Music for 12/12/18!!! Mammoth Grinder, Primal Rite, Sumac

@@@ Mammoth Grinder: Cosmic Crypt (Relapse, 2018) I haven’t heard a ton of metal this year that made me jump up and down but I snagged a few choices off a year end list at the AV club and this one led by the drummer for Power Trip looks engaging. It’s got a nice friendly mosh flavor to it. Just your meat and potatoes smackdown. It doesn’t have the same energy as Power Trip’s 2017 release which I really liked but it’s solid. It’s got a couple of the dudes from Iron Reagan whose name I like but about whom I know little.

@@@ Primal Rite: Dirge of Escapism (Revelation, 2018) This recording has a bit of a different feel to it than the Mammoth Grinder one above. That band name is very accurately chosen and this first tune is a bit math-y with a nice muscular stomp and some punk flavorings. The singer’s voice is fucked with and he sounds like he’s inside a big concrete tube and barely understandable. By the third tune Antivenom the water is at a full boil and the thrashing and grinding about is quite intense. I’m not feeling like this is best of 2018 for my list but it’s got a lot going for it.

@@@ Sumac: Love in Shadow (Thrill Jockey, 2018) Marketed as a largely improvised metal record there are four long ass pieces three of which clock in at over 15 minutes. I’m listening to the second tune right now and it is a noisy and energetic guitar record without being a full metal meltdown kinda record. The focus here is on playing as one would expect with 15 minute pieces. I like how it’s not a sloppy record by any means but it’s looser than most metal records. It is a big metal jam record. I like the sound of it and I will circle back on it when I have closer to 1 hour and 6 minutes.

YTD recordings listened to: 684
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 371
Not good music: 265

Best: 16
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, 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

Music for 12/11/18!!! Yves Tumor, Balun, Kali Uchis

@@@ Yves Tumor: Safe in the Hands of Love (Warp, 2018) Today we spend a bit of time with Pitchfork’s most highly rated records of 2018 — #1 and #2 and #21 respectively. I’m not interested in the standard list entrants like No Name 25 and Kacy Musgraves, etc I’m looking for some music on the fringe. It opens up a tad jazzy and a lot electronic but upfront. After the bashing intro tune it moves into more standard dark electro territory with some nice glitching and chopped up, oscillating synths. It’s not mind blowing but it’s got energy and movement to it as it appears to shun grooves in favor of periodic outbursts. The third tune brings in a singer and moves from a more abstract sonic thing to a chopped up r&b vibe. The record completes some sort of arc and is pretty standard pop-tronic by the fourth tune. I liked the more adventurous early tunes.

@@@ Kali Uchis: Isolation (Universal, 2018) I’ve seen this record on more than one best of 2018 list. It’s marketed with Tyler the Creator’s and Bootsy Collins’ names attached but it’s a mash of sounds — some Latin, some funk, some modern electro r&b. She’s name dropping in this first tune and I don’t like that. I’m on the third tune and I like the sounds and the production but I don’t really like her or the tunes. I could go on and on as to why I might not like her singing but that’s intellectual justification. I wish the lyrics were smarter and maybe I would like her singing more.

@@@ Balun: Prisma Tropical (Good Child, 2018) #46 on NPR’s best 50 albums of 2018. I think I heard the pre-release single from these Puerto Rican folks doing a redraw of Puerto Rican music expectations. Man, I much prefer this to the Uchis record above. These guys are singing in Spanish and using Latin rhythms but the mashing up of influences, most notably indie electronic sounds is much more intelligent and flattering to the artists. More creative, that’s what I’m after. I would like it more if it hit a bit harder and it does strive for an angelic, quasi-New Age dreamy vibe that I usually am not into at all. But as I wrote earlier in this review, just taking Latin music and stuffing it inside an indie electronic turkey is a pretty creative thing to do.

