Music for 9/2/20!!! French Mouth, Megan Washington, Royal Green, Peace Development Crew

@@@ French Mouth: Teal (Frank Haus, 2020) I got to this noise rock track via a music publicist email.  I remember from the blurb that these are Latin folks busting out with rock flavors and I’m up for that.  The guitar work sounds a whole bunch like a slightly roughed up Cure riff.  The singer is not nearly as mopey as Cure dude, in fact there is no mope at all.  I’m thinking the track will accelerate in energy as it runs its course.  It is doing so and the question that remains is whether it will blow apart at the seams.  It is a 2:28 track and it does not explode which is fine though I like a whipping shitty, big fan.  Lyrically I believe the track is about somebody’s mom in prison and writing her a letter so not your typical subject matter and something more substantial than whether these blue jeans make your ass look big.

@@@ Megan Washington: Bat Flowers (UMG, 2020) Off this week’s Happy Mag out of Australia.  There are musicians outside of the U.S. that are a big deal and Washington is a big Australian musician.  This tune opens cute rock style with a plinky beat and some straightforward rock guitar work.  The vocal work is pretty melodic and popped out.  So we have here something not found often in the U.S. where somebody takes rock sounds and makes a pop song.  Bat flowers are these crazy ass yam flowers as in yam/sweet potato etc.  The most notable addition in the second half of the tune is a string part which sweetens it more.  It’s saccharine all the way through and only uses rock sounds without rocking which is fine.  I’m agnostic.

@@@ Royal Green: Breaking the River (Royal Green, 2020) I got to this track by a side project of the National’s drummer via a music publicist email.  If ever there was an overrated band it’s the National!  Let’s not get into some sort of space where you say oh you’re just jealous of the genius of the National.  Fuck off with that as this is an aesthetic debate.  Here we go with bedroom rock business — strummed acoustic guitar (at least two), and super intimately framed vocals and a tossed off drum machine beat.  I’m guessing this is about an indie connection, a connection I”ve not felt in a bit.  The problem here as I see it is a lack of purpose — it’s not rock, it doesn’t swing, it relies on an intimate vibe in the production to establish a performance/listener connection.  There’s a bunch of vocal samples in German at the end of the track which just confuses me.  I don’t know breaking the river means and I won’t be GooglePimping it.

@@@ Peace Development Crew: Steady Meddi! (Boomrush, 2020)  We close out today’s listening session with some roots and culture.  It’s gonna be a dancehall toaster people.  Toasting as in working the microphone not toasting as in bread.  Very modern production but I believe we get a drummer, female background singers and a generally super upbeat track which might be vegetables.  If I had to guess and I do have to guess as the GooglePimp did not turn up a Rasta phrase for steady meddi, eating your vegetables is a proper Rasta practice that helps remain in touch with Jah and be a good rasta.  Steady medicine.  Super positive and focused on that both lyrically and sonically.

https://youtu.be/w2d6jTJA2vc

YTD recordings listened to: 672
Good music, not list worthy: 350
Not good music: 302

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, Tarek Atoui, Saicobab, General Purv, Shipping News, Big Thief, Mariachi El Bronx, Pour Me a Grog, Sudan Archives, Lakou Mizik, Moodymann, Pharmakon, Alefa Madagascar, Janjao, Luge, Wiki, Mick Jenkins, Jeremiah Jae, Fera, Gambian Griot Kora Duets, Drama, Beatrice Dillon, Mass Worship, mmmonika, Les Deuxluxes, Tony Allen, Fra Fra, Nihiloxica, Hailu Mergia, Pokey LaFarge, Nico Gomez, Nohe and Sus Santos, schroothoop, Tiny Bit of Giant’s Blood, Pole, Naeem, Mekons, Santrofi, DJ Nigga Fox, Flor do Toloache, Alexander Hawkins/Tomeka Reid, STORMLIGHT, Venomous Concept, Chezidek, Shy One, Muqata’a, Protomartyr, Nnamdi

Music for 7/23/20!!! Horace Tapscott Quintet, generalgruff, LIVING GATE

@@@ Horace Tapscott Quintet (Ace, 1969/2016)  I got to this jazz record from 1969 via the Stranded Records weekly reissue email.  It’s got an old school sound and instrumentation is sax, piano, bass and drums.  It’s a quintet so there’s one more player but I can’t hear him right now.  This first piece, the title track, is almost 17 minutes long and features regal melodies on the sax over staccato snare action and a pounding piano chord progression.  I like it all right and I’m going to check out a bit of other tracks before tipping to other music.  I like the angular cut of the second track For Fats and I like the piano player here but I’m moving on.

