Music for 4/12/21!!! Cha Wa, Ryley Walker, Dry Cleaning

@@@ Cha Wa: My People (Single Lock Records, 2021) Off the Twatter specifically Ted Gioia’s timeline/feed though I have heard and really dug this outfit before. These guys (unless I’m mistaken are the keepers of the New Orleans funk flame). This track, the title track, is a celebration of the staying power and strength of black folks with a division into rich people, poor people, and my people. In the lyrics that is. Big hornlines, lots of energy with hand drummers augmenting the rhythmic energy of the kit drummer. The player clicks through and it moves into a grittier old school funk with a dual guitar attack. I appreciate these guys keeping this funk style alive.

@@@ Ryley Walker: Rang Dizzy (Husky Pants, 2021) This listen and the next are a coupla rock/post punk kinda things off last week’s All Music notable release email. Rawk! I had to get that out of the way. The tune opens much more like a slightly proggy, literate fusion-y rock, there’s no rockin’ per se to be found here. Rocking defined as a release of energy related to defiance, alienation and dissatisfaction, sometimes cathartic in nature. The singer is a sensitive gent and he’s certainly not worked up and he wants you to listen to his words. I’m sure he’s a fabulous dude but I’m not super into his style. This is a dehydrated Pearl Jam typa thing, yikes! You even get a cello here in the background it’s just that classy.

@@@ Dry Cleaning: Strong Feelings ( 4AD, 2021) I don’t find much on the 4AD label as they really cater to the square ass white rock folks out there and they’ve gone to the bank on it. A bit of kraut rock mixed with some art school feels, female singer and a detached delivery style. Classic. If you’re gonna go this route as a listener which is your God given right I would give the Pixies a spin (another 4AD band) cuz they do this with a lot more irony and humor and straight rockin’. This is a bit too stylized for me to get involved with.

Music for 4/1/21!!! Real Estate, The Antlers, Special Friend

@@@ Real Estate: Half a Human (Domino, 2021) Ah Domino, the UK’s leading purveyor of odd, pastoral rock and this fits in though on the more mainstream side. The singer comes in Alex Chilton/detached and chill white guy style. I really like the vibe here and that’s balanced against its very familiar formula and how I feel about that. I guess that brings up the question of what is art, is it a faithful reproduction of what has come before is it okay or even necessary to want something more than a faithful reproduction? I can’t answer these questions for you, faithful reader of my shitass tiny blog but I think it’s a solid question. This track goes out on a jangly 2 guitar jam and it’s quite nice, like a summer wind across one’s taint. Perfectly awesome for those who want the familiar reproduction.

@@@ The Antlers: Green to Gold (Anti-, 2021) The 8th song on this alternative indie thing — loping is how I would describe the beginning section of this tune before the vocals come in. A breathy dude comes in — he’s not bedroom breathy, it’s more macaroni and cheese comforting type of thing. He’s your friend breathy. Mr. Antlers slides a couple of slide-y typed guitars in back of the arrangement and I feel that. And with a swelling organ, it’s just mad sad and there for you up in here. It’s not hippie-ish but it’s a lot of comforting sounds making me a bit sleepy. Think there could be some contrast here, there could be a thing such as too much comfort. Oxycontin for example.

@@@ Special Friend: Ennemi Commun (Sprecial Friend/Modular, 2021) Some old school retro indie guitar business. Two singers, both sort of detached in a Sonic Youth kinda way but the rest of it isn’t as blustery as the Youth. A bit crunchy and a bit smooth, it’s well executed particularly in the vocal stylings, but imho it could use a Red Bull in the band playing. Especially the drummer, get up in there and pump it up. Nice guitar tones with a jammy outro, one guitar holding it down with the distortion pedal and the other going intergalactic white space cowboy.

Music for 2/3/21!!! The Weather Station, Sophie

@@@ The Weather Station: Atlantic (Fat Possum, 2021) I saw this artist getting wowsad both in the NY Times and by an indie lover on the Twatter so it’s quite well trumpeted and I’ve heard her outfit before and not been blown away. But I go in with open earholes. I checked out the first track Robber which got a lot of indie hype and this track is a coffee shop rocker with a little guitar processing and a chill but firm rock dance beat. Ms. Weather Station comes in with the lower energy vocal stylings, some ringing piano chords, and hopeful electro garnish to make you feel a bit better. I like that there’s a blend of sounds but I don’t love her singing. I like the electronic bits, I don’t like this beat, I don’t like piano and I don’t love her singing but indie is a self-serious reach of a genre for me.

