Music for 8/2/18!!! Kendl Winter, Hatchet, The Weight Band

@@@ Kendl Winter: Stumbler’s Business (Team Love, 2018)  I got to this singer songwriter recording via last week’s All Music notable release email.  Plus I have heard Winter’s solo music before and liked it.  The first tune is notable for its sparse sonics and Winters slightly off the beat delivery.  The second tune brings in a full band and a catchier hook.  The third tune returns to a place where Winter and another instrument are at the center and this is where the record is best.  This third tune (clipped below) shows how a well focused, no bullshit arrangement and performance can really lift a tune.  I’m going to swing back on this record but at the very least check out this tune below.

@@@ Hatchet: Dying to Exist (Combat Records, 2018)  Some classic metal off this week’s CFUV playlist email.  Super pumped up energy with epic guitar riffs/melodies and a singer.  Not a caveman nor an opera singer.  Big solos, octopus drumming and a celebration of classic metal.

@@@ The Weight Band – World Gone Mad (Curve)  Roots/folk off this week’s CFUV playlist email.  Switching gears from the classic metal rave up to a hippie/jam rock/string band vibe.  Mandolin on this first midtempo rocker, the title track — (clipped below).  This second tune is pretty much a tune by the Band.  You can’t bite a band that’s not a band anymore, even one called The Band, but it’s a carbon copy.  I have old Band records so I’m not sure why I would pile into this.  I would like to hear something more unique going on here.

YTD recordings listened to: 452
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 230
Not good music: 190

Best: 8
Honorable Mentions: 5

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, Forro in the Dark, 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, Jean Grae and Quelle Chris, Lawaii, Etran De L’Air, Ruby Karinto, Elysia Crampton, Parquet Courts, Orlando Lopez, Moskus, Kendl Winter

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Music for 7/18/17!!! Troye Sivan, The Lurking Fear, Jah Wobble, Meek Mill

@@@ Troye Sivan: Blue Neighborhood (Universal Australia, 2015) Conscious pop by a 20+ year old from Australia.  Finger snaps, ’80s guitar lines, silky smooth vocals and manicured production.  No overgrown lawns here people, that’s for sure.  The second tune opens up with the line ‘kiss me on the mouth and set me free.’  We’re dealing with a lot of emotions here.  You can coax the cold right out of me, wrap me in your warmth.  Kiss me on the mouth and set me free, and please don’t bite.  That’s the hook.  Hmm, maybe C+ on that hook.  Imma gonna set myself free and go to another record.  Fuckin’ A, lyric video, god bless America!

@@@ The Lurking Fear: Out of the Voiceless Grave (Century Media, 2017)  Heavy metal off the Apple Music metal section.  Two pre-release tracks from an upcoming full length thrasher/banger.  These guys are whipping a very pleasant blend of epic metal, post-hardcore, and some tasty thrash.  The second preview track is also quite nice with some meth-y guitar that gives way to a big riff and then right into some grinding power chords.  If you’re into the metal, check this out, it’s high quality and I hope to be listening to more of this when the full length comes out.  The singer is really upset so a few listens might help him out:).

@@@ Jah Wobble: The Usual Suspects (3Ms Music, 2017)  Some rock-prog-fusion/dub that I got to via last week’s All Music notable release email.  Big rock guitars over a thick dubbish bass line, conscious lyrics and a low energy singer.  Think U2 with blacker bass line and without the eternal, spewing faux righteousness of Bonehead Bono.  I don’t mind have some proggy rock up in my thick bass lines but this was of doing it doesn’t really work for me.

@@@ Meek Mill: Issues (Maybach/Atlantic, 2017)  A pre-release single off the hot tracks section of Apple Music.  This tune centers more around gun play and getting paid and less on slinging drugs and hanging out with the ladies.   I like the beats and the bass but I don’t really feel the rhymes or the Autotune on the half sung sections.  Songs about guns, not great in my opinion, bad for the youth.

YTD recordings listened to: 463
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 254
Not good music: 188

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 4/13/17!!! Charlotte OC, Spiral Stairs, The Great Malarkey

@@@ The Great Malarkey: Doghouse (Batov Records, 2017)  I was contacted by the label that released this record so I thought I would give a peep to the indie folks as I’m more inclined to boost an indie record than a major label jam.  It was described to me as Balkan mayhem and while I hear the crazy energy this first tune has blues and other genre influences in there.  I like the female singer and the band is excited to put it mildly.  The second tune is a straight ahead rocker with the drums high up in the mix as well as a banjo.  This third tune brings on some fluid ska horns and a little dub wise snare delay.  I’ve made it to the sixth tune and I would say the best tracks are the first 3-4 and then it starts to fade a tad.  Check them out especially the first chunk of the record.

@@@ Charlotte OC: Careless People (Harvest, 2017)  Some downtempo off an All Music notable release email.  This first tune is not downtempo as I define it — I think of downtempo as slow down hip hop/funk beats with a real down/blunted feel.  This is mainstream ballad rock/pop so once again I’m getting a pretzel when I thought I was getting a cookie.  Or vice versa.  Ms. OC has a dramatical voice and she does her torch carrying over big corporate power production.  This is false advertising, where’s my fucking cookie?

