Music for 8/22/17!!! Miley Cyrus, Crystal Eyes, Thy Art is Murder, Baka Not Nice

@@@ Miley Cyrus: Younger Now (RCA, 2017)  Cleaned up, re-Disneyed Miley Cyrus needs to maker her Lamborghini payment so she’s back for the masses.  Let us see what she and her marketing team have come up with.  She’s got a greaser rockabilly look on the cover and her first line is ‘I feel like I just woke up’ she’s on about ‘no one’s stays the same’.  It’s a pretty simple pop rock arrangement with acoustic guitar and a few electro details thrown in for good measure.  She keeps singing ‘what goes up must come down’ and I’m at the point I get to with a lot of pop songs where there are meanings that are hinted at but mostly it is evocative word salad.  Miley is hinting at some sort of rebirth/change yada yada yada, let’s move on.

@@@ Crystal Eyes: The Female Imagination (Sweetie Pie, 2017)  Some female fronted classic guitar indie off an old CFUV weekly playlist email.  Reverbed vocals and a slack Velvet Underground manner of rocking.  Let’s peep a bit more but I don’t usually go for this sound/energy.  The second tune has a wee bit more energy but it’s not a full spanking to be sure.

@@@ Thy Art is Murder: Dear Desolation (Nuclear Blast, 2017)  Some tightly manicured and aggressive metal from former CIA case officers off the Apple Music metal section.  I’m feeling the guitarist, he’s all amped up on Red Bull and whatnot.  The singer is right at the line that divides hardcore singers and barnyard animals and I hope the drummer has proper health insurance as he’s hitting that double kick so frequently his leg might fall off.  Ah my leg!! I like this third tune (clipped below) which is a piquant blend of some classic metal guitar riffing, tasty thrash drumming and a full metal beatdown.  The production is super pristine so that changes the listening experience but these guys bring it.

@@@ Baka Not Nice: Live Up to My Name (Warner Bros, 2017)  A gangster ballad off the A-list hip hop.  Mr. Not Nice is not really very nice and he appears to be extensively involved with shooting other folks.  The arrangement is pretty trippy and the synths are used more percussively than melodically which it makes for a funkier and weirder listening experience.  I like the snare sound they got on the drum machine.  Mr. Not Nice drinks Henny when he’s shooting at the range as it helps his aim out on the streets when he’s been drinking.  You get the idea.

YTD recordings listened to: 544
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 293
Not good music: 227

Buys: 8
Honorable Mentions: 6

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, 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

Music for 8/16/17!!! American Lips, Soft Dov, Bleachers, Marshmello

@@@ American Lips: Kiss the Void (Ancient Fashion, 2017)  Elvis Costello type New Wave punk I got to via this week’s CFUV playlist email.  These guys have a nerdy angular thread but they have solid brisk energy with catchy vocal melodies.  I hate the term power pop or pop punk but this applies to the 10 songs here clocking in at 22 minutes.  A solid balance of sweetness to muscle and I will check the whole record when I have the time.

@@@ Soft Dov: Massacre Through Seduction (Horror Pain Gore Death Productions, 2017)  Some punk metal off this week’s CFUV email.  The singer is somewhere in the psych/hardcore area though he sings which is quite an occurrence these days in metal.  They have a spastic punky drummer but they’re classified as a metal band.  It’s loud, it’s aggressive, I won’t be a bitch about it.  I would use nihilistic Iggy Pop photo-punk as a touchstone for this record.  Check it out.

@@@  Bleachers: Gone Now (RCA,  2017)  Jack Antonoff’s side project.  He writes tunes for a lot of headline empty head singers.  This is supposed to be an ode to American suburban rock and this first tune is inspired by Bruce Springsteen.  It sports earnest vocals and a long rock build.  However, the rocking is extremely flaccid.  I mean flaccid enough that some Cialis should be sprinkled over this track to firm it up.  All cheese, no angst.  The second tune is blue eyed soul track and I’m not sure who inspired it.  Oh shit, he’s trying to rock a Prince 1999 vibe.  I’m sorry but this is a war crime!!  Fucking shameful pimp job.  I had to hit the stop button I can’t abide by this music as it is a shameful bite job and poorly done at that.  Check out the Prince clone below.

@@@ Marshmallo: Science (RCA, 2017)  A mellow, quasi-loverboy mainstream r&b single off the Apple Music best of the week.  Oh wait take that back as he gets medium EDM funk on after the intro.  I can’t tell if he’s singing ‘I found peace in your body’ or ‘I found peace in the violence’  Maybe because dude is wearing that giant marshmallow helmet/mask/hat.  Yo take that shit off in the studio so I can hear what you’re on about.  The sounds are fairly bittersweet for a mainstream tune.  Usually it’s bubble gum and Xanax for all those involved but he’s trying for something else here.  I thought the word salad quotient was pretty high, I’m really not sure what this is about.