YTD recordings listened to: 681
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 371
Not good music: 265

Best: 16
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, 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

Music for 11/21/18!!! System, Spontaneous Overthrow, Dispatch, Bille Ellish

@@@ System: Plus (Moor Music, 2018) We open up today’s listening session with an ambient electronic record. Not roots dub but lots of big sounds wrapped around some simple keyboard playing. I like the span of it, it’s huge like Melania Trump’s empty cooch. How could she let the foul cretin inside her body? Yikers! You get a little glitch, a little static noise, a little ambient action tastefully ladled out. These shits are taking their time so this is some post-turkey listening action, don’t get all up in these if you’re looking to bang out a job for work or if you’re a night time long haul trucker. It’s not a crowded sonic field, it’s sounds like you’re sitting at the 50 yard line of a football field watching the sounds in the end zone. Okay that’s enough Thanksgiving flavored metaphors with a little Melania cooch thrown in for holiday spice. Yup, that’s right I did it.

@@@ Spontaneous Overthrow: All About Money (Numero Obscuro, 2018) This record looks to be some spaced out r&b/soul — not slicked out, computer neo-soul but somebody that owns a space organ and loves to put a lot of reverb on their tracks. It’s got a quaint funkiness to it but the extensive use of reverb drains the music of its energy a bit. A lot of these tunes push 6 minutes so they have a jammy feel to them.

@@@ Dispatch: Local 13 (Bomber Records, 2018) I got to this Sublime reggae/rock record via the CFUV weekly playlist email. The second tune busts out the banjos so this could be a sprawling, bit of all over the place kinda thing. You don’t often get the reggae and banjo explosion in the space of two tunes. The singer is super friendly and a tad frat boy sounding. The third tune gets into an acoustic guitar ballad so my suspicions are confirmed. Not really for me, but it may appeal others out there. As always check for yourself.

@@@ Billie Ellish: come out and play (Interscope, 2018) The #1 fully pimped track on Apple Music. It opens up small and intimate with breathy vocals, acoustic guitar, a little simple hand drumming and an organ swell tucked back in there. At about 2 minutes you get some large electronic garnish with a string section and it looks like this might explode as a cheesy song comet crossing the sky. C’mon do it, hit us with the cheese! Alas it was a fake buildup as it died back down to the opening vibe. Well, they get points for not turning it into a summer blockbuster by showing some restraint. Otherwise it’s an undercover Disney self-empowerment kinda track.

YTD recordings listened to: 653
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 354
Not good music: 257

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, Gouge Away, Barro, Daniel Khan, Vaudou Game, Tallawit Timbouctou

Music for 11/19/18!!! Daniel Khan, Smashing Pumpkins

@@@ Daniel Khan: The Butcher’s Share (Oriente Musick, 2018) I got to this political klezmer music record by an American who formed a band in Germany. If the lyrics aren’t openly political they are metaphorically political. The lyrics are literate and coherent but the delivery is energetic and entertaining. I like a bunch of tunes on this record though I think a few of the songs in Yiddish limits the audience a bit. I’m a New Yorker and we are balls deep in Jews all over the 5 boroughs so it sounds very familiar to me. Great playing and this might make it onto my best of 2018 list.

@@@ Smashing Pumpkins: Shiny and oh so bright…. (Napalm Records, 2018) Off this week’s All Music notable release email. Shiny and oh so bright as Billy Corgan’s hairless pate??!! No, too soon? They come out of the gate full 1970’s power ballad rock. There’s a fair amount of cheese sauce on this sandwich. They’re gonna ride the rainbow, you dig? And there’s a violin part so you know how it’s going down.
The second tune, Silvery Sometimes, sounds like a more typical Pumpkins track and I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. This is a catchy rock track, I’ll give the Bald Vampire that much. The third tune, which will be my last tune, is back to a cloying arena rock thing. This shit could be on Broadway for sure, it rocks but it’s well it’s bright and shiny like a bald head.

YTD recordings listened to: 646
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 351
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, Gouge Away, Barro, Daniel Khan

Single of the week from last week!

@@@ Marianne Faithfull: The Gypsy Faerie Queen (BMG, 2018) I wanted to love the rest of her new solo record as much as I love this song but it didn’t happen. However, I’m grateful to her and Nick Cave for this pretty damned close to perfect sad and beautiful tune that could be about any number of things. Metaphorical it is. I find her vocals simple and very moving.

