Music for 11/30/17!!! Benin City, Poppy Ajudha, Melis

@@@ Benin City: All Smoke, No Fire (Moshi Moshi, 2018)  A pre-release electronic single off the Line of the Best Fit tracks of the week.  Ah, after a somewhat menacing British MC, some hip hop skitter breaks out.  It’s hard to say if this is hip hop or not but I do appreciate that this track is about gentrification.  You’re flat is in my dancehall, you’re parking in my market, that’s a great line.  It’s got a pretty insistent pong keyboard arrangement that drives me a tad crazy and the MC gives way to a singer and then back so it’s got some disorientation built into it, but I dug the spirit.

@@@ Poppy Ajudha: Tepid Soul (Poppy Ajudha, 2017)  Another single off the Line of Best Fit.  More of a chill track than the first firestarter.  Female singer, mellow guitar, trippy keyboard, and a beat that’s a couple of steps above lounge.  Soak your hands in my tepid soul, I can’t really get a handle on what that line means as it’s the hook.  I’m pretty sure using the word tepid in a vocal hook is not the greatest idea.

@@@ Melis: Parallels (Virtuous Sound, 2017) Serious pop off the same Line of Best Fit tracks of the week.  Female singer keeping it trim and together until the exploding slightly kaleidoscopic chorus.  More like pop/adult alternative as the cheese factor is there but it’s lower than mainstream pop.  Let’s peep a bit more.  The second track opens up with piano and more fragile singing.  The third track sinks deeper into the bad relationship feelings.  This one is for the aggrieved ladies.

YTD recordings listened to: 771
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 413
Not good music: 321

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

 

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Music for 11/29/17!!! Futuro de Hierro, blackbear, Shenandoah Davis, Holy

@@@ Futuro de Herrio: Paso en el Vacio (Majia Rojo, 2017) I was contacted by this small European label about a review of this release.  It opens up with an industrial dance groove, some feedback squalls and a gent somewhat losing it on the microphone.  I’m feeling these random sheets of aggro guitar/guitar-like squeals.  I like this second track called A veces somos uno as the vocals are made more abstract with processing and they are set lower in the mix.  I like the sounds on this record, dark and tough, but I didn’t enjoy the vocal work as much.  Check it for yourself, especially the second tune.

@@@ blackbear: anxiety (Interscope, 2017)  Off the Apple Music hot tracks section this is an electro pop record with tons of hip hop MCs as guest vocalists.  The production is meticulous and occasionally creative but otherwise it surely puts caramel on the rotten apple of any sort of real life anxiety.  Lots of chopped and synthed vocals.  He’s anxious without her love, blah blah blah.

 

 

 

 

 

@@@ Shenandoah Davis: The Wings (Plume Records, 2017) An indie recycling of early ’60s dramatic pop.  Davis has a thinnish (not Finnish) voice but the string flourishes are the star here.  They are reverbed and panned wide for epic effect.  There are drums but placed back in the mix so it’s her sweet voice and the strings and maybe some electro garnish tucked back there.  Could be an organ, hard to tell, insert joke here.  I got to this via a music publicist email.

 

 

 

@@@ Holy: Heard Her (Pnkslm, 2017)  A pre-release single I got to via Line of Best Fit’s tracks of the week.  It’s a bombastic, Beatles influenced psychedelic Brit rock track.  I have no idea if they are Brits or not.  Not the tooth grinding psychedelic business — it has plenty of guitar crunch (and some really nice drumming) with spacious organ to balance shit out.  I’m not jumping up and down but it’s a quality tune well put together with really good energy.

YTD recordings listened to: 768
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 411
Not good music: 320

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 11/27/17!!! James Arthur, Neck of the Woods, Blank Range

@@@  James Arthur: Naked (Sony Germany, 2017)  Having half of you is not enough, he’s standing naked!  He’s not really saying why he’s naked — he’s got relationship problems in this electro pop tune.  He’s giving all he can for chrissakes!  It’s building like a stock market rally though his voice is kinda doughy.  I see from his Apple Music discography that he’s a tattooed bitch so that’s the marketing sell.  He’s a rough boy going pop loverboy.  I can’t really figure out how he’s going to give her everything when he’s standing there naked.  Maybe he has the world stuffed up his ass.  It’s possible, he’s keestering the world.  A lyric video, Christmas is early bitches!

@@@ Neck of the Woods: The Passenger (Self-released, 2017) Some hard rock/heavy music off this week’s CFUV playlist email.  Oh my the singer is pissed — his vocal cords turning to fiberglass threads with a rough but not crazy metal band behind him.  I feel bad the singer is so out of sorts — it’s the holidays and the stock market is at record highs!  I prefer my metal much messier and crushed but check this out for yourself.

