Music for 6/14/19!!! Tim Hecker, Taylor Swift, Duncan Fellows

@@@ Tim Hecker: Anoyo (Kranky, 2019) Hecker’s last record Konoyo made my best of 2018 list so he automatically gains a peep due to that. A high string sample harp sounding sits at the center of the piece with a lot of ambience floating behind it as well as some very tight bass pulsing at moments. Also occasional glitch hits which I love. This first tune is 9+ minutes long and really goes for an outer space vibe. I believe I really grooved on the darkness of his last record and the goal here is for something that is both dark and light. The second tune brings in some percussion and it sounds like it’s being played by a human which really changes the feel of the track. As the third track is titled ‘Step Away from Konoyo’ it clearly aspires to step away from the previous record in spirit. This is more a space journey than a dark thing.

@@@ Taylor Swift: You Need to Calm Down (Taylor Swift, 2019) Ah Taylor’s supposedly meaningful conquest of the pop charts continues with this second pre-release single. I thought the verse is all right but the cornucopia of Taylor background vocals is a cheesy comet streaking across the the sky. So many of Swift’s songs are about this topic, man what a snowflake. If shade never made anybody less gay, that line contradicts the first few lines of the tune. How canny and sophisticated to take a personal theme and blow it out to all these girls are hip to your tricks, blah blah blah, a wee bit tiresome. I like the arrangement, it’s solid pop and makes sense. Some of the arrangements on her last record were confused and painful.

@@@ Duncan Fellows: Cursive Tattoo (Level, 2019) Super energetic indie guitar pop punk that I got to via a music publicist email. It’s got elements of classic rock at points including a piano part and a roots rock kinda thing so it’s a mash of Strokes like business smashed into something like the Band. I like the energy of the track and the singer is comfortable behind the mic but it spills a bit all over the place without the greatest focus.

YTD recordings listened to: 302
Good music, not list worthy: 179
Not good music: 105

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, Horndal, Wyxz, Tarek Atoui, Hawktail, Saicobab, Shannon and the Clams, General Purv, Shipping News, Big Thief

Music for 6/13/19!!! Laraaji, Big Thief, Madonna

@@@ Laraaji: Day of Radiance (Virgin, 1980) I saw this ambient record from way back in the day mentioned on the Flavorpill weekly email so I thought I would throw it a peep. Knowing nothing about this artist I see on Apple Music that the phrase ‘produced by Brian Eno’ has been put on the record cover to lend authenticity to this music, which Eno’s name does indeed do. The first piece is a 7 minute banger that opens with an extended harpsichord sounding instrument. I see from his other record covers that he plays a hammered ducimer sort of thing, not too far from a harpsichord but not as plinky. It’s pretty minimalist and possibly a tad too minimalist. Let’s peep another track. It’s similar — pretty metallic arpeggios with a wee bit of garnish. I like it without loving it.

@@@ Big Thief: UFOF (4AD, 2018) I got to this mope indie record via an old ass CFUV weekly email from last year and shit. I usually hate this formula but I’m feeling this opening track. It’s got a lot of arpeggiated indie style guitar but it’s also pretty stripped and does the feeling of desolation really well. I like the title track below but I think I liked the opener better. I couldn’t find a GooglePimp video for ya earholes but I tried you slack fucks. The third track gets slightly rootsier in style and not quite as bedroom indie and I dig that subtle shift in production sound. I’m not jumping up and down over this record as I’m not the hugest indie guy but this album is really well performed and produced.

@@@ Madonna: Dark Beret (Sire, 2019) There’s been a lot of press around Madonna’s latest work and she totally went off on the New York Times after she said they raped her. This track is starting out ballad-y and I’m getting that feeling that I’m being served a word salad. It’s trying to say something deep but I don’t usually turn to super famous Madonna for deep shit. I would put the piano tracks a couple notches above Liberace, but I do like the beats. As for Madonna’s voice, well my problem here is with the lyrics. Plus she accuses the world of being obsessed with fame. Is Madonna the right person to hit that nail on the head. There is a huge Queen flavored Bohemian rhapsody sorta classical middle section with Madonna coming in with all sorta nonsense. Oh man, this is loose, too loose and jumping all the fuck over the place. Chicken wings, barbells, and clogged septic systems. She comes back to the beginning thing and I’m just horrified at the 4 minutes I spent peeping this biscuit!

