Music for 11/16/18!!! Ampline, Fake Palms, Hamferd

@@@ Ampline: Passion Relapse (Sofaburn, 2018)  A pre-release track from a publicist described proggy punk outfit.  It’s got a nice guitar arrangement and the tune has a grungy vibe with a bit of emo swirled in.  I’m waiting for the tune to somewhat explode and it is beginning to do so with some epic tom rolls and a boost in the drummer’s energy.  Halfway through the tune and they’re rocking pretty good.  The singer is not a shouter, he’s kinda nestled in that storm of guitars which I’m enjoying.

@@@ Fake Palms: I’m Not There (Pleasence/Buzz, 2017)  Off this week’s CFUV playist email.  Opens up early ’80s punk with some brisk drumming, grinding power chords and a slightly chorused guitar melody.  Good energy, fuck Ronald Reagan.  The singer is down energy sporting a slight loverboy pose.  Very good and surprising section change before heading back into the main groove.  Tight, good energy, B+ track.

@@@ Hamferd – Hon Syndrast (Metal Blade)  Also off this week’s CFUV playlist email but in the ‘loud’ section.   It’s a midtempo metal track with a tablespoon of gloom.  Things aren’t going to work out in this tune — no Facebook optimism here.  The singer is an anguished caveman and I have no clue what language he’s rocking here.  I don’t think it much matters, it’s the mood of his utterances and the track that we’re here for.  Oh no, a big operatic section with a singer letting his long hair down and standing atop the mountain.  #epic and #strangetransition.

YTD recordings listened to: 35
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 18
Not good music: 16

Best: 0
Honorable Mentions: 0

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, 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, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Benjamin Booker, Irreversible Entanglements, Converge, Open Mike Eagle, Criolo

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Music for 1/8/18!!! Slow Dive, Jay Som, Mount Kimble, Julie Byrne

@@@ Slow Dive: Star Roving (Dead Oceans, 2017) We continue sliding down Pitchfork’s top 100 tracks of the year as this tune opens up a bit Sonic Youth, a bit shoegaze, and a bit indie twee.  When the mellow singer comes in the tune goes decidely shoegaze with that dreamy vocal/guitar storm combo platter.  There’s a sonic breakdown with some female ooh hoos and some phased guitar but otherwise it’s pretty standard.  Very familiar chords and vibes.  I smell a good publicist at work here.

@@@ Jay Som: The Bus Song (Polyvinyl, 2017) A 22 year old woman busting out with some lo fi guitar strum indie that morphs into wistful indie guitar rock.  Man, I’m suddenly overcome with the desire to put on some flannel.  It’s that retro yo.  It’s got a couple of interesting hitches to the arrangement and there’s a shaker (you don’t often get shaker in an indie track) and I think I hear a horn tucked back in the mix but at its heart it’s guitar and vocals over straight beats.  Half sad white folks doing their thing!

@@@ Mount Kimbie: Marilyn (Warp, 2017) An electronic single off the ol’ Pitchfork top 100 list and though I can’t believe I’m typing this I really dig the flavors of the tune.  They start with some marimba/vibes that get swirled in with some indie drums and a tasteful, climbing and descending bass line.  Tightly arranged and focused I can accept the indie slacker conceit as it’s a well put together piece of music.  The arrangement continues to move and evolve while remaining coherent.

@@@ Julie Byrne: Natural Blue (Ba Da Bing!, 2017) The Apple Music blurb says her production is swoon-worthy.  Thus far this is a lush indie folk formula — indie intimate while stradding the two genres.  There is no drummer here so it’s awash with multiple stringed ‘instruments (guitars mostly)  and she’s kind of wearing out the phrase ‘natural blue.  It’s a tad too meaningful for me.  I like Byrne’s slightly husky voice but by time the strings and the electric bass come in I’m ready for something else.

