Music for 5/14/18!!! Yeni Nostalji, Jah9, Queen Ifrica, Selena Gomez

@@@ Yeni Nostalji: Self-titled (Ropeadope, 2018) An American of Lebanese descent makes a record influenced by Turkish music.  I got to this record via the WRIR weekly email.  I’m no expert but this first tune has more Brazilian Bossa nova in it than what I associate with Turkish music.  It’s a very romantic vibe here — I’m not a huge fan of romantic music as I’m emotional dead inside but this is pretty well done.  It’s interesting that it mashes up a lot of influences without a care.

@@@ Jah9: Love has Found I (VP, 2018)  A modern roots reggae single I also got to via WRIR.  Female singer active on the mic, it’s a love of Jah tune.  I like her singing, I like the background vocals less.  The flutist is doing good work and while I prefer the old school murky sound the band here is solid in their support of her devotion.

@@@ Queen Ifrica: Black Woman (VP, 2018)  Speaking of that old school reggae production there are some mighty tasty dub echoes on this seven minute tune that is the lead single off a full length.  Again, a strong female singer showing devotion and love for Jah.  I checked out the first tune, Trueversation, and it’s much more of an accessible pop reggae track.  Go with the Black Woman single, it’s much better imho.

@@@ Selena Gomez: Back To You (Interscope, 2018) This lead track off the soundtrack of some Netflix production is the kind of super popular cheese bomb track that I loathe.  I don’t loathe it due to snobbery, I love all manner of musics but the cliches here are just rank.  It’s as predictable as death and probably not half the fun.  It’s got earnest acoustic guitars in the verse and then it breaks out in the chorus with the hook both vocal and synth.  The production is exquisite, the feelings are tame, all in all I could barely choke it down it was so gooey — like a low end pizza parlor slice.

YTD recordings listened to: 263
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 139
Not good music: 115

Best: 5
Honorable Mentions: 4

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, 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

Best of 2018 Pick 6

The Ballantynes: Liquor Store Gun Store Pawn Shop Church (La Ti Da, 2013)

I pride myself on the small records that pack a big punch. I could give a flying fuck if Miley Cyrus’ naked cannonball video has 75 million views on the GooglePimp, that’s got fuck all to do with music. Just cuz nobody’s heard of it has no bearing on quality. People forget that great music is nothing more than a bunch of people in a room letting it all hang out and that has nothing to do with loot, it has to do with soul.

If you took the Blues Brothers and put ’em in flannel shirts and gave them any old school white trash beer and removed the horn section and the frat boy bullshit you would have something very close to this record. It’s a guitar driven soul/rock record with a lot of guitars, a male and a female singer that both do good work and a ramped up band.

Music for 5/11/18!!! Escape Argot, Jack Larson, Meghan Trainor, Yung Gravy

@@@ Escape Argot: Still Writing Letters (Traumton, 2018) I got to this record via a twat from Bird is the Worm who is a jazz blogger very active on the Twatter. The first tune is pleasantly disjointed though I’m not super into the sax player. There’s a synchronized section where the sax player and the piano player play in unison and it’s a tad annoying. Let me peep some more. The second tune is the title track and it’s all right — I’m feeling like this record might not be for me. It’s a low on fire and more arranged than what I prefer. I like the piano player and the drummer but not the sax player.

@@@ Jack Larsen: Push Ups EP (Jack Larsen/Closed Sessions, 2018) Another record from the Twatter, this time from a guy who promos for Fat Possum but also twats about other records that may or may not be associated with Fat Possum. He’s an indie fella so I’m thinking there’s gonna be a lot of feelings on this record. Mr. Larsen only has one pre-release tune up on the Apple Music but I want to mention that he’s shirtless on his record cover and he looks like he might be a male bimbo. This is no Meghan Trainor but it’s indie cotton candy sweet thing. He’s got some dance elements (drum machine and electronic garnish) and he’s got those annoying arpeggiated indie guitar sounds going and he’s talking about his life and I could really give a shit. Most people don’t get this idea but the sounds and the vibes here are trying too hard to please, it’s indie baby food. I ask myself what kind of self-involved douchebag needs this kind of music?? I think this is a really good question.

@@@ Meghan Trainor: Let You Be Right (Sony, 2018) Off the Apple Music hot tracks section. I’m a huge Meghan Trainor fan, huge! Not really. In this time of identity politics and music being closely intertwined Meghan has reinvigorated her career by shedding a lot of weight. There used to more Meghan but now there’s 20 pounds less. And she has a new boyfriend and shit is looking up for her fo shure! The tune is a high end dancefloor banger designed to pad her bank account. Four on the floor, some classic disco popping bass, and even cowbell. You can’t fuck with Meghan Trainor and you can’t fuck with cowbell. She don’t want to fight, she’s gonna let you be right. I would call this fluffy ginger ale funk. It’s got some wang to it but it’s got a cotton candy flow to it.

