Music for 11/15/18!!! Barro, J.I.D./J. Cole, J. Lo/Bad Bunny

@@@ Barro: Samos (self-released, 2018) Some Northern Brazilian music I got to via the weekly music reviews at WRIR in Virginia, a most excellent world music station.  It’s a blend of traditional modern Brazilian with some rock flavorings.  Also some hip hop, funk flavors. A pretty hip opening track.  The second tune gets into a more indie, feelgood vibe, but with more sophistication than 99% of indie folks out there.  There is a mellowness in this music that is not overdone and wilts the music.  The playing is tight and an interesting mash of rhythms and genre influences so it keeps itself fresh.  Big respect for how far afield the rhythm section reaches.  Check this out, it’s hip.

@@@ J.I.D. and J. Cole:  Off Deez (Interscope, 2018)  I’m a huge fan of J.I.D. — his microphone is just full on — witty, quick, all manner of flavors.  He comes out Red Bulled with his afro fully blown out on this single.  They paired his rhymes with a demented little surf rock guitar figure.  J. Cole starts slowly but he gets up in it.  It’s impossible to tell how gangsta the lyrics are because the shit is just flying past your ears.  I like this, this is super hot and fresh.

@@@ Jennifer Lopez and Bad Bunny: Te Gusta (Sony, 2018)  I’m not a huge Bad Bunny fan as I think he has a weird voice.  He sounds like he has some sort of bowel obstruction, but the last J Lo single I checked out was really good.  This is a loverboy track though I have no clue as I have zero Spanish skills but J Lo is in her underwear in the video below.  The sounds are very slick in a good way, it’s uber manicured Latino urbano, and I like it but he’s a bid of a bad burp.  Other folks who understand the lyrics might enjoy it a whole lot more.  I do all right for a gringo motherfucker but I’m not from around the block.

YTD recordings listened to: 641
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 347
Not good music: 254

Best: 11
Honorable Mentions: 8

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, 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, Converge, Open Mike Eagle, Criolo, Billy Strings, Flowers of Sulphur, Tal National, Portal, Hernan Sama & Marcelo von Schultz, Lawaii, Etran De L’Air, Ruby Karinto, Elysia Crampton, Parquet Courts, Orlando Lopez, Moskus, Kendl Winter, Tkay Maidza, Marianne Faithfull, Gouge Away, Barro

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Music for 11/14/18!!! Black Belt Eagle Scout, Gouge Away, Kate Danser

@@@ Black Belt Eagle Scout – Mother Of My Children (Saddle Creek)  Some indie business off this week’s CFUV playlist email.  Some identity politics around this release — the singer is an LGBT first person as in indigenous person with people at Standing Rock.  I’m a huge fan of the Standing Rock and their fight to defend themselves.  That’s outside of the music but I like this first tune.  It’s not super complex guitar indie but it feels authentic to my ear with little posing which I can’t stand.  I understanding sounding authentic is in the ear of the listener, it’s a personal preference.  I judge it by how much emotion is being put out there.  The more emotion shared the more I’m drawn to it.  The second song, Indians Never Die, is a slow one with a simple guitar vamp and simple percussion.  It’s building slowly and then it dies back down.  It’s a mopey record, at least the beginning part is and I like the singer’s voice.  Indie is a tough sell for me but I give this a B/B+.

@@@ Gouge Away – Burnt Sugar (Deathwish Inc)  Some ‘loud’ music off this week’s CFUV playlist email. Oh my, speaking of emotion and letting it all out this record hews to that concept.  Female singer at the end of her rope, or at least close to it and a band that rocks in a pleasingly sloppy ass way.  Quick grinds lurching into some other brief idea.  The second tune, Fed Up, is working bigly for me.  It’s a punk missile with little restraint — doesn’t it feel better when it all comes out?  I think so, you can’t keep all that shit inside.  I’m feeling all the members of the band from the drummer’s spray, to the stringy/splatty bass sound to the mess of guitar sounds to the singer who might need a lozenge.  Imma circle back on this bad boy.

@@@ Kat Danser – Goin’ Gone (Black Hen)  Blues/folk/roots music off this week’s CFUV weekly email.  This looks to be a laidback blues band record with a female singer.  Harmonica, upright bass, shuffling drums, you know the classics.  I like this record — really catchy guitar player and solid players at all the positions.  The production is really flattering without cheesy reverb and too much of any particular sound, and the songs are solid.

YTD recordings listened to: 638
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 345
Not good music: 254

Best: 11
Honorable Mentions: 8

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, 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, Converge, Open Mike Eagle, Criolo, Billy Strings, Flowers of Sulphur, Tal National, Portal, Hernan Sama & Marcelo von Schultz, Lawaii, Etran De L’Air, Ruby Karinto, Elysia Crampton, Parquet Courts, Orlando Lopez, Moskus, Kendl Winter, Tkay Maidza, Marianne Faithfull, Gouge Away

Music for 10/29/18!!! Baba Commandant and the Mandingo Band, Bokante and Metropole Orkest

@@@ BABA COMMANDANT AND THE MANDINGO BAND: Loga Fo Djelba (Sublime Frequencies, 2018)  There is just one pre-release track up on this African record I got to via the WRIR weekly playlist email.  It is 8 minutes long and it’s a blend of old school African sounds and newer ones.  It has a kit drummer as well as hand drummers and a guitarist who takes a mellow long shred over a modern sounding bassline.  The singer is a gruff gent who gets into call and response with some background singers.  I’m most impressed by the drummer and the guitar player — excellent energy and interesting playing.  I would definitely listen to more of this record when all of it is released.

