Best of 2018 Pick 1

Courtney John: Ecosystem (Soul Fire, 2017)

A perfectly crafted combination of old school roots reggae flavors with a great band and a singer I like a whole bunch. The band is tight and relaxed simultaneously with space for organ solos, guitar figures.

A lot of bands go for that old school reggae record but they don’t make it for a variety of reasons — the singer can’t carry the load, the production is too modern, the band has no funk to it, etc.

This is pretty and tough and heartfelt all at the same time.

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Music for 1/30/18!!! The Vaccines, Anarouz, No Age, Charlotte Day Wilson

@@@ The Vaccines: Nightclub (Sony, 2018) Some major label super clean guitar rock off the Apple Music hot tracks section. The vocal is ‘it makes my head feel like a night club’ — better than most but not quite sure it is more than word salad. Big sculpting efforts have been made on the guitars. Great sounds with limited passion, perfect for yuppie rockers.

@@@ 3MA: Anarouz (Six Degrees, 2018) A brunchy world set with two string players (I’m guessing two koras) and a hand drummer that looks to be more North African or Middle Eastern. Of course the koras are gorgeous and they shred them but I want more drumming. Why can’t I have more drumming? I’m on the fourth or fifth tune and this is most definitely for people who wear clean clothes and work in cubicles. The playing is beautiful but restrained and packaged like a pork chop.

@@@ No Age: Snares Like a Haircut (Drag City, 2018) Marketed as a blend of noise rock and shoegaze thrills. We can only hope as the music business never lies! I got to this via last week’s notable release email from All Music. The first tune is like a mid ’80s Sonic Youth rave up but with better singing. Oy, I could never deal with that with the Youth of Sonic. It’s pretty noisy but I’ve heard fuzzier — not that this is a contest. The vocalist is working a fairly melodic area which really changes the tunes and not necessarily in a bad way. I’m on the third tune and Sonic Youth really is the touchstone band for this record. Pretty manic drumming, noisy guitars and nice vocal hooks.

@@@ Charlotte Day Wilson: Nothing New (Self-released, 2018) A self released single off the Apple Music hot tracks section. It’s super polished r&b and Imma waiting on Ms. Wilson to drop some vibes on the microphone. She’s mourning a relationship (I think) and that gives the polished drums and pulse bass more substance. It gets a little overwrought about 2 minutes in but it’s an all right tune for the ladies. Just sayin’.

YTD recordings listened to: 58
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 32
Not good music: 25

Best: 0
Honorable Mentions: 0

Possibles: 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, 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, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Benjamin Booker, Irreversible Entanglements, Converge, Open Mike Eagle, Criolo

Music for 1/29/18!!! Justin Timberlake, Jack white, Buscabella, Hector Guerra

@@@ Justin Timberlake: Say Something (RCA, 2018) Another pre-release single from panty quaker Timberlake. This tune is a mash of r&b sounds and strummed acoustic guitar with Timberlake’s yearning vocals. He also is dueting here with Chris Stapleton to raise the redneck quotient. You cannot take a shit without Chris Stapleton being there — I’m not sure why but it is such. As a grown ass adult I can’t really tell you what this song is about — the lyrics are pretty nonsensical. Ah, there was just a line saying that the greatest way to say something is to say nothing at all. Yo, that’s heavy sentiment to package with this cheese.

@@@ Jack White: Corporation (Columbia, 2018) Any hope that Jack White had outgrown trying to out Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin are partially rewarded here. He brings in the fat beat and then some heavy riffage but there are funk flavors here, most notably Sly Stone. What happened to messy Jack White when he would bust a nut with that half-mutant drummer he got famous with? This is accomplished riffing but it’s kinda fucking boring. No mess, no runs, no errors, all manicured like a porn star’s bush. I ask you doesn’t the funk have some mess swirled up in it. The problem here is that this is the first track of the record so that’s usually putting your best foot forward. He sings at the end and I don’t feel much better.

@@@ Buscabulla: EP II (Baby Making Records, 2018) Some dreamy, indie Latino electronica. Super tinkly and ethereal and shit. There’s a funky undercurrent beneath the clouds of synth sprinkles and delicate metal percussion. I would prefer the female singer’s voice be not bathed in reverb but alas this is the style with the kids today. Solid B, not jumping up and down. I got to this from a Flavorpill announcement email.

