Music for 6/24/20!!! Pineapple Thief, Bella Blair, Orkesta Mendoza, Kate Teague

I forgot to post this on 6/24.

@@@ The Pineapple Thief: Threatening War (KScope, 2019) I got to this arena rock outfit via an old ass All Music notable release email.  If you take Radiohead and strip away the darkness and the spaciousness and leave the fragile vanilla rock part it would sound like this.  It’s very nice acoustic guitar playing, nice vocal harmonizing but definitely tame when I love wild business but that’s just me.  It does bust out and rock later in the track but it’s still tame.  I made it halfway through.  It’s not that it’s bad it’s just not for me.

@@@  Bella Blair: Gimmie A Light (Frankie, 2020) Modern dancehall off this week’s WRIR playlist email and right off the bat I hear some stony trap sounds put up in here before it busts out into a dancehall thing.  It’s sports both an intimate vibe and a thick dancefloor sticky thing.  The female rapper/singer Bella Blair works the microphone with flavor.  It’s a pro-weed anthem and she goes so far as to sing she can’t imagine life without weed which I find a bit weird.  Tasty ass sounds here folks should peep this.

@@@ Orkesta Mendoza: Paleta (Glitterbeat, 2020) Off this week’s WRIR playlist email.  Glitterbeat usually rocks the African business but they’re taking a step to the side and doing some cumbia rock with this release.  Oh man, there’s nothing I love more than accordion unless it’s a cowbell which is the shit.  A thick stew of melody and rhythm including violin, electric guitar, multiple percussion instruments (including the cowbell’s skinny cousin the metal triangle!!)  Interplay between a male singer and female backup singers.  I’m checking out the third tune Boogaloo Arizona because these rightwing Boogaloo bitches are in the news and I like this a bit better.  Sweeter and less rocking but with some really beautiful horn work and vocal arrangements.

@@@ Kate Teague: The Temporary (Muscle Beach, 2020) An indie Twatter listen!  Will it be guitar indie or synth indie?  It’s synth indie with an ’80s guitar sound so it’s both and neither at the same time.  God bless you indie pinheads out there!  Teague comes on breathy and this is a super lush biscuit like a blast of air conditioned air across your bare ass on a super hot day.  I assume many of you are partially nekkid by the A/C, wait ’til climate change really kicks in ya ignorant bitches!  There I go entertaining myself which is what I do when the music is fine but I’m not super engaged.  I like one of the synth elements, this sort of tricked delayed bit but the singing and the general purpose agenda of the track doesn’t sync with where I’m at.

YTD recordings listened to: 484
Good music, not list worthy: 246
Not good music: 215

Best: 0
Honorable Mentions: 0

Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, Slidhr, The Chewers, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Luther Dickinson, Graeme Barrett, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Cavanaugh, 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, Noname, Klara Lewis, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Oddisee, RAM, Fiver, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Priests, Propaganda, This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez, Integrity, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Criolo, Billy Strings, Flowers of Sulphur, Portal, Lawaii, Etran De L’Air, Ruby Karinto, Elysia Crampton, Parquet Courts, Moskus, Kendl Winter, Tkay Maidza, Barro, Daniel Khan, Tallawit Timbouctou, Sumac, Tropical Fuck Storm, Harriet Tubman, Ammar 808, Anais Maviel, Chaka Khan, Pom Poko, Fried Egg, Tarek Atoui, Saicobab, General Purv, Shipping News, Big Thief, Mariachi El Bronx, Pour Me a Grog, Sudan Archives, Lakou Mizik, Moodymann, Pharmakon, Alefa Madagascar, Janjao, Luge, Wiki, Mick Jenkins, Jeremiah Jae, Fera, Gambian Griot Kora Duets, Drama, Beatrice Dillon, Mass Worship, mmmonika, Les Deuxluxes, Tony Allen, Fra Fra, Nihiloxica, Hailu Mergia, Pokey LaFarge, Nico Gomez, Nohe and Sus Santos, schroothoop, Tiny Bit of Giant’s Blood, Pole, Naeem

 

 

Music for 5/25/20!!! We Versus The Shark, Count Ossie, Charli XCX, Sleaford Mods

@@@ We Versus The Shark: We All Get a Raise (Earnest Jennings, 2020) An Athens (Greece!) math rock band track that I got to via a music publicist email.  It may be mathy but it’s not nerdy, they got a fat bass sound and somebody pumped these drums and guitars.  It’s borderline frickin’ epic!  Two guitars, one in each ear and a sorta slack female singer.  I’d like to hear more energy out of the singer but it’s not my call.  If you’re gonna pump the band up, let’s giddy up with the vocals!  Apparently not.  There’s a gent who hops on the mic towards the end of the tune.  I like it, I’m not jumping up and down but I like it.

@@@ Count Ossie And the Mystic Revelation of Rastafari: Wicked Babylon (Soul Jazz,2020) I got to this early ’70s roots reggae via the reissue site Stranded Records.  Oh Lord this is old school, super old school golden age roots reggae.  The drumming here really imparts a more rasta flow as it takes you back before the drum kit to era of the hand drum.  I’m checking out other tracks on this record and it’s not a stereotypical roots record — some pretty rippin’ sax work in places, a lack of guitars, a ton of hand drums and tons of singing.  But at its core it does have a strong roots reggae essence.