@@@ Spiral Stairs: Doris and the Daggers (Nine Mile Recordings, 2017)  Also off an all Music notable release email.  This first tune features a dual guitar attack and a lower register male singer.  Pretty mainstream sounding but not cheesed out pop rock.  Maybe a tad like Bowie but not as artsy.  This second tune is poppier than the opener and it remains that way.  It sounds great, it’s pretty straight ahead guitar rock, I’m not looking for that but if you are well then these guys will hook you up.

YTD recordings listened to: 242
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 131
Not good music: 90

Buys: 1
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, Tinariwen, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Power Trip, Reverend Payton, J.I.D., Oddisee, Feral Ohms, Orquestra Baobab

Music for 3/15/17!!! MOD SUN, Reverend Payton, Yonder Mountain String Band

@@@ MOD SUN: Movie (Rostrum, 2017) Some white boy hip hop off the Apple Music new music section.  I don’t want to get all racial and shit but he don’t sound too vanilla — I guess he’s been apprenticing in the hood with a brother maybe?  It’s a pretty low IQ party track with trite philosophical lyrics.  Let’s check more.  This third tune She Just Wanna Dance is a low IQ banger that’s most of the way to Stupid Town.  Myself I would stick with 6Lack, he’s got superior sounds and flow.

@@@ The Reverend Payton’s Damned Big Band: Front Porch Sessions (Family Owned Records, 2017)  I was super into the Reverend’s last record So Delicious.  It made my year end list and I’m a finicky motherfucker.  I like the sounds on this first tune but it’s a tad slow out of the gate.  I’m on the third tune and this is not a party record, it’s a collection of slow blues songs.  The guitar sounds are excellent, Reverend Payton has an unorthodox and cool voice and he’s got soul.  This is one of those records that can really grow on you over time.

@@@ Yonder Mountain String Band: Black Sheep (Frog Pad Records, 2015).  It’s gonna be a roots music Wednesday after I got a music publicist email about a live album these guys are putting out.  I chose to listen to this 2015 effort instead.  This first tune Insult and an Elbow opens up briskly with a vicious fiddle solo and heartfelt playing.  The second tune (clipped below) sounds more like a rock song played by a string band than a traditional string tune (which is fine).  I like the playing more than the tunes but if you want energetic string band music check these guys out.

YTD recordings listened to: 174
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 94
Not good music: 65

Buys: 0
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, Tinariwen, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Power Trip, Fruko Y Sos Tesos, Reverend Payton

Music for 2/14/17!!! Sloucher, The Bohemian Trio, Black Joe Lewis

@@@ Sloucher: Wait to Start (Swoon, 2016).  A grunge-y shoe gaze track opens up this record I got to after I got a music publicist email calling these guys the best indie band to come down the pike in a long time.  Or some such shit.  They have a Pearl Jam vibe going in this opener except no super annoying singer — I can’t stand that self-important dude.  Oh, big Nirvana vibes on this second track, I don’t like this one as much.  The singer can’t do that Kurt Cobain slack thing at all.  If you took the whole punk/grunge area these guys would come at the end as this is pretty mainstream grunge with plenty of melody and light on the punk acidity.  However, very manicured and thought out guitar tones.

@@@ The Bohemian Trio: Okonkala (Innova, 2017)  I saw this trio name checked on a Brooklyn club show listing email spiel.  They’re blurbed as being beyond genre but to my ears they play a sort of classically tinged jazz that says ‘I’m fancy and I dress well’.  And there’s nothing wrong with that.  The instrumentation is piano, cello and clarinet and this music is straight up the alley of 65+ PBS viewers.  Extremely pretty and light, like one of Beyonce’s goddess farts.

@@@ Black Joe Lewis: Backlash (Black Joe Lewis, 2017)  I’m a huge fan of the 2011 effort Scandalous so I thought I would give a peep to this new one.  It opens up more rocking than soul-ing but there are horns back there underneath the crunchy guitar.  I’ve peeped portions of 4 of the songs and while there are some moments where the tunes come together but I think I’m going to stick Scandalous.  Check that record out!

YTD recordings listened to: 105
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 55
Not good music: 34

Buys: 0
Honorable Mentions: 0

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, Acid Arab, A Tribe Called Quest, Noname, Gouge Away, Anna Hogberg, Klara Lewis, Aethenor, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, James Brandon Lewis, Yotoco, Tinariwen

Music for 11/14/16!!! Gentleman’s Dub Club, The Green Kingdom, Lizabett Russo, Tuuletar

@@@ Gentleman’s Dub Club: The Big Smoke (Easy Star Records, 2016).  A modern update to roots reggae with loverboy vocals and dub stylings.  I got to this record via a music publicist email.  They key sonic aspects of this record are the super smooth vocal performances, a modern drum sound and the classic dub delays.  This formula hits its high spot on the third tune, clipped below.  Oh man, sweet and rootsy as Hell, people.  The sentiment is trite but the sounds are ridiculously well done.

