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25Jun2015 2030: Radio Radio

I left radio behind over a decade ago, and brief flirtations with Pandora and didn't convince me to listen to random unvetted music. I've got weeks of archived albums that I already like, and I can't listen to them quickly enough to get sick of them. Every now and then Google's probing Antenna (list) will discover a new hotness like Sylvan Esso. Why would I want to subject myself to a constant stream of hot-new-singles that are 95% disappointing? I subject myself to the freebies every week mostly for my own bemusement. Never do I ever expect to actually keep one.

Which makes Google Play Radio the latest useless appendix on Google's bloated colon. No Google, I don't need your help to pick out a playlist for Making Dinner. I don't want to choose between Camera Obscura Radio (because you've listened to this artist) and Camera Obscura Radio (similar to Camera Obscura Radio). I've tried to escape -- I thought I was safe -- but the radio waves are coming from inside the house!

[Kid Wave - Honey] is mellow early-90s jangle-rock, and if The Pixies are still touring I guess there's room in the market for one more.

Perhaps you can tell from the title that [Shilpa Ray - Johnny Thunder's Fantasy Space Camp] is not taking itself seriously. Shilpa Ray appears to be a gender-swapped Mojo Nixon... and I can't stand Mojo Nixon.

Hey! Do you want some reggae? Maybe an electronic dance song? HOW ABOUT BOTH [Tifa - Rock My Body] oh god it burns stop it stop it

A "feat" and a six-minute runtime usually make me skip a song halfway through, but I barely noticed [Gacha feat. Natalie Beridze Tba - Waterfall] was playing. Might as well be [Enya feat. Natalie Merchant - Gentle Breeze]. It's hard to imagine a more jarring contrast to Rock My Body.

...but it flows quite naturally into [Rachel Grimes - The Herald], a piano/saxophone/cello instrumental that successfully evokes driving down I-29 at 3 AM.

17Jun2015 1915: Briefly

It's not that I have nothing to talk about; no, there is in fact too much to talk about this week. E3 is flattening the landscape and the Steam Summer Sale is flattening my finances. Also I just had half a chicken and need to nap off 90 grams of protein. #regimen. Let's settle for one thing: INFINITE MARIOS FOREVER

[Saun & Starr - Look Closer (Can't You See the Signs?)] is a full-on funksplosion, suitable for Pam Grier to bust a few skulls to. If Google singles are to be believed, R&B has returned to 1975, pop to 1985, and punk to 1995. The one thing lacking from this song is really my fault, my imagination running wild with the title. Saun & Starr are only singing about love, not about America's domination by the shadow government of lizard people.

You'll have to lean really close to your headphones to hear [Patrick Watson - Hearts]. Trying to follow the super-sized brass of [Look Closer] with Iron and Wine and Theremin is a fool's errand, but Patrick builds up over a couple minutes to something resembling a song that can be detected by human ears.

[Mura Masa - Are U There?] is the most affected electronic non-dance song I've heard in quite some time. A random assortment of 8-bit triangle waves accompany a man who is both autotuned and whipping his head past the mic for doppler effect. If they had settled on half of the digital tricks that could have been an okay head-bobber but right now it's an assault.

Brace yourselves for "feat". [Kasper Bjorke - TNR (feat. Jaakko Eino Kalevi)] is the more sedate version of Mura Masa that I was hoping for. It's still slow and kind of annoying, but it has a recognizable core beat and melody that's embroidered with electronic slide whistles and fake violins. More danceable, but it'd have to be one of those lame slightly-swaying kind of dances where everybody stares at the ground.

[Expert Alterations - A Bell] brought up a bunch of videos about altering your normal jeans into bell bottoms; I think I found the music in the midst. It's okay music to sew bell-bottoms to, a fast 60s rock song. Somebody got a be-bell-bottomed hippie high on cocaine for the first time and this tune popped out.

10Jun2015 1800: We're Going to Mars!

Everybody just soak this in one more time (spoilers for pretty much everything):

Aaaaahhhhhhh. That should be the next movie I see after Fury Road. Everything about that trailer looked right and just and this is the best possible world to live in. Pause that trailer at 3:02 and just look at that cast list jesus. The book is great, this movie will be great, and I still hold a small secret hope for Cheshire Crossing. Guys the paperback is currently out of stock how does that even happen at Amazon?

