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Purchase log, 2024-03-05

[Soundtrack - Thirty-Two Short Films About Glenn Gould]

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

Files
  • Wayne Horvitz, 11 Improvisations for Piano and Amplified Piano

Catalog

CD
  • Domenico Scarlatti, Sonaten (Ivo Porgelich)
  • Maxim Vengerov, Vengerov Plays Ysaÿe Shchedrin Bach
Vinyl
  • Barcelona, Basic Man
  • Camouflage, Methods of Silence
  • Elastica, Elastica
  • Full Force, Full Force
  • Ice Spice, Like…? (Deluxe)
  • MONO, New York Soundtracks
  • XTC, White Music
  • Soundtrack, Thirty-Two Short Films About Glenn Gould
Files
  • Mahogany Throttle, Depth & Diving
  • Wayne Horvitz, Live Forever, Vol. 2: Horvitz Morris Previte Trio – NYC Leverkusen 1988-1989

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Purchase log picks, fourth quarter 2023

[The American Analog Set - For Forever]

Matt Rogers, Have You Heard of Christmas?

I’m enough of a rockist snob to turn my nose up at Christmas music, so imagine my surprise at seeing a fucking Christmas album as a year-end pick. But Matt Rogers takes a piss out of the genre, offering a set of songs sung as earnestly as any pop star with Broadway pipes, but throwing equal measures of irreverence toward religion, gay culture and whatever else the zeitgeist deems important. But if these songs were just straight-up pop extracted from the seasonal theme? Fire. Absolute fire.

Right Said Fred, Up

Yes, Right Said Fred is a one-hit wonder, but this album is pretty solid. No, seriously.

The American Analog Set, For Forever

AmAnSet returns after 18 years with an album that doesn’t sound like the AmAnSet I remember from the 2000s. For Forever is uncharacteristically extroverted if your perception of the band is as frozen in time as mine.

Helmet, LEFT

I read a number of reviews that pointed out the last track on the album was jazzy without mentioning it was a cover of John Coltrane’s “Resolution.” These reviews were on metal-themed sites, so … OK? The rest of the album is a lot more tuneful than the Helmet I remember, a perception admittedly stuck in the early-1990s.

These fourth quarter picks can be found in the Favorite Edition 2023 Year Final:

  • Soundtrack, BLEACH: THE BLOOD WARFARE I
  • Troye Sivan, Something to Give Each Other
  • The Drums, Jonny
  • Jamila Woods, Water Made Us
  • Olivia Rodrigo, Guts

These fourth quarter picks can be found in the Favorite Edition Catalog 2023:

  • Slint, Tweez

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Favorite Edition 2023 Year Final

[SYML - The Day My Father Died]

Two things prevented me from really exploring new releases of 2023: working on my own music and discovering the work of Brian Fennell, id est SYML.

My iPod Touch has a playlist of unreleased Observant Records tracks that at one point lasted 2 hours. I have an EP, a reissue and a number of singles ready to unleash over the next two years. So I’ve been working in my own monkey house for a while, which means I’m probably losing perspective on how good this work may be.

Back in 2019, SYML released his debut album and showed up on a number of my social media feeds. My reaction: Oh, he’s cute. When he showed up again in 2023, I decided to listen to The Day My Father Died. I’ve since gone back and listened to his back catalog and also the albums he recorded with the band Barcelona.

So it’s just been me and Brian Fennell for most of 2023.

SYML, The Day My Father Died

When I first put The Day My Father Died on the half-year list, I hadn’t yet explored SYML’s self-titled debut. Now that I have, I actually like that album a bit more, but it didn’t stop The Day My Father Died from consistently getting multiple plays on my media players. Fennell has a great voice, and he’s a great songwriter. But his songs are so well-suited for his voice, it’s hard to imagine someone else covering his work. Still, it makes for some engrossing listening.

Kelela, Raven

My first play of the album was underwhelming, but I gave it another few spins, and before I knew it, the album had seeped into my consciousness. Nothing on this album stands out as a chart-topper, but in its entirety, Raven has a seductive quietude.

Eluvium, (whirring Marvels in) Consensus Reality

Eluvium albums tend to be more meditative, but this one goes for epic gestures. And it’s a welcome change.

Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, Weathervanes

Jason Isbell is similar to Emmylou Harris in how they both don’t really make bad albums. But Weathervanes made me rethink just how much I liked the albums preceding it. Both The Nashville Sound and Reunions had reached the year-end favorite list, but Weathervanes has an emotional core about as raw and vulnerable as Southeastern, his breakthrough album that turned 10 in 2023. It’s probably his best album since Southeastern.

Everything But the Girl, Fuse

Do I like this album more than Walking Wounded, Amplified Heart or Temperamental? No. But Ben and Tracey reuniting is just the balm we need for the start of the 2020s.

Kesha, Gag Order

I love it when pop stars have genuine axes to grind, and Kesha comes out swinging.

Soundtrack, BLEACH: THE BLOOD WARFARE I

BLEACH: Thousand Year Blood War is the only scripted television show I watch, and I have been enjoying the conclusion of the BLEACH storyline immensely. A lot of the music on the soundtrack is familiar to anyone who’s watched the show for any length of time, but the stakes raised in the story means the score has to rise to the occasion. So real orchestra players come in where synthesizers held court, and Sagisu Shiro’s score gets more intense as a result.

Danish String Quartet, Prism V

Over the course of five albums, Danish String Quartet explored the connections between Beethoven and Bach on composers that came centuries in their wake. In this final edition, the quartet pairs Beethoven’s Op. 135 quartet with a quartet by Anton Webern written before Arnold Schoenberg’s influence would take a strong hold. As such, the Webern link to Beethoven and Bach is clearer than the ones the Danish drew with Bela Bartok, Dmitri Shostakovich or Alfred Schnittke.

Vagaon, Sorry I Haven’t Called

If you liked Vagabon’s self-titled album , this album doesn’t disappoint. Lætitia Tamko occupies that nebulous space between pop and indie rock navigated by the likes of Solange, Jamila Woods and Sampha (the latter who also released albums in 2023.)

The Drums, Jonny

The singles preceding this album’s release were some of Jonathan Pierce’s catchiest, and the rest of the album is no slouch. Plus, the album cover is quite … honest. I like it.

More favorites:

  • Olivia Rodrigo, GUTS: I’m not the target audience for Rodrigo’s lyrics, but man she sure gives us olds that big rock sound.
  • NUMBER GIRL, Mujo no Hi: Yes, “Toumei Shoujou” shows up four times on this live set, and yes, each iteration sounds as vital as the one before it.
  • Troye Sivan, Something to Give Each Other: I like the cover of this album too.
  • Jamila Woods, Water Made Us: Did you like Legacy! Legacy!? This one is good too.
  • Queens of the Stone Age, In Times New Roman …: Recommended if you like … Like Clockwork.

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Purchase log, 2023-10-17

[The Drums - Jonny]

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
  • The Drums, Jonny
  • Troye Sivan, Something to Give Each Other
  • Soundtrack , BLEACH: THE BLOOD WARFARE

Catalog

CD
  • Division of Laura Lee, Black City
  • Echo and the Bunnymen, Ocean Rain
  • Helmet, Monochrome
  • Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson and Sigur Rós, Englar Alheimsins
  • Monks of Doom, Forgery
  • Pearl Jam, Benaroya Hall, October 22, 2003
  • Raekwon, Only Built for Cuban Linx …

Reissues

CD
  • Electronic, Get the Message Out: The Best of Electronic
  • Sugababes, The Lost Tapes

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Purchase log, 2023-10-03

[... And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead, Tao of the Dead]

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
  • Lady Gaga, Joanne
  • Lucinda Williams, Lucinda Williams (Deluxe Edition)
  • Pinback, Information Received
  • Pinback, Offcell
  • The Shins, Wincing the Night Away
  • Soundtrack, Lone Survivor
Vinyl
  • Talking Heads, Talking Heads ’77

Reissues

CD
  • Jason Isbell, Southeastern (10th Anniversary Edition)
Vinyl
  • …, And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead, Tao of the Dead
  • TV on the Radio, Return to Cookie Mountain

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Purchase log picks, third quarter 2023

[Jason Isbell - Southeastern (10th Anniversary Edition)

SYML, SYML
Barcelona, Absolutes

OK, I confess: I started listening to Brian Fennell because he showed up in my social media feed, and thought, “Oh, he’s really cute.” So yes, there may be a halo effect to my becoming a stan. But Fennell has had a diverse career so far. As part of the trio Barcelona, he sang powerfully in front of a driving guitars. By the time he released the self-titled debut album as SYML, that rock vocabulary expanded to include electronics. SYML and Absolutes are the best of Fennell’s early works.

