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 6/21/20!!! No Age, Naeem, Drug Store Romeos, Mel C

@@@ No Age: Feeler (Drag City, 2020) Off last week’s All Music notable release email.  The label Drag City sits towards the top of the indie rock mountain with extreme preciousness and this comes out as a ramped up Pavement slack rock thing.  Pleasantly blustery with a lot of drums and guitars.  I’m attracted to the rocking energy and the hipster wail but I wouldn’t mind a new sound or new place or something to make me pay attention.  It’s super well done with really nice guitar sounds so given what we have here this is for the hardcore indie heads.

@@@ Naeem: You and I (37d03d, 2020)  A pretty jarring record cover with a black dude darkened/dipped/coated in what could be anything.  It opens with a lot of voices, intimate vibes, fears and feeling vulnerable that’s what I hear.  I really like the singer as he switches feels frequently — he sounds a bit like Prince mashed up with Billie Holiday.  It is slotted as hip hop on Apple Music but I hear black church singing, Hendrix style guitars, but not a lot of hip hop so I will peep some snippets of a couple of other tracks.  The second tune gets into more standard rhyming, still very emotionally focused with a sprinkle of Prince and now we’ve switched over to some a very new but not quite trap formula.  Wow, I dig the freshness of this, sonically it’s got some really nice elements working together.  I guess Naeem had a big release in 2006 and this is his first record in 9 years.  Imma swing back on this, it’s got a lot of the things I want to hear in a record.

@@@ Drug Store Romeos: Quotations For Locations (UMG, 2020)  Coming out it a bit indie, a bit electro, and a little mainstream.  Intimate vocal style and video game synths stand out before the drum machine comes in and she throws in some chill sounds in the back that make you crave the pool floatie and the oxycontin.  For a major label offering this is surprisingly not cheesy.  I must say Imma bit shocked.  Some nice arrangements of solid sounds with big ups to the bass player and the sound that comes with it.  I like the vocalist well enough because she keeps this sound under control.  Lyrically I don’t find myself engaged, maybe a bit abstract for my tastebuds.

@@@ Melanie C: Blame it On Me (Red Girl, 2020)  A former Spice Girl comes back with a dancefloor banger.  They put a diva reverb patch on her voice and she is presented as the central component.  Her voice is all right, she’s not a diva but she is a former Spice Girl.  It’s a relationship dancefloor banger as she’s singing about toxic masculinity and the vocal hook is a tongue in cheek ‘why don’t you just blame it on me?’ as if anybody volunteers for being blamed.  The sounds are not quite canned but they’re pretty standard and I’m guessing that’s purposeful.  She’s a mainstream musician so they’re going to aim her music at mainstream listeners.  I could use more funk, a guitar maybe, and just some freshness.  This is more a Dunkin Donut donut than a cronut and I’m a fan of cronuts.

YTD recordings listened to: 472
Good music, not list worthy: 240
Not good music: 209

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

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 4/30/2020!!! Lucinda Williams, Ali Shaheed, Brendan Benson, Other Lives

@@@ Lucinda Williams: You Can’t Rule Me (Highway 20/30 Tigers, 2020)  The first tune off Williams’ new record and she sounds a bit tipsy/drawled out on the microphone.  She’s hardened up her sound to reflect her rebellious turn and it’s a blues rock thing with more rock than I’ve heard in her music before.  I’m not sure how I feel about the old school heavy blues thing she’s doing here.  I don’t love her singing in the tune and a bit more mess and fire might help.  I like her and I don’t hate it but I’m a bit nonplussed.

@@@ Ali Shaheed: The Midnight Hour (Jazz is Dead, 2020)  This is slotted as crossover jazz on Apple Music, a term I’ve never encountered before.   I guess it’s a fancy way to describe slightly more adventurous r&b with some classic jazz sounds tossed in.  Here a bit of flute, some chill keyboards, a real drummer, etc.  It does have a singer, in fact there are a ton of guest vocalists on this record.  It’s all right with nice sounds and well recorded drums.  The energy is a bit low for my taste but it’s a tune called hey lover so that makes sense.  Pretty standard for what I would expect from crossover jazz.

