Music for 6/22/18!!! Arianne Grande, Physique, Lily Allen, Beyonce and Jay Z

@@@ Arianne Grande: a light is coming (Republic, 2018) A pre-release single for Disney snowflake Arianne Grande with an intro rhyme from Nicki Minaj. If you want some toughness on your track, dial 1-800-NickiMM! I tell you this with the experience of listening to thousands and thousands and thousands of tracks I have no idea what this track is about. There is a vocal sample ‘you wouldn’t let anybody speak and instead’ that goes circular in various volumes through the WHOLE track and there is a vocal hook ‘a light is coming to give back everything the darkness stole’ but I have no idea how those two things go together or what it may or may not mean. The verse gets brisk but I can’t glean any meaning off that either. So there ya go, it doesn’t have to make sense, it would be nice if it did, but it’s a flavor pack from a mainstream ‘artist’.

@@@ Physique: This Punk Life is shit (Iron Lung, 2018) A full on wall of guitar buzz on a hardcore punk record I saw in the loud section of the CFUV weekly playlist email. Regular readers know that I’m super open to anti-social expression as being cathartic but the buzz and high end on this record hurts my ears. Nice punk rockers wouldn’t do this to me. I’m sure this is full on ripping live but I can’t roll with it, I need my ears and shit!

@@@ Lily Allen: No Shame (Warner, 2018) Sort of the British equivalent to Arianne Grande. I got to this record via the Guardian’s best records of 2018 thus far. I can say that the songs here make more sense than the pre release single from Arianne Grande. It dabbles in some non pop sounds and while the music is more coherent, I don’t find this to be a particularly interesting collection. As with the Beyonce and Jay Z music I’ve been peeping over the past week you have to be involved with these musicians as people to find their music engaging. It’s a lifestyle package which has nothing to do with music. I love the Guardian but just another example of poor mainstream journalistic music reviewing.

@@@ Beyonce & Jay Z: Nice (Sony Music, 2018) Speaking of which let’s keep enduring this record! It opens with the repeating hook ‘I can do anything!’ and the Jay Z comes with his trip. It’s a boasting song with typical references to their incredible wealth — by the way why is it hip for Beyonce and Jay Z to flaunt their wealth but it’s disgusting for Trump to do the same? It’s ill and typically American to flaunt wealth regardless of color, naimsayin’? I find Jay Z’s rhymes more interesting than Beyonce’s here but it is their collective self-absorption that drives this record.

YTD recordings listened to: 349
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 184
Not good music: 157

Best: 6
Honorable Mentions: 4

Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, 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, 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, A Tribe Called Quest, Noname, Gouge Away, Klara Lewis, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Oddisee, Forro in the Dark, RAM, Fiver, Dona Onete, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Priests, Propaganda, This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez, Integrity, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Converge, Open Mike Eagle, Criolo, Billy Strings, Flowers of Sulphur, Tal National, Portal, Hernan Sama & Marcelo von Schultz, Jean Grae and Quelle Chris, Lawaii, Etran De L’Air, Ruby Karinto

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Music for 6/20/18!!! Matt Anderson Quartet, Uniform and the Body, Debby Friday

@@@ Matt Anderson Quartet: Rambling (Jellymould Jazz, 2018) I got to this straight jazz record via the London Jazz blog. The first tune is regal with a three horn intro before it goes full band with piano, bass and drums added to the tune. It builds to a climax, a pretty one, everybody’s hair remains in the same place. The second tune brings on the smooth jazz guitar. I’ve listened to parts of three tunes and it’s midtempo playing with an emphasis on being pretty and what I call meaningful playing. It’s slow and serious and unfolds slowly and effortlessly like a flower. Not really my thing as I love the messy shit but if you have a job and you’ve had a long week and your looking for some comfort jazz this could work for you.

@@@ Uniform & The Body: Mental Wounds Not Healing (Sacred Bones, 2018) I got a publicist email and saw this record on the CFUV weekly playlist email in the loud section so there ya go. Every year there is a heavy record for NPR listeners who might want something a bit rough but they don’t crave a solid beat down. Thus far this first tune is a slightly more aggro Nine Inch Nails and personally I thought the Nine Inch Nails dude was kind of a soft punk bitch. Let’s peep more. It’s not a metal record, it’s a dark electronic record with a lot of static and processed vocals that make the singer sound like a degraded sex slave. The third tune gets into some spilly power chords but alas I think this is indeed for the NPR heavy listeners. No methed out tempos, not full on freakshow. It’s not bad it’s just not enough for me.

