Accolades for The National’s record shows power of PR over music!

I’m more than a tad flummoxed to see the golden showers of praise rain down on the National’s 2017 record.

I reviewed it song by song, which I reserve for the most hyped releases, and I found it tiresome and without much creativity.  It is long on artistic pretension and poser art school seriousness, but I guess that’s where we are at.  The artist makes music to signify their greatness, the PR machine latches onto that and takes that faux greatness out into the public sphere and voila an average record morphs into a record of the year.

If anybody is talking about this record and its influence a year from now I will eat a hat on YouTube.  It is mopey rote music disguised as world weariness.  Boo hiss!

This is what’s wrong with the music business — there’s nothing organic to it, it is a commercially manufactured consent before the release date and the record is rammed down the throat of listeners.

TheNational_Ellen.PNG

Advertisements

Music for 12/4/17!!! Dadabots, Ed Sheeran and Beyonce, Xenoula

@@@ Dadabots: Coditany of Timeness (N/A, 2017)  The great thing about computer generated albums….well the first is that record labels won’t have to pay royalties as the machine is a slave.  But for revieweres, computer generated music can be shit upon without hurting any feelings.  It’s just algorithm based sound!  This first tune opens up stormy and a tad boring before the computer gets into a fat thrash.  I don’t know if the record has a robot producer but they could use a little high end in here.  I’m sure they will get the computer to introduce creativity and change into the music but this is not a xerox copy but not very compelling music.  But because humans hate humans and the humans in charge of music hate paying humans who make humans get ready for a tidal wave of computer generated oatmeal-music!!!  Hmmm, the future is bright and tasty and really repetitive.

@@@ Ed Sheeran and Beyonce: Perfect Duet (Asylum, 2017)  A remix of dreams.  The tattoed hedgehog of gooey ballads and the queen troll of veganism combine for something that is difficult to imagine.  Somebody get me a tissue and let me listen to the Bey on the mic.  She’s got the choir behind her, I need some new underwear!!!  This is bigger than Ebony and Ivory with MJ and Paul McCartney.  Oh Ed, you sexy rodent bitch, this is just too many feelings of love.  We’re in the ooh and ahh section, they’re dancing in the dark, it’s mad romantic.  Trump can’t make America great again, but Eddie boy and Beyonce can!  OMG, OMG, OMG the best cheese of this holiday season.  Smooth and intimate, I just want to dance in the dark with this wedge of cheese between my arms.  Kill me now so I can go to heaven!

@@@ Xenoula: Xenoula (Domino, 2017)  Some indie electronic off this week’s All Music notable release email.  You will pardon me if this review is a bit garbled as I’m still pretty broken up over this Ed Sheeran/Beyonce love-gasm.  This is a mash of club music sounds (this first tune is beat-less) and synth rock with a few pubes of indie in the vibes area.  The second tune brings the beats and it evokes ’80s synth rock but weirder.  I appreciate the weirdness of Domino’s records while not having many stick with me.  I’m on the third tune and this is pretty much undercover electro pop — sweet and cute with a lot of electro sounds.

YTD recordings listened to: 773
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 415
Not good music: 321

Buys: 9
Honorable Mentions: 7

Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, Slidhr, The Chewers, Toxic Holocaust, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, Leviathan, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Janelle Monae, Luther Dickinson, Graeme Barrett, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Cavanaugh, Gentleman Surfer, Satoko Fuji, Moken, Juan Atkins, Lantern, Twin Peaks, Djelimady Tounkara, The Oh Sees, Denny Zeitlin, MILF, Unfun, De La Soul, Carl Sagan’s Skate Shoes, Magrudergrind, A Tribe Called Quest, Noname, Gouge Away, Anna Hogberg, Klara Lewis, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, James Brandon Lewis, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, J.I.D., Oddisee, Forro in the Dark, RAM, Fiver, Dona Onete, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Priests, Propaganda, This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez, Integrity, American Lips, Sudan Archives, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Benjamin Booker, Irreversible Entanglements, Converge, Boubacare Traore, Les Filles De Illighadad, Curtis Harding

 

