Music for 5/9/19!!! Paul Doffing, Dury Dava, Satan’s Satyrs

@@@ Paul Doffing: Easy as You Come (N/A, 2019) Hey, hey, it’s Thursday and we kick it off with an acoustic guitar driven folk rock/FM rock track I got to via a music publicist.  Mr. Doffing has a pleasant voice with a bit of gravel to it and at about 1 minute a medium driving drum beat comes in.  The drum/no drums sections dictate the structure of the tune.  Just prior to the outro there’s a little guitar solo section and a female background singer comes in again on the fadeout.  I don’t have anything against the song or the playing within it.  It’s a ditty with a nautical theme, how ’bout dat?  I neither love it nor hate it.

@@@ Durt Dava: Satana (Psilos, 2019)  I got to this track via an email from the label located in Greece.  With a singer working the otherworldly and anguished vocal range of Thom Yorke the band is indebted to Radiohead and their eclectic rock sound.  It has a pleasant space rock feel to it without going to far into the jam band neighborhood.  I much prefer the space rock to the jam band.  It is an almost 9 minute monster shot so it is going to shift from one space to another and it does just after the 3 minute mark.  I might not hang for the full ride but it has a lot of energy and it’s an interesting blend of sounds.  Some dance like drum beats and tom tom drumming unfolding in an ongoing swirl of guitar sounds.

@@@ Satan’s Satyrs: Succubus (Relapse, 2018)  A stoner-Satanic metal throwdown I got to via an All Music notable release email from 2018.  The drummer is killing it, he must have shot a can of Red Bull into his eyeball as he is almost literally playing his nuts off.  That’s right his nuts might fall off and he will then be without huevos.  His drumming is garnished with what I believe is dual guitar rifffage salad galore in the greatest and stoniest of 1970’s traditions.  The singer is not an afterthought but he’s fighting to hold his own against the blizzard of guitars and drums.  It’s not really Satanic it’s Sabbath-y rock with even a bluesy twist on another one of the tracks.

YTD recordings listened to: 242
Good music, not list worthy: 143
Not good music: 85

Best: 0
Honorable Mentions: 0

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, 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, 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, Criolo, Billy Strings, Flowers of Sulphur, Portal, Lawaii, Etran De L’Air, Ruby Karinto, Elysia Crampton, Parquet Courts, Moskus, Kendl Winter, Tkay Maidza, Barro, Daniel Khan, Tallawit Timbouctou, Sumac, Tropical Fuck Storm, Harriet Tubman, Ammar 808, Anais Maviel, Chaka Khan, Pom Poko, Fried Egg, Horndal, Wyxz, Tarek Atoui, Hawktail, Saicobab, Shannon and the Clams

Advertisements

Music for 5/2/19!!! She Rides Tigers, Schoolboy Q, Sun O)))

@@@ She Rides Tigers: Scars (N/A, 2019)  I got to this power trio track from a midwest music publicist. The first track, Scars of Allegory, opens up sounding like a blend of ’90s power punk pop and ’00s emo.  It’s got plenty of distorted guitars for you earholes but the singer works against the notion of a power trio as he’s a sensitive cat.  The second tune, Perfect Crime, does get into deeper riffage territory with the guitar and bass playing in unison at points and guitar washes at other points.  Very nice vocal melody in this track, catchy and different.  They went for the full arena guitar solo shred and it works all right.  Get yer glow sticks out, kiddies.  It’s certainly a well trodden neighborhood of rock but they do an above average job of breathing some life and energy into riff rock. 

@@@ Schoolboy Q: Crash (Interscope, 2019)  Off today’s Apple Music hot tracks section.  A non trap single from the L.A. rapper.  A fair amount of sung vocals, I really like the beat and Mr. Q’s flow on the microphone.  There is a trippy string sample and what sounds like a fat dude digesting after a huge nasty meal.  The tune has more structure to it than a typical hip hop jam and comes off as undercover pop.  Professional, it’s professional.  Some hip hop is just a dude going nuts over a beat, which is cool, but this has been thought out more.

@@@ Sun O))): Life Metal (Southern Lord, 2019)  Some weird ass metal off this week’s All Music notable release email.  I’m a fan of the Southern Lord label and this record consists of four long ass sludge bombs with the shortest track coming in at 11+ minutes.  This is bound to be a long, distorted vibe, glacial shall we say?  Between Sleipnir’s Breaths, that’s the title of this first track.  Sleipnir was an 8 legged horse ridden by Odin.  Right around the 4:30 mark an almost prayerful female singer gets on the mic riding a mellow boat on the ocean of guitar murk and distortion.  The contrast is quite jarring.  I have not mentioned the third component of the tune which are long ringing stabs of a high up on the frets guitar waili

YTD recordings listened to: 226
Good music, not list worthy: 135
Not good music: 82

