Music for 11/14/16!!! Gentleman’s Dub Club, The Green Kingdom, Lizabett Russo, Tuuletar

@@@ Gentleman’s Dub Club: The Big Smoke (Easy Star Records, 2016). A modern update to roots reggae with loverboy vocals and dub stylings. I got to this record via a music publicist email. They key sonic aspects of this record are the super smooth vocal performances, a modern drum sound and the classic dub delays. This formula hits its high spot on the third tune, clipped below. Oh man, sweet and rootsy as Hell, people. The sentiment is trite but the sounds are ridiculously well done.

@@@ The Green Kingdom: Harbor (Dronarivm, 2016). I got an email from the label about this ambient record. This first tune, Inlet, starts with a pumping, airy synth, with some wooden insect like chatter driving the rhythm, and some guitar strum like sounds off to the side. The second tune, the title track, starts with a slow arpeggio and some environmental sounds with plenty of static. I like super long guitar drones in my ambient msuci but this is a bit too New Age-ish for my tastes.

@@@ Lizabett Russo: Perspective (Self-released, 2016) I have reviewed this independent mostly folk artist (out of Scotland) before and I got another email from the artist and I want to support super indie artists. This tune is sweet with accordion, marimba, and nylon stringed guitar. Russo has a bit of an all over the place vocal style which is unpredictable and endearing. Very nice sounds, check her out.

@@@ Tuuletar: Tules Maas Vedes Taivaal (Bafe’s Factory, 2016) An all female world music vocal group I got to via this week’s WRIR weekly charts email. This first tune features very dramatic vocal harmonies — it’s an angelic clam bake up in heah, you gotta hear this! With a name like Tuuletar, I was thinking they might be Mongolia but it’s a Finnish outfit. There is quite a Nordic element to the tunes as well as some pop, a little electronica, it’s a mash of sounds to go with the massive wall of singing. It’s got a wee bit of New Age up in there so you’ve been warned. That was a bit of a joke about Mongolia.

YTD recordings listened to: 898
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 500
Not good music: 340

Buys: 15
Honorable Mentions: 15

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, Destruction Unit, Graeme Barrett, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Cavanaugh, Gentleman Surfer, Satoko Fuji, Mystic Braves, Divanhana, Unrestrained, Moken, Systema Solar, Brian Eno, Juan Atkins, Drone, Lantern, Twin Peaks, Djelimady Tounkara, Miramar, The Oh Sees, Denny Zeitlin, MILF, Joe Sticky, Unfun, De La Soul, Carl Sagan’s Skate Shoes, Neurosis, Magrudergrind, Solange, Acid Arab, Xylouris White, Vadou Game, Michael Wollny/Vincent Peirani, Bonga

Music for 11/9/16!! Badflower, Lambchop, American Wrestlers

@@@ Badflower: Temper EP (Republic, 2016). Stomping modern rock with classic swagger according to Apple Music. I think it’s more like a well dressed college dude wearing a grilled cheese sandwich impaled on his frat boy pecker wanering around a shopping mall parking lot. These guitra riffs are very familiar, maybe a tad so. Let’s peep more, this is a bit of an ugly dog. Oh no it’s not an ugly dog it’s a perfectly swirled pile of dog crap steaming on a cold winter night. These guys were handpicked by the editors at Apple Music. You guys need some new editors. Maybe get the folks who managed Hillary Clinton’s campaign, they did a bang on job! Who’s the dumpster fire now?

@@@ Lambchop: Flotus (Merge, 2016) Some mainstream indie rock off this week’s All Music notable release email. This first tune has roots in ’70s soul but with a white dude with a phased voice on the mic. This second tune, Directions to the Can, is a piano ballad so I’m digging the title but not the falsetto vocals. I like aspects of this record — I like and don’t like the vocal processing on the record — I don’t think he sings on the record without processing on any of the first four songs I listened to. I’m a big fan of energy, certain kinds of energy. This is mellow laidback energy, which I can get with, just not exactly the way Mr. Lambchop is rocking it here.

@@@ American Wrestlers: Goodbye Terrible Youth (Fat Possum, 2016). Also off this week’s All Music notable release email. We might be looking at a sing a long punk biscuit here — big brusque guitar strums, a little space organ, and then classic indie punk vocal melodies. Let’s DuckDuckGo these fellas. I hope you young kids gravitate to these guys are they’re rocking it for you — a little punky, a little ’80s synth action, a little melancholy, a little rocking. For sad loser Clinton voters (I didn’t vote for either candidate by the way).

