Music for 3/23/17!!! Spoon, smno, Fit for an Autopsy

@@@ Spoon: Hot Thoughts (Matador, 2017) I’ve always thought Spoon overrated but I check every record as these guys are critical darlings. To me these guys are a funk band trapped in a white boy indie band’s body. They’re TRANS, so to speak.  They bit a Led Zeppelin drum intro on the second tune and immediately go angular.  I don’t think I like the singer — if he had David Bowie vibes I might appreciate it more.   Oops that was the third tune, interwebz situation.  I’m on the fourth tune and I’m sure the singer is the most awesome guy ever but I don’t like his microphone work.

@@@ Smino: blkswn (Zero Fatigue/Downtown, 2017)  Hip hop off the Apple Music new music section.  Same with the Spoon record.  This first tune is syrupy with a blunted feel.  I like the arrangement on this first tune, minimal, slinky and funky.   The sounds here far surpass the tunes.  There are a few guest vocalists so you might find a vocalist you dig.  Or you could just listen for the sounds, plenty of folks do that.  The MCs aren’t awful they don’t elevate the tunes for me.

@@@ Fit for an Autopsy: The Great Collapse (Entertainment One, 2017)  Some of the metal on the Apple Music new music section is mainstream leaning, but this is not one of those choices.  Ah wait, they’re doing that common Linkin Park move where it’s rough and heavy in the verse and it soars in the chorus.   They either have two singers or a shapeshifting one — it lurches from caveman growling to quasi-operatic art school singer in the chorus.  The band can be quite rough — not crazy molten, methed out metal but some more than solid work through herk-a-jerk moves.  It’s all right, solid B- but check for yourself.

YTD recordings listened to: 194
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 106
Not good music: 72

Buys: 1
Honorable Mentions: 1

Possibles: Chris McGregor, Dave Arner Trio, Zomby, Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, Slidhr, The Chewers, Toxic Holocaust, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Fofoulah, Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, Leviathan, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Janelle Monae, Luther Dickinson, Graeme Barrett, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Cavanaugh, Gentleman Surfer, Satoko Fuji, Divanhana, Moken, Juan Atkins, Drone, Lantern, Twin Peaks, Djelimady Tounkara, The Oh Sees, Denny Zeitlin, MILF, Unfun, De La Soul, Carl Sagan’s Skate Shoes, Magrudergrind, A Tribe Called Quest, Noname, Gouge Away, Anna Hogberg, Klara Lewis, Aethenor, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, James Brandon Lewis, Yotoco, Tinariwen, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Power Trip, Reverend Payton, J.I.D., Oddisee

Music for 3/21/17!!! Cindy Lee Berryhill, Alexis Taylor, Ha Ha Tonka

@@@ Cindy Lee Berryhill: The Adventurist (Omnivore, 2017)  Some indie/alt roots music off this week’s All Music notable release email.  Twangy guitar playing, high school punk band style drumming and Berryhill’s wavering voice.  Notable here are the literate, somewhat nerdy lyrics — neither bad nor good, just saying.  String arrangements and cello parts further solidify the NPR credibility of this record.  For the proudly nerdy.

@@@ Alexis Taylor: Piano (Moshi mocha, 2017)  Singer songwriter music off this week’s All Music weekly email.  Opens up a cappella and reverted and a tad snoozy.  I see, this is a remix record of a record from 2016 called Piano which is a piano songwriter record.  So I’m going back to the source of the remixes and it’s quite emotional.  Aha, I knew it!  This is one of the gents from About Group who made a couple of records that I’m very fond of.  This is heartfelt and distinctly un-American music because it’s not slick or glossy or manipulated.  It’s just a gent and his piano with a remix record if you feel the urge.  I can’t append this tune Crying in the Chapel so that’s too bad as it’s my favorite of what I heard. This is proudly earnest and sincere — it doesn’t super work for me but not because its earnest and sincere.

@@@ Ha Ha Tonka: Heart Shaped Mountain (Bloodshot, 2017)  Not the usual fare I hear out of Bloodshot which is fine.  It’s medium rocking with ’80s flavor and little shoe gaze especially in the guitars.  Ah, the second and third tunes bring in some jangle and I’m not really feeling this record, mostly the sounds and the formula behind it.

