Music for 6/20/19!! Romain Collin, Katy Perry, Lungbutter

@@@ Romain Collin: Tiny Lights (XM, 2019) A young French musician with a record I got to via a twat on the the Twatter.  He’s a Berkeley graduate trying to change jazz and he plays piano and keyboard but this first tune Overflow is a New Age indie track with some prog in it.  I made it about 2/3s of the way through that track before moving to the second track.  So my arguments against this record do not revolve around genre labels, it’s about the music and the presentation thereof.  I think it’s cool he’s using distorted guitars but they’re pretty conservatively deployed and the New Age production is not helping me out.  When they rock out it just sounds like rock and not super interesting rock.  I think a standard Radiohead record is more adventurous both compositionally and sonically.

@@@ Katy Perry: Never Really Over (Capitol, 2019) Ah Katy Perry!  She’s buried the hatchet with Tay Tay without putting the hatchet in either her own skull or Tay Tay’s.  Unfortunately cuz I could use less.  I’m also concerned Katy Perry might be turning into the Stevie Nicks of her generation.  I think I totally get why this pop confection has 57mm hits on GoogleTubePimpShow but it’s also true that it’s an extremely childish high school kinda track.  The chorus is very catchy and shallow.  My problem continues to be that I only consider the music and I have no personal feelings towards the artist and I don’t factor in the video where Ms. Perry’s ample bosom is oft on display.

@@@ Lungbutter: Honey (Constellation, 2019)  #1 out at CFUV in Vancouver, British Columbia.  This is some dirty ass art school punk with a lot of guitar squall and a female spoken word out front.  The second tune brings on the heavy tom tom based drumming but the same low energy front gal.  She should hit the Red Bull — I want to get some blood flowing.  Not violence but circulation wise.  I like the guitar noise and the drummer is all right.  If she was talking and singing occasionally and occasionally losing her shit I would be all over this record.

YTD recordings listened to: 310
Good music, not list worthy: 185
Not good music: 107

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, General Purv, Shipping News, Big Thief

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Music for 6/3/19!!! Miley Cyrus, Perry Farrell, Joel Ross

@@@ Miley Cyrus: SHE IS COMING (RCA, 2019)  Oh the irony of redneck dancefloor banger Miley Cyrus wearing a Never Mind the Bollocks t-shirt.  I would call this is a slutty empowerment/boasting anthem.  I’m not a big fan of Cyrus as she’s such a chameleon that she ends being nothing at all.  This week a hippie, this week a techno kid, this week a feminist, this week a drugged out club goer.  Her momma always told her she’d make it and she put her back to it and made it.  Oy.  Sounds are pretty standard with an average vocal performance.  I get there are a couple of themes to this track but it’s just a couple of notches above complete word salad.

@@@ Perry Farrell: Machine Girl (BMG, 2019)  A pre-release single off an upcoming record that I got to via a music publicist.  Updated big rock sound with a sly funky synth hook.  I like the drummer, find the arrangement a bit messy and overall not a tune making a strong impression.

@@@ Joel Ross: Revelation (Blue Note, 2019)  A straight jazz vibes recording that I got to via a cultural email — either line of best fit or flavorpill.  I like the solo that opens the record up.  At about 1:45 the rest of the band comes in — piano, bass and drums to go with the vibes.  Oooh, when the soprano sax comes in with the lead melody I’m not into it.  It’s hard to have the vibes be cheesy but the soprano sax?  It doesn’t take much!  Very lush production and I like the way the vibes and the piano player sound together.  The tunes are all right, nothing too energetic nor striking.  Could use a little fire to go with those pretty ass vibes.

YTD recordings listened to: 277
Good music, not list worthy: 163
Not good music: 96

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, General Purv, Shipping News

Music for 5/30/19! Erlend Apneseth, Trophy Wives, Lower Dens

@@@ Erlend Apneseth Trio: Undergrunn (Hubro, 2019)  I saw this folk/jazz recording mentioned up on the Twatter by the jazz blogger Bird is the Worm.  I could not find this record on Apple Music but significant chunks of it are on Soundcloud.  The cloud of sound.  Apneseth is Scandinavian and he’s an ‘award winning hardingfele player.’  The hardingfele sounds like a violin/fiddle type instrument and the playing in this tune has South Asian feels to it.  A little Scottish, a little South Indian classical though as the tune moves it recedes back into a decidedly Westering thing.  I believe I hear a kit drummer and a hand percussionist or maybe they’ve been consolidated into one musician but the tune builds and then recedes on its way out.  A mash of slightly New Age world music and some jazz/improv.

