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Favorite Edition Rewind: 1986

[Nakamori Akina - Fushigi]

A decade ago, I wrote a series of entries ranking my favorite albums from 1985 to 2004. My collection has expanded greatly since then, particularly in the last five years. So I wanted to see what has changed in 10 years.

In 2008, my collection tapered off with releases before 1987. I went so far as to call 1986 an uninteresting year. I’ve since had time to explore the year in greater depth.

  1. The Art of Noise, In Visible Silence
  2. Janet Jackson, Control
  3. Soundtrack, Megazone 23 Song Collection
  4. Paul Simon, Graceland
  5. XTC, Skylarking
  6. The Smiths, The Queen is Dead
  7. Prince & the Revolution, Parade
  8. Nakamori Akina, Fushigi
  9. Duran Duran, Notorious
  10. Club Nouveau, Life, Love and Pain

Other favorites from the year:

  • Anita Baker, Rapture
  • Bananarama, True Confessions
  • Fishbone, In Your Face
  • Run DMC, Raising Hell
  • Peter Gabriel, So
  • John Adams, Harmonielehre
  • Enya, Enya
  • Dwight Yoakam, Guitars, Cadillacs, Etc. Etc.
  • R.E.M., Lifes Rich Pageant
  • Pet Shop Boys, Please
  • Kronos Quartet, Music of Sculthorpe, Sallinen, Glass, Nancarrow, Hendrix
  • The Human League, Crash

If you told Younger Me that Older Me would like So and Raising Hell, Younger Me would wretch. At the time, Run DMC and Peter Gabriel were so ubiquitous, I felt I would never need to hear “Walk This Way” or “Sledgehamer” for the rest of my life.

One advantage of growing older is no longer caring about looking at all fashionable.

Younger Me would have been puzzled by the inclusion of Dwight Yoakam on the extended list, to which Older Me would have to tell Younger Me to wait 9 years.

Younger Me: Oh, I was wondering whether I should get that Human League album. Is it really that good?
Older Me: Yeah, but I don’t think you’d quite appreciate it at your station in life. Wait a few years.
Younger Me: Really? How many?
Older Me: 30.

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Purchase log, 2018-11-06

[Sasagawa Miwa - Houjou]

I catalog my music purchases on Collectorz and Discogs, but they don’t give me a sense of change over time. So I’m noting them here weekly as well.

New releases

CD
  • Christine and the Queens, Chris
  • Sasagawa Miwa, Houjou -BEST ’03~’18-
Files
  • Wayne Horvitz, Those Who Remain

Catalog

CD
  • Alice in Chains, Dirt
  • Chris Isaak, San Francisco Days
  • David+David, Boomtown
  • Dwight Yoakam, This Time
  • Lizz Wright, Dreaming Wide Awake
  • Lyle Lovett, The Road to Ensenada
  • Thomas Dolby, The Golden Age of Wireless
Vinyl
  • Adele, 21
  • Alban Berg, Wozzeck (Pierre Boulez, Paris National Opera)
  • Everything But the Girl, Eden
  • Iron and Wine, The Creek Drank the Cradle
  • Weezer, Pinkerton
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, The Great String Quartets (Amadeus Quartet)
  • Soundtrack, Agnes of God

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Favorite Edition 2018: Year half

[Janelle Monáe - Dirty Computer]

It’s time we turn this list around. Instead of tracking the favorite new releases of 2018, I’ll start with my favorite catalog discoveries. The vast majority of my listening these days is old music that’s new to me, so let’s pretend no longer I have a read on anything current.

