“It’s Growing: Most Euphonious Fruit of First Quarter, 2021”

Music Spring has apparently sprung–although I’m not yet hearing anything that will knock most people’s socks off; for that matter, the only two records I’ve been addicted to are (no surprise) #1 and (ranked “low” because I have a strong Ornette Coleman bias) #5. Also, 14 out of 50 (*) are jazz recordings, none of them that straight-ahead; however, lest you suspect me musically anhedoniacal, I would classify seven of them FUN (!). I’m catching on! Maybe I’m catching back on. In other news?

POETRY is in the house (#s 22 and 25–the former a must for all you trad Brit Lit majors, the latter pretty fucking FUN itself, but just remember what the lit-heads in your life consider fun)…

I just dove into the Doomed & Stoned series (honoring a silent pledge to my metalhead friend Vance, for whose sake I will try 4-5 metal albums a year, though this collection might be more accurately described as “stoner rock”), fished its Scottish entry out of the loch, and found it consistently satisfied my riff requirements and seldom repelled me with overly ugly singing…

I think I got a bit overexcited about the Julien Baker album simply because she was coming forth with more energy, but she remains an attractively sullen writer, to me at least, because that’s been my usual attitude du jour lately…

I am fucking hooked on Roisin Murphy. Anything you wanna serve up, even if it’s “just” a remix.

OK, kids, keep in mind that this coming Friday (May 7) is the (reputedly) last Bandcamp Friday. Many of the links below go straight to these records’ Bandcamp page. Put your money where you ears are, ’cause we know you’re streaming your ass off.

(Items which are new to the list are bolded; also, the order–always a touch whimsically arrived at–has shifted significantly from March. Items followed by an # are either reissues, fresh compilations of older material, or archival finds).

  1. JuJu: Live at 131 Prince Street*#
  2. Julius Hemphill: The Boyé Multinational Crusade for Harmony*#
  3. James Brandon Lewis: Jesup Wagon*
  4. Neil Young and Crazy Horse: Down in the Rust Bucket !#
  5. Miguel Zenon: Law Years—The Music of Ornette Coleman*
  6. R.A.P. Ferreira: Bob’s Son !
  7. Ashnikko: Demidevil !
  8. Various Artists: He’s Bad!—11 Bands Decimate the Beat of Bo Diddley !
  9. Dax Pierson: Nerve Bumps (A Queer Divine Satisfaction)
  10. Gimenez Lopez: Reunion en la granja*
  11. Penelope Scott: Public Void !
  12. Paris: Safe Space Invader
  13. Byard Lancaster: My Pure Joy*#
  14. Jazmine Sullivan: Heaux Tales
  15. Hamiet Blueitt: Bearer of the Holy Flame*#
  16. Dawn Richard: Second Line !
  17. Various Artists: Alan Lomax’s American Patchwork#
  18. Peter Stampfel: Peter Stampfel’s 20th Century in 100 Songs
  19. Hasaan Ibn Ali: Metaphysics—The Lost Atlantic Album*#
  20. Various Artists: Doomed & Stoned in Scotland
  21. Genesis Owusu: Smiling with No Teeth
  22. Marianne Faithfull (with Warren Ellis): She Walks in Beauty
  23. Lukah: When the Black Hand Touches You
  24. Damon Locks / Black Monument Ensemble: NOW
  25. Various Artists: Allen Ginsberg’s The Fall of America–A 50th Anniversary Musical Tribute
  26. Various Artists: Indaba Is
  27. Wau Wau Collectif: Yaral Sa Doom
  28. Yvette Janine Jackson: Freedom
  29. Jason Moran & Milford Graves: Live at Big Ears*
  30. Nermin Niazi: Disco Se Aagay !
  31. Billy Nomates: Emergency Telephone (EP)
  32. Madlib: Sound Ancestors
  33. Joe Strummer: Assembly#
  34. Julien Baker: Little Oblivions
  35. Archie Shepp and Jason Moran: Let My People Go*
  36. Roisin Murphy: Crooked Machine !
  37. Robert Miranda’s Home Music Ensemble: Live at The Bing*#
  38. Ensemble 0: Performs Julius Eastman’s Femenine
  39. Vijay Iyer, Linda Han Oh, and Tyshawn Sorey: Uneasy*
  40. Alder Ego: III*
  41. Shem Tube, Justo Osala, Enos Okola: Guitar Music of Western Kenya
  42. Steve Earle: JT
  43. Jinx Lennon: Liferafts for Latchicos
  44. The Hold Steady: Open Door Policy (Hey–buy this album played live as cheap as you wanna!)
  45. Omar Sosa: East African Journey
  46. Alton Gün: Yol
  47. Various Artists: Edo Funk Explosion, Volume 1 !#
  48. Hearth: Melt*
  49. Floating Points & Pharoah Sanders: Promises*
  50. serpentwithfeet: DEACON

“GIVE Me Just a Little More TIME!”: Mike Rayhill, 1962-2021

A man for all occasions.

Mike Rayhill and I were both born in conservative Missouri towns in 1962, lived under the watchful eyes of fathers who expected the best, played high school sports seriously (he wrestled, I hooped), attended and graduated with the Class of 1980 from what was then Southwest Missouri State University in Springfield, Missouri, loved rock and roll and Budweiser, and often got tripped up in self-doubt. We had significantly different views on Prince, golf, and pro wrestling, and Mike was an artist while I could only love the arts, but we only really fought once (a damn poker game!) and resonated as brothers always. He roundly approved of my chosen soul mate and proved a great friend to her, too.

Mike was on the far end of a successful career in printing, had found Angel, the love of his life, after a long search, proudly watched his son London bloom (under his close and wise gaze) into an outstanding scholar, athlete and human, graduate from high school, and excel as a college freshman, and through constant diligence and skillful frugality owned free and clear his own house, no easy task these days. The fruit of his meticulous labors had ripened for his enjoyment when pancreatic cancer snatched it away last week. His wife, son, and friends will carry his spirit forward, but never forget, folks, that life isn’t fucking fair.

I can tell you a million stories about Mike, but this is a moment that captures a side of the man I will deeply miss.

Mike and I became fast friends at first meeting (discovering our mutual appreciation for the Minutemen at a Washington Street party in Springfield), and later became roommates for a few years in the late 1980s. One day as I returned home, Mike met me with great urgency.

“DJ Philly Phil, you’ve got to tell me who does this song!”

Then, doing a little light-footed twist and accenting the rhythm with his hands–almost like he was conducting an orchestra (friends will recall this charming nuance of his)–he burst out in song:

GIVE me just a little more TIME!”