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

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

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

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

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

Buys: 9
Honorable Mentions: 7

Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, Slidhr, The Chewers, Toxic Holocaust, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, Leviathan, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Janelle Monae, Luther Dickinson, Graeme Barrett, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Cavanaugh, Gentleman Surfer, Satoko Fuji, Moken, Juan Atkins, Lantern, Twin Peaks, Djelimady Tounkara, The Oh Sees, Denny Zeitlin, MILF, Unfun, De La Soul, Carl Sagan’s Skate Shoes, Magrudergrind, A Tribe Called Quest, Noname, Gouge Away, Anna Hogberg, Klara Lewis, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, James Brandon Lewis, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, J.I.D., Oddisee, Forro in the Dark, RAM, Fiver, Dona Onete, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Priests, Propaganda, This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez, Integrity, American Lips, Sudan Archives, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Benjamin Booker, Irreversible Entanglements, Converge, Boubacare Traore, Les Filles De Illighadad, Curtis Harding

Music for 11/23/17!!! Wand, Quicksand, Faith Hill/Tim McGraw

@@@ Wand: Plum (Drag City, 2017)  Some indie rock off this week’s CFUV weekly playlist record.  Many Thanksgiving references in these reviews both to humor and annoy.  After a gastrointestinal feedbacky opening it goes into a piano driven midtempo adult alternative rocker.  Let me check the bio, Imma guessing these Wand folks are British.  Nope they’re from L.A. but Imma guessing they own mad brit rock records.  Let’s peep more.  They get the guitars out on this third track Bee Karma, and it’s riffy still with strong Blur/Radiohead vibes.  The singer especially, he’s especially fish and chippy.  They go full on space rock on the fourth tune Charles De Gaulle.  The playing is pretty tight and fresh, the singer is not to my taste but that’s just my personal preference.

@@@ Quicksand: Interiors (Epitaph, 2017)  The first record for these gents in 22 years.  It’s a piquant blend of riff and noise with touches of hardcore and an emo urgency.  The band turns on the contrast between the singer and the churning band underneath.  The drums are very high in the mix which is a plus for my ears.  I’m really falling down on the Thanksgiving related jokes but I’m sure I can annoy if I try.  I have to try harder and then it comes naturally.  The production here is very polished but not epic with tasty bass, guitar and drum sounds.  These guys are pretty serious about their rock so there’s little to jest about unfortunately.  Check it out if you’re up for some heady post-hardcore groomed guitar rock.

@@@ Tim McGraw and Faith Hill: The Rest of our Life (Sony, 2017)  Oh my, let’s switch gears to some super earnest new country music.  Fuck, this is cheesy, dramatic-ness that must be checked out.  The lyrics especially, but the piano is epic and lends a certain pungent odor to the song..  I can’t take much more of this that’s how painful and awesome this is.  If you’ve had a massive Thanksgiving you might want to lay off this high calorie sugary treat as it will make your teeth hurt.  We’ll be young when we’re old!  Fucking awesome.  Let’s check another track, I rocked no turkey today.  The second tune is a rocker and Imma guessing there’s gonna be a pickup truck or a faded blue jeans reference in the first thirty seconds.  I almost made it, he picked her up in a beat up Cutlass in the first line.  She let down her blue bandana and let her blond hair down — that’s a clothes reference — I’m almost good here.  This third tune, The Bed We Made, could be mad hot due to the title of course.  It’s PG rated but it is as I suspected.  Their clothes are trailed down the hall to the bedroom and the sheets are tangled and there’s candlewax on the dresser, and probably a ball gag and a gimp suit for late night freakshows.  The great thing about new country for me as well as new country folks is how predictable the tunes are.  You can see ’em coming from 10 miles away — like an Oklahoma tornado, you dig?

YTD recordings listened to: 756
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 403
Not good music: 315

Buys: 9
Honorable Mentions: 7

Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, Slidhr, The Chewers, Toxic Holocaust, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, Leviathan, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Janelle Monae, Luther Dickinson, Graeme Barrett, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Cavanaugh, Gentleman Surfer, Satoko Fuji, Moken, Juan Atkins, Lantern, Twin Peaks, Djelimady Tounkara, The Oh Sees, Denny Zeitlin, MILF, Unfun, De La Soul, Carl Sagan’s Skate Shoes, Magrudergrind, A Tribe Called Quest, Noname, Gouge Away, Anna Hogberg, Klara Lewis, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, James Brandon Lewis, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, J.I.D., Oddisee, Forro in the Dark, RAM, Fiver, Dona Onete, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Priests, Propaganda, This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez, Integrity, American Lips, Sudan Archives, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Benjamin Booker, Irreversible Entanglements, Converge, Boubacare Traore, Les Filles De Illighadad, Curtis Harding