@@@ generalgruff – A Flock Of Shithawks (Tenderhorn) CFUV roots section!  It opens with a wide and mellow mix anchored by stringed instruments.  The track is titled ‘I Took a Shit in the Sea’ which is not a common sentiment for this vocal style — it’s a tender old school pastoral celebration of defecating in a body of salt water.  A nice distorted guitar enters for a solo and I am wondering if a 6 minute track about shitting in the sea is a tad long.  Maybe it was a big shit, a post-burrito shit.  The old school Ry Cooder country rock continues on the second track, that God Damn Whiskey Dick.  Outside of the most notable feature here, profane lyrics, there’s quite a bit of very nice guitar playing and interesting arrangements.

@@@ Stormlight – Natoma (Zegema Beach, 2020)  CFUV in the loud section!  This has a lot of spilly and loud guitars but it’s not particularly metal nor punk.  It sounds like a really noisy and chaotic Death Cab for Cutie and I like the sound.  The singer sounds a bit like Perry Farrell and it has quieter sections that then lurch back into noisy bits with spraying drums.  The second tune, The Past is the Key to the Future (great title btw) employs the same formula at a higher tempo with more drum spraying.  This is a blend of shoegaze, indie, old school Husker Du guitar sounds, and a wee bit of prog.  The drummer here is killing it, crushing it and killing it, good on ya bitch.  I’m going to swing back on this record and check out more of it — it has noise, energy, and a healthy not giving a fuck attitude.  And great drumming.

@@@ LIVING GATE: Heaven Ablaze (Relapse, 2020) I got to this record via the CFUV weekly email in the loud section.  Comes out of the gate rumbling and chugging with massive drum toms.  It is a musclebound ka-chunk with a prehistoric/’folk’ metal singer.  It then jumps to a crazy ass thrash section with a few little math bits in it.  These guitar sounds are really well done, balanced in frequency and they pummel the listener with impact.  I skipped ahead to the second tune, Roped, and it has a different feel to it.  An offset guitar melody sits along side of the power chords.  Same singer!  I don’t like these sorts of singers but the band here is hotter than two rats fucking in a wool sock.  I super dig the rhythmic arrangement in the third tune Deathlust, which really is a pick me up track to get you out and achieving in the corporate world.

YTD recordings listened to: 568
Good music, not list worthy: 288
Not good music: 251

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, Tarek Atoui, Saicobab, General Purv, Shipping News, Big Thief, Mariachi El Bronx, Pour Me a Grog, Sudan Archives, Lakou Mizik, Moodymann, Pharmakon, Alefa Madagascar, Janjao, Luge, Wiki, Mick Jenkins, Jeremiah Jae, Fera, Gambian Griot Kora Duets, Drama, Beatrice Dillon, Mass Worship, mmmonika, Les Deuxluxes, Tony Allen, Fra Fra, Nihiloxica, Hailu Mergia, Pokey LaFarge, Nico Gomez, Nohe and Sus Santos, schroothoop, Tiny Bit of Giant’s Blood, Pole, Naeem, Mekons, Santrofi, DJ Nigga Fox, Flor do Toloache, Alexander Hawkins/Tomeka Reid, STORMLIGHT

 

Music for 6/4/20!!! Laura Marling, Joel Plaskett, Rose City Band, Maya Rae

@@@ Laura Marling – Song For Our Daughter (Chrysalis/Partisan)  Today we listen off last week’s CFUV acoustic/folk/bluegrass section.  I dig some styles and formulas within this umbrella of genres there are also formulas I don’t enjoy much.  I’m on a low schmaltz, low sugar diet.  This is a stripped down ballad-y thing, female singer, strummed acoustic guitar and the meaningful piano ringing, and now strings.  I feel the schmaltz meter rising and oh I wish it wasn’t so.  I dig pretty but there’s such a thing as a cookie that’s too sweet, no?.  I was cool enough with the tune to accept the piano but the strings and the feels that emerge in the wake of them might be too much.  This is for people with good paying jobs that eat with manners and take regular showers.  So if you got a fat job and you have manners and wash your body along guidelines set by society this could work for you.