@@@ Brendan Benson: Richest Man (Third Man, 2020) Jack White, big rock star of the White Stripes, has been shitting out a ton of music with his Third Man imprint.  I haven’t been listening much and this is the record of one of the gents in the Raconteurs, a band White has trafficked in.  This is more polished than the Jack White-Led Zeppeling xeroxing, it’s downright bouncy energetic and upbeat rock, he’s happy to have a great wife and he’s got half the money but he’s got a full horn section and shit is happenin’.  Twice the love, half the money is an all right vocal hook btw.  Now if I was a judge on Chopped I would say this track needs some contrast, something to offset the gigantic upbeat chunk that lies at the core of the track.  I’m not going to chop it but it’s not an invalid observation.

@@@ Other Lives: Lost Day (ATO, 2020) Some major label alternative which would have been released as rock music before the ridiculous label alternative was created.  I partially correct myself as the proceedings get more orchestral and less rock after the intro with some hipster-y vocal arrangements and more than a few string flourishes.  I would say this is higher in textures than it is on energy.   The lead singer has a major label voice — open, friendly and engaging.  I’m not sure what that song was about.  Sonically it was about a smart sounding arrangement.

YTD recordings listened to: 322
Good music, not list worthy: 168
Not good music: 142

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

Music for 4/28/20!!! Anna Burch, Maja S.K. Rajtke, Yin yin, Nnena

@@@ Anna Burch: Not So Bad (Polyvinyl, 2020)  I got to today’s listens via the Line of Best Fit email.  This track is a blend of jangly indie sounds, coffee shop singer/songwriter, and ’70s soft rock.  Not my favorite flavors but you get a shaker to listen to, and let me tell you, you can’t fuck with a well recorded, enthusiastic shaker. There’s an undercover horn line as well that I find interesting.   Burch’s voice is solid if not not remarkable and the lyrics, well the lyrics aren’t my cup of coffee.  It’s a relationship song.  I’m not sure how you get to the top with a track titled Not So Bad.  To be fair I’m not the targeted demographic here, this one’s for the womenz.

@@@ Maja S.K. Ratkje: Sja, Amioda (Rune Gramofon, 2019)  I think I saw this artist namechecked on a Roulette email and she’s a musician rocking the neighborhood where classical and ambient and electronic music meets and has a nap.  I kid, I kid.  This is a sparse arrangement and Ratkje is singing.  I hear accordion, a low register woodwind (possibly electronically manipulated) and her voice.  It’s slow and dirge-y but it’s very cool to my ears and I’m enjoying its organic-ness.  It’s very organic and not digital sounding regardless of its origins.  I’m going to listen to more of this record.

@@@ Yin Yin: The Rabbit That Hunts Tigers (Bongo Joe, 2019)  Back to the Line of Best Fit.  This is the title track of the record and it’s opening up with echoed wah wah guitar and retro flavorings.  A little Jefferson Airplane smushed up with some of the psych rock coming out of parts of Asia.  Oh boy, they’re mixing in a little surf rock, yikes it’s a flavor pack.  Also a bit of spaghetti western twang, ya know these lines aren’t drawn in stone, there’s overlap and shit.  I’m not sure if I’m up for a full record of instrumental surf (I might be if the playing was a lot more manic and daring) but it sure is a bit of a pallette cleanser dumpling in the middle of the day.  An almost 6 minute dumpling that does put a few ethereal backing voices at the back of the mix on the way out.

@@@ Nnena: Work it Out (Loud Robot, 2020)  This week’s Line of Best Fit and our final listen of the day.  It opens with some thick traditional big drum type drumming in my left ear and some trap but not trap skittery hat in the right ear and then Nnena comes in with some medium potty mouth rhyming.  I would like to have five letters in my name and three of them be n, n is pretty cool.  Some nice headphone rich sounds happenin’ up in heah.  She’s got some put down action going lyrically and it’s an interesting blend of sounds and lyrics.  Big respect for going some place sonically different.

YTD recordings listened to: 314
Good music, not list worthy: 164
Not good music: 138

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

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 3/30/20!!!! Waxahatchee, Ultraista, Yxngxr1, Hare Squead, Melt Yourself Down

@@@ Waxahatchee: Fire (Merge, 2020) Country tinged mainstream slow ballad-y business — I don’t know if I’ve heard this before.  I don’t want to be a dick but it has a generic feel to it.  Though I did see somebody (Guardian I think) saying it was record of the year.  It’s got a certain uplifting-ness to it sonically less so lyrically that seems comforting during this difficult time of the ‘rona.  There’s no tangy or angry, nor any hangry sounds on this here tune, it’s got a Disney feel to it that I don’t like.  As always listen for yourself.

