Music for 10/16/21!!! Alewya, Remi Wolf

@@@ Alewya: Play (Because London, 2021) Today’s listens are off this week’s Line of Best Fit. Lots of music outside of the U.S., lots of music by non white folks pushed up there. I’m hearing this as a world music influenced, lounge-y dancefloor banger. A fair amount of vocals have been injected over the rhythms — some backwards, some processed. Then I believe Alewya takes a laidback turn at rhymin’ on the microphone. I’m not going to say there’s anything particularly revolutionary in the lyrics in the music but she sure has built a pretty massive groove with both the sounds and the lyrics and her delivery. I’m checking out another track by her and it uses the same formula and executing it at a high level. I don’t want to get all racial and shit but she’s from Ethiopia so the rhythmic sophistication embedded in a dancefloor banger is not surprising to me.

@@@ Remi Wolf: Street You Live On (Island/UMG, 2021) This is the last track on a major label pop record that tries to throw a little bit of everything into the pot trying to find a large group of listeners. A little rock, a little funk, a lot of pop music, those are the most prominent sounds going on here. It’s a bittersweet melody with a vocal hook about avoiding the street that he lives on due to painful memories. The due to painful memories is my addition. I mean it’s groomed and produced the way you would expect from a major label pop jam. I would be more moved if the beat wasn’t so straight. I know why they do that but I don’t enjoy it. Kick snare, kick snare, kick snare, big drum machine tom tom roll, repeat.

Music for 10/14/21!!! James McMurtry, —__–___

@@@ James McMurtry: Canola Fields (New West, 2021) I got to this record via music business honcho Bob Lefsetz. His taste is often janky. This is the first track of the record and he looks set to grab in this moment the mantle of poetic country music. The band is pretty standard with nice tones and pretty straight playing, his voice is certainly many notches above Bob Dylan but the focus here is on the lyrics first and then the melodies. I don’t know how old this cat is but he’s doin all right on the microphone. I skipped to the third track Operation Never Mind cuz I liked the title. There’s more rock in this album than I initially caught on. I like this record without jumping up and down. The tones are great, especially the guitars. I don’t get fully off on the lyrics and the songs are good without making me jump up and down. I was raised on rock and I find it tough to listen to now.

@@@ —___–___: Sadness, infinite America (Orange Milk, 2021) Off this week’s Pitchfork 10 most reviewed albums. I don’t know what I thought this was going to be but this track is crazy mash of free jazz, autotuned vocals, vibes, sax, and voice. It’s got a desolate vibe for sure, so we’re far past mope and straight into dystopia. And I’m much more into dystopia than bourgeois mope. The way the teched out voice goes with the jazz elements is fresh and I’m super into it. It doesn’t feel random, it sounds arranged but there’s no way to know for sure. Someone is slipping one past the goalie here as it’s slotted as ambient, and it does have an ambient feel to it but it’s got more going on than a typical ambient record and it’s just not an accurate description of the music. Well done, and I’m listening to my second selection and I’m digging it as much as the video clipped below. Check this out if you’re up for some freshness. A little sweet, a bit abstract, a bit lonely and darker — yadda yadda yadda. There’s also some orchestral classical feels going here.

Music for 10/13/21!!! Rev. Peyton’s Big Damn Band, Jupiter and Okwess

@@@ Rev. Peyton’s Big Damn Band: Dance Songs for Hard Time (Thirty Tigers, 2021) Also from Ted Gioia, though I’ve been a big fan of Rev. Peyton’s Big Damn Band for years, he’s a nut. This is the last track on a record released earlier this year. Once a bottle slide solo hits you get the full on Rev. Peyton — full mental church revival country redneck rock business, you can’t fuck with him! Come down angels, bring some heaven down to the ground, that’s the hook. Full background choir, manic guitar playing and simple almost thrash metal drumming. I’ve heard the Reverend before and I’m a huge fan. He’s got a couple of uplifters ‘I’ll lift you up’ and ‘Come Down Angels’ some political screeds ‘Crime to be Poor’ and straight roof blasters ‘Rattle Can’ which I enjoyed the most.

@@@ Jupiter & Okwess: Telejayi (Everloving Records, 2021) This is the first track of a record released in April 2021 and it’s a modified Afrobeat formula with additions — rock energy in the guitars, more complex vocal arrangements in places, and some slight dancefloor filter sweeps and shit. The energy is also more danceable and lighter than the classic, righteous Fela business. I really like the space organ, it elevates the track, I’m agnostic on the vocals, and I don’t love the rock guitar tones. So a bit of a mixed bag much like Ted Gioia’s recommendations. Vocals in French, just sayin’. I really don’t like the guitar here but that’s just me.

Music for 10/12/21!!! Leesa Johnson, Myele Manzanza

@@@ Leesa Johnson: Barn Tracks (Self-released, 2021) Today’s listens are off Ted Gioia’s recommendations of the month over off the Twatter and/or his substack. The first track is not what I expected at all. It’s an uptempo hippie/concious rock track called World Without Cause. I was expecting hillbilly tracks because of the title. My bad. Excellent conga playing here on the opener and the singing is vigourous. The second track opens with some mandolin plucking (I think) and while I think this is really well executed coffee shop singer/songwriter business, it’s not a sound I crave. However, check it out if you roll this way, it’s well done.

@@@ Myele Manzanza: Crisis and Opportunity, Vol. 1: London (DeepMatter, 2021) From the same Ted Gioia monthly recommended list and it’s crisp, well turned out two horn straight jazz with piano, drums and bass. There are five tracks on offer and they’re all substantial with a couple going over 10 minutes. A synth on the second track, the stars are not lining up for me on this. I haven’t heard tons of jazz with retro synth sounds that I love. Same as the record above the recording is well made, the energy is solid, but it’s not really for me. I’ve never really been into the hippie thing and straight jazz makes me feel Republican.

Music for 10/12/21!!! Leesa Johnson, Myele Manzanza

@@@ Leesa Johnson: Barn Tracks (Self-released, 2021) Today’s listens are off Ted Gioia’s recommendations of the month over off his Twatter and/or his substack. The first track is not what I expected at all. It’s an uptempo hippie/concious rock track called World Without Cause. I was expecting hillbilly tracks because of the title. My bad. Excellent conga playing here on the opener and the singing is vigorous. The second track opens with some mandolin plucking (I think) and while I this is really well executed coffee shop singer/songwriter business, it’s not a sound I crave. However, check it out if you roll this way, it’s well done.

@@@ Myele Manzanza: Crisis and Opportunity, Vol. 1: London (DeepMatter, 2021) From the same Ted Gioia monthly recommended list and it’s crisp, well turned out two horn straight jazz with piano, drums and bass. There are five tracks on offer and they’re all substantial with a couple going over 10 minutes. A synth on the second track, the stars are not lining up for me on this. I haven’t heard tons of jazz with retro synth sounds that I love. Same as the record above the recording is well made, the energy is solid, but it’s not really for me. I’ve never really been into the hippie thing and straight jazz makes me feel Republican.