@@@ Yung Gravy: Snow Cougar (Republic/UMG, 2018) How can you not check out a record called Snow Cougar by an MC called Yung Gravy???? I can’t pass that shit nor can I beat it with a stick. Regular readers know how much I love all the extra garnish you get with music these days so I can feed the fire by proposing maybe Yung Gravy (somehow spelling it Yung really changes it for me) would want to get with Meghan Trainor. She’s looking good, he’s into snow cougars, maybe he’s a chaser of former chubby pop singers. I’m not denigrating here, I’m looking to make the world a better place. Like Mark Zuckerberg, who is just special special special. This first tune, Knockout, has poppy horns with standard hip hop beats without being too trap. Mr. Gravy will take your bitch and/or fuck your sister every day. For real, he raps that. Nasty Gravy Boy. BTW, Yung Gravy is a white boy, one that will fuck your sister every day. I’m going to check this third tune as DRAM raps on this one then I’m going to tip cuz Yung Gravy has an annoying flow on the mic and his music is trash. He vanilla ice creams the arrangements so I can understand how he has drawn non hip hop fans to him, but he’s trash.

YTD recordings listened to: 259
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 137
Not good music: 113

Best: 5
Honorable Mentions: 4

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, 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

Music for 5/9/18!!! Bokani Dyer Trio, Damien Jurado, Jon Hopkins

@@@ Bokani Dyer Trio: Neo Native (Self-released, 2018) I got to this jazz record via the London Jazz blog. I’m assuming, hopefully correctly, that with a name like Bokani the leader of this trio is either African or of African descent. The instrumentation is piano, bass and drums and it’s pretty straightforward straight jazz. Some nice contemplative beginnings that segue into more energetic solos. I’m not a huge straight jazz fan, I was hoping for more African music influences in the record, he didn’t do that and there’s a lot of other stuff for me to listen to and folks who might be interested in checking him out.

@@@ Damien Jurado: The Horizon Just Laughed (Secretly Canadian, 2018) There are three pre-release tracks up on Apple Music from this record that I saw listed on last week’s All Music notable release email. I really loved Mariqopa which was a few years ago and I dig Jurado’s voice. This first tune is like a Neil Young song with some Curtis Mayfield strings in the back, it’s a good track with a melancholy vibe. Again I really like his voice so that puts it over for me. He’s got a pretty ’70s sound going for the record and this second pre-release tune, Percy Faith, is more upbeat for the cubicle dwellers. The three tunes I’ve checked have been solid, I’m not particularly jumping up and down but I don’t think that’s what this record is trying to do.

@@@ Jon Hopkins: Singularity (Domino, 2018) Also off last week’s All Music notable release email and this first tune opens up electro epic with a sheer wall of insect-y/staticky noise mixed with feedback-y synth sound with a bass synth that slowly fades up in volume. It’s ambient and groovy at the same time, two things I like. The two undergoes a fairly significant evolution over the course of its six minutes but it’s smooth and enjoyable. The second tune starts out more ethereally with some higher register arpeggiated synths a little of a New Age/Lord of the Rings vibe. Hopkins is clearly an experienced arranger. Myself I prefer the darker pieces and I’m going to swing back and listen to this record all the way through when I have the time. The opening track, my favorite of what I heard is clipped below.

YTD recordings listened to: 253
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 135
Not good music: 109

Best: 5
Honorable Mentions: 4

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, 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

Music for 5/8/18!!! 2 by Bukowski, Naomi Cowan, Robert Dallas

@@@ 2 by Bukowski featuring Kid Moxie: Follow You Home (Inner Ear, 2018) A downtempo rock/electronic tune from a small Greek label that I review from time to time. Everything is slow — the beat, the electro string flourish in the back, and the vocals. Pleasantly slow. It goes epic synth around 2:10 and I like it less but I can only take a certain amount of synth. The synth is balanced out by some spaghetti western sounding guitar playing so that works for me. There is a climactic outro that I dig where it reaches it’s bigly-ness (Trump word) with an arpeggiated synth that works and drives the section.

@@@ Naomi Cowan: Paradise Plum (single) (Zinc Fence, 2018) A newly added reggae single at WRIR in Virginia. It opens up with a mix of modern and vintage reggae sounds. Super smooth and reverbed vocals with some tasty dub delays. I can’t tell if this is a drum machine or a drummer but the rhythm section is adequately root for my ears. Cowan has a soaring and sweet reggae voice which is front and center in the mix.

