Music for 8/7/17!!! Ondatropica, Girl Ray, Julian Borrego, Motograter

@@@ Ondatropica: Baile Bucanero (Soundway, 2017) These guys made my list with their 2012 record so they get a repeat listen.  They do a mash of styles — Brazilian music as well as other Caribbean musics including a dash of reggae and a splash of Mexican music.  Also some funk music and electronic music elements.  They’re excellent and creative players.  These first two tunes are very laid-back.  I’m on the fifth tune and it’s not super breezy but I don’t feel it to be super hard hitting.  I like it all right but you should check for yourself as it’s a hard record to describe.

@@@ Girl Ray: Earl Grey (Moshi Moshi, 2017)  Some vintage indie guitar pop I got to from the blog Line of Best Fit.  That’s where I go to listen to the tracks of the week and usually when I do that the internet just breaks.  It shits itself and breaks out of sheer joy.  This first tune is a female vocalist fuel cotton candy nugget with eagerly strummed clean guitar chords and some falsetto singing.  Do not listen to this record when you’re eating ice cream as it will make your teeth hurt.

@@@ Julian Borrego: Ouroboros (Julian Borrego, 2017) An older school funk record I got to via the indie music blog Indiepulse.  Big funky bass lines, medium bounce beats, falsetto vocals, it’s all here, skranky guitars, etc.  I would say Earth Wind and Fire is the best touchstone for this music.  Funky and friendly.  I like it but I wish it hit harder.  Ya know, a tad more doobie in the funk.

@@@ Motograter: Dorian (EMP Label Group, 2017)  A hard rock single also off the indie music blog Indiepulse.  Opens up with a monster riff and a clippy kick drum sound.  Let’s see how the singer hits, Imma guessing cucumber in the leather pants rock star action.  Yeah, mostly that but not too dramatic.  It gets pretty mainstream in the chorus and here we encounter the self-loathing of many mainstream hard rock bands.  I will fade away, become nothing, a ghost of who I used to be — some such wallowing.  Oh boy, life’s too short for this I’d rather listen to dogs fornicate.  It’s an okay song, they play all right I don’t get the sentiment.

YTD recordings listened to: 506
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 276
Not good music: 208

Buys: 8
Honorable Mentions: 6

Possibles: Chris McGregor, 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

Music for 8/3/17!!! Indonesian Junk, Lucy Rose, Skrillex & Poo Bear, Mick Jagger

@@@ Indonesian Junk: I’ll Run Away (Rum Bar, 2017)  A late ’70s/early ’80s old school rumble punk/rock single I got to via the music blog Indiepulse.  The singer has a bit of Joey Ramone and they’re a bit looser than the Ramones.  There is an unexpectedly nice guitar shred solo but it’s a tad long on the outro.  It’s a cool tune but feel free to call it a day when you need to.

@@@ Lucy Rose: Something’s Changing (Lucy Rose/Communion, 2017)  Folky singer songwriter that features a harp on the first tune.  This is just the intro so the flavors may change.  The second tune brings in some super mellow reverbed electric guitar and Daniel Lanois sounding production.  It’s super soft and intimate music — no feelings are going to get hurt in the listening of this record.  #guaranteed.  Get out your chamomile tea and just kick back into these welcoming sounds if that’s how you float.

@@@ Skrillex & Wool Bear: Would You Ever? (WEA, 2017)  An electro single off the hot tracks section of Apple Music.  Tis a chopped vocal salad dance floor banger.  The male singer’s voice fades in and out of processing as he keeps asking the lady in his life ‘would you ever run away with me?’  I’m assuming Poo Bear is the singer and Skrillex is at the computer.  As a technical show it’s a solid B, as music it’s C-.  The last 15 seconds is actually mad hot but that’s too long to wait and they should have started with that boom titch and maybe eased up on the chopped salad.