Unfortunately, I had not then nor have I since heard every song ever recorded, and these were not the days of YouTube, streaming, OR the simple Internet, so I replied, “Well, that was wonderfully performed, but nope…I have no clue.”

Mike was not to be denied. He wanted to own the record. “Yes, you have heard it. It’s on oldies radio all the time! OK, now listen!”

He repeated his previous rendition with spot-on accuracy. “Now, did you hear how I sang the word ‘time’? The singer turns that word into a little cry at the end of the line! It’s great! He really needs a little more time! Now, listen!”

Again, he repeated his passionate orchestration, underlining the syllable in question with an upward wave of his hand.

“Mike, I got nuthin’.”

“I’m deeply disappointed in you, Philly Phil.”

He loved that song; talk about the passion, he might have said, because he was quietly about that (and he had R.E.M. on the brain). That dude could needle your ass painfully, but he had a tender heart.

I could have done some research, but those were busy days. Also, I don’t listen to the radio much, but soon after this episode, I finally heard the song. It was just as Mike sang, performed, and explained it: a plea, and like Mike’s feet had done in his demonstration, the music bounced. But the jock didn’t identify the damn song, so I was still holding air.

Fast-forward a couple years. I’m living in Columbia, Nicole and I are blasting some New Orleans rhythm and blues as is still our wont, and we’ve got one of Rhino Records’ three great NOLA volumes on the turntable. We have it turned up loud, and the needle hits The Showmen’s smilingly defiant rock and roll anthem, “It Will Stand.” Suddenly, listening to General Johnson sing “Don’t ya nickname it! / Fact, ya might as well claim it,” I flashed on the facts: that’s the guy! Then, I hit the books–General Johnson went on to lead The Chairmen of the Board, and–sure enough!–deliver “Give Me Just a Little More Time” with that plaintive panache.

I immediately called Mike. “I got it! I got it! Chairmen of the Board and General Johnson do ‘Give Me Just a Little More Time’! They have a greatest hits CD–“

“Sorry, DJ, I found the 45,” he interrupted. “You really let me down. I think you’re a little overrated, man! You’re no Casey Kasem, ya punk!” I laughed, but it did make me sad that I’d delayed his robust gratification and been ignorant of an obvious classic.

Last August, Mike was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. No, life is not fair, but in Mike’s case it really, really wasn’t. In January, as he was preparing for the inevitable, he asked me to help him find a home for his records, inviting me to keep anything I wanted. I brought his crates home, Hitt Records here in Columbia agreed to help us, and I began sorting them. Among his 45s, along with lots of Elvis and some demos of the first recordings of his band The JimBobs, was “Give Me Just a Little More Time.”

I kept that one.

That title is stabbing me as I write. It’s always going to remind me of Mike’s joy for music, his witty and contagious animation in acting out his enthusiasm for everything from pro wrestling to “The Beverly Hillbillies,” and his love for his friends family and life in general. That love, in his unique fashion, quietly caught the bordering-on-desperate urgency of Johnson’s vocals. As we all should catch it if we fully understand how fragile and ephemeral life is. Mike passed away yesterday morning in the arms of his wife Angel, who caught that wonderful urgency and knew exactly what it was worth.

“Life’s too short to make a mistake.
Let’s think of each other and hesitate!
Young and impatient we may be,
There’s no need to act foolishly.
If we part, our hearts won’t forget it–
Years from now we’ll surely regret it….”

Goodbye, my brother. We won’t forget you.

March 8 – 31: 10 a Month’s a Trickle

Visit the author’s COVID-19 diary (and education memoir) elsewhere on WordPress!

The sound-spigot seems to be a mite clogged. I’m just happy for reissues and Africa right now. If I could advise y’all to do anything, it would be to check out Strut’s ongoing reissue of Black Fire’s catalog. See ya next month!

  1. Julius Hemphill: The Boyé Multinational Crusade for Harmony
  2. JuJu: Live at 131 Prince Street
  3. Peter Stampfel: Peter Stampfel’s 20th Century in 100 Songs
  4. Neil Young and Crazy Horse: Down in the Rust Bucket
  5. R.A.P. Ferreira: Bob’s Son
  6. Dax Pierson: Nerve Bumps (A Queer Divine Satisfaction)
  7. Julien Baker: Little Oblivions
  8. Various Artists: Allen Ginsberg’s The Fall of America–A 50th Anniversary Musical Tribute
  9. Yvette Janine Jackson: Freedom
  10. Nermin Niazi: Disco Se Aagay
  11. Various Artists: Indaba Is
  12. Paris: Safe Space Invader
  13. Wau Wau Collectif: Yaral Sa Doom
  14. Madlib: Sound Ancestors
  15. Byard Lancaster: My Pure Joy
  16. Jazmine Sullivan: Heaux Tales
  17. Hamiet Blueitt: Bearer of the Holy Flame
  18. Omar Sosa: East African Journey
  19. Archie Shepp and Jason Moran: Let My People Go
  20. Joe Lovano, Marilyn Crispell, and Carmen Castaldi: Garden of Expression
  21. Yasmin Williams: Urban Driftwood
  22. Robert Miranda’s Home Music Ensemble: Live at The Bing
  23. Corey Ledet: Corey Ledet Zydeco
  24. Ensemble 0: Performs Julius Eastman’s Femenine
  25. Shem Tube, Justo Osala, Enos Okola: Guitar Music of Western Kenya
  26. Steve Earle: JT
  27. Floating Points & Pharoah Sanders: Promises
  28. Alton Gün: Yol
  29. Lukah: When the Black Hand Touches You
  30. Various Artists: Edo Funk Explosion, Volume 1

February 11 – March 7: A Thin and Motley Crew

Maybe the fact that this year’s class of nice new albums has kinda oozed out like molasses is due the frustrations, chaos, depression, struggle, and occasional collapses of 2021’s second half. I dunno. Below are the platters I’ve quite enjoyed, but in order for it to even look like a two-month list I’ve incorporated archival digs (one of which is–all seven great discs of it–at the top of the heap), which I usually separate out. I’ve finally gotten smart and added hyperlinks to additional album information as I go (rather than regretting that I hadn’t later), and I’ve switched my album cover slideshow to a cumulative one. If these stunning achievements seem a bit meager to you, hey–I’m old.

Notes:

Both those box sets are well worth the time one needs to spend: #1, unreleased examples of the stunning, versatile genius of Black Arts Group veteran composer / player / arranger Hemphill, #2, the luscious fruit of a lifetime of plumbing and glorying in the depths of American song by Stampfel.

