Video & Audio: Gnomic blathering
any sound will set me off
Kizz Daniel & Tekno: “Buga (Lo Lo Lo)”
The main title of this pan-African hit (Sierra Leone’s First Lady has done the viral dance) means “flaunt”. The video doesn’t dispel the feeling that the purpose of né Kiss Daniel’s luxury objects is to cushion the impacts of falls and life; he probably collects Squishmallows.
Praise: “All in a Dream”
Speaking of buffer plushies. This has deepened with repeat plays: there’s so little constructive social vision in indie rock that this feels like Reinhold Niebuhr.
Tom Zé: “A Língua Prova Que”
This nearly ten-minute, multi-act magnum opus/goof whose title translates to “The language proves that…” illustrates an Afro-Brazilian parody-march with a simple, quintessentially Zé go-nowhere guitar riff and his usual gnomic blathering, with a break in the middle for a brief funeral. Not sure if he’s calling upon orixás to reconstruct the Tower of Babel or if he’s making a collage-parody rock opera a la
John Ashbery Homestar Runner. Either way, fangoriously world-class.
The Beths: “Silence Is Golden”
They’ve returned tougher, with a guitar solo, the band hitting their 3-3-2s hard, and Elizabeth Stokes singing about jet engines. Their irony in titles persists.
Jean Bosco Mwenda: “Masanga”
The opening track on Canary Records’ Hata Unacheza certainly isn’t its most uncanny, yet is nevertheless fascinating as a demonstration of how complex Congolese (acoustic) guitar was before Nico and Franco. “Masanga” is also surpassingly beautiful, including when Elijah Wald plays it.
Lil Durk & Morgan Wallen: “Broadway Girls”
I take little pleasure in reporting this is good (not morally, duh, though maybe dialectically.) Wallen sings in a tone as anti-bourgeois as Durk’s best fiend Chief Keef’s about the perfidy of the Nashville bachelorette: who knows if one might wake up in the morning and find out she’s gone or liberal. Durk, the smart one, knows said perfidy is irrelevant as long as his money doesn’t run out; he’s so seductive you might find yourself nodding along before you realize this is also kind of terrible. More informative than r/relationships, with better aesthetics.
Ibibio Sound Machine: “Protection from Evil”
They’re finally giving those who prefer their Afrofuturism mediated through British people the good juju they deserve thanks to… producers Hot Chip? Hey, credit where due.
Pharrell Williams, 21 Savage, Tyler, the Creator: “Cash In Cash Out”
Cleverer than average verses from Savage (“my bodyguard look like a horse”) and Tyler (“rock on my hand, nah, this ain’t Dwayne”—look, we’re talking personal averages here) notwithstanding, the star is the Logic bass that threatens to drop through the floor every sixteen bars.
Electrocumbia that’s kind of dinky, but isn’t electro/cumbia always dinky?
Built to Spill: “Gonna Lose”
Two and a half minutes that suffice to remind us that Doug Martsch still has the best riffs in the Mountain West.
Elza Soares: “Meu Guri”
Her voice coarsened in her final years, but a couple of days before her death she was still capable of making something new out of a sentimental Chico Buarque ditty about his son (Soares lost two of her own), suffusing the song with depth of suffering and innumerable small joys.