Music for 7/2/20!!! Hoops, The Psychedelic Furs, Kareem Ali, Country Westerns

@@@ Hoops: Fall Back (Fat Possum, 2020) I seen it on the Twatter!  Comin’ out with the mad ’80s feels — a retro beat, chorused guitar and the friendliest gent on the microphone since Ronald Reagan!  Oh Ronny, you Commy fightin’ crazy biatch.  Now here we go with the baking show metaphors — some desserts can be too sweet, different people enjoy different levels of sugar.  This is pixie stick sweet, it’s too sweet for me!  Da doo doo background vocals, I guess the singer is the biggest sweetener. You get a big guitar shred for this type of track but it unfolds within the initial impression.  Also some bouncy bass, everything here is pitched around comfort and awesomeness.  I’m not saying folks shouldn’t like this but it doesn’t work for me.

@@@ Psychedelic Furs: Come All Ye Faithful (Cooking Vinyl, 2020)  I’m checking this track out (I got to it via a music publicist email) because I know the sax player from work I’ve done as an audio engineer.  I remember the singer sounding kinda bombastic and he still is and they’re unapologetically offering up some updated post-classic classic rock for ya earholes.  It’s a midtempo rocker with chopped up guitar sounds and acidic lyrics.  I like the horn playing, I’m agnostic on the guitars and the drums and the lyrics are a small positive for me.  I’m not getting any lasting impression from the track, it goes in both earholes and didn’t land for me.  I like some elements of it.

@@@ Kareem Ali: Night Echoes (890243 Records DK, 2020) Some house dancefloor business that has a bunch of relationship related vocal samples to open it up.  That fades away and and it gets into classic house rhythms with a looped vocal sample which I like but which also drives me a bit nuts at the same time.  I could use a bit more sonic development here, take this out for a bit put something else in for a bit, that sort of thing.  Oy, this vocal sample is making me feel like I’m in a mental hospital.  I stopped listening with 1:45 to go, check it out and if that constant loop at that volume doesn’t make you reach for a rope you’re a more stable person than I!

@@@ Country Westerns: I’m Not Ready (Fat Possum, 2020) I seen this one on the Twatter too!  Described as a garage rock trio, which I get, I do notice the Neil Young style distorted electric guitar sound more than the garage rock.  The singer is an earnest gent with some gravel in his voice.  They rock a classic formula in an uptempo energetic manner.  With the familiar song structure it comes down to the singer and the execution of the playing.  I dig the drummer’s steadiness and the guitar tones while feeling the Replacements style singer.

YTD recordings listened to: 508
Good music, not list worthy: 254
Not good music: 225

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

Music for 6/30/20!!! The Positive Force, Beyonce, Lionmilk, Shy Troy

@@@ The Positive Force: The African in Winter (Jazzman, 2007) I got to this retro funk/spoken word via the reissue site Stranded Records.  Imma on their email list.  The bandcamp page for this release shows a June 4, 2020 release date so this should be a remastered recording.  It’s got a chill funk jazz retro vibe, a bit like Alice Coltrane but not as transcendant as that.  A couple of horns playing in unison and it’s a fully, no wait here’s the spoken word part about an African man freezing his ass off in Detroit.  I’ve heard a fair amount of jazz spoken word and this is a solid specimen — solid groove, nice horn melodies and an austere spoken word section.

@@@ Beyonce: Black Parade (Columbia/Sony, 2020) I saw this on the Twatter.  I’m pretty convinced that Beyonce has cultivated such a cult of personality that she could fart in a microphone for 5 minutes and people would throw their hands up in the air in ecstasy.  Oh Beyonce, what a glorious fucking fart you dropped on us unworthy peasants.  It opens trunk shaking with some nice fat bass, a thick layer of chopped vocal bits and her.  Motherland drip on me, that’s all right.  As the song builds it starts to get more epic and mainstream and Disney sounding which I find unfortunate.  Lyrically Beyonce loves to refer to things while not really defining anything with a big vocal hook.  The melodies are all solid and the bass is my favorite part of the track.  It’s a lot of lyrical fragments and it feels long but I’m a bit prejudiced against her.  If a late Michael Jackson song had a baby with itself and got stick blendered it would sound like this.

