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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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Purchase log, 2022-01-25

[Joshua Bell - Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto / Wieniawski: Violin Concerto No. 2]

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
  • Amanda Shires, Down Fell the Doves
  • Joshua Bell, Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto / Wieniawski: Violin Concerto No. 2 (Vladimir Ashkenazy, Cleveland Orchestra)
  • Soft Cell, Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret
  • Steve Winwood, Arc of a Diver
  • Van Halen, Van Halen
  • Yo-Yo Ma, Barber: Cello Concerto / Britten: Symphony for Cello and Orchestra (David Zinman, Baltimore Symphony)
  • Various Artists, Living in Oblivion, Vol. 4
Vinyl
  • Black, Wonderful Life
  • FINNEAS, Optimist
  • Linda Ronstadt, Canciones de mi Padre
  • Soundtrack, The Crow

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Purchase log, 2021-11-30

[Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit - Georgia Blue]

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 the 400 Unit, Georgia Blue
Vinyl
  • Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, Georgia Blue

Catalog

CD
  • Maurice Ravel, Bolero / La Valse / Rapsodie Espagnole (Charles Dutoit, Montreal Symphony)
  • Nonesuch Explorer Series, Tibetan Buddhism: Tantras of Gyoto
  • Reflection Eternal (Hi-Tek and Talib Kweli), Train of Thought
  • Tobin Sprout, Carnival Boy

Reissues

Vinyl
  • U2, “Gloria”

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Purchase log, 2021-10-05

[Explosions in the Sky - Big Bend]

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
  • Explosions in the Sky, Big Bend

Catalog

CD
  • BT, Movement in Still Life
  • Dixie Chicks, Home
  • Kelly Clarkson, Stronger
  • Olivia Newton-John, 20th Century Masters: Millennium Collection
  • Paul Van Dyk, Out There and Back
  • Sasha, airdrawndagger
  • Various Artists, Billy Strayhorn: Lush Life
Vinyl
  • George Winston, December
  • Lukas Foss, Baroque Variations
  • Prince, Originals (Deluxe Edition)
  • Shadowfax, Shadowfax
  • Vanessa Williams, The Right Stuff

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Favorite Edition 2020 Catalog

[Ned Doheny - Hard Candy]

Last year, I may have complained about getting too many albums from Lifelong Thrift Shop, where I had started volunteering. SARS-CoV2 pretty much ended my volunteer work for this year, but I intend to resume once the pandemic subsides. I still make weekly visits, this time as a customer.

At least it’s afforded me to take a deeper dive into albums I do get.

Catalog

  • Ned Doheny, Hard Candy: Does anyone else get a super homoerotic vibe from the cover?
  • Charlie Puth, Voicenotes: I just found him totally adorable in the Subway ads.
  • Robyn, Body Talk: I’m a latecomer to Robyn, but I see why she is popular with the gays.
  • Anton Reicha, Reicha Rediscovered, Vol. 1 (Ivan Ilić): Two volumes of an expected five have been released, so where are the other three?
  • Nakamori Akina, AKINA BOX, 1982-1989: This purchase pretty much seals my place in the Nakamori vs. Matsuda rivalry.
  • Various Artists, Studio One Rockers: Dawn Penn’s “No No No” is one of those tracks I loved but never knew who sang till recently.
  • The Damned, Machine Gun Etiquette: I love those thrift shop purchases that turn out to be keepers.
  • Gary Numan, The Pleasure Principle: I have “Cars” on a 7-inch single, and it only took me another 40 years before listening to the entire album.
  • SUPERCAR, OOKeah!!: I thought I had caught up on owning SUPERCAR’s studio albums, but this album along with OOYeah!! slipped through the cracks. Of the simultaneously-released pair from 1999, OOKeah!! is noisier with stronger writing.
  • The Dismemberment Plan, Change: I’m waiting for Emergency & I to show up at the thrift shop.

Reissues

I actually bought more vinyl reissues this year than remasters or deluxe editions.

  • Wire Train, In a Chamber / Between Two Words / Ten Women: This 2-CD reissue of Wire Train’s Columbia albums might mark the first time Ten Women has been released on CD.
  • Tears for Fears, The Seeds of Love (Deluxe Edition): Wow, this album is longer than I remember.
  • U2, All That You Can’t Leave Behind (Deluxe Edition): I didn’t spring for the multi-disc edition with B-sides, but the inclusion of a live show did remind me of the only time I saw the band live, which was during the Elevation Tour.
  • Roberta Flack, First Take (50th Anniversary Edition): The bonus material on this expanded edition is illuminating, but it’s clear why they weren’t pursued for the album.
  • Neneh Cherry, Raw Like Sushi: This album so needed a remastering.

