All posts by Greg Bueno

Looking ahead: September-November 2022

LOVE PSYCHEDELICO, A revolution, Sept. 28

It’s nice to see international artists make their catalogs available through streaming services. I don’t think I’ve had to go to the Evil Sharing Networks for active Japanese artists in a while. I haven’t really followed LOVE PSYCHEDELICO lately, but at least now, I can listen to this new album on release day.

Björk, Fossora, Sept. 30

The singles released ahead of this album seem to indicate Björk has gone back to the kind of beats she was making on Volta. I’m digging this low winds sound.

Darren Hayes, Homosexual, Oct. 7

I like the frankness of this album title.

easy life, MAYBE IN ANOTHER LIFE, Oct. 7

OK, I admit I got into this band because of the skeletons commercial for Kia. I’m ignoring the singles and waiting for release day to listen to the new material. I’m still enjoying the previous album, life’s a beach, way too much right now.

Robin Holcomb, One Way or Another, Vol. 1, Oct. 14

The last time Robin Holcomb recorded a singer-songwriter album was 20 years ago with her final Nonesuch album, The Big Time. This new album is just her and a piano.

Royal Wood, What Tomorrow Brings, Nov. 4

I can’t say I got into Royal Wood’s previous album, but the singles he’s released ahead of this album sound vastly different from what he’s done before. He’s gotten into beats and synths but in a way that enhances folk singer croon.

Luke Evans, A Song for You, Nov. 4

Luke Evans had some interesting song choices on his debut album. This follow-up doesn’t have many songs I immediately recognize, but given that he covers R.E.M., Donny Hathaway, Simon and Garfunkel and a traditional song in Welsh, he makes another set of bold choices. This album also contains two new songs Evans co-wrote.

Guns N’ Roses, Use Your Illusion I (Deluxe Edition), Nov. 25
Guns N’ Roses, Use Your Illusion II (Deluxe Edition), Nov. 25

Really, Use Your Illusion II is the album worth exploring, but I’m willing to throw in Use Your Illusion I out of due diligence.

Vinyl

Caitlin Cary, While You Weren’t Looking, Sept. 30

Any interest I had in Whiskeytown is all about Caitlin Cary and not one whit about Ryan Adams.

Beyoncé, RENAISSANCE, Oct. 7

I’m no acolyte of Beyoncé by any stretch of the imagination, but the queerness of this album is unmistakable.

Duran Duran, Medazzaland, Oct. 14

A loss of momentum on the heels of the highly successful The Wedding Album fated this album to obscurity. At the time, I thought the brilliance of this album would win out and prove the ambivalent mainstream audience wrong. I’m not so sure anymore. This album is so fiercely original that it may have been greeted with hostility than with a collective meh. A quarter century later, we get to revisit this album.

ASIAN KUNG-FU GENERATION, Planet Folks, Oct. 26

How much did I not get into AKFG’s previous album Hometown? I didn’t bother to snap up the vinyl pressing before it went out of print. Planet Folks is not as good as World World World or Landmark, but I like it enough to place a preorder for this vinyl release.

Duran Duran, All You Need Is Now, Nov. 11
Duran Duran, Astronaut, Nov. 11
Duran Duran, Red Carpet Massacre, Nov. 11

In addition to CD reissues back in August, three albums from Duran Duran’s third decade get vinyl reissues under the RSD Essentials series. I’m sorry to see Pop Trash not included in this set. It’s better than Astronaut and Red Carpet Massacre but still not really the band’s best. To be honest, any album in this set other than All You Need Is Now is really stretching the “essentials” descriptor.

Duran Duran, FUTURE PAST (Complete Deluxe Edition), Nov. 25

The original vinyl release of FUTURE PAST had fewer tracks than the CD, so this reissue includes additional tracks and the non-album single “Five Years”, which is a David Bowie cover.

