Archives

Purchase log, 2019-05-21

[Soundtrack - Macross: Ai Oboete Imasu Ka?]

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.

I traveled to Austin for the record convention this past weekend. I didn’t find much of what I wanted, but I did find a lot of what I didn’t know I wanted. This list includes purchases at Waterloo Records and End of an Ear.

New releases

CD
  • Jamila Woods, Legacy! Legacy!
  • Kronos Quartet with Masha and Marjan Vadat, Placeless

Catalog

CD
  • a-ha, Hunting High and Low
  • Bill Frisell, Before We Were Born
  • Dwight Yoakam, Buenas Noches from a Lonely Room
  • Grizzly Bear, Shields
  • Johnny Cash, At Folsom Prison
  • Joy Division, Closer
  • Robert Palmer, Pride
  • Robert Palmer, Some People Can Do What They Like
  • Shovels & Rope, Swimmin’ Time
  • Tomita, The Planets
  • Witold Lutoslawski, Symphonies / Concertos / Vocal and Choral Works
Vinyl
  • Branford Marsalis Quartet, Crazy People Music
  • Everything But the Girl, Everything But the Girl
  • Franz Josef Haydn, Streichquartette, op. 20, 2 & 4 (Quarteto Esterhazy)
  • Giovanni Palestrina, Pope Marcellus Mass / Stabat Mater / Three Motets (Pro Cantione Antiqua, Bruno Turner)
  • Janet Jackson, Janet Jackson
  • Johnny Cash, At Folsom Prison
  • Kacey Musgraves, Same Trailer Different Park
  • Marilyn Manson, Antichrist Superstar
  • Megadeth, So Far … So Good … So What!
  • Olivier Messiaen, La Nativité du Seigneur (Jennifer Bate)
  • Olivier Messiaen / Toru Takemitsu, Messiaen: Turangalîla Symphony / Takemitsu: November Steps (Toronto Symphony, Seiji Ozawa)
  • Seawind, Seawind
  • The Old 97s, Too Far to Care
  • Soundtrack, Macross: Ai Oboete Imasu Ka?
  • Soundtrack, The Iron Giant
  • Various Artists, Brown Bags to Stardom
  • Various Artists, Boulez, Messiaen & Koechlin
  • Various Artists, Music by Busoni, Franz Schmidt and Lutoslawski

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Purchase log, 2019-04-30

[Icicle Works - Five Albums]

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.

It was my birthday last week, so I spent it in London, getting more study scores than records. A few of these titles were bought with birthday cash beforehand.

New releases

CD
  • Dead Can Dance, Dionysus

Catalog

CD
  • Beat Furrer, Aria / Solo / Gaspra
  • Beat Furrer, Stimmen / Face De La Chaleur / Quartett / Dort Ist Das Me
  • Carlo Gesualdo, O Dolce Mio Tesoro
  • Everything But the Girl, Eden (Deluxe Edition)
  • Everything But the Girl, Love Not Money (Deluxe Edition)
  • Icicle Works, 5 Albums
  • Perfume, JPN
  • Robert Palmer, 5 Classic Albums
  • The Human League, Dare
  • Utada Hikaru, “Face My Fears”
  • Yaz, Three Pieces
Vinyl
  • 10,000 Maniacs, Hope Chest: The Fredonia Recordings
  • Craig Armstrong, Sun on You
  • Enya, “How Can I Keep from Singing?”
  • Perfume, Future Pop
  • Various Artists, Tom’s Diner

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Purchase log, 2019-04-23

[Killing Joke - Killing Joke]

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
  • Big Country, The Crossing
  • Bob Mould, Black Sheets of Rain
  • Fleetwood Mac, Fleetwood Mac
  • General Public, All the Rage
  • Olivier Messiaen, Poèmes Pour Mi / Trois Petites Liturgies de la Présence Divine (Seattle Symphony, Ludovic Morlot)
  • Ornette Coleman, Sound Grammar
  • Yeah Yeah Yeahs, It’s Blitz!
  • Various Artists, The Hamilton Mixtape
Vinyl
  • Killing Joke, Killing Joke
  • The Jets, The Jets

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Purchase log, 2019-03-19

[Pop Will Eat Itself - This Is the Day ... This Is the Hour ... This Is This!]

