Music for 3/19/18!!! Hailu Mergia, Fyahbwoy, Leon Bridges, Jason Aldean

@@@ Hailu Mergia: Lala Belu (Awesome Tapes from Africa, 2018). I got to this African record via the WRIR playlist email.  I don’t find that much jazz in this first tune, it’s more of a soul tune with a little improvised accordion over it.  The instrumentation here is drums, bass, organ, accordion and percussion.  I like it, and I promise I won’t be a genre bitch. I like the accordion player but I want more than mostly straight jazz grooves — I want more funk or more outside playing or both.  It’s pleasant and the sounds are good.

@@@ Fyahbwoy: Cadenas De Oro | (Nacional, 2018).  An urban Latin single that I saw on the very same WRIR playlist email.  Keyboards, guitar, drum machine and a loverboy singer/MC.  I can’t tell if this is a drummer or a drum machine but does it matter that much.  He’s got some pretty nice Spanish dancehall toasting going on.  I prefer that to his loverboy routine.  It’s a solid track, if you don’t like the singer you’re not gonna like the tune.  I’m agnostic on the singer.

@@@ Leon Bridges: Bad Bad News (Sony, 2018). I’ve heard Bridges before and like his music but I’m a little surprised to see such fusion-y track on the Apple Music hot tracks section.  When Bridges starts singing I get why, he really can carry a song.  There is a little blues swirled up in the fusion but it’s pretty mid to late ’70s fusion jazz sounds.  If it had different sounds I would be up on this big time.  The bass sound is great but I can’t abide by the guitar sound.  Listen for yourself.

@@@ Jason Aldean: Rearview Town (Macon/Broken Bow, 2018).  That’s right Aldean is leaving town, probably because of a woman.  God damn, girl what did you do to my man Jason?  Broken hearts and rusted plows so he’s mixing his personal plight with the decay of rural America.  This is going to be a short review as I’m on the verge of tears.  Someone get me a Kleenex!  Power chords, a guitar solo that would make Bon Jovi proud.  I’ve attached the lyric video so you can get your heart torn out.  I have to break away and shed a few tears for Facebook as America discovers what an ill bitch spying machine it is.  Lots of tears over here so make sure you got some self-care lined up, the world is full of sadness.  Ya know, broken hearts and rusted plows!

YTD recordings listened to: 151
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 79
Not good music: 69

Best: 4
Honorable Mentions: 3

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, A Tribe Called Quest, Noname, Gouge Away, Klara Lewis, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Oddisee, Forro in the Dark, RAM, Fiver, Dona Onete, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Priests, Propaganda, This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez, Integrity, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Irreversible Entanglements, Converge, Open Mike Eagle, Criolo, Billy Strings, Flowers of Sulphur

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8/9/16: Sarathy Korwar, Skillet, OWEL, July Talk

@@@ Sararthy Korwar: Day to Day (Ninja Tune, 2016).  I saw this record mentioned on the Twatter.  Let me clarify when I say that, I do not twat or surf the Twatter.  I get emails of people I follow on the Twatter where they speak about their things/issues with a twat.  I follow some music critic twats as I find the mention of the listening to be more important than a review.  Hey, he’s listening I’ll give it a peep after seeing that twat.  So this was twatted as Sufi electronica but it sounds less electronic-y and more jazz fusion-y with strong Southeast Asian vibes.  I’m not sure what the stringed instrument is on this first tune but it’s cool  Let’s peep another tune.  Listeners will encounter a ’70s era electric piano on this second track and I find that to be sort of cliche.  It’s using a package of sounds an era rather than an uniquely individual musical statement.

@@@ Skillet: Unleashed (Atlantic, 2016)  The most cliche, garbage-tacious shopping mall hard rock drowning in cheese sauce.  This first tune, Invincible, is just a whole lot of sonic ass.  Let’s peep one more biscuit to verify.  I don’t know if a tune titled Back from the Dead is going to get me where I want to go, but I do find it interesting that a lot of the lyrics appear to be overcoming feelings of powerless-ness.  In this first tune he wanted to feel invincible and in this one he’s just clawing to stay alive.  We are young, we are strong, we will rise!  You just need some brown shirts and an armed drone.  Wow, 7 million views on this video clipped below.  A tremendous waste of bandwidth!

@@@ OWEL: Paper Hands (Equal Vision, 2016)  A single that I got to via the indie music blog Indiepulse.  The track opens up fragile emo/indie with lyrics growing old.  There’s a lot arpeggiated guitar, sweet vocals, and a shaker that goes with the drummer.  Now it’s opening up into a space rock, shimmering sound.  I own a couple of Equal vision recordds from back in the day and they were rougher.  Now the tune is rising in temperature a bit but not full throttle.  When the world is through with us, and leaving us behind in a cloud of dust.  Oooh, I don’t know if I can accept that.

@@@ July Talk: Strange Habit (Universal, 2016).  Well, it’s August but I won’t close the door on a band called July Talk.  The tune opens up sparse and a wee creepy and friendly.  There’s a nice, simple piano hook, childlike in style, and now the tune is blossoming with multiple vocal parts, a midtempo early Radiohead rock beat.  I can only describe this as a big whoosh.  Not a flushing toilet whoosh more of a strange dream liftoff whoosh.  I thought it might explode out the outro but it’s gonna slack on outta town.