@@@ SOPHIE: It’s Okay to Cry (Future, 2017) I’m not the primary demographic for Sophie’s music but I saw the outpouring of love when she passed so I thought I would check her music out. My hesitation in listening revolves around the ongoing statements I see saying she demolished boundaries between pop and experimental music. This is the first song from her 2017 record I haven’t really heard anything particularly challenging or new or experimental in this track. It’s very orchestrated synth pop with a fair amount of glitch and production flourishes but it’s got a big hook in the chorus and it’s just pop music. It’s not far from being a Prince tune — delicate, fragile vocals, sweet orchestration, expansive production. I like her voice but I don’t like how she presents it, I don’t like the drum sound and overall it’s a solid track. I’m on the second track and it sounds a lot like late ’80s Prince music.

Music for 10/5/20!!! Nicole Mitchell, The Coral, Bird Streets, Robbie Fulks/Gail Lewis

@@@ Nicole Mitchell: No One Can Stop Us (FPE, 2018) This is a live record from a jazz flutist that I’ve been meaning to check out for a long time. All of today’s listens come from a 2018 All Music notable release email. Instrumentation is flute, cello, and piano with no drums. It’s got the bounce and energy of a live recording with occasional chants of No One Can Stop Us. I like spoken word with jazz, it’s part of a long tradition but I think I’m missing the energy of a drummer. If there was a drummer here I think the music would firm up with a bit of hardness and energy that I really feed off of. I like my tender sentiments with some contrast. That’s just me and I plan on listening to some of her studio recordings as I know musicians who have worked with her and rave about her. I’m halfway through the first piece Warm Dark Realness and think the interplay between the musicians has intensified and I’m finding it much more interesting.

@@@ The Coral: After the Fair (Ignition, 2018) I’m a big fand of this band, a rare oasis of freakshow in pretty predictable rockland. This is the last tune on the record and it’s a sad goodbye type of thing. Arpeggiated acoustic guitars in both left and right channels, a foot tapping or a drum emulating a tapping foot. The vocals are sweet, pastoral, and UK-ish. This is a straighter track than some of the stuff from their prime (I’m not saying this is not prime). I’m checking out the first track and it’s got some of the stuff I love about the Coral, but I would recommend 2005’s Invisible Invasion, I love that shit. It’s my blog I get to recommend as I see fit.

@@@ Bird Streets: Betting on the Sun (Warner, 2018) I’m always a bit skeptical of major label rock as it tends to slant more towards the smooth and creamy baby food neighborhood and not really rockin’. This opens with frank and sarcastically confessional lyrics which I like but the sounds are pretty manicured. He goes falsetto and tambourine in the chorus so you know where we’re headed here. To Smoothland. I’m hearing at least three layers of guitar — some acoustic, some arpeggiated clean electric sounds, and occasional power chord action. It’s well done, pretty familiar, and not super my cup of tea. Take off the suit and color outside the lines, that’s what I say.

@@@ Robbie Fulks & Linda Gail Lewis: Wild Wild Wild (Bloodshot, 2018) Some retro rockabilly flavored twang. With the female and male singer duo it’s pretty reminiscent of X who took this formual and injected some ramped punk attitude into it. The sounds are cool here, I especially like the guitar (then the piano) but I wish the drummer could carry the load more. He sounds like he’s behind the rest of the band instead of driving it. Maybe it’s the mix but more energy would make me more excited. Funny how that works.

YTD recordings listened to: 866
Good music, not list worthy: 467
Not good music: 366