Two classical works? Yes, two classical works. It’s not that I’m desperate; it just so happens that new interpretations of justly famous works of my favorite traditional classical composer (Messiaen) and my favorite experimental classical performer (Eastman) have showed up together.

Strut Records’ ongoing resuscitation of the Black Fire label’s catalog continues to excite, enlighten, and inspire me–plus it nicely dovetails with the moment.

  1. Julius Hemphill: The Boyé Multinational Crusade for Harmony
  2. JuJu: Live at 131 Prince Street
  3. Peter Stampfel: Peter Stampfel’s 20th Century in 100 Songs
  4. Neil Young and Crazy Horse: Down in the Rust Bucket
  5. Julien Baker: Little Oblivions
  6. Various Artists: Allen Ginsberg’s The Fall of America–A 50th Anniversary Musical Tribute
  7. Yvette Janine Jackson: Freedom
  8. Nermin Niazi: Disco Se Aagay
  9. Various Artists: Indaba Is
  10. Wau Wau Collectif: Yaral Sa Doom
  11. Madlib: Sound Ancestors
  12. Byard Lancaster: My Pure Joy
  13. Jazmine Sullivan: Heaux Tales
  14. Founders: Songs for the End of Time
  15. Archie Shepp and Jason Moran: Let My People Go
  16. Joe Lovano, Marilyn Crispell, and Carmen Castaldi: Garden of Expression
  17. Yasmin Williams: Urban Driftwood
  18. Corey Ledet: Corey Ledet Zydeco
  19. Ensemble 0: Performs Julius Eastman’s Femenine
  20. Thumbscrew: Never is Enough
  21. Steve Earle: JT (late addition! FORGOT IT….)

January 1 – February 10: Slim Pickings

Most record-grubbin’ folks I know are still catching up to 2020’s explosion–our cohort are still learning about the previous year’s bounty right now and likely will be til the Ides of March. In the past, I’ve usually been able to muster 10 new releases by the end of January to post as a list, but this year I was only halfway there by February’s dawning. Plus, I was flat worn out–not just from all those varied and vital slabs from the worst year in modern history, but from the worst year in modern history. Maybe we’ll look back (and the music will be able to help us do listen back) and be able to say, “We needed those tragedies, large and small, to finally motivate us to clean house”; I’m not holding my breath.

However, simply from really needed to do something to get my mind off of a layer cake of frustrations, I’ve cobbled together a Top 10 for 2021. Will any of these still be in my Top 100 on December 31? I’m less confident than ever, but could our world of musicians suffer from “striver’s fatigue”? We shall see. The simple presence of Messiaen in the list is a sign of struggle (one of my very favorite classic composers, and interpreted quite thrillingly by the group responsible–but come on!).

  1. Peter Stampfel: Peter Stampfel’s 20th Century in 100 Songs
  2. Various Artists: Allen Ginsberg’s The Fall of America–A 50th Anniversary Musical Tribute
  3. Yvette Janine Jackson: Freedom
  4. Various Artists: Indaba Is
  5. Madlib: Sound Ancestors
  6. Jazmine Sullivan: Heaux Tales
  7. Founders: Songs for the End of Time
  8. Joe Lovano, Marilyn Crispell, and Carmen Castaldi: Garden of Expression
  9. Yasmin Williams: Urban Driftwood
  10. Ensemble 0: Performs Julius Eastman’s Femenine

FINAL EDITION: Living to Listen’s Top 100 New Releases of 2020 (Plus a Top 40 of Reissues and Archival Discoveries)

Yep, this is it. Eight days into a very 2020-like 2021. But I gotta say again that, since, for reasons in addition to COVID-19 and the creep, this year was the worst of my life (that year in elementary when I got my ass kicked on the bus, at home plate on the playground, on the bus again, and in front of a small crowd at the park was close), MUSIC WAS ESSENTIAL, and if I hadn’t had access to any records prior to 2020, I still would have been in very high cotton. So many inspired, intelligent, defiant, creative, funny, funky, and artistically coherent slabs–an extension of my love of novels, I still listen to albums, and this roll call was proof I ain’t no dummy.

The Top 10 is my real Top 10. I was asked to submit it to a terrific Facebook group that produces poll results like the Village Voice Pazz & Jop Poll used to, and I thought on it very carefully–though some friends argue there’s no difference, these are the records that meant the most to me, that I needed the most, that powered me through a minimum of 10 horrible days, rather than the 10 greatest artistic albumic achievements of the year. 11-90? I did quite a bit of thinking about those as well, 10 at a time–then, today, came back and fussed with it to get it just right and include some late ’20 releases.

Apologies to these artists who were originally on my list months ago, and who here make the Top 100 (there are a good 50-75 more strong albums) but who I must have accidentally deleted while editing in the fall: the great Southern rocker Tyler Keith, the rejuvenated Dramarama, the delightful and fearless Billy Nomates, and the gutsy Ashley McBryde. They may never see this, and even if they do, they may not care–but it matters to me.

DIG IN. 2021’s breathin’ down your neck.

BOLDED ENTRIES = Records added (or restored) to the list.

