2017 Honorable Mention Pick 2

Fofoulah: Bene Bon EP (Loop Records, 2013)

This 29 minute 6 song EP by a band out of London combines hand drumming with elements of Afrobeat and Senegalese singing.  The drumming is really great, the guitar player sounds like he’s listened to a lot of the Edge from U2, but Edge’s long lost black brother from Africa.  The singer is very good but doesn’t stand out as much as the drumming.  The spirit of the music is neither Afrobeat or Afropop.

The second song (the title track) is my favorite, my least favorite is the fourth song but these guys definitely bring a different recipe to their African music.

Music for 4/27/17!!! D.R.A.M., Exit Order, Lindi Ortega

@@@ D.R.A.M.: Gilligan (Atlantic, 2017)  A single from DRAM and it’s not as light as the tracks from his last record.  The hook is ‘Gone off the shit again, lost on an island like Gilligan’.  That’s paraphrasing and it appears he gets so high that he feels lost like Gilligan.  I like the beats and the bass and he’s got some good guest MCs talking some medium level gangster business.  Strippers, weed, etc.

@@@ Exit Order: Seed of Hysteria (Side Two Records, 2017)  I thought this was going to be a classic metal record but when the female singer came in it went tasty punk thrash.  Think the Sex Pistols but the band is better and it’s more revved up.  The guitar sounds a little weird and kinda AM radio sizzle but the drums and bass sound really good and I dig the singer.  It’s 10 songs in 19 minutes so it flies like a taco bowl through Trump’s intestines.  Yikes!

@@@ Lindi Ortega – Til The Gon’ Gets Gone (Shadowbox, 2017)  I’ve peeped Ms. Ortega’s alt-country so I thought I would check out this four song EP.  This first tune is just arpeggiated guitar and Ms. Ortega and her voice is more than strong and soulful enough to pull it off.  There’s a lonesome guitar solo in the second half of the song and the second song really showcases Ortega’s voice.  This is a hella beautiful bummer of an EP so get the wine and the handkerchiefs out as this is no cheerleading session.  I like the third tune Waiting Around to Die the best of what I heard.

YTD recordings listened to: 250
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 148
Not good music: 99

Buys: 5
Honorable Mentions: 1

Possibles: Chris McGregor, 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, Graeme Barrett, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Cavanaugh, Gentleman Surfer, Satoko Fuji, Moken, Juan Atkins, Drone, Lantern, Twin Peaks, Djelimady Tounkara, The Oh Sees, Denny Zeitlin, MILF, Unfun, De La Soul, Carl Sagan’s Skate Shoes, Magrudergrind, A Tribe Called Quest, Noname, Gouge Away, Anna Hogberg, Klara Lewis, Aethenor, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, James Brandon Lewis, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Power Trip, Reverend Payton, J.I.D., Oddisee, Forro in the Dark

Music for 4/26/17!!! Matthew Logan Vazquez, Mr. Mitch

@@@ Matthew Logan Vazquez: Does What He Wants (Dine Alone, 2017)  I’ve heard Vasquez’s music before and almost put it on a year end list.  This one opens up straight blues rock and I don’t like it much.  The second tune is less rocking and more indie — I like it more but the third tune is back to the big rock.  He has a good voice and the sounds are all right but it seems like a record designed to produce loot as it goes out of its way to be familiar.

@@@ Mr. Mitch: Devout (Planet Mu, 2017)  This electronic musician out of London is being marketed as somewhere between grime and ambient.  This first tune is a slow love song with lush synths and a delayed vocal line.  In the second song, he breaks out the ping pong delay and gets to rhyming.  The beats are not typical American hip hop and the piece has a sort of sci fi feel to it.  Mr. Mitch appears to want to have delicate sounds on top of beats so when he drops the energy of the beats it feels ambient and when he goes into a grime hip hop thing it’s a half rugged video game thing.  Not really for me but check for yourself.