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.

This past weekend was the Friends of the Seattle Library Book Sale, which usually provides a few weeks’ worth of listening.

Catalog

CD
  • Aretha Franklin, Aretha’s Best
  • Atmosphere, Overcast!
  • Beck, Mutations
  • Billy Idol, Idolize Yourself: The Very Best of Billy Idol
  • bis, The New Transistor Heroes
  • Björk, Drawing Restraint 9
  • Bon Jovi, Slippery When Wet
  • Branford Marsalis Quartet, Crazy People Music
  • Daniel Lanois, Acadie
  • David Bowie, Pin Ups
  • Dawn Upshaw, Voices of Light
  • Einstürzende Neubauten, 80-83 Strategies Against Architecture
  • György Ligeti, Ligeti Edition 5: Mechanical Music
  • Jane’s Addiction, Nothing’s Shocking
  • Joanna Newsom, Ys
  • John Zorn, The Gift
  • Johnny Cash, American Recordings
  • Josquin des Prez / Giovanni Palestrina, Motets / Masses
  • Led Zeppelin, Led Zeppelin II
  • Lizz Wright, The Orchard
  • Lovage, Nathaniel Merriweather Presents … Lovage: Music to Make Love to Your Old Lady By
  • Mazzy Star, So Tonight That I Might See
  • Mike Patton, Adult Themes for Voice
  • Oingo Boingo, Dead Man’s Party
  • Osvaldo Golijov, Ainadamar
  • PJ Harvey, Let England Shake
  • PJ Harvey, Rid of Me
  • Pop Will Eat Itself, This Is the Day … This Is the Hour … This Is This!
  • Queen Latifah, Nature of a Sista
  • Robert Palmer, Addictions Volume 2
  • Roberta Flack, First Take
  • Sonic Youth, Washing Machine
  • Soundgarden, Louder Than Love
  • Spice Girls, Spiceworld
  • Stephen Sondheim, Putting it Together (Original Cast Recording)
  • The Beatles, Yellow Submarine
  • The Mars Volta, De-Loused at the Comatorium
  • The White Stripes, Get Behind Me Satan
  • Thelonious Monk Quartet with John Coltrane, At Carnegie Hall
  • Tom Tom Club, Tom Tom Club
  • William Grant Still, Africa
  • XTC, Nonsuch
  • Yaz, You and Me Both
  • Various Artists, Stay Awake
  • Soundtrack, Pride and Prejudice (BBC Television serial)
  • Soundtrack, Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi (Spirited Away)
  • Soundtrack, Sense and Sensibility
Vinyl
  • Dead Or Alive, Mad, Bad, and Dangerous to Know
  • Eleanor Steber, Barber: Knoxville: Summer 1915 / LaMontaine: Songs of the Rose of Sharon
  • Millions Like Us, Millions Like Us
  • Olivier Messiaen, Et Exspecto Resurrectionem Mortuorum / Couleurs de la Cité Celeste
  • Olivier Messiaen, Petites Liturgies de la Présence Divine
  • Olivier Messiaen, Tashi Plays Messiaen – Quartet for the End of Time
  • Robert Palmer, Clues
  • Robert Palmer, Double Fun
  • Robert Palmer, Maybe It’s Live
  • Robert Palmer, Pride
  • Robert Palmer, Sneakin’ Sally Through the Alley
  • Stephen Sondheim, Pacific Overtures (Original Broadway Cast)
  • William Schuman, Symphony No. 3 / Symphony for Strings
  • Yvonne Elliman, Yvonne
  • Soundtrack, A Room with a View

