Accolades for The National’s record shows power of PR over music!

I’m more than a tad flummoxed to see the golden showers of praise rain down on the National’s 2017 record.

I reviewed it song by song, which I reserve for the most hyped releases, and I found it tiresome and without much creativity.  It is long on artistic pretension and poser art school seriousness, but I guess that’s where we are at.  The artist makes music to signify their greatness, the PR machine latches onto that and takes that faux greatness out into the public sphere and voila an average record morphs into a record of the year.

If anybody is talking about this record and its influence a year from now I will eat a hat on YouTube.  It is mopey rote music disguised as world weariness.  Boo hiss!

This is what’s wrong with the music business — there’s nothing organic to it, it is a commercially manufactured consent before the release date and the record is rammed down the throat of listeners.

TheNational_Ellen.PNG

Advertisements

Music for 11/23/17!!! Wand, Quicksand, Faith Hill/Tim McGraw

@@@ Wand: Plum (Drag City, 2017)  Some indie rock off this week’s CFUV weekly playlist record.  Many Thanksgiving references in these reviews both to humor and annoy.  After a gastrointestinal feedbacky opening it goes into a piano driven midtempo adult alternative rocker.  Let me check the bio, Imma guessing these Wand folks are British.  Nope they’re from L.A. but Imma guessing they own mad brit rock records.  Let’s peep more.  They get the guitars out on this third track Bee Karma, and it’s riffy still with strong Blur/Radiohead vibes.  The singer especially, he’s especially fish and chippy.  They go full on space rock on the fourth tune Charles De Gaulle.  The playing is pretty tight and fresh, the singer is not to my taste but that’s just my personal preference.

@@@ Quicksand: Interiors (Epitaph, 2017)  The first record for these gents in 22 years.  It’s a piquant blend of riff and noise with touches of hardcore and an emo urgency.  The band turns on the contrast between the singer and the churning band underneath.  The drums are very high in the mix which is a plus for my ears.  I’m really falling down on the Thanksgiving related jokes but I’m sure I can annoy if I try.  I have to try harder and then it comes naturally.  The production here is very polished but not epic with tasty bass, guitar and drum sounds.  These guys are pretty serious about their rock so there’s little to jest about unfortunately.  Check it out if you’re up for some heady post-hardcore groomed guitar rock.

@@@ Tim McGraw and Faith Hill: The Rest of our Life (Sony, 2017)  Oh my, let’s switch gears to some super earnest new country music.  Fuck, this is cheesy, dramatic-ness that must be checked out.  The lyrics especially, but the piano is epic and lends a certain pungent odor to the song..  I can’t take much more of this that’s how painful and awesome this is.  If you’ve had a massive Thanksgiving you might want to lay off this high calorie sugary treat as it will make your teeth hurt.  We’ll be young when we’re old!  Fucking awesome.  Let’s check another track, I rocked no turkey today.  The second tune is a rocker and Imma guessing there’s gonna be a pickup truck or a faded blue jeans reference in the first thirty seconds.  I almost made it, he picked her up in a beat up Cutlass in the first line.  She let down her blue bandana and let her blond hair down — that’s a clothes reference — I’m almost good here.  This third tune, The Bed We Made, could be mad hot due to the title of course.  It’s PG rated but it is as I suspected.  Their clothes are trailed down the hall to the bedroom and the sheets are tangled and there’s candlewax on the dresser, and probably a ball gag and a gimp suit for late night freakshows.  The great thing about new country for me as well as new country folks is how predictable the tunes are.  You can see ’em coming from 10 miles away — like an Oklahoma tornado, you dig?

YTD recordings listened to: 756
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 403
Not good music: 315

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 11/15/17!!! Pink Siifu, Walk the Moon, RVIVR

@@@ Pink Siifu: Bills (Twothousandnine, 2017)  I saw this hip hop outfit shouted out on the Twatter and I scooped this b-side from a split single from the Apple Music.  It’s a pretty stripped down and funky arrangement with trippy synth layers and a fat bass pulse.  The MC is pleasantly nasal on the mic and he works the microphone in a subtle stop and start manner.

@@@ Walk the Moon: What if Nothing (RCA, 2017)  Some major label rock that occupies one of the prestigious banner positions up on the Apple Music.  Money changed hands.  I’m thinking as the intro to the first tune unfolds that this is gonna explode into a shopping mall rock cheese bomb.  No, they go for a white funk rock thing.   The lyrical component of this tune is blue eyed loverboy and the rhythmic undercarriage is a mash of prog and electro and arena rock.  Weird yo, points for an interesting blend.  The second tune stinks so I clicked through and we’re getting into Bon Jovi whoo hoos in this third tune.  The first tune was by far the most interesting track I’ve peeped.  It is coagulating into cheese as I click on the tracks.  Get some bred out for the third tune (clipped below).

