Music for 4/21/17!!! Black Bear, Imelda May, Charly Puppy

@@@ Black Bear: digital drug lord (Bertram, 2017)  R&B/soul off the Apple Music new music section.  This first tune has provocative lyrics and solo piano accompaniment.  The second song brings some beats and low end and I like it more.  It’s not peeling my face off but it’s good.  His strength is the rawness of the lyrics.  I’m not sure if Black Bear is a white boy, but he kinda sounds it.  He’s doing a pale Drake thing mixing singing and hip hop, it’s all right.

@@@ Imelda May: Live Life Flesh Blood (Decca/Universal, 2017)  Off this week’s All Music notable release email and I’m peeping it because it’s produced by T Bone Burnett and he’s got skills.  The first tune is mad mellow, lonesome and comforting at the same time.  The second tune brings a mellow drumbeat but the focus remains on the guitar playing and the singing.  I like it but I think I might prefer Emmylou Harris’ records done in the same vein.  This is just a tad too polished and sleepy time tea to make it to my stereo.

@@@ Charly Bliss: Guppy (Barsuk, 2017)  Some power pop/punk in the Superdrag vein.    My main beef with most indie guitar rock is how fucking butter soft most of it is.  I don’t need to be bludgeoned like a metal record but I need a little muscle.  So these guys rock a bit and they have a strange female voice out front and it makes for an interesting contrast. I don’t like this second tune as much as the opener.  I’m liking this record less as it plays more but I really like the first tune.  It’s clipped below, that’s how much I care.  I give I give I give and all you guys do is take.

YTD recordings listened to: 259
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 142
Not good music: 95

Buys: 5
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, 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

Music for 4/20/17!!! Jacques Greene, Hoops, Arca

@@@  Jacque Greene: Feel Infinite (LuckyMe, 2017)  Some house music out of Montreal via the CFUV weekly playlist email.  This first tune is pretty standard if a bit light on the beats but it sports the standard minimalist vocals — oh there’s the beat.  Solid bass, skinnier than hip hop.  I didn’t really like the second track, the title track, as it grated on my nerves but the third tune is sweeter.  This is the best of what I heard as it has a marimba type voice in the track and I like some world music sounds in my house yo.

@@@ Hoops: Routines (Fat Possum, 2017)  Some mathy, nerdy guitar indie off this week’s CFUV weekly email.  There are three pre-release tunes up and this first one has too much reverb on the singer’s voice and a tad too much chorus on the guitar.  I don’t like this singer — I’m sure he’s an awesome person but I don’t dig his flow on the microphone.

@@@ Arca: Arca (XL, 2017)  Some abstract music also off this week’s CFUV weekly email.  This first tune focuses on a contrasting a descending vocal line with some tightly controlled feedback.  I’m not sure where it’s going but it’s an interesting pairing of sounds.  My fear is that this will collapse into some New Age-y electronic music but I hope I’m wrong.  By the way, I’ve misplaced my glasses and I’m blind as an old fucking dog today so my spelling typos must be forgiven.  This is dragging a tad, let’s move on.  There are some prominent electronic elements but there are also strong classical sounds here.  I like it okay, check it for yourself.

YTD recordings listened to: 256
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 139
Not good music: 95

Buys: 5
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, 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

Music for 4/19/17!!! The Maine, Chris Shiflett

@@@ The Maine: Lovely Little Lonely (8123, 2017)  Some mainstream half rocking, half bittersweet faux thoughtful white boy rock.  Not as gloomy as the Goo Goo Dolls, but a tad soft at its emotional core.  Call me crazy but I find this music scary.  These are finely manicured false emotions designed to bolster people who are already sporting a somewhat tenuous connection to reality, many of them very young and just starting out in life.  Records like this perpetuate the idea that art may be completely cliche and recycled and somehow passionate and emotional at the same time.  And as the music soaks in through an already troubled society people hear this music and think fake emotions are not only normal but acceptable and encouraged.  Fake emotions are so much more toxic than fake news, this is a dangerous donut people and it’s best to stay away and head for something with some splank to it.

@@@ Chris Shiflett: West Coast Town (Side One Dummy, 2017)  I’m consistently amazed at how flexible the new country music has become.  This first tune is minority country and mostly a Cracker tune with a funky white boy beat.  It’s really quite something and it does fall in the same category as going into a bagel store and getting a donut.  The second tune has more twang for sure, but I think he’s been listening to mad Cracker tracks.  I own more than a few Cracker records and frankly his lyrics are better.

YTD recordings listened to: 253
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 138
Not good music: 94

Buys: 5
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, 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

Music for 4/13/17!!! Charlotte OC, Spiral Stairs, The Great Malarkey

@@@ The Great Malarkey: Doghouse (Batov Records, 2017)  I was contacted by the label that released this record so I thought I would give a peep to the indie folks as I’m more inclined to boost an indie record than a major label jam.  It was described to me as Balkan mayhem and while I hear the crazy energy this first tune has blues and other genre influences in there.  I like the female singer and the band is excited to put it mildly.  The second tune is a straight ahead rocker with the drums high up in the mix as well as a banjo.  This third tune brings on some fluid ska horns and a little dub wise snare delay.  I’ve made it to the sixth tune and I would say the best tracks are the first 3-4 and then it starts to fade a tad.  Check them out especially the first chunk of the record.

@@@ Charlotte OC: Careless People (Harvest, 2017)  Some downtempo off an All Music notable release email.  This first tune is not downtempo as I define it — I think of downtempo as slow down hip hop/funk beats with a real down/blunted feel.  This is mainstream ballad rock/pop so once again I’m getting a pretzel when I thought I was getting a cookie.  Or vice versa.  Ms. OC has a dramatical voice and she does her torch carrying over big corporate power production.  This is false advertising, where’s my fucking cookie?