YTD recordings listened to: 188
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 102
Not good music: 70

Buys: 1
Honorable Mentions: 1

Possibles: Chris McGregor, Dave Arner Trio, Zomby, Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, Slidhr, The Chewers, Toxic Holocaust, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Fofoulah, Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, Leviathan, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Janelle Monae, Luther Dickinson, Graeme Barrett, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Cavanaugh, Gentleman Surfer, Satoko Fuji, Divanhana, Moken, Juan Atkins, Drone, Lantern, Twin Peaks, Djelimady Tounkara, The Oh Sees, Denny Zeitlin, MILF, Unfun, De La Soul, Carl Sagan’s Skate Shoes, Magrudergrind, A Tribe Called Quest, Noname, Gouge Away, Anna Hogberg, Klara Lewis, Aethenor, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, James Brandon Lewis, Yotoco, Tinariwen, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Power Trip, Reverend Payton, J.I.D., Oddisee

Music for 3/20/17!!! Milky Chance, Jacaszek, Niyaz

@@@ Jacaszek: Kwiaty (Ghostly Int’l, 2017)  I keep checking out Ghostly releases but I haven’t come upon anything that has really caught my ear.  This first tune opens up dark with low indistinct voices, bass waves and some swirl.  Also a higher bell chime/drone.  After an abstract intro it brings in a dreamy, heavily reverbed female voice over the darkness.  It’s pretty good.  The second tune brings in a harp/nylon string guitar, keeps the female voice and nudges the record towards a more New Age neighborhood which is not my favorite neighborhood.  I like some of the sounds here, especially on the fifth track Love (clipped below) but I’m not super feeling the singer.  It’s not her, it’s me I’m quite finicky.

@@@ Milky Chance: Blossom (Lichdicht, 2017) Dance pop off this week’s All Music weekly notable release email.  It’s mainstream pop rock with ragged/slack vocals styles and danceable sections and electro garnish.  This music is a couple of notches above what you would expect to hear at the gas station snack store.

@@@ Niyaz: The Best of Niyaz (Six Degrees, 2017)  Imma have to search on Niyaz because I can’t place her music geographically more than North African/Middle Eastern.  Iran by way of Canada.  I love Iran!  It’s Navroz, aw shit I have to spell that correctly.  It’s Persian New Year, get hip.  Niyaz is rocking a dramatic style, big polished production, a very serious package.  I’m on the fifth tune and the truth is I don’t love the super refined sound, it detracts from the power of the performance.  In my opinion, that is, check it for yourself.

YTD recordings listened to: 185
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 100
Not good music: 69

Buys: 1
Honorable Mentions: 1

Possibles: Chris McGregor, Dave Arner Trio, Zomby, Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, Slidhr, The Chewers, Toxic Holocaust, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Fofoulah, Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, Leviathan, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Janelle Monae, Luther Dickinson, Graeme Barrett, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Cavanaugh, Gentleman Surfer, Satoko Fuji, Divanhana, Moken, Juan Atkins, Drone, Lantern, Twin Peaks, Djelimady Tounkara, The Oh Sees, Denny Zeitlin, MILF, Unfun, De La Soul, Carl Sagan’s Skate Shoes, Magrudergrind, A Tribe Called Quest, Noname, Gouge Away, Anna Hogberg, Klara Lewis, Aethenor, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, James Brandon Lewis, Yotoco, Tinariwen, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Power Trip, Reverend Payton, J.I.D., Oddisee

Music for 3/18/17!!! Real Estate, Cameron Avery

@@@ Real Estate: In Mind (Domino, 2017)  Some shiny Brit pop guitar indie off this week’s All Music notable release email.  I usually expect quirkier fare from Domino, this is really quite accessible and super jangly.  Wow, I’m on the third tune and it’s relentlessly and proudly super jangly.  The singer is neither dour nor mopey but he’s not super energetic.  Not my thing but if you roll this way, have at it.

@@@ Cameron Avery: Ripe Dreams, Pipe Dreams (Anti-, 2017)  Some adult alternative inside rainy day music off this week’s All Music notable release.  Think Sinatra or Tony Bennett within a different instrumental context.  Expressive and intimate vocal stylings.  The string section comes in on the second tune and it’s a confirmation of the big band loverboy vibe.  The third tune brings in a sort of campy rock vibe with the same vocal style — it’s not really my thing but maybe yours.

YTD recordings listened to: 182
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 98
Not good music: 67

Buys: 1
Honorable Mentions: 1

Possibles: Chris McGregor, Dave Arner Trio, Zomby, Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, Slidhr, The Chewers, Toxic Holocaust, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Fofoulah, Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, Leviathan, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Janelle Monae, Luther Dickinson, Graeme Barrett, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Cavanaugh, Gentleman Surfer, Satoko Fuji, Divanhana, Moken, Juan Atkins, Drone, Lantern, Twin Peaks, Djelimady Tounkara, The Oh Sees, Denny Zeitlin, MILF, Unfun, De La Soul, Carl Sagan’s Skate Shoes, Magrudergrind, A Tribe Called Quest, Noname, Gouge Away, Anna Hogberg, Klara Lewis, Aethenor, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, James Brandon Lewis, Yotoco, Tinariwen, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Power Trip, Reverend Payton, J.I.D., Oddisee

Best of 2017 Pick 1

Fruko Y Sos Tesos: A La Memoria del Muerto (Discos Fuentes, 2017)

A hard hitting old school salsa re-issue from a band out of Colombia from the early 1970s. This is about as good as music gets — relentless and sophisticated rhythms, packed with melody and lots of energy and passion.

If you are a music lover and you don’t feel this music the chances are you’re not a music lover.  This music has universal appeal.