YTD recordings listened to: 884
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 493
Not good music: 334

Buys: 15
Honorable Mentions: 14

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, Destruction Unit, Graeme Barrett, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Cavanaugh, Gentleman Surfer, Satoko Fuji, Mystic Braves, Divanhana, Unrestrained, Moken, Systema Solar, Brian Eno, Juan Atkins, Drone, Lantern, Twin Peaks, Djelimady Tounkara, Miramar, The Oh Sees, Denny Zeitlin, MILF, Joe Sticky, Unfun, De La Soul, Carl Sagan’s Skate Shoes, Neurosis, Magrudergrind, Solange, Acid Arab, Xylouris White, Vadou Game, Michael Wollny/Vincent Peirani, Kadhja Bonet, Bonga

10/14/16: Jamie Lidell, MONO, Bushmen’s Revenge

@@@ Jamie Lidell: Building a Beginning (Jamie Lidderdale, 2016). White boy Lidell goes for the Al Green sexy soul crown on this record that I got to via this week’s All Music notable release email. He got a lot of the sounds right on this opening tune, Building a Beginning. The second tune, Julian, moves the clock forward to late ’70s/early ’80s soul with more pop bounce and a Stevie Wonder vibe. I understand why a musician would seek to recreate music that he/she adores but I’m not sure why I would listen to it. I have all the Stevie Wonder/Al Green records.

@@@ MONO: Requiem for Hell (Temporary Residence, 2016) A Steve Albini produced post-rock record I got to via the All Music weekly email. It’s got a dual guitar attack and this first tune Death in Rebirth is going for an epic guitar rock feel. I wish it hit a little harder, maybe it will it’s an 8 minute tune. And when it goes and whips up more noise I still wish it was a bit harder. I’m almost through the second tune and i think the tunes could be cut down or stuffed a bit more but that’s just me.

@@@ Bushman’s Revenge Bushman’s Fire (Rune Gramofone, 2016) An electric jazz (Imma guessing mostly free jazz) record off this week’s All Music notable release email. It consists of three pieces, one twenty minute banger and two twelve minute bangers. The opening tune opens up ambient and minimally squally. These guys are a trio from Norway, drums, bass and guitar and as the first tune moves onward it’s starting to smell like a loose and giant guitar jam. I’m in the second half of the second tune ‘Total Fucking Marmalade’ and it is a combo Phish/late Hendrix jam — energetic but not particularly engaging. This could work as background music at a hipster bar but it’s a stretch after that.

YTD recordings listened to: 811
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 455
Not good music: 303

Buys: 15
Honorable Mentions: 12

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, Destruction Unit, Graeme Barrett, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Cavanaugh, Gentleman Surfer, Satoko Fuji, Mystic Braves, Divanhana, Unrestrained, Moken, Systema Solar, Brian Eno, Juan Atkins, Drone, Lantern, Twin Peaks, Djelimady Tounkara, Miramar, The Oh Sees, Denny Zeitlin, MILF, Joe Sticky, Unfun, De La Soul, Carl Sagan’s Skate Shoes, Neurosis, Magrudergrind, Gorguts, Solange, Acid Arab, Brent Cobb, Xylouris White

9/29/16: Gallant, Common, Vermin Womb, Gwen Stefani & Justin Timberlake

@@@ Gwen Stefani & Justin Timberlake: What You Working With? Two of our society’s greatest white entertainers that have made millions repackaging black music culture for white folks. And it’s on full display with Stefani’s street girl stance and Timberlake’s falsetto loverboy. Complete with fat bass and a non-gangsta beat and it rains dollars and cents from the Micky Mouse crowd. This tune is off a soundtrack for a movie called Trolls and I can think of no more appropriately title to be associated with these two black culture trolls! Trolling for dollars, trolling for credibility, trolling for Disney!

@@@ Gallant: Ology (Warner, 2016) Some alt r&b off the Apple Music Festival page at Apple Music. Lord this Apple Music festival appears to be going forever. This first tune is an early Prince-era loverboy falsetto tune without guitars. The third tune, Shotgun, is an uplifting finger snapper/hand clapper (literally). I like Gallant’s vocals but the synth-centric arrangments make me miss Prince.