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Purchase log, 2020-09-01

[Robyn - Robyn]

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
  • Mandy Barnett, A Nashville Songbook
Vinyl
  • John Wesley Harding, The Man with No Shadow

Catalog

CD
  • Julius Eastman, Unjust Malaise
  • Steely Dan, Aja
Vinyl
  • Charlie Puth, Voicenotes
  • John Coltrane, Coltrane
  • L7, Bricks Are Heavy

Reissues

Vinyl
  • Ben Watt with Robert Wyatt, Summer Into Winter
  • Guided By Voices, Hold on Hope EP
  • Krzysztof Penderecki / Don Cherry, Actions
  • Robyn, Robyn
  • Throwing Muses, Purgatory / Paradise
  • Tyler, the Creator, Cherry Bomb
  • U2, 11 O’Clock Tick Tock
  • Various Artists, Studio One Rockers

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Favorite Edition 2020 Year Half

[Sam Sparro - Boombox Eternal]

I started running out of things to say just as the SARS-CoV2 spread in the US, and when the lockdown happened, I threw myself into recording a pair of cover albums. I wasn’t buying much music, nor listening to anyone other than myself. By the time I finished making the albums, stores were opening up, and my music buying eventually resumed.

But I still don’t have much to say.

That doesn’t mean I’ve run out of opinions. So here are my favorites of the year so far.

New releases

  • Sam Sparro, Boombox Eternal
  • Timo Andres / Brad Mehldau / Jeremy Denk / Randy Newman, I Still Play
  • Perfume Genius, Set My Heart on Fire Immediately
  • Jason Isbell and 400 Unit, Reunions
  • The Streets, None of Us Are Getting Out of This Life Alive
  • Fiona Apple, Fetch the Bolt Cutters
  • … And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead, X: The Godless Void and Other Stories
  • The Chicks, Gaslighter

Catalog

  • Charlie Puth, Voicenotes
  • Robyn, Body Talk
  • Nakamori Akina, AKINA BOX 1982-1989
  • Various Artists, Studio One Rockers
  • The Damned, Machine Gun Etiquette
  • Les Rythmes Digitales, Darkdancer

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Looking ahead, May-July 2020

Washington State is under a stay-at-home order till May 4, which means I’m not going to be shopping for music at a local record store till then — assuming the order doesn’t get extended.

Perfume Genius, Set My Heart on Fire Immediately, May 15

Prior to No Shape, I’ve been ambivalent about Perfume Genius. I would hear excerpts of previous albums and not feel much compulsion to listen to more. I picked up No Shape from the thrift store mostly because it had garnered a lot of acclaim. And I liked it enough to look forward to this next release.

Various Artists, I Still Play, May 22

Bob Hurwitz retired as president of Nonesuch in 2017, and for his send-off, a number of artists wrote piano works for him. The title piece, written by John Adams, was Hurwitz’s reply when someone asked him if he still plays piano.

Inventions, Continous Portrait, July 10

Matthew Cooper of Eluvium and Mark Smith of Explosions in the Sky reunite for their first new album since 2015.

Rescheduled

  • Rufus Wainwright, Unfollow the Rules, July 10
  • Sam Smith, TBD (formerly titled To Die For), Fall 2020

Vinyl

Everything But the Girl, Temperamental, May 8

I like this album enough to want this vinyl reissue, but I didn’t like it enough to get the deluxe edition a few years back.

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Purchase log picks, February 2020

[Robyn - Body Talk, Pt. 1]

Various Artists, Studio One Rockers

The Studio One compilations planted a notion that maybe I didn’t hate reggae music after all. My coworkers at Waterloo Records would play these compilations, and I would find myself liking what I heard. Dawn Penn’s “No No No” left a particular impression, but many years would pass before I learned the song’s title. The only reggae music I heard growing up was sifted through a Hawaiian music filter, and I didn’t like it.

Robyn, Body Talk, Pt. 1

OK, fellow gays, I understand why you all love Robyn now.

The Faint, Danse Macabre

I stocked so many copies of this album during my Waterloo shifts, I got sick of it, having never heard a single note. If it’s that popular, it had to suck, right? Maybe in my more judgmental days …

Tyler, the Creator, IGOR

Another 2019 release up to which I am catching.

Soundtrack, This Is Spinal Tap

It’s not satire. Fight me. (It’s totally satire.)

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Purchase log, 2020-02-25

[John Coltrane - Giant Steps]

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
  • Jean Sibelius, Humoresques (Nicolas Dautricourt)
  • John Coltrane, Giant Steps
  • Tyler, the Creator, IGOR
  • Various Artists, Studio One Disco Mix
  • Various Artists, Studio One Story
Vinyl
  • Philip Glass, Solo Piano

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