Music for 2/22/19!!! Ladytron, Yann Tiersen, Maren Morris

@@@ Ladytron: Ladytron (Ladytron Recordings, 2019) Some mainstream electronic pop rock I got to via last week’s All Music notable release email. The opener, Until the Fire, is a rocker while the second tune (clipped below!) is a midtempo ballad. The singer is meaningful and the lyrics impart a futuristic and artistic intention. The sounds are updated ’80s synth pop rock sounds. This isn’t really for folks like me. I’m not really sure who this is for — maybe thirteen old fantasy fiction loving tweens. As music outside of its intended demographic it’s pretty overwrought drama pop but folks love that. I don’t want to get all judgy and shit.

@@@ Yann Tiersen: All (Mute, 2019) If it’s on Mute it’s gonna be aspirationally sophisticated music. It opens up with the sounds of children playing and some New Age piano with electronic garnish. Lord help us all for we need tough jackets to withstand all the cheese that rains down over us. I couldn’t get to the meat of the song, it was really too much for my fragile sensibilities. The second tune, Koad, keeps the piano, switches the children for bird chirps, and then introduces a multitracked female ‘choir’ with lots of ooo-ooo-ooo-oohs. It’s comforting the way a 2X4 to the back of the head is comforting. I’m on the third tune and Tiersen kept the bird chirps from the second track. I hope those birds get their royalties. I think I hear a harmonium which signifies spirituality. I can’t take it anymore, I’m out like bell bottom jeans. I hope this wasn’t aspirationally sophisticated music because if it was it did not succeed, this is undercover New Age cheese.

@@@ Maren Morris: The Bones (N/A, 2019) This tune occupies the #1 slot on Apple Music hot tracks. It uses the metaphor of ‘the bones’ of a house where the visuals may be frayed but the foundation is strong. The tune uses too sonic signifiers that I loather — first off the excessive use of finger snaps and the breathy, I’m about to cream my panties singing style that has infected modern pop. It is accompanied by a simple, clean electric guitar figure. I believe this qualifies as today’s country music — it’s not country music except in peripheral ways but it retains the earnest feelings country music goes for.

YTD recordings listened to: 104
Good music, not list worthy: 59
Not good music: 40

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, A Tribe Called Quest, 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, Converge, 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

Music for 2/4/19!!! Claude Fontaine, Liquid Saloon

@@@ CLAUDE FONTAINE: Cry For Another [Single] (Innovative Leisure, 2019) A roots reggae with a dreamy female singer. I got to this via the weekly WRIR playlist email. I assume her to be an indie type of gal but I’m not sure of that.

Record cover snippet:

claudefontaine

It’s a creative idea to mix these two sounds that don’t usually get mixed and I like it all right. There’s plenty of room for sweet vocalists in reggae and there have been many in records I’ve heard. The band mix sounds a bit weird to my ears — it sounds a bit far away, bassy, and phase-y and I think it might hit me harder if the mix was stronger.

@@@ LIQUID SALOON | “Gueta” [Single] | Raw Tapes A pre-release track from an Israeli funk/world outfit. To my ears if Martin, Medeski, and Wood had a love baby with Fela it would sounds like this. A mix of electronic sounds, jam music guitar noodles, prog, and wee bit of jazz fusion. They have a pretty wicked keyboard player who is spraying melodies and runs all over town. All on top off a big smooth jazz horn riff and a groove. I like my funk more driving but I like parts of this.

YTD recordings listened to: 70
Good music, not list worthy: 37
Not good music: 30

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, A Tribe Called Quest, 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, Converge, 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

Music for 2/3/19!!! Nicki Minaj, Theophilus London

@@@ Nicki Minaj: Hard White (Young Money/Cash Records, 2018) A dribble on single from Minaj’s less than stellar record from 2018. Minaj is an able bodied rapper but she caught some vapors. Oops, she just insulted strippers so she’s beefing with Cardi B. who took some turns on the pole. Peoplez love the beef especially beef between the ladies. Outside of that barb it’s a pretty standard and uneventful track. The beats are between trap and standard FM NYC hip hop so it’s medium hard but not super gangsta. Remember don’t fuck with Nicki Minaj.

@@@ Theophilus London: Whiplash (MeBabey, 2019) An indie disco biscuit off the Apple Music hot tracks section. That means it’s got the synth basses and some Beck style funk to it but it’s not gonna pop like ginger ale the way a full on back in the day disco track strived for. Plenty of MC rhymes so it more than flirts with hip hop giving it an early ’80s feel. It’s less than all right, it need some Red Bull/tempo increase as well a shot of doobie in the funk.

YTD recordings listened to: 68
Good music, not list worthy: 36
Not good music: 29

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, A Tribe Called Quest, 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, Converge, 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

Music for 1/31/19!!! Top Notch, Ninth Wave, Billie Ellish

@@@ Billie Eilish: bury a friend (Interscope, 2019) Another pre-release tune from this record which may not ever be released. It’s gonna be all released pre released! This is a minimalist funk tune with dark themes. Bury the hatchet, bury a friend. But it’s all funky and accessible. It has a manicured and minimalist arrangement. I didn’t know the Billie Eilish story until now — she’s an 18 year old actress that’s getting a huge push, at least on the Apple Music. I’ve listening to a couple of other pre-release tracks as I cruise around the interwebz and the interesting part of the record lies in the sounds. Very slick and dynamic within the tunes. However I find the lyrics to be less than convincing. I think it’s supposed to be a serious record but the cutting edge sounds detract from the darkness of the record which is supposed to be about a nightmare or a dream or both. To my ear, it’s pretty standard corporate music business. Hinting at something dark without being able to render it honestly.