YTD recordings listened to: 299
Good music, not list worthy: 177
Not good music: 104

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, Horndal, Wyxz, Tarek Atoui, Hawktail, Saicobab, Shannon and the Clams, General Purv, Shipping News, Big Thief

Music for 6/11/19!!! Lust for Youth, Plaid, Pelican

@@@ Lust For Youth: Lust For Youth (Sacred Bones, 2019) Off this week’s All Music notable release email. All Music has this slotted as post punk revival and Apple Music has it as Indie pop and Apple Music has it right. Unfortunately. Deeply rooted in ’80s synth rock it does have guitars (some) and drums (electronic but maybe not on all the tracks) and an ’80s type of singer. Oh boy, not really my cup of synths. Don’t like the sounds and not my type of singer. Probably fantastic people but I’m not up for this.

@@@ Plaid: Polymer (Warp, 2019) Also off this week’s All Music notable release email. The first tune, Meds Fade, contains a straight drum machine beat and a lot of chopped and glitched side business. Some aaaahhhh vocals, it’s a bit of an odd duck overall. A little dancefloor banger, a little abstract, and even a little bit rock ‘n roll. Kids today. The second tune, Los, gets into the video game pong synths but then puts a slightly off kilter groove under that and it’s off to the arcade! The weird ass arcade where the pizza eats the Italian guy chasing it. It’s pleasantly losing its structure and becoming more chaotic. Maybe not losing its structure but sounding more crowded and chaotic. I like the ripping drum sample on the third tune, Maru, best of what I heard.

@@@ Pelican: Night Time Stories (Southern Lord, 2019) Doom metal off this week’s All Music notable release email. The record opens up with a pretty acoustic guitar and a distorted bass and no drums. Ah, there’s the crush right there but it’s a very polite crush — I want a hammerlock! I’ve been clear that I don’t like prog swirled up in my heavy metal. The second tune Midnight and Mescaline comes out rocking, more hard rock than the suffocating heavy metal we all know and love. I’ve checked these guys before and I have re-concluded that they are a heavy band for people who don’t like heavy metal.

YTD recordings listened to: 294
Good music, not list worthy: 174
Not good music: 103

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, Horndal, Wyxz, Tarek Atoui, Hawktail, Saicobab, Shannon and the Clams, General Purv, Shipping News

Music for 6/10/19!!! Chris Brown, French Vanilla, Santana

@@@ Chris Brown (featuring Drake): No Guidance (RCA, 2019) #1 up on the Apple Music hot tracks section. It’s shocking to see Drake with the time to drop some of his custom rhymes after all his time courtside at the Raptors’ games and his post game Twatter trolling like he’s a coach or a player or some such shit. This is a hardcore love song and Chris Brown brings the vocal energy at a level three Drakes couldn’t scrape together. The arrangement is a swirl of synths — swirling and percolating, not without melody but slow and those sounds darken the track. Which seems appropriate for a known abuser of women.

@@@ French Vanilla: How Am I Not Myself (Danger Collective, 2019) Ska infused dance punk I got to via this week’s All Music notable release email. I like the female singer here and she and the band bring a Devo flavored spiky weirdness to their tunes. Big energy, occasional dance beats and a horn section these guys have an interesting party going on.

@@@ Santana: Africa Speaks (Concord, 2019) Old school hippie guitar hero Santana has a new record out that I got to via this week’s All Music notable release email. After a spoken word opening about Africa being the cradle of civilization Santana’s huge guitar tone and shredding begins. I like it, it’s a bit like a children’s book, but I like Santana though subtlety is not his strength. Lots percussion (good), lots of Carlos shredding (good) and lots of vocals (not as good). High energy classic rock/world music.

YTD recordings listened to: 291
Good music, not list worthy: 172
Not good music: 102

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, Horndal, Wyxz, Tarek Atoui, Hawktail, Saicobab, Shannon and the Clams, General Purv, Shipping News

Music for 6/7/19!!! Palm Springsteen, Future, Kishi Bashi

@@@ Palm Springsteen: Sister Sister (TAG, 2019) Oh no, marketed in a music publicist email as this generation’s LCD Soundsystem! Who needs that? The tune opens up quite briskly with a half/half split between rock guitar and synth actions. Rocking the mellow verse and the explosive chorus as thousands who have gone before. It’s riding a fine line between a lot of energy and cheesy dance synth action. Much like Nine Inch Nails but not nearly as dark. Better than I thought it would be.

@@@ Future: Government Official (Epic/Sony, 2019) #1 track up on the Apple Music hot tracks. It’s unclear what he’s talking about as he’s got a loose spilled vibe to his rapping. There’s a lot of international locations mentioned which could be international drug dealing as I guess Future has tendencies in that direction. There’s also a repeated mention of getting her spurt spurt on her shirt shirt. Hmmm…. I like the beats, trap business — nice and gritty and thick, super compressed bass over which he kinda rambles on regarding his issues and his business.