@@@ Charli XCX: 7 Years (Warner UK, 2020) Off last week’s All Music notable release email.  I’ve listened before and haven’t felt her but I’m nothing if not open minded.  Her quarantine record is getting a lot of respect, whether for its business acumen or its creativity remains to be seen.  She sits between Taylor Swift and Arianna Grande — more upbeat than dour Grande and more substantial than Tay Tay.  There isn’t that much to this tune after you take out the voice(s).  There’s a keyboard chord progression to guide her vocal melody, some stabbing percussion synths, and a beat.  The tune is almost insufferably loud, I keep turning it down but they’ve compressed the fuck out of it.  I will listen to another piece of the tune, but the outro here when she goes low volume is the most interesting part.  The main body of the track is just a lot of volume and voices.  I’m peeping a bit of the third tune, claws, is more electro pop dominated by her voice.  Myself I like a blend of good singing, interesting arrangement and I’m really slutty to still enjoy well written lyrics that make sense.  This is hype in my opinion.

@@@ Sleaford Mods: Blog Maggot (Rough Trade, 2020)  Also off last week’s All Music notable release email and a very different flavor to Charli XCX.  It’s classic Sleaford Mods — a blend of in your face lyrics (well done), some classic bass sound but simple and kinda punky, and then a hip hop/rock beat.  This works for me, partly because they keep referring to all this death — the phrase ‘all this death’ and that feels relevant to me.  They also have tossed in a completely mental chomping sound after they say/rap the word blog maggot.  I enjoy the lack of pretension to the Mods and I think a bit of anti-social blasting is appropriate for these times.

YTD recordings listened to: 390
Good music, not list worthy: 202
Not good music: 176

Best: 0
Honorable Mentions: 0

Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, Slidhr, The Chewers, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Luther Dickinson, Graeme Barrett, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Cavanaugh, 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, Noname, Klara Lewis, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Oddisee, RAM, Fiver, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Priests, Propaganda, This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez, Integrity, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Criolo, Billy Strings, Flowers of Sulphur, Portal, Lawaii, Etran De L’Air, Ruby Karinto, Elysia Crampton, Parquet Courts, Moskus, Kendl Winter, Tkay Maidza, Barro, Daniel Khan, Tallawit Timbouctou, Sumac, Tropical Fuck Storm, Harriet Tubman, Ammar 808, Anais Maviel, Chaka Khan, Pom Poko, Fried Egg, Tarek Atoui, Saicobab, General Purv, Shipping News, Big Thief, Mariachi El Bronx, Pour Me a Grog, Sudan Archives, Lakou Mizik, Moodymann, Pharmakon, Alefa Madagascar, Janjao, Luge, Wiki, Mick Jenkins, Jeremiah Jae, Fera, Gambian Griot Kora Duets, Drama, Beatrice Dillon, Mass Worship, mmmonika, Les Deuxluxes, Tony Allen, Fra Fra, Nihiloxica, Hailu Mergia, Pokey LaFarge, Nico Gomez

 

Music for 5/13/20!!! Weezer, Kehlani, Reignwolf, Party Dozen

@@@ Weezer: Hero (Atlantic, 2020)  Off the Twatter!  Weezer is like McDonald’s — it’s not very nutritious (if at all) but people love the familiarity of it and they keep gladly shovelling it in their earholes.  These guys have been exempted from the death of rock, possibly because of the vocal melodies, or just because for no rational reason.  It’s got both retro and modern rock feels.  A little Cheap Trick, a little pube of a million of other bands.  It’s really quite a stunning accomplishment that these guys don’t catch the shit the Foo Fighters.  I guess he gets credit for having no pretensions towards anything besides a pop rock guitar/vocal hook and that has cemented his relationship with fans.  Personally I thought the Toto tune ‘Africa’ blew when it came out but these guys can reanimate anything and weezer some life into it.

@@@ Kehlani: Everybody Business (Atlantic, 2020) A single I got to via the Guardian I think.  I get Kehlani confused with other females in the same neighborhood, Keish and Kaitranada.  It’s a lovergirl flow, a slow beat, breathy vocals etc.  I’m almost 2/3s of the way through and while I’m all right with her singing I haven’t heard a hook to the track and because of that it kinda meanders.  Maybe she bit that from Master Drake who just hits the mic and dribbles.  Obviously high end sounds but a disposable feel to this as it doesn’t leave much of a lasting impression.

@@@ Reignwolf: Cabin Fever (Reignwolf, 2020) A quarantine anthem I got to via a music publicist email.  Rawk, fucking rawk motherfuckers!  Is rawk making a comeback??  Prolly not, but I’m hearing more.  I got to this as it has been touted as above.  Mr. Reignwolf brings a classic flinty voice to the proceedings and he even goes falsetto before dropping back into the big tom drum beat.  He breaks out into a charming, quasi nonsensical guitar solo that brings the tune closer to its title so I give respect to that.   Stay inside, close your eyes, try to picture a rainbow.  The tune works best in the second half as it goes somewhat whacky.

