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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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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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Purchase log, 2022-04-12

[Information Society - Hack]

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
  • Midnight Oil, RESIST

Catalog

CD
  • Bob Dylan, Blonde on Blonde
  • Cave In, Antenna
  • Frederic Chopin, Impromptus (Murray Perihia)
  • Human League, Greatest Hits
  • Kraftwerk, Autobahn
  • Kraftwerk, The Man-Machine
  • Kraftwerk, Techno Pop
  • Misia, Mother Father Brother Sister
  • Rush, Moving Pictures
  • Squarepusher, Music Is Rotted One Note
Vinyl
  • Faith No More, Album of the Year
  • Information Society, Hack

Reissues

CD
  • Tyler the Creator, Call Me If You Get Lost

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Purchase log picks, first quarter 2022

[Black - Wonderful Life]

Utada Hikaru, BAD Mode

Back at the dawn of the recorded music industry, albums did little more than collect an artist’s last few singles onto a compilation, a model Japan still follows to some extent. Most of the tracks on BAD Mode was released as singles, and I have to admit, I couldn’t see how they all worked as an album. Then Utada provided the last few tracks, and it became apparent BAD Mode just might be their best album. I’m still very much attached to Ultra Blue, DISTANCE and First Love, but BAD Mode is quickly rising up the ranks.

Black, Wonderful Life

How is this album not more popular than it is? Hatakeyama Miyuki even covered the title track. It’s actually quite popular in the UK, but the US needs to catch up.

Tears for Fears, The Tipping Point

Similar to Duran Duran, Tears for Fears has never really recorded the same album twice, and The Tipping Point follows that tradition. This album resembles Duran Duran’s FUTURE PAST in the way it tips a hat to earlier work while still sounding modern. Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith know what works for each other, and The Tipping Point reflects that ease, despite the difficulty in getting the album made.

Midnight Oil, RESIST

The modus operandi of a Midnight Oil album hasn’t changed in 40 years, but what’s unfortunate is how much dire the world has become for not heeding the band’s warnings in all that time.

Seawind, Seawind

My mom bought the single “Whatcha Doin’?” for me when I was 8 years old, so I didn’t exactly have quite the appreciation for the song that I do now. Decades later, I picked up the self-titled album from whence the single came at the Austin Record Convention, and not being an expert on late 70s funk, I really dug it. The band is tight. Pauline Wilson sounds incredible. And the songwriting? Top notch. Seawind has been reissued a number of times in Japan, which indicates this album is vastly underrated here in the States.

Various Artists, Living in Oblivion, Vol. 4

Just look at this track list and tell me this compilation isn’t crack for 80s music fans.

MF DOOM, MM FOOD?

Kate Bush sang the digits of pi and wrote a song about doing laundry. So a hip-hop album about food should not be outside the realm of plausibility.

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Looking ahead, January-February 2022

[Midnight Oil - Resist]

Midnight Oil, Resist, Feb. 22

Billed as the final Midnight Oil, Resist finds the environmentally-conscious Australian band topical as ever. And it’s been four decades since they drew attention to these issues. How much progress have we made since?

Tears for Fears, The Tipping Point, Feb. 22

I saw a lot of people online express excitement over the return of Tears for Fears, and yet, I don’t remember that much attention being drawn to their last album, 2004’s Everybody Loves a Happy Ending. I have to admit, that album is my least played of theirs.

Utada Hikaru, BAD Mode, Feb. 23

I can’t think of a more appropriate title to describe the zeitgeist of the early 2020s. A digital release on Jan. 19 precedes the physical release in February.

Vinyl

Enya, “May It Be”, Jan. 7

Enya has been around long enough for her albums to receive the deluxe reissue treatment, but I also get the sense she’s pretty ambivalent of such reissues. So this vinyl reissue seems more like the label trying to make sure people know Enya is still around. Jan. 7 is a US import release date. The single is already available in the UK.

Soundtrack, Lost in Translation, Jan. 7

This soundtrack gets occasional vinyl reissues that sell out quick and fetch exorbitant prices on Discogs. So yeah, I’m going to try to snag a copy.

PJ Harvey, Let England Shake, Jan. 28

I picked up this album and Rid of Me from the thrift store at the same time, and I like both albums. But Rid of Me monopolized more of my player time. I’ve still eagerly awaited this vinyl reissue, nonetheless.

The White Stripes, Elephant, March 25
The White Stripes, Get Behind Me Satan, March 25
The White Stripes, Icky Thump, March 25

I’d say I’m more interested in the Elephant reissue over Get Behind Me Satan. I haven’t listened to Icky Thump.

