Music for 2/23/18!!! Janelle Monae, Flatbush Zombies, Logic

@@@ Janelle Monae: Make Me Feel (Bad Boy/WEA, 2018)  A pre-release single off the Apple Music hot tracks section.  I loved Janelle Monae’s single about police shootings and she’s getting a lot of press for her bisexuality.  I don’t really care what she does with her va-jay-jay or any other va-jay-jay but I do think she owes Prince’s estate for biting it hard.  His influence is all over this track — the guitar from Kiss, in the phrasing of some of the lyrics and the synth player definitely owns 1999.  I love funky music and I think I know the difference between an homage and a bite and to me this sounds like a bite that leaves teeth marks.  Stick with Hell You Tambout (posted below.)

@@@ Flatbush Zombies: Headstone (Glorious Dead, 2018)  Another pre-release black music single off the Apple Music hot tracks section.  The cover of this tune would lead you to believe this would he some hippie influenced hip hop but I don’t think that’s the case.  I dig the stick sound on the beat but the vocal hook is kinda week — here lies a n**** getting paper.  I’m a bit confused as to what that means.  I tipped out after the line ‘I smell pussy, let me count my guns.’  That sounds like some Trump ass shit, life’s too short.

@@@ Logic: 44 More (Def Jam/UMG, 2018) We’re gonna stick with the mainstream black music today.  Super Red Bulled rhyming on this track with standard themes — making a lot of money, excelling this rhyming game, and general outstandingness.  Duder is so worked up I can barely keep up.  I hear he’s blowing up like C4!  While the rhymes are super spat the music is pretty standard — skitter and fat ass, my two favorite super heroes.  Clicky hi hats and wide wide bass with some eerie synth kinda horror movie-ish holding it together.  I appreciate the energy but I prefer J.I.D.’s funky Never in a heartbeat.

YTD recordings listened to: 105
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 56
Not good music: 45

Best: 1 Continue reading

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Music for 2/21/18!!! Freak Heat Waves, Milk & Bone, Bashavel

@@@ Freak Heat Waves: Self-Vortex (Telephone Explosion, 2018)  A little psych, a little goth and a little indie on this single that I got to via the CFUV weekly playlist email.  The singer is lower register and mashed up with various effects over some rhythmic synth playing, standard indie guitar work and a straight rock beat.  It’s all right.  It’s the same sort of vocal schtick that the Butthole Surfers singer used to rock — grating, weird.

@@@ Milk & Bone: Deception Bay (Bonsound, 2018)  Slotted as pop on the Apple Music but sporting pretty heavy trip hop sounds the opening track is all right.  With these beats this is closer to new style r&b than pop.  The female singer goes for the lush, sensual sound but it’s not overdone and it’s presented in a minimal arrangement.  I don’t usually like this genre/style but the arrangements here are very tasteful.

@@@ Bashavel: Hoorhay (Hudobny fond, 2018)  Some straight-isa jazz I got to via this week’s London Jazz blog.  Instrumentation is violin, piano, bass and drums.  All the songs are in sport some sort of Eastern European language titles and I hear a bit of Balkan at points in the recording.  They get into some fairly different playing in the last third of this tune which I’m having a helluva time finding a tidbit for my ardent fans.  Ahem.  There is an instrument that came in during that last third of the opening track — it sounds kind of plucked and stringed but I’m not sure what it is as I can’t find shit on these musicians.  For straight jazz, which is far from my favorite bag, this is high energy with some interesting passage.  It is available on the Apple Music so probably on the other streaming ripoff stores, I mean streaming stores.  Come and get your 4/10ths of a penny!!!  And don’t bitch about it either.