  1. Kahil El’Zabar: America The Beautiful
  2. Run The Jewels: 4
  3. Mark Lomax II: The 400 Years Suite
  4. 79rs Gang: Expect the Unexpected
  5. Dezron Douglas & Brandee Younger: Force Majeure
  6. Bob Dylan: Rough and Rowdy Ways
  7. Fire! Orchestra: Actions
  8. SAULT: Untitled (Black Is)
  9. The Third Mind: The Third Mind
  10. Mars Williams: Presents an Ayler Xmas, Volume 4–Chicago vs. New York
  11. Watt, Kaiser, Golia, Peet, and Hanrahan: A Love Supreme Electric
  12. Spillage Village: Spilligion
  13. Body Count: Carnivore
  14. Jyoti: Mama You Can Bet!
  15. Mike & The Moonpies: Touch of You–The Lost Songs of Gary Stewart
  16. Boldy James & The Alchemist: The Price of Tea in China
  17. Roisin Murphy: Roisin Machine
  18. Serengeti & Kenny Segal: AJAI
  19. Kesha: High Road
  20. Neptunian Maximalism: Éons
  21. Various Artists: An Anthology of Experimental Music from Mexico
  1. Princess Nokia: Everything is Beautiful
  2. Anna Högberg Attack: lena 
  3. Shabaka and The Ancestors: We Are Sent Here by History
  4. Fiona Apple: Fetch the Bolt Cutters
  5. Bktherula: Nirvana
  6. Belle and Sebastian: What to Look for in Summer
  1. Rob Mazurek & Exploding Star Orchestra: Dimension Stardust
  2. Thiago Nassif: Mente
  3. Hamell on Trial: Pandemic Songs
  4. Goodie Mob: Survival Kit
  5. Lido Pimienta: Miss Colombia
  6. James Brandon Lewis and Chad Taylor: Live in Willisau
  7. Tee Grizzley: The Smartest
  8. Bettye LaVette: Blackbirds
  9. Elizabeth Cook: Aftermath
  10. Zeal & Ardor: Wake of a Nation (EP)
  11. Adulkt Life: Book of Curses
  12. Princess Nokia: Everything Sucks
  13. Florian Arbenz and Greg Osby: Reflections of The Eternal Line
  14. Little Simz: Drop 6 (EP)
  15. Dramarama: Color TV
  16. The Human Hearts: Day of The Tiles (EP)
  17. Charles McPherson: Jazz Dance Suites
  18. X: Alphabetland 
  19. Various Artists: Memphis Concrète Presents Sound in Geometry Series, Volume 1–On Triangles
  20. KeiyaA: Forever, Ya Girl
  21. Gard Nilssen’s Supersonic Orchestra: If You Listen Carefully, The Music is Yours
  22. Various Artists: Music for Abandoned Cold War Places
  23. Cornershop: England is a Garden
  24. Moor Jewelry: True Opera
  25. Various Artists: New Improvised Music from Buenos Aires
  26. Mark Lomax II: The Last Concert–Ankh & The Tree of Live
  27. Don Vappie & Jazz Creole: The Blue Book of Storyville
  28. Mickey Guyton: Bridges (EP)
  29. Aesop Rock: Spirit World Field Guide
  30. Bobby Rush: Rawer Than Raw
  31. Moses Sumney: grae
  32. Carlos Nino and Miguel Atwood-Ferguson: Chicago Waves
  33. Billy Nomates: Billy Nomates
  34. Irreversible Entanglements: Who Sent You?
  35. Alicia Keys: ALICIA
  36. Moor Mother & Billy Woods: Brass
  37. K-Michelle: All Monsters are Human
  38. 75 Dollar Bill: Live at Tubby’s
  39. Luke Stewart: Luke Stewart Exposure Quintet
  40. SAULT: Untitled (Rise)
  41. Drakeo the Ruler: Quit Rappin’
  42. Idris Ackamoor & The Pyramids: Shaman!
  43. Juice WRLD: Legends Never Die
  44. Black Thought: Streams of Thought 3–Cane and Abel
  45. Swamp Dogg: Sorry You Couldn’t Make It
  46. Ashley McBryde: Never Will
  47. Tyler Keith: The Last Drag
  48. City Girls: City on Lock
  49. Serengeti: With Greg from Deerhoof
  50. Dua Lipa: Future Nostalgia
  51. Asher Gamedze: Dialectic Soul
  52. Jinx Lennon: Border Schizo Fffolk Songs for the F****d
  53. Julianna Barwick: Healing is a Miracle
  54. No Age: Goons Be Gone
  55. James Brandon Lewis: Molecular 
  56. Junglepussy: Jp4
  57. JD Allen: Toys / Die Dreaming
  58. Hot Country Knights: The “K” is Silent
  59. Ill Scholars: Ill Scholars
  60. Cortex: Legal Tender
  61. Mr. Wrong: Create a Place
  62. Lori McKenna: The Balladeer
  63. The Necks: Three
  64. Chloe x Halle: Ungodly Hour
  65. Steve Earle: Ghosts of West Virginia
  66. Teodross Avery: Harlem Stories–The Music of Thelonious Monk
  67. Rina Sawayama: Sawayama
  68. Bette Smith: The Good, The Bad, and The Bette
  69. Kali Uchis: Sin Miedo (del Amor y Otros Demonios)
  70. Al Bilali Soudan: Tombouctou
  71. Dehd: Flower of Devotion
  72. Jeff Parker: Suite for Max Brown
  73. Jeannie Seely: An American Classic

REISSUES AND ARCHIVAL FINDS

  1. Various Artists: Daora–Underground Sounds of Urban Brazil
  2. Wussy: Ghosts
  3. Uncle Victor Chukwu: Akalaka / The Power
  4. Luiz Carlos Vinhas: O Som Psicodelico De LCV
  5. Charles Mingus: Mingus @ Bremen 1964 & 1975
  6. Thelonious Monk: Palo Alto
  7. Sonny Rollins: Rollins in Holland
  8. Sharhabil Ahmed: The King of Sudanese Jazz
  9. Oneness of Juju: African Rhythms 1970-1982
  10. King Ubu Orchestru: Concert at Town Hall—Binaurality Live
  11. Various Artists: Hanging Tree Guitars
  12. Pylon: Pylon Box
  13. Lee Scratch Perry w / Seskain Molenga & Kalo Kawongolo: Roots from the Congo
  14. Various Artists: How the River Ganges Flows: Sublime Masterpieces of Indian Violin 1933-1952
  15. Hallelujah Chicken Run Band: Take One
  16. Various Artists: Saint Etienne Presents Songs for the Fountain Coffee Room
  17. Milford Graves & Don Pullen: The Complete Yale Concert
  18. Various Artists: Sumer is Icumen In–The Pagan Sound of British and Irish Folk 1966-1975
  19. Junior Byles: Beat Down Babylon
  20. Various Artists: Soul Love Now–The Black Fire Records Story 1975-1993
  21. Various Artists: Turn Me Loose, White Man, Or, Appropriating Culture–How to Listen to American Music 1900-1960 (Allen Lowe, compiler)
  22. Various Artists: Southeast of Saturn–Michigan Shoegaze / Dream Pop / Space Rock
  23. Various Artists: Excavated Shellac–An Alternate History of the World’s Music
  24. The Awakening: Hear, Sense, and Feel
  25. Black Unity Trio: Al-Fatihah
  26. Peter Stampfel & The Bottlecaps: Demo ’84
  27. Lon Moshe and The Southern Freedom Arkestra: Love is Where the Spirit Lies
  28. Various Artists: Stone Crush–Memphis Modern Soul 1977-1987
  29. Various Artists: Soul Jazz Records Presents Black Riot–Early Jungle, Rave, and Hardcore
  30. Prince: Sign ‘o The Times (Deluxe Edition)
  31. Various Artists: Cool Cats Invasion (Highlife, Juju, and Palm Wine Music from Nigeria and Ghana)
  32. Little Richard: Southern Child
  33. Fela: Perambulator
  34. Various Artists: Black Ark Players / Black Ark in Dub
  35. Hiroshi Yoshimura: Green
  36. Milton Nascimento: Maria Maria
  37. Riley (featuring Gary Stewart): Grandma’s Roadhouse
  38. The Ibrahim Khalil Shihab Quartet: Spring
  39. Walter Bishop, Jr.: Coral Keys
  40. Horace Tapscott: Ancestral Echoes

Power Up! Look Out! This Dance’s About Over!: 155 Rekkids That Have Given Me Pleasure This Year When I Really, Really Needed It!

