Music for 12/7/17!!! Protomartyr, Vince Staples, King Krule

@@@ Protomartyr: Relatives in Descent (Domino, 2017)  Take an art school lounge-y singer and put him in a hipster Devo type of band with a quasi frantic drummer and you pretty much have the opening tune of this record.  The second tune, Here is the Thing, is slightly more aggressive and I dig the drummer a whole bunch while thinking the guitar player needs a Red Bull or two.  A little crunch would work for me, but that’s just me.  The crunch comes up on the fourth tune but I don’t feel it.  I got to this via the Guardian’s top 50 of the year, they’re now on the 20-30 top recordings.

@@@ Vince Staples: Big Fish Theory (Def Jam/UMG, 2017)  I don’t think I caught this hip hop record during the year but it made it to the Guardian’s list so it triggers a listen.  Ooh, this first tune is hot with a blend of club sounds, glitch and tight focused rhymes.  The second tune switches to a midtempo party track though Staples’ superior microphone work keeps it moving briskly.  The third tune, Love Can Be…. goes full dancefloor with fat kick four on the floor, synth bass, and funky non-skitter beats.  Whoever did the beats on this record has crazy ass skills, but I dug the first tune most. (Clipped below)

@@@ King Krule: The Ooz (True Panther, 2017)  Also off the Guardian’s best of 2017 list.  A mash of various influences in this first tune — downtempo, jazz/blues/soul guitar vamps, and lounge.  It’s a mood for sure — unsettled, hip, and alienated but in a completely non-rock aesthetic.  Let’s peep more!  The second tune unfolds in a similar lush, dark vein.  It’s trippy and dissatisfied.  The third tune, Dum Surfer (clipped below) has 2 million views on YouTube which is not a little gets the full peep.  It’s an interesting stew and I can’t say that I love it or hate it.  I don’t like all the reverb on the vocals but I like the beats and the guitar.  Check it for yourself.

YTD recordings listened to: 782
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 421
Not good music: 323

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, Converge, Boubacare Traore, Les Filles De Illighadad, Curtis Harding, Les Amazones D’Afrique

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Music for 12/5/17!!! Trio Da Kali/Kronos Quartet, Lisa Knapp, Mount Eerie

@@@ Trio da Kali & Kronos Quartet (World Circuit, 2017)  The Guardian is out with the beginning of their top 50 records of 2017.  I don’t usually like these mashes of African music with Western music but I’m nothing if not open eared.  And really fun to be around.  I also don’t like chocolate in my peanut butter.  On this first tune the Kronos Quartet plays the role of garnish on a plate of African food, which works but it’s not equal billing.  A few string flourishes in an African arrangement with a female singer.  I’m on the third tune and it remains pretty much the same and the question you ask yourself is the addition of Kronos Quartet string flourishes make this a favorite African record of the year?  Not to me.  It’s pretty staid in tempo and I prefer the burning African music and this appears to be designed to draw non-African music listeners to the genre.  Just as I write that the marimba player takes a burning solo, you shoulda put that tune first fellas.

@@@ Lisa Knapp: Til April is Dead – A Garland of May (Ear to the Ground, 2017) A throwback British folk record updated and bestowed with a modern chopped and looped feel.  It’s a creative aesthetic decision I must say as I’m not very interested in May Day but I’m listening.  The instrumentation is pretty standard for this style of music — hand drums, acoustic guitars, drones,  lots of samples, male co-singers and Ms. Knapp’s waif singing.  I can see how Brits would really get into this fusing of newer musical production techniques combined with their music heritage but check it out on this side of the pond.

@@@ Mount Eerie: A Crow Looked at Me (P.W. Elverum, 2017)  An indie reflection about the death of a musician’s wife.  For once I can say the slack vibe is justified and works well for the mostly raw lyrics and the subject matter.  It’s mostly the singer, the lyrics and an acoustic guitar.  I could have used some drums or other instrumentation just to offset and contrast the slack.  This record is #47 on the Guardian’s top 50 of the year.  Check out the fifth tune Swims for the full misery tour.

YTD recordings listened to: 776
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 418
Not good music: 321

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, Converge, Boubacare Traore, Les Filles De Illighadad, Curtis Harding

Music for 12/4/17!!! Dadabots, Ed Sheeran and Beyonce, Xenoula

@@@ Dadabots: Coditany of Timeness (N/A, 2017)  The great thing about computer generated albums….well the first is that record labels won’t have to pay royalties as the machine is a slave.  But for revieweres, computer generated music can be shit upon without hurting any feelings.  It’s just algorithm based sound!  This first tune opens up stormy and a tad boring before the computer gets into a fat thrash.  I don’t know if the record has a robot producer but they could use a little high end in here.  I’m sure they will get the computer to introduce creativity and change into the music but this is not a xerox copy but not very compelling music.  But because humans hate humans and the humans in charge of music hate paying humans who make humans get ready for a tidal wave of computer generated oatmeal-music!!!  Hmmm, the future is bright and tasty and really repetitive.

