Music for 8/18/17!!! Billy Raffoul, Sarah Jane Scouten, Kodak Black, American Wrecking Company

@@@ Billy Raffoul: Dark Four Door (Interscope, 2017)  Super dramatical white guy breathy folk (maybe rock if the tune explodes) that I got to via music biz honcho/quasi-big mouth, anti-artist music biz prognosticator Bob Lefsetz.  It’s a heartbreak tune and he’s got that gruff voice which is not an aesthetic choice but the huge reverb patch was a choice and a bad one as far as I’m concerned.  There’s gonna be no big rock crescendo and personally I think he wore the vocal hook out too much.  Solid B.

@@@ Sarah Jane Scouten: When the Bloom Falls From the Rose (Light Organ, 2017)  Some old school heartbreak country off this week’s CFUV playlist email.  This first tune is cleanly arranged with slide guitar, hand shaker, background vocals, bass and drums.  The second tune is an uptempo rocker and she does as well with this as the slow burner.  I like Scouten’s singing she got flavor without going over the top.  I’m on the fourth tune and it’s the title track and I like it less than the opener.  I tend to like the darker roots/Americana music and the upbeat stuff doesn’t work great for me.  But if it works for you have at it.

@@@ Kodak Black: Project Baby 2 (Atlantic, 2017)  Off the front page of Apple Music.  I’ve never super loved the gangster rhymes with the orchestral arrangements.  Mr. Kodak has a solid flow on the mic and I dig the beats and the bass, but I don’t feel the piano and the string melodies.  Let’s peep more.  I like this second tune Change My Ways much more than the opener.  He’s still rocking a bit of the dramatic strings but it works better.  This third tune is the best of what I heard and it sports the line you ain’t got no cheese, bitch!

@@@ American Wrecking Company: Everything and Nothing (Pavement, 2017)  I got to this single via the music blog Indiepulse.  Imma guessing this is gonna be some shiny ass arena hard rock but you never know.  It’s opening up with a quasi-cinematic ambient intro but there it is, heavier than grunge but more mainstream than the full rank anti-social melted shit.  It’s Pantera-y though the singer sounds a bit constipated and the guitars are a bit high in the mix for my taste.

YTD recordings listened to: 537
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 289
Not good music: 224

Buys: 8
Honorable Mentions: 6

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., 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, 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, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, James Brandon Lewis, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, J.I.D., Oddisee, Forro in the Dark, RAM, Fiver, Dona Onete, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Priests, Propaganda, This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez, Integrity, American Lips

Music for 8/16/17!!! American Lips, Soft Dov, Bleachers, Marshmello

@@@ American Lips: Kiss the Void (Ancient Fashion, 2017)  Elvis Costello type New Wave punk I got to via this week’s CFUV playlist email.  These guys have a nerdy angular thread but they have solid brisk energy with catchy vocal melodies.  I hate the term power pop or pop punk but this applies to the 10 songs here clocking in at 22 minutes.  A solid balance of sweetness to muscle and I will check the whole record when I have the time.

@@@ Soft Dov: Massacre Through Seduction (Horror Pain Gore Death Productions, 2017)  Some punk metal off this week’s CFUV email.  The singer is somewhere in the psych/hardcore area though he sings which is quite an occurrence these days in metal.  They have a spastic punky drummer but they’re classified as a metal band.  It’s loud, it’s aggressive, I won’t be a bitch about it.  I would use nihilistic Iggy Pop photo-punk as a touchstone for this record.  Check it out.

@@@  Bleachers: Gone Now (RCA,  2017)  Jack Antonoff’s side project.  He writes tunes for a lot of headline empty head singers.  This is supposed to be an ode to American suburban rock and this first tune is inspired by Bruce Springsteen.  It sports earnest vocals and a long rock build.  However, the rocking is extremely flaccid.  I mean flaccid enough that some Cialis should be sprinkled over this track to firm it up.  All cheese, no angst.  The second tune is blue eyed soul track and I’m not sure who inspired it.  Oh shit, he’s trying to rock a Prince 1999 vibe.  I’m sorry but this is a war crime!!  Fucking shameful pimp job.  I had to hit the stop button I can’t abide by this music as it is a shameful bite job and poorly done at that.  Check out the Prince clone below.

