Music for 7/2/20!!! Hoops, The Psychedelic Furs, Kareem Ali, Country Westerns

@@@ Hoops: Fall Back (Fat Possum, 2020) I seen it on the Twatter!  Comin’ out with the mad ’80s feels — a retro beat, chorused guitar and the friendliest gent on the microphone since Ronald Reagan!  Oh Ronny, you Commy fightin’ crazy biatch.  Now here we go with the baking show metaphors — some desserts can be too sweet, different people enjoy different levels of sugar.  This is pixie stick sweet, it’s too sweet for me!  Da doo doo background vocals, I guess the singer is the biggest sweetener. You get a big guitar shred for this type of track but it unfolds within the initial impression.  Also some bouncy bass, everything here is pitched around comfort and awesomeness.  I’m not saying folks shouldn’t like this but it doesn’t work for me.

@@@ Psychedelic Furs: Come All Ye Faithful (Cooking Vinyl, 2020)  I’m checking this track out (I got to it via a music publicist email) because I know the sax player from work I’ve done as an audio engineer.  I remember the singer sounding kinda bombastic and he still is and they’re unapologetically offering up some updated post-classic classic rock for ya earholes.  It’s a midtempo rocker with chopped up guitar sounds and acidic lyrics.  I like the horn playing, I’m agnostic on the guitars and the drums and the lyrics are a small positive for me.  I’m not getting any lasting impression from the track, it goes in both earholes and didn’t land for me.  I like some elements of it.

@@@ Kareem Ali: Night Echoes (890243 Records DK, 2020) Some house dancefloor business that has a bunch of relationship related vocal samples to open it up.  That fades away and and it gets into classic house rhythms with a looped vocal sample which I like but which also drives me a bit nuts at the same time.  I could use a bit more sonic development here, take this out for a bit put something else in for a bit, that sort of thing.  Oy, this vocal sample is making me feel like I’m in a mental hospital.  I stopped listening with 1:45 to go, check it out and if that constant loop at that volume doesn’t make you reach for a rope you’re a more stable person than I!

@@@ Country Westerns: I’m Not Ready (Fat Possum, 2020) I seen this one on the Twatter too!  Described as a garage rock trio, which I get, I do notice the Neil Young style distorted electric guitar sound more than the garage rock.  The singer is an earnest gent with some gravel in his voice.  They rock a classic formula in an uptempo energetic manner.  With the familiar song structure it comes down to the singer and the execution of the playing.  I dig the drummer’s steadiness and the guitar tones while feeling the Replacements style singer.

YTD recordings listened to: 508
Good music, not list worthy: 254
Not good music: 225

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, Tarek Atoui, Saicobab, General Purv, Shipping News, Big Thief, Mariachi El Bronx, Pour Me a Grog, Sudan Archives, Lakou Mizik, Moodymann, Pharmakon, Alefa Madagascar, Janjao, Luge, Wiki, Mick Jenkins, Jeremiah Jae, Fera, Gambian Griot Kora Duets, Drama, Beatrice Dillon, Mass Worship, mmmonika, Les Deuxluxes, Tony Allen, Fra Fra, Nihiloxica, Hailu Mergia, Pokey LaFarge, Nico Gomez, Nohe and Sus Santos, schroothoop, Tiny Bit of Giant’s Blood, Pole, Naeem, Mekons, Santrofi

Music for 5/20/20!!! Wasted Shirt, Cirith Ungol, ALMA, Jess Williamson

@@@ Wasted Shirt: All is Lost (Famous Class, 2020) The first two listens today are from last week’s CFUV playlist email and the second two are from the Line of Best Fit from last week.  Rock with updated flavors people!  There’s freaking out guitars and an accelerated beat and everything, snowflakes be rocking.  It’s got a bit of a long ago hippie lose your wig vibe to it but I dig the energy.  Pleasantly buzzy bass and the drummer does not need a Red Bull, he might have to actually chill out a bit or he’s gonna hurt himself.  I’m checking out the second track, Zeppelin 5 and it’s not very Zeppelin like — thus far the guitars on this record are more of the stabbing sound variety and not the long bizarro melodies type but maybe it’s a hipster joke, the title Zeppelin 5.  They get into some fake metal caveman singing in this third tune, so I’m thinking they’re taking the piss here.