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Purchase log, 2020-11-03

[Eponymous 4 - Shinkyoku Moratorium Nihongohan]

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
  • Midnight Oil, The Makarrata Project
  • Mr. Bungle, The Raging Wrath of the Easter Bunny Demo
  • Sam Amidon, Sam Amidon
  • Sam Smith, Love Goes
Files
  • Eponymous 4, Shinkyoku Moratorium Nihongohan

Catalog

CD
  • Chanticleer, Magnificat
  • Dixie Chicks, Fly
  • Gustav Mahler, Symphony No. 9 (New York Philharmonic, Leonard Bernstein)
  • Old 97s, Wreck Your Life
  • PJ Harvey, 4-Track Demos
  • Propellerheads, Decksandrumsandrockandroll
Vinyl
  • Andrew Lloyd Webber, Song and Dance: The Songs (Bernadette Peters)
  • Roger Daltrey, Under a Raging Moon
  • Whitney Houston, Whitney Houston

Reissues

CD
  • U2, All That You Can’t Leave Behind (Deluxe Edition)
Vinyl
  • Soundtrack, The Descendants

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Looking ahead, March-May 2020

[Tokyo Jihen - News]

I usually wait until concrete release dates are announced before listing an album in these previews, but in the last few days, a number of artists have made announcements worth noting.

Tokyo Jihen, News, April 8

I didn’t think I would miss Tokyo Jihen, but I realized I did when their reunion was announced.

Gaytheist, How Long Have I Been on Fire, April 10

I like Gaytheist, but I don’t follow them as closely as I do other bands. So it’s an automated announcement from Bandcamp that informed me of this release.

Roberta Flack, First Take (Deluxe Edition), April 10

Roberta Flack’s debut album turns 50. “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” was No. 1 on the week I was born.

Rufus Wainwright, Unfollow the Rules, April 24

When was the last time Rufus Wainwright did a rock album? Right around the time I moved to Seattle in 2012.

Sam Smith, To Die For, May 1

I enjoyed The Thrill of It All more than In the Lonely Hour, so I’m hoping this next album continues that trajectory.

Jason Isbell and 400 Unit, Reunions, May 15

The Nashville Sound was good, but it didn’t monopolize my attention the way Southeastern or Something More than Free did. So my anticipation for this album is a bit on the cool side.

Midnight Oil, The Markarrata Project, Summer 2020
Midnight Oil, TBD, Late 2020

I think I’m more excited over another tour than I am about the new album and EP. At the same time, things are so fucked up that Midnight Oil is the right band for these times.

Janet Jackson, Black Diamond, TBD

Aside from the title, details are scant about the next Janet album, but she’s already announced a tour.

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Purchase log, 2019-12-17

[Various Artists - Rubáiyát]

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
  • Shiina Ringo, Sandokushi
Blu Ray
  • Shiina Ringo, Seiteki Healing Sono Go~Nana

Catalog

CD
  • Bob Mould, The Last Dog and Pony Show
  • Digital Underground, Sex Packets
  • Lana Del Rey, Norman Fucking Rockwell!
  • Midnight Oil, Earth and Sun and Moon
  • Mumford & Sons, Sigh No More
  • Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto (New York Chamber Symphony, Gerard Schwarz)
  • Old 97s, Satellite Rides
  • Philip Glass, Low Symphony (Brooklyn Philharmonic, Dennis Russell Davies)
  • Roxette, Look Sharp!
  • Stephen Sondheim, Sweeney Todd (2005 Broadway Cast)
  • Sting, If On a Winter’s Night …
  • Tag Team, Whoomp! (There It Is)
  • Taylor Swift, Speak Now
  • Technotronic, Trip on This: The Remixes
  • Various Artists, Living In Oblivion, Vol. 2
  • Various Artists, Rubáiyát: The Originals
Vinyl
  • Chic, Risqué
  • Conlon Nancarrow, Complete Studies for Player Piano, Vol. 2
  • Conlon Nancarrow, Complete Studies for Player Piano, Vol. 4
  • Foreigner, Agent Provocateur
  • Hüsker Dü, Land Speed Record
  • Sonic Youth, Confusion Is Sex
  • Soundtrack, This Is Spinal Tap

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Purchase log, 2019-12-10

[Les Miserablés - Original French Concept Album]

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
  • ACO, Sing Sing Sing

Catalog

CD
  • Antonio Salieri, Piano Concerto in B-Flat Major / Concerto in C Major for Flute and Oboe (I Solisti Veneti, Claudio Scimone)
  • Band of Susans, Love Agenda
  • Baths, Cerulean
  • Deltron 3030, Deltron 3030
  • Donkey, Slick Night Out
  • Eagles, Hotel California
  • Fleetwood Mac, Tusk
  • Franz Josef Haydn, String Quartets, Op. 71, Nos. 1-3 (Kodály Quartet)
  • Franz Josef Haydn, String Quartets, Op. 76, Nos. 4-6 (Kodály Quartet)
  • Jamila Woods, HEAVN
  • McCoy Tyner, Sahara
  • The Band, Music from Big Pink
  • The Band, The Band
  • Tsuji Ayano, CALENDAR CALENDAR
  • William Grant Still, Oregon Festival of American Music Presents William Grant Still
  • Soundtrack, Les Miserablés (Original London Cast)
  • Soundtrack, Les Miserablés (Original French Concept Album)
Vinyl
  • Big Country, The Crossing
  • Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Lift Yr. Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven!
  • John Coltrane, Om
  • Midnight Oil, Earth and Sun and Moon
  • Missy Elliott, Supa Dupa Fly
  • S’Express, Original Soundtrack
  • The Zombies, Odessey & Oracle
  • Soundtrack, Love, Simon

Reissues

CD
  • Prince, 1999

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