Best: 4
Honorable Mentions: 5

Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, Slidhr, The Chewers, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Luther Dickinson, Graeme Barrett, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Cavanaugh, Satoko Fuji, Moken, Juan Atkins, Lantern, Twin Peaks, Djelimady Tounkara, Denny Zeitlin, MILF, Unfun, De La Soul, Carl Sagan’s Skate Shoes, Noname, Klara Lewis, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Oddisee, RAM, Fiver, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Priests, Propaganda, This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez, Integrity, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Criolo, Billy Strings, Flowers of Sulphur, Portal, Lawaii, Etran De L’Air, Ruby Karinto, Elysia Crampton, Parquet Courts, Moskus, Kendl Winter, Tkay Maidza, Barro, Daniel Khan, Tallawit Timbouctou, Sumac, Tropical Fuck Storm, Harriet Tubman, Ammar 808, Anais Maviel, Chaka Khan, Pom Poko, Fried Egg, Tarek Atoui, Saicobab, General Purv, Shipping News, Big Thief, Mariachi El Bronx, Pour Me a Grog, Sudan Archives, Lakou Mizik, Moodymann, Pharmakon, Alefa Madagascar, Janjao, Luge, Wiki, Mick Jenkins, Jeremiah Jae, Fera, Gambian Griot Kora Duets, Drama, Beatrice Dillon, Mass Worship, mmmonika, Les Deuxluxes, Tony Allen, Fra Fra, Nihiloxica, Hailu Mergia, Pokey LaFarge, Nico Gomez, Nohe and Sus Santos, Tiny Bit of Giant’s Blood, Pole, Naeem, Mekons, Santrofi, DJ Nigga Fox, Flor do Toloache, Alexander Hawkins/Tomeka Reid, Shy One, Protomartyr, Nnamdi, Ekiti Sound, Awa Fall, 25,000 Kittens, Anjimile, Superfonicos, Yves Jarvis, Jonsi

Music for 10/7/20!!! Jeff Mills, Velvet Negroni, Snail Mail, Wild Billy Childish

@@@ Jeff Mills: Moon The Area of Influence (Axis, 2019) Today I listen off a couple of All Music notable release emails from 2019. I can not find this record on Apple Music so we’re going to peep the beginning of this record in the GooglePimpTube video below. Mills is a pioneer/founder in the techno movement. After the spoken word intro by Walter Cronkite and astronauts and others in the news game, a restrained and polytechnic dancefloor banger begins and it’s notable for the lush pads and a chiller funky beat. I don’t know how a listener would judge whether this is intergalactic techno but to my ears it is. I’ve clicked around within this forty minute video/audio file and he does get spaced out and funky, I like it. You can tell he’s been in this genre for a long time as this music is very focused and integrated. All the parts fit together to work on the listener’s perception. Check it out.

@@@ Velvet Negroni: Kurt Kobain (4AD, 2019) It’s interesting to see a youth rock a r&b track called Kurt Kobain. Especially one that uses sounds closer to Madonna and another ’80s artist I can’t pull off the hard drive this morning than to any grunge era sound. I like his voice, it’s full and expressive, the drum machine beats I don’t like nearly as much. I have no idea from listening to the lyrics how this track relates to Kurt Cobain or if he’s even attempting to or whether it’s an inside joke or some such. There are points where I hear the word youth so maybe there’s some statement about Kurt Cobain as some universal youth figure. If I liked the sounds more I would be more interested.

@@@ Snail Mail: Habit (Matador, 2018) Some old school lo fi indie guitar business complete with that slack, detached voice I’ve grown to not like over the years. I like the drummer and the simple nature of the beat, don’t much like these strummed electric chords I’ve heard literally hundreds of times before and I’m not down with the vocalist. I know I’m in the minority on this formula as millions love and support it but it’s not for me. The drummer is good though and they’re really well recorded and mixed. The drums that is.

@@@ Wild Billy Childish: Last Punk Standing (Last Punk Standing, 2019) There are many flavors of punk rock and this record stands as a garage punk biscuit with a flavorful drummer, standard guitar sounds and a British accented punk preacher. I’m not sure it matters who the last punk standing will be as the word punk was never really defined so there may be 50 different dudes and ladies standing up for their 50 different definitions of punk and that might be considered a very punk thing. As music I like it as a connection back to sounds of a long time ago but I don’t think most kids would give a flying fuck about this.

YTD recordings listened to: 772
Good music, not list worthy: 419
Not good music: 328

Best: 4
Honorable Mentions: 5

Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, Slidhr, The Chewers, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, 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, Noname, Klara Lewis, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Oddisee, RAM, Fiver, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Priests, Propaganda, This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez, Integrity, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Criolo, Billy Strings, Flowers of Sulphur, Portal, Lawaii, Etran De L’Air, Ruby Karinto, Elysia Crampton, Parquet Courts, Moskus, Kendl Winter, Tkay Maidza, Barro, Daniel Khan, Tallawit Timbouctou, Sumac, Tropical Fuck Storm, Harriet Tubman, Ammar 808, Anais Maviel, Chaka Khan, Pom Poko, Fried Egg, Tarek Atoui, Saicobab, General Purv, Shipping News, Big Thief, Mariachi El Bronx, Pour Me a Grog, Sudan Archives, Lakou Mizik, Moodymann, Pharmakon, Alefa Madagascar, Janjao, Luge, Wiki, Mick Jenkins, Jeremiah Jae, Fera, Gambian Griot Kora Duets, Drama, Beatrice Dillon, Mass Worship, mmmonika, Les Deuxluxes, Tony Allen, Fra Fra, Nihiloxica, Hailu Mergia, Pokey LaFarge, Nico Gomez, Nohe and Sus Santos, Tiny Bit of Giant’s Blood, Pole, Naeem, Mekons, Santrofi, DJ Nigga Fox, Flor do Toloache, Alexander Hawkins/Tomeka Reid, Shy One, Protomartyr, Nnamdi, Ekiti Sound, Awa Fall, 25,000 Kittens, Anjimile, Superfonicos, Yves Jarvis