YTD recordings listened to: 635
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 347
Not good music: 231

Honorable Mentions: 11
Buys: 9

Possibles: Chris McGregor, Dave Arner Trio, MAKU Soundsystem, Zomby, Retox, Jessie Mae Hemphill, Bone Dance, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, Slidhr, The Chewers, Alexander Hawkins, Toxic Holocaust, Equal Stones, Comeback Kid, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Fofoulah, Lozen, Erase Errata, Dawn Richard, Mastery, Leviathan, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Akitsa, Janelle Monae, Luther Dickinson, Destruction Unit, Graeme Barrett, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Cavanaugh, Gentleman Surfer, Satoko Fuji, Mystic Braves, Divanhana, Unrestrained, Moken, Systema Solar, Brian Eno, Juan Atkins, Drone, Lantern, The Lickshots, Twin Peaks, Djelimady Tounkara, Miramar, The Oh Sees, Denny Zeitlin, MILF, Margo Price, Changui Majadero, Seratones, Joe Sticky, Vieux Kante, Keefe Jackson

Active Music Listening Thursday August 8, 2013

YTD recordings listened to: 580
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 357
Not good music: 169

Honorable Mentions: 15
Buys: 13

Possibles: Boyd Rivers, Abdoulaye Alhassane Toure, Cryptopsy, Nick Waterhouse, Patterson Hood,  Chris McGregor, Brother Ali (2009), Alvin Youngblood Hart, Ether Net, Oddisee, Holly Williams, Dave Arner Trio, Trap Them, Orchestra Super Mazembe, Mark Lanegan & Duke Garwood, Inzinzac, Bill Horist, MAKU Soundsystem, Joseph Arthur, Melt Yourself Down, Zomby, Retox, Owiny Sigoma Band, About Group, A Tribe Called Red, Andrew Cedermark, Jello Biafra, Fat Freddy’s Drop, Jessie Mae Hemphill, All Pigs Must Die, Chris Shifflett, pop. 1280, Kendl Winter

@@@ Dead in the Dirt: Fear (Southern Lord, 2011).   I could not find their new record on MOG, but this record is up and it’s a pleasantly bruising affair from the deviants at Southern Lord.  A piquant blend of hardcore punk and speed metal influences I enjoy it’s goal of battering listeners into submission.  The drummer in this band is pretty brutal — his snare sprays and apoplectic style really work for me.  Some very barbed twists and turns within the songs.

@@@ Volto!: Incitare (Fantasy, 2013).  A self-styled prog/metal/jazz/rock record from last week’s All Music weekly notable releases.  Sounds like Van Halen on happy gas without the stupid lyrics from either dude that’s fronted them.  I’m not a huge fan of the fusion sound — I don’t hate this somewhat updated fusion sound, but check it out if you’re into this formula.

@@@ The Royal Noise: Unbreakable (Royal Noise, 2013).  I found this group off the  weekly All Music NYC gig email.  This is jazz/rock hybrid with a different vibe to it — focused more on the rock guitar/sax interplay rather than the keyboard/guitar jamming of the Volto! record.  Think Santana with less wailing and a big dollop of a television talk show band mixed in.  I could see this working really well live — very energetic and familiar and partyistic.

@@@ Minks: Tides End (Captured Tracks, 2013).  Flat male vocals over bouncy synth chords off a record I found on the MOG new release page.  Sports that 1980’s gated snare sound that I really don’t like.  I’m not sure why this musical formula has been recycled, but it has been and I’m going to have to live with it.

Active Music Listening Thursday July 26, 2012

YTD recordings listened to: 461
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 256
Not good music:181
Buys: 14 (not all 2012 releases)
Possibles: Glenn Hansard, Ebo Taylor, Le Super Borgou De Parakou, Left Lane Cruiser/James Leg, Cedric Pescia: John Cage Sonatas, Chatham County Line, Dennis Bovell, Seluah, Donnie and Joe Emerson

@@@ Heyward Howkins: The Hale & Hearty (Self-released, 2012).  The first tune, Thunderin’ Stop is the best song I heard today.  Sparse yet interesting arrangement and a voice that is skilled but neither self-concious or manipulative.  The rest of the recording jumps around stylistically, which is a shame (for me) as I could take a whole record that works the vein of the first tune.  There are some really nice moments in this recording and this guy has been in a studio before, that’s for sure.  Check it out.

@@@ Joe Davita: Ancestral Language (Daddy Tank, 2012).  If you’re a listener in the nu jazz/fusion area check out the Sonny Sharrock inspired tune over at SoundCloud.  He’s got that epic spaced out guitar sound just right.

@@@ Ben Kweller: Jealous Girl.  Upcoming single.  I watched the video and thought they should have spent more time on the song rather than on the summer time booty shaking video.  Manipulative.

@@@ Fang Island: Major.  (Sargent House, 2012).  Found this on the AMG New Release weekly email.  Under genre, it describes the music as hard rock, indie rock, post-rock, alternative pop/rock.  Is this possible to make music that is rock and post-rock at the same time?

The music is generic mainstream rock, a little rough and very smoothed out  and trimmed at the same time.  Catchy, designed to sell, not much to think about.  Light like cotton candy.

@@@ Purity Ring: Shrines. (4AD, 2012)  Big fat marshmallow synths for a spaced out detached female voice to roll out on.  Complete with finger snaps and handclaps.  Big shout out to West Coast hip hop beats.  Finely focused blech.

@@@ Foxygen: Take the Kids off Broadway (Jajgjaguwar, 2012)  Great band name, opens up with a slinky sort of David Bowie vibe.  Oh no, the singer is the lovechild of David Bowie and Lou Reed.  It jumps around, little sections and stops and starts — definitely more indie than the conceptual-ness of Bowie.  It definitely sports a retro vibe that I don’t hear often — a little glam, a little ’60s Eric Burdon.  The singer has style and energy.  It’s not music that makes me jump and down, but some folks might dig it.

@@@ Micachu and the Shapes: Never (Rough Trade, 2012).  Collaged noise pop.  A piquant variety of squonks and chopped various noises with a sort of lowly mixed female voice.  Marketed as michievous, I hear it more as staticky U.K. welfare parlor music.  Might actually work live.