@@@ Lionmilk: Break My Legs (leavingrecords, 2020)  I saw this label namechecked on the Twatter.  The twatter be rocking, well in this case it be helping to push electro r&b styles out into the Twatter-sphere.  Falsetto singing, a fairly big stack of woven vocal tracks, a side stick snare sound and pumping keyboard flavors.  Think lofi drippy Prince, I dig it.  It clicked through to the next track which is more dancefloor-y.  I think a murky, trippy flavor unites all the tracks I’ve heard, I’m checking the opener which I’m feeling most of the three I’ve heard to this point.  Nice sounds, funky and organic.

@@@ Shy Troy: Up in Smoke (LW Records, 2020) I saw this Australian musician’s debut single on a Australian music magazine email.  Folks in the USA don’t really believe in rock anymore but it’s still alive in other parts of the world such as Australia.  Here we have an example of literate guitar rock with a mainstream production style.  The vocals are right up close to your ears and there’s a sinuous guitar part that drives the tune.  I’m waiting for the tune to fully rock but sometimes it doesn’t but I’m thinking it might.  I dig there are a lot of words at the same time I don’t have the energy to pay attention to all of them.  I don’t think there’s gonna be a big rock part.  The lyrics consist of a hook saying ‘let’s pretend that I’m cool.’  Okay, you’re cool.

YTD recordings listened to: 500
Good music, not list worthy: 254
Not good music: 223

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

Music for 6/29/20!!! Lilla Vargen, The Mekons, Braids, HAIM

@@@ Lilla Vargen: Cold (Futurekind, 2020) Line of Best Fit listen!  Hold up your umbrella cuz it’s raining drama.  Mad feelings storm!  Ringing piano chords, stacks of background vocals panned hard left/right.  Is she a fool for loving you??  I don’t know the answer to that, but 9 out of 10 nutritionists recommend that folks ease up on the cheese and the sugar especially at the same time.  Light sprinkles of cheese and refined sugar but Ms. Vargen went full cheese/sugar.  Girl yer right, he’s gonna let you down and I want what’s best for you despite the cheesy production going on in this song.  You can partially blame Celine Dion for this arena biscuit ballad, she made mad bank on this flow.

@@@ The Mekons: Exquisite ( , 2020) I saw this legendary punk group’s new record shouted on the Twatter.  Me Likey the Twatter!  These guys are more hyper-artistic than mohawk spiked hair punks and the manner in which they assembled this record is testament to their creativity.  The parts to these tracks were stacked and passed around the interwebz sequentially and then assembled and optimized/mixed.  They’re certainly structured but not in the same way as a band playing in a room.  The sounds are mostly classic rock and the record sounds more than a bit like The Clash with haunted ballads and unison singing.  I like the spirit of these tracks — they’re a bit melancholy, they’re a bit rockin’ and a bit art school.

@@@ Braids: Young Buck (Secret City, 2020) Another Line of Best Fit listen!  It’s a Victoria Secret catalog cover clipped below and they get into some ’80s video game feels combined with feel good vibes.  Cheery vocals, friendly white people drum patterns, but it’s mostly on the singer here and she’s quite waif-y.  It’s the combination of the synth sounds and the vocal stylings that make me a bit underwhelmed but I understand I’m in the minority on this — tons of folks are up for comforting sounds and feeling good.

@@@ HAIM: I Know Alone (Columbia, 2020)  HAIM’s label has been trying to foist this femme trio on the world for a bit now.  I don’t really know where the meta project stands but I haven’t head anything quite pants shitting yet.  But I will peep it and if I have to shit my pants I will jump up and down and shit my pants.  I think these gals have focused more on guitar type stuff but here we have some bedroom indie r&b with a thick layer of vocal harmonies and some somewhat funky sounds.  It’s not bad, it’s not great.  This vibe of sad funk was perfected by Prince so I would check out something like 17 Days or Sometimes it Snows in April.  Feels more like a bite job than a heartfelt expression but that’s partially because I’m skeptical of major label acts and their handlers.

YTD recordings listened to: 496
Good music, not list worthy: 252
Not good music: 221

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