Best: 0
Honorable Mentions: 0

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, 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, 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, Criolo, Billy Strings, Flowers of Sulphur, Portal, Lawaii, Etran De L’Air, Ruby Karinto, Elysia Crampton, Parquet Courts, Moskus, Kendl Winter, Tkay Maidza, Barro, Daniel Khan, Tallawit Timbouctou, Sumac, Tropical Fuck Storm, Harriet Tubman, Ammar 808, Anais Maviel, Chaka Khan, Pom Poko, Fried Egg, Horndal, Wyxz, Tarek Atoui, Hawktail

Music for 4/26/19!!! Ezra Collective, pronoun

@@@ Ezra Collective: You can’t steal my joy (Enter the Jungle, 2019) Both of today’s listens come from this week’s Line of Best fit promo email. I guess if you can’t sell jazz you can record some soul music with a little jazz vibe to it and rebrand that as jazz. This could be a Maxwell track from way back in the day. You can’t fault the band, they’re just trying to get by but this is only a notch or two above a jam band. There’s not much sophistication to be had here — you would get more adventurous listening from a golden age Lee Perry dub record. Just as I typed that the drummer went into a steady dancehall beat. So check it out if you’re up for some pretty much non-jazz jazz. If you would like some jazz but not any skronk go check out some old school Duke Ellington.

@@@ pronoun: i’ll show you stronger (rhyme and reason, 2019) There are three pre release tracks up on the Apple music from this upcoming retro female rock record. A little bit of the Cranberries, some Natalie Merchant, and a lot of feelings. There’s nothing wrong with feelings. This first tune, you didn’t even make the bed, would go great in a lipstick lesbian coffee shop. Upbeat pretty femme power. In the second pre rlease tune they go in the wrong direction and employ an ’80s dance drum beat and some chorused/gated sounds. Not really my cup of tea or lipstick lesbian coffee.

YTD recordings listened to: 213
Good music, not list worthy: 129
Not good music: 74

Best: 0
Honorable Mentions: 0

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, 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, Criolo, Billy Strings, Flowers of Sulphur, Portal, Lawaii, Etran De L’Air, Ruby Karinto, Elysia Crampton, Parquet Courts, Moskus, Kendl Winter, Tkay Maidza, Barro, Daniel Khan, Tallawit Timbouctou, Sumac, Tropical Fuck Storm, Harriet Tubman, Ammar 808, Anais Maviel, Chaka Khan, Pom Poko, Fried Egg, Horndal, Wyxz, Tarek Atoui, Hawktail

Music for 3/22/19!!! Helado Negro, Townes Van Zandt

@@@ Helado Negro: This is How You Smile (RVNG, 2019)  I’ve been seeing this record listed on the WRIR weekly playlist email for a bunch of weeks, but it’s been officially released and is up on the streaming stores.  This first tune is mostly indie and having read in Mr. Negro’s bio that he’s Latin and Brooklyn it explains the sonic formula.  The second tune is also slack bedroom indie so maybe that’s what this record is gonna be.  I was hoping for a mash of indie and world music as I’m a fan more of world music than indie but what can you do?  He switches over to Spanish for the fourth tune and that surely changes the vibe of the tune.  The production here is most excellent and well done, the songs are good without really super working for me and that’s where it’s at as far as I’m concerned.  The fourth tune Fantasma Vaga is the best of what I heard.

@@@ Townes Van Zandt: Sky Blue (Fat Possum, 2019)  Without knowing much of Van Zandt’s catalog he sure was a bit of an underground country icon.  The first tune is old school-ish melancholy country.  It’s just a man and his guitar which is cool.  I can tell from the differences in sound between the first and second tune that this a compilation of tunes and the GooglePimp tells me it’s a posthumous collection of unreleased tracks.  I like it.  Lonesome county music that paved the way for a lot of hipsters that came after.

YTD recordings listened to: 155
Good music, not list worthy: 94
Not good music: 55

Best: 0
Honorable Mentions: 0

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, 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, Criolo, Billy Strings, Flowers of Sulphur, Portal, Lawaii, Etran De L’Air, Ruby Karinto, Elysia Crampton, Parquet Courts, Moskus, Kendl Winter, Tkay Maidza, Barro, Daniel Khan, Tallawit Timbouctou, Sumac, Tropical Fuck Storm, Harriet Tubman, Ammar 808, Anais Maviel, Chaka Khan, Pom Poko, Fried Egg

Music for 3/21/19!!! Fat White Family, Schoolboy Q, Brad Paisley

@@@ Fat White Family: Tastes Good with the Money (Domino, 2019)  I guess it’s more acceptable for Brit hipsters to renovate a classic T. Rex kinda groove and update it for Brexit and the rest of the universe than it would be for Williamsburg artisinal hipsters to do the same.  I believe it’s a class critique but I’m not interested enough in the music to expend the energy.  I don’t usually peep the videos that accompany my scintillating commentary but I’ve checked it in places and it does appear more work into the video than the tune.  Gimme something to hold onto besides the images, something sonic that makes this feel thought out and creative.

