@@@ Bruiser Wolf: Dope Game Stupid (N/A, 2021) Off the Pitchfork via the Twatter! Love the twatter, really do. I can’t find this track on the Apple Music so I’m forced to listen on the GooglePimpTube. Oh Lord the GooglePimpTube! I would put this in the left field hip hop with a strange, noodly guitar at listener destabilizing levels. The rhyming is brisk with lyrics that I’m having trouble grocking. I believe this is a well veiled satire of the dope game with all manner of odd images thrown in — the dope game stupid but the boys still do it. I don’t love the guitar work but I’ve switched over to his new album, noop he’s a guest on this record by JUS so no more info for now. I’d listen to more I like the energy of his rhyming work.
@@@ Chillemi: Evil Eye (Taxi Gauche, 2021) I got to this track via a music publicist email and only a listen will reveal whether the track is better than the pr email. It opens with a lonesome alt country feeling, then come the dual male/female slack singing — essentially it’s an updated Leonard Cohen type track with a fair dollop of twang. I’d like to hear more that distinguishes itself from what’s come before but that’s just me. I guess you could say the country twang centered mostly in the guitars would qualify but regular readers know I’m a bit of a bitch and am often looking for more. This is good for office dwellers, normies.
@@@ Piers Faccini: All Aboard (Beating Drum, 2021) I got to this world music/guitar hero (Ben Harper!) smashup via a music publicist email. It’s a group empowerment exercise lyrically with guitar, African kora (I think) The artist, Mr. Faccini, is not know to me but on this track he’s flanked by an African string player and Mr. Harper as mentioned. Everybody takes a brief turn on the microphone and the rhythm is provided by a big hand drum with a low tone. It’s a groove track with a positive vibe and I like it all right, not super where I’m at. I like more the slower not guest laden track that comes after this one.
@@@ Antoine Bradford: The Sun (Humble Beast, 2021) I’m on the mailing list of this Christian hip hop/r&b label. This opens as a slow jam but as it’s on a Christian label this is not a booty jam tune. Strummed undistorted electric guitar, falsetto vocals in places. The melody changes in the chorus which is quite beautiful and effective as a chorus hook. A guest female vocalist comes in for more purdy-ness. I dig that any religious connotation is pretty subtle — the hook is ‘there goes the sun, there goes the sun shining again, there goes the sun…’ It’s hard to get your panties in a wad over that sentiment. For a celebration of all the greatness of God, etc it’s pretty good at conveying that.
@@@ Neil Young: Tell Me Why (Reprise, 2021) Music honcho/half time big mouth Bob Lefsetz sent out an email about this reissue of a live show by Neil Young in 1971. I’m no expert on Neil Young’s career but 1971 can’t be far from peak Neil Young in terms of his voice, his popularity and his impact as an artist. This is the first track of this live record and he’s in peak form playing his guitar as well as vocally. Not sure what to say here, peak Neil, young folks who don’t know much about him and what’s good about him should start here and those people who have tons of Neil Young well that’s a different story. I have no clue how many people jump and down over these songs that are great but have been circulated for a long time.
@@@ Anna B. Savage: Baby Grand (City Slang, 2020) Both of these listens today are from this week’s Line of Best Fit. Open up with some clean electric guitar before some Joni Mitchell/leprechaun blend vocalizing comes in. Yowsa you don’t hear that every day. It’s about a pair of people lying underneath a baby grand piano which strikes me as a bit boozhy. Why not just make a couch fort like a normal person? The song is meaningful, at least it aspires to be. I’m both entranced by and kinda repulused by the singing especially when they put a big ass reverb patch on everything and it gets all space folk-y. I don’t think this is a sexual kind of lying under the grand piano which I find comforting, I don’t know if I can handle the image of folks doing it under a piano. Am I weird to find that weird? Possibly. The person she lies under the piano went upstairs to his girlfriend so that’s that. It’s an emotional thing not a fornicating thing. Check it out if you crave a walk on the freakshow side. The sounds here are quite intimate and arresting.
@@@ Julien Baker: Hardline (Matador, 2020) More female business which is super. It opens with a bunch of organ blasts that I like before it gives way to a sultry and mopey singer doing her thing over clouds of sound that ebb and flow in waves. Then a drummer doing that dancey active high hat thing and she’s no longer mopey. Holy fuckstick, this is on Matador home of hipsters and this is absolutley shopping mall-y compared to what I’ve heard on that imprint. The times they are a changin’ and everybody is issuing forth cheese for the masses! The main drawback here is the overly dramatical almost mainstream singing style — lots of gasping, lots of yearning, lots of lots of. That and the epic production and we’re pretty closed to a NPR grilled cheese sandwich mixed with some Brit rock. This is a pre-release track and there will be more nuggets for you shortly. Not my thing, just too many feelings I can’t get with all of it. If you want feelings go for the first song, she’s at least freakin’ out sonically and getting her freak flag on, this is just a plain rock biscuit.
