YTD recordings listened to: 862
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 531
Not good music: 273
Honorable Mentions: 11
Possibles: Boyd Rivers, Chris McGregor, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Dave Arner Trio, Bill Horist, MAKU Soundsystem, Zomby, Retox, About Group, Jessie Mae Hemphill, Kendl Winter, Bone Dance, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, Debruit and Aljawal, Slidhr, The Whammies, The Chewers, La Misa Negra, Alexander Hawkins, Cheryl Pyle, Toxic Holocaust, Equal Stones, Comeback Kid, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Bio Ritmo, Lenguas Largas, Khun Narin, Doug Seegers, Shakey Graves, Jungle Fire, The Coral
@@@ Immigrant Union: War is Peace (Fontana North, 2014). It’s CMJ this week in New York City, so there’s a lot of tight blue jean hipsters walking around with foil wrapped cucumbers in their pants. Oh wait, that’s Spinal Tap. This is an uplifting political folk hippie track with a spoonful of Bob Dylan. The singer does a great job with the lyrics, there’s plenty of guitar strumming, handclaps and a big bass drum. Musically it’s pretty familiar, but I’m so grateful that somebody is singing about something besides how sad they are or about how they’re about to cream their pants that I will give big props for that.
@@@ Happyness: Anything I Do is All Right (Cinder Cone, 2014). Another gold nugget buried in the pile of shit known as CMJ. Think the Ramones with breathy, intimate vocals. A little less Gabba Gabba Hey than the Ramones. Softer, that is. The second tune, You Come to Kill Me? backs off the Ramones schtick pretty hard and oh boy, this is way too white boy softie for me. I’m starting to sneeze.
@@@ Line & Circle: Debut (Line & Circle, 2014). I guess somebody has to sound just like early-REM now that REM isn’t losing their religion any more. I was never big on the REM juggernaut, but the singer is spooky close to the Stipe-ness.
@@@ Medicine: Home Everywhere (Captured Tracks, 2014). Off this week’s All Music weekly email. Slotted as dream pop, the opening track opens up spinny a bit like a medium dark acid trip. Sargent Pepper’s with black paint swirled in and a touch of shoegaze vocal action. An interesting blend of influences. The second tune moves into a less trippy place, but it’s still not the dream pop it was labelled as. Pretty hard hitting drum pattern in the second tune, Turning. I’m not jumping up and down but I appreciate the creativity that went into these arrangements.
@@@ The Shivas: You Know What to Do (K Records, 2014). Off the All Music weekly email. Slotted as garage punk, the first tune has some Spaghetti Western/rockabilly tremolo going on. Those folks expecting a blast of anti-social garage punk noise will get a pretty melodic medium rock experience. Regular readers know how much I value the truth over selling records. The second tune, Do the Crocodile, gets mad surfy and it stays in that Early Stones with twang neighborhood for the tunes I heard.
You can stream over here at KEXP.