Music for 6/22/18!!! Arianne Grande, Physique, Lily Allen, Beyonce and Jay Z

@@@ Arianne Grande: a light is coming (Republic, 2018) A pre-release single for Disney snowflake Arianne Grande with an intro rhyme from Nicki Minaj. If you want some toughness on your track, dial 1-800-NickiMM! I tell you this with the experience of listening to thousands and thousands and thousands of tracks I have no idea what this track is about. There is a vocal sample ‘you wouldn’t let anybody speak and instead’ that goes circular in various volumes through the WHOLE track and there is a vocal hook ‘a light is coming to give back everything the darkness stole’ but I have no idea how those two things go together or what it may or may not mean. The verse gets brisk but I can’t glean any meaning off that either. So there ya go, it doesn’t have to make sense, it would be nice if it did, but it’s a flavor pack from a mainstream ‘artist’.

@@@ Physique: This Punk Life is shit (Iron Lung, 2018) A full on wall of guitar buzz on a hardcore punk record I saw in the loud section of the CFUV weekly playlist email. Regular readers know that I’m super open to anti-social expression as being cathartic but the buzz and high end on this record hurts my ears. Nice punk rockers wouldn’t do this to me. I’m sure this is full on ripping live but I can’t roll with it, I need my ears and shit!

@@@ Lily Allen: No Shame (Warner, 2018) Sort of the British equivalent to Arianne Grande. I got to this record via the Guardian’s best records of 2018 thus far. I can say that the songs here make more sense than the pre release single from Arianne Grande. It dabbles in some non pop sounds and while the music is more coherent, I don’t find this to be a particularly interesting collection. As with the Beyonce and Jay Z music I’ve been peeping over the past week you have to be involved with these musicians as people to find their music engaging. It’s a lifestyle package which has nothing to do with music. I love the Guardian but just another example of poor mainstream journalistic music reviewing.

@@@ Beyonce & Jay Z: Nice (Sony Music, 2018) Speaking of which let’s keep enduring this record! It opens with the repeating hook ‘I can do anything!’ and the Jay Z comes with his trip. It’s a boasting song with typical references to their incredible wealth — by the way why is it hip for Beyonce and Jay Z to flaunt their wealth but it’s disgusting for Trump to do the same? It’s ill and typically American to flaunt wealth regardless of color, naimsayin’? I find Jay Z’s rhymes more interesting than Beyonce’s here but it is their collective self-absorption that drives this record.

YTD recordings listened to: 349
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 184
Not good music: 157

Best: 6
Honorable Mentions: 4

Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, Slidhr, The Chewers, Toxic Holocaust, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, Leviathan, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Janelle Monae, Luther Dickinson, Graeme Barrett, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Cavanaugh, Satoko Fuji, Moken, Juan Atkins, Lantern, Twin Peaks, Djelimady Tounkara, The Oh Sees, Denny Zeitlin, MILF, Unfun, De La Soul, Carl Sagan’s Skate Shoes, A Tribe Called Quest, Noname, Gouge Away, Klara Lewis, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Oddisee, Forro in the Dark, RAM, Fiver, Dona Onete, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Priests, Propaganda, This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez, Integrity, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Converge, Open Mike Eagle, Criolo, Billy Strings, Flowers of Sulphur, Tal National, Portal, Hernan Sama & Marcelo von Schultz, Jean Grae and Quelle Chris, Lawaii, Etran De L’Air, Ruby Karinto

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Music for 6/20/18!!! Matt Anderson Quartet, Uniform and the Body, Debby Friday

@@@ Matt Anderson Quartet: Rambling (Jellymould Jazz, 2018) I got to this straight jazz record via the London Jazz blog. The first tune is regal with a three horn intro before it goes full band with piano, bass and drums added to the tune. It builds to a climax, a pretty one, everybody’s hair remains in the same place. The second tune brings on the smooth jazz guitar. I’ve listened to parts of three tunes and it’s midtempo playing with an emphasis on being pretty and what I call meaningful playing. It’s slow and serious and unfolds slowly and effortlessly like a flower. Not really my thing as I love the messy shit but if you have a job and you’ve had a long week and your looking for some comfort jazz this could work for you.