@@@ Top Notch: Ghetto Life (N/A, 2019) A solo record from a Brooklyn hip hop collective. I got to it via a promo email. The sounds are retro ’90s NYC hip hop a la Busta Rhymes and the main sonic theme is the Jamaican dancehall rhymes over hip hop arrangements. There are also prominent Wu Tang clan elements here with some tracks featuring multiple MCs.

@@@ Ninth Wave: Half Pure (Distiller, 2019) I got to this Scottish band’s track via a music publicist email. It’s a dramatical, post-goth ditty rooted in ’80s synth rock a la the Cure. Male singer singing ‘you’re only half pure, cuz the pain and the glamour that you were bred for’ is a pretty clever line but they wear it out.

YTD recordings listened to: 63
Good music, not list worthy: 35
Not good music: 25

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, A Tribe Called Quest, 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, Converge, 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

Music for 1/28/19 Gong Gong III, Julia Kent, Florence and the Machine

@@@ Gong Gong III: Siren (N/A, 2018) Some punk blues (and bass) with a Chinese language singer that sounds all right. I got to this 2 song EP via a gig email from Flavorpill. It’s not full on filthy ass white trash business but it does get rougher around the 3 minute mark of the first tune. The second tune is similar but brisker in tempo. I really like the vocals in Chinese but I think they could use a syringe of Red Bull in the eye. Who doesn’t need one of those?

@@@ Julia Kent: Temporal (The Leaf Label, 2019) I got to this neo classical recording via this week’s All Music notable release email. The first tune is very reminiscent of a lot of electronic music coming out. Sparse, some echoes and acoustic instruments with an emphasis on space. The second tune could be out of any number of documentaries again with sparseness and drones and a mellow pulse. I like this music but it doesn’t really stand out against a lot of what’s out there. It’s positive to see folks on both sides of the equation mixing classical sounds and electronic sounds as it’s a sensible aesthetic idea.

@@@ Florence and the Machine: Moderation (EMI, 2019) I haven’t quite gotten the gist of Florence and the Machine. I guess it’s a major label recycled blues rock kinda thing. Florence can sing but the production is unnecessarily clean for a rock track. IMHO. I’m not a huge Adele fan but she sings poor Florence into the crapper.

YTD recordings listened to: 58
Good music, not list worthy: 34
Not good music: 23

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, A Tribe Called Quest, 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, Converge, 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

Music for 1/27/19!!! Luis Fonsi, Vampire Weekend

@@@ Luis Fonsi: Sola (UMG, 2019) Some Latin loverboy music that sits #1 on the Apple Music hot tracks. This is straight up Spanish Bieber corn with a simple guitar figure, a minimalist and slightly slinky beat and lots of urgently sung vocals. Thankfully for me this is cheese delivered in Spanish so I don’t have to endure the meaning; I just get the panty quaking vibe. The ladies are lapping this up with 7 million streams on the GooglePimpTube in 4 days.

@@@ Vampire Weekend: Harmony (Sony, 2019) Oh Lord, Vampire Weekend has some car payments coming cuz they went straight for the lowest common denominator. I feel a bit dirty just listening to it. What starts as a personal, ballad-y kind of thing explodes into a pop rock ooh ooh anthemic cheese that is not firm but salty and gooey like Cheese Whiz. Very Paul Simon in the verse (but with less restraint) and then it sounds like something the Band might pop in a chorus but they would restrain themselves. You even get a delicious tambourine at the end and I’m pointing at the singer here for the greatest crimes. Clocking in at 5:08 I would be much happier if this was about 2:20 in length. Eeessh.

YTD recordings listened to: 55
Good music, not list worthy: 32
Not good music: 22

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, A Tribe Called Quest, 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, Converge, 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

Music for 1/23/19!!! Logic, Tyga

@@@ Logic: Keanu Reeves (Def Jam, 2019) #2 on the Apple Music hot tracks. I don’t get the Logic hype. It’s a huge boast track, but who decided Keanu Reeves is #1? Compared to a newer sounding trap track this sounds kinda retro which is fine but these boast raps can be tiring and this one especially so. The Keanu thing is baffling.

@@@ Tyga: Floss in the Bank (EMPIRE, 2019) Also on the Apple Music hot tracks section which has turned into a shiny ass toilet of materialism and shallow crap. Flossin’ is to show off for all ya know (I had to look it up as well). It’s got an annoying background vocal sung section used as a center of the track. It softens the track but I think it’s a pretty boy, rich dude kinda boast thing. It’s exactly the kind of repetitive mindlessness that will give you a high end headache.

YTD recordings listened to: 49
Good music, not list worthy: 28
Not good music: 20

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, A Tribe Called Quest, 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, Converge, 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