@@@ Mick Jagger: England Lost (Universal, 2017) This single has been getting press in various locations and on music blogs that I follow.  It’s Mick Jagger bitching about Brexit over a grime arrangement.  It’s not so grime-y imho.  I just looked up the definition of grime (electronic music that came out of jungle/UK garage and hip hop) and outside of the featured vocal by Skepta this is surprisingly Stones-y with harmonica, a few guitar riffs, mid Stones-era disco influence all served up over a pretty straightforward funky beat.  I don’t want to get into the politics of Brexit as it’s mad complicated but the idea that people would vote against their own economic self-interest seems to freak people out.  Contrary to ruling class behavior which is always focused on economic self-interest, many folks are good for an old fashioned fuck you to those at the top and why that is shocking is more than a bit sad.  The assholes who have been gorging at the financial pig trough in London deserve a hale and hearty ‘Go fuck yourself’.

YTD recordings listened to: 502
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 274
Not good music: 206

Buys: 8
Honorable Mentions: 6

Possibles: Chris McGregor, 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

Best of 2017 Pick 8

Prepared: Trust Me (BART Records, 2017)

22 minutes of heartfelt, emo punk with great energy.  The guitar player is surprisingly engaging as you don’t usually get super interesting guitar playing on straight punk records.

The strength of this record lies in its ability to express/release a lot of negative emotions (frustration, desperation, sadness, anger, etc) with somewhat simple musical elements and allow listeners to have a similar release.  And it accomplishes this with a nakedness and/or lack of pretension — it just goes right to it and lets it out.  This to me is the essence of great punk rock.

Music for 7/16/17!!! Kesha, American Football

@@@ Kesha: Woman (Kemosabe, 2017)  Post sexual harassment Kesha returns with a feminist  banger that combines old school horn lines and cheesy mainstream soul pop.  For example, the beat has no crunk to it at all and she seems intent on saying the word motherfucker more than anything else lyrically.  She does have an interesting line telling everyone to get off her weed but she wears out the line til it’s clever no longer.  Something a little deeper musically and lyrically would have worked better for me, but it’s shallow so it’s probably gonna be huge.

@@@ American Football: American Football (LP2) (Polyvinyl, 2017)  This looks to be some meaningful rock that I got to via a music publicist.  Lots of arpeggiated indie guitars and yearning vocals in this first tune.  It’s very pretty.  This feels a bit operatic and long so let’s peep past this first tune.  Oh my, this is highly manicured and overwrought as this second tune My Instincts are the Enemy.  It’s interesting to me that rock was initially about rebellion and energy and this is somewhat the complete opposite.  The energy here is so polished and contained it sounds mad Republican.

YTD recordings listened to: 455
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 250
Not good music: 185

Buys: 7
Honorable Mentions: 6

Possibles: Chris McGregor, 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, Dead Ranch, Priests, Propaganda. This is the Kit.

Music for 7/10/17!!! Anna of the North, Wyldest, The Anatomy of Frank, Peakes, R.L. Boyce

A couple of weeks ago I did a bunch of indie listening at Line of Best Fit’s tracks of the week and the Internet pretty much broke.  People went fucking nuts so it’s back again.

@@@ Anna of the North: Someone (Honeymoon/+1 Records, 2017)  A synth pop song fronted by a dreamy young female.  Those of you who love ABBA should be sporting major erections/moist panties.  Big pillow-y synths, angel choir background vocals — she’s only human, she needs someone to save her.  Gated snare sound, this is the total Reagan/Thatcher throwback.  She’s really wearing that vocal hook out.  I’m not a buyer of this but that’s just me.  More mopey than ABBA but still, major wood.

@@@ Wyldest: Hitchhiker (Hand in Hive, 2017)  Lucky us, more synth pop!  And another female singer.  Synth bass and what is going on with these massive angel choir background vocals??  If this is a trend it’s not going to be good for my mental health.  This tune has some really tasty drum machine hand claps so that’s something to look forward to.  This is a very similar formula to the first tune and that’s a bummer.  Let’s keep moving!