@@@ Jakob Bro: Reconstructing a Dream (ECM, 2021) This video is from 2019 when you go check it out on GooglePimpTube so it looks like ECM picked this up after it was released independently. Anyway while not directly related to a cup of chamomile tea it is designed to sooth. Slow and contemplative and presented with a lot of space. Instrumentation is flute, trumpet, chill drumkit with lots of brushwork and light cymbal action. A noodly (not perjorative) guitar augments the proceedings even though pitched low in the mix. Overall it’s very pleasant and comforting like a cup of flavored coffee. Vanilla almond maybe?
@@@ Yo Kinky: Resistance (I Don’t LIke Records, 2021) Some retro and brisk jangly guitar indie. The singer could use the Red Bull the drummer brings to his performance. This is a pretty standard formula save the addition of a panning synth flavor that is more atmospheric than melodic. Two guitars, a steady unyielding drummer and a few changes here and there. Semi-dark in vibe, adequate feed for the hipsters! About two thirds of the way through we get an indie shred with some guitar distortion, it’s all right.
@@@ Pink Sweat$: Heaven (Atlantic, 2021) Off today’s Apple hot tracks section. It’s almost impossible to know if this is a song about Jesus or booty. I guess that’s the point. The music is not straight gospel but it’s super almost gospel music. Am I crazy to think that the name Pink Sweat$ indicates that this is not a gospel track? That’s where I’m at on this point. The singer, the singer I like, he’s got passion without milking the drama titty too hard and I appreciate that. Nobody loves the drama titty working overtime, nobody! There’s also a guitar solo which is rare in a Apple hot tracks tune and I continue to maintain that hitting up mostly electro music with a schmear of guitar highlights and doesn’t distract from the electro. It’s about love people, either love of Jesus or love of booty and really have you seen them in the same room? I bet Jesus got mad horny.
@@@ Liz Phair: Hey Lou (Chrysalis, 2021) Let’s see if Liz Phair’s musical skills match her social media skills where I cannot escape a single one of her twats. Her twats are everywhere!! First off I’m a bit surprised she’s on a major label in 2021, she must have staying power, and I think the mix and the sounds here reflect a major label release. Pretty polished and fleshed out. I really like the chorus or the transition from the verse to chorus as it’s a big jump in energy, while the lyrics have a tossed feel to them. The tune breaks down into a strange section where she says ‘how did that work for you?’ and then back into the body of it. I think it’s a track about questioning being a downtown art based hipster but maybe I’m reading into it. I appreciate the quirk here, it’s got some genuine indie quirk to it, I like the chorus, the verses could use a bit of spice and I’m not sure what the hell it’s about. That’s what I hear.
@@@ Anansy Cisse: Foussa Foussa (Riverboat, 2021) I saw this African musician on the WRIR weekly playlist email but I can’t locate his new record on bandcamp or on Apple Music. We will have to resort to GooglePimpTube but we don’t have to like it! He opens with an American blues boogie riff with some African garnish on the side. I’m describing not demeaning. There’s mostly mellow vocalizations and steady drumming, then a quick shred and back into the groove. It’s right on the edge of catching fire and melting down which would be my preference but I’m not holding my breath. We’re at the end and it gets a little psych and jammy, I would prefer more of that and a deeper exploration of the tune, but that’s just me.
@@@ Moneybagg Yo: Time Today (Interscope, 2021) I used to get more upset by an MC named Moneybagg Yo, but let me just point out there’s very little daylight between what Moneybagg Yo is talking about and what big Wall St. traders are talking about. Money gangstas and shit, whatevs. In addition to his business activities Mr. Yo is deep into the ladies, all manner of X-rated mentions that some might see as offensive — she ate the dick through the underwear for example. Looked at my wrist I got time today, fuck it I’m gonna cross the line today, that’s the hook here. Straight anti-social shit/encouragement similar to what Trimp did.
@@@ The Green Zoo: Long Way Sober (The Green Zoo, 2020) A friend of mine asked what I thought of this band so I thought I would throw them a listen. This track is a kinda shambolic, slightly retro rock sendup with tom heavy drumming and a very good singer. I feel a credible singer is key to a good rock tune. This guy has a little urgency, a pleasant tone and what sounds like authenticity which is a hard ass thing to put into words. About two thirds the way through there’s a weird little break with some broken organ sounds which I’m guessing are processed and then it’s back into the intro section but with a whistle. A person whistling. Reminds me of Midnight Oil but less righteous. The second tune by these guys that I’m checking out is very different, it’s more of a slow anthem where the singer goes in a slightly higher register. These guys have a quirk that’s not a pose and everybody knows rock is in a quiet place right now, some freshness like these guys would help out.
