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Artist: The Heavy Guilt
Song: “Clove” (from the CD Lift Us Up From This)
Heard by: Mike Motz, San Carlos
It’s not exactly the style of music I listen to. It almost seems like a cliché. It’s rock. Pretty basic, sparse electric guitar, mostly organ and acoustic guitar. It has a retro feel, like some ’60s and ’70s music. The lyrics seemed like a bunch of catchphrases attributed to a mysterious “she.” It was recorded well. It all sounded great, it just seemed a little run-of-the-mill. I could see it appealing to a certain demographic. I don’t know how much it would resonate with an underground music community, but it probably would more on a pop level. It was pretty consistent throughout the whole song — there weren’t a lot of changes to it, and that’s usually associated with [good] driving music.

Artist: Bloodstone and Princess
Song: “Spitta” (from the CD Vintage Raw)
Heard by: John Paul, Normal Heights
The voice is credible, which is cool. In hip-hop, if you can’t believe the voice then the whole track is kind of shot. The beat’s solid. It has some aspects of an older feel; hard-hitting and simple but also a little more modern, which is cool. The chorus is catchy, but I’m not as into people kind of hyping themselves up, and it kind of beats down the relatively realistic humility of the verse, particularly the first verse. It sounds a fair amount like other radio hip-hop that’s out right now except a little more classy. Frankly, I don’t see why [that wouldn’t get radio airplay]. I don’t know how much of a national scene can get down with someone rapping about the 619, but being part of a good scene is a good place to start.

Artist: Monkstrap
Song: “Sugar’s Full Force” (from the CD Bentfolk)
Heard by: Bill Huey, Hillcrest
I thought it was okay, but it’s not the kind of music I listen to. I listen to a lot of stuff like Sonic Youth, Bloc Party, Kraftwerk. They are very similar to a lot of the indie rock groups that do stuff here in San Diego. It tries to set a mood. It reminds me of old Slint to a certain degree. For me, it wasn’t really that inspiring. It was good, but musically, it wasn’t that powerful. I thought the melodic material was all right, but there wasn’t really a lot of shift in harmony. It’s very folksy in that regard. It was improvised together, but it didn’t have a lot of strong harmonic structure. I didn’t really find the lyrics to be that profound. I couldn’t judge the artist just by this one song. I’d have to listen to more.

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