YTD recordings listened to: 98
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 54
Not good music: 40

Best: 1
Honorable Mentions: 2

Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, 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, Gentleman Surfer, 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, Magrudergrind, A Tribe Called Quest, Noname, Gouge Away, Klara Lewis, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, J.I.D., 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, Irreversible Entanglements, Converge, Open Mike Eagle, Criolo, Billy Strings, Guy One

Music for 2/20/18!!! Various Artists, Kate Teague, Haley Heynderyckx, Meggie Brown

@@@ Various Artists: We Out Here (Brownswood, 2017). I was reading a profile of the owner of the Brownswood label in the Guardian here and this compilation he put out is mentioned in the article.  After an ceremonial introductory piece the second piece gets into some fusion sounds with club rhythmic energy.  Funkier than the usual fusion business for sure.  The compilation is overseen by the musician whose video I’ve clipped below.  I’ve checked out four of the tunes and I think there could be a better balance of jazz and club sounds.  More jazz harmonies and adventurous playing but that’s just my dumbass opinion.

@@@ Kate Teague: Low Life (Goldflake Paint, 2018). A pre release single I got to via a twat from a hipster undercover PR twatter.  It’s a slow burner with plenty of r&b threads — when it first came on I thought it was much like Isaac Hayes’ By the Time I get to Phoenix.  I don’t like Teague’s singing — it’s languorous and sorta tiresome.  Also there’s just too much reverb on her voice so when she goes big it’s just a massive cloud of female singing.  I love female singing but I don’t need massive clouds of it.  Kinda disappointing as a lot of indie music is.

@@@ Haley Heynderyckx: Worth It (Mama Bird, 2018). A single off this week’s tracks of the week at Line of Best Fit.  I know, motherfuckers lose their shit when I hit this list.  This tune is mournful with a clean electric guitar.   It’s not country lonesome, it’s that mopey indie sound I just love (to hate).  There’s some basic drums that come in and out — wait a minute they’ve just hit the half decaf/half caf rock vibe.  This is all the Velvet Underground’s fault, this smacked out slack shit is considered to be so arty and I find it boring.  Very boring.  I would rather watch dogs fuck or paint dry.  Or I would rather watch Donald Trump pee on hookers.  Okay, maybe I’m being a bit harsh but c’mon already.

@@@ Meggie Brown: Come Back Again (Self released, 2018) Also off the Line of Best fit’s best tracks of the week.  More indie music yeah jump up and down, but this time with a bass guitar and some more urgency.  And weirdness.  It’s got a little math rock in it as well as a dash of PJ Harvey female antisocial feeling to it.

YTD recordings listened to: 94
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 52
Not good music: 39

Best: 1
Honorable Mentions: 2

Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, 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, Gentleman Surfer, 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, Magrudergrind, A Tribe Called Quest, Noname, Gouge Away, Klara Lewis, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, J.I.D., 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, Irreversible Entanglements, Converge, Open Mike Eagle, Criolo, Billy Strings, Guy One

Music for 2/19/18!!! Djeneba & Fousco, Wave Break, Barren Womb, Candy Ambulance

@@@ Djeneba & Fousco | Kayeba Khasso (Lusafrica, 2017) I can only hear a pre-release single on the Apple Music so I can’t make much of a statement about the record but this tune is pretty sparse with a melancholy vocal melody sung by a man and a woman.  It’s pretty epic with some other stringed instruments but not a drummer.  Oops, I’m an idiot, here’s some hand percussion and they’re singing in a full instrumental environment.  Beautiful singing and sounds, it’s not my favorite style of African music but listen for yourself.  I got to this record via the WRIR weekly playlist email.

@@@ Wave Break: Plaster City (Self-released, 2018)  I’ve been listening from the bottom of this post to the top so this is another female fronted rock band.  This is more an emo kind of vibe to the tune with more pushing by the band and more melody from the singer.  I think the lyrics are meant to be listened to but I’m not doing that.  It’s aspires to be a meaningful tune which is fine but it’s not meaningful to me and check for yourself you might love it.  I got to it via the blog Indiepulse

@@@ Barren Womb: Old Money/New Lows (Spartan, 2018)  A Norwegian noise rock outfit that I got to via the blog Indiepulse.  The first tune has a shouting singer over heavy guitar riffs and thick tom drumming.  I wouldn’t put these guys in the noise rock slot, it’s more of a punk rock musical base with a over caffeinated irritated preacher on the microphone.  If you’re looking for some heavy riffage without the societal disapproval of listening to a metal record these guys will hook you up.