@@@ Debby Friday: Bitch Punk (Self-released, 2018) Also off this week’s CFUV playlist email. I think Debby Friday might have more balls in her pants than the total testicle count of all the musicians in the previous two releases. Ms. Friday brings some aggro beats with fat synth bass pulses and she goes off on the microphone. Plenty of skitter, plenty of fatness, plenty of attitude. On the third tune she gets into some rough drum machine play with some distortion crushing and crusting up the proceedings. When it gets to full blast on this tune, Indulge Me, she has whipped herself and you quite a nice shitty. Nice work maam, show ’em how to do it.

YTD recordings listened to: 345
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 182
Not good music: 155

Best: 6
Honorable Mentions: 4

Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, 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, 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, A Tribe Called Quest, Noname, Gouge Away, Klara Lewis, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Oddisee, Forro in the Dark, RAM, Fiver, Dona Onete, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Priests, Propaganda, This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez, Integrity, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Converge, Open Mike Eagle, Criolo, Billy Strings, Flowers of Sulphur, Tal National, Portal, Hernan Sama & Marcelo von Schultz, Jean Grae and Quelle Chris, Lawaii, Etran De L’Air, Ruby Karinto

Music for 6/6/18!!! Kanye West, Kamasi Washington, Oneohtrix Point Never

@@@ Kanye West: No Mistakes (UMG, 2018) We are up to the fifth track on the new Kanye West banger. It’s been a bit of a hit or miss affair due to West’s personality. His unpredictability as a person makes him interesting as an artist, but his recent bullshit makes his lyrics much less palatable. The sounds on this tune are more soulful though the strategy of using a sung vocal hook with his sampled arrangement has proved steady through the record. It’s a pretty simple tune where the song vocal hook, make no mistake girl, I still love you is repeated a bit through the track. Kanye’s skills as an arranger are not in dispute, he can put sounds together and make focused tracks. It’s hard to hear him throw the love and soul sounds around after he just said slavery was a choice a few weeks ago. Those two things don’t jibe for me, and I ain’t even black.

@@@ Kamasi Washington: Fists of Fury (Young Turks, 2018) The last time I heard Washington he was trafficking in some fusion era jamming. This pre-release track seems to be borrowing from blaxploitation film soundtrack funk and swirling in some other influences. He’s got some singers going here and it’s a large ensemble going including a string section, percussion and a piano player but the film soundtrack jazz mash is most definitely going on. The video below seems to be drawing some influence from the huge Black Panther movie from earlier this year. It’s an almost 10 minute tune so there is space to have a fair trade coffee and enjoy. I like Washington’s playing, he blows with a lot of passion. He’s not my favorite player by any means but he’s a good place for folks to start if they’re looking to get into some jazz. It’s possible this musician is getting more attention than his playing warrants.

@@@ Oneohtrix Point Never: Age of (Warp Records, 2018) This record on this week’s All Music notable release email and also in the Apple Music experimental section so no doubt there is a publicist involved with this record. Mr. Point Never did the sound track for Good Time, one of my favorite movies of 2017. It’s a fairly disturbing film and the soundtrack is aggro but really helps put the movie over. This first tune opens up more celestial with a harpsichord solo. After a bit the harpsichord is morphed or glitched into a synth which is interesting. The second tune, Babylon, has a singer and it’s a bit of a downer pop tune and unfortunately I’m not feeling this record right now. Let me peep a little more. The Apple Music blurb says it has a dose of midieval music and the interplay of melody….I like downer music but this record doesn’t have enough rhythm in it to satisfy me. That’s just me and he’s a talented dude but this record is for others.

YTD recordings listened to: 312
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 163
Not good music: 139

Best: 5
Honorable Mentions: 4

Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, 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, 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, A Tribe Called Quest, Noname, Gouge Away, Klara Lewis, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Oddisee, Forro in the Dark, RAM, Fiver, Dona Onete, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Priests, Propaganda, This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez, Integrity, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Converge, Open Mike Eagle, Criolo, Billy Strings, Flowers of Sulphur, Tal National, Portal, Hernan Sama & Marcelo von Schultz, Jean Grae and Quelle Chris, Lawaii, Los Texmaniacs

Music for 6/5/18!!! Kanye West, Gruesome, Ghost, Orange Goblin

@@@ Kanye West: Wouldn’t Leave (UMG, 2018) The fourth tune on this record that we’re reviewing track by track opens up with a singer. Then comes West with the whole slavery is a choice brouhaha. The sounds here evoke Stevie Wonder ballad funk from back in the day though West slathers his whole self absorbed sauce over the top so it changes the listener’s perception of the sounds. It’s not about the Stevie Wonder love/peace trip, it’s about West and all the nonsense he gets caught up in. By the end of the track he’s turned the lyrics into a sort of apology for his bullshit antics but unlike slavery which was most definitely not a choice his antics have been and will be a choice. If you buy this notion that West is bipolar then he kinda gets out of that choice. Either way he should be more mindful of stupid shit that comes out of his face and though I don’t mind the song, his stupid shit does nothing to make me like more for sure.