Music for 3/16/17!!! Ho9909, J.I.D., Tenelle

@@@ Ho9909: United States of Horror (Deathkult, 2017)  An aggro industrial grade hip hop single off an upcoming full length that comes out in May.  I just had to peep something called the United States of Horror.  I’m down with the sentiments at the end of the tune but the sounds are pretty grating.  He’s got his distorted vocals crunched up pretty good and it kinda hurts.  It reminds me of a slowed down rap metal tune but check it for yourself.

@@@ J.I.D.: The Never Story (Interscope, 2017)  I’m not sure how this hip hop record off the Apple New Music section is going to go but I like the first tune.  No beats but some lush vocal harmonies.  Then it goes into the second tune which is gangsta but funky and not rough in the arrangements.  The MC has a high, slightly nasal tinge so he’s not super menacing sounding.  I’m super feeling this third tune Never.  He’s got a super quick and satisfying flow.  I like the sounds but Mr. J.I.D. is the star here and you gotta peep the song clipped below if you’re a hip hop fan.  Outstanding funk factor on these tracks.

@@@ Tenelle: For the Lovers (Island Empire, 2017)  Slotted as a reggae record in the Apple new music section this is a mash of slick r&b and reggae like beats.  This first tune has more in common with a Prince tune than a Bob Marley song.  The second tune is stickier but we’re not breaking any records, it’s a crossover style with plenty of pop.  If you don’t like the super sweetness of these tunes you’re not going to like the record.  It’s cotton candy to my ears but check it for yourself.

YTD recordings listened to: 177
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 95
Not good music: 66

Buys: 0
Honorable Mentions: 1

Possibles: Chris McGregor, Dave Arner Trio, Zomby, Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, Slidhr, The Chewers, Toxic Holocaust, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Fofoulah, Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, Leviathan, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Janelle Monae, Luther Dickinson, Graeme Barrett, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Cavanaugh, Gentleman Surfer, Satoko Fuji, Divanhana, Moken, Juan Atkins, Drone, Lantern, Twin Peaks, Djelimady Tounkara, The Oh Sees, Denny Zeitlin, MILF, Unfun, De La Soul, Carl Sagan’s Skate Shoes, Magrudergrind, A Tribe Called Quest, Noname, Gouge Away, Anna Hogberg, Klara Lewis, Aethenor, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, James Brandon Lewis, Yotoco, Tinariwen, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Power Trip, Fruko Y Sos Tesos, Reverend Payton, J.I.D.

Music for 3/15/17!!! MOD SUN, Reverend Payton, Yonder Mountain String Band

@@@ MOD SUN: Movie (Rostrum, 2017) Some white boy hip hop off the Apple Music new music section.  I don’t want to get all racial and shit but he don’t sound too vanilla — I guess he’s been apprenticing in the hood with a brother maybe?  It’s a pretty low IQ party track with trite philosophical lyrics.  Let’s check more.  This third tune She Just Wanna Dance is a low IQ banger that’s most of the way to Stupid Town.  Myself I would stick with 6Lack, he’s got superior sounds and flow.

@@@ The Reverend Payton’s Damned Big Band: Front Porch Sessions (Family Owned Records, 2017)  I was super into the Reverend’s last record So Delicious.  It made my year end list and I’m a finicky motherfucker.  I like the sounds on this first tune but it’s a tad slow out of the gate.  I’m on the third tune and this is not a party record, it’s a collection of slow blues songs.  The guitar sounds are excellent, Reverend Payton has an unorthodox and cool voice and he’s got soul.  This is one of those records that can really grow on you over time.

@@@ Yonder Mountain String Band: Black Sheep (Frog Pad Records, 2015).  It’s gonna be a roots music Wednesday after I got a music publicist email about a live album these guys are putting out.  I chose to listen to this 2015 effort instead.  This first tune Insult and an Elbow opens up briskly with a vicious fiddle solo and heartfelt playing.  The second tune (clipped below) sounds more like a rock song played by a string band than a traditional string tune (which is fine).  I like the playing more than the tunes but if you want energetic string band music check these guys out.

YTD recordings listened to: 174
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 94
Not good music: 65

Buys: 0
Honorable Mentions: 1

Possibles: Chris McGregor, Dave Arner Trio, Zomby, Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, Slidhr, The Chewers, Toxic Holocaust, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Fofoulah, Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, Leviathan, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Janelle Monae, Luther Dickinson, Graeme Barrett, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Cavanaugh, Gentleman Surfer, Satoko Fuji, Divanhana, Moken, Juan Atkins, Drone, Lantern, Twin Peaks, Djelimady Tounkara, The Oh Sees, Denny Zeitlin, MILF, Unfun, De La Soul, Carl Sagan’s Skate Shoes, Magrudergrind, A Tribe Called Quest, Noname, Gouge Away, Anna Hogberg, Klara Lewis, Aethenor, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, James Brandon Lewis, Yotoco, Tinariwen, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Power Trip, Fruko Y Sos Tesos, Reverend Payton