@@@ Party Dozen: The Great Ape (Grupo, 2020) I get all manner of emails from Australian music mags and promotion people and I got to this track via one of those.  Not rawk, but indie rawk which has tighter jeans and more self awareness.  It opens up epic and almost stoner metal with a harmonica.  If this tune the Great Ape were a Japanese monster movie villain this track would be spot fucking on.   Will there be a singer or is this an epic instrumental?  I don’t know people but Imma guessing instro-mental.  Most indie/alternative doesn’t rawk so I’m pleasantly surprised that there’s some muscle here and it’s not yet another piece of gossamer shoegaze for the asses.  It’s all harmonica and guitar and drum bashing people and it’s all right.  No riffs and I spaced that there’s some eerie organ tucked back in there as well.  Fuzzy wuzzy…  A quick postcript a day later — I got a nice email from the band’s manager and it was pointed out to me that it is not a harmonica in this track, it is a saxophone.  I’m borderline incompetent, I can’t tell the difference between instruments but I’m happy to clarify the instrumentation for this band.

YTD recordings listened to: 358
Good music, not list worthy: 186
Not good music: 160

Best: 0
Honorable Mentions: 0

Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, Slidhr, The Chewers, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Luther Dickinson, Graeme Barrett, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Cavanaugh, 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, Noname, Klara Lewis, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Oddisee, RAM, Fiver, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Priests, Propaganda, This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez, Integrity, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Criolo, Billy Strings, Flowers of Sulphur, Portal, Lawaii, Etran De L’Air, Ruby Karinto, Elysia Crampton, Parquet Courts, Moskus, Kendl Winter, Tkay Maidza, Barro, Daniel Khan, Tallawit Timbouctou, Sumac, Tropical Fuck Storm, Harriet Tubman, Ammar 808, Anais Maviel, Chaka Khan, Pom Poko, Fried Egg, Tarek Atoui, Saicobab, General Purv, Shipping News, Big Thief, Mariachi El Bronx, Pour Me a Grog, Sudan Archives, Lakou Mizik, Moodymann, Pharmakon, Alefa Madagascar, Janjao, Luge, Wiki, Mick Jenkins, Jeremiah Jae, Fera, Gambian Griot Kora Duets, Drama, Beatrice Dillon, Mass Worship, mmmonika, Les Deuxluxes, Tony Allen, Fra Fra, Nihiloxica, Hailu Mergia, Pokey LaFarge

 

 

Music for 5/12/20!!! Eve Owen, Cher Lloyd, I Break Horses, Hayley Williams

@@@ Eve Owen: Mother (37d03d, 2020) The first three listens today are from the Line of Best Fit weekly email.  When she hits the mic over the drum machine and the jangly guitar she sounds like Bruce Springsteen with a vagina.  F’real, it’s quite something!  Lonesome rock flow, earnest and Springsteen-y.  It goes from being an indie electronic track and slowly morphs by swirling in some arena rock flavors.  Just an epic feel with some sprayed snare beats, a big retro synth melody simple and big.  It’s not a straight verse-chorus thing, it’s more of an intonation.  35 seconds from the end she doth start rocking!  And it’s all right, I like it, I’m not in the front row rocking with her but it’s cool.  I prefer some doobie in my funk.

@@@ Cher Lloyd: Lost (Polydor, 2020)  On Apple Music her picture is an extremely groomed moccacino gal that I’m guessing South Asian which doesn’t matter but it’s interesting as she’s being presented in an urban pop setting.  As in black pop, urban has been used as a slightly racist term.  I dig that they chose a true fat trap ass bass which contrasts nicely with her girlish voice.  I don’t mean girlish in a mean way, it’s just the opposite of a thick, husky freight train woman’s voice you sometimes hear on dancefloor bangers and what not.  The vocal hook is something you think I would be lost without you, it’s in that vein.  I don’t dislike the track and I’ve mentioned what I find most interesting about it.

@@@ I Break Horses: Death Engine (Bella Union, 2020) Pretty dramatical band name as well as the track title.  It’s described as electronic on the Apple Music but it may be indie electronic or it might be classic Kate Bush electro singer-songwriter.  Big church-y organs with a delayed snare and super reverbed out female voice.  In the chorus comes the ’80s sounding drums and more synths before it drops back to the minimalist spacious verse formula.  It’s a melancholy deal with numerous mentions of suicide and it comes to you as a pretty whisper.  I like some of the sounds and some I don’t, too much reverb on her voice, the snare sound is like a rusty knife in my ear.