Music for 11/22/17!!! Kweku Collins, Diplo, The Diplomats

@@@ Kweku Collins: Grey (Closed Sessions, 2017)  I saw this hip hop artist on the Twatter giving notice of a tour so that triggered this peep.  I like the sounds here, very fresh and  well put together, especially the marimba solo at the end of the track.  Very creative.  It’s kinda left field without trying to be oddball.  I’m on the fifth tune and the opener remains my favorite of what I’ve heard.  I peeped Collins’ bio and he’s doing all right for 20 years old.  He could really develop into something and this is more than solid.

@@@ Diplo: Get it Right (Mad Decent, 2017)  A single off the hot tracks section on Apple Music.  From what I’ve read Diplo’s shit doesn’t ever smell, he’s just that good.  This is an uplifting, slow EDM banger with a breathy female singer.  After the verse it goes into a Brazilian waxed bush hyper-manicured section with vocal synth actions and a pick up in energy.  The vocals are barely coherent but at the meta level it’s a vow that she or the male singer or Diplo is gonna get it right.  I can appreciate the technicals involved in the Brazilian waxed chorus but the verse is a tad over-syruped.

@@@ The Diplomats: Once Upon a Time (Diplomats, 2017)  A filmtracky hip hop single also off the Apple Music hot music section.  They got a kinda soft instrumentation but the MCs hit the mic medium hard putting down other MCs and even throwing a shout out to Harvey Weinstein so this tune might be hot off the hard drive.  The gospel choir vocal sample that runs the whole way is an interesting backdrop for the MCs to smack talk over.  I don’t love it or hate it, I think it’s weird.

YTD recordings listened to: 753
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 402
Not good music: 313

Buys: 9
Honorable Mentions: 7

Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, Slidhr, The Chewers, Toxic Holocaust, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, Leviathan, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Janelle Monae, Luther Dickinson, Graeme Barrett, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Cavanaugh, Gentleman Surfer, Satoko Fuji, Moken, Juan Atkins, Lantern, Twin Peaks, Djelimady Tounkara, The Oh Sees, Denny Zeitlin, MILF, Unfun, De La Soul, Carl Sagan’s Skate Shoes, Magrudergrind, A Tribe Called Quest, Noname, Gouge Away, Anna Hogberg, Klara Lewis, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, James Brandon Lewis, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, J.I.D., Oddisee, Forro in the Dark, RAM, Fiver, Dona Onete, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Priests, Propaganda, This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez, Integrity, American Lips, Sudan Archives, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Benjamin Booker, Irreversible Entanglements, Converge, Boubacare Traore, Les Filles De Illighadad, Curtis Harding

Music for 11/15/17!!! Pink Siifu, Walk the Moon, RVIVR

@@@ Pink Siifu: Bills (Twothousandnine, 2017)  I saw this hip hop outfit shouted out on the Twatter and I scooped this b-side from a split single from the Apple Music.  It’s a pretty stripped down and funky arrangement with trippy synth layers and a fat bass pulse.  The MC is pleasantly nasal on the mic and he works the microphone in a subtle stop and start manner.

@@@ Walk the Moon: What if Nothing (RCA, 2017)  Some major label rock that occupies one of the prestigious banner positions up on the Apple Music.  Money changed hands.  I’m thinking as the intro to the first tune unfolds that this is gonna explode into a shopping mall rock cheese bomb.  No, they go for a white funk rock thing.   The lyrical component of this tune is blue eyed loverboy and the rhythmic undercarriage is a mash of prog and electro and arena rock.  Weird yo, points for an interesting blend.  The second tune stinks so I clicked through and we’re getting into Bon Jovi whoo hoos in this third tune.  The first tune was by far the most interesting track I’ve peeped.  It is coagulating into cheese as I click on the tracks.  Get some bred out for the third tune (clipped below).