@@@ The Anatomy of Frank: Holy Mountain (Polar Islands, 2017)  Super intimate acoustic guitar and singing.  The intimate and soft feelings are everywhere here, watch your step you might crush one!  If Simon and Garfunkel had a gay love baby with gentleman junkie James Taylor it would sound a lot like this.  And that would be one fine looking gay love baby.  Towards the end the tune opens up a bit with some orchestral pieces but it doesn’t go over the top and I give Frank (and his anatomy!) credit for that.  Watch the feelings, they’re everywhere and delicate like salamanders.

@@@ Peakes: Saint (Peakes, 2017)  A balanced blend of synth and guitar on this just under mid tempo contemplative mope nugget.  They do have a nice ambient sound to the arrangement here.  The lyrics are somewhat dour –  what’s done is done appears a lot and that’s pretty much what America has been telling the country of Iraq and the Middle East for over a decade now.  Hey sorry about the invasion thing, what’s done is done!  But I digress.  How can I be a saint with the choices I’ve made?  That’s the lyrical essence of the tune.  The guitarist is the star here and the singer needs a Red Bull!  Onward.

@@@ R.L. Boyce: R.L.’s Boogie (Waxahatchie, 2017)  I’m more than a bit shocked to hear this old school electric blues track on an indie tracks of the week.  Who let Rosa Parks on the front of the bus??!!  Congrats to you Mr. Boyce and I dig your funky swinging guitar and the drummer is killin’ it!!!   It’s a rambler and it doesn’t have much of a lyrical point but it does swing like a motherfucker and I’m feeling this drummer.  You indie kids listen to how the old school brothers rock it as you could learn a thing or two.

YTD recordings listened to: 438
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 242
Not good music: 176

Buys: 7
Honorable Mentions: 6

Possibles: Chris McGregor, 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, Dead Ranch, Priests, Propaganda

Music for 7/4/17!!! The Acacia Strain, Sam Hunt, Antebellum, Thomas Rhett

@@@ The Acacia Strain: Gravebloom (Rise Records, 2017)  A metal record that opens up steady monster walking on this first track with a blasting stone heavy bass and a Sasquatch-ish drummer.  The singer is right there about to descend into being a caveman but you can tell what he’s saying if you try.  You’re fucking worthless, you serve no purpose.  I caught that and don’t shit on President PeeNutz like that!!  The guitars are somewhat furious over the top which contrasts nicely with the steadiness of the rhythm section.  Let’s peep more.  The second tune takes the tempo up with some guitar squeals more energetic drumming.  This shit is all right considering it’s highlighted in the metal section of Apple Music where you can find some pretty good examples of what I call douche metal.  Cheesy shit.

@@@ Sam Hunt: Body like a Back Road (MCA Nashville, 2017) As today is July 4th and country music is most definitely one the most patriotic genres of music in the U.S.A. let’s peep some country for a hoot.  This tune is #1 on the Apple Music country playlist and interestingly it’s not really country save for the redneck on the mic.  Finger snaps, soul guitar, and soft core porn lyrics.  Tamborine and blue jeans people!  This is like Ed Sheeran’s recent smash, what the fuck, the Figure of You.  Folks love these polite horny booty tunes.  Sweet as a chocolate chip cookie and about as dry as a pork chop that’s been left out in the sun.  #reallyric I wouldn’t go so far as to say I would rather listen to dogs fornicate in an abandoned parking lot but this is corporate slop.  I don’t feel anything when I listen to this.

@@@ Antebellum: You Look Good (Capitol Nashville, 2017)  More non-country except for the singers also off the Apple Music country playlist.  Who woulda thunk a synth horn line would work in a ‘country’ track in 2017?  She looks good he sings but they’re not going body part by body part.  Okay I don’t want to be a total dick on America’s birthday but if you like funky music and you’re horny go listen to an old Prince record.  That motherfucker could swing and he threw some guitars up in there for the rockers.