@@@ Ed Sheeran and Beyonce: Perfect Duet (Asylum, 2017)  A remix of dreams.  The tattoed hedgehog of gooey ballads and the queen troll of veganism combine for something that is difficult to imagine.  Somebody get me a tissue and let me listen to the Bey on the mic.  She’s got the choir behind her, I need some new underwear!!!  This is bigger than Ebony and Ivory with MJ and Paul McCartney.  Oh Ed, you sexy rodent bitch, this is just too many feelings of love.  We’re in the ooh and ahh section, they’re dancing in the dark, it’s mad romantic.  Trump can’t make America great again, but Eddie boy and Beyonce can!  OMG, OMG, OMG the best cheese of this holiday season.  Smooth and intimate, I just want to dance in the dark with this wedge of cheese between my arms.  Kill me now so I can go to heaven!

@@@ Xenoula: Xenoula (Domino, 2017)  Some indie electronic off this week’s All Music notable release email.  You will pardon me if this review is a bit garbled as I’m still pretty broken up over this Ed Sheeran/Beyonce love-gasm.  This is a mash of club music sounds (this first tune is beat-less) and synth rock with a few pubes of indie in the vibes area.  The second tune brings the beats and it evokes ’80s synth rock but weirder.  I appreciate the weirdness of Domino’s records while not having many stick with me.  I’m on the third tune and this is pretty much undercover electro pop — sweet and cute with a lot of electro sounds.

YTD recordings listened to: 773
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 415
Not good music: 321

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, Converge, Boubacare Traore, Les Filles De Illighadad, Curtis Harding

 

Music for 11/28/17!!! John Maus, Maximum Mad, Proto Idiot

@@@ John Maus: Screen Memories (Ribbon Memories, 2017)  To me it is a contradiction but this is upbeat krautrock synth rock.  The sounds are kraut-y, a bit industrial with sawtooth synth basses but it’s all served up with a cherry on top.  There is a B horror movie lower register singing doing an accent-less Dracula thing.  It’s all right, I never got synth rock myself, have at if you do.

@@@ Maximum Mad – Dear Enemy (Good to Die, 2017)  Some good old fashioned ass kicking metal/hardcore splatter for your dissatisfied earholes.  This is no epic, classically influenced business, this is set ’em up and grind ’em down with a hardcore singer and drums that are pleasantly perched betwixt metal and punk.  They also have a few stray Pearl Jam sorta pubes going tucked under the pillow.  I prefer the dirty business to the grunge business but it’s mostly in the guitar riffs and my what a pleasantly farty bass in the third tune Active Aggressive.  Peep for yoself.

@@@ Proto Idiot: Leisure Opportunity (Slovenly, 2017)  Classic self-effacing old school Brit punk off this week’s CFUV playlist email.  Do you remember when people weren’t so far up their own asses?  I do!  These guys do too.  It’s 15 songs in 32 minutes so that’s commando style for sure.  Let’s peep a few more nuggets and head out of town.  I’m stupid, you’re stupid let’s do it!  That sounds about right to me.  Big sing a long vocal hooks, the classic simple punk rock playing.  Come and get it you mohawk wearing retards.

YTD recordings listened to: 764
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 409
Not good music: 318

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, Converge, Boubacare Traore, Les Filles De Illighadad, Curtis Harding

Music for 11/17/17!!! Mauno Turning, Maraudeur, DRAM and Playboy Carti

@@@ Mauno: Turning (Idee Fixe, 2017)  Guitar indie off this week’s CFUV playlist email.  This is a classic formula — strummed clean electric guitar, slip slidey vocals.  They also sport a bit of math rock action on this second tune.  That was the third tune with the math.  I’m not going to hang for much longer as I’ve heard this record a bunch.  They do all right with it but indie is a tough sell for me.

@@@ Maraudeur: Marauder (Bruit Direct Disques, 2017) More rock, yippy!  This time in the electro/Devo neighborhood.  Angular non-rock rock with some synth half blasts, female singers, squiggles/video game sounds.  I want to wear a flower pot as a hat!  Things get a little more no wave detached in the second tune and the third tune goes for an angular ’80s half punk thing.  Or a Breeders type of thing without the humor and the rock blasts.  I don’t have much to say to this — it’s krauty so if you like krautrock you’ll feel this.

@@@ DRAM and Playboy Carti: Crumbs (Atlantic, 2017)  I had to tip out on the white folks’ music and I saw this tune Crumbs which seems appropriate for what the upcoming tax ‘reform’ bill gives.  The beats are slick and skittery with some high end Lexus synth bass that goes down smooth.  DRAM is all right, I like his style and I’ve not encountered Playboy Carti before but his rhymes are all right.  All I got is crumbs for you that’s the vocal hook.  Which sounds very of the moment as DRAM is blowing 100k on the weekend and our fantastic Republicans are pimpin’ it pretty hard and blowing hard as well.  It’s a good track, I don’t think it’s destined to be a classic but it’s got a smooth and relentless groove.