New developments?
1) Dezron Douglas and Brandee Younger made their record on an iPad in their apartment while sheltering in place; that fact, and the gentleness of the recording have it shooting up my chart.

2) There’s some serious experimental noise coming out of Memphis–and that’s really no surprise.

3) Aesop Rock just gets better with age.

4) Could be the best improvisors in the world–the band Cortex among them–are from Norway.

5) My former student Jessica Kittle TOLD ME Kali Uchis was an artist of exploding potential.

6) AC/DC have made a strong record. Just when you thought they were done….

7) I was struck by a countryish song called “Black Like Me” I heard on a writer’s playlist three months ago and forgot to see who the artist was. So THAT’S Mickey Guyton! Very good to know!

8) The music writer Chuck Eddy is unafraid to tread confidently out on limbs. He recently did this on behalf of a group I hadn’t heard of called Hot Country Knights. The band name and album cover made me chuckle, and I sampled it purely for that reason, without asking Chuck about them. The songs? “Chuckle” isn’t a strong enough word. Hey…if you need some laughter in your life and you sometimes pine for ’90s country, you might wanna take a flyer yourself. Check out Chuck’s blog here.

9) If you know who Madlib and Karreim Riggins are, you will have to proceed directly to their “black classical music” collab project, Jahari Massamba Unit.

10) A couple historical dudes named Mingus and Hendrix are benefiting from very impressive excavations of legendary live performances they once delivered. You can benefit as well.

Living to Listen’s 100 Favorite New Releases of 2020, January 1 to November 30

(Items new to the list are bolded.)

  1. Kahil El’Zabar: America, The Beautiful
  2. Run The Jewels: RTJ 4
  3. Gil Scott-Heron and Makaya McCraven: We’re New Again–A Reimagining
  4. SAULT: Untitled (Black Is) 
  5. 79rs Gang: Expect the Unexpected
  6. Princess Nokia: Everything is Beautiful
  7. Fire! Orchestra: Actions
  8. Dezron Douglas & Brandee Younger: Force Majeure
  9. Serengeti & Kenny Segal: AJAI
  10. Neptunian Maximalism: Éons (band name and album title of the year, based on music’s justification of same)
  11. Marx Lomax II: The Last Concert—Ankh & The Tree of Life
  12. Mark Lomax II: The 400 Years Suite
  13. The Third Mind: The Third Mind
  14. Jyoti: Mama You Can Bet!
  15. Hamell on Trial: The Pandemic Songs
  16. Boldy James & The Alchemist: The Price of Tea in China
  17. Roisin Murphy: Roisin Machine
  18. Fiona Apple: Fetch the Bolt Cutters
  19. Anna Högberg Attack: lena
  20. Tee Grizzley: The Smartest
  21. Aesop Rock: Spirit World Field Guide
  22. The Good Ones: RWANDA, you should be loved
  23. Kahil El’Zabar: Spirit Groove (featuring David Murray)
  24. Bob Dylan: My Rough and Rowdy Ways
  25. Ashley McBryde: Never Will
  26. Zeal and Ardor: Wake of a Nation (EP)
  27. Princess Nokia: Everything Sucks
  28. Shabaka and The Ancestors: We Are Sent Here By History
  29. Lido Pimienta: Miss Colombia
  30. Bettye LaVette: Blackbirds
  31. Mike & The Moonpies: Touch of You–The Lost Songs of Gary Stewart
  32. Cornershop: England is a Garden
  33. Elizabeth Cook: Aftermath
  34. Body Count: Carnivore
  35. Open Mike Eagle: Anime Trauma Divorce
  36. James Brandon Lewis and Chad Taylor: Live in Willisau
  37. Cortex: Legal Tender
  38. Various Artists: Memphis Concrete Presents Sound in Geometry Series, Volume 1—On Triangles
  39. James Brandon Lewis: Molecular
  40. Charles McPherson: Jazz Dance Suites
  41. Kali Uchis: Sin Miedo (del Amor y Otros Demonios)
  42. SAULT: Untitled (Rise)
  43. Various Artists: New Improvised Music from Buenos Aires
  44. The Human Hearts: Day of the Tiles (EP)
  45. Kesha: High Road
  46. DJ-Kicks / Various Artists: Mr. Scruff
  47. Little Simz: Drop 6 (EP)
  48. K. Michelle: All Monsters are Human
  49. Drakeo the Ruler & JoogSzn:Quit Rappin
  50. Joel Ross: Who Are You?
  51. KeiyaA: Forever, Ya Girl
  52. Rob Mazurek & Exploding Star Orchestra: Dimension Stardust
  53. Bobby Rush: Rawer Than Raw
  54. Hot Country Knights: The K is Silent
  55. AC/DC: POWER UP
  56. Thiago Nassif: Mente
  57. Luke Stewart: Luke Stewart Exposure Quintet
  58. Bette Smith: The Good, The Bad, and The Bette
  59. Florian Arbenz & Greg Osby: Reflections of The Eternal Line
  60. Irreversible Entanglements: Who Sent You
  61. Carlos Nino and Miguel Atwood-Ferguson: Chicago Waves
  62. Idris Ackamoor & The Pyramids: Shaman!
  63. City Girls: City on Lock
  64. Moses Sumney: grae
  65. Apollo Brown & Che Noir: As God Intended
  66. Al Bilali Soudan: Tombouctou
  67. JD Allen: Toys / Die Dreaming
  68. No Age: Goons Be Gone
  69. Steve Earle: Ghosts of West Virginia
  70. Ammar 808: Global Control / Invisible Invasion
  71. Jeff Parker: Suite for Max Brown
  72. Junglepussy: Jp4
  73. Alicia Keys: ALICIA
  74. Grimes: Miss Anthropocene
  75. Dehd: Flower of Devotion
  76. Mickey Guyton: Bridges (EP)
  77. The Ridiculous Trio: The Ridiculous Trio Plays The Stooges
  78. Burna Boy: Twice as Tall
  79. Conway the Machine: From a King to a God
  80. Mr. Wrong: Create a Place
  81. Various Artists: Eyes Shut, Ears Open–A Burning Ambulance Compilation
  82. Moor Jewelry: True Opera (EP)
  83. Teodross Avery: Harlem Stories – The Music of Thelonious Monk
  84. Asher Gamedze: Dialectic Soul
  85. Optic Sink: Optic Sink
  86. Laraaji: Sun Piano
  87. Tiwa Savage: Celia
  88. Jinx Lennon: Border Schizo Fffolk Songs for the F****d
  89. Gard Nilssen’s Supersonic Orchestra: If You Listen Carefully, The Music is Yours
  90. Beauty Pill: Sorry You’re Here (EP)
  91. Steve Arrington: Down to the Lowest Terms—The Soul Sessions
  92. Jahari Massamba Unit: Pardon My French
  93. Swamp Dogg: Sorry You Couldn’t Make It
  94. Julianna Barwick: Healing is a Miracle
  95. Black Thought: Streams of Thought, Vol. 3—Cane and Abel
  96. Speaker Music: Black Nationalist Sonic Weaponry
  97. Lori McKenna: The Balladeer
  98. Old 97s: Twelfth
  99. Theo Parrish: Wuddaji
  100. Mars Williams: An Ayler Christmas, Volume 4