@@@ Candy Ambulance: Spray (Candy Spray, 2018)  A self-released female fronted hard rocking outfit.  The singer sounds like she’s almost about to lose it and it’s done over a lot of rock guitars and a pretty straight rock drummer.  The second tune takes it down a notch and they move easily between rock and more manic punk flavors.  It’s a pretty tight outfit and the first tune is my favorite.  The first tune is clipped below.  I got to this record via a music publicist.

YTD recordings listened to: 94
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 52
Not good music: 39

Best: 1
Honorable Mentions: 2

Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, 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, Gentleman Surfer, 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, Magrudergrind, A Tribe Called Quest, Noname, Gouge Away, Klara Lewis, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, J.I.D., 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, Irreversible Entanglements, Converge, Open Mike Eagle, Criolo, Billy Strings, Guy One

Music for 2/16/18!!! David Byrne, Courtney Marie Andrews, 6lack, Frank Ocean

@@@ David Byrne: This is That (Todomundo/Nonesuch, 2018) A pre-release single from the former singer of the Talking Heads. How did I get here? This is not my beautiful house! Is this a beautiful tune? This is not standard David Byrne world music inflected NPR thought rock. He’s got sounds going here from Oneontrix Point Never and they’re pretty nice. Certainly darker than usual Byrne fair. It’s an all right tune that I dig less when the piano comes in. Everybody is up on the meaningful piano chords these days — it’s a signifier to be denounced. There is the problem of Byrne’s lyrics which are prismatic and you can take them as high end word salad or very meaningful. I lean more towards the word salad side of things. If you want to hear more of Oneontrix’s music feel free to check out his work in the movie Good Time, which is a pretty rough watch (lots of violence and squalid human behavior) but his music is perfect for that flick and the flick is balls out.

@@@ Courtney Marie Andrews: Kindness of Strangers (Fat Possum Records, 2018) If Tom Petty and Bob Dylan had a love baby and formed a band and that band was fronted by Emmylou Harris it would sound a whole lot like this. I got this tune via the Twatter and it’s better than the usual crumbs left on Twatter. I like her voice and her performance a whole bunch and I could use some more distinctive playing behind her as it would help her to carry the load. The arrangement is pretty much FM mid ’70s classic rock with some organ. The lyrics are also a tad trite.

@@@ 6lack: Cutting Ties (Interscope, 2017) I was and am pretty into 6lack’s debut record. The combination of murky arrangements and his slightly nasal vocals works for me. I caught this single on Apple Music and on this single he maintains his sound but really does a whole lot more singing in this track. Almost loverboy but just a slightly baked loverboy. I’m feeling like this is a track for the ladies and he does a really good job with the vocals.

@@@ Frank Ocean: Moon River (Blonded, 2018) Frank Ocean has some of the most devoted fans going. This tune is over a million views on the GooglePimp in over a day. Though I don’t see Ocean as a genius he is a plastic figure that moves and evolves in his sounds at an accelerated pace. He does mopey shit, that’s his specialty but this cover track definitely brings in the black church sound and it’s interesting to see a younger musician pull that string. Multi-tracked, quasi-spiritual vocal harmonies over very sparse electric guitar and small bass presence. It’s an interesting choice to throw the Frank Ocean sauce on, I imagine most kids have not heard or give a flying fuck about this old tune. He throws a little electronic garnish at the end and he successfully makes the tune his own.

YTD recordings listened to: 90
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 50
Not good music: 37

Best: 1
Honorable Mentions: 1

Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, 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, Gentleman Surfer, 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, Magrudergrind, A Tribe Called Quest, Noname, Gouge Away, Klara Lewis, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, J.I.D., 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, Benjamin Booker, Irreversible Entanglements, Converge, Open Mike Eagle, Criolo, Billy Strings, Guy One

Music for 2/14/18!!! Klee Magor/Jeru the Damaja, Mary’s flower Superhead, Shame, Frenship

@@@ Klee Magor & Jeru the Damaja: The Beast ( , 2018) A r&b/jazz fusion inflected hip hop single I got to via an email from a hip hop publicist. The vocal hook repeats ‘from the North to the South to the East, never give in to the beast’ — it appears to be a track about the evil of men but I can’t tell if it celebrates that evil or bemoans. I like the horn line the best. The beat is simple and sits just right for the arrangement. It’s a concious tune with a slinky feel.