@@@ RVIVR: The Tide/Shaggy (Dead Broke Rekerds, 2017)  Something about the moist weather in the Northwest makes for fertile ground for pop punk.  I saw on the CFUV weekly email that the music director had seen these guys live so that triggered a peep.  Crunchy guitars, caffeinated drumming and big ass chant a long vocal hooks.  Big pop punk energy if you’re in the mood.  Myself I dig it but I would rather toilet tweet.  The second tune on the 7″ (yes, fucking 7″!) features some guitar shred, a female singer.  Earnest kids, earnest white kids.

YTD recordings listened to: 738
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 392
Not good music: 308

Buys: 9
Honorable Mentions: 7

Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, Slidhr, The Chewers, Toxic Holocaust, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, Leviathan, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Janelle Monae, Luther Dickinson, Graeme Barrett, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Cavanaugh, Gentleman Surfer, Satoko Fuji, Moken, Juan Atkins, Lantern, Twin Peaks, Djelimady Tounkara, The Oh Sees, Denny Zeitlin, MILF, Unfun, De La Soul, Carl Sagan’s Skate Shoes, Magrudergrind, A Tribe Called Quest, Noname, Gouge Away, Anna Hogberg, Klara Lewis, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, James Brandon Lewis, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, J.I.D., Oddisee, Forro in the Dark, RAM, Fiver, Dona Onete, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Priests, Propaganda, This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez, Integrity, American Lips, Sudan Archives, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Benjamin Booker, Irreversible Entanglements, Converge, Boubacare Traore, Les Filles De Illighadad, Curtis Harding

Music for 11/15/17!!! Pink Siifu, Walk the Moon, RVIVR

@@@ Pink Siifu: Bills (Twothousandnine, 2017)  I saw this hip hop outfit shouted out on the Twatter and I scooped this b-side from a split single from the Apple Music.  It’s a pretty stripped down and funky arrangement with trippy synth layers and a fat bass pulse.  The MC is pleasantly nasal on the mic and he works the microphone in a subtle stop and start manner.

@@@ Walk the Moon: What if Nothing (RCA, 2017)  Some major label rock that occupies one of the prestigious banner positions up on the Apple Music.  Money changed hands.  I’m thinking as the intro to the first tune unfolds that this is gonna explode into a shopping mall rock cheese bomb.  No, they go for a white funk rock thing.   The lyrical component of this tune is blue eyed loverboy and the rhythmic undercarriage is a mash of prog and electro and arena rock.  Weird yo, points for an interesting blend.  The second tune stinks so I clicked through and we’re getting into Bon Jovi whoo hoos in this third tune.  The first tune was by far the most interesting track I’ve peeped.  It is coagulating into cheese as I click on the tracks.  Get some bred out for the third tune (clipped below).

@@@ RVIVR: The Tide/Shaggy (Dead Broke Rekerds, 2017)  Something about the moist weather in the Northwest makes for fertile ground for pop punk.  I saw on the CFUV weekly email that the music director had seen these guys live so that triggered a peep.  Crunchy guitars, caffeinated drumming and big ass chant a long vocal hooks.  Big pop punk energy if you’re in the mood.  Myself I dig it but I would rather toilet tweet.  The second tune on the 7″ (yes, fucking 7″!) features some guitar shred, a female singer.  Earnest kids, earnest white kids.

YTD recordings listened to: 738
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 392
Not good music: 308

Buys: 9
Honorable Mentions: 7

Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, Slidhr, The Chewers, Toxic Holocaust, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, Leviathan, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Janelle Monae, Luther Dickinson, Graeme Barrett, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Cavanaugh, Gentleman Surfer, Satoko Fuji, Moken, Juan Atkins, Lantern, Twin Peaks, Djelimady Tounkara, The Oh Sees, Denny Zeitlin, MILF, Unfun, De La Soul, Carl Sagan’s Skate Shoes, Magrudergrind, A Tribe Called Quest, Noname, Gouge Away, Anna Hogberg, Klara Lewis, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, James Brandon Lewis, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, J.I.D., Oddisee, Forro in the Dark, RAM, Fiver, Dona Onete, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Priests, Propaganda, This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez, Integrity, American Lips, Sudan Archives, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Benjamin Booker, Irreversible Entanglements, Converge, Boubacare Traore, Les Filles De Illighadad, Curtis Harding