Purchase log picks, September 2020

[Jean-Efflam Bavouzet - The Beethoven Connection]

Antoine Reicha, Reicha Rediscovered, Vols. 1 and 2 (Ivan Ilić)
Jean-Efflam Bavouzet, The Beethoven Connection
Brooklyn Rider, Healing Modes

2020 marked the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth, and ensembles all over the world programmed events around it. Then SARS-CoV2 spoiled the parties.

A number of artists opted to offer counterpoints to Beethoven rather than perform his works. Brooklyn Rider commissioned works by women composers on the theme of healing as a reaction to the Beethoven string quartet, op. 132. These works, interspersed with the op. 132 itself, are collected on Healing Modes.

With The Beethoven Connection, Jean-Efflam Bavouzet put together an album of Beethoven contemporaries not named Hadyn or Mozart. In a similar vein, two albums by Ivan Ilić explore the keyboard works of Antoine Reicha, a friend of Beethoven.

On all four releases, Beethoven lurks in the wings but never casts a shadow.

Flake Music, When You Land, It’s Time to Return

The Shins before they became The Shins.

Keola and Kapono Beamer, Honolulu City Lights

Any list of the best Hawaiian music albums will place Honolulu City Lights near or at the top. Before I developed my contrarian world view in high school, I had actually liked the title track. I was 5 years old.

I’ve gone on record disparaging Hawaiian music, and I do still wish there were a stronger push to strain the music’s borders. But in the last year, I’ve mellowed my stance, mostly because it takes too much energy to hold onto that much snobbery.

So my younger self may be surprised — perhaps disappointed — that I’ve joined the critical consensus on this album.

Garbage, Garbage

I had a promo copy of this album I was supposed to review for the college paper, but I had started to realize a lot of the stuff being sent by major labels really sucked. So I gave this album a half-hearted listen, then passed it onto another writer to cover. And I was a Butch Vig fan to boot.

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Purchase log, 2020-09-29

[Keola and Kapono Beamer - Honolulu City Lights]

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
  • Taylor Swift, folklore
Vinyl
  • Brandi Carlisle, A Rooster Says
  • Fiona Apple, Fetch the Bolt Cutters
  • Son Volt, Live at the Orange Peel
  • Suzanne Ciani, A Life in Waves

Catalog

CD
  • Cat Power, Moon Pix
  • Cat Power, You Are Free
  • Cloud Nothings, Life Without Sound
  • DJ Shadow, Preemptive Strike
  • Keola and Kapono Beamer, Honolulu City Lights
  • Mogwai, Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will
  • Simple Minds, Real Life
  • Son Volt, Wide Swing Tremolo
  • The Beatles, Magical Mystery Tour
Vinyl
  • The Dismemberment Plan, Change

Reissues

CD
  • Prince, Sign O the Times
  • Wire Train, In a Chamber / Between Two Worlds / Ten Women
Vinyl
  • Nas, God’s Son
  • The Replacements, The Complete Inconcerated Live

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Purchase log, 2020-09-22

[Duran Duran featuring Andy Wickett - Dreaming of Your Cars]

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
  • Duran Duran featuring Andy Wickett, Dreaming of Your Cars: 1979 Demos Part 2

Catalog

CD
  • Caitlin Cary, I’m Staying Out
  • envy, A Dead Sinking Story
  • envy, Abyssal
  • envy, Atheist’s Cornea
  • envy, Recitation
  • Gustav Mahler, Symphony No. 8 (Philadelphia Orchestra, Yannick Nézet-Séguin)
  • Jill Scott, Who Is Jill Scott?
  • Natalie Merchant, Natalie Merchant
  • Songs: Ohia, Did It Rain
Vinyl
  • DJ Shadow, Endtroducing …

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Purchase log, 2020-09-15

[Antoine Reicha - Reicha Rediscovered]

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
  • Antoine Reicha, Reicha Rediscovered, Vol. 1 (Ivan Ilić)
  • Antoine Reicha, Reicha Rediscovered, Vol. 2 (Ivan Ilić)
  • Brooklyn Rider, Healing Modes
  • downy, Dai ichi sakuhinshuu “mudai” (untitled first album)
  • downy, Dai ni sakuhinshuu “mudai” (untitled second album)
  • downy, Dai go sakuhinshuu “mudai” (untitled fifth album)
  • downy, Dai roku sakuhinshuu “mudai” (untitled sixth album)
  • downy, Dai nana sakuhinshuu “mudai” (untitled seventh album)
  • Jean Efflam-Bavouzet, The Beethoven Connection
  • Meg Lee Chin, Piece and Love
  • The American Analog Set, Know By Heart

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Looking ahead, Sept.-Oct. 2020

[Emmylou Harris - Wrecking Ball]

Mikami Chisako, Emergence, Oct. 7

Mikami reset her post-fra-foa solo career in 2018 with a second debut album, confidently titled I AM Ready! This album looks like a continuation of its predecessor’s brighter sound.

Kronos Quartet, Long Time Passing, Oct. 9

Subtitled “Kronos Quartet and Friends Celebrate Pete Seeger”, this album looks like a follow-up to 2017’s Folk Songs, with fewer Nonesuch label mates collaborating.

Tears for Fears, The Seeds of Love (Deluxe Edition), Oct. 9

This album didn’t take off in the same manner as Songs from the Big Chair, but I liked it nonetheless. The 4-disc super deluxe edition is tempting, but I’m fine with the 2-disc version. I don’t need the vinyl reissue because I bought it the first time around.

Sam Amidon, Sam Amidon, Oct. 23

Amidon returns to mostly traditional material on this self-titled album, described as “the fullest realization to date of his artistic vision.”

