9/27/16: Elage Diouf, The Breath, Warpaint, Spencer Ludwig

@@@ ELAGE DIOUF: Melokaane (Pump Up The World, 2016) Some uplifting African music I got to via this week’s WRIR weekly email. Diouf was born in Senegal and now lives in Quebec. This first tune has elements of funk, African single line guitar playing, a horn section and a true world music flavor. This first tune is about Nelson Mandela so it’s gonna be positive. Let’s peep more. I’ve listened to pieces of five tunes here and I would say if you are a fan of Peter Gabriel’s mash of world music but you want an African on the microphone this record will work for you.

@@@ The Breath: Carry Your Kin (Real World, 2016). Here we have more world music off a WRIR weekly email from June. The opener, Harvest, is slow with big production and an inward focused female singer. This is some Tori Amos/Kate Bush/Sarah McClachlan sounding music with big reverbs and an orchestral feel to the arrangements. This is signified as big, meaningful music — I’m not sure I experience it that way but if you’re into the epic female soft rock marinated in a stew of strong feelings you might dig this big time.

@@@ Warpaint: Heads Up (Rough Trade, 2016) Blurbed as gauzy post-punk I got to this record via this week’s All Music notable release email. I get the angular minimalism of this tune, but I usually think of the term post-punk as code for kinda punky and I don’t hear that on the first track Whiteout. The second tune By Your Side confirms that this is more of a stripped down krautrock take on 1980’s mainstream rock/pop bands that I can’t remember. The band is tight and tough and I dig the vocals.

@@@ Spencer Ludwig: Diggy (Warner Bros, 2016). Wow, Mr. Ludwig sounds a whole lot like Prince. He’s trafficking in the same blend of funk and black music influences but unfortunately not at the same level Prince did. This is big updated disco track with a big slather of trumpet sauce over the top. Maybe a tad too much trumpet. Pop music is a tough sell for me and I guess the genius of Prince was the guitar work he threaded through his music that gave it more muscle.

YTD recordings listened to: 763
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 430
Not good music: 286

Buys: 15
Honorable Mentions: 12

Possibles: Chris McGregor, Dave Arner Trio, Zomby, Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, Slidhr, The Chewers, Toxic Holocaust, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Fofoulah, Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, Leviathan, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Janelle Monae, Luther Dickinson, Destruction Unit, Graeme Barrett, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Cavanaugh, Gentleman Surfer, Satoko Fuji, Mystic Braves, Divanhana, Unrestrained, Moken, Systema Solar, Brian Eno, Juan Atkins, Drone, Lantern, Twin Peaks, Djelimady Tounkara, Miramar, The Oh Sees, Denny Zeitlin, MILF, Joe Sticky, Unfun, De La Soul, Carl Sagan’s Skate Shoes, Neurosis

Is outsourcing/globalization driving gang violence in Chicago?

From Slate here:

But there is a deeper, knottier issue that’s driving the bloodshed, said Lance Williams, and that’s the almost total lack of opportunity and resources for people growing up in impoverished neighborhoods. “We look at these conflicts as gang-related because these kids have ‘gang ties,’ ” Williams said. “But it really has nothing to do with a gang. When the only thing you have, the last thing you have, is your humanity, what you think of as your manhood, you get this skewed vision of what a man is. Because it’s the last front for you. You might as well be dead if you can’t hold onto that.” Regardless of what law enforcement officials try to do, Williams told me, the violence will continue until Chicago can give its young people something else.

There is a lot of lip service paid by those in charge that we have to do something for those left behind but it’s just lip service, nothing is going to happen to economically develop impoverished neighborhoods.

It is very similar to the lip service paid by those in charge about what we have to do to rebuild the relationship between the police and impoverished neighborhoods.  African Americans are killed in a variety of situations and nothing has changed and lip service keeps getting paid.

The truth is nobody gives a flying fuck about these neighborhoods for two reasons: there’s no money to be made there, it will actually cost money, and exerting police control over these areas is a racist idea that crops up after those in charge decide they don’t want these neighborhoods economically developed and they allow manufacturing to move out of the U.S.

Big shock, Epipen lady lied to Congress about Epipen profits!

From CNBC here:

Mylan said on Monday the auto-injector EpiPen’s pretax profits were 60 percent higher than it told Congress, according to sources close to the matter.

Without a tax-related reduction, the pharmaceutical company’s profits on the EpiPen two-pack would be about $160, higher than the $100 figure the company gave Congress. The company said any lack of clarity was not intentional.

#notintentional or #nottruthful???

9/26/16: Audiopush, The Weeknd, Shabaka Hutchings, Passenger

@@@ Audiopush: 90951 (Good Vibe Tribe, 2016). Some West Coast ratchet, whatever that is. I know Miley Cyrus was deep into marketing herself as ratchet, but she’s a low self esteem victim of Walt the Mouse so it’s unclear what ratchet may be. I’m noticing how unfocused and scattershot this opening tune is. Let’s peep more. This second tune, Leftside, is more focused with a fat jeep bass and a higher quality rap. I don’t know who sequenced this record but the third tune is the best of what I heard — what’s up with that lazy flapdoodle opening track? I’ve attached the third tune, Control Us.