@@@ Mike Dillon: Life is Not a Football (Royal Potato, 2017)  Some experimental rock off this week’s All Music notable release email.  This first tune opens up somewhat Captain Beefheart-y with a mid tempo weird groove and lower energy vocals.  The second tune Man C**t gets more fractured with some wild slashing vocal blasts, tom tom drumming and some squirgles.  Yes, squirgles.  I’m on the third tune, I like the marimba/vibes but I for those who want to roll this way I would head out to Beefheart’s Trout Mask Replica or some vintage Zappa.

YTD recordings listened to: 250
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 148
Not good music: 99

Buys: 5
Honorable Mentions: 1

Possibles: Chris McGregor, 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, Graeme Barrett, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Cavanaugh, Gentleman Surfer, Satoko Fuji, Moken, Juan Atkins, Drone, Lantern, Twin Peaks, Djelimady Tounkara, The Oh Sees, Denny Zeitlin, MILF, Unfun, De La Soul, Carl Sagan’s Skate Shoes, Magrudergrind, A Tribe Called Quest, Noname, Gouge Away, Anna Hogberg, Klara Lewis, Aethenor, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, James Brandon Lewis, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Power Trip, Reverend Payton, J.I.D., Oddisee, Forro in the Dark

A free jazz shout out!

Dave Arner Trio: A Take On It All (N/A, 2015)

I put this record on my to listen to list years ago — so long ago in fact that it has either disappeared from the streaming services or is on Spotify and not on the Apple Music (and its ancestors).

Availability aside, this is some stylish free jazz trio playing with piano, bass, and drums.  I refuse to bloviate about jazz because it puts folks off and I’m an anti-bloviator, but these guys are really listening and playing with each other and I find this to be very fresh and spontaneous and satisfying listening.

I’m giving myself a gold star because this is some ultra-obscure music but that has very little (or anything) to do with quality.

Music for 4/25/17!!! Bleachers, The Dolleyrots, Conrad Schnitzler and Pole

@@@ Conrad Schnitzler & Pole: Con-struct (Bureau B, 2017)  Some euro-techno electronic music off an All Music weekly notable release email.  I dig this first tune Wurm — it’s not a straight boom-titch beat.  This is pretty spare music with a tad of funk to the beats and just a tad of synth cloud or thread for you to get with.  This third tune, Lacht, continues with the undercover funk and the well aimed garnish.  I went back to the GooglePimp and snagged this third tune because I’m feeling and because I give I give I give.  And y’all don’t do shit, but that’s all right I’m not gonna guilt anyone.  It’s cool you don’t do shit but if you feel like it you can peep this third track if you can manage to pull your head out of your bong and your iPhone and be bothered with nutritious music.  Feel free to hit me up with some fat tracks, it’s not like I would say no.

@@@ Bleachers: Hate That You Know Me (RCA/Sony, 2017)  A pre-release single off the Apple Music hot tracks section.  I’m guessing from the vibes off this guy that this a white boy with a shitload of Prince records that he’s attempting to honkey-ice.  The vocal melodies are especially bitten from Prince.  Oh, I don’t know if I can place the track that he bit the vocal hook from.  My advice for those of you who dig this guy is to forego and throw on some early pre-1999 Prince.  A little Dirty Mind or whatnot.

@@@ The Dolleyrots: Whiplash Splash (Arrested Youth, 2017)  Some super poppy SoCal style three chord power pop punk.  Fronted by a lady that’s either strung out on Red Bull or naturally perky beyond belief (or both).  Lots of power chords, rock drumming and big vocal hooks.  If some of this energy went into world peace or a rotating anal dildo for Trump I would be more for it.  Bouncy as fuck like a methed puppy.

