Hardcore Music Listening Wednesday July 16, 2014

YTD recordings listened to: 539
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 337
Not good music: 160

Honorable Mentions: 3
Buys: 6

Possibles: Boyd Rivers, Chris McGregor, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Dave Arner Trio, Bill Horist, MAKU Soundsystem, Zomby, Retox, Owiny Sigoma Band, About Group, Jello Biafra, Fat Freddy’s Drop, Jessie Mae Hemphill, Kendl Winter, Shigeto, Bone Dance, Defeater, Sidi Toure, Lindi Ortega, Jonwayne, Christian Kjellvander, Okkyung Lee, Tiger Hatchery, The Ballantynes, Debruit and Aljawal, Slidhr, The Whammies, The Chewers, La Misa Negra, Melingo, Alexander Hawkins, Cheryl Pyle,  Toxic Holocaust, Equal Stones, Comeback Kid, Third Coast Kings, Jack White, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Charming Axe, Eccodek, Bio Ritmo, Pacifika, Kasai All Stars, Viet Cong, Traams

@@@ Traams: Cissa (Fat Cat, 2014).  A barbed old school melodic EP off the All Music weekly email.  Some excellent work by the bass player and the whole band is a couple of notches above uptempo.  I think this is the band the Strokes always wanted to be.  These are interestingly arranged indie tunes played with some enthusiasm.  I’m gonna check out the rest of this 18 minute EP when I get a chance.

Nothing on the Youtube, but you can hear some nuggets over at the label website here.

@@@ Ricardo Lumva: La Rumba Soyo (Cumbancha, 2014).  Some African salsa out of the Congo that I got to via a WRIR email review.   From the review blurb Lumva has lived in LA since the 80s.  The first tune, Santonio Antonio d0 Zaire, is pretty straightforward Zaire, althought there is some pretty wicked single line guitar work tucked into the side of the mix   There’s some pretty nice accordion to go with the guitar work in the clip below.  The record is a little slick sounding for my taste, but the playing is excellent.

@@@ Puss ‘n Boots: No Fools, No Fun (Blue Note, 2014).  Who needs sleepy time tea when we have Norah Jones?  She is the master of the valium low midtempo sweet tune and here she’s showcased with other two other gals and two of the women are wearing boots on the cover and they all have a puss.  Sweet singing, a lot of double entendres (Sex Degrees of Separation is one song title), and above all else that slow loping sleepytime meter.

 

@@@ Bleachers: Strange Desire (RCA, 2014)  Some major label new wave/post punk off the All Music weekly email.  I think these guys should be proud of their shopping mall synth/guitar pop sound because they sure as shit have diddly squat to do with post punk.  The second tune has a bit of new wave, but this is a straight up pop cheese biscuit, make no mistake about it.

@@@ Novembers Doom: Bled White (The End, 2014).  Some caveman fronted metal off the All Music email.  Oh, the lyrics are grunted and the choruses are sung.  Double kick drum spraying drummer, big guitar kachunk with bits of shred sprinkled through.  There’s some epic-ness to the second tune, Heartfelt and the formula is pretty much the same as the album moves on.

 

Active Music Listening Wednesday June 11, 2014

YTD recordings listened to: 421
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 263
Not good music: 130

Honorable Mentions: 2
Buys: 2

Possibles: Boyd Rivers, Chris McGregor, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Dave Arner Trio, Trap Them, Bill Horist, MAKU Soundsystem, Zomby, Retox, Owiny Sigoma Band, About Group, Jello Biafra, Fat Freddy’s Drop, Jessie Mae Hemphill, Kendl Winter, Shigeto, Bone Dance, Defeater, Sidi Toure, Lindi Ortega, Jonwayne, Christian Kjellvander, Okkyung Lee, Tiger Hatchery, The Ballantynes, Debruit and Aljawal, Slidhr, The Whammies, The Chewers, La Misa Negra, Melingo, Alexander Hawkins, Cheryl Pyle,  Toxic Holocaust, Equal Stones, Comeback Kid, Curtis Harding, Third Coast Kings, Jack White

@@@ Dub Thompson: 9 Songs (Dead Oceans, 2014).  Deceptively titled indie rock from the All Music weekly email.  At least it’s indie rock — 60% of what’s labelled as indie rock has very little to do with rock.  The first tune, Hayward!, has a frantic garage feel with some pushing drums and jumpy guitar work.  A little bit of Pere Ubu, a smidge of Wire, a tad of Minutemen Buzz or Howl.  The second tune takes the tempo down, brings in a synth melody but retains the trashy drum sound.