@@@ Uniform & The Body: Mental Wounds Not Healing (Sacred Bones, 2018) I got a publicist email and saw this record on the CFUV weekly playlist email in the loud section so there ya go. Every year there is a heavy record for NPR listeners who might want something a bit rough but they don’t crave a solid beat down. Thus far this first tune is a slightly more aggro Nine Inch Nails and personally I thought the Nine Inch Nails dude was kind of a soft punk bitch. Let’s peep more. It’s not a metal record, it’s a dark electronic record with a lot of static and processed vocals that make the singer sound like a degraded sex slave. The third tune gets into some spilly power chords but alas I think this is indeed for the NPR heavy listeners. No methed out tempos, not full on freakshow. It’s not bad it’s just not enough for me.

@@@ Debby Friday: Bitch Punk (Self-released, 2018) Also off this week’s CFUV playlist email. I think Debby Friday might have more balls in her pants than the total testicle count of all the musicians in the previous two releases. Ms. Friday brings some aggro beats with fat synth bass pulses and she goes off on the microphone. Plenty of skitter, plenty of fatness, plenty of attitude. On the third tune she gets into some rough drum machine play with some distortion crushing and crusting up the proceedings. When it gets to full blast on this tune, Indulge Me, she has whipped herself and you quite a nice shitty. Nice work maam, show ’em how to do it.

YTD recordings listened to: 345
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 182
Not good music: 155

Best: 6
Honorable Mentions: 4

Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, Slidhr, The Chewers, Toxic Holocaust, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, Leviathan, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Janelle Monae, Luther Dickinson, Graeme Barrett, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Cavanaugh, Satoko Fuji, Moken, Juan Atkins, Lantern, Twin Peaks, Djelimady Tounkara, The Oh Sees, Denny Zeitlin, MILF, Unfun, De La Soul, Carl Sagan’s Skate Shoes, A Tribe Called Quest, Noname, Gouge Away, Klara Lewis, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Oddisee, Forro in the Dark, RAM, Fiver, Dona Onete, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Priests, Propaganda, This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez, Integrity, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Converge, Open Mike Eagle, Criolo, Billy Strings, Flowers of Sulphur, Tal National, Portal, Hernan Sama & Marcelo von Schultz, Jean Grae and Quelle Chris, Lawaii, Etran De L’Air, Ruby Karinto

Music for 6/20/18!!! Beyonce and Jay Z, Witch Prophet, Cancer Bats

ncer B@@@ Beyonce & Jay Z: Boss (UMG, 2018) I can’t offer a video for this tune as UMG is all over the GooglePimp trying to lock down their copyright on what has thus far been a good but not great collaboration between Beyonce and Jay Z. This tune is an interesting blend of hip hop and classic soul and Beyonce does a better job here. I like the horn lines. It’s a diss track but I find their constant reminders of how rich they are to be incredibly boring and borderline offensive. This video clipped below may or may not have music in it, Lord the Interwebz can be such a drag.

@@@ Witch Prophet: The Golden Octave (88 Days of Fortune, 2018) Some indie r&b/soul off this week’s CFUV playlist email. After a lovely vocal only first tune it gets into a more standard r&b tune with drum machine, bass, and synth centered arrangements. I’m on the third tune and there’s an interesting slant to the record. The production is not lo fi but it’s certainly not nu r&b lush so it has a slight sharpness to it and then a lot of vocals get layered over it. This tune (clipped below), the fifth on the record, is the best of what I checked out and a good example of how the record is put together.

@@@ Cancer Bats: The Spark That Moves (Batskull/New Damage, 2018) Some mainstream, riffy metal that is not cheesy. At this point I find extensive and standard guitar riffs to be a tad cheesy but it’s certainly not art school/pretentious meta. The singer has an emo shredded tone of voice so this changes the vibe here with no epic, leather pants wearing rock hero action here. This is for folks who don’t like messy pissedness of a great punk record or the deep anti social bile of a great metal record. It’s a bit of a prepackaged rebellion thing but the band is strong and if you like guitar riffs get out your big Slurpy cup cuz they have that going in spades!