@@@ Spiral Stairs: Doris and the Daggers (Nine Mile Recordings, 2017)  Also off an all Music notable release email.  This first tune features a dual guitar attack and a lower register male singer.  Pretty mainstream sounding but not cheesed out pop rock.  Maybe a tad like Bowie but not as artsy.  This second tune is poppier than the opener and it remains that way.  It sounds great, it’s pretty straight ahead guitar rock, I’m not looking for that but if you are well then these guys will hook you up.

YTD recordings listened to: 242
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 131
Not good music: 90

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 4/12/16!!! Wes John Cichosz, Gold Connections, The Buttertones

@@@ Wes John Cichosz (pronounced Chee-Hoas): The Moon Threads a Needle. (Self-released, 2017)  A mash of alt-country, blues and other Americana sounds that I got to via a music publicist in Chicago.  The band is medium large with horn players and an organ player in addition to guitar, bass, drums.  The production is polished, the lyrics are literate and Cichosz sings with a lot of commitment.  As the record moves on he moves closer to recreating ’70s soft rock/folk a la James Taylor.

@@@ Gold Connections: Gold Connections EP (Fat Possum, 2017)  Somebody (or more than one member) in this crew has been spinning Pavement records overtime!  I got to this EP via this week’s All Music notable release email.  The singer is putting out mad slack and it’s all right.  Crunchier than the Velvets with occasional shoe gaze blast off sections and then sweeter sections.  If you’re a millennial hipster and maybe you’re a tad lazy and have crumbs in your beard and you wear shirts with stains and you don’t give a shit these guys might work for you.

@@@ The Buttertones: Gold digging (Innovative Leisure, 2017)  Regular readers know my feelings towards the garage punk label.  It has a lot of cachet and it is regularly abused as most bands slotted as garage punk bands are not that.  I’m willing to be a genre bitch on this matter.  What if you went into a bakery looking for a bagel and they gave you a donut???  Chaos, that’s what ensues!  This first tune is basically a third The Clash, a schmear of rockabilly, and a lounge-y singer.  No garage punk to be found but maybe this donut will turn to a bagel in the next track.  Okay, I’m on the second tune and it’s a rockabilly tune — you know what I say?  Be a man and wave your rockabilly flag high cuz that’s what you are.  The record is pretty good, they’re a high energy outfit and they mix in a little ska and general party vibes into their tunes, but it’s a donut.

YTD recordings listened to: 239
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 130
Not good music: 89

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 4/11/17!!! Jake Xerxes Fussell, Saturn, Geotic

@@@ Jake Xerxes Fussell: What in the Natural World (Paradies of Bachelors, 2017)  Lonesome folk off this week’s All Music notable release email.  The record opens up with clean, arpeggiated electric guitar and Fussell’s voice.  I think this is a cover so Imma move ahead and we got a full band on this second tune (clipped below). Nice production influenced by Daniel Lanois.  I like this track, nice playing, no extra cheese, just playing and singing.  Very pretty but not over the top.

@@@ Saturn: Beyond Spectra (Rise Above, 2017)  Some proggy metal with some mainstream hard rock that I got to via the All Music notable release email.  This is some leather pants with large cucumbers stuffed down there music (Spinal Tap reference!)  The first tune is called Orbital Command but I thought he was singing Vegetables on Demand, which is fine as well.  Very intricate guitar and bass work with an operatic singer.  This second tune has a bit of boogie rock up in there.  If you dig a big ass guitar riff with big vocal sauce slather all over it, well then come and get it.

@@@ Geotic: Abysma (Ghostly Int’l, 2017)  Some chill techno off last week’s All Music notable release email.  A super pleasant, dare we say uplifting boom titch that gets some comfort synths layered over the top.  As a way of saying where this is at the first tune is called Sunspell and the second one is called Actually Smiling, the latter coming in with some tremolo oscillator action and a happy beat.  It’s not my thing but the sounds are real nice and there’s no shame in it.  Not for a rainy day, but more for the day you get a new puppy!  Yeah, a new puppy!!!!

YTD recordings listened to: 236
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 128
Not good music: 88

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 4/10/17!!! Cilantro Boombox, Juana Molina, The New Pornographers

@@@ Cilantro Boombox: Shine (Self-released, 2017)  I got to this self-released record via this week’s WRIR playlist email.  The first tune opens up super Earth Wind and Fire and then moves into a chorus in Spanish.  Full horn sections, drummer, percussionist.  I like the horn arrangements here and these guys do bring a very funky vibe to their music with some old school MC rhyming and the falsetto vocals.  They even name check Maurice White from Earth Wind and Fire on the third tune so my comparison is confirmed.  There’s also more than a bit of Anthony Kiedis style lurking as well.

@@@ Juana Molina: Cosoco (Crammed Discs, 2017)  A single off an upcoming full length that I also got to via the WRIR weekly playlist email.  I try to check out Crammed releases due to their support of Konono No. 1.  This single is more a freaky Euro-indie kinda track but it’s got some vibe to it.  A fairly uptempo beat, a pretty strange female singer and the tune is freeze dried until it fully unfolds into a skittering beat with a liquid bass line and the same singer.  I see from the interwebz that Juana Molina is from Argentina

@@@ The New Pornographers: Whiteout Conditions (Concord, 2017)  Some mainstream indie music off the Apple Music new music section.  I put this band in the same column as Spoon — highly praised and often mentioned but not comprehensible to me.  This first tune is super bouncy and literate and frankly it makes me want to go buy blue jeans.  This second tune (clipped below) steps back in time for a 1980’s medium rocking romp.  I see that these guys can construct music but I don’t feel anything when I hear their music.  The singers are especially not to my liking.

YTD recordings listened to: 236
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 128
Not good music: 88

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