from a place where she gives love from.  This single is 6:38 and I’m not sure I can make it.  I’ve been watching the Great British Bake Off (highly recommended!) and if this song was a cake it would a big fluffy, multi-tiered affair and a bit of a messy inside fillings.  I honestly can’t tell you what this song is about.  I keep hearing about the care for you but then I heard a ‘when did you get so needy?’ which is never a good sign.  I made it 5:45 and this is not one of my top 100 songs of 2017.

@@@ Jay-Z: The Story of OJ (Roc Nation/UMG, 2017)  I love the sounds on this track, it’s unfortunate that Jay-Z starts talking New York City real estate in the middle of the track.  And then he goes from race politics and intermingles that with buying art as an investment and it’s just a mash of self-blowing and holy roller fake politics.  I don’t give a fuck about how much your bullshit paintings are worth — you can roll up ’em tight and slide ’em up yer high end uptown ass and nobody would even know they’re missing!  Nice beats and really tight arrangement with a lot of confusion sauce yo.  You can’t be on the top 100 songs of the year with this level of lyrics, I’m sorry that’s just sad.  Plus he throws in that Jews and money reference, I’m not sure that passes the smell test.

YTD recordings listened to: 9
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 4
Not good music: 4

Best: 0
Honorable Mentions: 0

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, 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, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Benjamin Booker, Irreversible Entanglements, Converge, Open Mike Eagle

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Fat track: Sudan Archives’ Oatmeal!

I was listening to this African influenced, chill r&b/lounge EP for inclusion on my list this year and this is the tune that I dug the most.

It’s an interesting blend of what sounds like African violin, hammered marimba type action, this electronic bass, and a trippy vocal part.

The solo/pre-outro section is a hot variation on what was established earlier in the track.

Music for 10/31/17!!! Rico Nasty, Ne Obliviscaris, Maston, Courtney Pine

@@@  Rico Nasty: Sugar Trap 2 (Sugar Trap, 2017)  Do you love the trap music?  I do!  I mean the lyrics are mad stupid but it’s funky and has a good dose of cough syrup and/or weed to trip things out nicely.  How could I not listen to a record by someone named Rico Nasty?  That’s fucked up yo.  I found this record in the new release section of Apple Music.  I gotta thing for these potty mouth female rappers — I find it entertaining.  This girl is all over these other bitches and dogging them for working at 7-11.  I wouldn’t confuse this record with John Lennon’s Imagine, this is a record of folks going for the loot and fighting anybody in their way.  I’m going to exit after this third tune which I thought was going to be sweet until she stepped and said ‘this ain’t no motherfucking playground.’  Oh my, this is not for the sensitive folks out there.

@@@  Ne Obliviscaris: Urn (Season of Mist, 2017)  Some proggy heavy metal off this week’s All Music notable release email.  Notable!!  This is a record that is supposed to be a mash of various styles including jazz and prog.  Not usually my thing but I go in with an open mind.  This first tune opens up a little noodle-y before they get into the mathy bash.  This is super epic (more epic than epic) and I guess they rock a an big singer as well as an orc who has just made his appearance.  There are two almost 10 minute jams on this record and the opener is one of them.  Let’s peep more.   The second tune is a classical folk thing with violin and steel string guitar.  The third tune is an 11 minute monster shot and it’s all right.  I struggle with the super clean metal as I prefer the stuff that is a hot mess.  Super high level playing for metal nerds!!!

@@@ Maston: Tulips (Phonoscope, 2017) Some indie rock off this week’s All Music notable release email.  Notable!!  It opens chill and twee with some shiny guitar and flute (guess?)  I like it all right but it would be great if it was more than a sonic vibe.  I think this is an instrumental record — it sounds like a bunch of hipsters bought some Martin Denny or old school pre-lounge lounge music and then decided to rock a record around the concept.  The organ player has come swelling on this third tune so I think I may actually may know what I’m talking about here.  A rarity indeed.