I got all my teeths cleaned today and for the first time I really focussed on the easy-listening music; the opposite of such music's intent! But it wasn't just wimpy, it was time-constrained wimpy. There wasn't a single tune more contemporary than Tiny Dancer. There was a completely unironic use of Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald. I don't know if my dent-tech had chosen Mellow Beats, Chill Vibes, or Serene Jams but there was an added layer of temporality to the whole exercise. I know humans have created wimpy music since 1979! I listen to some of it! It would be the simplest matter to also play those. On the other hand I don't want anything on my phone to also exist on a dentist's summer jams -- like that one time I heard Under the Bridge on a classic rock station.

Jumping right back in with a seven-minute song. [Joey Alexander - Ma Blues] is background jazz, but the twist here (revealed in the video) is that the piano is played by a really young guy. Like, more boy than guy. If I were in charge of a hotel lobby or a dentist office, this would go on the list.

A couple of ladies do a pretty good fascimile of the Flaming Lips in [Girlpool - Ideal World]. It's not a rip-roaring single but I bet it occupies a really cute place on the album.

Is there space for more 60s in our 80s decade? [Donald Cumming - In the Early Hours] is what used to happen when a hippie protest band would sit down and really pour their heart out for a special lady.

I love love love language and I'm more than interested in all the weird twists it has taken since the advent of the Internet. I don't think "the feels" is quite ready for common usage, which is going to date [Brendan Philip - The Feels] pretty hard. The combination of a mid-90s R&B crooner with all this digital wankery is going to date it even harder. Not that it's bad wankery, but in twenty years we'll have a different flavor of synth, yeah?

My least favorite part of any Gorillaz album is the spoken-word poetry slam, regardless of whether they concern volcanoes. [Ava Luna - Steve Polyester] is telling a story about a poem about a dream and she cares about the beat even less than Digable Planets did.

03Jun2015 1900: Liberty Through Inaction

Man forget all those horror movies you've seen. It's Such a Beautiful Day is fucking terrifying and now that I've watched it and drank the pain away Netflix won't stop recommending it. It won't stop following me around and all I want is to forget whyyyyyyyy

Did you all have a nice two days of freedom? I know I did. Count on Congress to screw that all up. All they had to do was nothing, and they couldn't even get that right. It was the perfect setup for all quadrants of America interests: liberty through inaction. But the Senate got spooked by their own shadow and now we have six more years of indiscriminate data collection.

Is the title of [Courtney Barnett - Pedestrian at Best] trying to get out ahead of criticism? It seems an oddly defensive move for a punk song. I'm not well-versed in the First Age of punk -- by the time I noticed it they had already discovered key signatures and intonation -- but this is a pretty good punk song. I guess it's somewhere in the vicinity of The Pixies or Bratmobile. I only know that much because of Weird Al and Gone Home, respectively.

[Actress - Bird Matrix (DJ-Kicks)] doesn't actually say "feat", but we all know what those parentheses mean. Actress lays down a chill beat that, for once, is not relaxing even a little. There's a hard edge to all the bass and high hat that precludes chilling out max to their ambient instrumental. Is there a genre for "not-quite-ambient"? This song is also thirteen goddamn minutes long, which let me get the rest of this post typed up all neat-like but is a musical travesty.

Genre whiplash: [Juan Wauters - Grey Matter] is a svelte two minutes of mid-60s guitar pop. A nasal voice sings tired rhymes, 60s guitar/piano underlying 10s ennui.

[Knxwledge - mylife] is an even brisker 1:44 because it doesn't seem to be a song. This is an interlude between album songs, the end of one crooning funky R&B song bleeding into a slightly slower funky R&B song. I'm sure the bookending tunes are quite nice but we don't need to hear the bridge between them.

[Blanck Mass - Dead Format] from the album "Dumb Flesh" is another case of metal's complete, and refreshing, lack of naming subtlety. It's not completely growly death metal, veering more towards the synth-goth that I thought we retired with Marilyn Manson. In fact, as I wade through the six minutes of instrumental junk here, this has more in common with dance music than metal. I was fooled by the opening blast of noise. And the title, of course.