Reissues and Past Recordings Freshly Excavated

  1. Various Artists: Daora–Underground Sounds of Urban Brasil
  2. Wussy: Ghosts
  3. Various Artists: Turn Me Loose, White Man
  4. Thelonious Monk: Palo Alto
  5. Charles Mingus: @ Bremen 1964 & 1975
  6. Jimi Hendrix: Live in Maui
  7. Hallelujah Chicken Run Band: Take One
  8. Pylon: Pylon Box
  9. Various Artists: Hanging Tree Guitars
  10. Various Artists: Saint Etienne Present Songs for the Fountain Coffee Room
  11. Milford Graves & Don Pullen: The Complete Yale Concert
  12. King Ubu Orchestru: Concert at Town Hall – Binaurality Live 1989
  13. Luiz Carlos Vinhas: O Som Psicodelico De L. C. V.
  14. Oneness of Juju: African Rhythms 1970-1982
  15. Junior Byles: Beat Down Babylon (Deluxe Reissue)
  16. Various Artists: Soul Love—The Black Fire Records Story 1975-1993
  17. Sun Ra: Unity—Live at Storyville NYC October 1977
  18. Peter Stampfel and The Bottlecaps: Demo ‘84
  19. Various Artists: La Locura de Machuca—1975-1980
  20. Lee Scratch Perry with Seskain Molenga and Kalo Kawongolo: Roots from the Congo (reissue)
  21. Victor Chukwu: Akalaka / The Power
  22. Dennis Gonzalez: Forever the Falling Stars
  23. The Heshoo Beshoo Group: Armitage Road
  24. Various Artists: Strum and Thrum—The American Jangle Underground 1983-1987
  25. Hiroshi Yoshimura: Green
  26. Milton Nascimento: Maria Maria (reissue)
  27. Jon Hassell: Vernal Equinox (reissue)
  28. The Awakening: Hear, Sense, and Feel
  29. Bessie Jones: Get in Union
  30. Tony Allen: No Accommodation for Lagos
  31. Black Unity Trio: Al-Fatihah
  32. Various Artists: All Aboard! The CN Express—Rock Steady and Boss Reggae Sounds 1967-1968
  33. The Pogues: BBC Sessions 1984-85
  34. Ranil: Stay Safe and Sound!
  35. Various Artists: Love Saves the Day—A History of American Dance Music Culture 1970-1979
  36. TEST: TEST and Roy Campbell, Jr.
  37. Joe McPhee: Black is The Color
  38. Various Artists: Look Out! The San Diego Scene 1958-1973
  39. Various Artists: Stone Crush—Memphis Modern Soul 1977-1987
  40. Walter Bishop Jr.: Coral Keys
  41. Observer All Stars & King Tubby: Dubbing with the Observer (reissue)
  42. Roky Erickson / 13th Floor Elevators: You and Me and I (Live)
  43. Bryan Ferry: Live at the Royal Albert Hall, 1974
  44. Fela Kuti: Perambulator
  45. No Trend: Too Many Humans/Teen Love (reissue)
  46. Pharoah Sanders: Live in Paris 1975
  47. Nina Simone: Fodder on My Wings
  48. Yabby You & The Aggrovators: King Tubby’s Prophecies of Dub (reissue)
  49. Various Artists: Léve Léve – Sao Tomé & Principe Sounds ‘70s-‘80s
  50. Various Artists: Soul Jazz Records Presents Black Riot—Early Jungle, Rave, and Hardcore
  51. Lee Scratch Perry: Play On, Mr. Music
  52. Various Artists: Maghreb K7 Club–Synth Rai, Chaoui & Staifi (1985-1997)
  53. Brother Theotis Taylor
  54. Black Ark Players: Black Ark In Dub
  55. Prince: Sign O’ The Times (Deluxe Edition)
  56. The Replacements: Pleased to Meet Me (Deluxe Edition)

Living to Listen’s Top Platters for 2020 (So Far): Hey, Instead of Watching Election Results, Dive into this List and Don’t Come Up Until You’ve at Least Sampled Them All!

Overeem’s Top 90 Fresh Fonograph Records of 2020

I was distracted by the past during October, having taken a DEEP-ASS dive into the dawning of disco (late-’73 to mid-’75) that revealed many joyous obscurities and reduced my tension and foreboding regarding this month. Many of my music-loving peers are flipping for Bruce Springsteen’s newest; I have only played the opening track, and stopped listening before it was over–it’s just the way I am, but his set-up has grown tiresome with me, even though the whole idea behind Letter to You seems designed for me, given the year I’ve been having. In addition, several hot new jazz records have dropped (by James Brandon Lewis–his second of the year–Angel Bat Dawid, Mary Halvorson, the Afrosynth production house, the fascinating Takuya Kuroda, and Kahil El’Zabar–his second of the year) that I haven’t given a fair amount of time to. But four newbies I’ll swear by (I may have over-self-started re: the Zeal and Ardor EP) pushed older records out of the Top 30, and revisited a few items that had paled a bit pushed them down the list as well.  Those two massive reissue box sets are at the bottom of my old-stuff list mainly because they’re too damned expensive for the common man, given much of their contents have been available before, more cheaply–but they are still listenable front to back, something you can’t always say about such white elephants.  If only the Prince box had included the Sign O’ The Times concert film…

Note: BOLDED ITEMS are new to the list.