@@@ Marshmallo: Science (RCA, 2017)  A mellow, quasi-loverboy mainstream r&b single off the Apple Music best of the week.  Oh wait take that back as he gets medium EDM funk on after the intro.  I can’t tell if he’s singing ‘I found peace in your body’ or ‘I found peace in the violence’  Maybe because dude is wearing that giant marshmallow helmet/mask/hat.  Yo take that shit off in the studio so I can hear what you’re on about.  The sounds are fairly bittersweet for a mainstream tune.  Usually it’s bubble gum and Xanax for all those involved but he’s trying for something else here.  I thought the word salad quotient was pretty high, I’m really not sure what this is about.

YTD recordings listened to: 533
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 287
Not good music: 222

Buys: 8
Honorable Mentions: 6

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., 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, 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, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, James Brandon Lewis, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, J.I.D., Oddisee, Forro in the Dark, RAM, Fiver, Dona Onete, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Priests, Propaganda, This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez, Integrity, American Lips

Music for 8/15/17!!! Jackie Venson, Queens of the Stone Age, White Poppy, Limp Wrist

@@@ Jackie Venson: Flying (Self-released, 2017) I got to this single by a female Austin musician via a music publicist.  It’s an interesting mash of blues rock and New Age lyrics/melody.  It’s more updated hippie lyrics about being conscious rather than straight New Age business but the more important question is whether she’s going to take a shred on the guitar.  She takes a short one but I wish she had aired it out more but that’s just me.  Interesting mash.

@@@ Queens of the Stone Age: The Evil Has Landed (Matador, 2017)  A riff rock pre-release off an upcoming full length banger.  I haven’t felt anything by this outfit for a bit but this has some nice pop.  It’s a fairly lengthy circular riff but there’s a pretty nice but brief shred about a third of the way through this hefty 6 minute single.  I don’t hear the phrase ‘the evil has landed’ so that’s a bit odd as in this age of Trumpy the title appeared possibly political.  I don’t think it’s unfair or bitchy to think they might have made this shorter or split it into 2 to 3 songs.

@@@ White Poppy: The Pink Haze of Love (Self-released, 2017)  A dreamy indie record that is #1 at high quality Vancouver radio station CFUV.  Layered vocals, arpeggiated clean electric guitar sounds sort of a vaginal Beach Boys.  Faded and bittersweet.  I’m on the fourth tune and boy are they sticking with the formula.  No drums, a lot of guitar tracks, a lot of vocal tracks and no drummer.  Dream all day except if you’re driving.

@@@ Limp Wrist: Limp Wrist (La Vida Es Un Mas Discos, 2016)  I’m going to have to Google these guys but Imma guessing this is some queer punk.  It don’t take a super high IQ with song titles like Fake Fags and a band called Limp Wrist.  Whew I got that right, I’m not too bright but that wasn’t too challenging.  These are buzzy nuggets of old school hardcore with super high energy, a ton of power chords and some relentless mic screaming.  It looks like this is a re-issue of a 2008 EP — no difference to me just trying get the facts out there as we don’t need more fake news.  I think they have a new record so if you’re feeling the urge get on with it.  Excellent energy and they really bring the hardcore.  Also off the CFUV weekly playlist email.

YTD recordings listened to: 529
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 286
Not good music: 220

Buys: 8
Honorable Mentions: 6

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., 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, 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, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, James Brandon Lewis, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, J.I.D., Oddisee, Forro in the Dark, RAM, Fiver, Dona Onete, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Priests, Propaganda, This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez, Integrity

Music for 8/14/17!!! Kelsea Ballerina, Antiabalas, Offa Rex

@@@ Kelsea Ballerina: Unapologetically (Black River, 2017)  A pre-release new country single off the Apple Music hot tracks.  Unapologetically cliche lyrics over a barely country track.  It’s an interesting track because Ballerina (real name?) is a gal so there’s no macho going on so by the time they tech the tune out with EDM production flourishes it’s fake apple pie filling.  It’s a very sweet but somewhat homeless/genre less kinda feeling.  As I’ve said many times before the worst music is the stuff that doesn’t make you feel anything making you feel kinda dead.  She’s a pretty singer but I don’t feel anything about the song.  It’s Oxycodone country music.

@@@ Antibalas: Gold Rush (Daptone, 2017)  A single from long running Afrobeat band Antibalas.  It opens up with a nice bashing drum beat and trips out with a quasi-psych guitar shred.  The singer has always had a somewhat righteous tone which isn’t my favorite but that’s just me and the tune has plenty of space for solos.  I dig the main horn line and the solo that comes after.  It’s a big boy weighing in at almost 11 minutes so there’s plenty of time to stretch.  You and the musicians.

