Music for 6/19/17!!! Professor Wouassa, Fleet Foxes, GospelbeacH, Calvin Harris

@@@ Professor Wouassa: Grow Yes Yes! (Chiz Records, 2015)  I got to this Afrobeat record via the WRIR music review email.  Regular readers know that I have problems with Afrobeat, namely it’s decidely macho posturing and vibe.  This horn section is full of jazz players so the vibe is more subtle and the singer is very quiet in front of this large ensemble.  I guess the male singer on the opener was a guest and it’s been mostly the ladies holding down the vocal responsibilities.  If you’re looking for more chilled out Afrobeat check this record out, it’s a pro outfit.

@@@ Fleet Foxes: Crack-Up (Nonesuch, 2017)  Some meaningful white boy indie music off this week’s All Music notable release email.  After an ambient opening they get into a fairly rambunctious hippie sing a long kinda thing.  They cold filter a Simon and Garfunkel intimate folk thing through a cold water brew indie rock coffee maker.  There’s a lot of reverb to be had here, I could use a bit less myself, but this is clearly supposed to be quietly uplifting music by virtue of it’s beauty.  It doesn’t rock, it’s not supposed to, it holds you in its arms and gives you a designer hipster pacifier.

@@@ GospelbeacH: Another Summer of Love (Alive NaturalSounds, 2017)  I think of Alive NaturalSounds as a home for unwashed, trailer park white people but this is smoother and more classic rock than usual.  Super sweet vocals here going for a faded California sound which I’m hearing a lot lately.  Check out the cover below which is decidely faded so I’m not bloveating here.  I like this all right but it’s pretty straight — for those hardcore music listeners out there I would go for some classic Big Star and the various pills they were taking at that point.  They operate in this neighborhood but the music has more impact.  At least on me.

@@@ Calvin Harris: Feels (Sony, 2017)  I peep Calvin Harris’ music because he bites everything that came before him so hard.  Here we have a late disco track but a shiny, modern nugget lacking in soul.  Woke Katy Perry is up on this track and maybe Calvin and other guests ate at her buffet!  Oh I would watch a video of that.  In the middle of the track it breaks down for a rhyming break but the problem here is the lyrics — there’s a lot of them but the hook ‘Don’t be afraid to catch feels’.  Oh Calvin, that’s it?  I got feels, Mr. Harris and some of them are bad feels.

YTD recordings listened to: 379
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 213
Not good music: 149

Buys: 5
Honorable Mentions: 4

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, 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, Fiver, Dona Onete, Succumb Succumb, Gloom

Music for 6/13/17!!! Peeling, Unleash the Archers, The Velveteins, Chief Keef

@@@ Peeling: 7 Years of Blood EP (Buzz Records, 2017) A pretty noisy guitar indie recording off this week’s CFUV playlist email.  Singer mixed down in volume and single coil telecaster guitar sounds mixed high.  Think Television with a half a Percocet pill and a pretty stomping rock drummer.  They should have put the third tune in the lead off position as it’s pretty rockin’ and if the singer had less reverb on his/her voice I’d probably be more into this.

@@@ Unleash the Archers: Apex (Napalm Records, 2017)  Also off this week’s CFUV playlist email.  It’s opening up synth-y and now we’re into a fast, double kick classic metal jam.  This singer is full on operatic with a soaring range.  This isn’t really my favorite sub genre of metal but they’re doing it all right.  The arrangements are complex and the production is immaculate.   When the singer goes high in the third tune, I don’t know what you’re supposed to do but it’s epic.

@@@ The Velveteins: Slow Wave (Fierce Panda, 2017)  Some indie folk also off this week’s CFUV playlist email.  Ah, that might just be the opening taster course as they get into some bouncy and energetic indie rock.  I like the arrangement on this second tune (clipped below).  They’re back into the strum dee dum on this third tune so this may be the course of the record, a combination of indie folk and indie rock sounds.

@@@ Chief Keef: Thot Breaker (RBC, 2017)  Switching gears let’s check out somewhat famous Chicago gangster Chief Keef.  This first tune is surprisingly tender and the second tune is a bit of a dance floor banger.  I had to do some Duck Duck Going to ascertain if I had it right that Chief Keef as a gangster dude as these tunes have some skittery beats but the general tone is not super rough.  This third tune is a pro weed anthem and it’s clipped below.  I tend not to love the synth only arrangements but this is all right.

YTD recordings listened to: 359
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 204
Not good music: 140

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, Oumou Sangare, Fiver, Dona Onete, Succumb Succumb

Music for 5/25/17!!! Hooded Fang, Do Make Say Think, Noah Cyrus

@@@ Hooded Fang: Dynasty House (Daps, 2017)  An indie rock EP I got to via this week’s CFUV weekly playlist email.  There is plenty of krautrock and angular Wire type guitar rock to go around here.  The singer is purposely detached and I dig the drummer who pushes the tunes along well.  The second tune, Sisters and Sons is a big fast uptempo rocker and I continue to dig the drummer and the singer not so much.  I’m getting big Devo flashbacks on this fourth tune so this is looking like a big nerd rock festival.

@@@ Do Make Say Think: Stubborn Persistent Illusions (Constellation, 2017)  Also off this week’s CFUV playlist email.  Yippee, more indie rock, though this is of a different subgenre.   The record consists mostly of longer (6+ minutes) jams so it has a bit of a granular, slow unfolding feel.  Big epic guitars but not macho and there’s more than a schmattering of prog up in here.  This second tune, Horripilation, makes me feel like I’m sailing across the ocean and it’s windy but not stormy and there are a lot of stars out — it feels tense but we have food and it looks like we’re going to make it.  Metaphorical yo!  Solid B on this epic indie rock.

@@@ Noah Cyrus: I’m Stuck (Records, LLC, 2017)  Miley Cyrus’ stepsister gets into the game with an uplifting, super modern love single I got to via the Apple Music hot tracks section.  It combines down home mainstream hick rock in the verse and then it gets all EDM and shit in the verse.  Be forewarned it is a cheesy eruption in the chorus for sure.  You get some whoo hoos in the chorus as well as some nah nahs, and regular readers know how much I love a woo hoo and a nah nah.  So uplifting it will make your teeth hurt.  Plus, I don’t think this is Miley Cyrus’ sister, that was bullshit.

YTD recordings listened to: 320
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 185
Not good music: 123

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, Oumou Sangare, Fiver

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