@@@  Schoolboy Q: Numb Numb Juice (Interscope, 2019)  I thought this was gonna be a party track given the title but it comes out gangsta.  That is bitch shit, I’m hearing this over and over before it launches into the repercussions of killing a man.  I stopped getting all judge-y and shit about the violence and anti-women lyrics but it’s not my favorite topic for rhymes.  Numb numb juice which is slang for alcohol makes its appearance at the end of the track, but in the phrase ‘numb numb juice to the head’ which makes it sound related to gunfire.  So color me clueless — the sonics are pretty standard trap business — skitter and fat bass, the two twin pillars of trap.

@@@ Brad Paisley: My Miracle (Sony, 2019)  Regular readers know of my deep love for new country music — it is so heartfelt I can’t review too much of it as it tears me up.  When that dude hits his pickup truck and heads out of town with his girl who’s wearing cut off shorts and her hair blowing in the wind.  I’ll be honest, it fucks me up.  This tune uses John Mayer’s classic FM guitar work as the basis for his song about his woman, who is his miracle.  The lyrics are pure cliche trash, the guitar playing is all right, and the rest of it probably came out of can they opened up in a shopping mall near Nashville.  Also, check the white hat and the black leather jacket, that means something.  I’m not sure what but it sure as shit does.

YTD recordings listened to: 153
Good music, not list worthy: 92
Not good music: 55

Best: 0
Honorable Mentions: 0

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, 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, Criolo, Billy Strings, Flowers of Sulphur, Portal, Lawaii, Etran De L’Air, Ruby Karinto, Elysia Crampton, Parquet Courts, Moskus, Kendl Winter, Tkay Maidza, Barro, Daniel Khan, Tallawit Timbouctou, Sumac, Tropical Fuck Storm, Harriet Tubman, Ammar 808, Anais Maviel, Chaka Khan, Pom Poko, Fried Egg

Music for 1/25/19!!! Dawn Richard, Bring Me the Horizon

@@@ Dawn Richard: New Breed (Local Action/Our Dawn, 2019) The new music for 2019 is starting to come on out after a post holiday recess. I’ve checked Dawn Richard’s music before and for the r&b style she does get out there. I originally got to her music after reading an article in the Guardian about how she does not use a publicist which I greatly admire. It also makes me want to spread her music far and wide. The production here is tight — compressed for power and bumping at the low end. Richard can sing — quietly and powerfully and whichever we way she wants to roll. I enjoyed the second track (title track) the most. A sinuous arpeggiated synth chord, a thick beat, some pro female empowerment lyrics and a dancefloor banger for the lesbian bars out there.

@@@ Bring Me the Horizon: amo (Sony Music, 2019) Also off this week’s All Music notable release email. This UK outfit does some proud genre mashing — some electronica, some rock, and even some metal. This first tune, I apologize if you feel something, is arty and weird lower in pretension and then that segues into a more brash rock thing. Not full metal, riffy but not messy but not pretty. Hard to peg. For major label business it’s you know a bit adventurous but when someone pushes I want to hear them freak the fuck out. Not art school bullshit here.

YTD recordings listened to: 53
Good music, not list worthy: 31
Not good music: 21

Best: 0
Honorable Mentions: 0

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, 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, Criolo, Billy Strings, Flowers of Sulphur, Portal, Lawaii, Etran De L’Air, Ruby Karinto, Elysia Crampton, Parquet Courts, Moskus, Kendl Winter, Tkay Maidza, Barro, Daniel Khan, Tallawit Timbouctou, Sumac, Tropical Fuck Storm, Harriet Tubman, Ammar 808

Best of 2018

**** not arranged by preference ****

1. Courtney John: Ecosystem (Soul Fire, 2017)

A perfectly crafted combination of old school roots reggae flavors with a great band and a singer I like a whole bunch. The band is tight and relaxed simultaneously with space for organ solos, guitar business, etc.

2. Guy One: #1 Best (Philophon, 2018)

A unique large ensemble African record from Ghana that sports elements of Afrobeat this record smokes from beginning to end. Great playing, great singing and high energy. This is about as good as music gets. I have spun the fuck out of this record all year.

3. Melissa Laveaux: Radyo Swivel EP (No Format, 2018)

It must suck to be a Williamsburg indie hipster and see how a Haitian Canadian woman who lives in Paris does your hipster indie songwriter thing better than you could dream of.

4. Magrudergrind: II (Relapse, 2016)

All the players in the band are above average and they are tighter than a welldigger’s ass in the middle of the winter but it’s the drummer who takes the gold star. He thrashes, he sprays, he grooves, he drives the bus.