@@@ BOKANTE AND METROPOLE ORKEST:  What Heat (Real World, 2018)  This is an impressive mash of world musics.  A singer from Guadalupe, a Dutch big band that has been going since the 1940s and a jazz funk NYC outfit.  The result is a modern sounding collection with a large ensemble and an energetic singer that works in Creole.  It’s sophisticated in a sophisticated way, not your usual music publicist faux sophistication.  The tunes are all of a substantial weight with none under 5 minutes and instrumentation that varies from tune to tune.  A review at the Guardian says there’s too much going on which I’m pretty sensitive to but I see it differently.   The singer is the constant here and the sounds are to provide interesting backdrops for her.  There is a lot of percussion, and some oud, and a lot of string arrangements which make it coherent to my ears.

YTD recordings listened to: 604
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 323
Not good music: 245

Best: 9
Honorable Mentions: 7

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, 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, Lawaii, Etran De L’Air, Ruby Karinto, Elysia Crampton, Parquet Courts, Orlando Lopez, Moskus, Kendl Winter, Tkay Maidza, Peregoyo y su Combo vacana, Tim Hecker

Music for 10/18/18!!! Elvis Costello, Kurt Vile, Georgia Ann Muldrow

@@@ Elvis Costello: Look Now (Concord, 2018).  I got to the new Elvis Costello record via this week’s All Music notable release email.  I’m on the fourth tune and my favorite moments thus far have been Costello’s singing.  The band plays well, they’re a great band — the songs are more mainstream and less funky than vintage era Costello/Attractions albums.  There are some parts of the instrumental arrangements that evoke late Beatles tunes, which is interesting.  I’m swinging back to this record overnight and I feel the same — while Costello brings the vocal energy of his youth the arrangements are a bit staid which makes sense as his fans are much older now.  At certain points the more orchestrated arrangements elevate the tunes and sometimes they hold it back a bit.

@@@ Kurt Vile: Bottle it In (Matador, 2018) To say that Kurt Vile is an indie darling is an understatement.  Indie world is balls deep and nuts over Vile.  This first tune sounds like an indie, updated Tom Petty type of rocker.  Very straightforward, a little slippy slide-y in his vocal delivery but very American rock.  You can close your eyes and hear this on classic FM radio.  The second tune brings on a version of crisp Strokes type rock with, oops I had the third track going and skipped the second one.  I’m a bit sorry I went back.  The formula is pretty clear here — mainstream rock arrangements for the masses and then Vile’s voice which is a piquant blend of slack and classic.  The tune clipped below is track 4 and I like it the least of what I heard.

@@@ Georgia Ann Muldrow: Overload (Brainfeeder, 2018). There are only two pre-release tracks up on the Apple Music but it’s a welcome relief to the Kurt Vile vanilla ice cream sundae.  This is not retro soul, it’s modern drum machine and synth sounds.  The tunes are midtempo and while I’m enjoying the sophisticated sonics of the mix there’s a certain coolness and detachment to the tune.  I’m most definitely enjoying the funkier second pre-release track, Aerosol, to the tune clipped below.  Hike your asses over to the GoogleTube yourself.

YTD recordings listened to: 584
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 311
Not good music: 238

Best: 9
Honorable Mentions: 6

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, 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, Lawaii, Etran De L’Air, Ruby Karinto, Elysia Crampton, Parquet Courts, Orlando Lopez, Moskus, Kendl Winter, Tkay Maidza, Peregoyo y su Combo vacana, serpentwithfeet

Music for 10/15/18!!! Neneh Cherry, SASAMI, Orkid, Bad Bunny

@@@ Neneh Cherry: Kong (Small Town Supersound, 2018). A pre-release single by ’80s singer Neneh Cherry.  Produced by 4tet who I am a fan of.  Not a fanboy, but a fan.  It’s a trip hop track with a dub baseline, a slow piano arpeggio, and some dark echo effects.  A simple open hi hat pattern with kick drum drive the tune.  The tune finds a nice groove but doesn’t progress much during it’s 4:24.  I could have used more than what is on offer.

@@@ SASAMI: Not the Time (Domino, 2018).  A shoe gaze single I got to via tracks of the week at Line of Best Fit.  The guitars a little less stormy than what you would expect and it has a keyboard, but the intimate and confessional vocals nestled in the middle of the mix are classic.  Solid B.