BONNIE PINK, Blue Jam, Nov. 3
BONNIE PINK, Heaven’s Kitchen, Nov. 3
BONNIE PINK, evil and flowers, Nov. 3
UA, Are U Romantic?, Nov. 3
Hajime Chitose, “Wadatsumi no Ki”, Dec. 3
Quruli, “WORLD’S END SUPERNOVA”, Dec. 3

To confuse matters, Japan has it’s own commercial holiday to celebrate vinyl called Record Day, which is not to be confused with Record Store Day Japan, the spring event with its own set of domestic reissues. Unlike RSD, Record Day doesn’t restrict availability to brick and mortar stores. The main event happens Nov. 3, with a spillover day on Dec. 3. I’m skipping the BONNIE PINK reissues, but I’ve already pre-ordered UA, Hajime Chitose and Quruli.

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Purchase log, 2022-09-20

[Omar Apollo - Ivory]

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
  • Freedy Johnston, Right Back on the Road to You
  • Omar Apollo, Ivory
Vinyl
  • Santigold, Spirituals

Catalog

CD
  • Brooklyn Rider, Passport
  • Danish String Quartet, Prism II
  • easy life, Life’s a Beach
  • Kyuss, Blues for the Red Sun
  • Sergei Prokofiev, Works for Piano, Vol. V (Frederic Chiu)

Reissues

Vinyl
  • … And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead, IX

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Purchase log, 2022-09-13

[TV Mania - Bored with Prozac and the Internet?]

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
  • … And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead, XI: BLEED HERE NOW

Catalog

CD
  • Alfred Schnittke, Concerto Grosso No. 1
  • David Lee Roth, Crazy in the Heat
  • KMD, Black Bastards
  • Kraftwerk, Radio-Activity
  • Pauline Oliveros, Deep Listening
  • Various Composers, Black Composer Series: 1974-1978
Vinyl
  • John Coltrane, Giant Steps
  • Kronos Quartet, Long Time Passing: Kronos Quartet and Friends Celebrate Pete Seeger
  • Missing Persons, Spring Session M

Reissues

CD
  • TV Mania, Bored with Prozac and the Internet?

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Purchase log, 2022-09-06

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.

Catalog

CD
  • Clinic, Walking With Thee
  • John Coltrane, Live at the Village Vanguard Again!
  • Kenny Chesney, No Shirt, No Shoes, No Problem
  • Midnight Oil, Capricornia
  • Mirwais, Production
  • U2, Pop
  • Various Composers, Music of Our Century: Wergo 30 Years 1962-1992

Reissues

CD
  • Blondie, Against the Odds: 1974-1982

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Purchase log, 2022-08-30

[Siouxsie and the Banshees - The Scream]

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

Vinyl
  • Kendrick Lamar, Mr. Morale and the Right Steppers

Catalog

CD
  • Camper Van Beethoven, La Costa Perdida
  • Sinéad O’Connor, I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got (Limited Edition)
  • Siouxsie and the Banshees, Juju
  • Siouxsie and the Banshees, The Scream
  • Smashing Pumpkins, Lull
  • Steven Wright, I Still Have a Pony
  • U2, War (Deluxe Edition)
  • Wire, 154
  • Wire, Chairs Missing
  • Wire, It’s Beginning to and Back Again
Vinyl
  • Alexander O’Neal, Hearsay
  • Amanda Shires, To The Sunset
  • Christine and the Queens, Chaleur Humaine
  • Eugène Ysaÿe, Six Sonatas for Violin, Op. 27
  • Guadalcanal Diary, 2 x 4
  • Patrick Cowley, Muscle Up
  • Prince, Chaos and Disorder
  • Sam Hunt, Southside
  • The Faint, Danse Macabre

Reissues

Vinyl
  • Silk Sonic, An Evening with Silk Sonic

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Purchase log, 2022-08-23

[Shakira - ¿Dónde están los ladrones?]

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.