@@@ Aaron Lee Tasjan: Up All Night (New West, 2021) Somebody sure own one of George Harrison’s later solo releases where he swirls in some Tom Petty Travelling Whatevers. Big sound, big strummed guitars, simple vocals but occasional stacks of vocals for ya earholes. This is a bit too far towards sonic babyfood for my taste. The emphasis here is on friendly sounds and the energy went into makng a large pop edifice and I’m not super enjoying it. I know there are others singing into a turkey baster thinking this is the shit for a rock party track but I find it bombastic. Think of this as clunky ’80s Beatles business.
@@@ Steven Wilson: The Future Bites (Arts and Crafts, 2021) I think I got to these two recordings via this week’s All Music notable release email. I listened to these two bottom to top so I will be comparing this first recording to the recording below so don’t get confused. This is more in the Kate Bush electro big feels arena and it moves from a soft intro into a more rocking thing after about a minute. I clicked through to the next track after feeling like this is more electro garnished mainstream rock than it is electronic music. It’s got bits in it that’s about it. I don’t dislike it, it sports a bit of Nine Inch Nails self-importance that’s for sure and I’m not sure it’s as important as it vibes itself to be. Lots of gauzy background vocals, lots of serioius lyrics that seem pretty familiar. For me the background vocals are the least satisfying component but I like the production. As always I would prefer more weirdness but this is not a weird time it’s a time of pretending.
@@@ Goat Girl: On All Fours (Rough Trade, 2021) If you took some indie electronic and smashed it into a television set playing a spaghetti western you would get something close to this track. Downer voice, and the spag feels mostly come from the guitars and then a bit from the drums especially in the chorus. It’s one of those tracks that rocks a bit but I want it to rock more but it just can’t gather the mustard to get on that spaghetti horse and ride! Don’t really like the singer or the synths. I’m sure the singer is a super nice person I just don’t care for her singing style. The electro breakdown here is just icing on the cupcake, what y’all indie downer pusses know about dancefloor bangin’?
@@@ Lily Kershaw ft Goody Grace: Now and Then (Nettwerk, 2020) A singer songwriter track from a Guardian overlooked 2020 songs. Most notable for what I deem the excessive reverb on her voice, it’s a bit not tasteful for me. It drowns out the sparse strummed guitar. It appears that this is an age where emotions have to be so over the top defined to have impact. Is that the case? It’s not the case for me so I kinda resist that this is the case. It would be sad if all the technology flooding into music making just turned out to be a way to make music cheesier and less impactful. Since no other instruments or sounds enter the mix except for a harmonium type sound in the chorus the voice sticks out even more. Ah well.
@@@ Henry Pope: Ngene (Tierra Sounds, 2020) Some retro dancefloor banging off an article about overlooked songs of 2020. It’s got a brief female diva appearance and dude goin’ hmmm, mmm, mmmm and most interestingly a thumb piano which I really like. It segues out of an intro to a thick bass centered classic unt sss techno thing. I like the rhythms more than the melodies. It’s got waves and build ups and ebbs and flows through its tight sections. I like it without feeling like it’s something super special — it feels a bit sanitized to me. Tight and uptight are two different things to me.
@@@ SUUNS: Fiction (Joyful Noise Recording, 2020) If you took a Radiohead track and blenderized it with a glitch track it would come out very close to this track. Outside of the drum beat which is crunchy rock all the parts seem to be processed, glitched, gated or percussified. I like the processing it’s a weird digital filter which seems to be everywhere right now. That seems relevant. It does drain the band energy and if you took off the motion introduced by the processing would it have suitable energy? I’m guessing no. I would have ramped the shit out of the tempo to break some brains and this sounds a bit halfway/conservative.
@@@ Nicolas Jaar: Cenizas (Other People, 2020) This electronic listen and the third one today are both from the weekly Stranded Records online re-issue/new release mostly vinyl joint. I don’t know much about them or have a relationship with them. It opens cloudy and puffing with a pleasantly dulled synth patch that makes it sound more like an analog sound. Then a vocalist, I didn’t expect that. He sings in Spanish with long long reverb tails and because of that it tilts a bit away from being a vocal performance and comes across a bit like a sonic wash that happens to be a human being. I like the minimalism and the spaciousness of it. A beat comes in for the outro and overall it’s a solid piece of restraint.