YTD recordings listened to: 342
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 180
Not good music: 154

Best: 6
Honorable Mentions: 4

Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, Slidhr, The Chewers, Toxic Holocaust, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, Leviathan, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Janelle Monae, Luther Dickinson, Graeme Barrett, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Cavanaugh, Satoko Fuji, Moken, Juan Atkins, Lantern, Twin Peaks, Djelimady Tounkara, The Oh Sees, Denny Zeitlin, MILF, Unfun, De La Soul, Carl Sagan’s Skate Shoes, A Tribe Called Quest, Noname, Gouge Away, Klara Lewis, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Oddisee, Forro in the Dark, RAM, Fiver, Dona Onete, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Priests, Propaganda, This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez, Integrity, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Converge, Open Mike Eagle, Criolo, Billy Strings, Flowers of Sulphur, Tal National, Portal, Hernan Sama & Marcelo von Schultz, Jean Grae and Quelle Chris, Lawaii, Etran De L’Air, Ruby Karinto

Music for 6/18/18!!! Beyonce and Jay Z, Grouper, Nervosa

@@@ Beyonce and Jay Z: Summer (Sony, 2018) Beyonce and Jay Z are two of my least favorite musicians ever. I love Solange but these two, blech. However, they are a huge deal and I like to keep my finger on the corpse of the mainstream music business. I’m sure the sounds here are going to be high end. I’m a little surprised at the Caribbean influences with the soul arrangement on this first tune. Beyonce is the main attraction of this first tune but the lyrics are pretty standard if not cliche. Now Jay Z is on the mic and this is adult mature, post gangsta Jay Z. It’s a well focused track but I don’t see it to be the work of our finest American superstars. There are better soul tunes for sure, there are better lyrics, there are better vocal performances and rhymes. I guess when you Beyonce a solid B is considered an A.

@@@ Grouper: Grid of Points (Krankey, 2018) Some alternative off this week’s CFUV playlist email. It opens female acapella but this first tune appears to be an intro flavor pack and the second tune is the proper first tune. It is piano and wispy, angelic female singing, sparse arrangements and super ethereal. I don’t want to type too loudly while I listen that is how fragile we’re talking here. This is music for sad female teenagers but personally I don’t think it’s good for this demographic. That’s just my opinion but it is its own little world, easily squashed is what it sounds like to me.

@@@ Nervosa – Downfall Of Mankind (Napalm) Some all female metal off this week’s CFUV weely email. We’re more concerned with the quality of music than the gender of the creators of it and these ladies bring a solid, muscular style to this record. The singer is quite pleasing with a sandy, cattish growl to her voice and she is back by some thrash drumming and a wall of buzzy as a million bees guitars. I like this record with the singer leading the way.

YTD recordings listened to: 336
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 177
Not good music: 151

Best: 6
Honorable Mentions: 4

Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, Slidhr, The Chewers, Toxic Holocaust, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, Leviathan, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Janelle Monae, Luther Dickinson, Graeme Barrett, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Cavanaugh, Satoko Fuji, Moken, Juan Atkins, Lantern, Twin Peaks, Djelimady Tounkara, The Oh Sees, Denny Zeitlin, MILF, Unfun, De La Soul, Carl Sagan’s Skate Shoes, A Tribe Called Quest, Noname, Gouge Away, Klara Lewis, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Oddisee, Forro in the Dark, RAM, Fiver, Dona Onete, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Priests, Propaganda, This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez, Integrity, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Converge, Open Mike Eagle, Criolo, Billy Strings, Flowers of Sulphur, Tal National, Portal, Hernan Sama & Marcelo von Schultz, Jean Grae and Quelle Chris, Lawaii, Etran De L’Air, Ruby Karinto

Music for 6/12/18!!! Hungry March Band, Neko Case, Lush, Sly and Robbie

@@@ Hungry March Band: Running Through with the Sadness (Imaginator, 2018) A pre-release single from an old school New York city institution. I’m sort of done with the klezmer/jazz/Balkan business but these guys are like a mariachi band that know a lot of jazz and had a syringe full of Red Bull shot into their eyeball. My favorite music is the stuff where the musicians sound like they don’t give a shit and are playing their asses off. This is an example of that formula in action. I will listen to more of this when it comes out and this is a pretty hot lead single.

@@@ Neko Case: Hold-on (Anti-, 2018) From this week’s All Music notable release email. This first tune does live up to its lush billing while it does purposely meander through a bunch of sections. The second tune appears to be much more of a fm adult alternative ‘rocker’. I know that there is an extremely ardent Neko Case fan club but without ramming a stick in there I’m having trouble understanding why they’re so ardent. She’s a good singer but I don’t hear anything super extraordinary in the lyrics, the singing or the songwriting. The music is pretty straightforward mostly soft fm radio rock. For example, in the fifth tune Bad Luck the vocal hook is ‘chipped my tooth on an engagement ring’ so I guess that’s the kind of quirkiness that has gotten her a lot of fans. God bless her for having fans that support her.

