If people want to protest/mourn/recognize the eroding arts and culture scene in New York City, maybe we should all discuss real estate developers and politicians, you know the assholes who run New York City who have turned it into a playground for Wall Street yupsters and tech dirtbags.
And don’t forget to cut a slice of karma for this phenomenon for Mr. Andrew Cuomo, a bottomfeeder of world class levels.
TMZ reports that Prince’s record label NPG Records has filed suit against Jay Z’s Roc Nation for allegedly “overstepping an agreement Prince signed with them before his death.” Prince’s label claims the late artist had struck a deal for Jay Z and Roc Nation’s service Tidal to stream Prince’s last album he released before his death, Hit N Run: Phase One, but then Tidal began streaming most of Prince’s catalog sans authorization. It’s now reportedly suing Roc Nation for copyright infringement as well as attempting to block the steaming of Prince’s music—save that one album.
@@@ Cary Ott: Nocona (Self-released, 2016). Regular readers know that I regularly dole out tongue lashings to Wilco — it’s just so slack I want to lay down and die. I mention this as I listen to this independent alt-country/alt-rock tune Nocona and thinking that this is what Wilco is aiming for before the slack inevitably leaks in. Let’s see if other tunes have the same interesting mash of faded rock and indie sweetness. Standard rock band instrumentation, above average arrangements, and a good balance of energy. I’m quite sure Mr. Ott will not dislodge Wilco from their low energy throne, but it’s good to know there are better options for their listeners.
@@@ Daniel Caesar: Get This (Daniel Casear, 2016). A mix of old school and newer r&b souls in this single off Apple hot tracks. Classic yet understated guitar work and some very nice falsetto singing over a stripped down drum machine beat. Everything I need is between your thighs, every time I look into your eyes. That lyric cuts through and hits. This young guy is from Toronto so let’s see if we can replace Drake as Toronto’s icon. I done with the Drake, Imma jealous of his huge pool in L.A. This is an excellent mainstream track, it actually is hot.
@@@ Creative Adult: Fear of Life (Run for Cover, 2016). Buzzy guitar ’80s rock I got to via the loud section on the weekly CFUV weekly email. This first tune is 8 minutes and I’m 3 minutes in and it’s a solid B. They’re working themselves into a quasi rock ecstasy but Imma peep more and pass along my findings. The singer is a bit of an art school drama queen, which is great for him but I’m feeling this is a rock record for mopey folks with fussy hairstyles and unfulfilling jobs — don’t rock me too hard, my hair!!!
@@@ CRX: Broken Bones (Sony, 2016) Some major label shopping mall rock/funk single off the Apple music hot tracks section. Falsetto white boy on the mic, some crunchy guitar work, and what I interpret as a sexy/mopey tempo. They crushed the fuck out of the drums for artistic effect so they’re splashy and distorted, but overall the song is just a little catchy fart.
YTD recordings listened to: 834
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 466
Not good music: 313
Honorable Mentions: 13
Possibles: Chris McGregor, Dave Arner Trio, Zomby, 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, 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, Twin Peaks, Djelimady Tounkara, Miramar, The Oh Sees, Denny Zeitlin, MILF, Joe Sticky, Unfun, De La Soul, Carl Sagan’s Skate Shoes, Neurosis, Magrudergrind, Solange, Acid Arab, Brent Cobb, Xylouris White, Vadou Game, Michael Wollny/Vincent Peirani
Spotify has been retaliating against musicians who introduce new material exclusively on rival Apple Music by making their songs harder to find, according to people familiar with the strategy. Artists who have given Apple exclusive access to new music have been told they won’t be able to get their tracks on featured playlists once the songs become available on Spotify, said the people, who declined to be identified discussing the steps. Those artists have also found their songs buried in the search rankings of Spotify, the world’s largest music-streaming service, the people said.
@@@ Justin Moore: Kinda Don’t Care (Big Machine, 2016). A new country shiny biscuit off the Apple Music new music section. This is on the big Machine imprint which is home to Tizzie Stick/Taylor Swift. This first tune is upbeat rebel rock ‘n roll about robbing trains. Oy! Oh shit, this second tune Put Me in a Box is a power ballad drowning in cheese sauce. Big guitar washes, cliche lyrics, handclaps and even a synth figure. The guitar solo is tremendous, somebody hit me with an Oxycontin to chill me out as I’m shitting my pants with excitement.
@@@ Atmosphere: Fishing Blues (Rhymesayers, 2016). Some retro hip hop off the Apple Music new music section. I like the beat and the background vocal that drives the arrangement. I’m Duck Ducking this outfit as I think they sound like white people and although I realize we live in a post-racial society I’d like to confirm this. This second tune Ringo goes a little in the frat boy direction which is fine but it’s not really my taste. And it’s white boys. If you like Beck’s hip hop style this is a variant on that.