@@@ Robert Dallas: Bearer of Bad News (Medtone, 2018) Another reggae single off this week’s WRIR playlist email, this one super vintage. Takin your time drum groove with thick bass pumping beneath Dallas’ voice. The vocal melody is old school as well with some guitar and keyboard tucked under the voice. Another solid springtime roots reggae effort. As always check it for yourselves. There are brief horn lines that push and then fade for the singer to take over and you get a dub of the track as well.

YTD recordings listened to: 250
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 132
Not good music: 109

Best: 5
Honorable Mentions: 4

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, 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

Music for 5/4/18!!! Dan Habarnam, Terlu, Nuiton

@@@ Dan HabarNam: High Pass Rambo (Idle Hands, 2018) I’m up in the experimental section at Apple Music. This tune occupies the #1 slot in the hot tracks for this genre. The tune is anchored by the four on the floor kick drum and it starts to kick when the snare hits around 1:20. It’s a pretty sparse melodically for this tune but the rhythms are kickin’ with a special shout to some floor shaking bass. I like fat bass I can’t lie. He’s got a nice arpeggiated/delayed ping pong-y synth but it’s sporadic and doesn’t evolve. Strictly for the dancefloor which is fine but he coulda made it for the heads as well.

@@@ Terlu: Big Bongo (Not Not fun, 2018) The opening track of the album and I hope it’s not almost 7 minutes of a somewhat mangled steel drum/vibe like sound. I ask you, kind reader, am I a bitch to want more? Will I get more if I wait? It’s a decent melody but I gave it three minutes and then I bailed. It’s too stingy, I need a little more action. I felt like I was watching two highly intelligent chimps play the same thing over and over in their cage in front of whole bunch of people. If you’re feeling a bit chimpy this could super work for you.

@@@ Nuiton: Carpal Tunnel (Exit Strategy, 2018) The first tune from a three song EP that I got to via the Apple Music experimental section. This opens up with a steady kick and a rhythmic synth part. It’s a 7 minute banger so it unfolds fairly slowly but you do get a nice conga and some metal percussion and for techno track it does break out from the classic unt-sss to get funkier. It simmers then overflows and I like the whole package here — nice sounds, nice rhythms that don’t get stuck and some abstraction that lifts this above a typical techno dancefloor banger. This is the best tune I heard today, check it out.

YTD recordings listened to: 243
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 127
Not good music: 107

Best: 4
Honorable Mentions: 3

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, 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, Irreversible Entanglements, Converge, Open Mike Eagle, Criolo, Billy Strings, Flowers of Sulphur, Tal National, Portal, Hernan Sama & Marcelo von Schultz, Jean Grae and Quelle Chris

Music for 5/1/18!!! Tallsaint, A Festival, A Parade, Jean Grae and Quelle Chris

@@@ Jean Grae and Quelle Chris: Everything’s Fine (Mello Music, 2018). A off mainstream hip hop record I got to via the All Music notable release email.  Headed by a female MC and out on the Mello Music, one of my favorite indie hip hop labels I wouldn’t pass on this release.  This is dense hip hop non standard arrangements and I’m feeling this tune Ohsh.  I’m on the fourth tune and I’ve really liked a lot of this record.  It has a sharpness and focus to it that I really appreciate.  The arrangements are also high end — this is no trap beat and a sample to rhyme over.  I’m going to swing back on this record but I urge folks to check this record out.

@@@ Tallsaint: I’m a Woman (After All) (Dance to the Radio, 2018) An electronic music single off this week’s Line of Best Fit tracks of the week.  She put her hand down her pants and declared ‘I’m a Woman (After All).  It’s a dance floor banger with a shade of rock up in the business.  Outside of the beat and the vocals there’s not a ton going on in the tune.  I’m not sure what the tune is about besides her gender confirmation.  I neither love it or hate it, it’s not leaving a deep impression on me.

@@@ A Festival, A Parade: Cold Shower (Tipping Point, 2018).  After a pretty raucous guitar part intro the tune settles down into some pretty standard shoe gaze.  Lots of guitar squalls with mellow voices, except here the guitars lay back in the verse and crush in the chorus.  And builds to a smashing conclusion and then wraps up.

YTD recordings listened to: 234
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 123
Not good music: 102

Best: 4
Honorable Mentions: 3

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, 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, Irreversible Entanglements, Converge, Open Mike Eagle, Criolo, Billy Strings, Flowers of Sulphur, Tal National, Portal, Hernan Sama & Marcelo von Schultz, Jean Grae and Quelle Chris

Music for 4/9/18!!! Nightwave, Peggy Gou, Khruangbin, Drake

@@@ Nightwave: Sanctuary (Fool , 2018) I continue to grind throught the Dazed Digital underlooked records of early 2018. Here we have a Glasgow based producer bringing the dancefloor bangers. This first tune features some chopped vocals, classic dance synths, and bumpin’ unt-sss for the masses. The second tune ups the hi hat but brings in some Asian flavored sounds and more chopped salad vocals. Mr. Nightwave starts stretching out in the third tune with a fat booty bass and some manic drum machine programming. He shoulda kicked off the album with this as it is the freshest of what I heard.