@@@ Cirith Ungol – Forever Black (Metal Blade)  This is a band making a comeback after 30 years, fuckin’ A!  When you type fuckin’ A is it a capital A or a small a?  Talk about the healing power of classic metal.  And they comeback as they went out but with more updated sounds.  Big ass guitar riffs, a singer that is operatic and reaching for the clouds in the sky.  Look into my eyes, they reflect the darkening skies, forever black, not the most hopeful line in the middle of a pandemic but you gotta let it out if you gotta let it out and these guys took a 30 year break and now they gotta let it out.  Big guitar solo, all twirly and shit if that’s your thing.  Horns up, ya shittaz!

@@@ ALMA: Loser (Sony, 2020) Technicolor pop, that’s how they describe it on the Apple Music.  It sounds like electro pop with a downer female singer.  It’s one of those mainstream, low self-esteem quasi-empowerment things.  Baby I’m a loser if you want to lose it with me.  Don’t need a hero, don’t need a bad man.  I’m sure she’s an awesome person but this is a trash, childish comic book trash.  Lyrically, and sonically it’s a manicured bush.  The singing is all right though her voice which works with the lyrics does clash a bit with today’s upbeat pop sounds.  I would skip this.

@@@ Jess Williamson: Wind On Tin (Mexican Summer, 2020) Country rock with a few smidges of Tom Petty feels (big guitar strums, familiar chord progressions) on this track I got to via Line of Best Fit.  Female singer, straight beat plus some bonus tamborine.  This would be much better with more cowbell.  Most everything is improved with cowbell.  It’s got a breathy ambient break where I would tell you the hook if I could understand her vocalization but alas I could not.  I don’t fully object to the dreamy female vocal style on top of mainstream country rock but it’s not moving me, the vibe washes the track out a bit for me.  To my ears they don’t go together.  She’s got a very nice voice and the playing is solid.

YTD recordings listened to: 378
Good music, not list worthy: 196
Not good music: 170

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, Tarek Atoui, Saicobab, General Purv, Shipping News, Big Thief, Mariachi El Bronx, Pour Me a Grog, Sudan Archives, Lakou Mizik, Moodymann, Pharmakon, Alefa Madagascar, Janjao, Luge, Wiki, Mick Jenkins, Jeremiah Jae, Fera, Gambian Griot Kora Duets, Drama, Beatrice Dillon, Mass Worship, mmmonika, Les Deuxluxes, Tony Allen, Fra Fra, Nihiloxica, Hailu Mergia, Pokey LaFarge, Nico Gomez

Music for 4/2/20!!! Money Chicha, Inna Vision, Nixholica, Kellarissa, Dungen and Woods

@@@ Dos Santos & Money Chicha: Marte Negro (Sonorama, 2017)  A collaboration between two bands, one out of Chicago and one from Austin.  It’s cumbia music with the hippest keyboard sounds I’ve heard in a while.  Rhythmically strong with very fine singing and to hear some tasty distorted electric guitar up in here is a treat and a great way for the track to go out.

@@@ Inna Vision: Waste No Time (Roots Musician Records, 2020)  I got to this new roots electro reggae track via this week’s WRIR playlist email.  The sounds are electro and outstanding in quality.  Thick bass, layers of sweet vocal tracks, over drum machine beats which is not my favorite instrument in Jamaican music but all the sounds here are super well done so I don’t notice its drum machine-ness much.

@@@ Nihiloxica: Tewali Sukali (Crammed, 2020)  This is a single also on the WRIR weekly playlist email and according to the GooglePimp it is a blend of Ugandan traditional drumming and dark techno.  I have to be honest I could listen to this shit all day, that’s how compelling I find it.  The combination of the drumming energy and the slightly dissonant electro sounds is like medicine to my ears.  Somebody tooks some big chunks of ambient sound and just smashed them on top of these beats and it’s a delicious world music ice cream cone.  Bravo!  It builds to a pretty intense crescendo from a pretty intense starting point and I don’t know when the drumkit came in but I dig this shit bigly.  If you’re not too straight up in the head check this out.