@@@ Blank Range: Marooned with the Treasure (Sturdy Girls, 2017)  Classic roots rock off this week’s CFUV playlist email.  Shades of the Band, Blues Traveller with a twangy singer, a lot of guitars and a little hippie looseness to get you over the hump.  You also get some old school organ to go with the duel guitar attack. I’m not particularly in the mood for this but it’s all right.

YTD recordings listened to: 761
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 407
Not good music: 317

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 11/16/17!!! Amy Shark, Dianna Rein, THUNDER BODY

@@@ Amy Shark: Adore (Wonderlick/Sony, 2017)  Blurbed as the perfect indie rock slow dance single I ask myself how could I not peep this?  Regular readers know I’m no defender of indie rock, but this shit is not indie rock.  Call me a genre bitch but these marketing sluts are label surfing fir red.  This is a pop song with a guitar part and major major label production.  Don’t shit on my head and tell me it’s raining.  She adores you, I get it but puh-lease.  I would be more understanding if I didn’t feel mad deceived right out of the gate.  Make your pop songs and be proud motherfuckers.

@@@ Diana Rein: Long Road (Diana Rein, 2017)  I got to this record via the indie blog Indiepulse.  It’s a modern electric blues rock kinda record and while guitar shredding mamas are hot they’re not as hot as badass female drummers.  My problem here as with almost all modern blues rock records is that the arena rock production doesn’t work for me.  I like dirty ass sounding blues.  Let’s peep a bit more.  The songs are pretty standard, the riffs as well, c’mon folks get yer freak on yo.

@@@ THUNDER BODY: Solstice (Rootfire Cooperative, 2017)  Roots reggae I got to via a music publicist email.  This first tune has some different lyrics which I appreciate.  I don’t insist my roots reggae have every sound perfectly reminiscent of classic roots reggae — these guys definitely evoke the vibes.  What’s different here is the singer and the lyrics; if you don’t like his flow or the lyrics it’s not going to work for you.  Myself I think they do a good job with the sounds and I appreciate when people try to step out and throw even the slightest variation.

YTD recordings listened to: 741
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 394
Not good music: 309

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 11/8/17!!! Moonspell, Black Gardenia, Cannibal Corpse, The Boxer Rebellion

@@@ Moonspell: 1755 (Napalm, 2017)  Some dramatic, Portuguese language heavy metal off this week’s CFUV playlist email.  Halfway through this first tune and no distorted guitars in sight.  Heavy on the orchestral strings and the gruff caveman on the mic.  The second tune, the title track looks like it’s set to crush albeit in a very operatic manner.  A huge chorus of female background singers to go with you distorted guitars and the double kick drum.   Not really my thing, but maybe yours?

@@@ Black Gardenia: Lucky Star (Black Gardenia, 2017)  Old timey vocal jazz I got to via the CFUV weekly playlist email.  Instrumentation is two guitars, upright bass, minimal percussion/drums and a female singer.  The energy on this first tune is high but not manic and it comes with a tasteful guitar solo.   There’s a horn player on this second tune and I thought I heard minimal snare brushwork on the first tune but I could be wrong.  These are all well known jazz tunes done in a straightforward intimate manner without too much polish.  I kinda can’t stand the high end jazz sound but luckily this record does not employ it.

@@@  Cannibal Corpse: Red Before Black (Metal Blade, 2017)  Angry beheaded chicken thrash metal from a veteran band.  I got to this record from the Apple Music new release area.  The singer is an angry orc which is not my thing but the drummer and the guitarist bring some serious blood pressure raising to the record.  Let’s peep more.  Same on the second tune, Red Before Black.  This might be a dual guitar attack, it’s a wall of buzz, threedle and distorted guitar syrup.  Blasting with an occasional burst of guitar shred melody.  This is music for people with shitty jobs and only money for cheap beer.  Good shit, check it out.

@@@ The Boxer Rebellion: Love Yourself (Absentee Records, 2017)  Oh, back to society with its conventions, superficial pretty and fake emotions.  This tune would qualify.  If you could ask for help, the first thing I would say is love yourself — that’s the vocal hook here.  I don’t think he means you should sprint home and rub one out as the world is not short on masturbators, public and private.  So he means to love yourself spiritually and emotionally and shit.  Not sure what to say to this as I’m dead inside.  I like the bass player, the drummer is all right but a little douchey in his choice of beats, and the singer is your friend.  No doubt the singer is your friend, he’s telling you to love yourself.  Emotionally and shit, stay off the johnson rod — give that a rest as you’re gonna cramp up.  It’s pretty standard, corporate, self-help rock.  Love yourself, everybody, c’mon!  I have no idea what to expect after those words are spoken.

YTD recordings listened to: 722
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 387
Not good music: 302

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

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