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Favorite Edition 2021 Catalog

[Riz Ahmed - The Long Goodbye]

It’s been five years since I discovered the media section of Lifelong Thrift Shop, and I’m at a point where I’m making fewer discoveries. These days, I pick things up because they pique my curiosity, and I anticipate I’ll be re-donating a lot of the albums I bought in the past year.

Still, the vast majority of my listening these days is catalog, as the Favorite Edition Year Final will make clear. In the past, I might have scoffed at someone as new and popular as Olivia Rodrigo. Now? I shrug and follow the mantra, “Let people like things.”

There’s a lot of music out on which I missed when I sought the dopamine hit of finding a new favorite band.

  • Riz Ahmed, The Long Goodbye: Rogue One is probably my favorite movie in the Star Wars extended universe, and Riz Ahmed is big part of why. I’m usually skeptical of Hollywood actors making music, but The Long Goodbye is amazing. It’s a breakup record, but with an entire country. The interludes don’t even feel that arch.
  • Linda Ronstadt, Mad Love: “Hurt So Bad” drew my attention this album, which I then discovered had some solid post-punk credentials on it. I still don’t think calling it her “new wave” album is entirely accurate, though.
  • The Fixx, Reach the Beach: I bought this album on the strength of “One Thing Leads to Another” alone, but I was surprised to find “Save By Zero” on there.
  • Kelela, Take Me Apart: I love that today’s R&B artists draw on influence outside the genre. This album feels more like Utada Hikaru.
  • Laurie Anderson, Big Science: I have two other Laurie Anderson albums that did not answer the question why she’s so lauded. Then this album popped up at the thrift store, and it became clear.
  • Alexander O’Neal, Hearsay: This album did well at the time, and it’s definitely a fine production by Jam and Lewis.
  • Test Pattern, This Is My Street: Man, I want an entire physical release of this Documentary Now! parody of Stop Making Sense.
  • Brothers Johnson, Light Up the Night: Sure, this album was made in the last throes of disco, but there is some mighty fine playing here. And “Stomp!” is timeless.
  • Electric Light Orchestra, Time: I’m definitely not the target market for the orchestral classic rock of ELO, but this album was essentially the band’s detour into new wave. And I’m all for that.
  • A Taste of Honey, Twice as Sweet: Yes, this album concludes with “Sukiyaki”, but the 9 tracks preceding it are no slouch.

Other favorites:

  • Big Pig, Bonk
  • fIREHOSE, If’n
  • Arditti Quartet, Arditti
  • Control Machete, Artillería Pesada, Presenta …
  • Prefab Sprout, Two Wheels Good (a.k.a Steve McQueen)

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Purchase log, 2021-10-19

[Res - How I Do]

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
  • Craig Armstrong, Nocturnes: Music for Two Pianos

Catalog

CD
  • Art of Noise, The Ambient Collection
  • Brothers Johnson, Light Up the Night
  • Fishbone, Fishbone 101: Nuttasaurusmeg Fossil Fuelin’ the Fonkay
  • Hirosue Ryoko, Arigato!
  • John Zorn / Yamataka Eye, John Zorn Birthday Celebration, Vol. 10
  • Muse, Showbiz
  • Muse, The Resistance
  • Spandau Ballet, True
  • Sufjan Stevens, Seven Swans
  • The B-52’s, Time Capsule: Songs for a Future Generation
  • Tyler the Creator, Cherry Bomb
  • Tyler the Creator, Wölf
  • ZARD, BEST ~Request Memorial~
Vinyl
  • Electric Light Orchestra, Time
  • Eurythmics, Touch Dance
  • Marvin Gaye, Here, My Dear
  • Res, How I Do
  • Styx, Kilroy Was Here
  • Soundtrack, Patty Hearst

Reissues

CD
  • Sugababes, One Touch (Deluxe Edition)
Vinyl
  • Sinéad O’Connor, So Far … The Best of Sinéad O’Connor
  • Sugababes, One Touch

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Purchase log picks, September 2021

[Ne-Yo - Year of the Gentleman]

Emmylou Harris and the Nash Ramblers, Ramble in Music City: The Lost Concert

In addition to being an impeccable song curator, Emmylou Harris attracts top notch talent to her bands. The Nash Ramblers was one of her best groups, as evidenced by this set of Harris set list standards, refracted through a bluegrass lens.

Ne-Yo, Year of the Gentleman

Ne-Yo pops up on New York Times crossword puzzles regularly because of his vowel-friendly moniker. I picked up this disc from the thrift store based solely on that recommendation. Turns out, he’s a mighty fine singer.

Whiskeytown, Strangers Almanac

I picked up this album alongside Old 97s’ Too Far to Care when I wanted to find out what this “alt-country” thing was all about. I liked them both, but I played Too Far to Care a lot more. I eventually let Strangers Almanac go when cash got tight. I picked it up again from the thrift shop because I’ve been hankering to hear “Excuse Me While I Break My Own Heart.” I’m not interested in Ryan Adams beyond this album, but Strangers Almanac did turn me into a Caitlin Cary fan.

MONO, Pilgrimage of the Soul

I couldn’t get into Nowhere Now Here, but the more extroverted sound on Pilgrimage of the Soul is a departure for the band I more than welcome.

Ensemble of the Bulgarian Republic, Music of Bulgaria

Le Mystère de Voix Bulgares was a nice gateway into Bulgarian folk music, but this Nonesuch Explorer Series album goes further. Yes, there is choir music here, but it shares space with other forms of Bulgarian folk music.

Brothers Johnson, Light Up the Night

“Stomp!” was the big hit from this album, but the rest of it is also tight.

Soundtrack, Heavy Metal

I didn’t realize how much my brother played this album in his car. I could actually hum or sing along to many of the tracks on this soundtrack compilation, and I’m not a big fan of any of these bands.

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Purchase log, 2021-09-28

[Robbie Williams - Life Thru a Lens]

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
  • Perfume, Polygon Wave EP

Catalog

CD
  • Britney Spears, … Baby One More Time
  • Cee-Lo Green, Cee-Lo Green … Is the Soul Machine
  • Ensemble of the Republic of Bulgaria, Music of Bulgaria
  • Jon Kimura Parker, Rite
  • m-flo, The Intergalactic Collection
  • Sarah McLachlan, Solace
  • The Replacements, All for Nothing / Nothing for All
  • The Rolling Stones, Let It Bleed
  • The Rolling Stones, Sticky Fingers
Vinyl
  • Brothers Johnson, Light Up the Night

Reissues

Vinyl
  • Garbage, Garbage
  • Robbie Williams, I’ve Been Expecting You
  • Robbie Williams, Life Thru a Lens

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Purchase log, 2021-06-01

[AJICO - Setsuzoku]

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
  • AJICO, Setsuzoku

Catalog

Format
  • Doug E. Fresh and the Get Fresh Crew, The World’s Greatest Entertainer
  • Evelyn Glennie, The Music of Joseph Schwantner (St. Louis Symphony, Leonard Slatkin)
  • Floratone, Floratone
  • Hiroshima, Odori
  • Mary Jane Girls, Only Four You
  • Pat Benatar, Precious Time
  • Ratt, Out of the Cellar
  • Rolling Stones, Emotional Rescue
  • Shabazz Palaces, Black Up
  • The Vaselines, The Way of the Vaselines
  • Soundtrack, Kill Bill, Vol. 2
Vinyl
  • Brothers Johnson, Right on Time
  • Kelela, Take Me Apart
  • Laurie Anderson, Big Science
  • Melt-Banana, cell-scape

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