@@@ The Weeknd: Starboy (featuring Daft Punk) (Republic, 2016). I don’t know what Daft Punk is performing in this song besides wearing those stupid sci-fi outfits but this is more than the first time I’ve peeped the Weeknd thought it overrated. He sounds like a weird blend of Michael Jackson and Drake (who has a big ass pool). Big electro production with old school beats and Weeknd’s loverboy falsetto. This is the lead single off a late November full banger that I will probably not be checking out.

@@@ Shabaka and the Ancestors: Wisdom of Elders (Brownswood, 2016) African jazz I got to via this week’s All Music notable release email. This first tune Mzwandile is a slow cooked Afrobeat/straight jazz mash with a solid bass line and some space organ on top. There is also a female singer. I like the bass player a lot, the sax player less. To my ears this seems to be a somber affair and I would like it more if it burned a little hotter and wasn’t quite so serious.

@@@ Passenger: Young as the Morning Old as the Sea (Nettwerk, 2016) Blurbed as ‘inviting folk’ on Apple Music I got to this record via this week’s All Music notable release email. I like the singer’s voice and the production is slick and I don’t have a problem with the music per se but more the way this kiind of music is marketed as meaningful to shiny happy people. They lyrics are jumbled folky wisdom presented in an epic folk rock context. Let’s peep more. I don’t think these particular confessional lyrics don’t work for me, they’re just a bit on the cliche side.

YTD recordings listened to: 759
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 428
Not good music: 284

Buys: 15
Honorable Mentions: 12

Possibles: Chris McGregor, Dave Arner Trio, Zomby, Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, Slidhr, The Chewers, Toxic Holocaust, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Fofoulah, Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, Leviathan, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Janelle Monae, Luther Dickinson, Destruction Unit, Graeme Barrett, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Cavanaugh, Gentleman Surfer, Satoko Fuji, Mystic Braves, Divanhana, Unrestrained, Moken, Systema Solar, Brian Eno, Juan Atkins, Drone, Lantern, Twin Peaks, Djelimady Tounkara, Miramar, The Oh Sees, Denny Zeitlin, MILF, Joe Sticky, Unfun, De La Soul, Carl Sagan’s Skate Shoes, Neurosis

Why doesn’t Obama trumpet his accomplishments in Yemen?

From Naked Capitalism here:

In a craven act of genocidal depravity, the US Senate voted Wednesday to approve yet another tranche of weapons sales to the far-right Wahhabist theocracy of Saudi Arabia, bringing the total to over $20 billion in sales since the Saudi war began in March 2015. Those weapons will be used in the Saudis’ campaign of extermination against the civilian supporters of the Houthis, a postcolonial-nationalist militia aligned with Tehran.

Because of Saudi Arabia’s indiscriminate bombing of civilians, 14.4 million people in Yemen, out of 25.4 million, are food insecure, according to the World Food Program. On September 21 the BBC released a harrowing documentary on malnutrition among children in Yemen, all a direct result of the Saudi bombing campaign.

Over 4,000 civilians have been killed by the Saudi’s bombing campaign, with likely countless more dead from ancillary effects of malnutrition.

That’s quite an accomplishment, shouldn’t he be proud of that?

9/25/16: Devendra Banhart, Forma, Avvolgere

@@@ Devendra Banhart: Ape in Pink Marble (Nonesuch, 2016). ‘Surrealistic soft rock’ I got to via this week’s All Music notable release email. This first tune Middle Names is acoustic guitar and Banhart, intimate and okay. The second tune brings on the full band with more arpeggiated guitar, some minimalist bass and some electronic goodies sprinkled. I don’t think I love these vocals. I’m not a big soft rock and this is a king sized pillow slab of soft rock. I’m not sure how much softer rock could get than this.

@@@ Forma: Physicalist (Kranky, 2016). Experimental ambient music also off this week’s All Music notable release email. We open up with the tune Collapse of Materialists, a really party banger! Something to bend Miley Cyrus over to for sure. After a little synth cloud intro it gets into a delicious spaceship arriving rumble. And then a high synth ribbon and there’s some really nice interplay between the slow moving elements of this tune. Awww, after that sweet abstract piece it’s into the video game pong synthesizers. #disappointing. The third tune continues the instrumental krautrock with a bit more bounce and I’m out like bell bottom jeans. I’ve clipped the track I dug because I give I give I give.

@@@ True Widow: Avvolgere (Relapse Records, 2016) Post rock off this week’s All Music notable release email. From the cover for the video below I’m predicting these guys are gonna bring some art school heavy to the show. Thus far my low IQ aim is true with this tune Back Shredder which sports an outstanding distorted bass sound, a trashy drum beat and some aloof, low in the mix vocals. I’m really feeling the sludgy low end on this record, the dreamy grungy vocals not as much.

YTD recordings listened to: 755
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 426
Not good music: 282

Buys: 15
Honorable Mentions: 12

Possibles: Chris McGregor, Dave Arner Trio, Zomby, Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, Slidhr, The Chewers, Toxic Holocaust, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Fofoulah, Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, Leviathan, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Janelle Monae, Luther Dickinson, Destruction Unit, Graeme Barrett, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Cavanaugh, Gentleman Surfer, Satoko Fuji, Mystic Braves, Divanhana, Unrestrained, Moken, Systema Solar, Brian Eno, Juan Atkins, Drone, Lantern, Twin Peaks, Djelimady Tounkara, Miramar, The Oh Sees, Denny Zeitlin, MILF, Joe Sticky, Unfun, De La Soul, Carl Sagan’s Skate Shoes, Neurosis