@@@ Joel Plaskett – 44 (Pheromone)  This is a 2.5 hour effort which makes me a bit suspicious.  I can barely listen to that even I was paid but to shit that much music out in one sitting is quite impressive and does make you wonder about quality control.  It’s a lonesome country/folk formula we have here, Plaskett’s lower voice, a mandolin, another stringed instrument, so there might be more instrumentation on the horizon, oh there is!  It’s a full band with slide guitar, a drum kit, and a tambourine to boot.  I’m thinking this is just the tune crying out for a bucket of cowbell, I’m super pro cowbell.  The drums sound a bit muffled, but I like his singing and the mandolin playing.  I like this more than I expected.

@@@ Rose City Band: Summerlong (Thrill Jockey, 2020)  Slotted as psychedelic on Apple Music, it comes on as mostly roots The Band, Lil Feet-esque business with just a schtickl of psych flavors mostly from the singer.  I do think they hit the guitar riff/figure a bit too repetitively but that’s just me.  There’s also some Grateful Dead feels up in here but not super first thing you hear.  The tunes tend to weigh in on the plump side, many at 5+ minutes so there’s gonna be a jammy feel going on here.  I do appreciate the dueling hippie shred that takes the tune out — it’s not exactly what I’m in the mood for but the homies can play.

@@@ Maya Rae: Can You See Me? (Black Hen, 2020)  The lead off track on this coffee house — singer/songwriter — soft rock record.  Rae has a sing song voice that she is showcasing to its fullest.  After that I hear an electric guitar respectfully chugging in the back, electric bass and there’s a bunch of organ vamping going on.  I love organ.  Remove the mask, remove the mask and one, two, three, can you see me?  That’s the hook here and while she’s singing metaphorically please where masks when you’re out in public during this pandemic.  I know it’s very complicated, the messaging that is.  You get a resonator guitar solo just past halfway and then a bunch of ornamental background vocal spirals to take you out.  I think I’m far too hateful to be the demographic of this track — this is for the NPR crowd.  No shame in that, it’s not my cup of sing song.

YTD recordings listened to: 410
Good music, not list worthy: 212
Not good music: 185

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, Tarek Atoui, Saicobab, General Purv, Shipping News, Big Thief, Mariachi El Bronx, Pour Me a Grog, Sudan Archives, Lakou Mizik, Moodymann, Pharmakon, Alefa Madagascar, Janjao, Luge, Wiki, Mick Jenkins, Jeremiah Jae, Fera, Gambian Griot Kora Duets, Drama, Beatrice Dillon, Mass Worship, mmmonika, Les Deuxluxes, Tony Allen, Fra Fra, Nihiloxica, Hailu Mergia, Pokey LaFarge, Nico Gomez, Nohe and Sus Santos, schroothoop, Tiny Bit of Giant’s Blood

 

 

Music for 11/14/18!!! Black Belt Eagle Scout, Gouge Away, Kate Danser

@@@ Black Belt Eagle Scout – Mother Of My Children (Saddle Creek)  Some indie business off this week’s CFUV playlist email.  Some identity politics around this release — the singer is an LGBT first person as in indigenous person with people at Standing Rock.  I’m a huge fan of the Standing Rock and their fight to defend themselves.  That’s outside of the music but I like this first tune.  It’s not super complex guitar indie but it feels authentic to my ear with little posing which I can’t stand.  I understanding sounding authentic is in the ear of the listener, it’s a personal preference.  I judge it by how much emotion is being put out there.  The more emotion shared the more I’m drawn to it.  The second song, Indians Never Die, is a slow one with a simple guitar vamp and simple percussion.  It’s building slowly and then it dies back down.  It’s a mopey record, at least the beginning part is and I like the singer’s voice.  Indie is a tough sell for me but I give this a B/B+.