@@@ Lush: Snail Mail (Matador, 2018) Some debut singer songwriter action off this week’s All Music notable release email. This young lady just graduated from high school so it looks like she’s got plenty of time to have the music business crush her soul! I kid, I kid (not really). After a bit of a intro sing and strum she gets into a full band retro indie from the ’90s kinda flavor. Ms. Lush has a very nice voice, they put too much reverb on it. Regular readers know what I think of the vast majority of indie guitar music — this is perfectly decent music in its slackness (and whiteness might I add) but I can’t really get with the vibe. It’s the Velvet Underground, it’s Pavement, it’s Lou Reed, it’s the Feelies, it’s in that neighborhood.

@@@ Sly & Robbie, Nils Petter Molvaer, Elvind Arset, Vladislav Delay: Nordub (Sony Germany, 2018) I saw this genre mashing record on the London Jazz news blog weekly email. I don’t love the synths on the first track but the second track brings some fat dub low end and some vocals. I’m digging this track over the opener. I’m on the fourth tune and my feeling is that it’s differently ambient than traditional dub records, the rhythm section is pretty banging, but I did not find my attention riveted to the other elements besides Sly and Robbie. It’s a bit sleepytime tea.

YTD recordings listened to: 326
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 170
Not good music: 145

Best: 5
Honorable Mentions: 4

Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, Slidhr, The Chewers, Toxic Holocaust, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, Leviathan, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Janelle Monae, Luther Dickinson, Graeme Barrett, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Cavanaugh, Satoko Fuji, Moken, Juan Atkins, Lantern, Twin Peaks, Djelimady Tounkara, The Oh Sees, Denny Zeitlin, MILF, Unfun, De La Soul, Carl Sagan’s Skate Shoes, A Tribe Called Quest, Noname, Gouge Away, Klara Lewis, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Oddisee, Forro in the Dark, RAM, Fiver, Dona Onete, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Priests, Propaganda, This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez, Integrity, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Converge, Open Mike Eagle, Criolo, Billy Strings, Flowers of Sulphur, Tal National, Portal, Hernan Sama & Marcelo von Schultz, Jean Grae and Quelle Chris, Lawaii, Los Texmaniacs, Etran De L’Air

Music for 6/12/18!!! Chancha Via Circuito, ETRAN DE L’AIR, Walter Smith III

@@@ CHANCHA VIA CIRCUITO | Bienaventuranza (Wonderwheel, 2018) A Latin music/electronica mash which seems to be kind of trendy these days. I got to it via the WRIR weekly playlist email. The first track opens up with some heavy drumming and high stringed instrument playing. Super pretty and pretty standard as well as I have dozens of these types of records in my collection. The production is going for an epic but not arena epic — more of a it’s a big world kind of sound. I can’t say I love the production, it’s a tad too large for my taste. I’m on the third tune and I think it’s a bit sleepy — there are electronic flourishes to be had but it’s not super integrated into the tunes as much more than a garnish for a Latin music record. I like it but I could use more energy.

@@@ ETRAN DE L’AIR: No. 1 (Sahel Sounds, 2018) I got to this African music record also off the WRIR weekly playlist email. It’s got a pleasantly punk rock lo fi sound to the first tune with a couple of guitars going — one single line and the other rhythm — with a cracking and crushed drum kit going. There are only three tunes up on the bandcamp for folks to check out but this is the kind of African business I can get with. There is a bio on the bandcamp page so you can read about them if you want to know about their northern Niger roots and where they’re at. This third tune, Tenere Maliat, is straight up smoking so don’t miss out on that.

@@@ Walter Smith III: Twio (Self-released, 2018). Off a twat from the Twatter by the twatter guy Bird is the Worm. Some lushly produced straight jazz with sax, drums and bass as the main instrumentation (a couple of guest on a few tracks as well). This is jazz for people with medium high paying jobs and really clean white teeth. There’s nothing wrong with that but it’s prettiness is more obvious than it’s engaging improv (at least to my dumbass ears). The sounds are all really nice, the playing is good and I’m sure there are a fair number of unadventurous listeners who might dig this. I make no apologies for wanting to hear jazz cats go totally mental on their instruments.