@@@ Kellarissa – Ocean Electric (Mint)  I got to these two listens, this one and the one below via a playlist email from spring 2018.  Once in a blue I just pop one open and get jiggy with some day old bread.  Ain’t no shame in it.  Yowsa, an unabashed celebration of 1980’s synth sounds!  Female singer, kick-snare driven beat (not the most flavorful beat going fo sho).  It’s neither fully dancefloor, nor fully rock, nor fully pop, it’s a mash of all those.  A lot of vocal tracks, this is a lesson in more is more!  More synths, more vocals.  Not really my cup of tea, but listen for yourself.

@@@ Dungen & Woods: Turn Around (Mexican Summer, 2018)  I’ve peeped Dungen’s music before and find his retro psych hippie flow to be satisfying.  This is a blend as it’s not just Dungen but these Woods people or a person named Woods.  Sweet female singer, slowish midtempo beat, an acoustic guitar strum, a tambourine (fucking love tambourines bigly not!) It’s lounge rock, you could kick back in your Wuhan isolation and drink a nice citrus-y alcoholic drink with an umbrella in it to this tune.  Don’t drink too much and degrade your immunity, be cool with it.  We’ve been watching the cooking show Chopped and they’re always talking about contrasting flavors — the tangy with the spicy, yadda yadda yadda.  This is tilted towards sweetness but there’s a trippy weirdness to the guitar shredding and a little muscular drumming to give you contrast and balance.  You’ve been chopped!

YTD recordings listened to: 240
Good music, not list worthy: 130
Not good music: 104

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, Tarek Atoui, Saicobab, General Purv, Shipping News, Big Thief, Mariachi El Bronx, Pour Me a Grog, Sudan Archives, Lakou Mizik, Moodymann, Pharmakon, Alefa Madagascar, Janjao, Luge, Wiki, Mick Jenkins, Jeremiah Jae, Fera, Gambian Griot Kora Duets, Drama, Beatrice Dillon, Mass Worship, mmmonika, Les Deuxluxes, Tony Allen, Fra Fra, Nihiloxica

 

Music for 2/11/20!!! Best Coast, Jeremiah Jae, Black Milk, Elton John

@@@ Best Coast:  Always Tomorrow (Concord, 2019) I got to this via the New York Times which has some of the worst music writing in the country, if not the world.  Trashily pimped by moneyed music publicists.  I was expecting some self-indulgent woe is me white people’s music but it’s early to mid ’80s rock that actually rocks.   This first tune is a ramped up tune similar to something you’d hear from the Go Gos.  The second tune gets marked down for biting Joan Jett’s ‘I love Rock ‘n Roll’ so hard right out of the gate.  Ooh, I liked the first track but this second one stinks.  I’ll check the last pre-release tune from a record out Feb 21.  Oh no, a cheesy ballad, yikers!  I liked the first track then two duds after that.

BestCoast

@@@ Jeremiah Jae: Complicate Your Life with Violence (Mello, 2019)  Off an All Music notable release email from last fall.  I like this hip hop label Mello a whole bunch as they release very interesting stuff.  It’s funky with old school soul and swing sounds.  Thus far I’m feeling the fourth tune, Dead Battery, the best of what I’ve heard to this point.  There is so much dialog from films (I assume) that this record turns into a sort of hip hop radio play.  It’s a very creative idea and the more I listen the more I like it so I’ll swing back on this record when I have more time.

JeremiahJae_Complicate

@@@ Black Milk: DiVE (Mass Appeal, 2019) More hip hop from an All Music notable release email last fall when this record was released.  Mr. Milk is smooth but not soft sporting a very tight snare sound and smooth background oohs and ahs.   The second tune Black NAS keeps the same formula at a higher tempo and some different sounds.  I like this approach — it’s super tight in focus both lyrically and arrangement wise.  I hope the producer for this record got paid as this is outstanding work.

BlackMilk_Dive

@@@ Elton John: (I’m Gonna) Love Me Again (Virgin EMI, 2019)  A redo or a remix of an old school Elton John track from last years biopic.  It explodes with energy and it evokes classic party Motown tracks pretty well.  I got to this track via big mouth music biz honcho Bob Lefsetz.  It’s got big energy and a huge hook but I’m not sure why I would choose this over classic Motown tracks.  I’m not a fan of Elton John but this is all right.