Music for 10/2/20!!! Anna Von Hausswolff, A Certain Ration, Sufjan Stevens, The Ocean

@@@ Anna von Hausswolff: All Thoughts Fly (Southern Lord, 2020) I’m a big Southern Lord fan and urge other folks to check out their releases. This is a 12 minute banger and it opens up Bach-y and church-y but 12 minute bangers can take you on a journey for sure and who knows where it might go. It looks like they’re going for that lucrative ambient listening neighborhood as this continues along a solo instrumental/processed path. I like it all right, as ambient music it’s cool without blowing my mind. Unlike other Southern Lord releases there’s a certain conservatism to the aesthetic here. It’s a lot of arpeggios and tremolo like effects and I guess I was hoping for more. It’s nice background music to doom scroll during a pandemic but I like to be challenged by my ambient music. Around 8 minutes in we get to a crescendo and it’s cool.

@@@ A Certain Ration: Always In Love (Mute, 2020) Slotted as alternative, I’m a bit surprised to see this out on Mute. It’s electro pop that is both sickly sweet and sonically flaccid. Intimate vocals, some electro garnish, white boy janky guitar and frat rock drumming, oh lord I wish this heavily influenced by ’80s biscuit dropping was buried alongside Ronald Reagan. I guess I’m the freak here as I don’t know how this superficially emotive track works for people, it has so little substance it’s a tad scary.

@@@ Sufjan Stevens: The Ascension (Asthmatic Kitty, 2020) This record by an indie darling has been getting pushed in various spots on the interwebz. I’ve never really cottoned to Stevens and what I’m hearing in the 14th track and title track to the record doesn’t change my feeling. It’s a pretty massive slice of indie New Age electro biscuitry with overwrought production. I love emo punk and I love it for the contrast of extreme confesssion over the storm of fully unhinged punk rock . He’s denounced his own selfishness but in a pretty self absorbed manner, blech. Prophesies, pantomimes and sonically beautiful. I think this sort of introspection is not aligned to with real life when painful shit is encountered and acknowledged it’s not a gorgeous soundscape, it’s draining and very difficult. Oh I protest this on the ground of fostering illusion and setting back the idea of real inward acceptance. Blech, boo hiss.

@@@ The Ocean: Phanerozoic II: Mesozoic/Cenozoic (Metal Blade, 2020) A record epic in scope spanning the life and periods of our planet. I will be checking out the opening track Triassic — it opens with some strat-y sound guitar strums and a tad of flute. The rhythm section appears and it’s a jaunty heavy rock opening but I do anticipate a classic metal explosion right around the corner. I like the bass player and his/her tone — grizzy and melodic for a metal player. Oooh, pressure is building and the giant metal sphincter is about to open up and spill! Right at 3 minutes the shit hits the listeners’ ears and then back to the gentler verse. The production is manicured as neatly as hair in porn flix. It’s a chill/explode, chill/explode pattern they’re working and it’s a classic though they’re stretching it with these long song lengths. I wish the sounds here weren’t so tightly controlled but a lot of folks find that exciting, the super trimmed and polished thing. I like some of these repeating guitar melodies, they’re spice shit up.