@@@ Peter Brendler: Outside the Lines (Positone, 2014).  Some interesting jazz I found on the WMUA weekly charts.  Instrumentation is trumpet, sax, bass, and drums.   The energy is excellent, the record sound really good and the improvisation is pretty fresh.  This is some engaging straight jazz.

You can stream some samples over here at the Positone website.

@@@ Anathema: Distant Satellites (Kscope, 2014).  Some prog off my weekly heavy metal email.  Open male voice, a lot of nerd drumming a la Rush, some synth action but still a rock vibe.   The second tune is similarly proggy with piano and some female ooh aaahing.  Not really my cup of tea, but check it for yourself.  I liked the third tune, Dusk, except for the breathy vocals.

@@@ Stagnant Pools: Intentions (from the album Geist, on Polyvinyl, 2014).  From a music publicist email.  It would be almost impossible to not think of Thurston Moore and SST era Sonic Youth when hearing this track.  Also Screaming Trees.  Excellent guitar sounds, the tune is solid.  I wanted to hear something more unique.

Active Music Listening Monday June 9, 2014

YTD recordings listened to: 417
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 263
Not good music: 130

Honorable Mentions: 2
Buys: 2

Possibles: Boyd Rivers, Chris McGregor, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Dave Arner Trio, Trap Them, Bill Horist, MAKU Soundsystem, Zomby, Retox, Owiny Sigoma Band, About Group, Jello Biafra, Fat Freddy’s Drop, Jessie Mae Hemphill, Kendl Winter, Shigeto, Bone Dance, Defeater, Sidi Toure, Lindi Ortega, Jonwayne, Christian Kjellvander, Okkyung Lee, Tiger Hatchery, The Ballantynes, Debruit and Aljawal, Slidhr, The Whammies, The Chewers, La Misa Negra, Melingo, Alexander Hawkins, Cheryl Pyle,  Toxic Holocaust, Equal Stones, Comeback Kid, Curtis Harding, Third Coast Kings

@@@ Skeptics: III (Flying Nuns, 2014).  The folks at Aquarius Records in San Fran are raving about this outfit from New Zealand.  The opening tune is a bunch like Nine Inch Nails with less cheese and more dirt.  Also a tad of Motley Crue in this bad boy.  Excellent bulldozer bass tone.  The second tune is more of a downtempo fuzzy sleeper but still with lots of sonics and that bass.  Oy, the bass!

@@@ Watery Love: Sick People (In the Red, 2014).  Also off the Aquarius weekly list from last week and I would rather have watery love instead of watery diarrhea.  There are two tunes up on the Beats and it’s a punk quasi-blues smashfest.  Most excellent and I now regret the diarrhea crack as it is surely not feces.

@@@ Black Hat: Thought of Two (Hausu Mountain, 2014).  Let’s finish up with another off the Aquarius weekly email list.  Dark Blade Runner-esque post apocalyptic electronica.  Oh the Koch brothers have destroyed the world, quick get me a soundtrack — I got it, Black hat!!! Short delays on the drum machine hi hat, a lot of burbling synth bass and some moaning warped synth patches.  Not dogging it, splaining it.

Active Music Listening Wednesday May 28, 2014

YTD recordings listened to: 388
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 247
Not good music: 117

Honorable Mentions: 2
Buys: 2

Possibles: Boyd Rivers, Chris McGregor, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Dave Arner Trio, Trap Them, Bill Horist, MAKU Soundsystem, Zomby, Retox, Owiny Sigoma Band, About Group, Jello Biafra, Fat Freddy’s Drop, Jessie Mae Hemphill, Kendl Winter, Shigeto, Bone Dance, Defeater, Sidi Toure, Lindi Ortega, Jonwayne, Christian Kjellvander, Okkyung Lee, Tiger Hatchery, The Ballantynes, Debruit and Aljawal, Slidhr, The Whammies, The Chewers, La Misa Negra, Melingo, Alexander Hawkins, Cheryl Pyle, Mexican Dubwiser, Toxic Holocaust, Equal Stones, Comeback Kid, Curtis Harding, Third Coast Kings

@@@ Mariah Carey: Me. I am Mariah…The Elusive Chanteuse (Island Records, 2014).  I don’t know how I made it through the nine years without a Mariah Carey studio record.  And I missed her MILF cleavage as well.  This is sad Mariah (with mad cleavage), nostalgic Mariah (with big cleavage), and non-5 octave singing (with big cleavage action).  Feel better Mariah, I hope things work out for you and your heart.