YTD recordings listened to: 106
Good music, not list worthy: 63
Not good music: 43

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, Tarek Atoui, Saicobab, General Purv, Shipping News, Big Thief, Mariachi El Bronx, Pour Me a Grog, Sudan Archives, Lakou Mizik, Moodymann, Pharmakon, Alefa Madagascar, Janjao, Luge, Wiki, Mick Jenkins, Jeremiah Jae

Music for 2/10/20!!! Chippy Nonstop, Meggie Brown, Nala Sinephro, The New Death Cult

Chippy Nonstop

@@@ Chippy Nonstop: ThotThursday (Self-released, 2019). All of today’s listens are from a Guardian article of artists to watch in 2020.  Thus far Ms. Nonstop is aggressive and up in your grill but it’s trash.  Purposeful celebratory ill behavior trash.  Spooky ass trap production is all right if not a bit ghoulish but I don’t sense much soul to Chippy.  She ain’t havin’ no pussy ass bitches and I feel the same.

MeggieBrown

@@@ Meggie Brown:  I Said Salute Me (Self-released, 2020) Miss Meggie has four singles up on Apple Music and Imma pick one rando.  The tune is a bit glam, a little old school punk and a whole bunch of cheek from the singer Brown.  I dig how the horns drive the music and I dig the drums but overall the arrangement is a bit of a mash and not a mash I super move towards.  A few too many background vocals.  Big ups for the rhythm section.

NalaSinephro

I’ve scraped the interwebz pretty good and can’t find anything about this artist or music by this artist even as a sideperson.  It’s a bold claim to compare a musician to Alice Coltrane but I do want to check her out as Alice Coltrane is one of my favorite musicians of all time.  I’m checking out the single below hoping she’s on it as the blurb above says she’s associated with this jazz collective.  To my ears this is a slightly electro version of what Fela Kuti had going on.  I like it and consider it jazz like, but I don’t hear Sinephro clearly or definitively in the playing.

NewDeathCult

@@@ The New Death Cult: Self-titled (Indie, 2019). Hard rawk!  Fucking hard rawk!!  A sweet singer, plenty of melody, and some rocking.  This is for people with jobs who don’t like to sweat too much when they work out.  Plenty of classic rock to go with your standard hard rock business.  More than a bit of Styx, a little Van Halen and other similar bands.  I’m looking back on the bands from this list and thinking it’s a music publicist shitshow up in here, these bands aren’t very good but the PR people are getting serviced.  Potty Mouth Nonstop, art punk, some not jazz jazz and some old school hard cheese rock.  Yikes.

YTD recordings listened to: 102
Good music, not list worthy: 60
Not good music: 42

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, Tarek Atoui, Saicobab, General Purv, Shipping News, Big Thief, Mariachi El Bronx, Pour Me a Grog, Sudan Archives, Lakou Mizik, Moodymann, Pharmakon, Alefa Madagascar, Janjao, Luge, Wiki, Mick Jenkins

 

Music for 2/7/20!!! Summer Dennis & Rhymes, Sunshine Boys, William Doyle

@@@ Summer Dennis & Rhymes: When It’s this Good (N/A, 2020)  I got to this funk track via a music publicist email.  Opening up lush and bedroom style-y it’s got a nice arpeggiated harp like sound but it’s not really a funk track, it’s a booty ballad.  Unless it explodes later in the song.  It’s has a snare side stick centered beat and Ms. Dennis really works the microphone.  Or maybe she’s Rhymes and the guitar sideman is Summer Dennis, but that’s a bit beside the point.  It didn’t explode later in the song.

@@@ Sunshine Boys: InfinityGirl (Pravda, 2020)  I got to this pre-release single via a music publicist out in the Chicago area.  It’s a retro, guitar indie tune with classic earnest singing.  The singer sound a bit like Michael Stipe with more gravel to his voice and the guitars are both rocking and jangly.  They remind me most of the later Lemonheads.

@@@ William Doyle: Your Wilderness Revisited (William Doyle, 2019)  I got to this songwriter record via the Line of Best fit.  Magazines and websites will do features with musicians talking about their favorite music as an indirect way of promoting their most recent release.  The first tune on this record is a pastoral, folk rock number with Doyle working a fragile vocal style.  Very regal befitting our allies across the pond. He’s also got some proggy feels up in this record, I’m guessing he’s heard a bunch of Yes records.  I like his singing but I wish I liked the music more.