@@@ RVIVR: The Tide/Shaggy (Dead Broke Rekerds, 2017)  Something about the moist weather in the Northwest makes for fertile ground for pop punk.  I saw on the CFUV weekly email that the music director had seen these guys live so that triggered a peep.  Crunchy guitars, caffeinated drumming and big ass chant a long vocal hooks.  Big pop punk energy if you’re in the mood.  Myself I dig it but I would rather toilet tweet.  The second tune on the 7″ (yes, fucking 7″!) features some guitar shred, a female singer.  Earnest kids, earnest white kids.

YTD recordings listened to: 738
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 392
Not good music: 308

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 11/15/17!!! Pink Siifu, Walk the Moon, RVIVR

@@@ Pink Siifu: Bills (Twothousandnine, 2017)  I saw this hip hop outfit shouted out on the Twatter and I scooped this b-side from a split single from the Apple Music.  It’s a pretty stripped down and funky arrangement with trippy synth layers and a fat bass pulse.  The MC is pleasantly nasal on the mic and he works the microphone in a subtle stop and start manner.

@@@ Walk the Moon: What if Nothing (RCA, 2017)  Some major label rock that occupies one of the prestigious banner positions up on the Apple Music.  Money changed hands.  I’m thinking as the intro to the first tune unfolds that this is gonna explode into a shopping mall rock cheese bomb.  No, they go for a white funk rock thing.   The lyrical component of this tune is blue eyed loverboy and the rhythmic undercarriage is a mash of prog and electro and arena rock.  Weird yo, points for an interesting blend.  The second tune stinks so I clicked through and we’re getting into Bon Jovi whoo hoos in this third tune.  The first tune was by far the most interesting track I’ve peeped.  It is coagulating into cheese as I click on the tracks.  Get some bred out for the third tune (clipped below).

@@@ RVIVR: The Tide/Shaggy (Dead Broke Rekerds, 2017)  Something about the moist weather in the Northwest makes for fertile ground for pop punk.  I saw on the CFUV weekly email that the music director had seen these guys live so that triggered a peep.  Crunchy guitars, caffeinated drumming and big ass chant a long vocal hooks.  Big pop punk energy if you’re in the mood.  Myself I dig it but I would rather toilet tweet.  The second tune on the 7″ (yes, fucking 7″!) features some guitar shred, a female singer.  Earnest kids, earnest white kids.

YTD recordings listened to: 738
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 392
Not good music: 308

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 11/14/17!!! Lucille Furs, Curtis Harding, Eminem

@@@ Lucille Furs: Self-titled (Lucille Furs, 2017)  Pastoral, weird ass British rock out of Chicago I got to via a music publicist in the Chicago area.  Reminiscent of the Coral, Temples, quirky guitar rock.  Let’s peep a bit more.  It would be tremendously easy for the singer to be annoying as shit and I’m the first to throw the penalty flag but I don’t mind this singer.  He plays the Ruby Tuesday role well.  Folks should check this out if they’re up for some old school chime guitars and retro vibes.

@@@ Curtis Harding: Face Your Fear (Anti-, 2017)  Old school r&b with strong rock flavorings that I got to via this week’s CFUV playlist email.  I’m feeling this first tune — nice arrangement (particularly the guitar) and the proper amount of soul.  The title track (clipped below) features a creeping bass line with some small string flourishes and falsetto vocals.  I like this record thus far and Imma picky fuck.  There are some tired ass re-enactments of classic soul records but I hear some fresher energy here.  I dig Harding’s singing and the guitar work as well as the sound of the record.  Imma gonna swing back on this record.

@@@  Eminem (featuring Beyonce): Walk on Water (Interscope, 2017)  I kinda really like and fucking hate Eminem at the same time.  I’ve heard some shit that is so crispy and awesome but the overly dramatical lyrics of this tune with the cheesy ballad piano and Beyonce’s typical shit is tiresome.  I made it three minutes before I had to turn that shit off, it’s a hip hop cheese bomb.  He coulda said what he wanted to say in a much different (and more entertaining) way and been more creative.  Plus the piano really ties a brick on that shit. I like his political shit and I will leave the confessional shit to others.

