Music for 2/22/19!!! Ladytron, Yann Tiersen, Maren Morris

@@@ Ladytron: Ladytron (Ladytron Recordings, 2019) Some mainstream electronic pop rock I got to via last week’s All Music notable release email. The opener, Until the Fire, is a rocker while the second tune (clipped below!) is a midtempo ballad. The singer is meaningful and the lyrics impart a futuristic and artistic intention. The sounds are updated ’80s synth pop rock sounds. This isn’t really for folks like me. I’m not really sure who this is for — maybe thirteen old fantasy fiction loving tweens. As music outside of its intended demographic it’s pretty overwrought drama pop but folks love that. I don’t want to get all judgy and shit.

@@@ Yann Tiersen: All (Mute, 2019) If it’s on Mute it’s gonna be aspirationally sophisticated music. It opens up with the sounds of children playing and some New Age piano with electronic garnish. Lord help us all for we need tough jackets to withstand all the cheese that rains down over us. I couldn’t get to the meat of the song, it was really too much for my fragile sensibilities. The second tune, Koad, keeps the piano, switches the children for bird chirps, and then introduces a multitracked female ‘choir’ with lots of ooo-ooo-ooo-oohs. It’s comforting the way a 2X4 to the back of the head is comforting. I’m on the third tune and Tiersen kept the bird chirps from the second track. I hope those birds get their royalties. I think I hear a harmonium which signifies spirituality. I can’t take it anymore, I’m out like bell bottom jeans. I hope this wasn’t aspirationally sophisticated music because if it was it did not succeed, this is undercover New Age cheese.

@@@ Maren Morris: The Bones (N/A, 2019) This tune occupies the #1 slot on Apple Music hot tracks. It uses the metaphor of ‘the bones’ of a house where the visuals may be frayed but the foundation is strong. The tune uses too sonic signifiers that I loather — first off the excessive use of finger snaps and the breathy, I’m about to cream my panties singing style that has infected modern pop. It is accompanied by a simple, clean electric guitar figure. I believe this qualifies as today’s country music — it’s not country music except in peripheral ways but it retains the earnest feelings country music goes for.

YTD recordings listened to: 104
Good music, not list worthy: 59
Not good music: 40

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, Converge, 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

Music for 2/15/19!!! Migos, Piqsiq, Vouna

@@@ Migos: Position To Win (Quality Control/Motown/Capitol, 2019) #1 on the Apple Music hot tracks area. This is a burning track with the vocal hook ‘In a position to win, in a position to go’ which is chanted repeatedly as a type of invocation. They have a breakdown section in the middle of the tune that comes with a really solid synth hook. I haven’t really taken to the Migos but this is a hot track I can see in basketball game broadcasts, dance floors, etc. Lots of energy pumping folks up with elements of trap but going for a non-trap vibe.

@@@ Piqsiq: Altering the Timeline EP (Coax, 2019) Some fully realized Inuit throat singing that I got to via this week’s CFUV playlist email. It has more elements to it than throat singing, which is a rhythmic style as I hear it. There is either some sparse drums or a drum machine and some choir like singing so it is a mix of different sounds. There’s a gruffness to the throat singing that contrasts with the more ethereal parts so it’s a more three dimensional sound than just the choir/angelic singing you get on a lot of indie records. A lot indie records go overboard on that. The second tune, Kuugarjuk: Creek has more filled out electronic arrangement to accompany the throat singing. It sounds a whole bunch like Kate Bush after three packs of cigarettes.

@@@ Vouna – Vouna EP (Artemisia, 2018) A heavy record also off the CFUV weekly playlist email. After a little female vocal intro in comes the transistor radio guitar and I expect a skull crushing doom to descend momentarily. And it does but in a slow motion, surprisingly mournful and not aggressive way. And there’s the thrash, I like that. They have a synth player handling a lot of the slow melodies and most regular readers know that I don’t love synth in my metal. I’m not gonna be a fascist about it but it’s not my first choice. I like that it’s not trying to be like other metal records out there. It shares some DNA but they’re trying to get something different going here and I appreciate them for that.