Mr. Bungle, The Raging Wrath of the Easter Bunny Demo, Oct. 30

Mr. Bungle goes back in time to re-record their first demo tape.

U2, All That You Can’t Leave Behind (Deluxe Edition), Oct, 30

I really liked this album when it came out, mostly because Pop was insufferable. I revisited it with the vinyl reissue and found it doesn’t age well. I will probably still get some version of this deluxe edition.

Duran Duran featuring Andy Wicket, Dreaming of Your Cars: 1979 Demos Pt. 2, Oct. 30

The first set of demos with Andy Wickett on vocals featured embryonic versions of what would become Duran Duran canon. On this follow-up, “Tel Aviv” is the only recognizable title, which doesn’t mean it sounds remotely familiar. Colored vinyl is already available for order, but a CD release is slated for October.

Vinyl

Emmylou Harris, Wrecking Ball, Oct. 16

The deluxe edition of Wrecking Ball was released during Record Store Day. This reissue serves up just the album and is available as part of Rhino’s Rocktober series.

Peter Gabriel, Secret World Live, Nov. 6

I couldn’t make the leap of following Paula Cole’s solo career, but her backing vocals on this live album is the real highlight

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Purchase log, 2020-09-08

[Roberta Flack - First Take]

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
  • Johnny Hates Jazz, Wide Awake
Files
  • Jason Isbell and 400 Unit, Live at the Paramount Theatre – Seattle, WA – 9/21/17

Catalog

CD
  • Fairport Convention, Liege & Lief
  • Flake Music, When You Land Here, It’s Time to Leave
  • Johann Sebastian Bach, The Six Unaccompanied Cello Suites (Yo-Yo Ma)

Reissues

Box set
  • Roberta Flack, First Take (50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition)

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Purchase log, 2020-09-01

[Robyn - Robyn]

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
  • Mandy Barnett, A Nashville Songbook
Vinyl
  • John Wesley Harding, The Man with No Shadow

Catalog

CD
  • Julius Eastman, Unjust Malaise
  • Steely Dan, Aja
Vinyl
  • Charlie Puth, Voicenotes
  • John Coltrane, Coltrane
  • L7, Bricks Are Heavy

Reissues

Vinyl
  • Ben Watt with Robert Wyatt, Summer Into Winter
  • Guided By Voices, Hold on Hope EP
  • Krzysztof Penderecki / Don Cherry, Actions
  • Robyn, Robyn
  • Throwing Muses, Purgatory / Paradise
  • Tyler, the Creator, Cherry Bomb
  • U2, 11 O’Clock Tick Tock
  • Various Artists, Studio One Rockers

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Purchase log picks, August 2020

[Charlie Puth - Voicenotes]

Charlie Puth, Voicenotes

A Subway TV ad introduced me to Charlie Puth. And I haven’t been able to stop playing this album since.

Mandy Barnett, A Nashville Songbook

Barnett released “It’s Now or Never” as a single, and I can’t say I was a fan. I even made an uncharitable prediction about whether this album would work. Then I heard it in full, and the song selection is impeccable — “The End of the World”, “Love Hurts”, “I Love a Rainy Night”. Perhaps the apex of this songbook is “The Crying Game”.

The Streets, None of Us Are Getting Out of This Life Alive

Mike Skinner’s first two albums loom large, but this return after a nearly decade absence stands up to that legacy.

The Chicks, Gaslighter

A friend of mine had an extra copy, so I took it. It’s my first ever (Dixie) Chicks album. If I get curious enough, I can pick up Fly or Wide Open Spaces from the thrift shop.

Julius Eastman, Unjust Malaise

Julius Eastman was post-minimalist at a time when his minimalist colleagues were still minimalizing.

Robyn, Robyn

Robyn > Kylie > Madonna.

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Favorite Edition 2020 Year Half

[Sam Sparro - Boombox Eternal]

I started running out of things to say just as the SARS-CoV2 spread in the US, and when the lockdown happened, I threw myself into recording a pair of cover albums. I wasn’t buying much music, nor listening to anyone other than myself. By the time I finished making the albums, stores were opening up, and my music buying eventually resumed.

But I still don’t have much to say.

That doesn’t mean I’ve run out of opinions. So here are my favorites of the year so far.

New releases

  • Sam Sparro, Boombox Eternal
  • Timo Andres / Brad Mehldau / Jeremy Denk / Randy Newman, I Still Play
  • Perfume Genius, Set My Heart on Fire Immediately
  • Jason Isbell and 400 Unit, Reunions
  • The Streets, None of Us Are Getting Out of This Life Alive
  • Fiona Apple, Fetch the Bolt Cutters
  • … And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead, X: The Godless Void and Other Stories
  • The Chicks, Gaslighter

Catalog

  • Charlie Puth, Voicenotes
  • Robyn, Body Talk
  • Nakamori Akina, AKINA BOX 1982-1989
  • Various Artists, Studio One Rockers
  • The Damned, Machine Gun Etiquette
  • Les Rythmes Digitales, Darkdancer

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Purchase log, 2020-08-25

[Sinéad O'Connor - The Lion and the Cobra]

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
  • Benjamin Gibbard, Former Lives
  • Cocteau Twins, Garlands
  • Communards, Red
  • INXS, The Swing
  • Madness, Madness
  • Passengers, Original Soundtracks 1
  • Robyn, Robyn
  • Robyn, Body Talk, Vol. 2
  • Sinéad O’Connor, The Lion and the Cobra
  • Throwing Muses, Throwing Muses

Reissues

Vinyl
  • Guided By Voices, Alien Lanes
  • PJ Harvey, Rid of Me

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