@@@ Common (featuring Stevie Wonder): Black America Again ( , 2016). A pretty rough anti-police brutality tune I got to via the Best of the Week section at Apple Music. I’m more than a bit shocked that Stevie Wonder got involved with something like this as he’s been pretty saccharine for a long time. The tune is basically Common on the mic over a straightforward piano chord progression and beats.

@@@ Vermin Womb: Permanence EP (Virgin Womb, 2016). Some truly filthy, crusty ass heavy metal I saw name checked on Invisible Oranges, a big metal blog. Tasty thrash drumming, cavemen on the mic and a punishing guitar grind. This second tune Bitterness is just a multi-colored vomit spray of bad feelings. Excellent work, these guys hold nothing back and leave no ugly stone unturned. Check them out for a quick blast of anti- shiny, happy people bullshit.

YTD recordings listened to: 771
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 435
Not good music: 289

Buys: 15
Honorable Mentions: 12

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, Destruction Unit, Graeme Barrett, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Cavanaugh, Gentleman Surfer, Satoko Fuji, Mystic Braves, Divanhana, Unrestrained, Moken, Systema Solar, Brian Eno, Juan Atkins, Drone, Lantern, Twin Peaks, Djelimady Tounkara, Miramar, The Oh Sees, Denny Zeitlin, MILF, Joe Sticky, Unfun, De La Soul, Carl Sagan’s Skate Shoes, Neurosis

9/25/15: Destruction Unit, Lana Del Ray, EZTV, Basenji

@@@ Destruction Unit: Negative Feedback Resistor (Sacred Bones, 2015). Some ambient electronic off my heavy music weekly email. The first tune Disinfect opens up slow slow with a clicking gear and a pulsing metal sound. Oh my, it segues from that bleak minimalist soundscape into full punk splat. Nice! They got a nice dirty slap and tickle goin on and let’s hope they can keep it up. The singer’s vocals are put through a delay which lends injects psych weirdness into the grind. I don’t usually like the psych punk but the band is muscular and focused and that makes the weirdness just an accent where on some records that’s the crux of the listening. As Kanye would say Imma gonna circle back on this record.

@@@ Lana Del Ray: Honeymoon (Interscope, 2015). Major label hottie Del Ray is back with a new, mopey corporate pop biscuit. I think Del Ray is way overrated, I’ve even seen the g word used. Not Gay, but Genius. When I hear her start in with how unlovable she is, I just hate her. I don’t want to shoot her in the face, but the sad cute girl schtick is super beyond boring. I could give a crap. This first tune, Honeymoon sits and spins like a cute baby with a full diaper of organic baby food shit. I had to skip ahead to the second tune, where there are multiple delayed tracks of Lana talking about music to watch boys by. Jesus, somebody get this young lady a cup of coffee. Plus she sings weird, her enunciation is fat lipped — could be the botox, no? Oh, we’re on the beginning of the third tune after skipping at the halfway point and she’s milking her woes. Earth to boring Del Ray.

@@@ EZTV: Calling Out (Captured Tracks, 2015). A mid-summer release I saw listed on my heavy music email. Oh my, soft as butter guitar indie. Big Alex Chilton-like melodies without the pill popping band working underneath. Also sounds a bit like a Smiths record without the biting Morrissey hate. I’m sure a whole bunch of folks are feeling this record, but I find it too sweet for my taste.

@@@ Basenji: Trackpad (Future Classic, 2015). Off the Beats highlights page it’s gonna be synth-vicious club music with some tweaks. The first tune Dawn features a chill beat with a strange synth popping sound and there’s a lot of it. Dog barks, percussive pops, chopped vocals, pitch shifted word chunklets — it’s quite a sonic scene up in here. But here comes the EDM snare roll and everybody leave it out on the dance floor. The second tune Can’t Get Enough features string plinks, a woman that has been made to sound like a 4 year old and a soprano saxophone. And vocoder! The tune may be called Can’t Get Enough but I think I have had enough.