@@@ Ultraista: The Tin King (Partisan, 2020)  Pumping bass and a mad active stack of female vocals on this track that I got to via the Line of Best Fit.  If Radiohead had an electro-vagina speckled with a bit of glitch and undercover dancefloor it would sound like this track.  I’m agnostic, some of it I like and I might like it more with less piano.  The piano as a signifier of meaning annoys me lately.  The delays on the voices start to cause collisions between the bits of voices as the tune crosses the finish line which I presume to mean something.

@@@ Hare Squead: Minor Gangsters (Independently Popular, 2020)  Regular readers know how much I love British hip hop.  It’s usually just so nonsensical with the accent and ill microphone flows.  However, once in a while some solid business crosses my headphones and that’s the case here.  I understand the word authentic has problems but this sounds right to my ears.  Solid microphone work without trying to be American gangsters and putting a rhythm out there that’s unique and smooth.  These dudes are from Dublin, check it out, making those London MCs look soft.

@@@ Yxngxr1: Let’s Shake (EMPIRE, 2020) White boy neck tattoo hip hop that I got via Line of Best Fit.  This is gonna be a variation on Post Malone, oh boy this actually makes me appreciate Post Malone and the face tats.  I guess we’re expanding hip hop into bubblegum territory despite better judgment.  The beats here are room temperature vanilla yogurt, there’s a 7th grade guitar strum and then there’s Yxngxr1, (pronounced Yickingakker?).  Wow, that was a pretty crap listen but I can’t get that time back.

@@@ Melt Yourself Down: Crocodile (Decca, 2020)  A drunken fratt-ish party track being marketed as some sort of jazz (out of Australia where the definition may be different.)  The vocals are a strange falsetto sprinkled between the rhythmic horn line and then accented with demented background vocals.   The rhythm section runs hot on a dance rock beat.  That’s about it for components, an accelerated groove, oh wait there’s a rhyming section.  Not hip hop rhyming but rock flavored.  An all right party track for the ‘rona.

YTD recordings listened to: 225
Good music, not list worthy: 122
Not good music: 98

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

 

Music for 2/25/20!!! Chiiild, Wilsen, Habibi, Oded Tzur

LineOfBestFit_2_20

@@@ Chiiild: Darling (Avant Garden/Island, 2020)  Super intimate bedroom r&b from Line of Best Fit.  Bedroom not in terms of fornication but being in a bed calm and a world unto itself.  It sounds like a drummer here but it could be a drum machine going here, but the track has more of a live musician feel rather than a computerized music vibe.  I like both!  Chiiild is a good singer with some anthemic aspirations.  He’s got a ‘you are the best’ part to his vocal hook.

@@@ Wilsen: Ruiner (Secret City, 2020)  Off the Line of Best Fit weekly email.  They’re from Brooklyn so you know it’s going to be special (I’m writing this in Brooklyn)  It has a brief ambient bit before it goes into a most mellow rocking section.  It’s a very lushly produced tune that overshadows the playing as the playing is all right but not particularly unique or energetic.  There’s no swing here, it’s white people rock.  It is like classic indie rock had a love baby with U2’s epic guitar sound but thankfully without Bono.  I think the well crafted sounds make people feel special.

 

AllMusic_LateFeb20

@@@ Habibi: Anywhere But Here (Muddguts, 2020) Off this week’s All Music notable release email.  It opens somewhere along the Velvet Underground/Feelies/Yo La Tengo spectrum.  This first tune has the slightest surf feel to it as well.  It’s mopey but not fully smacked out.  Female singers (lots of background vocals here).  A whole big chunk of surf on this second tune so maybe they threw a head fake in the first tune and they’re a closet surf band.  I like it all right — I tend to prefer the wacky fast surf music so the chillaxed version doesn’t work as well for me but it’s an interesting blend of sounds/ideas.  More surf than indie here.

@@@ Oded Tzuer: Here Be Dragons (ECM, 2020)  Oh my, I’m not a huge fan of ultra lush jazz, it’s like sleeping on a mattress in a hotel where you fall in and it’s just a bit deep and too comfy.  I like a firmer jazz mattress.  This first tune is just above glacial in pace which is fine and it’s sax, upright bass, piano and drums.  You couldn’t light a cigarette with this fire!  I’m not sure the playing is the point here as the vibe of contemplative and smooth jazz is so prominent it’s a bit difficult to get past the presentation.

YTD recordings listened to: 132
Good music, not list worthy: 78
Not good music: 54

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

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