@@@ Trash Talk: No Peace (Odd Future, 2014).  Some Linkin Park inspired heavy music off the All Music weekly email.  When I hear monster distorto bass guitar sounds with turntable scratching, I think of the Park of Linkin.   That opening snippet gives way to Jigsaw, which is your classic post hardcore heavy beatdown — rough but not metallic, more hardcore.  I thought this was going to be some art school wang shit, but it’s got some muscle.  Really good, tough drumming with that smelly toilet bass sound.  Check it out.

 

Active Music Listening Thursday May 22, 2014

YTD recordings listened to: 377
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 242
Not good music: 112

Honorable Mentions: 1
Buys: 2

Possibles: Boyd Rivers, Chris McGregor, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Dave Arner Trio, Trap Them, Bill Horist, MAKU Soundsystem, Zomby, Retox, Owiny Sigoma Band, About Group, Jello Biafra, Fat Freddy’s Drop, Jessie Mae Hemphill, Kendl Winter, Shigeto, Bone Dance, Defeater, Sidi Toure, Lindi Ortega, Jonwayne, Christian Kjellvander, Okkyung Lee, Tiger Hatchery, The Ballantynes, Debruit and Aljawal, Slidhr, The Whammies, The Chewers, La Misa Negra, Melingo, Alexander Hawkins, Cheryl Pyle, Mexican Dubwiser, Toxic Holocaust, Equal Stones, Comeback Kid, Nat Baldwin, Curtis Harding

@@@ Hollis Brown: Gets Loaded (Alive NaturalSound, 2014).  I had these guys as an honorable mention on their debut, but I cut no slack and take each album as it comes.   This is a record of Velvet Underground covers, which might work against my listening as I always found the Velvets to be kinda boring and overrated.  I love the drum sound on this record, the record sounds great, and they do a great job on the tunes, I just don’t really like the Velvet Underground.

@@@ Dave Specter: Message in Blue (Delmark, 2014).  Off the All Music weekly email and I try to listen to Delmark releases anyway.   Specter’s guitar tone is less cranked rock than many of today’s bluesmen and I appreciate that.  His band sounds a bunch like Stevie Ray Vaughan’s Double Trouble.  Production is solid without drawing attention to itself.  Big ups to the organ player on the first tune New West Side Stroll, he’s stealin the tune from Specter. I like a bunch of things about this record, I don’t love the singer, but the band is strong.

 @@@ Hedley: Wild Life (Capitol, 2014).  Slotted as punk pop on the All Music weekly email this is slickly produced shopping mall pop garbage.  Packaged rebellion, every New Age uplifting cliche about not being kept down.  Crap Crap Crap.

@@@ Miss Fortune: A Spark to Believe (Sumerian Records, 2014).  Slotted as post-hardcore in the weekly All Music email this is pretty much mainstream hard rock.  It’s a version of Bon Jovi after an espresso and a tablespoon of cheese scooped out.  False advertising people!

 

 

Active Music Listening Wednesday May 7, 2014

YTD recordings listened to: 327
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 213
Not good music: 95

Honorable Mentions: 1
Buys: 2

Possibles: Boyd Rivers, Chris McGregor, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Dave Arner Trio, Trap Them, Bill Horist, MAKU Soundsystem, Zomby, Retox, Owiny Sigoma Band, About Group, Jello Biafra, Fat Freddy’s Drop, Jessie Mae Hemphill, Kendl Winter, Shigeto, Bone Dance, Defeater, Sidi Toure, Lindi Ortega, Jonwayne, Christian Kjellvander, Okkyung Lee, Tiger Hatchery, The Ballantynes, Debruit and Aljawal, Slidhr, The Whammies, The Chewers, La Misa Negra, Melingo, Alexander Hawkins, Cheryl Pyle, Mexican Dubwiser, Toxic Holocaust, Equal Stones, Comeback Kid, Nat Baldwin

@@@ Liam Finn: The Nihilist (Yep Roc, 2014).  Off the All Music weekly ‘notable’ new release email.  This record is mostly quirky rock with some electronic/soul elements mixed in.  A lot of falsetto vocals which always evokes black music for me.  Very Prince-like to my ears.  I like the third tune, Snug as Fuck, much more than the first two tracks.

@@@ Papercuts: Life Among the Savages (Easy Sound, 2014).  A dreamy psychedelic sound off the All Music weekly email.  A little bit Beach Boys, a bit Strawberry Fields.  It’s standard indie band with some orchestral touches.  It’s a really pretty sound but as I do something else on the net, I don’t really notice anything pulling me in the direction of the tunes.  I know folks like music as background scenery, but I like my music to pull me in.