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Purchase log, 2019-03-05

[Wire Train - ... in a chamber]

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
  • ABC, Alphabet City
  • Don Johnson, Let It Roll
  • Fujii Fumiya, Angel
  • Iron and Wine, The Creek Drank the Cradle
  • Lady Gaga, The Fame Monster
  • Prince, Come
  • Yazawa Eikichi, FLASH IN JAPAN
  • Various Artists, Schoolhouse Rocks! Rocks
Vinyl
  • Pop Will Eat Itself, This Is the Day … This Is the Hour … This Is This!
  • Rodney Crowell, Ain’t Living Long Like This

Reissues

CD
  • Wire Train, … in a chamber
Vinyl
  • … And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead, Madonna

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Favorite Edition 2018 Year Final

[Parquet Courts - Wide Awake!]

Last year, new releases made up 7 percent of my music purchases. This year, that number ticks up to … 8 percent. For a while there, I didn’t know if I would find enough titles to make a Favorite 10, but I did.

  1. Parquet Courts, Wide Awake!: When you visit multiple record stores and ask what is playing, you probably ought to buy that album if the answer is the same at each store.
  2. Janelle Monáe, Dirty Computer: I also liked the Emotion Picture that accompanied the release of this album.
  3. Christine and the Queens, Chris: Those dance moves!
  4. Various Artists, Adam to Eve no Ringo: I didn’t realize the cover of “Sid to Hakuchuumu” was by MIKA, the singer “discovered” by Perez Hilton. MIKA’s circumspection about his sexuality drew a lot of attention and some controversy. I checked out his music as a result of the brouhaha and found little that was remarkable. That said, he nails the French interpretation of this very Ringo track.
  5. Steve Grand, Not the End of Me: I don’t know if it’s intentional, but I hear a bit of Matt Alber’s swoon on some of the quieter moments on this album.
  6. Kronos Quartet and Laurie Anderson, Landfall: Take all the swagger and posturing out of hip-hop, and it would probably sound a lot like Laurie Anderson.
  7. Seattle Symphony with Roomful of Teeth, Berio: Sinfonia: This piece was awesome to hear live.
  8. Nico Muhly & Thomas Bartlett, Peter Pears: Ceremonial Balinese Music: Oddly enough, I found a recording of Colin McPhee performing his gamelan transcriptions with Benjamin Britten, and I kind of wish Muhly and Bartlett had also done the unpublished scores.
  9. Yore, EP1: Recent press seems to obscure the fact Yore released music under his own name, so we’ll stick with that preference and just mention this EP finds him moving in a direction more akin to Cocteau Twins or even Utada Hikaru.
  10. Utada Hikaru, Hatsukoi:Her sound has gotten darker since her comeback.

Other favorites from the year:

  • John Coltrane, Both Directions at Once
  • Leo Imai, VLP
  • Mikami Chisako, I AM Ready!
  • Craig Armstrong, Sun on You
  • Tracey Thorn, Record
  • Renee Fleming, Broadway
  • Igor Stravisnky, Chant Funebre / Le Sacre du Printemps
  • Eponymous 4, Travis

OK, I’m being a bit cheeky including my own album, Travis, on this list. I finished recording it in 2016, so I’d been sitting on it for more than a year. In all that time, I’ve not gotten sick of hearing it day in and day out, and when I compare it with other albums I’ve recorded, it sounds like a proper, professional work.

So yeah, I think my album is one of the best to be released in 2018. You can check it out at the Eponymous 4 Bandcamp store.

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Favorite Edition Rewind: 1998

[Neutral Milk Hotel - In the Aeroplane Over the Sea]

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.

As much as I loved the ’80s, I can’t say the ’90s holds as much sentiment. I feel more affinity for the Aughts than I do the ’90s. That said, 1998 has proven to be rich with favorites, and I would consider it the pinnacle year in the decade. This list has gone through extensive revision from the original.

