Music for 8/20/18!!! The Freaky Baby Daddies, Howling Star, Black Arkade

@@@ The Freaky Baby Daddies: Feed Your Ego (N/A, 2018)  I saw on the Line of Best Fit there is another black punk festival besides Afropunk.  It’s called, simply enough, Black Punk, and these guys are the first band listed.  There is most definitely some rocking going on here but I’m not sure how punky fresh it is.  There’s a lot of melody, and higher end production, and guitar shredding but I will not be a genre bitch.  This is more like Living Colour than Bad Brains.  Very high energy power trio playing even comes with tambourine at the end of the tune when it blows out.

@@@ Howling Star: GIN (North Elements, 2016)  Another track from the black punk festival.  This is punkier for sure with some metal sounds thrown in.  Black female singer which I’m totally into, and a thick wall of guitars blasting away.  The tune is about gentrification and she’s giving gentrifiers what they deserve.  This outfit is from Atlanta but it could be Brooklyn of San Francisco getting the shout out.  I like the energy, the topic and the singer does really solid work here.

@@@ Red Arkade: We don’t sing too Pretty EP (N/A, 2018)  Here we go some straight up pogo punk out of Queens NY.  Singer sounds like Ice T and I’m sure Donald Trump flings his pumpkinhead hair to this kinda shit.  After he burns a cross out on the White House lawn.  The second tune is called ‘Fuck that Shit’ and I don’t think they could be more direct or straight ahead in their sentiment.  The production is not super shiny by any means but it’s not dirty crusty punk style either.  The longest tune is 2:44 so it’s get in and get out commando style anti social punk.  I dig the drummer, you get a walloping bucket of distorted guitars and plenty of sing along hooks.  If you’re looking for a blast of hostility to get your week started turn away from the Trump Toilet Tweet Tirade and get some from Queens.

YTD recordings listened to: 483
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 251
Not good music: 202

Best: 8
Honorable Mentions: 5

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, Janelle Monae, 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, A Tribe Called Quest, Noname, Gouge Away, Klara Lewis, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Oddisee, Forro in the Dark, RAM, Fiver, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Priests, Propaganda, This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez, Integrity, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Converge, Open Mike Eagle, Criolo, Billy Strings, Flowers of Sulphur, Tal National, Portal, Hernan Sama & Marcelo von Schultz, Jean Grae and Quelle Chris, Lawaii, Etran De L’Air, Ruby Karinto, Elysia Crampton, Parquet Courts, Orlando Lopez, Moskus, Kendl Winter, 700 Bliss

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Music for 8/10/18!!! RGG Trio, DeVotchka, Quavo, Brown Paper Bag

@@@ RGG Trio: City of Gardens (N/A, 2018)  How many Polish guys does it take to make a jazz record?  This is a trio record so three!  C’mon I wouldn’t insult Polish people in my music reviews.  I would discuss Miley Cyrus’ pubic hair and different varieties of cheese but I’m not racist and shit.  This looks to be piano, trumpet and drums and this first tune opens slowly with some rolling drums.  It’s not my favorite flavor of improv but I’m going to check out a bit more of the record.  It’s pretty spacious music and long 10+ minute pieces.  Myself I would rather check out Bill Dixon and some of his ’60 work but this has a pleasant earnestness to it.

@@@ DeVotchka: Angels (Concord, 2018)  If you, gasp, took U2 and made a baby with Coldplay it would sound like this pre-release single.  It’s dramatical, it’s epic, it’s an arena rock cheesebomb dropped from far up in the sky.  Everybody walks away greasy and dirty.  Big rock drums, plenty of different guitar sounds and lyrics — such as ‘tonight you will sleep the sleep of angels’.  Uh, don’t know really.  I got to this corporate cheese sandwich via a music publicist email.  I didn’t make it through the full four minutes and I can tell you with certainty that was a very long 3 minutes.