@@@ Gruesome: Twisted Prayers (Relapse, 2018) Some old school death metal revivalists I got to via the Apple Music metal section. Nice hard hitting drummer with a less than developed singer. Lord of the Rings orc style grunts and whatnot to go with a piquant blend of melodic guitar squeal and heavy slabs of power chords. I’ve sample parts of the first three tunes but I can guarantee a healthy amount of monster guitar riffs and a steady, unforgiving sonic beatdown. Good shit.

@@@ Ghost: Faith (Loma Vista/Concord, 2018) A theatrical metal record set in the middle ages during the bubonic plague. The first tune also sports a synth melody and while I don’t ban synths from my metal music it’s not usually a good sign. After a brooding opening it gets more into a straight hard rock tune with a singer, a real singer that seems also quaint. Also a somewhat cheesy singer. This second tune Rats sounds a lot like the ’80s band Ratt. Coincidence? I think not. Not my cup of tea but if you like a quiff of art school, classic FM radio, and some synths up in your metal this will work just right for ya!

@@@ Orange Goblin: The Wolf Bites Back ( Universal Music, 2018) A pre-release single from an upcoming full length. It opens with a big acoustic strum, then some bass, and then a big stiff rock beat. This is gonna be a cheesefest, I predict. After the rhythm is established they get into a sort one note metal groove with a growling singer. No orc, more of a biker dude. These are not literal words they’re indicative to help readers get a sense. Of course, you can lift that heavy finger and actually click on the link to listen but not many folks can bring themselves to exert the effort! Weird, right? This is the sort of hard rock/metal that frat boys or Wall Street fucks listen to because they can’t get with the truly corrosive shit. It’s not a bad tune, it’s just very familiar to my ears. Better lyrics would make me feel kindly. I bet poor Melania Trump starts to cry when Donald throws this on the Sonos before he whips off his tightie whiteys and reveals his pinky finger dick for her to service. Oh God, the horror! I wonder if she feels like she made a big mistake, speaking of Orange Goblins! You can’t fuck with that mainstream music reviewer.

YTD recordings listened to: 309
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 162
Not good music: 137

Best: 5
Honorable Mentions: 4

Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, 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, 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, A Tribe Called Quest, Noname, Gouge Away, Klara Lewis, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Oddisee, Forro in the Dark, RAM, Fiver, Dona Onete, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Priests, Propaganda, This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez, Integrity, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Converge, Open Mike Eagle, Criolo, Billy Strings, Flowers of Sulphur, Tal National, Portal, Hernan Sama & Marcelo von Schultz, Jean Grae and Quelle Chris, Lawaii, Los Texmaniacs

Music for 6/4/18!!! Kanye West, Angelique Kidjo, Weezer

@@@ Kanye West: All Mine (Def Jam, 2018) We’re going track by track on one of Trump’s greatest black fans. Unfortunately. I like the sounds here and the vocal track. It’s a sex romp so it’s basically Kanye talking about pussy and tits and cum. There’s a Stormy Daniels reference and some other celebrity chatter. The sung vocal hook is pretty slick, the rapping is all right except sorta low IQ and the arrangement is B+. He still sounds more than a bit crazy if I’m not projecting onto him and his music.

@@@ Angelique Kidjo: Once in a Lifetime (Kravenwerks, 2018) A Talking Heads cover by the long running female African singer. It’s a pretty creative choice for a cover as the lyrics revolve around existential first world problems but to hear them put into a third world musical context is jarring and interesting. Kidjo has a beautiful and strong voice and she recreates the tune with African hand drumming, some highlife influenced guitar playing and a pleasing amount of African music sauce. Not the deepest thing but a cool summer vibe.

@@@ Weezer: Africa (Atlantic, 2018) Another cover but this time Weezer, a band that I have no respect for, takes a shitty tune from the 1980s and breathes ‘life’ into it. It’s most likely ironic, oh no he did it for the power chords in the chorus. This is the ol’ Toto track, oy. In a reflection of current cultural trends, this weakass tune covered competently has 3.5 million views on the GooglePimpTube and Kidjo sings and plays the shit out of an old Talking Heads tune and has 41,000 hits. Ah well, white people love the corn and they just can’t seem to find space for black music outside of hip hop in their lives. Their loss, crackerasses.