Catalog

CD
  • Duke Ellington and John Coltrane, Duke Ellington and John Coltrane
  • Isaac Hayes, Shaft
  • Marvin Gaye, Trouble Man
  • Old 97’s, Early Tracks
  • Prince, Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic
  • Temple of the Dog, Temple of the Dog
  • Wham!, The Final

Reissues

CD
  • Madonna, Finally Enough Love
  • R.E.M., Chronic Town
Vinyl
  • Shakira, ¿Dónde están los ladrones?

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Purchase log, 2022-08-16

[à;GRUMH... - We are à;GRUMH... and you are not!]

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.

Catalog

CD
  • Destiny’s Child, Survivor
  • Donna Summer, The Best of Donna Summer: 20th Century Masters – The Millennium Collection
  • Laurie Anderson, Home of the Brave
  • Patty Griffin, Living with Ghosts
  • The Cars, Candy-O
  • The Low Anthem, Oh My God, Charlie Darwin
  • The Low Anthem, Smart Flesh
  • The Rolling Stones, Beggars Banquet
Vinyl
  • à;GRUMH…, We Are à;GRUMH…, And You Are Not
  • Dissidenten, Out of This World
  • Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend!

Reissues

Vinyl
  • Moby, Everything Is Wrong

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A wish list of vinyl reissues, part the second

[Nick Lachey - What's Left of Me]

I wrote an entry similar to this one back in 2017 (almost to the day!) Five years later, vinyl sales account for 7 percent of total music revenue, according to Variety. The last stat I heard was 2 percent, and that was around the time I wrote that previous entry.

At this point, I’m surprised when I don’t find a title on vinyl, but that doesn’t mean titles haven’t fallen through the reissue cracks. So here’s a sequel — albums I would love to see reissued on vinyl.

Café Tacvba, Cuatros Caminos
Café Tacvba,

Vinyl pressings of Café Tacvba albums exist, but they’re usually limited and quick to run out of print. To my knowledge, neither nor Cuatros Caminos have ever been issued on vinyl, but I wouldn’t mind repressings of albums that had been issued on vinyl.

Tracy Chapman, New Beginning

New Beginning had “Give Me One Reason”, Chapman’s biggest hit since “Fast Car”, so it’s curious to see the album never getting a vinyl reissue. I’ve seen RSD titles reissued for far less.

Orgy, Candyass

Orgy’s cover of New Order’s “Blue Monday” rivals the original, but the entire Candyass album was actually really good.

Kanye West, Yeezus

A lot of unofficial pressings exist, so an official release would be nice. Kanye annoys me, but this album is pretty unhinged.

Nick Lachey, What’s Left of Me

I have a soft spot for Nick Lachey and this album. I was definitely not the target market for his reality TV show, but the angst resulting from the end of his marriage led to some pretty honest art. I don’t expect What’s Left of Me to get the vinyl treatment. I would probably be the only person interested in getting it.

Pansy Division, Absurd Pop Song Romance

It’s not hard to sense a hunger for commercial success on this album, and I think it deserves to be revisited.

Stephen Sondheim, Assassins (Original Cast Recording)

By the time Stephen Sondheim opened Assassins off-Broadway, cast recordings migrated entirely to CD, so the original cast recording of this show never saw a vinyl release.

Sam Sparro, Sam Sparro

Sparro got a Grammy nomination for “Black and Gold”. Surely, that’s enough to warrant a vinyl pressing? Don’t call you Shirley?

STRAIGHTENER, LOST WORLD’S ANTHOLOGY
ART-SCHOOL, LOVE/HATE

Among fans of SUPERCAR, NUMBER GIRL, Quruli and Shiina Ringo, these albums by ART-SCHOOL and STRAIGHTENER could be considered classics of early 2000s Japanese indie rock. But that’s a pretty narrow audience to justify a vinyl pressing.

SUPER JUNKY MONKEY, A.I.E.T.O.H

This EP was actually issued on vinyl, so let’s have a repressing!