YTD recordings listened to: 322
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 168
Not good music: 143

Best: 5
Honorable Mentions: 4

Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, Slidhr, The Chewers, Toxic Holocaust, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, Leviathan, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Janelle Monae, Luther Dickinson, Graeme Barrett, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Cavanaugh, Satoko Fuji, Moken, Juan Atkins, Lantern, Twin Peaks, Djelimady Tounkara, The Oh Sees, Denny Zeitlin, MILF, Unfun, De La Soul, Carl Sagan’s Skate Shoes, A Tribe Called Quest, Noname, Gouge Away, Klara Lewis, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Oddisee, Forro in the Dark, RAM, Fiver, Dona Onete, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Priests, Propaganda, This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez, Integrity, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Converge, Open Mike Eagle, Criolo, Billy Strings, Flowers of Sulphur, Tal National, Portal, Hernan Sama & Marcelo von Schultz, Jean Grae and Quelle Chris, Lawaii, Los Texmaniacs, Etran De L’Air

Music for 6/10/18!!! Bob Moses, Punketronic, Orions Belte, Kid Cudi/Kanye West

@@@ Bob Moses: Heaven Only Knows (Domino, 2018) I got to this newly released electronic track via music biz bigmouth Bob Lefsetz who shat his pants over it. It may turn up in tempo later on in the tune but it opens with a stack of vocals and a lot of cheesy reverb. Yikes, it has morphed into an ’80s pop ballad complete with gated snare and the most boring kick snare beat every. Ah, the hallmark of white people — boring funkless beats! If you have high cholesterol or any cardiovascular conditions steer clear of this cheese bomb. It’s interesting the singer sounds a bit like the dude from Oasis but other than that I don’t have much interest. I made it 2:30 before I had to bail.

@@@ Punketronic: Hello Mr. Moonlight (Paul Tronic, 2018) I got to this rock single via the indie music blog Indiepulse. It’s a midtempo guitar blaster, not full on more of a power pop thing with a vocal melody over a chord progresison. It’s got some rockin’ to it but it’s pretty standard melodic rock business. Not U2 righteous douchebaggery, more like a slack retro ’90s punk lite kinda thing.

@@@ Orions Belte: Atlantic Surfing (Jansen, 2018) Oy, more ’80s rock — who made the decision this was good music the first time around? Oh boy, this is a 7.5 minute exploratory kind of thing that I will most likely only be attending a portion of. All of the guitar jamming and swirling psychedelic business stuffed in the background unfolds over an urgent straight beat. Skip to halfway through the song and start where the tambourine comes in. I can’t think of a single tune ever where a tambourine didn’t improve a song or god forbid, take it to another level. My personal opinion is if you want to listen to long instrumental pieces you should just check out some good jazz. I know jazz is run by a bunch of complete and total douchebags but don’t blame the music for that.

@@@ Kanye West & Kid Cudi: Kids See Ghosts (Def Jam/UMG, 2018) We might have to jettison the Kanye West solo pita pocket as it is not deserving of the track by track treatment. I saw a review of this record over the weekend and this is the first track. I think the vocal part that functions as a drum part is very interesting but the rhymes aren’t super stellar to my ear and the sounds are all right but not ear candy. Pusha T kicks off the rhymes and I’m a fan though this isn’t as enjoyable to me as his recent solo stuff. It’s an all right track, nothing to pull over by the side of the road to crank.

YTD recordings listened to: 319
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 167
Not good music: 142

Best: 5
Honorable Mentions: 4

Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, Slidhr, The Chewers, Toxic Holocaust, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, Leviathan, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Janelle Monae, Luther Dickinson, Graeme Barrett, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Cavanaugh, Satoko Fuji, Moken, Juan Atkins, Lantern, Twin Peaks, Djelimady Tounkara, The Oh Sees, Denny Zeitlin, MILF, Unfun, De La Soul, Carl Sagan’s Skate Shoes, A Tribe Called Quest, Noname, Gouge Away, Klara Lewis, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Oddisee, Forro in the Dark, RAM, Fiver, Dona Onete, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Priests, Propaganda, This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez, Integrity, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Converge, Open Mike Eagle, Criolo, Billy Strings, Flowers of Sulphur, Tal National, Portal, Hernan Sama & Marcelo von Schultz, Jean Grae and Quelle Chris, Lawaii, Los Texmaniacs