Music for 10/27/22!!! Bazooka, Architects

@@@ Bazooka: Somewhere Elsewhere (Inner Ear, 2022) Email from a small label in Greece that I listen to sometimes. It opens briskly in a distinctly B-52s smashed into a gyro kinda way, tight and Greek. No filthy minds out there when I type tight and Greek. These guys can rock and they bring the rock energy much more than here in America, or ‘Merka wherever you may be. I’m guessing weed may not be legal in Greece of they’re not partaking. One of my big complaints about American rock is the post-grunge self indulgent I’m not happy vibe, these guys are just playing and playing hard. Everybody in the band plays well and they’re into it.

@@@ Architects: (Epitaph, 2022) Line of Best Fit! A little bit of a headfake with a chainsaw synth patch opening up the record before these guys bring the big punk/art rock smashup. This is a couple of notches down from Linkin Park who I didn’t really like back in the day. It’s a very emo flavored record but not the emo I love, more of the dramatical/melodramatical rather than the end of the rope stuff which I love. I find it much more engaging to hear someone lose their shit on a record than me admiring the intricacy of an arrangement where desperation and frustration are injected via lyrics. I like the energy and some of the sounds but this isn’t really my cup of tea.

Music for 6/2/22!!! Yves Jarvis

@@@ Yves Jarvis: The Zug (Anti-, 2022) This is a record I got to via the Pitchfork 10 most reviewed albums of the week and it has a lot of different feels to it. I don’t usually go for the genre spanning as I think it can come off as sloppy and unfocused, but I don’t get that feeling here. The first tune has a hippie-ish CSNY feel+ to it, while the second while the second one comes in with the lo fi bedroom indie feel to it and the third one comes back to the hippie rock. Maybe it’s not as disparate as I initially thought, it’s a mash of two different styles. The PItchfork propaganda mentions tropicalia and other influences and I fell for that shit, oy! The record has a pleasant slideshow feel to it as it’s 14 songs in 32 minutes so you’re not gonna be in one place for too long. My usual feeling towards indie music is that the conceit doesn’t usually have the musical substance to back it up but there’s some sharp guitar playing here as well as some interesting vocalizing. The arrangements are tight and big shout outs to the bass sound and the space organ player as he/she/they caught my ear a whole bunch as I clicked through this not so long player. Check this out if you like quirky shit with occasional forays into old school hippie feels.

Music for 2/17/22!!! Jaleel Shaw, Henrik Jonzon

@@@ Jaleel Shaw: Echoes (Changu, 2021) The record starts out with an extended solo sax section and right off the bat, beautiful tone with interesting and energetic playing. To go back and hit the first thing I usually do, I got to this via the Twatter which is a weird and sometimes interesting way to see what records are floating around out there. I was hoping for a band but I’m on the third tune and it’s a solo sax record and a very very good one at that. Shaw is quick witted as well as super skilled with his instrument. I enjoyed the tune ‘Improvisation for Mom’ most of what I heard but man Mr. Shaw can play.

@@@ Henrik Jonzon: Blood On My Clothes (Self-released, 2022) I got to this track via an email from the artist. I’m super nice to musicians. I can’t find this track on Apple Music so you will be satisfied by a GooglePimpTube listen. It will be so! This is a polished indie guitar rock banger that is truer to the spirit of the classics in the verse and then pops out in the chorus with a few more layers of background vocals. No slackness here and a lot of lyrics about skateboarding and friendships and relationships, I could be wrong on the skateboarding part. It’s a very familiar formula from the clean guitar picking to the straight beat but Jonzon pulls it off really well. I’m going out guessing that lyrically he’s comparing loving someone else to riding a bike and crashing it but still loving riding a bike. Or a skateboard.

Music for 1/21/22!!!! Lightning Bug, Hiatus Kaiyote

@@@ Lightning Bug: The Right Thing is Hard To Do (Fat Possum, 2021) When you check out this track, the second on the record you get an appreciation of the large, spacious rock sound pioneered by Daniel Lanois and Emmylou Harris and folks like that. After that you get a pretty straightforward indie rock formula with added measures of space rock thrown in. Waify female vocals stand in contrast to the big guitar sounds and the drummer is pretty much an afterthought. The next track September Song Part ii takes the same formula and moves in a Nick Drake direction. I like this better than the second track but overall I don’t feel pumped by this music. It’s cool but it’s a bit straight and predictable for me. I know there are millions of folks who want stuff like this so I will acknowledge that and move on.