YTD recordings listened to: 88
Good music, not list worthy: 50
Not good music: 34

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, Converge, 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

Music for 2/13/19!!! Analea Brown, Xiu Xiu

@@@ Analea Brown: Lie To Me (Mensch House Records, 2019) I got to this reggae track via a music publicist email. It doesn’t matter that the singer is from Tonga, it’s just to say that this is not straight out of the Caribbean. It’s a slow, buttery reggae ballad with both old school sounds (bassline) and more modern vocal stylings and turntable scratching. I don’t think it particularly stands out but I like it. Big ups to the bass player for holding it down.

@@@ Xiu Xiu: Girl With the Basket of Fruit (Polyvinyl, 2019) We switch gears to some abrasive indie that I got to via this week’s All Music notable release email. It opens up with a fast non rocking spoken word track with a lot of rhythm and a singer losing in a nest/kluster of laser shots. While not trafficking in standard punk sounds it does have a classic in your face attitude with not many fucks given to the listener and what they want. I git that. I hear a drummer and maybe a cello player, or an upright bass player, there’s some bowing going on here in the third tune which has switched gears to a slow, innward looking, desperate kind of feeling. Though I don’t love this record, it is growing on me as it moves through its tunes. It’s an artsty noise record and believe me I hear a lot of great first songs followed by a lot of dross. This guy is on a trip and while not one for the shiny, happy people, he’s got some energy and passion going for him. I dig the upright bass and the tribal drumming and the up in yer grillness of the singer.

YTD recordings listened to: 83
Good music, not list worthy: 46
Not good music: 33

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, Converge, 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

Music for 1/29/19!!! Eerie Wanda, White Fence

@@@ Eerie Wanda: Pet Town (Joyful Noise, 2019) I got to both of the records today via this week’s All Music notable release email. Anytime you get finger snaps in the first tune, well you’re getting finger snaps in the first tune. I was going to say it’s most likely going to be a poppy record and thus far this has proven correct. The singer is super friendly– horribly friendly in fact. I bet she had some sort of stable and happy childhood — one of those people! I don’t know if the female singer is named Wanda but if she’s named Wanda she’s not super eerie. She’s a singer that you might have heard on an early ’60s pop rock type of record. Handclaps on the third tune. You know what that means? Handclaps on the third tune, that’s what it means. Indie pop with a fair amount of reverb on the singer’s voice people, come and get it!

@@@ White Fence: I Have to Feed Larry’s Hawk (Drag City, 2019) Pleasantly off kilter bedroom indie with guitars and other ambient goodies packed in. Boy, he’s king of a tiny strange world. Lots of organ type patches (or an organ itself) so it gives the proceedings an the worldly, churchy vibe. You’re not going to tune into this for the rocking or the swinging, it’s about witnessing this vibe. I get it and appreciate it in its way but it’s not really go to music for me. This is for hardcore indie listeners.

YTD recordings listened to: 60
Good music, not list worthy: 34
Not good music: 23

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, Converge, 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

Music for 1/11/19!!! Superorganism, Pistol Annies

@@@ Superorganism: Superorganism (Domino, 2018) #14 on NPR’s best of 2018 list. We’re chewing through this badboy. I predict this is going to be a pop/funk white people party kind of thing. A little Beck, a little some other guy with blue eyes, and some frat boy vibes. There’s some energy in the jumping around arrangement but past that? Multiple singers male and female, vinyl static, a little hip hop scratch action, eh it’s all too cute for my ears. I urge NPR listeners to go for the full funk and listen to some hip hop, that’s why black folks make it. To express funkiness. This is funk-a-fied Flaming Lips and not worth much time as it’s sonic baby food.

@@@ Pistol Annies: Interstate Gospel (Sony Music, 2018) #13 on the NPR best of 2018. This is on Sony so I’m expecting only a small amount of deviation from the major label country formula. They are packaging their three part female harmony as a kind of gospel to go with standard new Nashville which includes power chords and arena rock, which I continue to find entertaining and stupid-ocious at the same time. The hook here are the lyrics — they are wry, humorous and a female expression of what a pain in the ass it is to be a woman. I get that for sure. It would be cooler to my ears if the music was a little less tight assed but this is new country and that’s a core component of the sauce.

