Archives

Looking ahead, July-September 2021

[Art of Noise - Noise in the City]

The Flaming Lips, The Soft Bulletin Companion, July 21

The vinyl version of this early promotional compilation was released as part of Record Store Day Drops in June 2021.

Drive-By Truckers, Plan 9 Records, July 13, 2006, Aug. 6

This live set is a scorcher. The full performance was released as part of Record Store Day Black Friday 2020.

Art of Noise, Noise in the City: Live in Tokyo 1986, Aug. 13

When the Art of Noise visited Japan in 2017 for a series of concerts, they discovered a concert from 1986 had been recorded for a radio broadcast. That concert is getting a limited release on vinyl and CD.

Emmylou Harris and the Nash Ramblers, Ramble in the City: The Lost Concert, Sept. 3

Unlike the shows recorded at the Ryman Auditorium, the set list for this lost concert consists mostly of Emmylou Harris’ long time hits.

Metallica, Metallica (Deluxe Edition), Sept. 10

For the longest time, the self-titled Metallica album was the only Metallica album I owned. While I have filled out my collection with the albums leading up to the black album, I have nothing beyond S&M.

Jeremy Denk, Mozart: Piano Concertos, Sept. 17

Sure, I’ll listen to Denk perform the K. 482, i.e. Concert No. 22 in D Minor.

Sugababes, One Love (Deluxe Edition), Oct. 1

I’m not sure if the album on the whole is really that great, but “Overload” is one of the finest singles to come out of the early 2000s.

Vinyl

Enigma, MCMXC a.D., June 23

If you missed out on the colored vinyl reissues from 2018, Universal Music Germany is repressing this album and 7 others, remastered audio and all.

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Purchase log, 2020-12-01

[Jane's Addiction - Ritual de lo Habitual]

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
  • Onitsuka Chihiro, Hysteria
Vinyl
  • Drive-By Truckers, Plan 9 Records, July 13, 2006

Catalog

CD
  • Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Slow Riot for New Zero Kanada EP
  • St. Germain, Tourist
  • Supertramp, Breakfast in America
  • The Avett Brothers, The Gleam
  • The Sugarhill Gang, Rapper’s Delight: The Best of Sugarhill Gang
  • U2, The Unforgettable Fire (Deluxe Edition)
  • TV on the Radio, Dear Science
  • Whitney Houston, Whitney Houston
Vinyl
  • Beyoncé, Beyoncé
  • Kanye West, 808s and Heartbreaks
  • Weezer, Weezer (Blue Album)

Reissues

Vinyl
  • Alice in Chains, SAP
  • Beastie Boys, Some Old Bullshit
  • Fountains of Wayne, Welcome Interstate Managers
  • Jane’s Addiction, Ritual de lo Habitual
  • Milla Jovovitch, The Divine Comedy
  • U2, Boy (40th anniversary white vinyl)

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Purchase log picks, November 2020

[Whitney Houston - Whitney Houston]

SUPERCAR, OOKeah!!

SUPERCAR’s vinyl reissue campaign from 2017-2018 gave me an excuse to explore the band’s first three albums. The campaign didn’t include a pair of albums released in 1999, OOKeah!! and OOYeah!! So they’ve escaped my attention till now. I prefer OOKeah!! over OOYeah!!, although the latter include “Be”, a song with a darkly humorous video that can only come from Japan.

So, when can we get these albums reissued on vinyl?

Kylie Minogue, DISCO

Kiss Me Once was one of the last albums I downloaded from eMusic, and I skipped Golden altogether. So I approached DISCO with a fair amount of caution. Oh, she’s back.

PJ Harvey, Dry

Friends tried to get me into PJ Harvey by playing To Give You My Love. I would have gotten on board much sooner if they had played Rid of Me or Dry instead. I am, however, eagerly waiting news for a vinyl reissue of Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea.

Drive-By Truckers, Plan 9 Records, July 13, 2006

I’ve subjected myself to 3-LP live albums before, but this one is a scorcher from start to finish. I still see some copies of this Record Store Day exclusive in the wild, so you should get it if you spot it.

Whitney Houston, Whitney Houston

I disliked Whitney Houston growing up. Her songs were played to death on the radio, and just about every track on this album was released as a single. So how did I end up liking it more than 30 years later? The non-single tracks are actually pretty decent. Paired with the big showstoppers, Houston’s self-titled debut holds together exceptionally well. I didn’t even mind hearing the old singles again.

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Favorite Edition Rewind: 2016

[Sturgill Simpson - A Sailor's Guide to Earth]

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.

The 2016 list has actually undergone a revision, so this list consolidates the two entries, with some slight changes.