@@@ Quavo: Workinme (Capitol, 2018)  The #1 hot track in the Apple Music hot track section.  It’s midtempo trap and apparently his girl is working him too hard.  Fat, trunk shaking bass, a dude backing up Mr. Quavo’s lyrics, and a couple trippy samples floating in the background of the mix.  It’s not much of a tune, he’s just on about percoset and his bank account over a B+ beat.  Nothing to make it deserve #1 slot on the hot tracks.

@@@ Brown Paper Bag: Yoshi (Interscope, 2018)  A genre smashing single in the Apple Music hot tracks section.  It’s part hip hop with a huge rock guitar riff, a distorted bass but the problem here is the singer.  He’s got not authority to his voice so all the nice and hip sounds are wuss-a-fied by his microphone work.  Plus the lyrics are pretty much word salad — there’s a lot about being alienated in school, about some sort of daily meditation and sumthin about hold my smokes and my money.  It’s best not to try to make sense of it, it’s a salad.

YTD recordings listened to: 467
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 239
Not good music: 196

Best: 8
Honorable Mentions: 5

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, Janelle Monae, 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, A Tribe Called Quest, Noname, Gouge Away, Klara Lewis, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Oddisee, Forro in the Dark, RAM, Fiver, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Priests, Propaganda, This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez, Integrity, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Converge, Open Mike Eagle, Criolo, Billy Strings, Flowers of Sulphur, Tal National, Portal, Hernan Sama & Marcelo von Schultz, Jean Grae and Quelle Chris, Lawaii, Etran De L’Air, Ruby Karinto, Elysia Crampton, Parquet Courts, Orlando Lopez, Moskus, Kendl Winter

Music for 8/7/18!!! Clau Aniz, Out of Nations, Death Cab for Cutie

@@@ CLAU ANIZ: Filha de mil Mulheres (Minty Fresh, 2018) This is some Brazilian music with indie flavorings that I got to via the WRIR weekly playlist email.  There is also a Latin Jazz vibe up in here as well so it’s a somewhat wide mash of influences here.  The trumpet is holding down that mellow jazz thing while there’s delayed and slack rock guitar sound floating around.  This is a 63 minute record where the tunes average around 6 minutes so the pace is measured and mellow.  Female singer, slow tempos, plenty of hand drumming and space rock guitar — that’s the formula.  It’s a bit adult alternative to me.

@@@ OUT OF NATIONS: Quest (Riverboat, 2018) I try to check out Riverboat releases of African music as I think they’re a solid imprint.  There is only a pre-release single up on the Apple Music and it’s a mash of ‘early ‘80s disco funk and smooth jazz.  Wow, not your typical thing these days.  I’m gonna google this outfit as the cover is showing mostly white musicians and I’m thinking this is a North African/French thing.  Be right back…oh boy these folks are from all over.  NYC, Cairo, Beirut, Berlin, it’s a basket of folks.  I wish I liked smooth jazz more but I dig the hand drumming and the aspirations of this pre-release track.

@@@ Death Cab for Cutie: Autumn Love (N/A, 2018). A mainstream rock single masquerading as indie rock.  This is a version of a Yes, Hootie and the Blowfish, or even a Justin Bieber tune.  I’m now remembering why Death Cab for Cutie has been one of my least favorite indie bands.  It’s so discretely saccharine it makes your teeth hurt.  You get some peppy drumming, some oh oh oh ohs, some intricate Dirty Projectors’ guitar work but alas this is for others and not me.

YTD recordings listened to: 458
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 234
Not good music: 192

Best: 8
Honorable Mentions: 5

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, Janelle Monae, 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, A Tribe Called Quest, Noname, Gouge Away, Klara Lewis, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Oddisee, Forro in the Dark, RAM, Fiver, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Priests, Propaganda, This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez, Integrity, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Converge, Open Mike Eagle, Criolo, Billy Strings, Flowers of Sulphur, Tal National, Portal, Hernan Sama & Marcelo von Schultz, Jean Grae and Quelle Chris, Lawaii, Etran De L’Air, Ruby Karinto, Elysia Crampton, Parquet Courts, Orlando Lopez, Moskus, Kendl Winter

Music for 8/1/18!!! Nef the Pharoah, Jungle, Bellini, Khaled and Co.