YTD recordings listened to: 20
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 10
Not good music: 9

Best: 0
Honorable Mentions: 0

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, 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, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Benjamin Booker, Irreversible Entanglements, Converge, Open Mike Eagle

Music for 9/5/17!!! Taylor Swift, Tupelo Pine, Anguera, LCD Soundsystem

@@@ Taylor Swift: …Ready For It?  (Big Machine, 2017)  The second tune from Taylor Swift’s new record.  The first tune is a disappointing biscuit and this is a jumbled mash as well.  Regular readers know I will give props even to a foul creature like Taylor Swift but this is a big stretch.  She so desperately wants to transition from the awkward hurt girl to the hipster ice queen but she’s doing a fucking terrible job with her new persona.  I hear the slick production sounds and I hear her trying in her delivery but she’s failing.  If she had a producer for this record he/she didn’t do their job — pee yew, this stinks.  If she can’t handle the vibe vocally the least the producers and label could have done would be to insist on coherent and hot arrangements for her ‘new look’.  It doesn’t suck as badly as that first single which straight up blew but she’s not going to conquer the world with these tracks for sure.  I put money on that shit.

@@@ Tuba Skinny: Tupelo Pine (Self-released, 2017)  I got to this old timey Americana roots band via word of mouth from a friend of our family.  The first tune features a really good singer and a bumping tuba player.  Regular readers know that my love of the tuba playing bass lines is not normal and extremely strong.  The second song is slower with a shower of brass and clarinet playing..  I see from the credits that it’s a sousaphone and I’m not sure what the difference is between a sousaphone and a tuba.  I would look it up on the ol’ interwebz but I feel lazy.  I’ve dug all the playing I’ve heard and Imma circle back on this record but it will be on my year end list for sure.  Check it out!

@@@ Anguere: N.O.I.A. (Self-released, 2017)  A Brazilian punk single off an upcoming EP that I got via the indie music blog Indiepulse.  It’s got plenty of fire and plenty of thrash metal sprinklings.  It sits squarely in the middle of those two sounds and I dig the drummer.  It’s a rough nugget as the lyrics (in Portuguese) and visuals are of homeless young street folks in Brazil smoking drugs on the street.  Not for the NPR or the pretend crowd for sure.

@@@ LCD Soundsystem: oh baby (Sony, 2017)  This is what an open minded listener I am.  I really didn’t like the first single off this comeback record but everybody is shitting their pants over this record.  So I will check out another track.  This is the opener and I don’t believe I will be soiling myself.  This is an ’80s pop rock medium jam with a nice vibes/percussion part but with a pretty cliche snare sound and an average vocal melody.  It’s well arranged and focused but this is not a spoiler.  Better lyrics maybe, a more interesting mix of sounds, etc.  It’s also too long, not to be a bitch.

YTD recordings listened to: 573
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 305
Not good music: 241

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, American Lips, Sudan Archives, Tupelo Pine

Music for 8/1/17!!! Control Freaks, Zack Keim, Ego Kill Talent

@@@ Control Freaks: Mindless Entertainment (Slovenly, 2017)  Some old school, big mouth punk off this week’s CFUV playlist email.  Think the Sex Pistols without the opioids.  There’s a more than a dash of humor to this high energy punk rawk with lots of call and response vocals and singers taking their turns on the mic.

@@@ Zack Keim: First Step (Get Hip Recordings, 2017)  A young man takes his Bob Dylan obsession out into the world.  It’s quicker to say what’s not Dylan influenced than it is to say what is not Dylan influenced.  His strumming, the tone of his voice, his delivery, he’s got it going on.  Well the second tune thankfully drops the Dylan love with a different tone, slower arpeggiated guitar playing and a different tone of voice.  This third tune is a folk Radiohead kinda tune — mournful, slow, he shoulda put this tune first.  I think Keim is off to a decent start but he has to find a more distinctive voice for himself.  Just my opinion.

@@@ Ego Kill Talent: My Own Deceiver (Elemess, 2017)  A mainstream glam rock single I got to via the Indiepulse music blog.  Think Marilyn Manson without that tremendous prickface Marilyn Manson.  The guitar riffs are pretty standard and the singer is all right but maybe a tad soft.