@@@ Gouge Away – Burnt Sugar (Deathwish Inc)  Some ‘loud’ music off this week’s CFUV playlist email. Oh my, speaking of emotion and letting it all out this record hews to that concept.  Female singer at the end of her rope, or at least close to it and a band that rocks in a pleasingly sloppy ass way.  Quick grinds lurching into some other brief idea.  The second tune, Fed Up, is working bigly for me.  It’s a punk missile with little restraint — doesn’t it feel better when it all comes out?  I think so, you can’t keep all that shit inside.  I’m feeling all the members of the band from the drummer’s spray, to the stringy/splatty bass sound to the mess of guitar sounds to the singer who might need a lozenge.  Imma circle back on this bad boy.

@@@ Kat Danser – Goin’ Gone (Black Hen)  Blues/folk/roots music off this week’s CFUV weekly email.  This looks to be a laidback blues band record with a female singer.  Harmonica, upright bass, shuffling drums, you know the classics.  I like this record — really catchy guitar player and solid players at all the positions.  The production is really flattering without cheesy reverb and too much of any particular sound, and the songs are solid.

YTD recordings listened to: 638
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 345
Not good music: 254

Best: 11
Honorable Mentions: 8

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, 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, Open Mike Eagle, Criolo, Billy Strings, Flowers of Sulphur, Tal National, Portal, Hernan Sama & Marcelo von Schultz, Lawaii, Etran De L’Air, Ruby Karinto, Elysia Crampton, Parquet Courts, Orlando Lopez, Moskus, Kendl Winter, Tkay Maidza, Marianne Faithfull, Gouge Away

Music for 9/27/18!!! Tunde Olaniran, Kweku Collins, Dry Reef

@@@ Tunde Olaniran: Mountain (N/A, 2018) I got to this slightly off kilter r&b loverboy track via a music publicist.  Thus far I’m much more engaged with the sounds than with the singing.  The cupcake is quite glitchy and impressive yet the vocal frosting is pretty standard.  It has the weirdness and processing of some trap music which I believe is created through extensive broccoli smoking and other stimulants but this mix is much more densely packed.

@@@ Kweku Collins: Grey (Self-released, 2017) Slotted as alternative rap on the Apple Music I saw this MC shouted out on the Twatter.  He’s got a Caribbean dancehall to his microphone work but the arrangement is not strictly electro roots.  I would say the mood of the record is more down than up with some pretty grainy, non soda pop synth sounds and lower tempos.  He also blurs hip hop and r&b sounds with a pretty equal split between the two genres.  If Drake rolled like this I would be much more impressed with Drake.  The sounds are mature and the singing is not Drake mush-y.

@@@ Dry Reef: Start it Up (Free Dive, 2018)  A pre-release single from an upcoming full length that I got to via a music publicist.  A little bit of Sublime, well more than a little bit.  It’s a Wasp-a-fari production with a dual guitar attack and an uplifting yet Wonder Bread-y feeling.  This is white boy frat kegger music — it doesn’t sicken me, but I would peep Burning Spear in a minute over this.

YTD recordings listened to: 544
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 288
Not good music: 225

Best: 9
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, KEN mode, Automatisme

Music for 2/22/18!!! The Lumineers, Primal Rite, Todd Stewart, A$AP Rocky

@@@ The Lumineers: Angela (Dualtone, 2018) I got to this mainstream single from occasional big mouth music blogger honcho Bob Lefsetz.  Lefsetz is usually a sucker for the schmaltzy white people music and this is no exception.  The singer has a nice vocal melody going, but they Celine Dion his voice with the huge hall reverb patch.  Oy the cheese today, the cheese, what can be done with the cheese?  I fear the second half of the tune is going to fulfill the song’s mission — get the wheel of cheddar across the line into the end zone.  Here come the tom drums right on time.  And the piano!  And the hand claps!  You can put money on these sounds and you can see ’em coming down Broadway!  This is like eating at McDonald’s — same burger every fucking time, no variations allowed.  It’s a nice tune, the tune itself but the production is awful.