@@@ Trophy Wives: Old Scratch (Latest Flame Records, 2011)  A continued look at 50 records out of Louisville Kentucky in the last decade.  Fantastic idea for a record list in my opinion.  It opens up with tune Taste of Your Medicine (clipped below) an energetic power pop punk anthem with great energy.  Great drumming.  Very Foo-ey but I enjoy the singing here and the tunes are a bit more splashy and interesting than typical buckets of Foo.  I like it, I don’t think I need to put it on my iPod but it may work for you more rock-centric listeners.

@@@ Lower Dens: Young Republicans (Ribbon Music, 2019)  A pre-release single I got to via a music publicist email.  It’s an ’80s electro rock track with gated snare sounds, vintage synth sounds presented as video game bloops, shiny arpeggios and some slow moving clouds.  The singer is about the consumption of the lower class by the young Republicans.  Musically, it’s a classic rock mellow in the verse/exploding chorus we’ve heard a million times before.  It’s a classic for a reason.  I’m sensing the tune may more be about climate change as the phrase ‘the world is burning’ surfaces repeatedly.

YTD recordings listened to: 272
Good music, not list worthy: 159
Not good music: 95

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, General Purv, Shipping News

Music for 5/21/19!!! Bodywash, Esperanza Spalding, Eljuri

@@@ Bodywash: Eye to Eye (Luminelle, 2019) I saw this self described lush indie single mentioned on the Twatter.  A cloud of synthesizers float in with a twinkly one panning back and forth in the stereo field to open up the tune.  I guess there’s a thin line between lush and soft.  Or maybe something can be lush and firm but if it’s too lush it can be soft.  Regardless of the linguistics of this point this is soft synth rock firmly anchored in the fabulous 1980’s.  I would be more open to these sounds if the singer wasn’t quite so laze.  That’s a cross between lazy and gaze, f’real.  At around 3 minutes it does firm up but I’m already deep in chamomile tea mode and not engaged, thinking about the difference between lush and soft.

@@@ Esperanza Spalding: 12 Little Spells (Concord, 2019) I saw her new music namechecked on the Twatter.  I’m not a huge fan of Spalding’s but I do listen and can change my mind.  I believe this is a concept album with 12 tunes with body parts in parentheses after each title.  12 Little Spells (Thoracic Spine) for example.  The music here is a prog/jazz fusion mash.  I like Spalding’s singing, and her bass playing is pretty restrained here.  What I hear is the fevered work of music nerds lacking in passion.  The arrangements are trick and the vocal melodies are impressively serpentine but there’s a difference between listening with one’s intellect and just listening as an emotionally engaged experience.  I feel like I’m at the circus watching acrobats.

@@@ Eljuri: Resiste (Cecilia Villar, 2019)  I got to this reggae single via the music blog Indiepulse.  Female reggae, I can get with that!  It opens with a reggae/rock blend and a rocking wah guitar intro.  The female singer, I’m guessing her name is Eljuri, works in Spanish which changes the vibe of the tune. I like her singing but I prefer not to have too much rock in my reggae, I like the fully ganja-tized reggae.  Murky sounding, polyrhythmic, etc.  This is more for frat boys, maybe Spanish frat boys.  It’s also a bit weird but not bad to hear someone going for the rock guitar shredding in a reggae context.  Not to be disallowed but not my first choice unless the shredding is more interesting.

YTD recordings listened to: 261
Good music, not list worthy: 151
Not good music: 93

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, General Purv

Music for 5/8/19!!! Tigrin Hamasyan, Shannon and the Clams

@@@ Tigrin Hamasyan: For Gyumri (Nonesuch, 2018)  Both of today’s listens come from an old ass All Music notable release email from last year.  A solo piano record with some vocalizing, oh boy there it is (the vocalizing) and I don’t like the way they put it in the mix.  Too New Age-y.  For the most part I do like Hamasyan’s piano playing.  Aarrgh, more and more voices, it’s turning into a Bobby McFerrin record in front of my very eyes!  That’s not what I’m looking for.  Let me check another tune.  I like the piano playing on the second track (clipped below) and I’m agnostic on the brief electronic music flourishes.  Certainly more engaging than Brad Mehldau who I find to be a cup of warm milk before you die, it’s still a bit snoozy for my taste.