@@@ Nef the Pharoah: Big Boss Chang (Empire, 2018)  A pre-release hip hop single off the Apple Music hot tracks section.  Act like a pussy, you get fucked like one, that’s how this track is rolling.  It’s standard trap rhythm with fat bass and a trippy synth patch in the back of the mix to contrast with the skitter.  It’s B+ for anti-social vibes — he’s explicit, he’s into guns but not crazy so, and most of all he’s a self made n-word.  He tells you that many times.  Maybe a few too many times.  I’m happy he’s a self made n-word but I don’t need to hear that ten times.

@@@ Jungle: Cherry (XL, 2018)  A pre-release electronic track also from the Apple Music hot tracks section.  It’s a luscious slow funk track with falsetto singing.  The sounds are manicured and really well done.  There’s a slow rotation or introduction of small sonic elements in the mix that you can groove on for ear candy points.  The singer is above average — if he put in a superstar performance with over the top creativity I would be jumping up at the combination of great sounds and great singing but to my ears he maxes out at B+.

@@@ Bellini: Before the Day has Done (N/A, 2018)  Album of the day over at the Bandcamp.  They’re blurbing it as math rock but to me it has more of a punky feel with mathy bits swirled in.  The female singer has a PJ Harvey wail going on and the guitars are noisier and wilder than what I associate with math rock.  Despite its high energy and intentions it sounds to me like it has a certain predictability baked into it.  I’d take anything unexpected up in here.  The playing here is pretty high level but me personally there are a million ways to whip a shitty.  Look at Trump — whatever you think of that piece of shit that bitchass knows how to whip a shitty.

https://bellini.bandcamp.com/album/before-the-day-has-gone

@@@ DJ Khaled/Justin Bieber/Chance the Rapper/Quavo: No Brainer (Sony, 2018)  Another attempt at track of the summer.  Personally I can’t believe Chance the Rapper would be down with insipid little puke Justin Bieber.  I know they had a track recently.  I know, I pay attention.  It’s a sophisticated arrangement sonically but they should have cut back Bieber’s part.   They wear the shit out of his vocal hook and it’s not worthy of the repetition.  Sounds like Chance got coffee for everybody and then got a couple of seconds on the track.  It’s spray cheese, that’s what this is.  They got the party nozzle on that bitch and they’re just spraying it around.  Not track of the summer.

YTD recordings listened to: 449
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 229
Not good music: 198

Best: 8
Honorable Mentions: 5

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, Janelle Monae, 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, A Tribe Called Quest, Noname, Gouge Away, Klara Lewis, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Oddisee, Forro in the Dark, RAM, Fiver, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Priests, Propaganda, This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez, Integrity, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Converge, Open Mike Eagle, Criolo, Billy Strings, Flowers of Sulphur, Tal National, Portal, Hernan Sama & Marcelo von Schultz, Jean Grae and Quelle Chris, Lawaii, Etran De L’Air, Ruby Karinto, Elysia Crampton, Parquet Courts, Orlando Lopez, Moskus

Music for 7/19/18!!! Chastity, Lie, Split Cranium

@@@ Chastity: Death Lust (Captured Tracks, 2018)  Some grungy guitar rock I got to via this week’s All Music notable release email.  There’s been such a tidal wave of indie electronic music that I’m more than a wee bit shocked to hear guitar rock.  This is pretty smoothed out without collapsing into art school pretension.  Oy, interwebz screwup and I skipped the second tune, Choke, which is an uptempo kinda emo thing.  The sounds are high quality, the energy is high, and I don’t get a lasting impression from the lyrics.  I would put this as Stone Temple Pilots thing without the glam and a few pubes of Jane’s Addiction artfulness.