@@@ Bon Iver: 10deathbreast ( , 2016) Indie folk darling Bon Iver is back and he’s gone electro on this single I got to via Apple Music Best of the week. Yikers! I don’t know what to make of this slightly aggro Radiohead beat and the autotuned loverboy vocals. I think Mr. Iver is looking to chart a new direction. Be prepared if you’ve been a hardcore Bon Iver fan.
@@@ Michael Kiwanuka: Black Man in White World (RCA, 2016). A mainstream hip hop single off the The Get Down soundtrack. I haven’t seen the series but I’ve read it’s kinda a throwback tv show so the music appears to echo and affirm that. The beat is kinda weak and old school, I hate strings in hip hop songs but the MC is all right though his lyrics seem to be aimed at all the white people watching the show. #ironic
YTD recordings listened to: 650
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 361
Not good music: 237
Honorable Mentions: 12
Possibles: Chris McGregor, Dave Arner Trio, Zomby, Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, Slidhr, The Chewers, Toxic Holocaust, Comeback Kid, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Fofoulah, Lozen, Erase Errata, 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, Changui Majadero, Joe Sticky, Vieux Kante, Keefe Jackson
Ben — a deeply patient thinker and writer, a model of pensive and ethical criticism — has been a music critic at the Times since 1996. Today is his last day. In those two decades, he’s been a singular voice on music: jazz, of course, but also heavy metal, hardcore, samba, fado, hip-hop, pure pop and so much more. He has carved out a path through music that’s unique and fluid, and one that reassured me that mine (completely different, and established on different terms) could be acceptable, too.
This quote is from one of Ratliff’s co workers at the Times and it is also a completely pretentious load of shit.
Now you may ask yourself who is this ghetto motherfucker that dares to criticize a New York Times critic? And I would respond that you should read Ratliff’s last book (download it, don’t pay for it) and check out the highly polished bullshit that he gets into in that book. I was shocked. Some of the sentences in that book came straight out of his ass, total fake intellectual bullshit.
@@@ Chico Mann & Captain Planet: Como Me Miras (Bastard Jazz, 2016). There has been a tiny spurt of dancehall influenced electronica this summer and my general feeling is that it has been butter soft and sad. This single off a record I saw on the WRIR weekly playlist email does a much better job of mashing styles. It is still an extremely slick production but the beats are much firmer and the tune does not lose a distinct dancehall vibe. The lyrics are in Spanish and there are some really nice hooks in the arrangement with a special shout to flute loop hook. Not fruit loops, flute loop.
@@@ Jim the Boss: Hudson Soul (Boom One Records, 2016). Some super old school roots reggae. Imma have to search on this outfit to see if this record is a re-issue or a newly recorded work of music. This is a new record out on an imprint located in North Carolina and any seasoned dub listener will hear that this is a successful homage to the ’70s Jamaican dub sound, both in sound and in playing. This is not an easy feat to accomplish and in addition to the The Lickshots mini-LP/EP this is the second outstanding new dub recording I’ve encountered in the last few months. As war crminal George W. Bush would say, bring it on! The proceeds of this record go to a reggae outfit singer that was just diagnosed with ALS so feel free to click through as you will be helping folks out and getting a hot platter.
@@@ DJ Snake: Encore (interscope, 2016). I’ve seen more than one glowing commentary regarding this French producer who has been involved with Justin Bieber and other pop/mainstream cheese purveyors. And if you can survive the journey the Biebs (the Canadian Elvis Presley of our time!) is the guest star on track 13. Let us put forth one of the main tenets of this blog: just because a record sounds awesome this does not mean it is great music. Now if you want to dance to it, that’s your right. I’m moving to third track which features Skrillex and if you follow the music scene at all you can’t sit on the toilet and take a peaceful shit without seeing Skrillex in the toilet bowl. That’s right I know how propaganda works I associated Skrillex with the toilet and human waste. The production on this Skrillex tune is incredibly sophisticated and yet it kinda sucks. All this work and very little emotional content, if any. I guess if you’re high this might mean something to you. It might mean you should pick out your music when you’re not high. I will close out this pocket review by listening to this fourth tune which is a loverboy dance floor banger. It’s a better hook than the other tracks, you never call me when you’re sober, but the technology and production chops are too high and the soul factor is too low. I can’t say I’m surprised.
@@@ Goblin Cock: Something Haunted (Joyful Noise, 2016). Often times after a mainstream empty pop effort I turn to the rawness of metal for a shot of feeling even if it’s not a great feeling. And to be honest with you how can you not listen to a band called Goblin Cock? My oh my that’s a filthy double entendre vous. This tune, surprisingly, is listed in the Apple Music in the metal section but it’s much more of a slightly muscular Jane’s Addiction type of track with less drugginess. The singer sounds surprisingly like the ol’ Perry Farrell and to be honest if you’re an alienated American youth looking for some stoner rock despite the pretentious bullshit Jane’s Addiction farted out into the atmosphere their version of this style surpasses this. Check the one with the ladies’ hair on fire.
YTD recordings listened to: 639
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 348
Not good music: 232
Honorable Mentions: 11
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, Jim the Boss
@@@ 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
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