@@@ Hiatus Kaiyote: Chivalry Is Not Dead (Brainfeeder, 2021) I set up my blog posts a few days (sometimes) before I write them and I mention this as I took a quick listen to this track as I was setting up the pre-post and shagging the video. Because I care. It is an energetic, proggy r&b thing this Australian artist is peddling. The track below occupies the third slot on the record and it has a chatter-y, robot feel opening it up. It then segues into a high end funk r&b thing before climaxing with a popping bass part and stabbing synths, it’s quite dramatical. I’m surfing the web while I peep this and it’s not a great sign that I drifted away from the tune as it progressed though I feel there are some really hot sounds in here. The complexity of the arrangements here is impressive but when I listen to records of this type I realize how genius it was for Prince to pepper all his shit with blazing guitar solo and rock guitars as it really deepened out and heated up his music.

Music for 10/30/21!!! Spencer, Jany Green

@@@ Spencer: Want U Back (Self released, 2020) Some more listening off the buzzfeed 20 black indie folks to listen to. This is my third listen off the list and I like the tune but it’s not super indie, they’re trying to slip one past the goalie here. There’s a clean guitar arpeggio part, a classic indie component, but slow jam drum machine beats and his singing, not so much. Regular readers know I’m certainly not a ball buster, ha! It’s a groove track that he hangs on but it’s a tasty groove and he does add a lit garnish here and there. I’m not jumping up and down recommending this but these are mainstream sounds put together in a fresh way so if you’re up for that.

@@@ Jany Green: Call My Parents (Nice Guys, 2020) Opening up with a strummed acoustic guitar and an Andre 3000 brisk pop thing. Again, not super an indie formula but you know this is ‘Merka and a lot of folks be genre stretching and bullshitting. I like the horn line the most, don’t love the strum, like his energetic delivery and am not pulled in by the lyrics. I switched over to his record from this year and it uses a little bit of the same formula but it’s closer to rock and reminds me of the Red Hot Chili Pepper. Punchy, black music flavored rock. If you’re a fan of this flavor check out his 2021 record Lost In Love over the single clipped below.

Music for 10/26/21!!! Deerhoof, Ross From Friends

@@@ Deerhoof: Department of Corrections (Joyful Noise, 2021) Deerhoof is my favorite deer related band, ths singer is great and strange and they live up to the quirky indie rock hype. This sounds like a Yes track blenderized with more modern sounds. This is from the All Music notable release email. A fair number of dueling guitar runs, pretty thunderous drumming and then singer in the middle of it on about something in her way. I’m not going to claim that the big bucket of guitars here is revelatory, the part where they drop away and she does this weird beep beep beep crazy shit is much more engaging. I will check out the other pre release track, an oy it’s the same with the two guitars frantically splattering all over the place. I don’t hate it, but I don’t love it. Oh my they start a kluster of distortion and dirty bass and that shit, oh that shit is fantastic. #MixedBag

@@@ Ross From Friends: The Daisy (Brainfeeder, 2021) A UK DJ bumpin’ up some high brow dancefloor bangin’ on this record I also go to via the All Music notable release email. I’ve peeped some Brainfeeder business before and the sounds can be a bit too refined for my taste — I like some crunch, I like some weirdness, this is pretty tight and manicured quite carefully as a porn stars genital hair patch may be. He gets into some pretty tasty glitching and deconstructing, but I say put some mustard on this hot dog, naimsayin’? Let me peep another track and check the fire on that. The second tune, Love Divide rocks a classic techno unt-sss to open up but then I imagine he’s gonna get up in some modern, ooooh, pong synthesizer, nice. Techno video games up in here. If this music was a dude it would be Pete Buttigieg — very clean and well spoken and ya know uptight. Gay/not gay I have no view on that.

Music for 8/15/21!!! Ike Palumbo and El Da Sensei, Novacain

@@@ Ike Palumbo & El Da Sensei: Blast Off! (Spacelab, 2021) Some retro indie hip hop I got to via a music publicist email. Opens up somewhat old school with a swinging piano part and a NY style drumbeat. The MCs rhyme off that piano riff, and while it’s not a straight boast track they are about to do like the title and blast off. I like the piano part though I think it gets repeated too much and the guitar part at the end is cool. Old school rhymin’.