@@@ Bleeding Utopia: Gods to Some, Demons to Others (WormHoleDeath, 2012)  Not their latest release but I caught this on my weekly heavy metal mailorder email.  Opens up with the tune Bind Torture Kill, which is a pleasant blend of classic metal guitar, thrash/power drumming and singer that is pissed off but his lyrics are intelligible.  Shades of 1980’s Metallica.  I like it a bunch but I don’t love it.

@@@ Some Ember: The Thrashing Whip (Dream Recordings, 2014).  Another music publicist email track.  Marketed as music to scratch your ‘weird synth itch’, I find the beginning of the track to be pretty standard.  Weird is running down Broadway in New York City wearing just an adult diaper, this is soft synth pop.  These guys own some Depeche Mode records for sure.  If you like the full synth attack you’ll be shitting your pants with these guys.

@@@ OBN III: No Time for the Blues (Tic Tac Totally, 2014).  Off a music publicist email.  A blend of Iggy Pop, the Ramones, and a bit of Bon Scott ear AC/DC — a nice gritty bass sound, but some pretty standard cliche rock ‘n roll guitar lessens my love for the tune.  I wish the tune had more uniqueness to it.

Active Music Listening Tuesday April 29, 2014

YTD recordings listened to: 300
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 196
Not good music: 86

Honorable Mentions: 1
Buys: 1

Possibles: Boyd Rivers, Chris McGregor, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Dave Arner Trio, Trap Them, Bill Horist, MAKU Soundsystem, Zomby, Retox, Owiny Sigoma Band, About Group, Jello Biafra, Fat Freddy’s Drop, Jessie Mae Hemphill, All Pigs Must Die, Kendl Winter, Shigeto, Bone Dance, Cage the Elephant, Defeater, Sidi Toure, Lindi Ortega, Jonwayne, Christian Kjellvander, Okkyung Lee, Tiger Hatchery, Xiu Xiu, The Ballantynes, Debruit and Aljawal, Slidhr, The Whammies, The Chewers, La Misa Negra, Melingo, Alexander Hawkins, Cheryl Pyle, Mexican Dubwiser, Toxic Holocaust, Equal Stones, Comeback Kid

@@@ Ian Carey Quintet +1: Roads and Codes (Kabocha, 2013).  An artist I got to via an email update from the Twitter.  The twitter is kinda cool and very lame at the same time.  This is a really well recorded straight jazz session with the first piece, Rain Tune, featuring flute, trumpet, sax, piano, bass and drums.  I really like the sound and playing on the third tune, Dead Man (Theme).  Straight jazz fans should check this record out.

@@@ Jim Byrnes: St. Louis Blues (Black Hen Music, 2014).  Some old school full blues band/funk I found on the CFUV weekly email.  The first tune sounds very similar to the opening tune for the HBO show Treme.  Regular readers know that I like my blues records gritty — the production here isn’t slick but it’s most definitely clean and modern sounding.  Just my preference.  I like the guitar player here.

@@@ Kishi Bashi: Lighght (Joyful Noise, May 13).  I got to this recording via a music publicist.   Quirky mainstream indie electronic with notable New Age production notes.  Big stacked vocal whoa hos, big reverb patches, plinky synth droplets, string flourishes to name a few.  From the blurb the main guy is a violin player and the violin has not historically occupied a central position in rock music, but this is some cheesy bouncy pop.  If that’s your sort of thing you’ll be happy.

I streamed here at NPR, but they don’t keep their streaming windows open long.

@@@ Iggy Azalea: The New Classic (Island, 2014).  Off the All Music weekly email and you can’t surf around any sort of website with music appearing on it without running into the name Iggy Azalea.  I’m gonna go out on a limb and say Iggy is a white woman, but she sure do sound a lot like a West Coast female African American.  So let’s call her Lady Eminem — she’s got good flow on the microphone and a well developed sense of rhythm.  The production is slick and kinda gargage-y.  Her lyrics are childish, but she’s hot (a former model!) so she’s gonna be huge.  Childish and hot is big here in America, ask Justin Timberlake.

@@@ Black Prairie: Fortune (Sugar Hill, 2014).  Slotted as alternative folk on the All Music weekly email, I would peg this as indie folk — drum machines and acoustic guitars is territory first charted by Beck, a big daddy of the indie scene.  This is hooky pop folk, not downtempo Appalachian white trash misery folk.  If the beats were more interesting I could get into it more but it’s pretty standard boom bap without much funk.