YTD recordings listened to: 768
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 441
Not good music: 264

Honorable Mentions: 20
Buys: 12

Possibles: Chris McGregor, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Dave Arner Trio, MAKU Soundsystem, Zomby, Retox, About Group, Jessie Mae Hemphill, Bone Dance, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, Debruit, Slidhr, The Whammies, The Chewers, Alexander Hawkins, Toxic Holocaust, Equal Stones, Comeback Kid, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, Spacesuits, T.O.M.B., Fofoulah, Lozen, Erase Errata, Mohamed Abozekry, Dawn Richard, Leo Welch, Mastery, Leviathan, Xibalba, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Ellen Jewell, Akitsa, Richard Thompson, Jeremy Pinnell, Pat Thomas, Janelle Monae, The Alchemist, Luther Dickinson, Andra Day, Frog Eyes, Ruby Amanfu, Madd Again!, Fuck the Facts, Shannon and the Clams, Qwanqwa, Destruction Unit

9/3/15: Ben Rector, Crazy Town, Pins

@@@ Ben Rector: Brand New (Sampler) (Aptly Named Recordings, 2015).  Some uplifting, cheerleading soft butter-y rock I got to via the Beats Highlights page.  The lyrics of this first tune are chock full of tired ass worn, cliches.  I’m gonna dance and I don’t care if people are watching — shit like that with big whoa ho hos underneath that.  I”m gonna give the second tune a chance and then probably flush.  The second tune, The Men That Drive Me Places, is like a stale grilled cheese with way two much cheese oozing out of the bread.  I mean, just fuck me I hate this song.

@@@ Crazy Town: The Brimstone Sluggers (Membran, 2015).  Slotted as alt metal on this week’s All Music weekly it’s really just mainstream pop music with some fuzzy bass and some power chords.  Perfectly manicured for America’s shopping mall.  I can see metalheads busting a what the fuck, yo upon hearing this, this has really nothing to do with heavy metal.  This isn’t really my cup of tea, it’s a cheesy pop biscuit.

@@@ Pins: Dazed by You (Bella Union, 2015).  A single tune from a music publicist email.  Think the Ramones with clean guitars and stacked female harmonies.  Simple, straight ahead vocal melodies over basic guitar and drums.  Speeds up and disintegrates across the finish line.

YTD recordings listened to: 702
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 404
Not good music: 243

Honorable Mentions: 17
Buys: 11

Possibles: Chris McGregor, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Dave Arner Trio, Bill Horist, MAKU Soundsystem, Zomby, Retox, About Group, Jessie Mae Hemphill, Bone Dance, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, Debruit, Slidhr, The Whammies, The Chewers, Alexander Hawkins, Toxic Holocaust, Equal Stones, Comeback Kid, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, Spacesuits, T.O.M.B., Fofoulah, Lozen, Erase Errata, Mohamed Abozekry, Dawn Richard, Leo Welch, Mastery, Leviathan, Xibalba, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Ellen Jewell, Akitsa, Chico Trujillo, Richard Thompson, Jeremy Pinnell, Pat Thomas, Knauti, Janelle Monae, The Alchemist, Luther Dickinson, Andra Day, Frog Eyes, Owiny Sigoma Band, Ruby Amanfu

8/3/15: Albert Hammond Jr, CFCF, K. Flay

@@@ Albert Hammond Jr: Momentary Masters (Vagrant, 2015).  I’ve always found the Strokes to be a mutant creation of the music industry — a slightly above average band made up of rich, white boys that get marketed as geniuses.  So here we have Mr. Hammond’s solo jam and guess what?  I was fuckin right!!  This dude has morphed into Death Cab for Cutie (one Death Cab is enough dammit), and this first tune is shiny, fake meaningful indie pop rock that I wouldn’t wipe my butt with.  Arpeggiated guitar sounds, sensitive male vocals, wistful lyrics, blech blech blech.  And one more bleck.  The second tune brings more of the blue eyed club droppings.  I’m out.

@@@ CFCF: Radiance & Submission (Driftless, 2015)  Some ambient electronic music off the Beats highlights page.  The first tune, In Praise of Shadows opens up with a repeating cloud, layered over with a long slow moving cloud, and then some random voices, topped off with some New Age plinks and droplets.  And now the New Age nylon string guitar and the monster has been fully assembled.  I still have lingering bad feelings over Albert Hammond Jr.’s blech and I don’t want that to spill over into this listen.  Let’s move to the next track and see how that goes.  This second tune, Sculptures of Sand brings on the delayed oscillator synth solo and it’s epic and proggy.  Oh my.  And here comes other elements in addition to solo — a periodic bass pulse with delay that sounds a bit like frogs, an occasional tinkle of chimes and some wind at the end.  I would say that synth solo qualifies as an ill smelling wind, but check it out for yourself.  I feel changed after that demo of keyboard blasting.  The third tune is coming on full New Age and that’s gonna punch my ticket out.