  1. Neutral Milk Hotel, In the Aeroplane Over the Sea
  2. Madonna, Ray of Light
  3. Lauryn Hill, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill
  4. Lucinda Williams, Car Wheels on a Gravel Road
  5. Fastball, All the Pain Money Can Buy
  6. Patty Griffin, Flaming Red
  7. SUPERCAR, Three Out Change
  8. Various Artists, For the Masses: A Tribute to Depeche Mode
  9. Bruce Robison, Wrapped
  10. Cocco, Kumuiuta

Other favorites from the year:

  • Shakira, ¿Dónde Están Los Ladrones?
  • Wendy and Lisa, Girl Bros.
  • Midnight Oil, Redneck Wonderland
  • 8 1/2 Souvenirs, Happy Feet
  • UA, Ametora
  • Kronos Quartet, Alfred Schnittke: The Complete String Quartets
  • the brilliant green, the brilliant green
  • Bang on a Can All-Stars, Music for Airports
  • Craig Armstrong, The Space Between Us
  • Julieta Venegas, Aquí
  • Aterciopelados, Caribe Atómico
  • Macha, Macha
  • Idlewild, Hope Is Important
  • Pansy Division, Absurd Pop Song Romance
  • Orgy, Candyass

A number of titles that held positions in the Favorite 10 switched places with ones in the extended list.

I didn’t give Fastball much credit 10 years ago because the album had been all over Austin at the time of its release. I got caught up in that hype, then dismissed it as such later. I was wrong. All the Pain Money Can Buy needs to be in the Favorite 10.

For the Masses actually turned me into a Depeche Mode fan. Some of the covers on the tribute album rival the originals. In the case of “Shake the Disease” and “Everything Counts”, they straight up improve them.

Madonna dominated the top position of this list for 10 years before Neutral Milk Hotel nudged her down a notch. SUPERCAR makes another revisionist ranking, pushing 8 1/2 Souvenirs off.

Idlewild makes an appearance with a debut album that’s at times bratty and tuneful. It’s a mess compared to its follow-up, 1000 Broken Windows. But it’s a riveting mess.

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Purchase log, 2018-10-23

[Jason Isbell and 400 Unit - Live from the Ryman]

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
  • Jason Isbell and 400 Unit, Live from the Ryman

Catalog

CD
  • Benjamin Britten, String Quartets 2 & 3 / Sinfonietta (Amadeus Quartet, Vienna Octet)
  • Cyndi Lauper, She’s So Unusual
  • Hot Hot Heat, Make Up the Breakdown
  • John Zorn, The String Quartets
  • Kahimi Karie, The Best of Trattoria Years Plus VCD
  • Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, The Heist
  • Gram Parsons and the Fallen Angels, Live 1973
  • Simon and Garfunkel, Sounds of Silence
  • Talking Heads, Little Creatures
  • Various Artists, Trojan Reggae
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Symphonies Nos. 40 and 41 (John Eliot Gardiner; English Baroque Soloists)
Vinyl
  • Boris, Pink
  • Icicle Works, Icicle Works
  • Frida, Something’s Going On
  • Painkiller, Guts of a Virgin
  • Robert Palmer, Sneakin’ Sally Through the Alley

Reissues

Vinyl
  • Kylie Minogue, Fever

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Purchase log, 2018-09-04

[Jayne Cortez - Everywhere Drums]

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.

Labor Day sales at thrift stores are a dangerous combination.