@@@ Hayley Williams: Dead Horse (Warner, 2020)  This record headlines this week on the All Music notable release email and it’s in the Guardian, people be pushing it up.  This tune is a friendly popper describing her personal mental anguish which is quite trendy these days.  She beat it like a Dead Horse, that’s the vocal hook, a little OCD horse she rides around all day.  The production is pretty manicured but not as intricately woven as some of today’s mainstream electro business.  Williams was part of Paramore, an arena filling group that I know not one thing about.  She is comfortable in front of the mic but she’s not particularly flashy nor energetic.  Maybe she has that everywoman feel that makes folks come to her or maybe not.  Maybe she’s got a great publicist, it could be like that!  Lots of ’80s sounds here (not excited reaction over here) and I will refrain from mentioning how she treats the vocal hook here.  It involves a dead horse.

YTD recordings listened to: 354
Good music, not list worthy: 184
Not good music: 158

Best: 0
Honorable Mentions: 0

Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, Slidhr, The Chewers, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Luther Dickinson, Graeme Barrett, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Cavanaugh, 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, Noname, Klara Lewis, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Oddisee, RAM, Fiver, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Priests, Propaganda, This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez, Integrity, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Criolo, Billy Strings, Flowers of Sulphur, Portal, Lawaii, Etran De L’Air, Ruby Karinto, Elysia Crampton, Parquet Courts, Moskus, Kendl Winter, Tkay Maidza, Barro, Daniel Khan, Tallawit Timbouctou, Sumac, Tropical Fuck Storm, Harriet Tubman, Ammar 808, Anais Maviel, Chaka Khan, Pom Poko, Fried Egg, Tarek Atoui, Saicobab, General Purv, Shipping News, Big Thief, Mariachi El Bronx, Pour Me a Grog, Sudan Archives, Lakou Mizik, Moodymann, Pharmakon, Alefa Madagascar, Janjao, Luge, Wiki, Mick Jenkins, Jeremiah Jae, Fera, Gambian Griot Kora Duets, Drama, Beatrice Dillon, Mass Worship, mmmonika, Les Deuxluxes, Tony Allen, Fra Fra, Nihiloxica, Hailu Mergia, Pokey LaFarge

 

 

 

Music for 5/6/20!!! sad alex, Jewel, Live Lounge All Stars, Shady Nasty

@@@ sad alex: hypotheticals (Red Bull, 2020)  Music publicist email!  Red Bull is up on the Twatter and active in the music pr game which honestly I’m quite conflicted about.  Some days I think it’s fine and other days it appears as a form of corruption — those with money get greater access to listeners than those without.  Not a meritocracy.  This is fairly bouncy, female driven post-relationship song with strong Justin Bieber feels.  Self concious introspective lyrics with cliche observations.  A strong cappucino with a little sugar on top Bieber type track.  There’s just so much pop music out there right now it’s really quite difficult to catch my ear, and the ear of others.

@@@ Jewel: Grateful (Words Matter, 2020)  I saw Jewel wearing a very stylish hat in my weekly email from Flavorpill and I must tell you if there’s ever a musician that needs to have their songs lyric video-ed it’s Jewel.  #breathtaking.  The song opens up with a retro electric organ and Jewel’s classic pleasantly sandy/half femme growl before the band comes in.  And when the band comes in it’s friendly coffeeshop hippie rock.  You didn’t expect Converge, did you?  The music/chord progression is very familiar, so familiar I had to look up whether it’s a cover or not, and I couldn’t find any info saying it was a cover.  There’s a spiel over at the Rolling Stone about Jewel’s anxiety and her practice of focusing on gratitude.  That’s all great, f’real, but I wish the song was a bit more unique.

@@@ Live Lounge Allstars: Times Like These (BBC, 2020)  An all star mainstream lineup covering a Foo Fighters classic.  Oh I remember this track, it’s all right.  A bunch of mainstream singers hit the microphone one line at a time which is kinda cool but also kinda disorienting at the same time.  Alls I know it’s acoustic guitar with a little electric here and there, but there’s a shaker up in here.  A fucking shaker, a shaker takes a backseat to no other hand percussion save the cowbell!  Oh no, a British MC hit the mic with some rhymes and I just hit stop, I couldn’t deal.  Maybe it’s Stormzy, Stormzy is huge!  I think they injected some new lyrics into this bad boy.  It’s been a long time since classic rock gave me shivers, I was hopin’ Bon Jovi would get up in here but I think he had a hairdresser’s appointment.  That hair takes work.  Anyway this didn’t give me shivers.  I guess the problem for me is I don’t like stars, of any kind really, so while they do an all right job with it, I fucking hate stars.

@@@ Shady Nasty – Bad Posture (Royal Mountain, 2019)  Off the CFUV weekly playlist email in the loud section.   Slower but not super stoned out with a singer rhyming on the microphone percussively in a mix dominated (yeah!) by loud drums and not super metal guitars.  I like the energy and toughness the singer brings to the music.  These guys are from Sydney Australia so not an American thing here.  I like this track and the freshness of it.  I would like some iller guitar tones and would like to hear what that sounds like.

