Music for 12/14/22!!! The Front Bottoms, The Prince Daddy and The Hyena

@@@ The Front Bottoms: the bongo song (Elektra, 2022) I saw these two bands listed at a Philly Show tweeted out by someone on the Twatter. This is a major label release so it’s gonna only go so far and this (the second track on the record) is a Violent Femmes type tuneful rocker but not as slack. Tighten up this is a major label. Big panned electric guitars widened out with a catchy (and classic) acoustic guitar strum. It’s a nice big sound and well executed. I’m checking out the third tune, Hello World, and this looks set to be an ironic cheese bomb. I fell off for a minute or half as I fell into a big lull because it was indeed a huge cheese bomb. God Bless America and the part of it that loves the cheese and needs the cheese. I’m not for the cheese.

@@@ Prince Daddy and the Hyena: I Forgot to Take My Meds (Pure Noise, 2022) I think it’s gonna be a send up as the record opens with a strong Beach Boys vibe. Big organ swell and stacked harmonies, here comes the noise. It lasts the whole song, the Beach Boys thing and then it gets into a rough melodic punk in the second time. Ramped up for sure and spillier guitars than what you usually encounter in this formula. The third tune Jesus Fucking Christ is a slower Superdrag flavored rocker. I like this tune most of the three I’ve sampled and think these guys are good candidates for a new Replacements type band.

Music for 8/30/22!!!! Julia Jacklin, Riton Raye

@@@ Julia Jacklin: Ignore Tenderness (Polyvinyl, 2022) A blend of bedroom indie and mainstream rock that I got to via this week’s All Music notable release email. I like the minimal arrangement, oh that just fell by the wayside as I typed the word minimal. It’s an end of relationship song and it’s kinda wordy, more than kinda it’s a lotta words. A string part comes in and that sorta makes it more adult and highbrow. My favorite part of the track is the arrangement and the sound of the track while I don’t love the strings or the abundance of verbiage. The next track clicked on and it’s mid to slow tempo rocker with crunchy guitars so this might bounce all around the various rock formulas.

@@@ Riton, Raye: I Don’t Want You (N/A, 2022) I think I have the right RAYE that I saw featured on this week’s Line of Best Fit email. This is a pop electro dancefloor banger with a pumping organ part, shopping mall techno beat, and strong diva feels. It’s got a lot of energy but I can’t say I’m drawn in. It’s not a fresh track, I could use some variation to the pumping organ, same with the beat and I don’t feel the epic vocals as being epic. I want to like it and I don’t hate it, but it’s not got a lot in it that interests me.

Music for 8/29/22!!! Saucy Santana, Ezra Furman

@@@ Saucy Santana: Booty (N/A, 2022) I got to this track after seeing some post VMA shit and they namechecked Saucy Santana, so there’s the peep. Oh Lord, this is a super party track, it aspires to nothing besides praising the booty, the concept of the booty, all the different flavors of booty. They bit the melody in the chorus but that boooty, boooty, boooty chant is original. Who else got an ass like this? Good question, are we having ass contest? I like the verses, the chorus is meh, and I like the booooty, booty, booooty, booooty, part. Not a lot to say here that hasn’t been said, it’s a booty thang and it’s solid B.

@@@ Ezra Furman: All of Us Flames (Anti-, 2022) A blend of indie rock and Bruce Springsteen smashed up and delivered by a gender fluid rocker. I could give two shits about the gender, we all about the music and it’s pretty mainstream with some indie flourishes, at least in the first track. I think this a rousing vibe record, he’s looking to rouse his listeners and the music ends up less interesting because of it. I wish this was more interesting music but it’s pretty mainstream and simple. Life be so complex even when the music is simple.

Music for 12/5/19!!! Richard Dawson, Vampire Weekend, Clairo, Georgia

@@@ Richard Dawson: Jogging (Domino, 2019)  Off the Guardian’s best tracks of the year and this one comes out rocking a bit strangely as one would expect from label Domino.  Over the pretty standard rock guitars you get a slowly unfolding melody that jumps range and vibe.  It’s an update on ’90s grunge with more sweetness.  I like his singing but I don’t love the ’80s snare and I’m agnostic to a bit sour on the guitars.  It’s all about the vocal melody and lyrics here.  A minimalist retro synth comes in and I find it both weird and a welcome addition to the listening experience.  It’s a 6 minute plus biscuit and I’m going to jump around minute 4 right around when the robot vocals come in and the whole things is morphing into a sci-fi rocker.  Respect for the weirdness but not on my top of the year songs.

@@@ Vampire Weekend: Harmony Hall (Columbia, 2019)  I might have peeped this track before but we’re good for repeats here.  It opens with a couple of quite nice ascending and descending acoustic guitar lines before a piano part comes in and it’s that sort of indie sweetness that sounds like the sort of escapist white people business.  I get the aesthetic and I appreciate the musicianship but I can’t participate.  I’m happy to see Vampire Weekend expand past being a white boy African music outfit and get into Paul Simon territory as well as other similar sounds are triggered here.