@@@ The Green Kingdom: Harbor (Dronarivm, 2016).  I got an email from the label about this ambient record.  This first tune, Inlet, starts with a pumping, airy synth, with some wooden insect like chatter driving the rhythm, and some guitar strum like sounds off to the side.  The second tune, the title track, starts with a slow arpeggio and some environmental sounds with plenty of static.  I like super long guitar drones in my ambient msuci but this is a bit too New Age-ish for my tastes.

@@@ Lizabett Russo: Perspective (Self-released, 2016)  I have reviewed this independent mostly folk artist (out of Scotland) before and I got another email from the artist and I want to support super indie artists.  This tune is sweet with accordion, marimba, and nylon stringed guitar.  Russo has a bit of an all over the place vocal style which is unpredictable and endearing.  Very nice sounds, check her out.

@@@ Tuuletar: Tules Maas Vedes Taivaal (Bafe’s Factory, 2016)  An all female world music vocal group I got to via this week’s WRIR weekly charts email.  This first tune features very dramatic vocal harmonies — it’s an angelic clam bake up in heah, you gotta hear this!  With a name like Tuuletar, I was thinking they might be Mongolia but it’s a Finnish outfit.  There is quite a Nordic element to the tunes as well as some pop, a little electronica, it’s a mash of sounds to go with the massive wall of singing.  It’s got a wee bit of New Age up in there so you’ve been warned.  That was a bit of a joke about Mongolia.

YTD recordings listened to: 898
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 500
Not good music: 340

Buys: 15
Honorable Mentions: 15

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, Destruction Unit, Graeme Barrett, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Cavanaugh, Gentleman Surfer, Satoko Fuji, Mystic Braves, Divanhana, Unrestrained, Moken, Systema Solar, Brian Eno, Juan Atkins, Drone, Lantern, Twin Peaks, Djelimady Tounkara, Miramar, The Oh Sees, Denny Zeitlin, MILF, Joe Sticky, Unfun, De La Soul, Carl Sagan’s Skate Shoes, Neurosis, Magrudergrind, Solange, Acid Arab, Xylouris White, Vadou Game, Michael Wollny/Vincent Peirani, Bonga

Music for 11/2/16! Tiken Jah Fakoly, Little Mix, Netherbird, Richard Bona

@@@ Tiken Jah Fakoly: Dernier Appel (Barclay, 2014).  A review from WRIR in Virigina has Fakoly as their favorite African reggae records of 2015.  I can’t get that 2015 effort on the Apple Music so I’m peeping this 2014 record.  It’s pretty smooth business with very pleasing vocal harmonies (in French) and other African touches like a traditional stringed instrument and marimba.  Let’s peep more.  He’s got a fair number of guest vocalists on here which keeps the variety working.  He’s got an interesting bass player and a sticky drummer as you would expect and I like hearing the lyrics in French.  I would check out his new record for sure.

@@@ Little Mix: You Gotta Not (Sony, 2016).  A girl group pop r&b off the Apple Music front page.  These ladies need a man who acts like a man and when you grow up we can boom boom boom fall in love.  This is more saccharine and sassy than cheesy and overwrought.  No need to waste much time or energy on this, it’s disposable.

@@@ Richard Bona & Mandekan Cubano: Heritage (Qwest, 2016).  I got to this record by Cameroonian vocalist Bona via his PR person and an email.  I don’t if the whole record is a multitrack vocal effort, nope, the second tune kicked in with a full band including a piano player.  He’s got some polished salsa vibes in this second tune Bilongo.  This is a very smooth and polished record for people who wear nice clothes to work.  While I appreciate the mashing of Cuban music and African singing I like more fire.

@@@ Netherbird: The Grander Voyage (Black Lodge, 2016).  I’m up in the metal section of Apple Music and this is either gonna be doom metal or stoner rock from the intro to this first tune, Pale Flames on the Horizon.  Oh yeah this is the doom metal for sure with a caveman spoken word section here in this just over two minutes song.  This next one is over 7 minutes long so I expect the full show.  Yes, Gloomzilla with schmeckl of thrash and arena rock.  Horns up ya shittas!!  I like this fourth tune, Windwards, it’s full on death metal.

YTD recordings listened to: 866
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 484
Not good music: 326

Buys: 15
Honorable Mentions: 14

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, Destruction Unit, Graeme Barrett, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Cavanaugh, Gentleman Surfer, Satoko Fuji, Mystic Braves, Divanhana, Unrestrained, Moken, Systema Solar, Brian Eno, Juan Atkins, Drone, Lantern, Twin Peaks, Djelimady Tounkara, Miramar, The Oh Sees, Denny Zeitlin, MILF, Joe Sticky, Unfun, De La Soul, Carl Sagan’s Skate Shoes, Neurosis, Magrudergrind, Solange, Acid Arab, Xylouris White, Vadou Game, Michael Wollny/Vincent Peirani, Kadhja Bonet