YTD recordings listened to: 533
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 287
Not good music: 222

Buys: 8
Honorable Mentions: 6

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, 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

Music for 8/11/17!!! Whitney K., Whitehorse, Pink, The National

@@@ Whitney K: When the Party’s Over (Egg Paper Factory, 2017)  Some super laid-back roots music off this week’s CFUV playlist email.  Imma thinking there was some purple drank up in that studio or the coffee was running low.  This first tune has multiple guitars, a pulsing bass, and no beats.  The singer has made his appearance and he’s mad slack.  The first two tunes I dig the electric guitar playing but when the acoustic dirge starts up on the third track Imma movin’ on.  Oh that was just the intro as the full band comes in and they get a little Crazy Horse-y on this jam.  I like it all right.

@@@ White Horse: Panther in the Dollhouse (Six Shooter, 2017)  Super smooth electro-rock off this week’s CFUV playlist email.  A male and female singer going together, a rock guitarist, super smooth background vocals and arena rock drums.  The second tune gets a bit funkier with a nice, sparse baseline but then it explodes into a big mainstream rock chorus.  It’s Radiohead without the angst and the slick production doesn’t super work for me.

@@@ Pink: What About Us? (RCA, 2017)  I have fondness for Pink but I’m not sure this tune is going to work for me.  Cheesy ass lyrics and epic reverb patches that explode into a four on the floor EDM What About Us vocal hook?    What about us?  What about all the plans that ended in disaster?  What about love?  What about trust?  I’m guessing this is about somebody who leaves their family.  I checked around the web and this is referred to as an empowering tune so it functions at many levels.  Not for me but others I guess.

@@@ The National: Carin at the Liquor Store (4AD, 2017)  I think I dislike The National almost as much as Wilco.  This pre-release single is a Nick Cave wannabe but with less misery and more epic-ness.  My main problem is that of faux sophistication as these guys sound as if they feel themselves to be exquisitely unique artistes but I hear a pretty standard arena indie band that is too predictable to be focused on not much except moving units.  Now streaming units not actual plastic/metal discs.

YTD recordings listened to: 521
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 282
Not good music: 217

Buys: 8
Honorable Mentions: 6

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, 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

Music for 8/14/17!!! Kelsea Ballerina, Antiabalas, Offa Rex

@@@ Kelsea Ballerina: Unapologetically (Black River, 2017)  A pre-release new country single off the Apple Music hot tracks.  Unapologetically cliche lyrics over a barely country track.  It’s an interesting track because Ballerina (real name?) is a gal so there’s no macho going on so by the time they tech the tune out with EDM production flourishes it’s fake apple pie filling.  It’s a very sweet but somewhat homeless/genre less kinda feeling.  As I’ve said many times before the worst music is the stuff that doesn’t make you feel anything making you feel kinda dead.  She’s a pretty singer but I don’t feel anything about the song.  It’s Oxycodone country music.

@@@ Antibalas: Gold Rush (Daptone, 2017)  A single from long running Afrobeat band Antibalas.  It opens up with a nice bashing drum beat and trips out with a quasi-psych guitar shred.  The singer has always had a somewhat righteous tone which isn’t my favorite but that’s just me and the tune has plenty of space for solos.  I dig the main horn line and the solo that comes after.  It’s a big boy weighing in at almost 11 minutes so there’s plenty of time to stretch.  You and the musicians.

@@@ Offa Rex: The Queen of Hearts (Nonesuch, 2017)  Also off this week’s WRIR playlist email.  I consider Nonesuch the label of especially white people and this record sure confirms that notion.  It opens up with harpsichord and an uber female singer.  Not a female singer taking an Uber but a very female kinda gal.  The second tune brings a male singer and they work a folk rock vibe similar to but not as virtuosic as Richard Thompson.  Man, I could go for some shepherd’s pie or a kidney pudding or some such!  This is well played but a little bit low energy baroque folk but if you go for that sort of thing then check it out.

YTD recordings listened to: 525
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 284
Not good music: 218

Buys: 8
Honorable Mentions: 6

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, 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

Music for 8/8/17!!! Brett Eldredge, Briana Marela, Dead Cross, Jack Johnson

@@@ Brett Eldredge: Brett Eldredge (Atlantic, 2017)  I love contemporary country, it makes me shit my pants!  This record is on the front of the Apple music home page and at the top of last week’s All Music notable release email.  This first tune is upbeat, no opioid addicts allowed!  Handclaps, an echoed guitar figure and a friendly voice.  Such a friendly voice, like Donald Trump slipping into your bed at midnight with a giant orange erection and a verbal tic.  Let me love you Donald whispers, I’m so lonely my mail-order wife just left me!  The second tune gets more mainstream with a Bon Jovi bass line and a quasi- classic FM rock beat.  Oh Jesus, I love it!  One more tune, the third one, with synths and he’s never seen  your kind of pretty.  This is not cliche, this is familiar and friendly and epic and more than a bit cheesy.

@@@ Briana Marela: Call It Love (Jagjaguwar, 2017)  Also off this week’s All Music notable release email.  Female angels people, draped in reverb and sitting atop cloudy synth patches!  No dirty underwear (or opioid addicts) in this clean and lovely world.  It’s morphed from the intro to a New Age sorta rock.  Let’s peep a bit more but I’m not long for this record I fear.  Remember, I want to like it, I really do.  This second tune is a jacket sewn from the same cloth — hyper twee with a standard drum beat.  It does bust out into a crazy and interesting EDM sorta stomp but this isn’t really aimed at me as I’m dead inside.