@@@ Hector Guerra: Desde El Infierno (Kasba Music, 2018) Some Latin hip hop I got to via the WRIR weekly playlist email. The first tune most definitely has hip hop beats but it also has a didgiridoo kinda of drone and Guerra mostly sings this first track. It’s pretty downtempo and hypnotic in its way. The second tune sheds that vibe for a decidely upbeat singalong with Mexican accordion (which I love) and some singalong choruses before he gets on some Spanish rhyming. The tune clipped below is the best of what I heard so check that out.

YTD recordings listened to: 54
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 30
Not good music: 23

Best: 0
Honorable Mentions: 0

Possibles: 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, 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, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Benjamin Booker, Irreversible Entanglements, Converge, Open Mike Eagle, Criolo

Music for 1/26/18!!! Pale Waves, Petra Glynt, Fucking Fall Out Boy!

@@@ Pale Waves: My Obsession (Dirty Hit, 2018). Off a Line of Best Fit promo email. Undeniably fun from what I hear. If 1980’s synth pop rock is undeniably fun well this is mad undeniably fun. Doubly undeniably fun. The female singer sounds a lot like Dolores Riordan from the Cranberries. I wasn’t a fan but I didn’t wish her death. She’s also got a pube of Madonna going on. Not an actual pube, though I wouldn’t want to shame Madonna’s pubes. They’re probably pretty high end. She’s never going to stop loving you! Believe it (or not). I have to keep typing or I might nod off — this is some extremely familiar business. I made it 2:17, that’s pretty good. It’s not horribly performed it’s just super cliche and sleepytime tea as far as I’m concerned.

@@@ Petra Glynt: This Trip (Vibe Over Method, 2018) I had to take a day off as I had shit to do in the real world so I can’t remember where this track came from. As in how I got to it. It’s femme semi- (or quarterly) funky electronic influenced music with a dash of aggro/industrial. I have no problem with pissed off women but you gotta hit me with some genuine bad feeling or I’m not buying it. Some PJ Harvey shit, naimsayin’? This is part of the way there and kind of ends up as sour milk pop rock. The video spins around a whole bunch so if you have vertigo forego that shit and coincidentally I made it right around 2:15 so maybe that’s the number for the day.

@@@ Fall Out Boy: Mania (Island, 2018) Let me just say Imma fucking huge Fall Out Boy fan (not). They’re awesome (not), they just fuck shit up (not), and most of all they’re not just in it for the money (not). So let’s peep. Here we go with the intro, I’m so nervous cuz Fall Out Boy is the real deal. They move me and my bowels. The singer is most definitely not a douche. Only Fall Out Boy would bite Drake and go for a white boy slinky watered down dancehall thing. Fucking unbelievable as far as I’m concerned. I’m so inspired by this music and its originality and I don’t think they’re biting it at all. I wish the tune would never end, that’s how good it is. Do yourself a favor and get on this bitch because it’s atomic in energy and authenticity. The way he gasps when he sings, it just works for me bigly. I can imagine Trump doing a 2 step to this number. And then Trump sidles over to the bed where he then shits on a prostitute! Bigly, what an image. This must be awesome as 13 million people have checked it out.

YTD recordings listened to: 50
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 28
Not good music: 21

Best: 0
Honorable Mentions: 0

Possibles: 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, 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, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Benjamin Booker, Irreversible Entanglements, Converge, Open Mike Eagle, Criolo

 

Music for 1/22/18!!! Los Chicos, Little Axe, Ebo Taylor and the Pelicans

@@@ Los Chicos: Land of a Million Dances (Vampisoul, 2018) Some rock espanol I got to via the WRIR weekly playlist email.  Very Strokes-y but not quite as pussy and more partyistic than poser-y.  Oh fuck, they have a cowbell in there and everybody knows what happens when the cowbell appears.  It’s gonna be a party.  A great tune for Trump to bang his stripper girlfriends to — watch that orange rug twirling around like a rat tail as he gets his freak on!  Oh yeah, stomachs are turning….

@@@ Little Axe: London Blues (Echo Beach, 2018) Also off this week’s WRIR playlist email and it is a blues variant albeit with modern production and other sounds mixed in.  This first tune has a blues feel with a little spaghetti western mixed in and dub as well.  I feel the mash.  The second track, the title tune, is a mostly sanitized fusion-y funk kind of blues that I don’t love.  The third track continues with a mid tempo blues rocker — this isn’t really my thing but check it out if it sounds applicable to you.

