Music for 5/20/17 !!!, Dragonforce, Grizzly Bear

@@@ !!!: Shake the Shudder (Warp, 2017)  Slotted as alternative dance I like this first tune, save the vocals.  It’s a mash of funk and disco.  There are an awful lot of Prince vibes and once again I really appreciate how Prince’s guitar playing gave his disco/funk so much more dimension.  Dang, this third tune comes out of nowhere and really gets things right for my ears.  This by far the best of what I’ve heard on this record but unfortunately I can’t find it on the GooglePimp.

@@@ Dragonforce: Reaching Into Infinity (Metal Blade, 2017)  69 minutes of epic metal.  the opening track is massive and orchestral with friggin’ yuuuuge guitar sounds and I can only imagine what the singer is gonna bring.  This is the kind of music Attorney Jeff Sessions listens to when he pees on hookers.  As far as I can tell all of Trump’s associates are ‘hooker peers.’  Oh my they’re playing fast and the singer is on stage and he’s all  right.  Not too epic, though he might just be getting warmed up.  This is not the kind of metal that I really dig but if you like the epic, shiny metal these guys are doing an energetic and heartfelt job of shooting cheesy metal across the sky.

@@@ Grizzly Bear: Mourning Sound (Grizzly Bear/RCA, 2017)  A pre-release track off Apple Music’s hot tracks section.  Very nice bass sound and not too much for me to feel after that.  So steeped in ’80s sounds it makes you wanna dig up Ronald Reagan’s corpse and dance on it.  I’m not sure if Grizzly Bear had a burlap sack of indie credibility, but the weight of that has been lifted as this is straight up mainstream synth rock.  It doesn’t stink but I don’t like it.

YTD recordings listened to: 311
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 182
Not good music: 121

Buys: 5
Honorable Mentions: 2

Possibles: Chris McGregor, 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, Drone, Lantern, Twin Peaks, Djelimady Tounkara, The Oh Sees, Denny Zeitlin, MILF, Unfun, De La Soul, Carl Sagan’s Skate Shoes, Magrudergrind, A Tribe Called Quest, Noname, Gouge Away, Anna Hogberg, Klara Lewis, Aethenor, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, James Brandon Lewis, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Power Trip, Reverend Payton, J.I.D., Oddisee, Forro in the Dark, RAM

Music for 5/11/17!!! Cende, The Whistles and the Bells, Little Cub

@@@ Cende: Don’t Want To (Double Whammy, 2017) A little Elvis Costello, a little bit of Squeeze and a pubic hair of The Strokes.  Hi energy rock that back in the day would have been FM classic radio between the big stoner tunes.  It’s 1:36 so it goes in commando style and gets out right away.  Kudos for that.  Got to this via a music publicist email.  Probably cost them at least $3k for that exposure.

@@@ The Whistles and the Bells: Modern Plagues (New West, 2017) This record is slotted as an indie folk on last week’s All Music notable release email but it’s the kind of milquetoast indie that I have problems with.  I’m sure these are all fantastic people but the singer is mad annoying to me.  Kinda cute and smarmy.  I would not go so far as to say that he needs a slap but maybe a good rough cuff.  Now this second tune is less indie and more roots oriented but it’s still the same singer.

@@@ Little Cub: Still Life (Domino, 2017)  Indie electronic off this week’s All Music.  Very smooth Roxy Music opening tune — plinky guitars, laid-back beats and a suave singer.  It’s interesting to see how synth rock has morphed into indie electronic because to me this isn’t really electronic music, but it’s rock music songs with a lot of electronic sounds and vibes.  I think these guys are Brits and this is the kind of music Prince Harry listens to — it’s got dignity and not much muscle.  I don’t know much about Prince Harry’s personal life story so don’t take that comment too seriously.