@@@ Primal Rite – Dirge Of Escapism (Revelation) Some heavy metal off this week’s CFUV playlist email.  It opens up with a gust of wind, and then a heartbeat, and then the crush.  C’mon, c’mon, there are some big power chords….some feedback and then monster stomp.  It’s a nice stomp though not the monster one I craved.  There’s a singer in the second tune and I like him — he sounds like he’s about to drive a car into a tree.  I’m not sure but I don’t hear any bass on this record — either it’s mixed so low or there isn’t a bass player.  It’s like a 3/4 full bucket of Kentucky, oh there he is but he’s got no whooomph.  If this had more bottom I would feel it.  The drummer is more of a mainstream hard rock kinda fella but he’s beating the fuck out of the kit and driving the bus hard.

@@@ Todd Stewart – Everything You Want (Americana, 2018). Some roots music off this week’s CFUV playlist email.  22 minutes of music on this EP and Stewart’s mainstream voice changes the vibe of the band which features a very hooky slide guitar player.  Shuffle beats, acoustic guitar and a standard guitar centered country band setup.  The first tune sports a loverboy vibe due to the smooth, multitrack vocal.  The third tune is a slow tear jerker and that slide player is the star of the record for me.

@@@ A$AP Rocky featuring Gucci Mane and 21 Savage: Cocky (RCA, 2018). An all star hip hop single I got to via the Apple Music hot tracks section.  I like the rhythmic flow of the MCs, and I like the beats, but the vocal hook is shit.  ‘Too fuckin’ cocky baby, I’m too fucking cocky’.  Just pass me the rock and watch me go…I almost made it to the end of the track but the vocal hook took me out of the game.

YTD recordings listened to: 102
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 56
Not good music: 42

Best: 1
Honorable Mentions: 2

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, 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, Irreversible Entanglements, Converge, Open Mike Eagle, Criolo, Billy Strings, Guy One

Music for 11/16/17!!! Amy Shark, Dianna Rein, THUNDER BODY

@@@ Amy Shark: Adore (Wonderlick/Sony, 2017)  Blurbed as the perfect indie rock slow dance single I ask myself how could I not peep this?  Regular readers know I’m no defender of indie rock, but this shit is not indie rock.  Call me a genre bitch but these marketing sluts are label surfing fir red.  This is a pop song with a guitar part and major major label production.  Don’t shit on my head and tell me it’s raining.  She adores you, I get it but puh-lease.  I would be more understanding if I didn’t feel mad deceived right out of the gate.  Make your pop songs and be proud motherfuckers.

@@@ Diana Rein: Long Road (Diana Rein, 2017)  I got to this record via the indie blog Indiepulse.  It’s a modern electric blues rock kinda record and while guitar shredding mamas are hot they’re not as hot as badass female drummers.  My problem here as with almost all modern blues rock records is that the arena rock production doesn’t work for me.  I like dirty ass sounding blues.  Let’s peep a bit more.  The songs are pretty standard, the riffs as well, c’mon folks get yer freak on yo.

@@@ THUNDER BODY: Solstice (Rootfire Cooperative, 2017)  Roots reggae I got to via a music publicist email.  This first tune has some different lyrics which I appreciate.  I don’t insist my roots reggae have every sound perfectly reminiscent of classic roots reggae — these guys definitely evoke the vibes.  What’s different here is the singer and the lyrics; if you don’t like his flow or the lyrics it’s not going to work for you.  Myself I think they do a good job with the sounds and I appreciate when people try to step out and throw even the slightest variation.

YTD recordings listened to: 741
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 394
Not good music: 309

Buys: 9
Honorable Mentions: 7

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, 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, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Benjamin Booker, Irreversible Entanglements, Converge, Boubacare Traore, Les Filles De Illighadad, Curtis Harding

Music for 8/21/17!!! Susanne Sundfor, Rafiki Jazz, Pablo Moses

@@@ Susanne Sundfor: Undercover (Bella Union, 2017)  Piano singer/songwriter from an upcoming full length.  I got to this from a Line of Best Fit email so the publicity machine is getting some ‘buzz’ ahead of the full length.  This is between the slight roughness of Regina Spector and the abstraction of Fiona Apple with a pube of Beyonce oversinging.  It’s not solo piano but it’s not full band.  Oh she’s peaking around 3 minutes and it’s a cheesy female multilayered vocal comet shooting across the stereo field.  I think I felt like I had a vagina for just a minute, that’s so great.