  1. Sturgill Simpson, A Sailor’s Guide to Earth
  2. Henryk Górecki, Symphony No. 4
  3. MONO, Requiem for Hell
  4. Solange, A Seat at the Table
  5. A Tribe Called Quest, We Got It From Here … Thank You 4 Your Service
  6. Perfume, COSMIC EXPLORER
  7. Drive By Truckers, American Band
  8. Shaprece, COALS
  9. Cocco, Adan Ballet
  10. Colvin & Earle, Colvin & Earle

Other favorites from the year:

  • Utada Hikaru, Fantôme
  • Ty Herndon, House on Fire
  • Eluvium, False Readings On
  • Santigold, 99 Cents
  • Explosions in the Sky, The Wilderness
  • Blood Orange, Freetown Sound
  • Colin Stetson, Sorrow: A Reimagining of Gorecki’s Third Symphony
  • John Adams, Scheherazade.2

The 10 favorites remain the same, while Utada Hikaru and Ty Herndon get bumped down. ANONHI, Pixies and De La Soul get bumped off completely.

I included Pixies because Head Carrier was an improvement over Indie Cindy, but it wasn’t stellar enough to hold onto its position. Albums by ANONHI and De La Sol were good, but over time, they couldn’t hold onto to their status as favorites.

As I mentioned before, lists from this decade probably won’t see much shifting, as my focus continues to move to exploring catalog. Most of the 2016 releases I bought after the year had passed were vinyl issues.

A Bruce Springsteen compilation accompanying the release of his autobiography did set me on a course to explore his earlier albums.

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Purchase log, 2018-05-15

[L7 - Bricks Are Heavy]

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
  • Black Sabbath, Greatest Hits 1970-1978
  • Carl Nielsen, Symphony No. 4 / Symphony No. 6 (Neeme Järvi, Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra)
  • Drive-By Truckers, A Blessing and a Curse
  • Giovanni Palestrina, Missa Aeterna Christi Munera (James O’Donnell, Choir of Westminster Cathedral)
  • L7, Bricks Are Heavy

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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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Favorite Edition 2016: Year Final

[Sturgill Simpson - A Sailor's Guide to Earth]

What a spiteful year 2016 has turned out to be. I won’t hazard how subsequent years may turn out with the impending leadership change in Washington, D.C., but for now, 2016 has just been a veritable shitstorm.

In terms of music, 2016 has been lackluster. I encountered a lot of albums that were likable but very few I could really love. In a few instances, some of my favorite bands turned out some of their most interesting music in their careers, but I couldn’t muster excitement for them.

  1. Sturgill Simpson, A Sailor’s Guide to Earth: Sturgill Simpson played a two-hour set with no encore at the Paramount Theatre in Seattle in November. He spent the first hour performing songs from his previous album. Then he spent the next hour playing A Sailor’s Guide to Earth from start to finish with a whole lot of room for jamming. That’s something a composer would do.
  2. Henryk Górecki, Symphony No. 4: Insistent.
  3. MONO, Requiem for Hell Of the two albums MONO released in 2014, Rays of Darkness was my favorite. I didn’t imagine the ideas on that album could be exploded.
  4. Solange, A Seat at the Table: Solange not only out-Lemonaded Beyoncé, she also out-Blonded Frank Ocean.
  5. Shaprece, COALS: Björk, if she were black.
  6. Drive By Truckers, American Band: I’ve known about Drive By Truckers for years, but I finally took the plunge with this album. So that’s who took up the Uncle Tupelo mantle.
  7. Cocco, Adan Ballet: This album won’t dislodge Rapunzel or Bougainvillia as a fan favorite, but it’s some of the best work she’s done since Sangrose.
  8. Colvin & Earle, Colvin & Earle: This pairing of Steve Earle and Shawn Colvin looks unlikely on paper, but intuitively, you could tell the universe was ready for it.
  9. Utada Hikaru, Fantôme: I’m beginning to realize Utada Hikaru was PBR&B before Solange started hanging out with Dirty Projectors.
  10. Ty Herndon, House on Fire: It’s tough not to read some autobiography into this album, the first Ty Herndon released after revealing he’s gay. It’s also tough not to get swept up in the confidence and energy pouring out of the speakers.

Other notable albums:

  • Eluvium, False Readings On
  • Santigold, 99 Cents
  • Explosions in the Sky, The Wilderness
  • Blood Orange, Freetown Sound
  • AHOHNI, HOPELESSNESS
  • Pixies, Head Carrier
  • Colin Stetson, Sorrow: A Reimagining of Gorecki’s Third Symphony
  • John Adams, Scheherazade.2
  • De La Soul, and the Anonymous Nobody

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