@@@ Kishi Bashi: Omoiyari (Joyful Noise, 2019) Some super indie-fied folk indie rock with sweet, slightly melancholic vocals that I got to via last week’s All Music notable release email. This is a soundtrack for a documentary about the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II so it’s part of a serious piece of history. The spirit of the music is nowhere near the darkness associated with that classic move by F. Delano Roosevelt. It’s actually quite happy and uplifting music which I find odd, but it’s not my thing. I impressed by the arrangement of the third tune, Marigolds. As regular readers know indie rock is not my favorite genre but this is a high quality specimen of that genre. They’ve done a wise thing by keeping the production style straightforward and not going out of the way to overly prettify the prettiness because that would be too sickly sweet.

YTD recordings listened to: 288
Good music, not list worthy: 170
Not good music: 101

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, Horndal, Wyxz, Tarek Atoui, Hawktail, Saicobab, Shannon and the Clams, General Purv, Shipping News

Music for 6/2/19!!! Xinobi, Buffalo Blanco

@@@ Xinobi: Piano lessons (Discotexas, 2019) I saw this artist on a gig poster that was posted up on the Twatter. I love the Twatter. Opens up four on the floor with a piano vamp and what I would call a whipping type sample. You will know what I mean if you peep the track. The piano part is the lead melodic instrument and it’s a bit of a simple melody. I could use more energy or something a tad more dissonant and rougher fitting. About halfway through the piano recedes, well no a synth is added (as well as a synthesized/processed vocal and at its peak its a pumping piano/synth/vocal dancefloor banger. I’ve come to realize that the reason I like guitar in these types of tracks because they lend an organic roughness to the superstructured rhythms. I like it but it’s too smooth and too predictable for me.

@@@ Buffalo Blanco: Anos Viejos (Atlas 32, 2017) On the same Twatter posted gig poster. The first tune is super melodic almost proggy track but it’s got solid non-nerd energy. Lyrics in Spanish it does straddle Death Cab for Cutie and old ass prog music. This is not some dumbass frat brother rock, these guys are aspirational with an epic vibe to the compositions and the sounds they chose. They are neither full rocking nor full soft serve ice cream. I like it. A few synths here and there but mostly guitars and sophisticated vocal arrangements.

YTD recordings listened to: 274
Good music, not list worthy: 161
Not good music: 95

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, Horndal, Wyxz, Tarek Atoui, Hawktail, Saicobab, Shannon and the Clams, General Purv, Shipping News

Music for 5/30/19! Erlend Apneseth, Trophy Wives, Lower Dens

@@@ Erlend Apneseth Trio: Undergrunn (Hubro, 2019) I saw this folk/jazz recording mentioned up on the Twatter by the jazz blogger Bird is the Worm. I could not find this record on Apple Music but significant chunks of it are on Soundcloud. The cloud of sound. Apneseth is Scandinavian and he’s an ‘award winning hardingfele player.’ The hardingfele sounds like a violin/fiddle type instrument and the playing in this tune has South Asian feels to it. A little Scottish, a little South Indian classical though as the tune moves it recedes back into a decidedly Westering thing. I believe I hear a kit drummer and a hand percussionist or maybe they’ve been consolidated into one musician but the tune builds and then recedes on its way out. A mash of slightly New Age world music and some jazz/improv.

@@@ Trophy Wives: Old Scratch (Latest Flame Records, 2011) A continued look at 50 records out of Louisville Kentucky in the last decade. Fantastic idea for a record list in my opinion. It opens up with tune Taste of Your Medicine (clipped below) an energetic power pop punk anthem with great energy. Great drumming. Very Foo-ey but I enjoy the singing here and the tunes are a bit more splashy and interesting than typical buckets of Foo. I like it, I don’t think I need to put it on my iPod but it may work for you more rock-centric listeners.

@@@ Lower Dens: Young Republicans (Ribbon Music, 2019) A pre-release single I got to via a music publicist email. It’s an ’80s electro rock track with gated snare sounds, vintage synth sounds presented as video game bloops, shiny arpeggios and some slow moving clouds. The singer is about the consumption of the lower class by the young Republicans. Musically, it’s a classic rock mellow in the verse/exploding chorus we’ve heard a million times before. It’s a classic for a reason. I’m sensing the tune may more be about climate change as the phrase ‘the world is burning’ surfaces repeatedly.

YTD recordings listened to: 272
Good music, not list worthy: 159
Not good music: 95

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, Horndal, Wyxz, Tarek Atoui, Hawktail, Saicobab, Shannon and the Clams, General Purv, Shipping News