YTD recordings listened to: 735
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 394
Not good music: 307

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 10/2/17!!! Daphne, Kamasi Washington, U2

@@@ Daphni: Joli Mai (Jiao Long, 2017)  Some proggy indie electronic that is currently #1 out at CFUV in Vancouver.  The first tune opens up with some extensive synth arpeggiation, some boom/titch, and some slowing/speeding of the entire mix which is quite disorienting.  The second tune (clipped below) switches gear and presents a giddy up beat with some simple popping funk bass.  I perceive that these are designed to be extended dance floor jams with rhythms allowed to breathe and stretch and that they are not straight up tunes.  It’s an interesting blend of old school funk sounds and more modern club sounds.  It’s not a full on funk explosion but they’re looking into it.

@@@ Kamasi Washington: Harmony of Difference (Young Turks, 2017)  Kamasi Washington is considered a possible savior of jazz following his last release and his playing along side Kendrick Lamar.  I thought the last release was a tad overextended and in contrast this record clocks in at 32 minutes.  It is not on a jazz label and it’s not particularly interesting improv.  It comes out of mid to late ’70s fusion which has always enjoyed a popularity I don’t understand.  The second tune is a big bossy ensemble piece with big energy and as Apple Music says it’s a bright and harmonious record I will second that in saying this piece is too bright for my ears.  I’m going to tip out after the intro to the fourth tune and go put a Sam Rivers record on — a sax player folks should check out.

@@@ U2: Get Out of Your Own Way (Island/UMG, 2017)  The second pre-release single from U2 and I expect this to be a New Age/self help kinda biscuit.  The title does not bode well for the listen.  The chorus is kinda bilious and I would like to respond with a song title called ‘Go fuck yourself’.  Plus Kendrick Lamar rhymes on this bad boy, I can’t wait!  Ah Kendrick doesn’t really rhyme here as he gets his Martin Luther King on.  Big pronouncements and I’m not entirely sure if these lyrics make any sense at all.  There are some lines in there about slavery that I don’t think are very kosher at all.  I find the multitrack background vocals on this tune to be the most heinous element of the tune.  I think Bono needs a fork in him, he might be done — it’s just New Age cheese and bullshit issuing forth from his billionaire pie hole.

YTD recordings listened to: 709
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 379
Not good music: 296

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

Music for 11/1/17!!! Ace Harper, YEBBA, Street Joy, Jeezy

@@@ Ace Harper: Mouth Wide Open (Sonic Pill, 2017)  Flirty xeroxed 1980s pop from the Apple Music hot tracks.  I was going to say it’s not a filthy track but she keeps saying she has her mouth wide open so take do with that as you see fit.  Maybe she’s really hungry and is up for a snack!  Probably not though this might work as a Taco Bell or McDonald’s commercial.  A little guitar, some synths, a pop rock drumbeat, and that gated drum sound that I can’t stand.  This could be Trump’s re-election tune!

@@@ Yebba: Evergreen (Yebba, 2017)  Described as a vibrant, soulful and richly expressive debut.  Yikes that is some high end word salad.  It’s a very nice arrangement and thus far she hasn’t started with the woeful oversinging like she’s about to bust her nut.  It’s good to see somebody showing some taste and not going for the exploding cheese spectacle.  Yebba (she is somehow related to Yoda I read in one spot) is not coughing up this track for the GooglePimp so here is a 30 second spot of her making stir fry on the Today show.  No, singing, I kid.  It’s a live clip of her singing.  It will be interesting to see if the moniker YEBBA will hold her back.  Prince, Beyonce, YEBBA!

@@@ Street Joy: Hot For Teacher (N/A, 2017)  It would take a lot of balls to cover Van Halen’s Hot for Teacher in a rock style so I give props for the step to the side and doing with some guitar and a more danceable arrangement with funkier sounds.  It makes you realize that anybody can cover David Lee Roth’s vocals as he’s half clown and half human.  They spent some time to preserve the humor and energy of the original.

@@@ Jeezy (featuring Puffy): Bottles Up (Def Jam, 2017)  I thought this was gonna be a hip hop party track but this comes out darker with more skitter. Jeezy’s blunted vocal style takes this down to a rougher sounding place.  Not using rough here as a code word for crime, he’s got a low gravelly voice yo.  Bottles up, hold ’em high, raise your Rolies (Rolodexes) to the sky.  It’s a celebration of wealth and I’m always ready to take a piss on that shit.

YTD recordings listened to: 706
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 378
Not good music: 294

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