YTD recordings listened to: 289
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 171
Not good music: 111

Buys: 5
Honorable Mentions: 2

Possibles: Chris McGregor, 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, Drone, Lantern, Twin Peaks, Djelimady Tounkara, The Oh Sees, Denny Zeitlin, MILF, Unfun, De La Soul, Carl Sagan’s Skate Shoes, Magrudergrind, A Tribe Called Quest, Noname, Gouge Away, Anna Hogberg, Klara Lewis, Aethenor, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, James Brandon Lewis, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Power Trip, Reverend Payton, J.I.D., Oddisee, Forro in the Dark

Music for 5/3/17!!! Timber Timbre, Kelly Lee Owens, Tigran Hamasyan

@@@  Timber Timbre: Sincerely, Future Pollution (City Slang, 2017)  The #1 record out at CFUV in British Comlumbia.  This first tune is indie singer songwriter with some synth accompaniment, simple drums and delayed percussion.  It’s tasteful in its minimalism.  The second tune hearkens back to 1980’s rock with a bit of funk swirled a la David Bowie and John Lennon.  This is very intelligently put together — self-contained arrangements coherently put together.  I’m not a huge soft indie listener but this is as good as it gets for that sub genre.

@@@ Kelly Lee Owens: Kelly Lee Owens (Smalltown Supersound, 2017) Indie electronic off this week’s CFUV playlist email.  Right out of the gate Owens layers that reverbed female voice over some really thick pulsing bass and the juxtaposition of that low syrup and the dreamy female thing is evocative.  People lap it up with a spoon.  It’s a combination of sounds that I think has become somewhat derivative but let’s peep more.  The second tune mixes a more clubby rhythmic foundation with that Lord of the Rings Elf Queen vocal sound.  The layering of voices gets a bit much on the third tune featuring Jenny Hval.

@@@ Tigran Hamasyan – An Ancient Observer (Nonesuch, 2017) A mostly solo piano jazz record off this week’s CFUV weekly email.  Hamasyan is from Armenia and I had to glean that info off the interwebz.  This first tune is restrained with some pretty straightforward and pleasing piano work.  There are some classical flourishes to his playing and that combined with the sound of the recorded piano lends a sort of uptight vibe to the recording.  The second tune features a female singer echoing some of his right hand playing and it’s all right but it leaves a bit of New Age pixie dust on the floor.

YTD recordings listened to: 268
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 159
Not good music: 103

Buys: 5
Honorable Mentions: 2

Possibles: Chris McGregor, 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, Drone, Lantern, Twin Peaks, Djelimady Tounkara, The Oh Sees, Denny Zeitlin, MILF, Unfun, De La Soul, Carl Sagan’s Skate Shoes, Magrudergrind, A Tribe Called Quest, Noname, Gouge Away, Anna Hogberg, Klara Lewis, Aethenor, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, James Brandon Lewis, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Power Trip, Reverend Payton, J.I.D., Oddisee, Forro in the Dark

Music for 4/26/17!!! Matthew Logan Vazquez, Mr. Mitch

@@@ Matthew Logan Vazquez: Does What He Wants (Dine Alone, 2017)  I’ve heard Vasquez’s music before and almost put it on a year end list.  This one opens up straight blues rock and I don’t like it much.  The second tune is less rocking and more indie — I like it more but the third tune is back to the big rock.  He has a good voice and the sounds are all right but it seems like a record designed to produce loot as it goes out of its way to be familiar.

@@@ Mr. Mitch: Devout (Planet Mu, 2017)  This electronic musician out of London is being marketed as somewhere between grime and ambient.  This first tune is a slow love song with lush synths and a delayed vocal line.  In the second song, he breaks out the ping pong delay and gets to rhyming.  The beats are not typical American hip hop and the piece has a sort of sci fi feel to it.  Mr. Mitch appears to want to have delicate sounds on top of beats so when he drops the energy of the beats it feels ambient and when he goes into a grime hip hop thing it’s a half rugged video game thing.  Not really for me but check for yourself.

@@@ Mike Dillon: Life is Not a Football (Royal Potato, 2017)  Some experimental rock off this week’s All Music notable release email.  This first tune opens up somewhat Captain Beefheart-y with a mid tempo weird groove and lower energy vocals.  The second tune Man C**t gets more fractured with some wild slashing vocal blasts, tom tom drumming and some squirgles.  Yes, squirgles.  I’m on the third tune, I like the marimba/vibes but I for those who want to roll this way I would head out to Beefheart’s Trout Mask Replica or some vintage Zappa.

