Music for 6/11/19!!! Lust for Youth, Plaid, Pelican

@@@ Lust For Youth: Lust For Youth (Sacred Bones, 2019) Off this week’s All Music notable release email. All Music has this slotted as post punk revival and Apple Music has it as Indie pop and Apple Music has it right. Unfortunately. Deeply rooted in ’80s synth rock it does have guitars (some) and drums (electronic but maybe not on all the tracks) and an ’80s type of singer. Oh boy, not really my cup of synths. Don’t like the sounds and not my type of singer. Probably fantastic people but I’m not up for this.

@@@ Plaid: Polymer (Warp, 2019) Also off this week’s All Music notable release email. The first tune, Meds Fade, contains a straight drum machine beat and a lot of chopped and glitched side business. Some aaaahhhh vocals, it’s a bit of an odd duck overall. A little dancefloor banger, a little abstract, and even a little bit rock ‘n roll. Kids today. The second tune, Los, gets into the video game pong synths but then puts a slightly off kilter groove under that and it’s off to the arcade! The weird ass arcade where the pizza eats the Italian guy chasing it. It’s pleasantly losing its structure and becoming more chaotic. Maybe not losing its structure but sounding more crowded and chaotic. I like the ripping drum sample on the third tune, Maru, best of what I heard.

@@@ Pelican: Night Time Stories (Southern Lord, 2019) Doom metal off this week’s All Music notable release email. The record opens up with a pretty acoustic guitar and a distorted bass and no drums. Ah, there’s the crush right there but it’s a very polite crush — I want a hammerlock! I’ve been clear that I don’t like prog swirled up in my heavy metal. The second tune Midnight and Mescaline comes out rocking, more hard rock than the suffocating heavy metal we all know and love. I’ve checked these guys before and I have re-concluded that they are a heavy band for people who don’t like heavy metal.

YTD recordings listened to: 294
Good music, not list worthy: 174
Not good music: 103

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, Horndal, Wyxz, Tarek Atoui, Hawktail, Saicobab, Shannon and the Clams, General Purv, Shipping News

Music for 6/5/19!!! Anemone, Dilly Dally, Scott Helman

@@@ Anemone: She’s the One (N/A, 2019) I saw on the Twatter that this tune had been nominated for a SOCAN songwriting prize. It’s a mash of ’80s dreamy synth pop and Beach Boys type rock weirdness but with updated sounds. It’s got a pretty straight white boy/white girl rock dance beat, rock bass, some jangly guitars and classic reverbed female vocals. Tempo is a tad above medium and it peaks with some hand percussion to go with the poo poo platter of indie sounds. Indie is a tough sell for me, I dig it all right, but check it for yourself. The percussion is my favorite part of the song.

@@@ Dilly Dally: Bad Biology (N/A, 2019) Not off the Twatter but off the same SOCAN songwriting nomination list. The tune is an extreme version of quietude in the verse and then a Smashing Pumpkin type crush in the chorus. The lyrics are gender related — bad being a boy, blah blah blah, bad being a girl…yadda yadda yadda. The most notable component of the tune is the contrast of the sections and I dig how they stretched it as far as they could. There’s not a lot of rocking with some of the youngsters today so it’s refreshing to hear a smackdown. The female vocalist goes half orc in the second chorus to get pretty dark for indie business these days.

@@@ Scott Helman: Hang Ups (Scott Helman, 2019) More mainstream with a pop guitar nugget here off that SOCAN songwriting nominations. The lyrical hook revolves around his own personal hang ups and asking his gal/whoever to not hang up on him. You can hear the Justin Bieber production influences going on here bigly. A little funk, a wee pubic hair of rock, a lot of pop vocal actions and smooth porn star pelvis production shine. The mix is pretty thick with percussion overlays, lots of vocal tracks and a generally soda pop vibe. It’s a wee bit pop childish for my taste but whatevs. To conclude, I don’t really know what the SOCAN songwriting awards are, I think it has to do with Canada but I don’t really know or care.

YTD recordings listened to: 282
Good music, not list worthy: 167
Not good music: 97

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, Horndal, Wyxz, Tarek Atoui, Hawktail, Saicobab, Shannon and the Clams, General Purv, Shipping News

Music for 5/23/19!!! Francine Honey, Silence in the Snow

@@@ Francine Honey: Stay (N/A, 2019) I got to this tune via the music blog Indiepulse. A bluesy torch song in the vein of Lucinda Williams but more straigh ahead. Ms. Honey has a really nice voice and she rides over some minimal guitar noodling, a mellow organ swell, a piano player, drums and bass. Right around 3 minutes in comes the tambourine when the emotion of the tune reaches its peak. You can’t fuck with tambourine or cow bell for that matter.