YTD recordings listened to: 494
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 270
Not good music: 202

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

2017 Honorable Mention Pick 7

Dead Ranch: Brumation (No List Records, 2017)

Regular readers know of my inner toil regarding heavy metal singers.  I don’t like the cavemen, nor do I like the epic and operatic high range classic metal singers.  I like this singer a bunch, he works for me.  He’s a little punk, a little post-rock, and a little metal in places.  There are places where he has a little Kurt Cobain working.

The guitar player is similar in his styles — he’s got some punk, some post-rock, some classic hard rock, and some metal in his playing.

That’s the formula, blending these various sub genres but at the end of the day are tunes good and is the music fresh?  Yes is my answer.  While I often bemoan shiny music custom aimed at the heart of alienated suburban youth, this is high quality shit for the fringey upset folks in Westchester county, Chicago suburbs etc.

Nice sounds and tones, really energetic playing and a really good singer.

Music for 7/19/17!!! The Pollyseeds, OBGMs, Breakfast Muff, Selena Gomez

@@@ Terence Martin Presents the Pollyseeds: The Sounds of Crenshaw Vol. 1 (Ropeadope, 2017)  Fusion-y (guess) jazz off the Apple Music new release section.  Electric guitar, nerdy guitar tones and laid-back smooth funky grooves.  I do, however, feel the huge synth bass that’s a beautiful voice.  The third tune brings in the vintage drum machine and the super smooth vocals.  I think you need some liquor or weed to make this music more interesting as it’s pretty standard r&b/smooth jazz.

@@@ OBGMS: Pill (Black Box Records, 2017)  Black punk off a music publicist’s email.  After a spaced out intro they get into whipping a medium shitty.  I like the drummer, I wish the guitarist would go get a Red Bull and I like the singer just fine.  While the tune has a pleasant herk-a-jerk baked into it they never really lose their shit and descend into full blasted punk.  I got my Bad Brains records and I still listen to ’em after all these years cuz they lose their shit yo.

@@@ Breakfast Muff: Eurgh! (Amour Foo, 2017)  Some hopped up girl punk off last week’s all Music notable release email.  The singer does NOT need a Red Bull, she’s doing just fine — however, the male singer in the second tune does need something.  Maybe a slap or maybe a danish.  The tunes are commando style clocking in around 2 minutes and the lyrics have plenty of humor with some political tinges.  For example, the third tune is called R U a Feminist.  I like the tunes with the woman out front more than the gent and I’ve clipped the best of what I heard below.

@@@ Selena Gomez: Fetish (Interscope, 2017)  Selena Gomez is basically a soft core porn star that makes music on the side.  She looks about 12 and that’s great for the 12 year old girl wannabes and all the other horny bastards out there that wanna get with it. Not that I’m an expert but I don’t think she knows what a fetish is.  She’s not talking about what are considered odd desires just how she’s hot and some dude has a fetish for her love.  So, in classic fashion, this is highly manicured and polished nonsense.

YTD recordings listened to: 467
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 256
Not good music: 190

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, Roberto Gonzalez

Music for 6/4/17!!! Kacy Hill, The OBGMS

@@@ Kacy Hill: Like a Woman (UMG, 2017) Apple Music’s favorite new artist.  The tune opens up with piano chords, a synth bass, and Hill’s slightly thin but sultry voice.  I really like the bass part but unfortunately the lyrics and Hill’s voice are not convincing to my ears.  I don’t like the finger snaps (in almost all musical situations) and the song never really erupts into anything, she just keeps asking what makes you make me feel like a woman?  She rides that hook into the ground.

@@@ The OBGMs: Torpedo (Black Box, 2017) A punk single I got to via a publicist email.  Even punks have publicists yo!!!  It’s not poppy per se and there is an interesting hook in the verse, but the guitars are toned down a bit and this lines up more with the Strokes more than the Bad Brains.  I like the outro and they have good energy.  This is post 9/11 America so you can’t make too much of a mess, it’s not allowed.

YTD recordings listened to: 338
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 193
Not good music: 130

Buys: 5
Honorable Mentions: 2

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, 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, RAM, Oumou Sangare, Fiver, Dona Onete, Succumb Succumb