Music for 4/26/17!!! Matthew Logan Vazquez, Mr. Mitch

@@@ Matthew Logan Vazquez: Does What He Wants (Dine Alone, 2017)  I’ve heard Vasquez’s music before and almost put it on a year end list.  This one opens up straight blues rock and I don’t like it much.  The second tune is less rocking and more indie — I like it more but the third tune is back to the big rock.  He has a good voice and the sounds are all right but it seems like a record designed to produce loot as it goes out of its way to be familiar.

@@@ Mr. Mitch: Devout (Planet Mu, 2017)  This electronic musician out of London is being marketed as somewhere between grime and ambient.  This first tune is a slow love song with lush synths and a delayed vocal line.  In the second song, he breaks out the ping pong delay and gets to rhyming.  The beats are not typical American hip hop and the piece has a sort of sci fi feel to it.  Mr. Mitch appears to want to have delicate sounds on top of beats so when he drops the energy of the beats it feels ambient and when he goes into a grime hip hop thing it’s a half rugged video game thing.  Not really for me but check for yourself.

@@@ Mike Dillon: Life is Not a Football (Royal Potato, 2017)  Some experimental rock off this week’s All Music notable release email.  This first tune opens up somewhat Captain Beefheart-y with a mid tempo weird groove and lower energy vocals.  The second tune Man C**t gets more fractured with some wild slashing vocal blasts, tom tom drumming and some squirgles.  Yes, squirgles.  I’m on the third tune, I like the marimba/vibes but I for those who want to roll this way I would head out to Beefheart’s Trout Mask Replica or some vintage Zappa.

YTD recordings listened to: 250
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 148
Not good music: 99

Buys: 5
Honorable Mentions: 1

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., Fofoulah, 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, Drone, 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, Aethenor, 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

Music for 4/24/17!!! Forro in the Dark, Kondi Band, While She Sleeps

@@@ Forro in the Dark: Sandcastle (Nacional, 2017)  Some popping Brazilian music I got to via the WRIR weekly playlist email.  This first tune features some great hand drumming, trippy melodic guitar work and an energetic singer.  I see from the GooglePimp that these are Brazilian expats in New York city.  Ooh, this second tune is starting out hot as well — excellent percussion with some wicked flute over the top.  Please don’t tease me, be an awesome record all the way through.  The third tune sports vocals and it’s a narrative about a lawyer in New York — it’s a sophisto cabaret kinda track.  The fourth tune is back to an instrumental, which I prefer and I will check this whole record when I have a chance.

@@@ Kondi Band: Tit Dem Doo Service (Strut, 2017)  A pre-release single I got to via the same WRIR playlist email.  This is a small ensemble track with some fairly furious thumb piano, a singer with some backup and simple drum accompaniment.  As the tune grooves towards the finish line there are some very light and tasteful synth accents and a more urgent floor drum/foot tap.  I would check out more of this record when it comes out.

@@@ While She Sleeps: You are We (Sharptone, 2017)  Some mainstream drama metal off the Apple Music metal section.  I think there are some Linkin Park records up in this band’s collection — they’re a tad rougher but it’s the same art school metal formula.  The singer is upset, I get that, but I much prefer the working class heavy metal.  This is the purdy boy business as far as I’m concerned.

YTD recordings listened to: 264
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 144
Not good music: 97

Buys: 5
Honorable Mentions: 1

Possibles: Chris McGregor, Dave Arner Trio, Zomby, Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, Slidhr, The Chewers, Toxic Holocaust, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Fofoulah, 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, Drone, 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, Aethenor, 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

Music for 4/23/17!!! Warm Soda, Gas

@@@ Warm Soda: I Don’t Wanna Grow Up (Castle Face, 2017)  Off this week’s All Music weekly email.  These guys own mad Ramones/Strokes records.  Big vocal hooks, rock guitars, rock drumming.  Rock, rock, rock ‘n roll high school.  I don’t hate this music, I don’t find it particularly interesting.  But if you like the Ramones and the Strokes you might love it.