@@@ Orkid: No Noh (Shir, 2018). Mainstream electro pop off the Line of Best Fit tracks of the week.  Female singer doing an up and down melody, low medium funky drum machine beat, though there is a nice echo on one of the drums.  There’s not a lot to the arrangement outside of beat and the vocals so if you don’t like the singer (I’m not a huge fan) then you won’t jump and down over this.  As always, listen for yourself.

@@@ Bad Bunny: MIA (OVO, 2018). Drake breaks the internet as he appears on this Latin single and does his loverboy thing entirely in Spanish.  It’s good to see he’s as buttery soft in Spanish as he is in his native tongue.  Bad Bunny is pumping out the sugar for the ladies as well as this is almost Halloween candy for your ears.  There are some nice drum beat variations in the back end of the tune but this is pretty disposable as again there’s not much here after the beat, the baseline and the microphone work.

YTD recordings listened to: 578
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 308
Not good music: 235

Best: 9
Honorable Mentions: 6

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, 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, Lawaii, Etran De L’Air, Ruby Karinto, Elysia Crampton, Parquet Courts, Orlando Lopez, Moskus, Kendl Winter, Tkay Maidza, Peregoyo y su Combo vacana, serpentwithfeet

Music for 10/11/18!!! Tierra Whack, Tess Roby, Proc Fiskal

@@@ Tierra Whack: Whack World (Interscope, 2018) 15 1-minute hip hop songs that I got to from a best 25 records from the last 3 months at factmag.  I’m on the third minute and I like the brevity of the tunes and the tidbits have more of a melancholy flavor than a party vibe.  I don’t think the brevity and the melancholy are connected.  The jumps from one bit to the next are pleasantly jarring.  The sounds are very new, no retro hip hop happening here.  It’s like somebody hitting the fast forward every 1 minute.  I really like the tune 4 Wings.  I found it and shit!  Enjoy.

@@@ Tess Roby: Beacon (Italians Do It Better, 2018)  We switch gear from youthful African American female gloom hop to white people electronica.  It’s opening up with a sinuous guitar line and a Rush beat, not great as far as I’m concerned.  Then a singer — where is she from?  Montreal!  I love Montreal.  I think this is poor record sequence/placement on my part as the jump from those hip hop kibble and bits to this is not great.  This is low energy, not as funky, and just a wee bit……white.  And I say that as a human that used to be a white person.  I thought this was going to be an electronic record but it’s an indie rock record with an electronic U-haul attached to the back.

@@@ Proc Fiskal: Insula (Hyperdub, 2018).  This is an abstract electronic record I got to via the same best 25 records of the last three months.  It is most definitely chopped pretty roughly with plenty of processed vocal samples and bass ‘n drum type beats.  It is trying to be both funky and trippy and thus far I don’t think it’s hit either goal.  I want to like it as it aims for a place I enjoy listening to but it sounds a bit sterile and technical for my taste.  The arrangements are more than competent but it’s a nerd record.  Homie needs some doobie in his funk, imho.

YTD recordings listened to: 574
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 306
Not good music: 233

Best: 9
Honorable Mentions: 6

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, 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, Lawaii, Etran De L’Air, Ruby Karinto, Elysia Crampton, Parquet Courts, Orlando Lopez, Moskus, Kendl Winter, Tkay Maidza, Peregoyo y su Combo vacana, serpentwithfeet

Music for 10/1/18!!! Barrie, Discount Sunset, Tkay Mzaida

@@@ Barrie: Tal Uno (Winspear, 2018) I saw somebody launching a twat on the twatter celebrating that Spotify had put this track up on some ultimate indie list.  Oh boy, back to the ’80s we go with the super puffy synth (and synth bass) sounds and the intimate female vocal sound.  And finger snaps!  Fuck me, finger snaps!  And twinkly guitars!  And  only happy endings!

@@@ Discount Sunset: Slippery (Self-released, 2018) I saw this self-released debut single on a promo email from an Australian online music magazine.  Mopey dude on the microphone, heavily reverbed guitar and straight rock beats.  The synth component of this tune is less than usual for these days.  The arrangement is sinuous and kind of weaves and bobs within a wider range of normal indie pop tunes.  It’s an interesting blend of upbeat and downer sounds but I can’t personally roll with dude’s voice.  Check if for yourself.

@@@ Tkay Maidza: Last Year Was Weird, Vol. 1 (Downtown, 2018)  I saw this Australian black female MC on a promo email from the same Australian online music magazine I mentioned in the review above.  I usually struggle with the non U.S. rap but Maidza is singing and rhyming and she brings a modern but pretty on fleek Caribbean sound to this first tune.  The second tune brings on the straight up quick hip hop with the farty bass and a chanted chorus.  That second tune is clipped below.  Maidza has skills and the arrangements while not revolutionary are fresh.  As far as pop music goes this is pretty solid shit, so if you’re looking for some alternative to the Ariana Grande avalanche check out Maidza.  This is the best of what I heard today.

YTD recordings listened to: 550
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 294
Not good music: 227

Best: 9
Honorable Mentions: 6

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, 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, Lawaii, Etran De L’Air, Ruby Karinto, Elysia Crampton, Parquet Courts, Orlando Lopez, Moskus, Kendl Winter, Tkay Maidza