YTD recordings listened to: 250
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 148
Not good music: 99

Buys: 5
Honorable Mentions: 1

Possibles: Chris McGregor, Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, Slidhr, The Chewers, Toxic Holocaust, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Fofoulah, Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, Leviathan, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Janelle Monae, Luther Dickinson, Graeme Barrett, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Cavanaugh, Gentleman Surfer, Satoko Fuji, Moken, Juan Atkins, Drone, Lantern, Twin Peaks, Djelimady Tounkara, The Oh Sees, Denny Zeitlin, MILF, Unfun, De La Soul, Carl Sagan’s Skate Shoes, Magrudergrind, A Tribe Called Quest, Noname, Gouge Away, Anna Hogberg, Klara Lewis, Aethenor, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, James Brandon Lewis, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Power Trip, Reverend Payton, J.I.D., Oddisee, Forro in the Dark

Music for 4/23/17!!! Warm Soda, Gas

@@@ Warm Soda: I Don’t Wanna Grow Up (Castle Face, 2017)  Off this week’s All Music weekly email.  These guys own mad Ramones/Strokes records.  Big vocal hooks, rock guitars, rock drumming.  Rock, rock, rock ‘n roll high school.  I don’t hate this music, I don’t find it particularly interesting.  But if you like the Ramones and the Strokes you might love it.

@@@ Gas: Narkopop (Kompakt, 2017) Ambient techno also off this week’s All Music notable release email.  This first track is a floater with no beats and a tad of classical symphony shards.  This is a monster shot of 2.5 hours of ambient music but we’re just gonna dip in for a few spoonfuls.  Thus far he’s putting the narco- in it for sure.  Imma sleepy peanut over here.  The second track is unfolding slowly as well — I’m not opposed to that but I do have things to do today.  I think if you’re gonna do this you gotta have such ridiculous face ripping minimalist shit going on to make me feel mesmerized.  This record could be the soundtrack for a stoned Hobbit movie where they just smoke it up and wander around the forest looking for Gandalf.

YTD recordings listened to: 261
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 143
Not good music: 96

Buys: 5
Honorable Mentions: 1

Possibles: Chris McGregor, Dave Arner Trio, Zomby, Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, Slidhr, The Chewers, Toxic Holocaust, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Fofoulah, Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, Leviathan, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Janelle Monae, Luther Dickinson, Graeme Barrett, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Cavanaugh, Gentleman Surfer, Satoko Fuji, Moken, Juan Atkins, Drone, Lantern, Twin Peaks, Djelimady Tounkara, The Oh Sees, Denny Zeitlin, MILF, Unfun, De La Soul, Carl Sagan’s Skate Shoes, Magrudergrind, A Tribe Called Quest, Noname, Gouge Away, Anna Hogberg, Klara Lewis, Aethenor, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, James Brandon Lewis, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Power Trip, Reverend Payton, J.I.D., Oddisee

Music for 4/1/17!!! Anathema, Tim Darcy

@@@ Anathema: Springfield (Snapper, 2017) Some polished arena rock I got to via the music blog Indiepulse.  I guess this is this band’s 11th record and I never have heard of them.  They’re rocking a Talking Heads sentiment — how did I get here? over and over.  the answer is fuck if I know.  After a somewhat lengthy ambient opening section they get into a proggy shred, which is not a Thai dish.  Wow, this is a big fat slapping dual guitar attack, I’m not sure I deserve this.  I guess they’re really quite passionate about how they did or did not get here.  It’s a tad vague and New Age for me to get my head around this big rock chunklet.

@@@ Tim Darcy: Saturday Night (Jagjaguwar, 2017)  Some old school nerd punk stylings off this week’s CFUV weekly playlist email.  This is off the Jiggedy Jagjaguwar imprint which I threw in there because I like the two words Jiggedy Jagjaguwar.  This music is firmly in the Velvet Underground slack rock tradition with a tad more bash to it.  The Velvets were, you know, stoned out of their gourds.  This is not my favorite branch of the rock ‘n roll tree but this guy does it all right.