Music for 11/15/18!!! Barro, J.I.D./J. Cole, J. Lo/Bad Bunny

@@@ Barro: Samos (self-released, 2018) Some Northern Brazilian music I got to via the weekly music reviews at WRIR in Virginia, a most excellent world music station. It’s a blend of traditional modern Brazilian with some rock flavorings. Also some hip hop, funk flavors. A pretty hip opening track. The second tune gets into a more indie, feelgood vibe, but with more sophistication than 99% of indie folks out there. There is a mellowness in this music that is not overdone and wilts the music. The playing is tight and an interesting mash of rhythms and genre influences so it keeps itself fresh. Big respect for how far afield the rhythm section reaches. Check this out, it’s hip.

@@@ J.I.D. and J. Cole: Off Deez (Interscope, 2018) I’m a huge fan of J.I.D. — his microphone is just full on — witty, quick, all manner of flavors. He comes out Red Bulled with his afro fully blown out on this single. They paired his rhymes with a demented little surf rock guitar figure. J. Cole starts slowly but he gets up in it. It’s impossible to tell how gangsta the lyrics are because the shit is just flying past your ears. I like this, this is super hot and fresh.

@@@ Jennifer Lopez and Bad Bunny: Te Gusta (Sony, 2018) I’m not a huge Bad Bunny fan as I think he has a weird voice. He sounds like he has some sort of bowel obstruction, but the last J Lo single I checked out was really good. This is a loverboy track though I have no clue as I have zero Spanish skills but J Lo is in her underwear in the video below. The sounds are very slick in a good way, it’s uber manicured Latino urbano, and I like it but he’s a bid of a bad burp. Other folks who understand the lyrics might enjoy it a whole lot more. I do all right for a gringo motherfucker but I’m not from around the block.

YTD recordings listened to: 641
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 347
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

Music for 11/14/18!!! Black Belt Eagle Scout, Gouge Away, Kate Danser

@@@ Black Belt Eagle Scout – Mother Of My Children (Saddle Creek) Some indie business off this week’s CFUV playlist email. Some identity politics around this release — the singer is an LGBT first person as in indigenous person with people at Standing Rock. I’m a huge fan of the Standing Rock and their fight to defend themselves. That’s outside of the music but I like this first tune. It’s not super complex guitar indie but it feels authentic to my ear with little posing which I can’t stand. I understanding sounding authentic is in the ear of the listener, it’s a personal preference. I judge it by how much emotion is being put out there. The more emotion shared the more I’m drawn to it. The second song, Indians Never Die, is a slow one with a simple guitar vamp and simple percussion. It’s building slowly and then it dies back down. It’s a mopey record, at least the beginning part is and I like the singer’s voice. Indie is a tough sell for me but I give this a B/B+.

@@@ Gouge Away – Burnt Sugar (Deathwish Inc) Some ‘loud’ music off this week’s CFUV playlist email. Oh my, speaking of emotion and letting it all out this record hews to that concept. Female singer at the end of her rope, or at least close to it and a band that rocks in a pleasingly sloppy ass way. Quick grinds lurching into some other brief idea. The second tune, Fed Up, is working bigly for me. It’s a punk missile with little restraint — doesn’t it feel better when it all comes out? I think so, you can’t keep all that shit inside. I’m feeling all the members of the band from the drummer’s spray, to the stringy/splatty bass sound to the mess of guitar sounds to the singer who might need a lozenge. Imma circle back on this bad boy.

@@@ Kat Danser – Goin’ Gone (Black Hen) Blues/folk/roots music off this week’s CFUV weekly email. This looks to be a laidback blues band record with a female singer. Harmonica, upright bass, shuffling drums, you know the classics. I like this record — really catchy guitar player and solid players at all the positions. The production is really flattering without cheesy reverb and too much of any particular sound, and the songs are solid.

YTD recordings listened to: 638
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 345
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