YTD recordings listened to: 760
Good music, not list worthy: 412
Not good music: 323

Best: 4
Honorable Mentions: 5

Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, Slidhr, The Chewers, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, 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, Noname, Klara Lewis, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Oddisee, RAM, Fiver, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Priests, Propaganda, This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez, Integrity, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Criolo, Billy Strings, Flowers of Sulphur, Portal, Lawaii, Etran De L’Air, Ruby Karinto, Elysia Crampton, Parquet Courts, Moskus, Kendl Winter, Tkay Maidza, Barro, Daniel Khan, Tallawit Timbouctou, Sumac, Tropical Fuck Storm, Harriet Tubman, Ammar 808, Anais Maviel, Chaka Khan, Pom Poko, Fried Egg, Tarek Atoui, Saicobab, General Purv, Shipping News, Big Thief, Mariachi El Bronx, Pour Me a Grog, Sudan Archives, Lakou Mizik, Moodymann, Pharmakon, Alefa Madagascar, Janjao, Luge, Wiki, Mick Jenkins, Jeremiah Jae, Fera, Gambian Griot Kora Duets, Drama, Beatrice Dillon, Mass Worship, mmmonika, Les Deuxluxes, Tony Allen, Fra Fra, Nihiloxica, Hailu Mergia, Pokey LaFarge, Nico Gomez, Nohe and Sus Santos, Tiny Bit of Giant’s Blood, Pole, Naeem, Mekons, Santrofi, DJ Nigga Fox, Flor do Toloache, Alexander Hawkins/Tomeka Reid, Shy One, Protomartyr, Nnamdi, Ekiti Sound, Awa Fall, 25,000 Kittens, Anjimile, Superfonicos

Music for 8/31/20!!! Nnamdi, Mike Fahie, Wood Lake, Jimi Tenor

@@@ Nnamdi: My Life (Sooper Records, 2020) I got to this Chicago Nigerian American musician via a feature on the Vice website.  He comes out both retro funky and rockin’.  A drummer, poppin’ off, some guitar riffing that’s a bit aggro but nothing too punky/metal.  Nnamdi layers over this band arrangement which is taking a mild Captain Beefheart turn a bunch of vocal tracks that smooth over the band a bit or contrast with it.  To my ears it’s an excellent smash of white and black musical ideas.  A smashup of Funkadelic and Captain Beefheart/Zappa is pretty unexpected.   @@@ Mike Fahie: Urban(e) (Greenleaf, 2020) I saw this jazz trombonist’s new record up on the Twatter.  I will be checking out Prelude Op. 28 No. 20 and that makes me feel a bit fancy just typing that.  As the video says below these are Puccini pieces re-imagined by this gent Mr. Fahie and thus far I feel the vibe.  He’s honored the classical heritage while bringing the improvised element into the proceedings. Oh, I’m an idiot there is a variety of pieces here from classical music land — Stravinsky, Bach and Beethoven amongst others.  I’m on the third piece and it feels a bit like a poo poo platter at an old school Chinese restaurant — the playing is extremely polished and thought out producing moments of jazz/classical resolution but I would have preferred a deep dive of all Stravinsky or all Bach.  That’s just me dig it if you will.  @@@ Wood Lake: Lost Meaning (Lakewood, 2020) Some old school guitar indie I got to via a music publicist email.  Also a dollop of shoegaze up in there.  Rocking and comforting at the very same time, how ’bout dat?  The singer is mad gentle, you might catch him snacking on a vegan brownie in the bookstore, he’s just that friendly.  It comes down t a hippi-ish section with a bowed cello, a little piano, and some mad mellow singing.  And I’m guessing, there it is, the rock is gonna come back and they’re gonna chug out on the intro vibe.  There’s more swirling shoegaze as the tune exits stage right, vegan brownie style. @@@ Jimi Tenor: Lover’s Bridge (Philophone, 2020)  Some breezy funk out of the same German label that brought you Guy One, one of my favorite records of the 2010s.  This is slotted as funk.  I like the bass player a whole bunch but I’m not a huge fan of the keyboard sound, the smoot vibes of a track called Sugar and Sprice and I’m agnostic on the horns.  If folks like smoother, fusion-y funk then have at it I don’t hold nothing against nobody. YTD recordings listened to: 664 Good music, not list worthy: 346 Not good music: 299 Best: 0 Honorable Mentions: 0 Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, Slidhr, The Chewers, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, 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, Noname, Klara Lewis, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Oddisee, RAM, Fiver, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Priests, Propaganda, This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez, Integrity, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Criolo, Billy Strings, Flowers of Sulphur, Portal, Lawaii, Etran De L’Air, Ruby Karinto, Elysia Crampton, Parquet Courts, Moskus, Kendl Winter, Tkay Maidza, Barro, Daniel Khan, Tallawit Timbouctou, Sumac, Tropical Fuck Storm, Harriet Tubman, Ammar 808, Anais Maviel, Chaka Khan, Pom Poko, Fried Egg, Tarek Atoui, Saicobab, General Purv, Shipping News, Big Thief, Mariachi El Bronx, Pour Me a Grog, Sudan Archives, Lakou Mizik, Moodymann, Pharmakon, Alefa Madagascar, Janjao, Luge, Wiki, Mick Jenkins, Jeremiah Jae, Fera, Gambian Griot Kora Duets, Drama, Beatrice Dillon, Mass Worship, mmmonika, Les Deuxluxes, Tony Allen, Fra Fra, Nihiloxica, Hailu Mergia, Pokey LaFarge, Nico Gomez, Nohe and Sus Santos, schroothoop, Tiny Bit of Giant’s Blood, Pole, Naeem, Mekons, Santrofi, DJ Nigga Fox, Flor do Toloache, Alexander Hawkins/Tomeka Reid, STORMLIGHT, Venomous Concept, Chezidek, Shy One, Muqata’a, Protomartyr, Nnamdi