YTD recordings listened to: 214
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 113
Not good music: 81

Buys: 1
Honorable Mentions: 1

Possibles: Chris McGregor, Dave Arner Trio, Zomby, Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, Slidhr, The Chewers, Toxic Holocaust, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Fofoulah, Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, Leviathan, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Janelle Monae, Luther Dickinson, Graeme Barrett, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Cavanaugh, Gentleman Surfer, Satoko Fuji, Divanhana, Moken, Juan Atkins, Drone, Lantern, Twin Peaks, Djelimady Tounkara, The Oh Sees, Denny Zeitlin, MILF, Unfun, De La Soul, Carl Sagan’s Skate Shoes, Magrudergrind, A Tribe Called Quest, Noname, Gouge Away, Anna Hogberg, Klara Lewis, Aethenor, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, James Brandon Lewis, Yotoco, Tinariwen, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Power Trip, Reverend Payton, J.I.D., Oddisee, Feral Ohms, Orquestra Baobab

Music for 3/1/17!!! Code Orange, Tears Run Rings, Xiu Xiu

@@@ Code Orange: Forever (Roadrunner, 2017)  Some thick ass boot stomping metal off this week’s CFUV weekly email.  The meters on my apogee interface are pinned into the red and the mix is extruding itself out of my speakers.  The singer alternates between pissed off post hardcore and a cow being dropped into a vat of acid.  This second tune has the frantic, destructive energy of vintage Pig Destroyer.  If you have not witnessed Pig Destroyer you gotta peep those guys, it’s brutal.  The guitar player is not really working melodically here — it’s mostly slabs of thick distortion, it’s really quite pleasant.  The fourth song has a singer that sings which is weird because it moves back down the evolutionary ladder after that tune.  I like the straight beat down stuff but less so the ski-fi drones and the normal singer.  Start at the top of the record.

@@@ Tears Run Rings: In Surges (Deep Space Recordings, 2017)  I’m not sure how I ended up listening to this record but I am so there.  It opens up dreamy with a revered nestled in a bed of organ synth patches.  This is supposed to be a psych record but it’s not right now.  I’m onto the second tune and we have some guitars and they’re big and fluffed out with reverb and there might be some owners of Sigur Ros records in this band. They’re going for that big orchestral thing but the advantage with Sigur Ros is that you can’t understand their lyrics.  This is a tad snoozypants.  Oy that was the third tune, damn you interwebz.  This second tune is rocking slightly, nobody is going to get hurt.  Nor their feelings.  If I had some advice for these guys I would say lay off the reverb more than a tad and have a few cups of coffee before going into the studio.  I’m all for dreaming when I sleep but I’m not a big fan of sleeping when I listen.

@@@ Xiu Xiu: Forget (Polyvinyl, 2017)  Somewhat campy indie electronic I got to via this week’s CFUV playlist email.  Big Nine Inch Nails dark synth vibe but with two singers and not on the same trip as T. Reznor.  The second tune continues with the same aggro vibe.  The third track (clipped below) is the tune put up by the label and it’s more tuneful.  I don’t dislike this music but I’m not in need of electro goth.  Check it for yourself.  The fourth tune gets into a more forlorn love lost kind of vein so it bops around within its black mascara boundaries.

YTD recordings listened to: 142
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 78
Not good music: 44

Buys: 0
Honorable Mentions: 1

Possibles: Chris McGregor, Dave Arner Trio, Zomby, Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, Slidhr, The Chewers, Toxic Holocaust, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Fofoulah, Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, Leviathan, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Janelle Monae, Luther Dickinson, Graeme Barrett, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Cavanaugh, Gentleman Surfer, Satoko Fuji, Divanhana, Moken, Juan Atkins, Drone, Lantern, Twin Peaks, Djelimady Tounkara, The Oh Sees, Denny Zeitlin, MILF, Unfun, De La Soul, Carl Sagan’s Skate Shoes, Magrudergrind, A Tribe Called Quest, Noname, Gouge Away, Anna Hogberg, Klara Lewis, Aethenor, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, James Brandon Lewis, Yotoco, Tinariwen, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Power Trip