YTD recordings listened to: 305
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 160
Not good music: 135

Best: 5
Honorable Mentions: 4

Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, 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, 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, A Tribe Called Quest, Noname, Gouge Away, Klara Lewis, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Oddisee, Forro in the Dark, RAM, Fiver, Dona Onete, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Priests, Propaganda, This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez, Integrity, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Converge, Open Mike Eagle, Criolo, Billy Strings, Flowers of Sulphur, Tal National, Portal, Hernan Sama & Marcelo von Schultz, Jean Grae and Quelle Chris, Lawaii, Los Texmaniacs

Music for 5/29/18!!! Weesp, Jealous of the Birds, Brownout

@@@ Weesp: Black Sails (Self-released, 2018) A blend of metal with a tad of grunge on this self released hard rock record that I got to via the music blog Indiepulse. Dramatical singer that you can understand and plenty of guitar distortion. The drums are heavy in the kick drum, but they sound like arena drums as the record aspires to that sound. The third tune goes into a sort of rock ballad with strummed acoustic guitar and a lot of tom toms. Pretty standard stuff.

@@@ Jealous of the Birds: Plastic Skeletons (Canvasback, 2018) It’s a pleasure to hear an indie rock track that actually rocks a little bit. I got to this pre release track from a music publicist and while I usually cannot abide by the baby food the PR people are pushing, this has a strong rhythm section in the mix that makes the whole tune more muscular and makes the hipster female doing whatever much more palatable. The guitar player could use a Red Bull as he/she or both isn’t quite pulling his/her/their weight.

@@@ Brownout: Fear of a Brown Planet (Fat Beats Records, 2018) Some funk off this week’s WRIR playlist email. A little Sly Stone and a whole lotta Meters style funk in this first tune Louder than a Bomb. They take the tempo down a notch in the second tune and bring in the big ol’ organ sound. It’s a full horn section with an active guitar player so it’s the large ensemble old school funk experience despite the smattering of synths. There’s also a fairly big nod to James Brown though there is no singer and it’s more melodic than classic James Brown afro powered funk. I’m enjoying the drummer, and the guitar player and the horns the most.

YTD recordings listened to: 297
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 156
Not good music: 133

Best: 5
Honorable Mentions: 4

Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, 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, 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, A Tribe Called Quest, Noname, Gouge Away, Klara Lewis, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Oddisee, Forro in the Dark, RAM, Fiver, Dona Onete, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Priests, Propaganda, This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez, Integrity, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Converge, Open Mike Eagle, Criolo, Billy Strings, Flowers of Sulphur, Tal National, Portal, Hernan Sama & Marcelo von Schultz, Jean Grae and Quelle Chris, Lawaii, Los Texmaniacs

Music for 5/26/18!!! Pusha T., A Boogie wit da Hoodie, Taylor Swift

@@@ Pusha T: If You Know You Know (Def Jam, 2018) The lead single off Pusha T’s new recording which is produced by Kanye ‘Sunken Place’ West who did an ill bitch thing with the cover art by purchasing the rights to a picture of Whitney Houston’s bathroom. I want to shit on this track due to recent Trump blowing antics by Kanye but the sonics are hot, he really overshadows Pusha T.’s microphone work. I checked out the second track The Games We Play and to my ears the vibe here is hip hop rock star. Both of these dudes are pretty ill bitches with the slinging and the Trump dick licking and that ridiculous slavery comment, but hot sounds is hot sounds.

@@@ A Boogie wit da Hoodie: Way Too Fly (Atlantic, 2018) We are all up in the summer jams, bitches and Boogie wit da Hoodie hops on the reggaeton/Caribbean style game with this single from the Apple hot tracks section. It’s a booty tune, he’s all up in the ladies’ business, he’s at the club and he’s got his loverboy on but I don’t super feel it. He’s a vampire but he don’t bite, well that pretty much explains the power of the track it’s not much more than a vibe and a sound. Aka going through the motions.

@@@ Taylor Swift: Delicate (Sawyr and Ryan Teddy Remix) (Big Machine, 2018) Regular readers know I’m all up in the Tay Tay business. She is the ice queen every neo Nazi is hard for. F’real. If you have half a brain you will realize that Swift’s last record was a bit of a stale turd where she tried to transform herself from a pop money making machine to club hottie/sex queen. She’s about as sexy as wet cardboard. This remix is pretty good and does a better job of what her original record aspired to. Oh well, better late than ever. It’s still not super hot but the sounds make more sense than what I remember hearing. It’s not a hot beach bomb, it’s more a biscuit that came out of the oven half an hour ago. She is trying so hard to be hot it’s a dick wilter for sure.

YTD recordings listened to: 291
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 153
Not good music: 130

Best: 5
Honorable Mentions: 4

Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, 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, 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, A Tribe Called Quest, Noname, Gouge Away, Klara Lewis, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Oddisee, Forro in the Dark, RAM, Fiver, Dona Onete, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Priests, Propaganda, This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez, Integrity, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Converge, Open Mike Eagle, Criolo, Billy Strings, Flowers of Sulphur, Tal National, Portal, Hernan Sama & Marcelo von Schultz, Jean Grae and Quelle Chris, Lawaii, Los Texmaniacs