Active Music Listening Thursday May 21, 2015

YTD recordings listened to: 389
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 232
Not good music: 127

Honorable Mentions: 12
Buys: 9

Possibles: Chris McGregor, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Dave Arner Trio, Bill Horist, MAKU Soundsystem, Zomby, Retox, About Group, Jessie Mae Hemphill, Bone Dance, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, Debruit, Slidhr, The Whammies, The Chewers, Alexander Hawkins, Toxic Holocaust, Equal Stones, Comeback Kid, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, Spacesuits, T.O.M.B., Fofoulah, Lozen, Erase Errata, Mohammed Abozekry, Dawn Richard, Torche, Leo Welch, Astral Swans, Mastery, Leviathan, Xibalba, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Waters

@@@ Jason Derulo: Broke (Warner Bros, 2015). A mainstream pop/hip hop single with Stevie Wonder and Keith Urban. I got to this via the promo department at Warner Brothers. Think a classic rock hook over a jeep beat. $5 for the listener who can peg the classic rock melody they bite hard — hey, kids, rock ‘n roll. Arrrggghhhh, slow hard drive. I appreciate the celebration of being broke as opposed to the Jay-Z’s years long celebration of shooting benjamins out his vegan ass, but I can’t hang with the arrangement. Get a bun for that cheese. Return note: They bit that tune Rock ‘n Roll Hootchy-coo. Yikes.

@@@ Strange Names: Use Your Time Wisely (Frenchkiss, 2015). I got to this tune via music publicist emails. Man, they’re (the publicists) really pushing the music sausage through the intertoobz email consensus machine in the last day or so. I can’t breeve from the landslide of emails. The first tune is a shopping mall rock biscuit with a handful of New Wave pubes thrown over it for good feelings. They sound a lot like that Australian band INXS — the singer doesn’t sound like him, but the overall feel of the record resembles them. Mostly pop and rock with a schmear of white boy funk. Woof.

@@@ Porcelain Raft: Half Awake (Not sure, 2015) Oh boy, some New Age electro cheese I got to via a music publicist email. Big reverbed, sensitive male vocals, thick synth lasagna noodles punctured by some shiny arpeggiated guitars and a bedroom drum machine beat. When the tambourine comes in you’re supposed to be peaking right there. Dude!!!!! I have to stop now, I can’t type through my tears. God, that was powerful.

@@@ Stranger Cat: Ecstatic Energy (Joyful Noise, 2015). Some indie electronic I got to via a music publicist email. A solid medium funky beat, your standard synth bass and synth clouds, and I swear to God, a dude panting into a microphone. I don’t know how I feel about that, the panting that is. Female singer that is a cross between Tori Amos and Annie Lennox. The tune has some genuine weirdness to it, which I give respect to. Not sure what else to say. Peep it for yourself.

In an effort to be ‘transparent’ White House/Spooks release Bin Laden porn

From Reuters here:

U.S. intelligence officials on Wednesday released documents it said were recovered during the 2011 raid on the compound in Pakistan where U.S. forces killed al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence said in a statement that the release of the documents followed a “rigorous” review by U.S. government agencies and “aligns with the president’s call for increased transparency consistent with national security prerogatives.”

This release of documents does nothing to counter the assertions made by Seymour Hersh last week that Obama and his Spook overlords lied about how torture led them to Osama Bin Laden.

This is a sideshow, a little nugget of ‘hey look over here’.

We got your Bin Laden porn right here!

Yes, we bailed out white collar Wall St. criminals

From here:

In the study, to be released Tuesday, about a third of the people who said they made more than $500,000 annually contend that they “have witnessed or have firsthand knowledge of wrongdoing in the workplace.”

Just as bad: “Nearly one in five respondents feel financial service professionals must sometimes engage in unethical or illegal activity to be successful in the current financial environment.”


Not only did no financial services chieftains go to jail for their ‘leadership’ in the run up to the financial crisis, there has been no fundamental shift away from unethical behavior.

There’s been a lot of fines and there’s been a lot of lip service, but 33% of Wall Streeters have witnessed or have firsthand knowledge of wrongdoing???

#political/financialcorruption

Active Music Listening Wednesday May 19, 2015

YTD recordings listened to: 385
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 230
Not good music: 125

Honorable Mentions: 12
Buys: 9

Possibles: Chris McGregor, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Dave Arner Trio, Bill Horist, MAKU Soundsystem, Zomby, Retox, About Group, Jessie Mae Hemphill, Bone Dance, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, Debruit, Slidhr, The Whammies, The Chewers, Alexander Hawkins, Toxic Holocaust, Equal Stones, Comeback Kid, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, Spacesuits, T.O.M.B., Fofoulah, Lozen, Erase Errata, Mohammed Abozekry, Dawn Richard, Torche, Leo Welch, Astral Swans, Mastery, Leviathan, Xibalba, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Waters

@@@ Titi Robin (with Mehdi Nassouli): Taziri (World Village, 2015). Also off this week’s WRIR world music playlist email. Opens up with an epic proggy jam between guitar and bass. I googled him and he works in a style he calls ‘Mediterranean’ and I hear that as a blend of gypsy, North African/Middle Eastern, and folk musics. Robin is a lyrical guitar player and this is some high quality music for the brunch crowd — it’s very soothing and smooth.

@@@ Holly Herndon: Platform (Not sure, 2015). There is a profile of this musician on Wired here as she made a record about the NSA and surveillance. I can’t hear the whole record but there are two Googletube clips as part oft he article and the tune I’m checking out is a stutter-y, glitched foundation with layered female records riding over the metallic popping. It’s a love song to the NSA employee watching her. You don’t get the impact of the song unless you watch the video with the lyrics as the vocals are a bit too low in the mix. I like the chopped metallic rhythmic middle of the tune but I thought she could have done a better job with the vocals and the arrangement to help the tune have more impact.

@@@ The Bluebeaters: Everybody Knows (Record Kicks, 2015) Some ska/rocksteady off this week’s WRIR playlist email. Super loverboy vocals with classic relaxed skankin’. Very cool cover of Bruce Springsteen’s classic rock tune, Hungry Heart. Strong B+ party music for the warm weather.

@@@ Shamir: Ratchet (XL, 2015) Some teen EDM off the Beats highlights page. I like the funky arrangement on the opener ‘Vegas’, but he sounds tight on the mic, detracting from your listening pleasure. I’m three tunes in and I’m a little shocked the label or the manager didn’t get this teenager some singing lessons for this kid — the arrangements are pretty hot but the vocals are clunky as fuck and really bring the shit down. I’m no EDM fan but if there was some swing to the vocals this would blow up.

Mussolini explains Obama’s TPP trade deal

From here:

Incredibly, while Wall Street, the pharmaceutical industry and major media companies have full knowledge as to what is in this treaty, the American people and members of Congress do not. They have been locked out of the process.

“Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of State and corporate power.” — Benito Mussolini