@@@ Gas: Narkopop (Kompakt, 2017) Ambient techno also off this week’s All Music notable release email.  This first track is a floater with no beats and a tad of classical symphony shards.  This is a monster shot of 2.5 hours of ambient music but we’re just gonna dip in for a few spoonfuls.  Thus far he’s putting the narco- in it for sure.  Imma sleepy peanut over here.  The second track is unfolding slowly as well — I’m not opposed to that but I do have things to do today.  I think if you’re gonna do this you gotta have such ridiculous face ripping minimalist shit going on to make me feel mesmerized.  This record could be the soundtrack for a stoned Hobbit movie where they just smoke it up and wander around the forest looking for Gandalf.

YTD recordings listened to: 261
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 143
Not good music: 96

Buys: 5
Honorable Mentions: 1

Possibles: Chris McGregor, Dave Arner Trio, Zomby, Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, Slidhr, The Chewers, Toxic Holocaust, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Fofoulah, 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, Drone, 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, Aethenor, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, James Brandon Lewis, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Power Trip, Reverend Payton, J.I.D., Oddisee

Music for 4/21/17!!! Black Bear, Imelda May, Charly Puppy

@@@ Black Bear: digital drug lord (Bertram, 2017)  R&B/soul off the Apple Music new music section.  This first tune has provocative lyrics and solo piano accompaniment.  The second song brings some beats and low end and I like it more.  It’s not peeling my face off but it’s good.  His strength is the rawness of the lyrics.  I’m not sure if Black Bear is a white boy, but he kinda sounds it.  He’s doing a pale Drake thing mixing singing and hip hop, it’s all right.

@@@ Imelda May: Live Life Flesh Blood (Decca/Universal, 2017)  Off this week’s All Music notable release email and I’m peeping it because it’s produced by T Bone Burnett and he’s got skills.  The first tune is mad mellow, lonesome and comforting at the same time.  The second tune brings a mellow drumbeat but the focus remains on the guitar playing and the singing.  I like it but I think I might prefer Emmylou Harris’ records done in the same vein.  This is just a tad too polished and sleepy time tea to make it to my stereo.

@@@ Charly Bliss: Guppy (Barsuk, 2017)  Some power pop/punk in the Superdrag vein.    My main beef with most indie guitar rock is how fucking butter soft most of it is.  I don’t need to be bludgeoned like a metal record but I need a little muscle.  So these guys rock a bit and they have a strange female voice out front and it makes for an interesting contrast. I don’t like this second tune as much as the opener.  I’m liking this record less as it plays more but I really like the first tune.  It’s clipped below, that’s how much I care.  I give I give I give and all you guys do is take.

YTD recordings listened to: 259
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 142
Not good music: 95

Buys: 5
Honorable Mentions: 1

Possibles: Chris McGregor, Dave Arner Trio, Zomby, Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, Slidhr, The Chewers, Toxic Holocaust, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Fofoulah, 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, Drone, 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, Aethenor, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, James Brandon Lewis, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Power Trip, Reverend Payton, J.I.D., Oddisee

Music for 4/17/17!!! Las Cafeteras, Somi, Time is Fire

@@@ Las Cafeteras: Tastes Like L.A. (Las Cafeteras, 2017)  A self-released contemporary Latin record also off this week’s WRIR weekly playlist email.  Where the record below, which I listened to first, was about an African in New York City, this recording appears to be associated with Los Angeles.  It has some indie quirk to the vocal arrangements.  There is some classic Mexican folk stringed instrument playing and hand drumming going on here.  The second tune (clipped below) is an upbeat number with the continued theme of intricate and poppy vocals over a lot of traditional Mexican instrument playing.

@@@ Somi: Petite Afrique (Sony, 2017)  A pan-African record I got to via the WRIR weekly playlist email.  After a spoken word pastiche it gets into a world jazz piano-vocal vibe.  I skipped to the third tune and this is going to be a highbrow, meaningful African record with a lot of straight jazz influence and fusion-y production.  Not really for me, too polished.