@@@ EBO TAYLOR AND THE PELIKANS: Ebo Taylor And The Pelikans (Mr Bongo, 2018)  Some old school African music off the WRIR weekly playlist email.  Opens up with a delicious slightly crunchy organ which I dig (mucho).  Underneath you get a minimal but funky bass with excellent drumming.  The third tune, Reality, brings on a full horn section which changes the vibe of the proceedings, lending a light salsa bounce.  There are two vocalists here and they are great.  I’m going to swing back on this record but I urge all Trump supporters to check out what they’re missing with their misplaced racism and their closed minded bullshit.  I love this shithole music!

YTD recordings listened to: 44
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 24
Not good music: 19

Best: 0
Honorable Mentions: 0

Possibles: 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, 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, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Benjamin Booker, Irreversible Entanglements, Converge, Open Mike Eagle, Criolo

Music for 1/15/18!!! Imarhan, Da Cruz, Sly and Robbie meet Dubmatix

@@@ Imarhan: Azzaman (City Slang, 2018) Off this week’s WRIR playlist email. I still can’t get the Apple Music working on my PC and I’m having computer troubles with various machines so I’m stuck with GoogleTube quality. This tune is a slinky West African rocker with a plethora of backing vocals. I’m betting there’s gonna be a fat guitar solo up in this track. Right on time with a little delay and some fuzz. It’s a solid track without being super memorable.

@@@ Da Cruz: Virose (Broken Silence, 2018) Also off this week’s WRIR playlist email. An updated reggae roots sound out of Brazil — fat synth basslines and a tight snare sound. I’m no roots purist and the bassline is poppin’ for sure. The female singer is rhythmically on point and there’s some synth candy and delays to dub it out further. It’s also a solid track without making me jump up and down.

@@@ Sly and Robbie meet Dubmatix: Dictionary (Echo Beach, 2018) It’s world music day here at Deep in the Music. And if you don’t know WRIR in Virginia is one of the best world music stations in the U.S. Trump tunes in when he’s looking to hear music from the shitholes. It’s true! This tune is a mash of hip hop and big beat — at least that’s what I hear. Not a straight roots vibe to the arrangement either but it’s got an edge and tightness to it that I like. Some mangled vocal samples and siren-y synths further spice up the proceedings. This is the best of what I heard today.

YTD recordings listened to: 32
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 16
Not good music: 15

Best: 0
Honorable Mentions: 0

Possibles: 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, 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, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Benjamin Booker, Irreversible Entanglements, Converge, Open Mike Eagle, Criolo

Music for 1/10/18!!! Dead Quiet, Richard Dawson, Justin Timberlake

@@@ Dead Quiet: Grand Rites (Artoffact, 2018) Off the heavy section at CFUV out in Vancouver. It’s more of a classic hard rock riff machine than a super pissed metal thing. Oh the organ on the opener is filthy as it gets into the power hippie shit of yonder years. The singer is mad dramatical, equal parts yearning and angry so it’s quite a celebration of unhappiness. Myself I would rather listen to Wolfmother’s debut record than this but they have high energy.

@@@ Richard Dawson: Peasant (Domino, 2017) This record is on the top 50 records of 2017 at Line of Best Fit and after a jazz-ish opening track it moves into a version of British folk but with some indie weirdness injected into it. The record has a pleasant jammy feel to it with extended horn solos in the instrumental opener and guitar on the third tune, Soldier. Dawson’s voice works for the material and I appreciate the weirdness of the record without loving the record.

@@@ Justin Timberlake: Filthy (RCA, 2017) A pre-release single off an upcoming Timberlake full length. He is trying to recapture the booty king crown and he does all right with it though I find the arrangement to be far more sophisticated than his vocal work or his lyrics. Somebody does a good job of taking late ’80s Prince music and adding some more modern sounds to it. The rock section is ass as far as I’m concerned, he should stick with the Mickey Mouse funk. The basslines and the synth work is high end for sure and really goes a long way to keep this from sinking to the bottom of the ocean floor.

YTD recordings listened to: 26
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 13
Not good music: 11

Best: 0
Honorable Mentions: 0

Possibles: 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, 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, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Benjamin Booker, Irreversible Entanglements, Converge, Open Mike Eagle