Music for 8/12/20!!! Shy One, beabadoobee, Bon Iver, Muqata’a

@@@ Shy One: Sandbox (N/A, 2020) I saw this black female DJ/electronic musician pictured on a promo email from crack.io which I get in my inbox.  I found some unreleased instrumentals on the bandcamp that I’m gonna peep.  Ms. Shy One rocks hip hop flavored electronic music and she is from the UK.  I’m currently checking the first track and it’s sort of a bedroom flavored electro track featuring retro sounds and a generally bohemian, non rock star vibe.  Chill as the kids might say.  I guess these tracks come from the 2010-2011 time period as the recording is titled 2010-2011.  Funny how I figured that out.  I like these tracks — they’re engaging, a bit playful and have plenty going on sonically.  Lots or mostly interesting synth sounds/arrangements.  I would roll back on these when I have more time as there’s a cool creative spirit going on here.

@@@ beabadoobee: Care (Dirty Hit, 2020) Namechecked on the Line of Best Fit without being featured in their weekly email.  How many music review blogs disclose how they got to the track they’re listening to?  Not many, none that I know of.  Think of some retro indie guitar slack that busts into Smashing Pumpkins hooky baldness in the chorus.  Plenty of shine on this track which pops it out a bit.  Female singer rocking a slack posture which is fine.  Not really my cup of tea but not all tea is for me.  Think female Pumpkins people.

@@@ Bon Iver: AUATC (N/A, 2020) I don’t hate Bon Iver I just don’t see the genius talent that so many see in him.  I see snoozy indie business.  Maybe I will love this track and shit my pants.  AUATC stands for Ate Up All the Cake which I interpret as an economic statement.  This comes as a cross between lo fi indie vibes and Band inspired gospel type feels, that’s what I hear.  I like the vocal melody but I have no clue what he’s on about.  It’s a quickie weighing in at just 2:20 or thereabouts.  I like the playing, the lyrics are pretty much incomprehensible and the production is pleasant and purposely murky.

@@@ Muqata’a: Marj Ibn Amer (Souk, 2020) A Palestinian hip hop musician I got to via that Crack.io email list I mentioned before.  I dig the recommendations/exposure for non-white, non-mainstream musicians, keep ’em coming.  It opens with a plethora of Middle Eastern samples followed by a rattling hip hop beat, it’s pretty undpredictable and fresh.  I’m halfway through without a vocalist so I’m concluding that this is instrumental hip hop.  Solid reasoning right there, no?  I really dig this track as it has a tautness to it.  I enjoy how familiar Middle Eastern sounds have been processed and presented in a fresh manner.  The next tune clicked on as I finish this post and I like it more than the previous one.  It features the same tight focus and sharp sounds.  I’m going to have to circle back and check out more of this record when I get a chance.

YTD recordings listened to: 615
Good music, not list worthy: 308
Not good music: 276