WilliamDoyle

YTD recordings listened to: 98
Good music, not list worthy: 58
Not good music: 40

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, Tarek Atoui, Saicobab, General Purv, Shipping News, Big Thief, Mariachi El Bronx, Pour Me a Grog, Sudan Archives, Lakou Mizik, Moodymann, Pharmakon, Alefa Madagascar, Janjao, Luge, Wiki, Mick Jenkins

 

Music for 1/14/20!!! Maximum Joy, Marcus King, Fenne Lily

@@@ Maximum Joy: Station MXJY (Maximum Joy, 2017)  I saw this reissue of an 1982 release in an email from Stranded Records.  Blurb clipped here:

MaximumJoy

This music is from a less locked down time.  Before algorithms, before the self censoring of social media, they’re just playing and enjoying it.  It’s a blend of rock, world and jazzy sounds smashed up into one.  I like the spirit and the energy and the combination of sounds, but I don’t really like the tunes.  That’s just me so check it for yourself.

@@@ Marcus King: One Day She’s Here (Fantasy/Concord, 2019)  I got to this updated electric blues track via music biz honcho/loudmouth Bob Lefsetz.  He usually has very pedestrian taste with a bent towards cliche lyrics about love.  He’s a white boy and I’m justifiably nervous of the white electric blues god, but this is more of a funky white boy thing as he sings in a solid falsetto and plinks more than shreds.  The arrangement is full on ’70s ensemble with string flourishes and some percussion to go with the drum kit.  The vocal hook is ‘she disappears like the dawn, one day’s she’s here and the next she’s gone.’  It’s all right as a hook and I would say if you don’t like the chill ’70s funky rock vibe you won’t like the tune.  I find it all right.

@@@  Fenne Lily:  On Hold (Fenne Lily, 2018)  Artist of the week of at Line of Best fit.  This first tune is a mope-pop mash with twinkly guitar.  This first tune Car Park has a tambourine in it, and I love tambourine.    Lily’s voice is slightly wispy and melancholy and I like it, but I find the music here to be a tad simple for my taste.  Let’s peep a bit more.  I don’t like her voice enough to offset the music which I find a bit retro and predictable.  If she put some more interesting sounds underneath her voice she’d be onto something.

FenneLily_LOBF

YTD recordings listened to: 41
Good music, not list worthy: 25
Not good music: 18

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, Tarek Atoui, Saicobab, General Purv, Shipping News, Big Thief, Mariachi El Bronx, Pour Me a Grog, Sudan Archives, Lakou Mizik, Moodymann, Pharmakon

 

Music for 12/27/19!!! Bat for Lashes, The Who

@@@ BAT FOR LASHES – LOST GIRLS (AWAL, 2019) #1 on ABC News best 50 albums of the year.  Cinematic synths that sound like sunset and the open road?  Fantastic!  Oh boy, this sounds like the ’80s cut a smelly fart.  Gated snare sounds, simple and unfunky drum machine beats and Madonna on cough syrup lyrics.  This was ABC News’ #1 record, that’s fucked up!  I would never say this music sucks, but it’s definitely not for me.  For me these are empty sounds and it’s frightening to me that people would consider this awesome.  I love electronic music but the lack of ideas and the sounds….

@@@ The Who: Who (Polydor, 2019) Off the same 2019 ABC News list.  I’ve seen a lot of praise for this record but I’ve held off listening as I love some of my old Who records.  I find bad records by former superstars depressing but this first tune has plenty of energy and pop to it.  The second tune, Ball and Chain, has an unmistakable Teenage Wasteland feel to it.  It’s a bit weird to hear these dudes going on about Guantanamo Bay but hey who cares, they be rocking.  These guys do a better job of reanimating rock/arena rock/ambitious rock in their ’70s than gents more than half their age.  It’s not a record I feel like I would spin all the time but I’m impressed with the energy and the music.  I think they’re purposely trying to not make a lyrically epic record, the third tune is called I Don’t Wanna Get Wise and is pretty mundane and everyday in its aspirations.