Harry Connick, Jr., She

I am mostly ambivalent to the work of Harry Connick, Jr., but his two albums of New Orleans rock — She and Star Turtle — are the only two albums of his I own. Given how uncharacteristic these albums are with the rest of his discography, I don’t imagine they have much goodwill among his fans. So a vinyl reissue? Unlikely. But She was released on vinyl in the Netherlands …

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Purchase log, 2022-08-09

[David Bowie - Earthling]

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
  • Beyoncé, RENAISSANCE

Catalog

CD
  • Alexander O’Neal, All Mixed Up
  • Chic, Original Album Series
  • Martika, Martika
  • Snow, 12 Inches of Snow
  • The Boomtown Rats, Greatest Hits
  • The Tango Project, The Tango Project
  • Tigran Hamasyan, The Call Within
Vinyl
  • Devo, Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo!
  • Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong, Ella and Louis
  • Moby, Animal Rights
  • Vagabon, Vagabon

Reissues

Vinyl
  • David Bowie, Earthling

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Favorite Edition 2022 Year Half

[TwoSet Violin - Fantasia]

Whenever I do a Google search for the best albums of the current year, I don’t recognize most of the results. So it becomes a game: how many of these best albums are made by artists I do recognize, and do I own any of them?

I have to confess a bit of disappointment when there’s an overlap between my tastes and that of the critical consensus.

These days, my favorite lists pretty much hew close to artists who’ve occupied the list before, so the lack of overlap is more an indication of my fossilizing tastes.

2022 is faring no different.

  • Utada Hikaru, Bad MODE: This album is definitely in the upper tier of favorite Hikki albums. Maybe right behind ULTRA BLUE, which says tons.
  • Kendrick Lamar, Mr. Morale and the Right Steppers: “We Cry Together” is compellingly uncomfortable and probably most of the reason this album is on this list. Also, I find this album far more engaging than DAMN.
  • The Linda Lindas, Growing Up: It sounds like there’s a bit of professional polish on this album, but it’s not enough to dull the band’s rough edges. I’ve rediscovered the Donnas recently, and part of me thinks I would have liked the Donnas more if they had been even remotely indignant as the Linda Lindas.
  • TwoSet Violin, Fantasia: Hey guys, some of us olds wouldn’t mind even a FLAC download somewhere.
  • Midnight Oil, RESIST: Billed as the final album, RESIST is every bit as urgent as a Midnight Oil album at the start of the band’s career. It’s just unfortunate that the world is not listening. Still.
  • Tears for Fears, The Tipping Point: Like Duran Duran’s FUTURE PAST, The Tipping Point finds Tears for Fears sound much like themselves without being too beholden to the past.
  • UA, Are U Romantic?: Imagine the Horizon EP with an updated sound. This EP is the most melodic we’ve heard from UA in a while.

Catalog

  • Black, Wonderful Life: I wish this album was a bigger deal in the States. It’s too bad I had to discover it through a thrift shop purchase.
  • Cave-In, Antenna: I vaguely remember this album being somewhat controversial among my metalhead co-workers at Waterloo Records in the early 2000s.
  • Mieczyslaw Weinberg, Violin Concerto / Sonata for Two Violins (Gidon Kremer): Kremer performed the concerto with the Seattle Symphony, and I came away from that concert impressed. After hearing this recoding, I understand Kremer championing the work of Weinberg, a friend of Dmitri Shostakovich.
  • Paula Cole, This Fire: It’s too bad Paula Cole became the Sound of the WB Network. I didn’t take this album seriously at the time of its release, despite admiring Cole’s backing vocals on Peter Gabriel’s Real World Live. This Fire is a far stranger album than its big hits would indicate.
  • Viktor Vaughan, Vaudeville Villain: It’s fucking MF DOOM.
  • Kraftwerk, Techno Pop (a.k.a. Electric Café): Kraftwerk is the first band I’m discovering on vinyl instead of CD. Rather than wait for a CD to show up at the thrift store, I’ve been picking up the band’s albums as used records. I probably like this album the most because of the Sprockets skit on Saturday Night Live.

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