@@@ Clairo: Bags (Fader, 2019)  I continue to underestimate the appeal of classic indie/Velvet Underground style rock.  Personally I’m done with it.  Midtempo beats, slack vocals, simple guitar — these days more females are plying the boards with this formula than the gents.  I could be wrong on that.  If you’re not giving me a lot to listen to in the music then I want some ripping lyrics/vocal performance.  I find the vocals here to be above average but not lifting the track noticeably.  It’s a melancholic look back at an ended relationship.  I do have to upgrade the drums, there are a lot of nice touches in the playing here.  I’m an energy listener so when I don’t get the kind of performance energy I want it doesn’t work for me.  Yet I do acknowledge millions and millions of people lap this formula up with a spoon.

@@@ Georgia: About Work the Dancefloor (Domino, 2019)  Another Guardian track of the year, this time a Krautrock inspired dancefloor banging.  Yikes, I hate these funkless Kraut beats though I do like the synth action and she’s working the diva vein pretty well.  I’m not a fan of this drum machine snare sound but the spare, uncluttered mix allows her voice to come to the front.  Not a track of the year for me, but I do get the appeal of this track.

YTD recordings listened to: 631
Good music, not list worthy: 379
Not good music: 214

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, 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, 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, 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, Ammar 808, Anais Maviel, Chaka Khan, Pom Poko, Fried Egg, Horndal, Wyxz, Tarek Atoui, Hawktail, Saicobab, Shannon and the Clams, General Purv, Shipping News, Big Thief, Emma Louise, Andre Bratten, Nathan Corder/Tom Weeks, Oli XL, Buzzherd, Logistic Slaughter, The Muslims, Tobe Nwigwe, Saint Abdullah, Bug Martin, Kaleta and the Super Yamba Band, Toko Telo, Brittany Howard, The Garifuna Collective, Mariachi El Bronx, Bonnie Baxter, Danny Brown, clipping., Deafkids, Michael Kiwanuka, Kelly Moran, Canalon de Timbiqui, Pour Me a Grog, Loscil, The Good Ones, Sudan Archives

Music for 9/19/18!!! Exitmusic, Superfonicos, Rudy Royston

@@@ Exitmusic: Trumpet’s Fade (Felte, 2018)  An orchestral feel to this femme sung electronic track.  Lots of lush reverb and a thick, infrequent bass pulse make up core elements of the tune in addition to the intimate vocal presentation.  More than a shmear of Twin Peaks deep woods darkness.

@@@ Superfonicos: Rio Negro (Self-released, 2018)  I got to this Afro-Colombian recording via the WRIR weekly email.  Their new record is not up on the Apple Music but this single from last year is and it swaggers with Afrobeat flavorings and extensive instrument layering.  It’s a big groove with a funky drummer and a Spanish vocalist.

@@@ Rudy Royston: Flatbed Buggy (Greenleaf, 2018)  I saw this drummer’s record mentioned on the twatter.  I’ve heard him on numerous jazz records as a sideman (most notably JD Allen who I dig) but I’d like to check his efforts as a leader.  There is only a pre-release track but it’s a lush production sound with Royston’s quick witted drumming.  I appreciate his choice of an accordion player as it’s not a standard choice.  The whole album is out on October 26 and I would listen to more.  Buy it on bandcamp and be a sport.  He has put together an ensemble that includes accordion, cello, bass clarinet and saxes which I find interesting.

YTD recordings listened to: 534
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 280
Not good music: 222

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 2/11/17!!! Tinariwen, Dirty Projectors

@@@ Tinariwen: Elwan (Desert Blues, 2017)  I dug the most recent Tinariwen record but felt that the two before that were a tad soft especially the one where a record label told them to sing in English.  This first tune appears to be a return to their hypnotic desert blues shit that I can lap up with a spoon.  Brisk hand drumming with circular guitar melodies that will drive you somewhat insane.  Let’s peep more.  After a nice stripped intro on this second tune they dive right back into the groove with the second tune (clipped below).  I’ve peeped portions of about six tunes and they all sound really good — no cheese, nice level of dirt, beautiful performances.  Imma swing back on this record when I have more time but this is going to end up on my year end list.  Check this record out!

@@@ Dirty Projectors: Keep Your Name (Domino, 2017)  One of the three advance tunes up on the Apple Music from an upcoming full length.  After a strange vocal and piano intro it blossoms out into an mildly electro piano ballad with a strange singer.  Maybe this dude is pitch shifted.  I think there are Prince funk aspirations but it comes off as too cutesy indie and true funk is in short supply on this track.  I think this is a strange opening track to a record — I appreciate the daring but I’m not super feeling it.

YTD recordings listened to: 97
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 53
Not good music: 31

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