Best: 0
Honorable Mentions: 0

Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, Slidhr, The Chewers, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, 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, Noname, Klara Lewis, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Oddisee, RAM, Fiver, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Priests, Propaganda, This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez, Integrity, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Criolo, Billy Strings, Flowers of Sulphur, Portal, Lawaii, Etran De L’Air, Ruby Karinto, Elysia Crampton, Parquet Courts, Moskus, Kendl Winter, Tkay Maidza, Barro, Daniel Khan, Tallawit Timbouctou, Sumac, Tropical Fuck Storm, Harriet Tubman, Ammar 808, Anais Maviel, Chaka Khan, Pom Poko, Fried Egg, Tarek Atoui, Saicobab, General Purv, Shipping News, Big Thief, Mariachi El Bronx, Pour Me a Grog, Sudan Archives, Lakou Mizik, Moodymann, Pharmakon, Alefa Madagascar, Janjao, Luge, Wiki, Mick Jenkins, Jeremiah Jae, Fera, Gambian Griot Kora Duets, Drama, Beatrice Dillon, Mass Worship, mmmonika, Les Deuxluxes, Tony Allen, Fra Fra, Nihiloxica, Hailu Mergia, Pokey LaFarge, Nico Gomez, Nohe and Sus Santos, schroothoop, Tiny Bit of Giant’s Blood, Pole, Naeem, Mekons, Santrofi, DJ Nigga Fox, Flor do Toloache, Alexander Hawkins/Tomeka Reid, STORMLIGHT, Venomous Concept, Chezidek, Shy One, Muqata’a

Music for 8/6/20!!! Rudy Royston, Beyonce, Alanis Morisette, Gum Country

@@@ Rudy Royston: PaNOptic — mr zoot suite — bruh Arnold (Greenleaf, 2020) I’ve been enjoying Royston’s drumming for years.  I think he’s got great energy and flavor at the kit and while I couldn’t find this track on Apple Music it’s over here at Greenleaf’s page on bandcamp and I’m betting it will end up on Apple Music at some point.  There are 20+ tracks on this solo record and this is a record recorded a few years ago released now with all proceeds going to benefit other musicians in need.  If you’re new to jazz listening Royston provides plenty of guidance as to what he’s trying to do at various points in the recording.  Myself I just enjoy listening to him drum, he’s great so check him out.

@@@ Beyonce: Already (Columbia, 2020)  You would have to be in a coma to not know that Beyonce has released some music.  And regular readers know that I’m not a huge Beyonce fan — I find her a bit troll-y for my taste, I think she oversings, and my general impression that Beyonce is Beyonce’s biggest fan continues here.  Here she’s inspired by Africa, which is awesome but if you want to hear African electronic music with or without pop influences there’s plenty of it coming out Africa!  And it’s better than this which comes off, ironically, as a tad colonial.  Imagine that.  From where I’m sitting I don’t hear this as either great American mainstream electro or as African music, it’s kind of a bowl of rice noodles sticky and sort of half baked and a tad confusing which is something I’ve heard in her music before.  Now if she had some African electronic producers up in here and it wasn’t inspired by Disney then well I could take it more seriously.

@@@ Alanis Morissette: Ablaze (Thirty Tigers, 2020) Ah, the Alanis!  I forgot how much I don’t like her super self aware vocal delivery so when the just not quite top 40 style rock kicks in I feel like I maybe shouldnta otta not dropped by as it’s just so foreign to where I’m at.  I do believe that somebody will breath some life into American rock at some point but for me this isn’t going to be track.  Maybe because she was on Curb Your Enthusiasm I expected a musical arrangement more adventurous than this — there are some nice melodic vocal lines at some points but the arrangement is pretty standard rock cheese.  #disappointing.  She goes epic with massive vocal reverb on her voice at 2:40 and oy too many words and uninteresting sounds.

@@@  Gum Country: Somewhere (Self-released, 2020)  #1 out at CFUV in lovely Vancouver.  It’s retro indie guitar rock but with an organ in the intro before they hit the crunchy main part.  Nice guitar tones!  Believe you me, you’ve heard this formula many many times in your life (if you’re a white person) but they do it with conviction and with some nice guitar melodies.  They rock more when the female singer isn’t doing her thing.  As I proofread this post for shit grammar the Apple Music player clicked through to the next song and the guitar sounds continue to rule the roost here.  Tasty rhythm guitar as well as leads.

YTD recordings listened to: 600
Good music, not list worthy: 303
Not good music: 268

Best: 0
Honorable Mentions: 0

Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, Slidhr, The Chewers, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, 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, Noname, Klara Lewis, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Oddisee, RAM, Fiver, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Priests, Propaganda, This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez, Integrity, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Criolo, Billy Strings, Flowers of Sulphur, Portal, Lawaii, Etran De L’Air, Ruby Karinto, Elysia Crampton, Parquet Courts, Moskus, Kendl Winter, Tkay Maidza, Barro, Daniel Khan, Tallawit Timbouctou, Sumac, Tropical Fuck Storm, Harriet Tubman, Ammar 808, Anais Maviel, Chaka Khan, Pom Poko, Fried Egg, Tarek Atoui, Saicobab, General Purv, Shipping News, Big Thief, Mariachi El Bronx, Pour Me a Grog, Sudan Archives, Lakou Mizik, Moodymann, Pharmakon, Alefa Madagascar, Janjao, Luge, Wiki, Mick Jenkins, Jeremiah Jae, Fera, Gambian Griot Kora Duets, Drama, Beatrice Dillon, Mass Worship, mmmonika, Les Deuxluxes, Tony Allen, Fra Fra, Nihiloxica, Hailu Mergia, Pokey LaFarge, Nico Gomez, Nohe and Sus Santos, schroothoop, Tiny Bit of Giant’s Blood, Pole, Naeem, Mekons, Santrofi, DJ Nigga Fox, Flor do Toloache, Alexander Hawkins/Tomeka Reid, STORMLIGHT, Venomous Concept, Chezidek