5. Irreversible Entanglements: Irreversible Entanglements (International Anthem, 2017)

This free jazz trio plays really well but the woman on the microphone doing the spoken word part is the star here and they burn all the way through. She coughs up more than a few cutting lines, especially in the first piece. Check it out.

6. Los Texmaniacs: Cruzando Borders (Smithsonian Folkways, 2018)

This is a beautiful and super musical mariachi record regardless of the politics involved here. Needless to say Trump is a fucking asshole and I’m a fan of Mexican culture. I’m particularly impressed with the accordion player but I’m super into accordion. Everybody in this band plays and sings at a super high level.

7. The Ballantynes: Liquor Store Gun Store Pawn Shop Church (La Ti Da, 2013)

If you took the Blues Brothers and put ’em in flannel shirts and gave them a lot of any old school white trash beer and removed the horn section and the frat boy bullshit you would have something very close to this record. It’s a guitar driven soul/rock record with a lot of guitars, a male and a female singer that both do good work with a slap-tastic ramped up band.

8. American Lips: Kiss the Void (Ancient Fashion, 2017)

It’s not easy to make a mainstream hooky rock record and have it sound fresh. These guys do a good job of recreating an early ’80s half punk/No Wave kind of thing but with a pop sensibility and plenty of hooks.

9. 700 Bliss: Spa 700 (Don Giovanni, 2018)

Organic electronic production and a pleasantly confrontational African American female MC/singer/spoken word artist headline this EP. A friend of mine says this has a retro electro feel but I’m not schooled enough in old school electro to know.

10. Tim Hecker: Konoyo (Kranky, 2018)

Tim Hecker’s new record, Konoyo, is dark. And it’s also unsettling. It’s also extremely well put together and beautiful. It is an ambient music record without drums or over rhythms with an emphasis on metallic sounds and bell like sounds

11. Shad: A Short Story About War (Secret City, 2018)

The lyrics on this record outperform — smart, conceptual, well thought out. It’s called a concept record but I think that’s bogus. Just because an MC is intelligent enough to connect warmongering with capitalism does not a concept album make. It’s called thinking motherfuckers.

The arrangements here are really good with no particular bent except maybe a retro thread — there are some jazzy sounds and mellow ones and there are more driving and urgent arrangements (for example the tune clipped below).

12. Vaudou Game: Otodi (Hot Casa, 2018) A tour de force of all funk genres with an absolutely ripping drummer and fantastic band energy. It’s hard to believe humans can be this funky.

13. Open Mike Eagle: Brick Body Kids Still Daydream (Mello Music, 2017)

I got to this hip hop record at the very beginning of this year but have struggled as to whether to put it on the ’17 or ’18 list so I’m going to put it on both as it’s that good. Incredibly well done lyrics and ear catching (but not poppy per se) arrangements take listeners to a whole ‘nother place. I can’t begin to praise the way this record is put together and executed, it’s hip hop and beyond hip hop at the same time.

14. Paul de Jong: You Fucken Sucker (Temporary Residence, 2018) In an era of shiny, happy people taking our civilization right over the cliff de Jong mixes the personal and implies the political with a tune like You Fucken Sucker. In addition to that nugget of true indie misery the ambient pieces towards the back of the record could be portraits of the opioid mind or the economically downtrodden or the millions of disconnected folks out there. Life is messy as fuck but rarely does that mess make it onto wax and the interwebz. DISCLAIMER: I worked on this record and I work with this musician.

15. Hernan Sama & Marcelo von Schultz: Sonidos desde el camp para los animales y la vida salvaje (Self-released, 2018)

What makes a great free jazz hit? It’s a slippery question. This self-released sax/drums set ticks all the boxes for me. A little Ayler, a little Mu Sessions and just a freshness to the playing or a desire to play what other people might expect.

16. Tal National: Tantabara (Tal National/Fat Cat, 2018) I don’t usually go for the super stuffed songs but the melodic complexity of the guitarists combined with the drummer and the active singers makes for a glorious hot African mess. When they lean into the central grooves of the tunes it is ecstatic in nature.

17. Gouge Away: Burnt Sugar (Deathwish Inc, 2018) I have a soft spot for the angry female punk singers. Though these guys get into more than straight ahead power chord punk bashing they sport a classic up in your grille attitude. I don’t idolize the gent but it has that ragged Nirvana Bleach era energy and the drummer here kills it. They all kill it.

18. Babylon Trio: Habibi (Rebel Up, 2018)

Iraqi refugee musicians tear it up with Arabic street music flavored with euro club flourishes and some of the cheesiest and partyistic synth patches in years. The energy and the messiness of it is so refreshing. It’s ‘I don’t give a fuck’ messiness and not ‘I can’t play straight’ messiness.