@@@ Novacain: Shine on Me (Authentic Record, 2021) I think I saw this on the Twatter but I’m not a 100% on that. Rawk! Upbeat danceable rock that could be the soundtrack to a Friends sequel but it’s rawk. Oh boy, this is not my demographic for sure. There’s an interesting guitar melody that shows up at spots and a little drumbeat alternative that I dig but overall the vibe is one of perkiness. Alone I hide, I need a resurrection for my pride that’s the first half of the chorus hook, I’m like a treasure chest living at the bottom of the sea, so shine on me. That’s the whole kahuna right there, two slices and a piece of luncheon meat. Not sure what to make of that sentiment so I’ll just leave it at that.

Music for 6/24/21!!! Macka B, Lung

@@@ Macka B: My Father’s People (Before Zero Records, 2021) Some folks might dismiss Macka B as a vegan anthem maker as he’s a skilled reggae musician covering a variety of topics. Here he goes full roots with a praise track for famous African rulers. A sticky arrangement with classic Marley era type sounds and instrumentation. It’s a rarity to see the full reggae ensemble pull off the old school formula but I’m a Macka B fan due to his energy on the microphone and here his comfort and flavor is well showcased. He’s listed here along side Kibir La Amlak who I know nothing of and I will have to check his bio out. While I’m doing that fans of the roots reggae should peep this!

@@@ Lung: Sun God (Sofa Burn, 2021) I got to what they’re referring to as an art punk cello project or something very close to that via a music publicist email. I’m guessing this cello has been rammed through a distortion box which makes a distorted guitar type sound but sludgier and bowed. Drums here are up high and very clear which contrasts well with the cello scrapings on offer. The female singer is solid but she’s a bit drowned out by the drummer who might have mixed this bad boy. I’m agnostic on this, like parts of it and don’t love other parts of it. I think the cello should not be an acoustic cello part but it shouldn’t be so close to sounding like an electric guitar.

Music for 6/14/21!!! India Jordan, GoGo Penguin, The Bots

@@@ India Jordan: Watch Out! (Ninja Tune, 2021) I got to the first two listens today via an All Music notable release email from a couple of weeks ago and the third listen is from a music publicist email. This track opens up modified drum ‘n bass, chilled a bit, served up with a thick carpet of blanket-y synth patches. Beats fade out, you drift on those synth sounds, and then I’m guessing we’re gonna return back to those beats. Boom, and with a siren this time around. I like the beats all right, it could use some funky bass — move some booty with that AND the beats. It feels long unfortunately.

@@@ GoGo Penguin: Kora (Blue Note, 2021) This is a blend of improvisation and New Age sounds that ends up sounding a lot like chill frat boy rock. It always seems to come out sounding that way. Drums, bass, piano, and that may have been a processed guitar sound up in there. As somebody who listens to a lot of jazz this is a bit of a sad statement to see this music out on the Blue Note imprint. Oy. It’s like a big ass bowl of macaroni and white cheddar cheese. Just as an example, I’m listening and just wondering if the drummer knows any variations on this beat. Okay, I’m out.

@@@ The Bots: See It (Big Indie, 2021) I thought this was going to be a punk rave up, and it is, but it’s heavily tilted in the Devo crossed with a video game tradition. I like the chorus much more than verse — I’ll do much better when I see it. It sports a squashed/compressed sound to the mix to raise the pressure on the track, that’s a slight negative, like the singer and the drummer and am a bit tired out by the guitar part.

Music for 4/20/21!!! Bruiser Wolf, Chillemi, Charlotte OC

@@@ Bruiser Wolf: Dope Game Stupid ( , 2021) Off the Pitchfork via the Twatter! Love the twatter, really do. I can’t find this track on the Apple Music so I’m forced to listen on the GooglePimpTube. Oh Lord the GooglePimpTube! I would put this in the left field hip hop with a strange, noodly guitar at listener destabilizing levels. The rhyming is brisk with lyrics that I’m having trouble grocking. I believe this is a well veiled satire of the dope game with all manner of odd images thrown in — the dope game stupid but the boys still do it. I don’t love the guitar work but I’ve switched over to his new album, noop he’s a guest on this record by JUS so no more info for now. I’d listen to more I like the energy of his rhyming work.

@@@ Chillemi: Evil Eye (Taxi Gauche, 2021) I got to this track via a music publicist email and only a listen will reveal whether the track is better than the pr email. It opens with a lonesome alt country feeling, then come the dual male/female slack singing — essentially it’s an updated Leonard Cohen type track with a fair dollop of twang. I’d like to hear more that distinguishes itself from what’s come before but that’s just me. I guess you could say the country twang centered mostly in the guitars would qualify but regular readers know I’m a bit of a bitch and am often looking for more. This is good for office dwellers, normies.