Music for 4/6/20!! Ayy, Guvna B, Jetta, M. Ward

@@@ Ayy: Insomnia (Ali Davidson, 2020) Off this week’s Line of Best Fit as well as the next two tunes.  Cali hip hop to kick off this week’s listening party.  A distinctly Caribbean cadence to the female singer which I’m always up for as we head into this track.  The singer steps back and a quick tongued female MC hits the mic with a small delay on her voice and she cuts a lot of words over a fat Weight Watchers synth sound that pans back and forth across the stereo field.  She can’t sleep, that’s the point, she’s got conciousness issues.  I’m mixing definitions of conciousness I get that.  No bass ’til halfway through the song?  Bold but it works when it comes in, not fat but up high and a bit melodic.  It’s a dreamy (or not so) track called Insomnia so a pillow-y synth is not inapprops.

@@@ Guvna B: Fall on Me (Allo Mate Records, 2020) British rap, you know I love it!  This is an aspirational rising above type of hip hop track so the accent is even worse to hear in this context.  Piano part, this is an epic track.  It’s a hopeful track with a big pop chorus.  It’s not really my thing especially the verse and some of the lyrics.  This is the kind of track they throw in at the end of a Hollywood movie after evil has been banished and the good guy got all fucked up but he/she survived.  You’re leaving the theater after the combat but you know the heroes are still there for you.  Go cheesy Marvel movies!

@@@ Jetta: Livin (3 Beat Productions, 2020) It’s a dancefloor banger with a pretty slick female singer, she’s a tad sultry, we’ll see if she goes diva in the chorus.  It’s a tune that plays small and doesn’t go diva and I dig that.  It’s funky, tightly arranged and well done.  Big ups on the beat and the synth with the delay at the beginning of the track.  When your heart starts ticking like a box you gotta start livin’.  Pretty solid vocal hook.  There are times when restraint can be a good thing and this is an example of that.

@@@ M. Ward: Unreal City (Anti-, 2020)  M. Ward is a prolific fella and this 10th effort appears to be getting some traction thought my personal opinion is that he’s a bit for the shiny happy people and not for the hardcore listeners.  This is an upbeat Wilco flavored thing, friendly and slack with some classic rock feels.  I’ve been invoking cooking show critiques as we’ve been watching mad cooking shows in the Time of the Wu (I love Chinese people and not their government) and this is a bit too sweet for my taste, I could use some tang or some crunch to go with my slab of sweetness.  Points off for cheesy background vocals.

YTD recordings listened to: 249
Good music, not list worthy: 135
Not good music: 108

Best: 0
Honorable Mentions: 0

Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, Slidhr, The Chewers, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, 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, Noname, Klara Lewis, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Oddisee, RAM, Fiver, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Priests, Propaganda, This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez, Integrity, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Criolo, Billy Strings, Flowers of Sulphur, Portal, Lawaii, Etran De L’Air, Ruby Karinto, Elysia Crampton, Parquet Courts, Moskus, Kendl Winter, Tkay Maidza, Barro, Daniel Khan, Tallawit Timbouctou, Sumac, Tropical Fuck Storm, Harriet Tubman, Ammar 808, Anais Maviel, Chaka Khan, Pom Poko, Fried Egg, Tarek Atoui, Saicobab, General Purv, Shipping News, Big Thief, Mariachi El Bronx, Pour Me a Grog, Sudan Archives, Lakou Mizik, Moodymann, Pharmakon, Alefa Madagascar, Janjao, Luge, Wiki, Mick Jenkins, Jeremiah Jae, Fera, Gambian Griot Kora Duets, Drama, Beatrice Dillon, Mass Worship, mmmonika, Les Deuxluxes, Tony Allen, Fra Fra, Nihiloxica