@@@ Shannon and the Clams: Onion (Easy Eye/Nonesuch, 2018) I have enjoyed the quirky energy of the Shannon and the Clams on previous recordings.  They do a really good update on the classic doo wop rock thing.  They are tighter than a bull’s ass at fly time and they infuse mad energy into their stuff.  The second tune, It’s Gonna Go Away, is a very good example as they drop the tempo but the playing remains crisp and tight.  It’s a bit shocking that this record is out on the Nonesuch imprint as they are the kings of slack flavored coffee indie — a band that gets up on it and kicks out the jam with gusto is not what I associate with Nonesuch.  I’m going to circle back on this when I have more time to eat the whole sandwich but don’t sleep on this.

YTD recordings listened to: 239
Good music, not list worthy: 141
Not good music: 84

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

Music for 4/29/19!!! Regina Carter, Heather Woods Broderick

@@@ Regina Carter: Reverse Thread (E1 Music, 2010)  I saw this violinist mentioned on the Twatter.  She is across genres from classical to American jazz to this African music influenced record.  I dig some classical music but I’m going to choose the African music every time.  The first tune (clipped below) opens up with some uptempo fiddle playing, a well fingered and brisk bassline, and most notably an accordion or an accordion type instrument.  At about 1 minute it settles into a standard straight jazz groove.  This is most definitely music for people with good jobs that wear nice sweaters and drink coffee because they enjoy the flavor.  I’m hearing a some kora (a good thing), electric bass (not a great thing on a jazz record imho) and some big jazz drumming on this second tune.   I like the fiddle playing as well as the accordion, the rest not so much.

@@@ Heather Woods Broderick: Invitation (Western Vinyl, 2019) I got to this alt country release via last week’s All Music notable release email.  The album opens with an ambient tune called A Stilling Wind.  Some electronic swirls and garnishes and an arpeggiated guitar and then Broderick’s somewhat breathy and intimate vocal.  By about 2 minutes we’re at full band with a cello, some shuffling drums and the aforementioned elements.  It’s a little bit country and a bunch Barbara Streisand.  Heavy on feeling.  I didn’t make it all the way through, I made it to about 4 minutes.  The second tune is called I Try and it’s a piano rock thing.  I think there was a time when Western Vinyl was an alt country imprint but I should adjust my notebook as the past few releases I’ve checked have not been that.  There’s a slide guitar here and there on this record but it’s mostly an adult alternative record, which is fine but I’m not really an adult alternative guy.

YTD recordings listened to: 217
Good music, not list worthy: 131
Not good music: 76

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 3/25/19!!! Blueface, Ken Nordine, Orville Peck

@@@ Blueface: Thotiana (5th Amendment, 2019)  A friend of mine sent me the link for this strip club anthem and the article the New York Times wrote about it.  Let’s just reiterate for the umpteenth time that New York Times’ music coverage is a bag of ass.  Incompetent and up its own ass.  Straight up Blueface can’t rap for shit, but music critics at the the Grey Lady don’t give a sliver of a fuck regarding one of the core elements of hip hop.  I know the word retarded is not considered correct but Blueface’s voice sounds off and a bit askew and if it were back in the day somebody might call it retarded.  Congrats on making it to the NY Times, but this is trash.

@@@ Ken Nordine: Word Jazz (Pickwick, 1957)  I saw on the KFJC semi-whatever email that this jazz poet passed away recently and I never heard of him and shit so I peeped him at All Music and saw this may be considered his best record.  The music here is pretty old school standard straight jazz and Nordine sounds like a present day voiceover fella.  He’s a bit offkilter but not especially jazzy or funky (according to my vague definition thereof).  The second tune fits a more standard definition of jazz .  I do like his very deep voice and what appears to be some irony to his poetics.  Check it out for back in the day vibes.

@@@ Orville Peck: Pony (Sub Pop, 2019) I saw this queer country record on the Line of Best fit weekly email which I enjoy sometimes.  The first tune is spaghetti country-ish and dramatical.  Peck has a deep register voice and the track sounds mad ironic to my ears.  I guess this gent’s identity is unknown which is fine for me as regular readers know I’m music only.  I like the guitar sounds and I find his voice and approach entertaining without super loving the tunes.

YTD recordings listened to: 158
Good music, not list worthy: 95
Not good music: 57

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