YTD recordings listened to: 338
Good music, not list worthy: 176
Not good music: 150

Best: 0
Honorable Mentions: 0

Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, Slidhr, The Chewers, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Luther Dickinson, Graeme Barrett, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Cavanaugh, 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, Noname, Klara Lewis, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Oddisee, RAM, Fiver, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Priests, Propaganda, This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez, Integrity, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Criolo, Billy Strings, Flowers of Sulphur, Portal, Lawaii, Etran De L’Air, Ruby Karinto, Elysia Crampton, Parquet Courts, Moskus, Kendl Winter, Tkay Maidza, Barro, Daniel Khan, Tallawit Timbouctou, Sumac, Tropical Fuck Storm, Harriet Tubman, Ammar 808, Anais Maviel, Chaka Khan, Pom Poko, Fried Egg, Tarek Atoui, Saicobab, General Purv, Shipping News, Big Thief, Mariachi El Bronx, Pour Me a Grog, Sudan Archives, Lakou Mizik, Moodymann, Pharmakon, Alefa Madagascar, Janjao, Luge, Wiki, Mick Jenkins, Jeremiah Jae, Fera, Gambian Griot Kora Duets, Drama, Beatrice Dillon, Mass Worship, mmmonika, Les Deuxluxes, Tony Allen, Fra Fra, Nihiloxica, Hailu Mergia, Pokey LaFarge

Music for 4/22/20!!! Blackout JA & LionDub, Lido Pimienta, Kevin Florez & The Busy Twist, Ras Fraser Jr

@@@ Blackout JA & LionDub: Rize Again (Liondub Int’l, 2020) Bouncy ass electro dub I got to via this week’s WRIR playlist email.  I’m postulating that it’s Mr. Blackout on the microphone and it sounds like he’s about to eat it.  Gravelly and pumping energy characterize his style.  The drum machine beats are pretty standard and solid and there’s really not a lot to the arrangement after the drums and synth bass.  There’s some synth action used both percussively and with small melodic action and I hear a plinky guitar pushed back in the mix.  I’m a dancehall fan and this is an energetic specimen.

@@@ Lido Pimienta: Eso Que Tu Haces (Anti-, 2020)  A Canadian/Colombian born female artist/indigenous person smashing up a bunch of musical styles.  Regular readers know I’m a fan of the mash as long it’s genuine and doesn’t go the art school pretentious route.  Pimienta scores points right off the bat due to her soaring and beautiful voice.  She’s got what I would call some world music-y type percussion (hand drum and shaker) as well as electro sounds — an electro marimba type synth patch and she’s singing in Spanish so it’s all mashed and smashed up!  More instruments get added as the song progresses (horns most notably) and she’s going for pretty drama here.  Her voice is the star.

@@@ Ras Fraser Jr.: Nuh Weh Like Yawd (18 karat reggae, 2020) More uplifting roots reggae, a bit more aspirational than the first track up top.  Very active bass, it doesn’t look to be a keyboard bass and some standard synth horn business providing a base for Fraser Jr. to praise Jamaica, his weed and his Lord.  It’s all good and Fraser’s voice is sweet like a freshly baked currant roll.  I’m quarantined outside the 5 boroughs which still has a few straight up amazing Caribbean bakeries.  You can’t help but be affected by Fraser’s spiritual flow and I could go for a veggie patty.  And a currant roll.  And some cassave pone.  And a roti!

@@@ Kevin Florez & The Busy Twist: Champetizate (Palenque Records, 2020) Oh Lord, more south of the border move your booty music, this time well, these guitar lines are so close to West African music that it’s hard to classify this music as strictly Latin.  Florez is from Colombia and his champeta music is tied to African music so this all makes sense after a little Google Pimping.  Let me count the ways I fucking hate Google.  Florez is rocking it in Spanish, he works on top of a multi drum shuffle beat with a steady bass drum pulse and he’s just whipping a real and happening party.  I love the mash and he’s slinging it!  Check it out.

YTD recordings listened to: 298
Good music, not list worthy: 158
Not good music: 130

Best: 0
Honorable Mentions: 0

Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, Slidhr, The Chewers, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Luther Dickinson, Graeme Barrett, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Cavanaugh, 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, Noname, Klara Lewis, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Oddisee, RAM, Fiver, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Priests, Propaganda, This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez, Integrity, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Criolo, Billy Strings, Flowers of Sulphur, Portal, Lawaii, Etran De L’Air, Ruby Karinto, Elysia Crampton, Parquet Courts, Moskus, Kendl Winter, Tkay Maidza, Barro, Daniel Khan, Tallawit Timbouctou, Sumac, Tropical Fuck Storm, Harriet Tubman, Ammar 808, Anais Maviel, Chaka Khan, Pom Poko, Fried Egg, Tarek Atoui, Saicobab, General Purv, Shipping News, Big Thief, Mariachi El Bronx, Pour Me a Grog, Sudan Archives, Lakou Mizik, Moodymann, Pharmakon, Alefa Madagascar, Janjao, Luge, Wiki, Mick Jenkins, Jeremiah Jae, Fera, Gambian Griot Kora Duets, Drama, Beatrice Dillon, Mass Worship, mmmonika, Les Deuxluxes, Tony Allen, Fra Fra, Nihiloxica, Hailu Mergia, Pokey LaFarge, Kevin Florez

Music for 4/16/20!!! Tory Lanez, Methyl Ethel, Stone Foundation, Nued Photo

@@@ Tory Lanez: Stupid Again (Interscope, 2020) I’m a big fan of anybody who goes the z route.  I shoulda typed goez not goes, I’ll tryz to stayz on top of shit.  This is some mainstream trap biziness but cheezier and mad bombaztic soundz.  He’s fucking everything in sight and I don’t really see how he has time to make any moniez when she’s playing his dick like a flute.  F’realz in it, it’z in it and shitz.  This is straight up stripper pole bangin’, he’s quite anti-social.  His girlfriend better watch out he’s gonna fuck two of her friendz.  This isn’t really one of my favorite hip hop stlyz but it iz what it iz, naimsayinz’?