@@@ Time is Fire: Angels EP (Electric Cowbell, 2017)  Also off this week’s WRIR playlist email.  A mash of world music influences (at least they namecheck various genres on their bandcamp page)  but this first tune is pretty Afrobeat, ah no there’s some psych rock guitar and drums there.  This second tune has more rock sounds to it but the rhythm section is definitely not rock (though they rock).  I’m on the third tune and it’s rocking more as it unfolds.  It’s all right, I don’t think I love the singer but that’s just me.

YTD recordings listened to: 248
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 135
Not good music: 92

Buys: 3
Honorable Mentions: 1

Possibles: Chris McGregor, Dave Arner Trio, Zomby, Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, Slidhr, The Chewers, Toxic Holocaust, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Fofoulah, 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, Drone, 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, Aethenor, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, James Brandon Lewis, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Power Trip, Reverend Payton, J.I.D., Oddisee, Feral Ohms, Orquestra Baobab

Honorable Mention 2017 Pick 2

Divanhana: Zukva: Sevdah from Bosnia’s Finest (ARC, 2016)

This is the kind of band that can play in the dark with one hand and it will sound great.  They have crazy playing skills.  The female singer has a strong and beautiful voice — she does none of the annoying things a bad singer can do.

The only reason this record is not in the best of year section is that after the first three songs it slows down.  I wanted it to be smoking all the way through.  I’ve clipped two of the first three tunes below so you get a sense of what these guys can do when they put the pedal to the metal.

The instrumentation is vocal, piano, accordion, bass guitar, drums, and percussion.  I hear some tuba, nylon string guitar and clarinet in some of the tunes so it’s not fixed.  I dig the accordion player and the singer the most.

 

Music for 4/15/17!!! Sam Outlaw, November’s Doom

@@@ Sam Outlaw: Tenderhearted (Six Shooter, 2017) I’m assuming this is gonna be an outlaw country record cuz dude’s last name is Outlaw.  That’s called paying attention.  But keeping you on your toes, the first tune is a ballad.  Very lush and heartfelt.  Oh shit, this tune exploded into a mariachi/crunchy guitar break so it went for snoozy to cosmic on the drop of a cow pattie.  Let’s peep more. This second tune is another ballad.  I don’t feel ripped off but this is not outlaw at all, maybe this guy should change his name to Sam ThoughtfulRedneck.  Shit, that was the third tune, damn you interwebz player.  I’m on the second now and it’s a friendly shuffle beat but it’s got the same big, slow feel.  I’m on the fourth tune and this is starting to feel like John Mayer record with a cowboy hat.

@@@ November’s Doom: Hamartia (The End, 2017)  Some heavy metal off this week’s All Music notable release email.  Opens up with some tom heavy drumming, thick power chord sauce, and some classic metal riffing.  Yes, the Neanderthal is up and grunting!  The caveman is accompanied by some orc singing as well.  I saw a documentary disputing the disappearance of the Neanderthals.  They did not lose out to the humans, their genetic material is implanted in humans from inter-breeding.  Which would explain the appearance of these grunting, throat shredding caveman singers.  Don’t go around town saying you don’t learn shit on this blog, that’s totally inaccurate and just mean.  Fuck, you assholes.  Wow, we have a pretty boy singer on this second tune.  Color me confused.  Regardless of singing style you are guaranteed to get some thick guitar sauce and big arena rock drumming.

YTD recordings listened to: 245
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 133
Not good music: 91

Buys: 3
Honorable Mentions: 1

Possibles: Chris McGregor, Dave Arner Trio, Zomby, Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, Slidhr, The Chewers, Toxic Holocaust, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Fofoulah, 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, Divanhana, Moken, Juan Atkins, Drone, 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, Aethenor, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, James Brandon Lewis, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Power Trip, Reverend Payton, J.I.D., Oddisee, Feral Ohms, Orquestra Baobab