@@@ Peggy Gou: Once EP (Ninja Tune, 2018) More dancefloor action by a South Korean female. The sounds on this retro leaning EP are pretty standard but the arrangements are crisp nothing goes on too long. I’m feeling this second tune, Hundres Times. There aren’t as many vocals as I thought there would be, in fact there are not many at all and I could have used more. Lots of energy and well executed.

@@@ Khruangbin: Con Todo El Mundo (Dead Oceans, 2018) Marketed as a mash of Thai, Iranian and good ol’ jamming that I got to via the same list. I’m usually suspicious of such mashes and view them as gimmicks but I will peep this with an open ear. The first tune features a medium funky rhythm section and a decidedly hippie/retro guitar doing its jammy jam thing. It’s cool and a tad snoozy at the same time. I hear traces of these influences being marketed but not overwhelming except in the third tune where the guitar gets very circular and Eastern in flavor. I like it, but if these guys had a singer who could carry the football I would be over the top with this. It’s solid instrumental music but if I want instrumental I’ll hit up some great jazz as that’s what it’s there for.

@@@ Drake: Nice for What (Young Money/Cash Money, 2018) Ooops, Drake has dropped another dookie bomb. Thank God he’s taking a break from the weak dancehall but when he goes straight hip hop I don’t like it much better. I like the beat and the arrangement but I find Drake’s lyrics to be mad boring and his delivery could use a gym membership. I would like to think that I could like a Drake track if it was hot and I recognize that I hate on Drake at the same level as Beyonce but I don’t like his work.

YTD recordings listened to: 201
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 106
Not good music: 88

Best: 4
Honorable Mentions: 3

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, 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, Irreversible Entanglements, Converge, Open Mike Eagle, Criolo, Billy Strings, Flowers of Sulphur, Tal National, Portal

Music for 3/12/18!!! Calligraphist, Habibi, Sade, Bad Bunny

@@@ Calligraphist: Dinamo (Self-released, 2018) I got to this tune from an email from the artist himself who is located in Europe. To my ears this tune blends hip hop and the sounds and vibes of the old school Cali band Sublime. It’s chill and laidback but rhythmically focused. Also with slightly similar guitar work. I like the arrangement and the drum sounds in particular. I’m a bit surprised by the lyrics which are almost lifted from a Romantic poem.

@@@ Habibi: Cardomom Garden (Modern Sky, 2018) I got to this Farsi singing female psych band via the email list of the tres pretentious, dare we say up its own ass?, BK club National Sawdust. I only know what Farsi is as I have a friend who is married to an Indian Parsi — so Parsis are Persians who may or may not have migrated, for example to India. This is pretty entertaining music with some vocals done in English but there’s most definitely an Eastern flavor to the sounds. They sound a little like the Bangles with the jangly guitars and the smooth vocals. It’s not rough teeth grinding psychedelic music. This is a 9 minute EP so it’s not a big commitment, you can take a break from watching Instagram cat videos and check out some new music.

@@@ Sade: Flower of the Universe (Sony Music, 2018) The purveyor of fine lush vibes is back with an unsurprisingly lush track. Unfortunately it’s a Disney soundtrack and I will be upfront — I fucking hate the big Mouse and all his Mousketeer/theme park/weird ass Walt Disney shit. So points off for that. The tune is anchored by acoustic guitar and Sade and background vocals. Now some sparse piano. It’s a super dramatical vibe they’re going for because the Mouse means Business, the Mouse doesn’t fuck around, and Sade’s track for the Mouse is all right.

@@@ Bad Bunny: Dime Se Ti Acuerdas (Rimas, 2018) We’re seeing a lot of Spanish crossover music in the wake of Despacito last summer. Mr. Bunny is coming on full Latin loverboy over, ooh now he’s rhyming, I have no idea what it’s about but it has to involve the ladies. I’ll put money on that shit. He’s got some breathy synths to go with the fat bass and his thick tongued vocal work but this shit has 49 million views on the GoogleTubePimpBox. So this is what a 2018 hit looks like? Yikes. I like the beats and the sounds are all right but Mr. Bunny sounds like, well not a bunny. I don’t dig his voice, but that’s just me and I don’t wear panties. (Except on Fridays when I cruise around the BK in a skirt).

YTD recordings listened to: 141
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 75
Not good music: 63

Best: 2
Honorable Mentions: 3

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, 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, Irreversible Entanglements, Converge, Open Mike Eagle, Criolo, Billy Strings, Flowers of Sulphur, Melissa Laveaux

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.