@@@ Offa Rex: The Queen of Hearts (Nonesuch, 2017)  Also off this week’s WRIR playlist email.  I consider Nonesuch the label of especially white people and this record sure confirms that notion.  It opens up with harpsichord and an uber female singer.  Not a female singer taking an Uber but a very female kinda gal.  The second tune brings a male singer and they work a folk rock vibe similar to but not as virtuosic as Richard Thompson.  Man, I could go for some shepherd’s pie or a kidney pudding or some such!  This is well played but a little bit low energy baroque folk but if you go for that sort of thing then check it out.

YTD recordings listened to: 525
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 284
Not good music: 218

Buys: 8
Honorable Mentions: 6

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., 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, 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, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, James Brandon Lewis, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, J.I.D., Oddisee, Forro in the Dark, RAM, Fiver, Dona Onete, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Priests, Propaganda, This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez, Integrity

Music for 8/8/17!!! Brett Eldredge, Briana Marela, Dead Cross, Jack Johnson

@@@ Brett Eldredge: Brett Eldredge (Atlantic, 2017)  I love contemporary country, it makes me shit my pants!  This record is on the front of the Apple music home page and at the top of last week’s All Music notable release email.  This first tune is upbeat, no opioid addicts allowed!  Handclaps, an echoed guitar figure and a friendly voice.  Such a friendly voice, like Donald Trump slipping into your bed at midnight with a giant orange erection and a verbal tic.  Let me love you Donald whispers, I’m so lonely my mail-order wife just left me!  The second tune gets more mainstream with a Bon Jovi bass line and a quasi- classic FM rock beat.  Oh Jesus, I love it!  One more tune, the third one, with synths and he’s never seen  your kind of pretty.  This is not cliche, this is familiar and friendly and epic and more than a bit cheesy.

@@@ Briana Marela: Call It Love (Jagjaguwar, 2017)  Also off this week’s All Music notable release email.  Female angels people, draped in reverb and sitting atop cloudy synth patches!  No dirty underwear (or opioid addicts) in this clean and lovely world.  It’s morphed from the intro to a New Age sorta rock.  Let’s peep a bit more but I’m not long for this record I fear.  Remember, I want to like it, I really do.  This second tune is a jacket sewn from the same cloth — hyper twee with a standard drum beat.  It does bust out into a crazy and interesting EDM sorta stomp but this isn’t really aimed at me as I’m dead inside.

@@@ Dead Cross: Dead Cross (Ipecac, 2017)  Some hardcore punk to clear my mind after that last record which kinda fucked me up.  They whip up a pretty good shitstorm in this first tune and the singer is kinda glammy or heavy metal for hardcore.  Just my opinion.  I see from gathering a video from the GooglePimp that these guys are a sort of supergroup and the singer is from, well I don’t know these bands and they don’t specify the player’s positions.  It’s like Megadeth humped a punk band, let’s put it that way.  It’s not a formula I love but check it for yourself.

@@@ Jack Johnson: Sunsets for Somebody Else (Jack Johnson, 2017)  A pre-release single from Gen X’s Jimmy Buffett.  Super slack and unthreatening and sending out all manner of airy vibes.  I like his vocal delivery and the guitar playing is pretty if not standard but the lyrics, eh not my cup of tea.  And I remain consistently against the woo hoo background vocals from anybody.

YTD recordings listened to: 510
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 278
Not good music: 210

Buys: 8
Honorable Mentions: 6

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., 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, 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, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, James Brandon Lewis, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, J.I.D., Oddisee, Forro in the Dark, RAM, Fiver, Dona Onete, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Priests, Propaganda, This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez, Integrity

Music for 8/7/17!!! Ondatropica, Girl Ray, Julian Borrego, Motograter

@@@ Ondatropica: Baile Bucanero (Soundway, 2017) These guys made my list with their 2012 record so they get a repeat listen.  They do a mash of styles — Brazilian music as well as other Caribbean musics including a dash of reggae and a splash of Mexican music.  Also some funk music and electronic music elements.  They’re excellent and creative players.  These first two tunes are very laid-back.  I’m on the fifth tune and it’s not super breezy but I don’t feel it to be super hard hitting.  I like it all right but you should check for yourself as it’s a hard record to describe.