@@@ Dead Cross: Dead Cross (Ipecac, 2017)  Some hardcore punk to clear my mind after that last record which kinda fucked me up.  They whip up a pretty good shitstorm in this first tune and the singer is kinda glammy or heavy metal for hardcore.  Just my opinion.  I see from gathering a video from the GooglePimp that these guys are a sort of supergroup and the singer is from, well I don’t know these bands and they don’t specify the player’s positions.  It’s like Megadeth humped a punk band, let’s put it that way.  It’s not a formula I love but check it for yourself.

@@@ Jack Johnson: Sunsets for Somebody Else (Jack Johnson, 2017)  A pre-release single from Gen X’s Jimmy Buffett.  Super slack and unthreatening and sending out all manner of airy vibes.  I like his vocal delivery and the guitar playing is pretty if not standard but the lyrics, eh not my cup of tea.  And I remain consistently against the woo hoo background vocals from anybody.

YTD recordings listened to: 510
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 278
Not good music: 210

Buys: 8
Honorable Mentions: 6

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, 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

Music for 8/3/17!!! Indonesian Junk, Lucy Rose, Skrillex & Poo Bear, Mick Jagger

@@@ Indonesian Junk: I’ll Run Away (Rum Bar, 2017)  A late ’70s/early ’80s old school rumble punk/rock single I got to via the music blog Indiepulse.  The singer has a bit of Joey Ramone and they’re a bit looser than the Ramones.  There is an unexpectedly nice guitar shred solo but it’s a tad long on the outro.  It’s a cool tune but feel free to call it a day when you need to.

@@@ Lucy Rose: Something’s Changing (Lucy Rose/Communion, 2017)  Folky singer songwriter that features a harp on the first tune.  This is just the intro so the flavors may change.  The second tune brings in some super mellow reverbed electric guitar and Daniel Lanois sounding production.  It’s super soft and intimate music — no feelings are going to get hurt in the listening of this record.  #guaranteed.  Get out your chamomile tea and just kick back into these welcoming sounds if that’s how you float.

@@@ Skrillex & Wool Bear: Would You Ever? (WEA, 2017)  An electro single off the hot tracks section of Apple Music.  Tis a chopped vocal salad dance floor banger.  The male singer’s voice fades in and out of processing as he keeps asking the lady in his life ‘would you ever run away with me?’  I’m assuming Poo Bear is the singer and Skrillex is at the computer.  As a technical show it’s a solid B, as music it’s C-.  The last 15 seconds is actually mad hot but that’s too long to wait and they should have started with that boom titch and maybe eased up on the chopped salad.

@@@ Mick Jagger: England Lost (Universal, 2017) This single has been getting press in various locations and on music blogs that I follow.  It’s Mick Jagger bitching about Brexit over a grime arrangement.  It’s not so grime-y imho.  I just looked up the definition of grime (electronic music that came out of jungle/UK garage and hip hop) and outside of the featured vocal by Skepta this is surprisingly Stones-y with harmonica, a few guitar riffs, mid Stones-era disco influence all served up over a pretty straightforward funky beat.  I don’t want to get into the politics of Brexit as it’s mad complicated but the idea that people would vote against their own economic self-interest seems to freak people out.  Contrary to ruling class behavior which is always focused on economic self-interest, many folks are good for an old fashioned fuck you to those at the top and why that is shocking is more than a bit sad.  The assholes who have been gorging at the financial pig trough in London deserve a hale and hearty ‘Go fuck yourself’.

YTD recordings listened to: 502
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 274
Not good music: 206

Buys: 8
Honorable Mentions: 6

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, 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

Music for 7/25/17!!! Poppy, Tyler the Creator, Dasher

@@@ Poppy: Interweb (Mad Decent, 2017)  The official anthem of the NSA!  Maybe I’m a spider, maybe I’m a fisherman, I’ll catch you in my interweb.  A sultry female singer, some synths and a standard boom bap beat but the lyrics are great.  Tongue in cheek I would think but ya never know.

@@@ Tyler, the Creator: Flower Boy (Sony, 2017) I really liked one of the singles so I’m back for the full length.  I really like his rhymes, but I don’t dig the sounds on this record thus far.  It’s a lot of synths which decreases the funk factor (for me at least).  I continue to really like Who Dat Boy, the pre release single, it really stands apart from the first three tracks.  Folks expecting a continuation of that single will be disappointed.  Is it wrong for me to want my hip hop funky?

@@@ Dasher: Sodium (Jagjaguwar, 2017)  Some garage-y punk off this week’s CFUV playlist email.  Fast out of the gate with slashing guitars these guys whip a solid punk shitty.  All members of the outfit are at full energy.  They have a little bit of a ’80s Janes Addiction kind of sound in the vocals and the guitar sound.  Solid B+ and the female singer does good work.

YTD recordings listened to: 484
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 264
Not good music: 198

Buys: 7
Honorable Mentions: 6

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, 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