@@@ Methyl Ethel: Majestic AF (Dot Dash/4AD, 2020) I caught this band namechecked on an online Australian music magazine called Happy, which is a bit of a shit name but whatevs.  While rock music is pretty much dead here in the U.S. there are parts of the world where it’s not.  These guys are described as art rock on the Google and whatnot (fuck google btw) but they’re more muscular than American art school rock.  It’s a slightly funky rock beat with some electro garnish, a Middle Eastern tinged melody, a yearning singer, and an occasional massive stack of background vocals that gives the song its title, majestic as fuck.  I’m wondering if there will be big rock explosion, I’ve mistakenly predicted it in the past few days and I came up explosion-less.  It doesn’t explode, it grooves through and it’s all right.  I don’t miss the giant chorus exploding cheese bomb but I thought with the title and shit.

@@@ Stone Foundation: The Light in Us (100% Records, 2020) A couple of listens I got to via an email from a vinyl pressing joint featuring great recent releases.  This is a soft funk disco-like biscuit, think Earth Wind and Fire after a 1/4 tablet of oxy.  A horn section and a string section, how’s that for value?  That’s value, kids.  The singer has a friendly voice with help from background singers.  I like this track and it’s uplifting flow but I’m more of a hard funk fan, that’s just the way I came from the factory.

@@@ Neud Photo: A2 (Mysidian, 2020) A dancefloor industrial banger in the tradition of Nine Inch Nails.  Aggressive synth patches, a splatty snare sound, and overall a somewhat menacing posture.  Not really just a little, it’s fake scary and mean.  It’s not really my thing, these straight krauty beats are a drag to my ears and that’s the foundation up on which the track is built.  Some nice arpeggiated synth business but it could be wilder.  I don’t understand why you would color inside the lines when you’re taking a menacing stance.  I guess it’s just a stance.

YTD recordings listened to: 282
Good music, not list worthy: 152
Not good music: 124

Best: 0
Honorable Mentions: 0

Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, Slidhr, The Chewers, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Luther Dickinson, Graeme Barrett, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Cavanaugh, 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, Noname, Klara Lewis, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Oddisee, RAM, Fiver, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Priests, Propaganda, This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez, Integrity, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Criolo, Billy Strings, Flowers of Sulphur, Portal, Lawaii, Etran De L’Air, Ruby Karinto, Elysia Crampton, Parquet Courts, Moskus, Kendl Winter, Tkay Maidza, Barro, Daniel Khan, Tallawit Timbouctou, Sumac, Tropical Fuck Storm, Harriet Tubman, Ammar 808, Anais Maviel, Chaka Khan, Pom Poko, Fried Egg, Tarek Atoui, Saicobab, General Purv, Shipping News, Big Thief, Mariachi El Bronx, Pour Me a Grog, Sudan Archives, Lakou Mizik, Moodymann, Pharmakon, Alefa Madagascar, Janjao, Luge, Wiki, Mick Jenkins, Jeremiah Jae, Fera, Gambian Griot Kora Duets, Drama, Beatrice Dillon, Mass Worship, mmmonika, Les Deuxluxes, Tony Allen, Fra Fra, Nihiloxica, Hailu Mergia, Pokey LaFarge,

 

Music for 3/24/20!!! Tony Allen and Hugh Masekela, Morrissey, Adam Lambert, Kelsea Bellerini

@@@ Tony Allen and Hugh Masekela: Rejoice (World Circuit, 2020) Songs reconstructed after a session between Tony Allen and Hugh Masekela in 2010.  I read that shit somewhere, GooglePimp it if you like it.  Here in the Guardian.  It’s a sparse mix with Tony Allen’s drumming right up front which is great for me.  The sound on these mixes is just stellar — clear, funky and it sounds like you’re in the room with Tony Allen. Audio awesomeness.  I love great drummers and Tony Allen is one of the best ever in my opinion.  If you don’t appreciate great drummers this record might not be as compelling for your ears but these two play well together (I’m not a big trumpet guy), they put some nice sounds around it, it’s a best of year record for me.

@@@ Morrissey: I’m Not a Dog on a Chain (BMG, 2020)  I really respect Morrissey’s militant vegetarianism but his recent turn towards the fascist folks politically is a bit unnerving.  This has a bit of classic of Morrissey’s vintage bitchy melodic lilt but the drum beat here is odd (not bad, but oddly pop thrashy).  Over the course of the 4 minute tune he does build to quite a self-important crescendo as the lyrics are all about his real life turmoil with the press and the unfairness of it all.  Musically, it holds together but just barely.