Catalog

  • Patti Smith, Horses: PJ Harvey sure owes a lot to Patti Smith. The first time I played Horses, there were moments I thought I was listening to Polly Jean. This album confounded me, thus forcing me to play it multiple times, each time engaging me more than the last. Smith has been described as the godmother of punk, and I half expected a proto-Sleater-Kinney. Nah, man. That’s not it at all.
  • The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Are You Experienced?: Maybe it’s because of Emmylou Harris and Kronos Quartet that made this album feel instantly familiar, or maybe its influence extends as far as the arm of Sauron.
  • Roxy Music, Avalon: Smooth
  • Bruce Springsteen, Nebraska: This shit is dark.
  • Joni Mitchell, Court and Spark: Without some schooling in Charles Mingus and John Coltrane, I wouldn’t have understood how ground-breaking this album is. Otherwise, the cheap imitations it spawned would have been my only reference.
  • Fugazi, The Argument: I didn’t think anything could top 13 Songs or Repeater, but this album comes damn close.
  • Dwight Yoakam, Guitars Cadillacs Etc. Etc.: Honky-tonk AF
  • Benjamin Gibbard / Andrew Kenny, Home, Vol. 5: Even after 15 years, this split EP holds together well.

New Releases

  • Janelle Monáe, Dirty Computer: This is the album I wished The ArchAndroid was. I still think she hasn’t yet recorded her Shousou Strip.
  • Laurie Anderson and Kronos Quartet, Landfall: I found myself engaged in this album more than I expected.
  • Various Artists, Adam to Eve no Ringo: Shiina Ringo is one of the best songwriters, because the strength of her writing cuts through even the most ordinary interpretation of her songs.
  • Thomas Bartlett and Nico Muhly, Peter Pears: Balinese Ceremonial Music: It’s an improbable concept album based on transcriptions of Balinese gamelan music by English composer Colin McPhee. In execution, it’s a stronger concept than the Planetarium album Muhly did with Sufjan Stevens, Bryce Dessner and James McAlister.
  • Steve Grand, not the end of me: Grand has gone through some serious shit since his debut album, and this sprawling sophomore effort lays it all out.
  • Utada Hikaru, Hatsukoi: Check out the rhythmic modulation on “Chikai”. She does some amazing obfuscation with the downbeat.
  • Igor Stravinsky, Chant Funèbre / La Sacre Du Printemps: It seems Funeral Song didn’t really answer the question of how Stravinsky bridged his Scriabin-influenced early work with the Firebird and all that came after.
  • Tracey Thorn, Record: Tracey Thorn returns to the dancefloor, thank deities.

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Purchase log, 2018-05-29

[Thomas Bartlett and Nico Muhly - Peter Pears: Balinese Ceremonial Music]

I catalog my music purchases on Collectorz and Discogs, but they don’t give me a sense of change over time. So I’m noting them here weekly as well.

New Releases

CD
  • Thomas Bartlett and Nico Muhly, Peter Pears: Balinese Ceremonial Music
  • Various Artists, Adam to Eve no Ringo (Shiina Ringo tribute album)

Catalog

CD
  • Minutemen, Double Nickels on the Dime
Vinyl
  • Dwight Yoakam, Guitars Cadillacs Etc. Etc.
Blu Ray
  • Stephen Sondheim, Company (2006 Production)

 

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Purchase log: 2018-02-06

[Steve Reich - Pulse / Quartet]

I catalog my music purchases on Collectorz and Discogs, but they don’t give me a sense of change over time. So I’m noting them here weekly as well.

New releases

CDs
  • Rhye, Blood
  • Steve Reich, Pulse / Quartet

Catalog

CDs
  • Dwight Yoakam, Guitars, Cadillacs, Etc., Etc.
  • Erykah Badu, Baduizm
  • Everything But the Girl, Everything But the Girl
  • Everything But the Girl, Love Not Money
  • Everything But the Girl, Acoustic
  • Minor Threat, Complete Discography
  • Puya, Unión
  • Roxy Music, Avalon
  • Son Volt, Straightaways
  • The Butchies, Population 1975
  • X, Los Angeles
  • Wilco, A Ghost Is Born
Vinyl
  • Elvis Costello, My Aim Is True
  • Drive-By Truckers, American Band
  • Wilco, A.M.
  • Zoobombs, Let It Bomb

 

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