@@@ Mary’s flower Superhead: The Fall (Inner Ear, 2018) Post punk/post rock from Greece that I got to via the label. The singer is nestled in the guitar arrangement in a dreamy laidback way which evokes shoegaze but it is not as stormy as the classic shoegaze. It is firmly uptempo while still sporting the chill singer with very nice sounds on the track. This is for the glum rockers out there.

@@@ Shame: Songs of Praise (Dead Oceans, 2018) I got to this Brit rock record via the Line of Best Fit record of the week. How much does that cost again? I kid, I kid. This opens up fairly grindy and rockin’, certainly no Coldplay records in this band’s collection. It gets less rough and more tuneful in the second and third tunes and I kinda lose interest after the spoken word over band fourth tune. If it straight rocked from the git go I would be a fan — nice guitar sounds, a Clash evoking singer but it gets a tad bogged down.

@@@ Frenship: Love Somebody (Sony, 2018) I got to this major label feel good electronica/Brit rock track via the Line of Best Fit tracks of the week. Oh boy. Me and my crew have been watching the Great British Bake Off and you would see this singer fucking up some merengue cookies on that show. Highbrow looking down. Get up and get out and love somebody, puh-lease that’s what you got. There is pop music and then there’s cloying cheese pies and this falls in the latter camp.

YTD recordings listened to: 82
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 45
Not good music: 34

Best: 1
Honorable Mentions: 1

Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, 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, Gentleman Surfer, 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, Magrudergrind, A Tribe Called Quest, Noname, Gouge Away, Klara Lewis, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, J.I.D., 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, Benjamin Booker, Irreversible Entanglements, Converge, Open Mike Eagle, Criolo, Billy Strings, Guy One

Music for 2/13/18!!! Guy One, Calvin Harris, Tiavara

@@@ Guy One: #1 (Philophon, 2018) I got to this record via the WRIR weekly playlist email. It’s out on an African label out of Berlin and the musician is from the Ghana/Benin area. After a more traditional acoustic number it gets into some high energy full ensemble funk in the second tune Bengere Tomme. It’s got a pretty manic guitar part that drives this tune hard with some electronic garnish. Thus far I hear strands of Afrobeat but there is plenty of other weirdness for listeners to groove on. That might be a kora and not a guitar, by the way. I really like what I hear thus far, most notably the arrangements of the tunes — funky and unexpected. The singing is very good but it’s the sounds that set it apart. I will be swinging back on this record when I have the time but it sounds like it will end up on my year end list.

@@@ Calvin Harris: Nuh Ready Nuh Ready (Sony, 2018) Calvin Harris continues his appropriation of black music forms with a dancehall influenced banger and an island accented toaster/singer. Talk about a motherfucker that puts his finger in the air and then bites it hard. Super hard. Super slick production but underneath it has a wooden fakeness that belies Calvin’s copycat soul. Looking at Drake and Bieber and how they’ve gone to the bank Mr. Harris has moved from his funk thieving to Caribbean heisting. #CorporateTurdery.

@@@ Tiavara: When Silence Reigns (KC/RC, 2018) I got to this Russian metal band single from a publicist email. The singer does his thing in English and he sounds a bit like a college professor — somber and dramatical to be sure. It’s a dual guitar classic metal shredshow with a hard rock drum sound. It’s not really my thing as far as metal goes but listen for yourself.

YTD recordings listened to: 78
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 43
Not good music: 32

Best: 1
Honorable Mentions: 1

Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, 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, Gentleman Surfer, 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, Magrudergrind, A Tribe Called Quest, Noname, Gouge Away, Klara Lewis, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, J.I.D., 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, Benjamin Booker, Irreversible Entanglements, Converge, Open Mike Eagle, Criolo, Billy Strings, Guy One