@@@ Drive-By Truckers: The New OK (ATO, 2020) Off last week’s All Music notable release email. Comin’ out with a blend of classic rock/country rock ala Neil Young, even the singer gets into the fragile, resigned rock vocalist. I thought this was going to be a rampantly political song but I don’t get that message clearly at the open, it seems more personal. Also let’s recognize the slightly muscled up Tom Petty feels that reside in this tune. I guess it comes down to the line ‘we lost our way and that’s the new ok’. God forbid somebody put out something with a focused and uncommercial message. I like the drummer best, the vocal tone after that, and the lyrics after that. It does become explicitly political in the second half of the tune and I dig that.
@@@ The Heshoo Beshoo Group: Armitage Road (We Are Busy Bodies, 2020) There is a pre-release track up on Apple Music from this record and it’s a split between old school funk, a bit of Afrobeat, and a couple of pubes of jazz (especially in the horns). The drummer is absolutely killing it here, tighter than a bull’s ass at fly time! Some janky ass guitar playing in the right channel, an upright bass with a steady and unobtrusive lock on the low end. I did a bit of random GooglePimping and saw this is a reissue from 1970 South Africa and it’s been fascinating to hear this kind of joy out of a miserable society like that. Sounds like somebody did a really nice job remastering this record. I will be checking this out more when all the tracks are available.
@@@ The Weather Station: Robber (Fat Possum, 2020) Off the Twatter! It opens more rhythmically than what you expect from indie type rock. Could be those two drummers pictured below. In addition, there’s a wee bit of jazz threaded up in here especially in the piano. Fusion, not straight jazz and there’s a sax as well so that’s not undercover jazz it’s right there. The female singer keeps proclaiming that she never believed in the robber which I guess is a reference to capitalism — I seen that in the twat I seen on the Twatter. There’s not much if any indie up in this track and it refers back to ’70s rock that incorporated jazz feels. In the spirit of what Joni Mitchell did though not in that laidback L.A. way she rocked it. It builds to a polite crescendo and then it stops (the tune) quite suddenly and dramatically. I like it all right, no jumping up and down.
YTD recordings listened to: 800 Good music, not list worthy: 438 Not good music: 337
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
@@@ Mysie: Bones (Mysie Recordings, 2020) The first two listens today are from the Line of Best Fit weekly email. Slotted as pop in Apple Music it’s a thick, r&b/pop blend with Mysie’s full dare I say chocolate-y voice filling out the middle of the track. I had to googlePimp this singer but I heard some African flavoring at work here and I was correct. She is a second generation immigrant from the Congo her rhythmic flow here (I think) reflects that. I’m not sure what the message is here lyrically but the sounds are quite lush, there’s a fair amount of rhythmic singing and the sounds are poppy/worldy.
@@@ Hannah Georgas: Easy (Arts and Crafts, 2020) Ah, here you go, you can’t take a shit without finding something recently dropped by somebody in the National. This record is produced by a lead National cat so that means it sounds soft and highbrow and coffee shop-y as hell. Lots of classically flavord sounding synths, pulsating and arpeggiating while Georgas sings ethereally. I like the stutter of the snare drum but it’s a likable element within a pot full of soft rock meat chunks. I wouldn’t go so far as to say this is the sound of white supremacy as it’s not wearing a KKK hood, but this is the music of sensitive, fragile white people. And I’m a cracker myself. Maybe my fine listeners/readers out there are super into their whiteness but at this here blog we keep that shit at the distance. Very well put together and sending a sonic message I find difficult to enjoy.
@@@ Brownout: Somewhere to Go (Fat Beats, 2020) I got to this track off a 6 month old WRIR playlist email. WRIR, for those who don’t know, is a premier college world music station in Virginia. We will see where this track takes us but I got this off a world music station playlist email and it’s slotted as rock on Apple Music. A thick, medium distorted bass, some frat boy dance rock beats, a fratty singer, I guess it’s frat rock. If it smells like stale beer and urine then it’s frat rock. The horns are the only element swimming upstream here as they have a tad of New Orleans swagger and smell a bit world-y. It’s good at what it’s trying to be but it’s not a sound I have a ton of interest in.
@@@ Steve Kilby: Sheba Chiba (Kilbey, 2020) I got to this track via a promo email from Happy Mag in Australia. Are you up for some upbeat and at the very same time faded singer/songwriter rock business? Tom Petty style strummed acoustic guitars, a little bit of shiny electric guitar, and a big vocal melody. Think of a more popped out and more rocking version of the Byrds formula. I like how high the drums are mixed here and I find the singers voice warm and engaging but it’s looking like I don’t need any chiba today. Word.
YTD recordings listened to: 680 Good music, not list worthy: 355 Not good music: 304
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