@@@ Adam Lambert: Velvet (Empire, 2020)  Also off this week’s All Music notable release email.  He’s channeling a Michael Jackson thing here — very sweet and melodic but not quite the chops of MJ.  The same guitar Jackson guitar plink, there are a lot of sonic similarities.  He wants to rock something in his own special way though he is biting Rock this Way pretty hard.  I guess the kids won’t call him out as they don’t remember.

@@@ Kelsea Ballerini: homecoming queen? (Black River, 2020)  All Music!  Starts out reasonable with acoustic guitar but be careful the cheese bomb is gonna come, I can feel it.  Wait for the chorus — even the homecoming queen cries.  God that hits hard, I got go get a tissue.  I’m busted up between the Kung Flu and that hook.  The tune goes down in the chorus, you know that emotional uppercut to the nutsack so I give it points for doing that, but it’s plastic.

@@@ Lamb of God: Memento Mori (Epic/Sony, 2020)  A pre-release track from an upcoming release.  I’ve always thought of these guys as Metallica wannabes and this track doesn’t discourage that idea.  Not a clone but in the same neighborhood.  After an overwrought intro they move into a double kick head crusher and full guitar hammer pounding.  I like the singer more than the redneck cowboy that fronts Metallica but otherwise it’s pretty standard fare.  It goes out better than it came in, otherwise I feel like it didn’t move the needle on my perception of this band.

YTD recordings listened to: 212
Good music, not list worthy: 118
Not good music: 93

Best: 0
Honorable Mentions: 0

Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, Slidhr, The Chewers, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Luther Dickinson, Graeme Barrett, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Cavanaugh, 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, Noname, Klara Lewis, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Oddisee, RAM, Fiver, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Priests, Propaganda, This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez, Integrity, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Criolo, Billy Strings, Flowers of Sulphur, Portal, Lawaii, Etran De L’Air, Ruby Karinto, Elysia Crampton, Parquet Courts, Moskus, Kendl Winter, Tkay Maidza, Barro, Daniel Khan, Tallawit Timbouctou, Sumac, Tropical Fuck Storm, Harriet Tubman, Ammar 808, Anais Maviel, Chaka Khan, Pom Poko, Fried Egg, Tarek Atoui, Saicobab, General Purv, Shipping News, Big Thief, Mariachi El Bronx, Pour Me a Grog, Sudan Archives, Lakou Mizik, Moodymann, Pharmakon, Alefa Madagascar, Janjao, Luge, Wiki, Mick Jenkins, Jeremiah Jae, Fera, Gambian Griot Kora Duets, Drama, Beatrice Dillon, Mass Worship, mmmonika, Les Deuxluxes, Tony Allen

Music for 3/4/20!!! Lauran Hibberd, Juniore, Caribou, Black Market Brass

LineOfBestFit

@@@ Lauran Hibberd: Everything Is Dogs EP (Self-released, 2020) Retro Breeders style femme fronted power pop punk off the Line of Best Fit.  It’s chill in the verse, guess what’s coming?  You guessed it, the chorus crush.  It’s a pretty standard formula — a big drum sound, verse-chorus yadda yadda yadda, but her breathy voice adds a bit of teasing flirtatiousness to the proceedings.  I find it lessens the humor of the formula and makes it sound more mercenary.

@@@ Juniore: Un, Dieux, Trois (Le Parlophone, 2020) More pop is what the Line of Best Fit is saying but a female singing in French an un-American pop feel.  It’s a tad poppy while it’s also a bit dark and trippy.  I have a fair number of French pop records and they can be more expansive than its American counterpart which is basically a softcore porn show.  The French will give you a little lounge, some pop, a tad of rock and maybe a few touches of stinky cheese to funk-a-fy the proceedings.  This record is higher on the lounge factor and less dreamy than a bunch of what I’ve heard.

@@@ Caribou: Suddenly (Merge, 2020) I’m gonna be honest here, I get Caribou confused with Deertick and Deerhoof and Mooseneck.  That last band doesn’t exist btw.  He’s rocking an intimate electronic indie thing on this first tune.  The second tune brings in the live drummer and it’s suddenly more of a soft, classic rock thing.  This is some Air Supply type shit with updated electronic sounds.  Man, an MC came in to the middle of this wishing water fountain and started dropping rhymes and I just thought, no you didn’t.  No you didn’t.

Caribou

@@@ BLACK MARKET BRASS: Undying Thirst (Colemine, 2019)  Let’s throw something in here from WRIR’s weekly playlist email.  This first tune comes out swinging Afrobeat style with swaggering horn lines and a multitude of percussion.  I’m on the third tune and it’s been all instrumental up to this point.  I dig that as I find a lot of Afrobeat singers a bit righteous for my taste but it also leaves you with a bit less to listen to.  I like the horn playing here, they have big ass energy but I haven’t heard a head ripping solo that really pulled me in and kicked my ass.  I could use some fire like that and some sections where they come out of the groove and go back into it.  Otherwise a fine party Afrobeat record. Oh, some baritone horn player just started braying like a donkey so I got some fire and flavor. Sooner people, give me this shit sooner.