@@@ K. Flay: Life as a Dog (Bummer Picnic, 2015).  In the hip hop section of the CFUV weekly playlist email but it opens up indie.  Maybe it will morph funk or maybe it’s listed in the wrong section.  The second tune brings the hip hop beat and some white girl rhymin’ with sung choruses and some guitars.  It’s all right.

YTD recordings listened to: 602
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 349
Not good music: 207

Honorable Mentions: 15
Buys: 9

Possibles: Chris McGregor, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Dave Arner Trio, Bill Horist, MAKU Soundsystem, Zomby, Retox, About Group, Jessie Mae Hemphill, Bone Dance, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, Debruit, Slidhr, The Whammies, The Chewers, Alexander Hawkins, Toxic Holocaust, Equal Stones, Comeback Kid, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, Spacesuits, T.O.M.B., Fofoulah, Lozen, Erase Errata, Mohamed Abozekry, Dawn Richard, Leo Welch, Mastery, Leviathan, Xibalba, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Ellen Jewell, Akitsa, Chico Trujillo, Richard Thompson, Evan Caminiti, Jeremy Pinnell, Hope Drone, Pat Thomas

Active Music Listening Thursday June 11, 2015

YTD recordings listened to: 450
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 262
Not good music: 152

Honorable Mentions: 13
Buys: 9

Possibles: Chris McGregor, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Dave Arner Trio, Bill Horist, MAKU Soundsystem, Zomby, Retox, About Group, Jessie Mae Hemphill, Bone Dance, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, Debruit, Slidhr, The Whammies, The Chewers, Alexander Hawkins, Toxic Holocaust, Equal Stones, Comeback Kid, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, Spacesuits, T.O.M.B., Fofoulah, Lozen, Erase Errata, Mohammed Abozekry, Dawn Richard, Torche, Leo Welch, Astral Swans, Mastery, Leviathan, Xibalba, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Waters, Ellen Jewell, Akitsa

@@@ Good Morning: A Vessel/Radiovoice (Not sure, 2015). An Australian space rock digital 7″ I got to via a music publicist email. Some cycling electronic spooge, with minimalist guitar strums, live drums, and detached semi-processed vocals. A little bit psych, a little bit space rock. It’s a good blend of humans playing instruments and humans making computer blurps. The second tune goes more ’70s space rock than the first one — it sounds like Pink Flloyd put through a hamburger grinder with a whole lot of reverb spice and downers. And they were pretty down to begin with.

@@@ Keith Urban: John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16 (Keith Urban, 2015). A single on the Beats Highlights page. I find it fascinating when white musicians mix country music with drum machine beats, which I associate with black music. All the while singing about rock ‘n roll. I can’t tell if this is supposed to fill the white people’s undercover need for a bit of funk but are too scared to listen to hip hop or if new country music has been granted a pass where anything can be thrown into their tunes and you call it new country. It’s a pretty sugary sweet biscuit, not necessarily cheesy (but a wee bit) but seems to be trying to make a cultural statement about identity. The song sounds nothing like John Cougar, I have no idea what John Deere tractors or the Bible have to do with it except that these are touchstones of white Midwestern and Southern culture. Weird shit yo.

@@@ Arthur Russell: Corn (Not sure, 2015). Off the Beats Highlights page, how can you not check out a record called Corn? It’s a blend of Devo nerd rock with singer/songwriter elements and rock. He’s got a strange flow on the microphone which I’m all for, but it weirds up an already weird taco. The second tune, the title track Corn opens with an extended low in the mix fiddle solo over a drum machine beat with a drone in the background. This is definitely not popcorn, and not cheese flavored corn, it’s baked corn mixed with Purple Drank.

@@@ Peptalk: Islet (Not sure, 2015). Some out indie electronic from members of Xiu Xiu and Tyondai Braxton’s group. Heavily processed space vocals, synth bass, drum machine percussion/beats. A cheerful soup with wee bits of funk floating in it.