  1. Run The Jewels: RTJ 4
  2. Gil Scott-Heron and Makaya McCraven: We’re New Again–A Reimagining
  3. SAULT: Untitled (Black Is) 
  4. 79rs Gang: Expect the Unexpected
  5. Princess Nokia: Everything is Beautiful
  6. Boldy James & The Alchemist: The Price of Tea in China
  7. Fire! Orchestra: Actions
  8. Body Count: Carnivore
  9. Serengeti & Kenny Segal: AJAI
  10. Neptunian Maximalism: Éons (band name and album title of the year, based on music’s justification of same)
  11. Marx Lomax II: The Last Concert—Ankh & The Tree of Life
  12. Mark Lomax II: The 400 Years Suite
  13. The Third Mind: The Third Mind
  14. Jyoti: Mama You Can Bet!
  15. Hamell on Trial: The Pandemic Songs
  16. Kahil El’Zabar: America, The Beautiful
  17. Kahil El’Zabar: Spirit Groove (featuring David Murray)
  18. Roisin Murphy: Roisin Machine
  19. Open Mike Eagle: Anime Trauma Divorce
  20. Anna Högberg Attack: lena
  21. Tee Grizzley: The Smartest
  22. The Good Ones: RWANDA, you should be loved
  23. Various Artists: Hanging Tree Guitars
  24. Fiona Apple: Fetch the Bolt Cutters
  25. Shabaka and The Ancestors: We Are Sent Here By History
  26. Bob Dylan: My Rough and Rowdy Ways
  27. Ashley McBryde: Never Will
  28. Charles McPherson: Jazz Dance Suites
  29. SAULT: Untitled (Rise)
  30. Zeal and Ardor: Wake of a Nation (EP)
  31. Princess Nokia: Everything Sucks
  32. Joel Ross: Who Are You?
  33. Lido Pimienta: Miss Colombia
  34. Bettye LaVette: Blackbirds
  35. Mike & The Moonpies: Touch of You–The Lost Songs of Gary Stewart
  36. James Brandon Lewis and Chad Taylor: Live in Willisau
  37. James Brandon Lewis: Molecular
  38. Various Artists: New Improvised Music from Buenos Aires
  39. The Human Hearts: Day of the Tiles (EP)
  40. Little Simz: Drop 6 (EP)
  41. K. Michelle: All Monsters are Human
  42. Drakeo the Ruler & JoogSzn:Quit Rappin
  43. KeiyaA: Forever, Ya Girl
  44. Bobby Rush: Rawer Than Raw
  45. Thiago Nassif: Mente
  46. Luke Stewart: Luke Stewart Exposure Quintet
  47. Bette Smith: The Good, The Bad, and The Bette
  48. Florian Arbenz & Greg Osby: Reflections of The Eternal Line
  49. Irreversible Entanglements: Who Sent You
  50. Kesha: High Road
  51. Carlos Nino and Miguel Atwood-Ferguson: Chicago Waves
  52. Idris Ackamoor & The Pyramids: Shaman!
  53. Cornershop: England is a Garden
  54. Elizabeth Cook: Aftermath
  55. City Girls: City on Lock
  56. Moses Sumney: grae
  57. Apollo Brown & Che Noir: As God Intended
  58. Al Bilali Soudan: Tombouctou
  59. JD Allen: Toys / Die Dreaming
  60. No Age: Goons Be Gone
  61. Steve Earle: Ghosts of West Virginia
  62. Ammar 808: Global Control / Invisible Invasion
  63. Jeff Parker: Suite for Max Brown
  64. Junglepussy: Jp4
  65. Alicia Keys: ALICIA
  66. Grimes: Miss Anthropocene
  67. Dehd: Flower of Devotion
  68. The Ridiculous Trio: The Ridiculous Trio Plays The Stooges
  69. Burna Boy: Twice as Tall
  70. Conway the Machine: From a King to a God
  71. Mr. Wrong: Create a Place
  72. Various Artists: Eyes Shut, Ears Open–A Burning Ambulance Compilation
  73. Moor Jewelry: True Opera (EP)
  74. Teodross Avery: Harlem Stories – The Music of Thelonious Monk
  75. Asher Gamedze: Dialectic Soul
  76. Optic Sink: Optic Sink
  77. Laraaji: Sun Piano
  78. Tiwa Savage: Celia
  79. Jinx Lennon: Border Schizo Fffolk Songs for the F****d
  80. Gard Nilssen’s Supersonic Orchestra: If You Listen Carefully, The Music is Yours
  81. Beauty Pill: Sorry You’re Here (EP)
  82. Steve Arrington: Down to the Lowest Terms—The Soul Sessions
  83. Etuk Ubong: Africa Today
  84. Swamp Dogg: Sorry You Couldn’t Make It
  85. Julianna Barwick: Healing is a Miracle
  86. Black Thought: Streams of Thought, Vol. 3—Cane and Abel
  87. Speaker Music: Black Nationalist Sonic Weaponry
  88. Lori McKenna: The Balladeer
  89. Old 97s: Twelfth
  90. Theo Parrish: Wuddaji

Reissues and Past Recordings Freshly Excavated

  1. Various Artists: Daora–Underground Sounds of Urban Brasil
  2. Wussy: Ghosts
  3. Various Artists: Turn Me Loose, White Man
  4. Thelonious Monk: Palo Alto
  5. Peter Stampfel and The Bottlecaps: Demo ‘84
  6. Various Artists: Saint Etienne Present Songs for the Fountain Coffee Room
  7. Milford Graves & Don Pullen: The Complete Yale Concert
  8. King Ubu Orchestru: Concert at Town Hall – Binaurality Live 1989
  9. Luiz Carlos Vinhas: O Som Psicodelico De L. C. V.
  10. Oneness of Juju: African Rhythms 1970-1982
  11. Junior Byles: Beat Down Babylon (Deluxe Reissue)
  12. Various Artists: Soul Love—The Black Fire Records Story 1975-1993
  13. Sun Ra: Unity—Live at Storyville NYC October 1977
  14. Various Artists: La Locura de Machuca—1975-1980
  15. Tony Allen: No Accommodation for Lagos
  16. Various Artists: All Aboard! The CN Express—Rock Steady and Boss Reggae Sounds 1967-1968
  17. The Pogues: BBC Sessions 1984-85
  18. Ranil: Stay Safe and Sound!
  19. Lee Scratch Perry with Seskain Molenga and Kalo Kawongolo: Roots from the Congo (reissue)
  20. Dennis Gonzalez: Forever the Falling Stars
  21. Hiroshi Yoshimura: Green
  22. Milton Nascimento: Maria Maria (reissue)
  23. Jon Hassell: Vernal Equinox (reissue)
  24. The Awakening: Hear, Sense, and Feel
  25. Bessie Jones: Get in Union
  26. TEST: TEST and Roy Campbell, Jr.
  27. Joe McPhee: Black is The Color
  28. Various Artists: Stone Crush—Memphis Modern Soul 1977-1987
  29. Walter Bishop Jr.: Coral Keys
  30. Observer All Stars & King Tubby: Dubbing with the Observer (reissue)
  31. Roky Erickson / 13th Floor Elevators: You and Me and I (Live)
  32. Bryan Ferry: Live at the Royal Albert Hall, 1974
  33. Fela Kuti: Perambulator
  34. No Trend: Too Many Humans/Teen Love (reissue)
  35. Pharoah Sanders: Live in Paris 1975
  36. Nina Simone: Fodder on My Wings
  37. Yabby You & The Aggrovators: King Tubby’s Prophecies of Dub (reissue)
  38. Various Artists: Léve Léve – Sao Tomé & Principe Sounds ‘70s-‘80s
  39. Various Artists: Soul Jazz Records Presents Black Riot—Early Jungle, Rave, and Hardcore
  40. Lee Scratch Perry: Play On, Mr. Music
  41. Various Artists: Maghreb K7 Club–Synth Rai, Chaoui & Staifi (1985-1997)
  42. Brother Theotis Taylor
  43. Black Ark Players: Black Ark In Dub
  44. Prince: Sign O’ The Times (Deluxe Edition)
  45. The Replacements: Pleased to Meet Me (Deluxe Edition)