@@@ Rafiki Jazz: Har Dam Sahara (Riverboat Records, 2017)  Mellow string playing and a pretty epic female African singer on the opening track of this record that I got to via the WRIR weekly playlist email.  The second track brings in the band but it’s still pretty mellow with hand drum playing and the string playing tight and all right but not rocking.

@@@ Pablo Moses: The Itinuation (Grounded Music, 2017)  The full roots reggae explosion on this record I got to via WRIR.  Mad conscious lyrics with a singer that sounds a lot like the singer from Burning Spear.  Oy, I’m spacing on his name.  Full horn section, percussion, female background singers.  I think I prefer the sound and the roughness of the old school roots reggae but this is a heartfelt effort and if you prefer the more polished modern roots sound this will work great for you.

YTD recordings listened to: 540
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 291
Not good music: 225

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

Music for 8/11/17!!! Whitney K., Whitehorse, Pink, The National

@@@ Whitney K: When the Party’s Over (Egg Paper Factory, 2017)  Some super laid-back roots music off this week’s CFUV playlist email.  Imma thinking there was some purple drank up in that studio or the coffee was running low.  This first tune has multiple guitars, a pulsing bass, and no beats.  The singer has made his appearance and he’s mad slack.  The first two tunes I dig the electric guitar playing but when the acoustic dirge starts up on the third track Imma movin’ on.  Oh that was just the intro as the full band comes in and they get a little Crazy Horse-y on this jam.  I like it all right.

@@@ White Horse: Panther in the Dollhouse (Six Shooter, 2017)  Super smooth electro-rock off this week’s CFUV playlist email.  A male and female singer going together, a rock guitarist, super smooth background vocals and arena rock drums.  The second tune gets a bit funkier with a nice, sparse baseline but then it explodes into a big mainstream rock chorus.  It’s Radiohead without the angst and the slick production doesn’t super work for me.

@@@ Pink: What About Us? (RCA, 2017)  I have fondness for Pink but I’m not sure this tune is going to work for me.  Cheesy ass lyrics and epic reverb patches that explode into a four on the floor EDM What About Us vocal hook?    What about us?  What about all the plans that ended in disaster?  What about love?  What about trust?  I’m guessing this is about somebody who leaves their family.  I checked around the web and this is referred to as an empowering tune so it functions at many levels.  Not for me but others I guess.

@@@ The National: Carin at the Liquor Store (4AD, 2017)  I think I dislike The National almost as much as Wilco.  This pre-release single is a Nick Cave wannabe but with less misery and more epic-ness.  My main problem is that of faux sophistication as these guys sound as if they feel themselves to be exquisitely unique artistes but I hear a pretty standard arena indie band that is too predictable to be focused on not much except moving units.  Now streaming units not actual plastic/metal discs.

YTD recordings listened to: 521
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 282
Not good music: 217

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 5/22/17!!! Royal Blood, Full of Hell, El Michaels Affair

@@@ Royal Blood: Hook, Line & Sinker (Warner, 2017)  Some classic FM radio rock swirled up with a dash of cock rock.  I like the guitarist but he plays too much and the singer is most def stashing cucumbers in his leather pants.  The production is meticulous but the lyrics are so cliche and un-clever I can’t really roll with it.  Go for the early ZZ Top records if you want some memorable guitar playing.

@@@ Full of Hell: Trumpeting of Ecstasy (Profound Lore, 2017)  This is no soft, shiny metal for wannabes.  Yikes, this is the burning, blasting full monty that I got to via the CFUV weekly email.  Fast tempos, grinding guitars and both an orc and a caveman on the microphone.  Might be two different singers, who the hell knows, it’s really the punishment the band delivers that matters here.  10 songs in 24 minutes, short volcanic blasts.  Good shit, check it out.  This fourth tune, The Cosmic Vein, is fucking ridiculous.

@@@ El Michels Affair: Return to the 37th Chamber (Big Crown Records, 2017)  Obviously influenced by the legendary Wu Tang Clan record this is funky instrumental music.  The music is more tongue in cheek than the ghetto blasting from the Wu and more focused on the NPR party crowd.  A little more dirt and some more muscular funk would work better for me but I’m just one man.

YTD recordings listened to: 314
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 184
Not good music: 122

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