YTD recordings listened to: 669
Good music, not list worthy: 406
Not good music: 222

Best: 8
Honorable Mentions: 15

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, Tarek Atoui, Saicobab, General Purv, Shipping News, Big Thief, Mariachi El Bronx, Pour Me a Grog, Sudan Archives, Lakou Mizik, Moodymann, Pharmakon

 

 

 

Music for 12/22/19!!! Gauche, Blanck Mass

@@@ Gauche: A People’s History of Gauche (Merge, 2019) I find the vast majority of indie disco and indie funk to be unsatisfying.  I saw this record on Bandcamp’s best of 100 and while I like the band energy of this first tune, the vocals kinda drag it down.  It sounds a bit like the Minutemen had a baby with the B-52s.  Angular, driving, and most definitely a white folks night out.  The driving energy here puts this release into a different category than the milquetoast indie funk but it does barely qualify as a dance release, it’s more of a ramped up pogo punk thing with a friendly vibe.

@@@ Blanck Mass: Animated Violence Mind (Sacred Bones, 2019) A dark electronic album I saw on Vice’s best 100 of the year.  After an intro it gets into a industrial dance vibe on a tune called Death Drop.  It brings in some video game sounds and it has an annoying synth string thing going and I’m not quite sure I’m up for 7 minutes of this.  I give it props for smashing up very disparate sounds but I’m not super enjoying it.  I’m in the third tune and these could either use more sounds to deepen the grooves and engage the listener or the songs should be shorter.  With better synth patches, the cheesy pop patches are at odds with the industrial feels.  It’s not word salad, it’s a sound salad.

YTD recordings listened to: 665
Good music, not list worthy: 404
Not good music: 222

Best: 8
Honorable Mentions: 15

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, Tarek Atoui, Saicobab, General Purv, Shipping News, Big Thief, Mariachi El Bronx, Pour Me a Grog, Sudan Archives, Lakou Mizik, Moodymann

Music for 12/13/19!!! Alison Miller’s Boom Tic Boom, Weyes Blood, Yola

@@@ Alison Miller’s Boom Tic Boom: Glitter Wolf (Royal Potato Family, 2019) This record celebrates 10 years of Alison Miller’s jazz ensemble and it’s peppy and this first fairly orchestrated tune is a step to the left of fusion jazz but not a huge step.  I hear a medium strength Henry Threadgill vibe to this large-ish ensemble but not taken to the weirdly satisfying end that Mr. Threadgill takes it to.  I like the playing and I enjoy Miller’s drumming but the compositions and their approach don’t appeal to me.  If folks are looking for an interesting variation on straight jazz this could be worth checking out.

@@@ Weyes Blood: Titanic Rising (Sub Pop, 2019)  I’ve seen this record on at least two best of 2019 lists and Apple Music describes it as ‘grand, melodramatic and keenly self aware.’  That doesn’t strike me as a great formula for me but if you’re up for some mid to late ’70s arena soft rock this first tune,  A Lot’s Gonna Change, complete with an orchestrated string part may work for you.  Oy, who’s running these year end lists??  My shit is white, but it’s not that white by any means.  I disagree on the keenly self aware description as I don’t know how this musician can’t see herself as self-indulgently mopey and a wee bit cheesy.

@@@ Yola: Walk Through Fire (Nonesuch, 2019) Our last listen off Slate’s best of 2019 music list.  From the label and the cover art Imma thinking we’re gonna see the mining of feel good hippie soul music done by an African American woman.  Ah, my aim is true.  While Yola has a fantastic, soaring voice, the choice of the material, the sounds and the production we have retro hippie rock soul thing on our hands!  This is most definitely a record for people with jobs who shower regularly and use anti-perspirant, that’s how respectable it is.  While it accomplishes that, it’s short on contrast and any sort of hardness or toughness one might hear on a Curtis Mayfield record, for example.

YTD recordings listened to: 650
Good music, not list worthy: 392
Not good music: 220

Best: 8
Honorable Mentions: 15

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, Tarek Atoui, Saicobab, General Purv, Shipping News, Big Thief, Mariachi El Bronx, Pour Me a Grog, Sudan Archives, Lakou Mizik