@@@ Silence in the Snow: Break in the Skin (N/A, 2019) I got to this heavy record via an email from the hardcore indie radio station KFJC in California. Great station with djs with great taste. I thought this was going to be some ill ambient dark goth metal electro shit, but it’s pretty straight forward dark electro pop. Frankly I would prefer the other formulation but this is probably better for most folks. The female singer sounds a bit like Patti Smith and the tunes are dramatical. This music is an updated ’80s guitar/synth rock but with more drama sauce. It’s not bad, it’s just not for me. Check it out if you’re headed out on the town with the black eyeliner. Maybe they could have held back a little on the delay on vocals.

YTD recordings listened to: 263
Good music, not list worthy: 153
Not good music: 93

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, Horndal, Wyxz, Tarek Atoui, Hawktail, Saicobab, Shannon and the Clams, General Purv

Music for 5/21/19!!! Bodywash, Esperanza Spalding, Eljuri

@@@ Bodywash: Eye to Eye (Luminelle, 2019) I saw this self described lush indie single mentioned on the Twatter. A cloud of synthesizers float in with a twinkly one panning back and forth in the stereo field to open up the tune. I guess there’s a thin line between lush and soft. Or maybe something can be lush and firm but if it’s too lush it can be soft. Regardless of the linguistics of this point this is soft synth rock firmly anchored in the fabulous 1980’s. I would be more open to these sounds if the singer wasn’t quite so laze. That’s a cross between lazy and gaze, f’real. At around 3 minutes it does firm up but I’m already deep in chamomile tea mode and not engaged, thinking about the difference between lush and soft.

@@@ Esperanza Spalding: 12 Little Spells (Concord, 2019) I saw her new music namechecked on the Twatter. I’m not a huge fan of Spalding’s but I do listen and can change my mind. I believe this is a concept album with 12 tunes with body parts in parentheses after each title. 12 Little Spells (Thoracic Spine) for example. The music here is a prog/jazz fusion mash. I like Spalding’s singing, and her bass playing is pretty restrained here. What I hear is the fevered work of music nerds lacking in passion. The arrangements are trick and the vocal melodies are impressively serpentine but there’s a difference between listening with one’s intellect and just listening as an emotionally engaged experience. I feel like I’m at the circus watching acrobats.

@@@ Eljuri: Resiste (Cecilia Villar, 2019) I got to this reggae single via the music blog Indiepulse. Female reggae, I can get with that! It opens with a reggae/rock blend and a rocking wah guitar intro. The female singer, I’m guessing her name is Eljuri, works in Spanish which changes the vibe of the tune. I like her singing but I prefer not to have too much rock in my reggae, I like the fully ganja-tized reggae. Murky sounding, polyrhythmic, etc. This is more for frat boys, maybe Spanish frat boys. It’s also a bit weird but not bad to hear someone going for the rock guitar shredding in a reggae context. Not to be disallowed but not my first choice unless the shredding is more interesting.

YTD recordings listened to: 261
Good music, not list worthy: 151
Not good music: 93

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, Horndal, Wyxz, Tarek Atoui, Hawktail, Saicobab, Shannon and the Clams, General Purv

Music for 5/7/19!!! The Bird and the Bee, Saicobab, Marlon Williams

@@@ The Bird and the Bee: Panama (Blue Note?, 2019) I got to this upscale electro Van Halen cover via a music publicist email. You gotta give them some props, maybe not a ton, but they do take the track in a different direction. Gucci bag camp/piano bar bounce is where I would place it. No guitars, lots of bubbly synths and squiggles. The female singer (don’t know if she’s the bird or the bee) plays it mostly straight except in the chorus where you get a stack of monosyllabic background vocals. If that tune wasn’t already a staple of the 1980s these guys redo it in a completely different 1980’s aesthetic.