@@@ Girl Ray: Earl Grey (Moshi Moshi, 2017)  Some vintage indie guitar pop I got to from the blog Line of Best Fit.  That’s where I go to listen to the tracks of the week and usually when I do that the internet just breaks.  It shits itself and breaks out of sheer joy.  This first tune is a female vocalist fuel cotton candy nugget with eagerly strummed clean guitar chords and some falsetto singing.  Do not listen to this record when you’re eating ice cream as it will make your teeth hurt.

@@@ Julian Borrego: Ouroboros (Julian Borrego, 2017) An older school funk record I got to via the indie music blog Indiepulse.  Big funky bass lines, medium bounce beats, falsetto vocals, it’s all here, skranky guitars, etc.  I would say Earth Wind and Fire is the best touchstone for this music.  Funky and friendly.  I like it but I wish it hit harder.  Ya know, a tad more doobie in the funk.

@@@ Motograter: Dorian (EMP Label Group, 2017)  A hard rock single also off the indie music blog Indiepulse.  Opens up with a monster riff and a clippy kick drum sound.  Let’s see how the singer hits, Imma guessing cucumber in the leather pants rock star action.  Yeah, mostly that but not too dramatic.  It gets pretty mainstream in the chorus and here we encounter the self-loathing of many mainstream hard rock bands.  I will fade away, become nothing, a ghost of who I used to be — some such wallowing.  Oh boy, life’s too short for this I’d rather listen to dogs fornicate.  It’s an okay song, they play all right I don’t get it.

YTD recordings listened to: 506
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 276
Not good music: 208

Buys: 8
Honorable Mentions: 6

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., 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, 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, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, James Brandon Lewis, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, J.I.D., Oddisee, Forro in the Dark, RAM, Fiver, Dona Onete, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Priests, Propaganda, This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez, Integrity

Music for 8/3/17!!! Indonesian Junk, Lucy Rose, Skrillex & Poo Bear, Mick Jagger

@@@ Indonesian Junk: I’ll Run Away (Rum Bar, 2017)  A late ’70s/early ’80s old school rumble punk/rock single I got to via the music blog Indiepulse.  The singer has a bit of Joey Ramone and they’re a bit looser than the Ramones.  There is an unexpectedly nice guitar shred solo but it’s a tad long on the outro.  It’s a cool tune but feel free to call it a day when you need to.

@@@ Lucy Rose: Something’s Changing (Lucy Rose/Communion, 2017)  Folky singer songwriter that features a harp on the first tune.  This is just the intro so the flavors may change.  The second tune brings in some super mellow reverbed electric guitar and Daniel Lanois sounding production.  It’s super soft and intimate music — no feelings are going to get hurt in the listening of this record.  #guaranteed.  Get out your chamomile tea and just kick back into these welcoming sounds if that’s how you float.

@@@ Skrillex & Wool Bear: Would You Ever? (WEA, 2017)  An electro single off the hot tracks section of Apple Music.  Tis a chopped vocal salad dance floor banger.  The male singer’s voice fades in and out of processing as he keeps asking the lady in his life ‘would you ever run away with me?’  I’m assuming Poo Bear is the singer and Skrillex is at the computer.  As a technical show it’s a solid B, as music it’s C-.  The last 15 seconds is actually mad hot but that’s too long to wait and they should have started with that boom titch and maybe eased up on the chopped salad.

@@@ Mick Jagger: England Lost (Universal, 2017) This single has been getting press in various locations and on music blogs that I follow.  It’s Mick Jagger bitching about Brexit over a grime arrangement.  It’s not so grime-y imho.  I just looked up the definition of grime (electronic music that came out of jungle/UK garage and hip hop) and outside of the featured vocal by Skepta this is surprisingly Stones-y with harmonica, a few guitar riffs, mid Stones-era disco influence all served up over a pretty straightforward funky beat.  I don’t want to get into the politics of Brexit as it’s mad complicated but the idea that people would vote against their own economic self-interest seems to freak people out.  Contrary to ruling class behavior which is always focused on economic self-interest, many folks are good for an old fashioned fuck you to those at the top and why that is shocking is more than a bit sad.  The assholes who have been gorging at the financial pig trough in London deserve a hale and hearty ‘Go fuck yourself’.

YTD recordings listened to: 502
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 274
Not good music: 206

Buys: 8
Honorable Mentions: 6

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., 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, 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, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, James Brandon Lewis, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, J.I.D., Oddisee, Forro in the Dark, RAM, Fiver, Dona Onete, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Priests, Propaganda, This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez, Integrity