@@@ Lie: Hounds (Mint/Monofonus, 2018)  More guitar rock this time off the CFUV weekly playlist email.  Huge Sonic Youth vibes on this first tune — guitar squall, manic drumming, detached female singer.  There’s no need to give these folks Red Bull, the tank is full up already.  I actually prefer this to the Sonic Youth as there’s a definite lack of pretension and NYC downtown bullshit to be had here.  Very high energy here with a full on swirl of distorted guitars which I’m feeling.

@@@ Split Cranium: I’m the Devil and I’m OK (Ipecac, 2018)  Also off this week’s CFUV playlist email in the loud section.  After a little fucking around intro they get right into the moshing.  Thrash drumming with punkier rather than metal guitars.  It’s really not a typical metal mash.  The singer is a caveman with punk leanings, the guitars are loud but not super distorted.  The overall feel is more hard rock/punk with metal — it’s cheap beer lose your nut punk business and that’s a good thing unless you’re a Nazi skinhead fuck and then you can go suck it.

YTD recordings listened to: 419
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 219
Not good music: 186

Best: 7
Honorable Mentions: 4

Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, Slidhr, The Chewers, Toxic Holocaust, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Janelle Monae, 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, A Tribe Called Quest, Noname, Gouge Away, Klara Lewis, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Oddisee, Forro in the Dark, RAM, Fiver, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Priests, Propaganda, This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez, Integrity, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Converge, Open Mike Eagle, Criolo, Billy Strings, Flowers of Sulphur, Tal National, Portal, Hernan Sama & Marcelo von Schultz, Jean Grae and Quelle Chris, Lawaii, Etran De L’Air, Ruby Karinto, Elysia Crampton, Parquet Courts, Orlando Lopez

Music for 7/16/18!!! Opium Moon, Sidi Toure, Degres

@@@ Opium Moon: Opium Moon (Be Why, 2018)  Some Middle Eastern inflected world music I got to via the WRIR weekly playlist email.  I like this first track, Gravity = Love, with its slow gait, hand drumming and violin/vocal driven melody.  Four of the five pieces on the record are 10+ minutes long so expect slower and modest unfolding of the tunes given those lengths.  This recording sounds great and if you’re up for the sonic equivalent for watching the sun rise check this record out.  It has a slow inevitability to it that is interesting.

@@@ Sidi Toure: Toubalbero  (Thrill Jockey, 2018)  More world music from the WRIR weekly email.  I’ve heard Mr. Toure before and I like his music.  If I remember correctly it is on the more contemplative side than the full West African rock show.  Somebody got Toure a Red Bull as he comes out strong with a full kit drummer, background singers and multiple string players.  The record sounds super compressed to my ears which makes it louder and rocking but also kinda clipped and a little scratchy.  I like the second tune,
Bk, with its super solid groove and descending melody.  I like the playing here but it sounds too purposely sculpted as a rock record and that detracts from the listening experience.  My mixer channel lights are pretty much pinned at the same point, it’s just loud with no dynamics.

@@@ Delgres: Can’t Let You Go (PIAS, 2018)  I’m gonna have to hit up the Google but I’m guessing these guys are from Cajun country.  It’s a trio of mixed ethnicities and they describe their music as Caribbean blues which is pretty close to Creole/Cajun spirit.  The tune is guitar driven with some pretty mean electric guitar picking and it has primarily a blues feel but has a little extra world music sauce on it.  Uptempo, bluesy and rockin’ and I got to this track via the WRIR weekly email.  #transparency!

YTD recordings listened to: 410
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 214
Not good music: 182

Best: 7
Honorable Mentions: 4

Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, Slidhr, The Chewers, Toxic Holocaust, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Janelle Monae, 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, A Tribe Called Quest, Noname, Gouge Away, Klara Lewis, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Oddisee, Forro in the Dark, RAM, Fiver, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Priests, Propaganda, This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez, Integrity, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Converge, Open Mike Eagle, Criolo, Billy Strings, Flowers of Sulphur, Tal National, Portal, Hernan Sama & Marcelo von Schultz, Jean Grae and Quelle Chris, Lawaii, Etran De L’Air, Ruby Karinto, Elysia Crampton, Parquet Courts