YTD recordings listened to: 157
Good music, not list worthy: 89
Not good music: 68

Best: 0
Honorable Mentions: 0

Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, Slidhr, The Chewers, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Luther Dickinson, Graeme Barrett, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Cavanaugh, 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, Noname, Klara Lewis, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Oddisee, RAM, Fiver, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Priests, Propaganda, This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez, Integrity, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Criolo, Billy Strings, Flowers of Sulphur, Portal, Lawaii, Etran De L’Air, Ruby Karinto, Elysia Crampton, Parquet Courts, Moskus, Kendl Winter, Tkay Maidza, Barro, Daniel Khan, Tallawit Timbouctou, Sumac, Tropical Fuck Storm, Harriet Tubman, Ammar 808, Anais Maviel, Chaka Khan, Pom Poko, Fried Egg, Tarek Atoui, Saicobab, General Purv, Shipping News, Big Thief, Mariachi El Bronx, Pour Me a Grog, Sudan Archives, Lakou Mizik, Moodymann, Pharmakon, Alefa Madagascar, Janjao, Luge, Wiki, Mick Jenkins, Jeremiah Jae, Fera, Gambian Griot Kora Duets

Music for 2/18/20!!! Sam Smith, Migos, Ignorantes, Bad Bunny, Ingrid Andress

HotTracks_2_17_20

Sam Smith: To Die For (Capitol/Universal, 2020)  A pre-release single from Sam Smith’s new record.  I’m not a big huge Sam Smith fan, it’s just too schmaltzy for me.  He can sing, but it’s mad cliche.  This tune features a sparse arrangement behind his voice — a filtered, somewhat funky beat, a bit of strings, some piano.  Sam’s lonely, that’s the message here.  Maybe if he wasn’t such a bummer?  I like how the beat is eq filtered, I don’t like how there are more vocal tracks as the tune moves on though it doesn’t go over the top.  Good luck out there Sam.

Migos: Give No Fxk (Motown, 2020)  Migos don’t give a fuck!  With two vocal guests to boot.  Super fat bass, I enjoy that.  The rest of the arrangement, meh, it sounds a bit disposable.  I guess Migos don’t give a fuck about the lasting value of their tracks.  ‘I got too many diamonds, I look awesome’.  I can’t say that’s the best vocal line I’ve heard.  They’re running business, they’re making a lot of money, somebody in the back of the mix keeps saying flush it, so maybe they got a clogged toilet.  And I will do as that MC commands and I will flush it.

Bad Bunny & Sech: Ignorantes (Rimas, 2020) Dag, my Apple Music keeps crashing, what a pain in the ass.  I gotta go ghetto with the GooglePimpTube, I hate the GooglePimpTube, it sounds like shit.  Bad Bunny is a loverboy and a bit fat tongued as well.  He’s a big deal fo sho.  I like the arrangements more than I like his voice but it doesn’t matter what I like as this video has 20 million hits in 4 days.  You go bad bunny!  I like his guest vocalist more than I dig him.  He’s really not a very charismatic vocalist but when you’re a hottie you get to roll like that.

Ingrid Andress: Life of the Party  I’m still on the GooglePimpTube and I’ve listened to the top 8 songs from Apple Music hot tracks and fuck it’s been a sad journey and we’re gonna end this death march with this track by Ms. Andress who’s been the life of the party since he left.  She’s drinking a lot and she’s lonely, maybe she should roll out on Sam Smith, he’s lonely too!  I’m open to the lyrical topic but the cliche lyrics, I ask America can we not do better than this?  If she’s the life of the party I don’t want to go to the party, it sounds mad boring.  I’d rather drink by myself.  I can’t tell if she’s an aspiring country singer or a pop star or both, I get a few country feels.  When she goes high in the chorus proclaiming that she’s the life of the party….oy.

YTD recordings listened to: 122
Good music, not list worthy: 70
Not good music: 52

Best: 0
Honorable Mentions: 0

Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, Slidhr, The Chewers, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Luther Dickinson, Graeme Barrett, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Cavanaugh, 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, Noname, Klara Lewis, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Oddisee, RAM, Fiver, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Priests, Propaganda, This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez, Integrity, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Criolo, Billy Strings, Flowers of Sulphur, Portal, Lawaii, Etran De L’Air, Ruby Karinto, Elysia Crampton, Parquet Courts, Moskus, Kendl Winter, Tkay Maidza, Barro, Daniel Khan, Tallawit Timbouctou, Sumac, Tropical Fuck Storm, Harriet Tubman, Ammar 808, Anais Maviel, Chaka Khan, Pom Poko, Fried Egg, Tarek Atoui, Saicobab, General Purv, Shipping News, Big Thief, Mariachi El Bronx, Pour Me a Grog, Sudan Archives, Lakou Mizik, Moodymann, Pharmakon, Alefa Madagascar, Janjao, Luge, Wiki, Mick Jenkins, Jeremiah Jae, Fera