YTD recordings listened to: 22
Good music, not list worthy: 17
Not good music: 4

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, Converge, 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

Music for 1/2/19!!! The Beths, Thou

@@@ The Beths: The Future Hates Me (Carpark Records, 2018) #41 on the NPR best of 2018 list so it’s gonna be soft and intimate, right? The first tune actually comes out with uptempo energy and a little Queens of the Stone Age guitar grind but toned back for the NPR people. Oh my, she’s comforting and friendly but they’re actually rockin’ it by 2018 rock standards. Melodic and hooky it’s an updated Breeders thing with a less acidic and ironic singer and it’s all right. Reminiscent of the Weezer, of the Superdrag, of the ’90s hooky power rock.

@@@ Thou: Magus (Sacred Bones, 2018) #43 on the very same NPR list and it’s spieled as gloom folk. Good stuff. It’s not folk, I’m an idiot, it’s a metal record. Oh my somebody has been in the kitchen cooking up the guitar sludge and pouring it all over the listener and I think that special somebody is an orc. Or somebody with laryngitis. Oh my, this is quite slow and syrupy and stoned out. The second tune dabbles in a sci fi drum machine kind of thing but I think it’s just a palette cleanser before they bring out, you guessed it, another pot of high end guitar asphalt. Right on time, the monster is up and stomping around. I’m a bit too caffeinated at this point of time to get pulled down in the mud like this but they’re executing this quite well.

YTD recordings listened to: 4
Good music, not list worthy: 2
Not good music: 0

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, 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, 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, Converge, 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

Music for 11/16/18!!! The Writhing Squares, Les Gruff and the Billy Goat, Sydney Wright

@@@ The Writhing Squares: A Whole New Jupiter (N/A, 2018) I got to this jazz/psych almost 20+ blast via an email from a musician who is playing a show with them. The bandcamp description explains that it is constructed from bass, sax, and drum machines and other bits and bobs. It slips between normal genre descriptions as it’s a wee bit fusion-y, a little jazzy, a little psych, and a little electro. It also a bit of a jam band feel as it meanders (in a good way) through its 20 minute orbit. I really dig the bass sound, I like the sax playing without loving it. It connects back to ’70s prog/jazz jams. I like the set of sounds but I could use a bit more action.

@@@ Les Gruff and the Billy Goat: Evil Dancers (N/A, 2018). I got to this alt country business via a music publicist email. It’s a down out and drunken regret tune with a slightly atypically pretty sounding male singer. He’s got no gruffness and he’s not overtly manly which I find refreshing. The band is solid with a mournful fiddle line, some twangy tremolo guitar and more than a bit of rock in the drummer. He goes from sadness to bitterness as the tune moves through its paces. I like the sounds and all the components but I think it’s a bit long for my taste. The fiddle and piano solos are my favorite elements.

@@@ Sydney Wright: Wait for the Wave (N/A, 2018) I got to this music by a recording engineer in Austin, TX from a music publicist email. It still confounds me how music publicists operate out in the open yet their influence remains unacknowledged and undenounced. At the very least bloggers and music writers should acknowledge their machinations. This is a ballad with piano and torchy vocals. There are some nice sonic goodies tucked in here — a nice swirling guitar figure foremost in my ear. It’s a bit dramatical but that could be because I’m dead inside. Lyrically it employs a metaphor of waiting for a wave to crash over her. There ya go, not much to say to that. It’s an undercover pop tune with a brief giant, arena rock climax at the end. Have at it if it sounds good to you.

YTD recordings listened to: 644
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 350
Not good music: 254

Best: 11
Honorable Mentions: 8

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, 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, 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, Converge, Open Mike Eagle, Criolo, Billy Strings, Flowers of Sulphur, Tal National, Portal, Hernan Sama & Marcelo von Schultz, Lawaii, Etran De L’Air, Ruby Karinto, Elysia Crampton, Parquet Courts, Orlando Lopez, Moskus, Kendl Winter, Tkay Maidza, Marianne Faithfull, Gouge Away, Barro