Active Music Listening Friday April 24, 2015

YTD recordings listened to: 315
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 186
Not good music: 103

Honorable Mentions: 9
Buys: 5

Possibles: Chris McGregor, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Dave Arner Trio, Bill Horist, MAKU Soundsystem, Zomby, Retox, About Group, Jessie Mae Hemphill, Bone Dance, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, Debruit, Slidhr, The Whammies, The Chewers, Alexander Hawkins, Toxic Holocaust, Equal Stones, Comeback Kid, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, Spacesuits, T.O.M.B., Fofoulah, Lozen, Erase Errata, Mohammed Abozekry, Dawn Richard, Torche, Leo Welch, Astral Swans, Mastery, Leviathan, Lightning Bolt, Xibalba, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Waters

@@@ Urban Cones: Weekends (Astralwerks, 2015). It’s Friday so a single tune called Weekends off the Beats Highlights. Fuzzy bass, friendly vocals, 1980’s rock drum sound, and an anthem to feeling it on the weekends. It’s not a bad hook but they flog the fuck out of the listener with it — maybe coulda cooked it up a little more.

@@@ Rocky Votalato: Hospital Handshakes (No Sleep Records, 2015). Some mainstream indie I got to via this week’s All Music weekly ‘notable’ releases. Votalato has a serious voice and he sings over a pretty straight rock rhythm section. He’s not sad, but he’s pretty serious. He busts out the electric guitar in the tune clipped below.

@@@ Tribulation: The Children of the Night (Century Media, 2015). Some Swedish metal off the Beats Highlights page. After a somber orchestral intro it’s into a hard rock tune with a goblin singer. It’s more of an epic hard rock/classic metal sound than a full post-apocalyptic meltdown metal ringer. Big shred on the second tune Melancholia and the third tune is full old school guitar ka-chunk.

@@@ Brand New: Mene (Procrastinate! Music Traitors, 2015). A rockin’ single track off the Beats Highlights page. It’s a raver, uptempo as fuck with full rock drumming and a wall of slightly alt-country guitar splatter. I liked it.

Active Music Listening Monday April 20, 2015

YTD recordings listened to: 299
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 176
Not good music: 98

Honorable Mentions: 9
Buys: 5

Possibles: Chris McGregor, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Dave Arner Trio, Bill Horist, MAKU Soundsystem, Zomby, Retox, About Group, Jessie Mae Hemphill, Bone Dance, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, Debruit, Slidhr, The Whammies, The Chewers, Alexander Hawkins, Toxic Holocaust, Equal Stones, Comeback Kid, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, Spacesuits, T.O.M.B., Fofoulah, Lozen, Erase Errata, Mohammed Abozekry, Dawn Richard, Torche, Leo Welch, Astral Swans, Mastery, Leviathan, Lightning Bolt, Xibalba, Hartley C. White, Weed, Khaira Arby

@@@ The Sandwitches: Play It Again Dick (Empty Cellar, 2015). I got to this record via a music publicist email. I thought it was going to some tongue in cheek innuendo tune from this all female outfit, but it’s an ambient dirge. I little bit of alt-country, a bit of ringing psych and some indie. I like the slowness and sloppiness of this record and I will listen to more of these guys when their last record comes out this summer. This may be one of the only times I’ve ever responded positively to a music publicist email tune. Quite shocking.

@@@ Timothy McAllister — Zae Munn: They were Mysterious Guests (Parma, 2015). An ensemble new classical recording featuring McAllister on saxophone playing chamber works by Zae Munn. McAllister’s tone is both sharp and warm and his playing is very interesting. I’m used to hearing the wailing of free jazz sax so it takes a bit of time getting used to the more restrained manner of McAllister.

@@@ Hutch and Kathy: Brilliance (Not sure, 2015). If Bob Dylan had a gay love baby with Death Cab for Cutie, that kid would make a tune like this. Big friendly and hook-y vocal melodies over a rootsy mostly old school rock arrangement including harmonica. Harmonica from hipsters! Music publicist email!

@@@ Bill Gable: No Straight Lines (Bill Gable, 2015). An adult alternative/singer songwriter release with world music influences. Gable’s voice is straight ahead and he’s an above average guitar player. Instrumentation includes percussion, acoustic guitar, upright bass, and piano. Songs are feelings based.