@@@ Thomas Rett: Craving You (Big Machine, 2017)  Your touch is like the strongest drug.  More funky white people in pickup trucks though this tune has an arena rock vibes to it (and some cheese ass ’80s sounds as well).  Something about you I can’t fight!  I’m always craving you!  The way your body moves!  Well I’m gonna wrap without a concluding hammer to the back of the head of this track.  This hasn’t been the most rewarding listen

YTD recordings listened to: 424
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 233
Not good music: 171

Buys: 6
Honorable Mentions: 6

Possibles: Chris McGregor, 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, Power Trip, J.I.D., Oddisee, Forro in the Dark, RAM, Fiver, Dona Onete, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Dead Ranch, Priests, Propaganda

Music for 6/27/17!!! Melis, Vasser, Larkins, KINDER

Today we are back on this Best of Line Fit 25 hot tracks of the week.  I find the indie music to be culturally/philosophically fascinating as it is a projection of white folks’ psychology but this genre is not a place where I find a lot of good music.  I don’t wish to be a black person but I have more than my share of problems with whiteness and all the shit that goes with that.  On to the listening!

@@@ Melis: Flower (Virtuous Sound, 2017)  This indie folk tune opens up super intimate with a fragile female voice and a simple figure behind it.  It is sad and hopeful at the same time.   After about 90 seconds it opens up into a larger sound with an electronic beat, background vocals, electric organ.  I find the lyrics a tad confusing — I heard one line saying ‘everything I need from you is everything I see in you’.  Now we’re building to the full New Age catharsis.  Even though this tune is saturated with feelings there are repeated entreaties to not think about it.  What is this it I’m not supposed to think about?  Is it that the lyrics don’t make sense to me and don’t think about it???#sarcasm.  Confusion is an under discussed aspect of these large indie tunes — I just finished listening and I’m not sure at all what that was about though those were some big ass meaningful sounds.

@@@ Vasser: Little Things (Vasser, 2017)  An updated Peter Gabriel/Kate Bush world rock kinda sound.  The singer enters and he’s feeling a lot as well.  What are we to do with all these feelings?  I like the bass sound, and the beats are all right and though this isn’t my favorite sonic formula there’s some sophistication to it.  The singer, hmm, he’s not bad but he’s not my cup of tea.  I’m finishing up this tune and it’s similar to the first — a lot of focus on the sound and not much on the meaning.  Either I’m supposed to dig through the lyrics and figure it out, or I’m supposed to groove on the sounds and the tone of his voice, or it was supposed to say something and didn’t do a good job of it.  Or I’m stupid and that’s been accepted at the outset.

@@@ Larkins: Sugar Sweet (Mark Lippman, 2017)  The GoogleTubePimp calls this tune sun soaked.  And if you see the title of the tune on the video below this is an uplifter, a bra for the tits of your mind.  It’s a big rock drumbeat with some cutesy guitar playing that goes to half crunch in the chorus.  How was I to know you were in my veins?  How was I to know that we could be more than friends?  Yes, it’s veins.  So he’s celebrating having a romantic relationship with somebody who was previously just a friend.  Okay, big props because the lyrics make sense and I get it.  Whew!  Now he’s rocking a friendly big rock formula that isn’t my cup of tea but it might be yours and I’m just happy I listened to a song that made sense to me.

@@@ KINDER: Feeling Gets Too Heavy (Lapsang House, 2017)  A slow electro-banger of an upcoming yet to be released record.  From the sounds I thought this was gonna be a romantic kinda track but it’s got negative feelings in it.   Now he’s in a groove where he keeps saying ‘it’s your light that keeps me going’.    So maybe in the first half of the tune he’s got a lot of heavy feelings and then he kinda moves on to the place where he feels better about his relationship and this other person’s light is awesome and shit.  Again, a lot of feelings, I get that, and I think have some idea of what this tune might be about but I’m not going to the bank on it.  He’s got some Prince falsetto going here and some plinky chorused guitar (which I don’t love) and sonically it’s neither a rocker nor a club banger — it’s a slow quiet storm (of feelings).  Feelings, oh Lord the feelings!

YTD recordings listened to: 404
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 225
Not good music: 160

Buys: 6
Honorable Mentions: 4

Possibles: Chris McGregor, 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, Power Trip, Reverend Payton, J.I.D., Oddisee, Forro in the Dark, RAM, Fiver, Dona Onete, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Dead Ranch