Soundtrack, Star Trek Voyager: The Caretaker

I’m ambivalent about Star Trek as a whole, but do not doubt my devotion to Star Trak: Voyager. Most of that fandom was driven by a crush on Garrett Wang, but I really liked how Voyager felt grittier than other series in the franchise. Jay Chattaway’s scores for the series did their job girding what was happening onscreen, so subconsciously, I perceived there were some avant-grade gestures going on. I didn’t realize the extent till this soundtrack laid it all bare. So much so, Jerry Goldsmith’s theme song feels anachronistic next to it.

Vagabon, Sorry I Haven’t Called

This album is the first of three I’m anticipating in 2023. The others are Water Made Us by Jamila Woods and LAHAI by Sampha. I don’t get the impression Vagabon strayed too far from what made her previous album appealing, and that’s fine with me.

Explosions in the Sky, End

Seven years have passed since the previous Explosions in the Sky album, and they too have made made drastic renovations to their sound, similar to labelmate Eluvium. End actually has some conventional song structures — shocker! — and electronics figure much more heavily this time around. The album starts of strong, but it does flag in the second half.

Jason Isbell, Southeastern (10th Anniversary Edition)

I could go on about how the the live and demo versions of this breakout album provides context and whatever else reviewers prattle on about, but I am a gay man who is not above listening to music performed by an attractive guy. And Isbell is a smoke show on the updated cover of Southeastern.

The Replacements, Tim: Let It Bleed Edition

Hey, you know the guy who produced Living Colour’s debut album Vivid? He updated the mix of the Replacements’ major label debut, and it sounds pretty damn good.

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Purchase log, 2023-08-01

[Sinéad O'Connor - Gospel Oak EP]

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
  • Don Caballero, World Class Listening Problem
  • Lina, Stranger on Earth
  • Sinėad O’Connor, Gospel Oak EP
  • The Donnas, Gold Medal
  • Tiësto, In Search of Sunrise 6: Ibiza
  • Soundtrack, Star Trek Voyager: The Caretaker
  • Various Artists, Hal Wilner Presents Weird Nightmare: Meditations on Mingus

Reissues

Vinyl
  • Rufus Wainwright, Want One

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Purchase log, 2023-07-25

[Superman the Movie - Soundtrack]

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
  • Anohni and the Johnsons, My Back Was a Bridge for You to Cross
  • Eugène Ysaÿe, Six Sonatas for Violin Solo, op. 27 (Hilary Hahn)

Catalog

CD
  • Pailhead, Trait
  • Skinny Puppy, VIVIsectVI
  • The Cult, Ceremony
  • The Pogues, Peace and Love
Vinyl
  • Janis Joplin, Pearl
  • Soundtrack, Superman The Movie

Reissues

CD
  • Janet Jackson, janet. (Deluxe Edition)
VInyl
  • … And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead, Worlds Apart
  • Death Cab for Cutie, Transatlanticism (20th Anniversary)

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Purchase log, 2022-12-20

[Soundtrack - TV Anime BLEACH]

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
  • Steve Reich, Runner / Music for Ensemble and Orchestra

Catalog

CD
  • Davíd Garza, This Euphoria
  • Kenny Chesney, Lucky Old Sun
  • Madonna, MDNA (Deluxe Edition)
  • Natalie Merchant, Live in Concert
  • The Jets, Magic
  • The Beatles, Beatles for Sale
Vinyl
  • Billie Holiday, Lady in Satin
  • Don Caballero, Don Caballero 2
  • Explosions in the Sky, Big Bend
  • Fairport Convention, Liege and Leaf
  • John Coltrane, Crescent
  • The Human League, Dare
  • The League Unlimited Orchestra, Love and Dancing

Reissues

CD
  • Spice Girls, Spiceworld (Deluxe Edition)
  • Sigur Rós, () (Deluxe Edition)
Vinyl
  • Utada Hikaru, “First Love / Hatsukoi”
  • Soundtrack, TV Anime BLEACH

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