New releases

CD
  • Blood Orange, Negro Swan
  • Troye Sivan, Bloom
Files
  • Molotov, MTV Unplugged: El Disconecte
  • Santigold, I Don’t Want: The Gold Fire Sessions

Catalog

CD
  • Anonymous 4, Love’s Illusion
  • Bob Marley and the Wailers, Legend
  • Boris, Akuma no Uta
  • Edgard Varèse, The Complete Works
  • Fleet Foxes, Fleet Foxes
  • Giovanni Palestrina, Palestrina Masses (Tallis Scholars)
  • Iron and Wine, Around the Well
  • Jayne Cortez, Everywhere Drums
  • John Coltrane, Soultrane
  • Joni Mitchell, Hejira
  • Loretta Lynn, Country Music Hall of Fame
  • McCoy Tyner, Echoes of a Friend
  • Midnight Oil, Scream In Blue
  • Miles Davis, Sketches of Spain
  • Moby, Everything Is Wrong
  • Semisonic, All About Chemistry
  • The Books, The Lemon of Pink
  • The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Axis: Bold as Love
  • Various Artists, If I Were a Carpenter
  • Various Composers, la Quinta essentia (Huelgas-Ensemble)
  • Various Composers, Musica Nova (Consort Veneto)
  • Vivian Green, A Love Story
Vinyl
  • Bananarama, True Confessions
  • Giovanni Palestrina, Missa “De Beata Virgine” (Chorus “Jeunesses Musicales”)
  • Madonna, You Can Dance
  • Rupert Holmes, Partners in Crime

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Favorite Edition 2018: Year half

[Janelle Monáe - Dirty Computer]

It’s time we turn this list around. Instead of tracking the favorite new releases of 2018, I’ll start with my favorite catalog discoveries. The vast majority of my listening these days is old music that’s new to me, so let’s pretend no longer I have a read on anything current.

Catalog

  • Patti Smith, Horses: PJ Harvey sure owes a lot to Patti Smith. The first time I played Horses, there were moments I thought I was listening to Polly Jean. This album confounded me, thus forcing me to play it multiple times, each time engaging me more than the last. Smith has been described as the godmother of punk, and I half expected a proto-Sleater-Kinney. Nah, man. That’s not it at all.
  • The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Are You Experienced?: Maybe it’s because of Emmylou Harris and Kronos Quartet that made this album feel instantly familiar, or maybe its influence extends as far as the arm of Sauron.
  • Roxy Music, Avalon: Smooth
  • Bruce Springsteen, Nebraska: This shit is dark.
  • Joni Mitchell, Court and Spark: Without some schooling in Charles Mingus and John Coltrane, I wouldn’t have understood how ground-breaking this album is. Otherwise, the cheap imitations it spawned would have been my only reference.
  • Fugazi, The Argument: I didn’t think anything could top 13 Songs or Repeater, but this album comes damn close.
  • Dwight Yoakam, Guitars Cadillacs Etc. Etc.: Honky-tonk AF
  • Benjamin Gibbard / Andrew Kenny, Home, Vol. 5: Even after 15 years, this split EP holds together well.

New Releases

  • Janelle Monáe, Dirty Computer: This is the album I wished The ArchAndroid was. I still think she hasn’t yet recorded her Shousou Strip.
  • Laurie Anderson and Kronos Quartet, Landfall: I found myself engaged in this album more than I expected.
  • Various Artists, Adam to Eve no Ringo: Shiina Ringo is one of the best songwriters, because the strength of her writing cuts through even the most ordinary interpretation of her songs.
  • Thomas Bartlett and Nico Muhly, Peter Pears: Balinese Ceremonial Music: It’s an improbable concept album based on transcriptions of Balinese gamelan music by English composer Colin McPhee. In execution, it’s a stronger concept than the Planetarium album Muhly did with Sufjan Stevens, Bryce Dessner and James McAlister.
  • Steve Grand, not the end of me: Grand has gone through some serious shit since his debut album, and this sprawling sophomore effort lays it all out.
  • Utada Hikaru, Hatsukoi: Check out the rhythmic modulation on “Chikai”. She does some amazing obfuscation with the downbeat.
  • Igor Stravinsky, Chant Funèbre / La Sacre Du Printemps: It seems Funeral Song didn’t really answer the question of how Stravinsky bridged his Scriabin-influenced early work with the Firebird and all that came after.
  • Tracey Thorn, Record: Tracey Thorn returns to the dancefloor, thank deities.

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