YTD recordings listened to: 267
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 145
Not good music: 99

Buys: 5
Honorable Mentions: 1

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, Graeme Barrett, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Cavanaugh, Gentleman Surfer, Satoko Fuji, Moken, Juan Atkins, Drone, Lantern, Twin Peaks, Djelimady Tounkara, The Oh Sees, Denny Zeitlin, MILF, Unfun, De La Soul, Carl Sagan’s Skate Shoes, Magrudergrind, A Tribe Called Quest, Noname, Gouge Away, Anna Hogberg, Klara Lewis, Aethenor, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, James Brandon Lewis, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Power Trip, Reverend Payton, J.I.D., Oddisee, Forro in the Dark

Music for 4/24/17!!! Forro in the Dark, Kondi Band, While She Sleeps

@@@ Forro in the Dark: Sandcastle (Nacional, 2017)  Some popping Brazilian music I got to via the WRIR weekly playlist email.  This first tune features some great hand drumming, trippy melodic guitar work and an energetic singer.  I see from the GooglePimp that these are Brazilian expats in New York city.  Ooh, this second tune is starting out hot as well — excellent percussion with some wicked flute over the top.  Please don’t tease me, be an awesome record all the way through.  The third tune sports vocals and it’s a narrative about a lawyer in New York — it’s a sophisto cabaret kinda track.  The fourth tune is back to an instrumental, which I prefer and I will check this whole record when I have a chance.

@@@ Kondi Band: Tit Dem Doo Service (Strut, 2017)  A pre-release single I got to via the same WRIR playlist email.  This is a small ensemble track with some fairly furious thumb piano, a singer with some backup and simple drum accompaniment.  As the tune grooves towards the finish line there are some very light and tasteful synth accents and a more urgent floor drum/foot tap.  I would check out more of this record when it comes out.

@@@ While She Sleeps: You are We (Sharptone, 2017)  Some mainstream drama metal off the Apple Music metal section.  I think there are some Linkin Park records up in this band’s collection — they’re a tad rougher but it’s the same art school metal formula.  The singer is upset, I get that, but I much prefer the working class heavy metal.  This is the purdy boy business as far as I’m concerned.

YTD recordings listened to: 264
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 144
Not good music: 97

Buys: 5
Honorable Mentions: 1

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, Graeme Barrett, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Cavanaugh, Gentleman Surfer, Satoko Fuji, Moken, Juan Atkins, Drone, Lantern, Twin Peaks, Djelimady Tounkara, The Oh Sees, Denny Zeitlin, MILF, Unfun, De La Soul, Carl Sagan’s Skate Shoes, Magrudergrind, A Tribe Called Quest, Noname, Gouge Away, Anna Hogberg, Klara Lewis, Aethenor, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, James Brandon Lewis, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Power Trip, Reverend Payton, J.I.D., Oddisee, Forro in the Dark,

Music for 4/23/17!!! Warm Soda, Gas

@@@ Warm Soda: I Don’t Wanna Grow Up (Castle Face, 2017)  Off this week’s All Music weekly email.  These guys own mad Ramones/Strokes records.  Big vocal hooks, rock guitars, rock drumming.  Rock, rock, rock ‘n roll high school.  I don’t hate this music, I don’t find it particularly interesting.  But if you like the Ramones and the Strokes you might love it.

@@@ Gas: Narkopop (Kompakt, 2017) Ambient techno also off this week’s All Music notable release email.  This first track is a floater with no beats and a tad of classical symphony shards.  This is a monster shot of 2.5 hours of ambient music but we’re just gonna dip in for a few spoonfuls.  Thus far he’s putting the narco- in it for sure.  Imma sleepy peanut over here.  The second track is unfolding slowly as well — I’m not opposed to that but I do have things to do today.  I think if you’re gonna do this you gotta have such ridiculous face ripping minimalist shit going on to make me feel mesmerized.  This record could be the soundtrack for a stoned Hobbit movie where they just smoke it up and wander around the forest looking for Gandalf.

YTD recordings listened to: 261
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 143
Not good music: 96

Buys: 5
Honorable Mentions: 1

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, Graeme Barrett, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Cavanaugh, Gentleman Surfer, Satoko Fuji, Moken, Juan Atkins, Drone, Lantern, Twin Peaks, Djelimady Tounkara, The Oh Sees, Denny Zeitlin, MILF, Unfun, De La Soul, Carl Sagan’s Skate Shoes, Magrudergrind, A Tribe Called Quest, Noname, Gouge Away, Anna Hogberg, Klara Lewis, Aethenor, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, James Brandon Lewis, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Power Trip, Reverend Payton, J.I.D., Oddisee