@@@ Courtney Pine: Black Notes from the Deep (Freestyle, 2017)  I got to this r&b record also off the All Music notable release email.  Notable!!  I’ve heard this jazz sax player’s music before but not with a singer and not with this sound/vibe in operation.  I tend to prefer the fire jazz so while I appreciate some of the sounds here, particularly the bass, the playing is just a tad slack and doobie-ish for my taste.  The tune clipped below is one that features the singer.  Pine’s tone is super warm and inviting but it’s too quiet storm for me.

YTD recordings listened to: 702
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 376
Not good music: 292

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

Music for 9/19/17!!! Alice Glass, Evil Invaders, Dan Walsh

@@@ Alice Glass: Alice Glass EP (Loma Vista, 2017) Female fronted space pop off this week’s CFUV playlist email.  The most notable feature of the first tune is how much the low end has been sliced out of the singer’s voice and she sounds about seven years old.  This sort of club music requires slick production — a lot of shine to go with the booty rocking bass.  The record tries to be both dance music and lyric driven songs but I don’t buy these as songs, they leave me feeling not much, if anything.

@@@ Evil Invaders: Feed Me Violence (Napalm, 2017)  Some revved up classic metal/thrash that I got to from the same CFUV playlist email.  The singer is really a singer, and the guitarist(s) provide quite a bit of rhythmic chord chunking as well as the occasional pig squeal.  There are two pre-release tunes up and this second one As Life Slowly Fades follows the same basic premise as the opener.  Fast tempo, lots of drum fills followed by thrash beats, and wicked piercing pig squeals/guitar blasts.

@@@ Dan Walsh: Verging on the Perpendicular (Roksmere Records, 2017)  Some roots/folk music off the CFUV email.  This second tune (clipped below) is banjo playing and singing.  It’s really pleasant playing and the singing is pretty with more modern lyrics.  There are two instrumentals in the three first tunes which is fine as Walsh can surely play the banjo.  For old schoolers.

YTD recordings listened to: 606
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 322
Not good music: 258

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

Music for 9/7/17!!! U2, Mark Olsen, Medusa

@@@ U2: You’re the Best Thing About Me (Island, 2017)  I used to say Bono was a douche half the time and a great singer the other half so I put up with him.  Now I fear that he’s crossed over into total douchedom.  He just sounds like a rock ‘n roll door to door salesman.  I like the bass sound here, I’ve always dug the drummer, and I’m agnostic on the guitar playing here — Edge sure has had his moments but this may not be one of them.  Unfortunately this tune is smothered in schmaltzy Bono douche sauce.  He should do a duet with Taylor Swift — it could be called Look What Made Us Totally Unbearable!  I should trademark that the way Taylor Swift trademarked the phrase ‘this sick beat’.  The Apple Music blurb says they make it sound so easy and I’ll just leave it at that.  Boy I’m happy that’s over.

@@@ Mark Olsen: Spokeswoman of the Bright Sun (Glitterhouse records, 2017)  A roots record off the Americana section on Apple Music.  I like this first tune with a dual male/female vocal attack.  You have to be up for lyrics like ‘Where are the yellow hummingbird flowers?’  I have no fucking clue where they might be.  Full band working a couple of notches above soft rock with a couple of pubes of Byrds Cali pop orchestration.  I like the mash of influences here and I dig the vocal pairing.  Get ready to take a barefoot walk in a meadow full of flowers after you peep this.  Flower child music with strings, let’s go with that.

@@@ Medusa: Paradise Lost (Nuclear Blast, 2017)  A veteran metal outfit that I’ve never heard of delivers their 15th record.  Oy, that’s a lotta metal!!!  Horns up you shittas!!!  After a little organ intro they get into the classic doom slow stomp.  The singer sounds like a human.  He growls for sure but he says words and I’m thinking he lives in a house and not a cave.  Excellent guitar tones and they’re jammed into both of ya earholes.  I’m thinking with the reference to John Milton’s Paradise Lost this is a high minded beat down.  These guys have full control of that slow water dripping smacking of human domes and the vibe to engage you while they back a slow moving bus over your thin skulled meatbag.  The auto speller changed meatball to meatball — awesome and extremely confusing.  Who backs a bus up over meatballs?  Lastly if you like some classic metal guitar melodies over the top of your doom rock these guys will bring it on home.

YTD recordings listened to: 579
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 308
Not good music: 244

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

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