YTD recordings listened to: 744
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 396
Not good music: 310

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, Converge, Boubacare Traore, Les Filles De Illighadad, Curtis Harding

Music for 11/10/16!!! Rich Chigga, NE-HI, The Used

@@@ Rich Chigga: Crisis (Empire, 2017)  A trap single occupying the #1 position on the Apple Music hot tracks section.  Slack rhymes in the verse but the chorus opens up into a half sung description of a touring hip hop act going through cities all the time each city containing ladies, if you know what I’m saying.  Standard skitter/fat bass contrast and a thin arrangement with some trippy synth arrangements.  Mr. Chigga is pretty clear that he will steal your bitch and I have no reason to doubt him.  I get that the slack vocal rhyming is a style/pose but it’s snoozy unless you’re busted out on cough syrup or something similar.

@@@ NE-HI: The Times I’m Not There (Manic Static, 2014) I saw on the Twatter that this track had been reworked so Imma guessing it’s a great indie track (or hipsters think thus) and they’re recycling it for some deep reason.  Let us peep and talk amongst ourselves.  It’s gonna benefit Chicago Public Schools so you can’t shit on that.  I saw that on the GooglePimp, I love the GooglePimp.   It starts out with an indie guitar riff and then they bring in some luscious female r&b vocals which is a nice flavor combination.  After the initial musical statement it kinda remains and floats in that vibe — I coulda used a bit more flavor added at the end.  Don’t call me a bitch, I’m just saying.

@@@ The Used: The Canyon (Hopeless Records, 2017)  I got to this post hardcore record via last week’s All Music notable release email.  It starts with the singer talking about holding somebody’s hand and telling them how much they loved them.  Okay!  After that it’s a man and his acoustic guitar and while the dude does a really good job with the vocal melody it’s a cheese fest for sure.  Let’s peep more and see how this goes.  The second tune abandons all that and goes into a clean, mainstream hard rock groove.  By the time it reaches the chorus it’s a lot of energy and tempo though it is careful not to fully melt down.  The singer is driving the bus here as the band is not as powerful as his voice and its deployment.  Big choruses here, it’s arena rock with a few pubes of emo and a lot of heavy pop.  This is aimed right at the heart of alienated mall walkers.  For me it’s short on genuine, messy human emotions and for that folks should check out Rites of Spring.

YTD recordings listened to: 729
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 391
Not good music: 305

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, Converge, Boubacare Traore

Music for 11/9/17!!! Jess Abran/Steven Voyce, Boubacare Traore, The Thick Uns’, Thunderpussy

@@@ Jess Abran & Steven Voyce: Sour Cherry (N/A, 2017)  A super lush stripped down tune that is part r&b as well as retro-grunge melodies.  The female singer has her drama on but she’s counterbalanced by the the guitarist who also participates on the microphone duties.  Tasteful arrangement with guitar, simple drums and the breathy singer.

@@@ Boubacare Traore: Dounia Tabulo (Lusafrica, 2017)  Some West African blues music from a 75 year old musician.  I got to this record via the WRIR weekly review email.  Instrumentation on this first track is two guitars, harmonica, fiddle, and Traore’s world weary voice.  It’s very close to being old school American acoustic country blues and I’m aware that it came from Africa to the U.S.  There are three pre-release tunes (including one remix) up on the Apple Music and this first tune, Dis Lui Que je l’aime comme mon pays, has a good shuffle going on.  There is some tasty, ear catching cello shredding on the second tune but the star here is Traore’s voice.  He’s got mad soul.  I’ll swing back and listen to more of this record when it comes out.

@@@ The Thick Uns’: Deadly Bargain (Self-released, 2017) Super slack lo-fi take on late ’70s power rock.  A little bit of Captain Beefheart sprinkled over these proceedings as well.  It’s a solo bedroom production so it gives the rocking a different feel.  I got to this music from the musician himself who followed this here blog and then sent me a note afterwards.  A fair number of musicians follow this blog in hopes of snagging a review but they don’t send the note afterwards.  For fans of weird rock.

@@@ Thunderpussy: Speed Queen (UMG, 2017)  We’ll finish up with an arena/corporate rock single off the Apple Music hot tracks section.  It’s a pretty standard fat rock riff but I dig the way the female singer (who I assume to be Ms. Thunderpussy) comes in with some kitty claws and a short delay on her vocals.   It’s pretty standard double entendre about keeping her engine clean.  It’s an all right track but if you’re gonna bite the Led Zeppelin in this manner you should put a little freak in your guitar playing.  It’s not that the guitarist needs a Red Bull, he’s amped up but he needs some doobie up in his funk.  Solid B yo.

YTD recordings listened to: 726
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 389
Not good music: 304

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, Converge, Boubacare Traore