@@@ SAICOBAB: Sab Se Purani Bab (Thrill Jockey, 2017) A super flavorful infusion of Indian classical music, noise rock, electronic music and other influences. I didn’t catch this when it first came out but I saw a gig announcement in the BK for the Issue Project Room for right round now. I hear neither pretension nor noise rock nihilism and the singer is kinda playful and poppy in her own way. I dig the upright bass and the originality of this record. At its core it rocks a sort of simplified Westernized style of sitar playing and complex vocal arrangements with all manner of percussion. I will circle back to this record when I have more time to do so but I’ve checked out portions of the first three pieces and have been bigly into them.

@@@ Marlon Williams: Make Way for Love (Dead Oceans, 2018) Some indie folk that fills the market niche for Chris Isaac’s music from back in the day. Shiny, lonesome, pining, these are all words for this first tune, Come for Me. Lush string arrangements, tremolo guitar, it’s a sonic embrace not necessarily cheesy but comfort music nonetheless. The songs are rooted in late ’50s early ’60s ballad pop and he does it well. If you dig the vibe you’re in luck as the album rolls on with very similar sounds and feelings all the way through.

YTD recordings listened to: 237
Good music, not list worthy: 141
Not good music: 84

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, Horndal, Wyxz, Tarek Atoui, Hawktail, Saicobab

 

Music for 5/3/19!!! Calexico and Iron and Wine, Flamingosis, blackbear

@@@ Calexico and Iron & Wine: Midnight Sun (Sub Pop 2019) If you’re into that mellow alt country indie thing then the combination of these two artists should immediately trigger a bowel movement in your pants. The vibe here is Simon and Garfunkel dry humping a Willie Nelson ballad. A nice shuffle beat for the drummer, some low key slide guitar, ooh there’s a distorted guitar but mostly the vocals dominate the mood here. It is an interesting rebirthing of old school hippie rock spirit — this could be some Crosby Stills and Nash without quite that level of harmonizing. While I walk away with my trousers unsoiled (#sadface) I can see some beardies out there grooving on it bigly.

@@@ Flamingosis: Early Night (Cofresi, 2019) I got to this recording artist via a gig alert email from the music blog Flavorpill. He takes a couple of snippetof a Heart track and works around the guitar figure before discarding that and working into a slow but funky dancefloor banger heavy on beats and screaming synths. The other snippet is a vocal sample which gives the tune its title. It is interesting to hear those throwback sounds mixed in with super modern vocal chopping and glitching. He does aspire to a massive arena vibe same as those artists. Strange sonic bedfellows.

@@@ Blackbear: Anonymous (Alamo/Interscope, 2019) Pushed up on the Apple Music hot tracks section. I guess the reference hear would be Frank Ocean but with a very different aspiration. Where the feeling here is dark, Frank Ocean goes for that bedroom emotion feeling. The second tune, Hate my Guts, is a bit lighter but still dark gray. I’m gonna peep the third tune (clipped below) and then I’ll be out like bell bottom pants. Blackbear can sing all right and he does rock an interesting combination of loverboy and downer and the production is sharp, but it’s a question if you’re interested in the tunes. I’m moderately interested but listen for yourself.

YTD recordings listened to: 229
Good music, not list worthy: 137
Not good music: 83

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, Horndal, Wyxz, Tarek Atoui, Hawktail

Music for 4/21/19!!! The Yawpers, Angelique Kidjo

@@@ The Yawpers: Human Question (Bloodshot, 2019) Both listens today come from this week’s All Music notable release email. The opening track (clipped below) combines country, alt-country with a little bit of punk abrasiveness. I dig the singer and the guitar tones. These guys take the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion formula and mainstream it a bit with less downtown fake bluesman bullshit. The opening tune is the best of what I checked out but I can see this as being a good album for cubicle dwellers to check out. Solid songs, really good band energy, and excellent guitar tones.

@@@ Angelique Kidjo: Celia (Verve, 2019) I guess Kidjo has moved from covering Talking Heads tunes to salsa queen Celia Cruz. I’m a pretty huge fan of African salsa so I think this is a great idea for a record. The major label production takes some of the classic salsa grit out of the proceedings but when the band pushes their African vibes through the salsa tracks it’s a pretty flavorful mash. She’s got a full band so it’s full of flutes, piano players, hand drummers and an excellent kit drummer. I think I might prefer the grittier old school records but it’s still a very nice record. Of course Kidjo sings her ass off, that’s her thing.

YTD recordings listened to: 207
Good music, not list worthy: 126
Not good music: 72

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, A Tribe Called Quest, 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, Horndal, Wyxz, Tarek Atoui