Face-first Into the Fire: The Best Albums of 2020, 75% of the Way Across the Coals

I have found 80 albums of freshly recorded music (and 40 archival releases launched in 2020) to be substantial fuel to keep me moving forward through this mire. The bolded items (and those represented in the above slide show) are new to the list. Dig in, my curious friends.

  1. Run The Jewels: RTJ 4
  2. Gil Scott-Heron and Makaya McCraven: We’re New Again–A Reimagining
  3. Fiona Apple: Fetch the Bolt Cutters
  4. SAULT: Untitled (Black Is) 
  5. 79rs Gang: Expect the Unexpected
  6. Princess Nokia: Everything is Beautiful
  7. Boldy James & The Alchemist: The Price of Tea in China
  8. Fire! Orchestra: Actions
  9. Body Count: Carnivore
  10. Tee Grizzley: The Smartest
  11. Serengeti & Kenny Segal: AJAI
  12. Neptunian Maximalism: Éons (band name and album title of the year, based on music’s justification of same)
  13. Marx Lomax II: The Last Concert—Ankh & The Tree of Life
  14. Mark Lomax II: The 400 Years Suite
  15. The Third Mind: The Third Mind
  16. Jyoti: Mama You Can Bet!
  17. Hamell on Trial: The Pandemic Songs
  18. Kahil El’Zabar: Spirit Groove (featuring David Murray)
  19. Roisin Murphy: Roisin Machine
  20. Drakeo the Ruler & JoogSzn:Quit Rappin
  21. KeiyaA: Forever, Ya Girl
  22. Anna Högberg Attack: lena
  23. The Good Ones: RWANDA, you should be loved
  24. Cornershop: England is a Garden
  25. Shabaka and The Ancestors: We Are Sent Here By History
  26. Bob Dylan: My Rough and Rowdy Ways
  27. Bette Smith: The Good, The Bad, and The Bette
  28. Charles McPherson: Jazz Dance Suites
  29. Florian Arbenz & Greg Osby: Reflections of The Eternal Line
  30. Irreversible Entanglements: Who Sent You
  31. Kesha: High Road
  32. SAULT: Untitled (Rise)
  33. Bobby Rush: Rawer Than Raw
  34. Thiago Nassif: Mente
  35. Steve Earle: Ghosts of West Virginia
  36. Princess Nokia: Everything Sucks
  37. Lido Pimienta: Miss Colombia
  38. Elizabeth Cook: Aftermath
  39. City Girls: City on Lock
  40. Bettye LaVette: Blackbirds
  41. Mike & The Moonpies: Touch of You–The Lost Songs of Gary Stewart
  42. James Brandon Lewis and Chad Taylor: Live in Willisau
  43. Ammar 808: Global Control / Invisible Invasion
  44. Various Artists: New Improvised Music from Buenos Aires
  45. The Human Hearts: Day of the Tiles (EP)
  46. Carlos Nino and Miguel Atwood-Ferguson: Chicago Waves
  47. Idris Ackamoor & The Pyramids: Shaman!
  48. Moses Sumney: grae
  49. Apollo Brown & Che Noir: As God Intended
  50. Al Bilali Soudan: Tombouctou
  51. JD Allen: Toys / Die Dreaming
  52. No Age: Goons Be Gone
  53. Jeff Parker: Suite for Max Brown
  54. Alicia Keys: ALICIA
  55. Grimes: Miss Anthropocene
  56. Babe, Terror: Horizogon
  57. Dehd: Flower of Devotion
  58. The Ridiculous Trio: The Ridiculous Trio Plays The Stooges
  59. Burna Boy: Twice as Tall
  60. Conway the Machine: From a King to a God
  61. Mr. Wrong: Create a Place
  62. Little Simz: Drop 6 (EP)
  63. Various Artists: Eyes Shut, Ears Open–A Burning Ambulance Compilation
  64. Moor Jewelry: True Opera (EP)
  65. Teodross Avery: Harlem Stories – The Music of Thelonious Monk
  66. K. Michelle: All Monsters are Human
  67. Asher Gamedze: Dialectic Soul
  68. Laraaji: Sun Piano
  69. Tiwa Savage: Celia
  70. Jinx Lennon: Border Schizo Fffolk Songs for the F****d
  71. Gard Nilssen’s Supersonic Orchestra: If You Listen Carefully, The Music is Yours
  72. Beauty Pill: Sorry You’re Here (EP)
  73. Steve Arrington: Down to the Lowest Terms—The Soul Sessions
  74. Etuk Ubong: Africa Today
  75. Swamp Dogg: Sorry You Couldn’t Make It
  76. Julianna Barwick: Healing is a Miracle
  77. Speaker Music: Black Nationalist Sonic Weaponry
  78. Lori McKenna: The Balladeer
  79. Public Enemy: What You Gonna Do When the Grid Goes Down?
  80. Old 97s: Twelfth

Reissues and Past Recordings Freshly Excavated

  1. Various Artists: Daora–Underground Sounds of Urban Brasil
  2. Wussy: Ghosts
  3. Dennis Gonzalez: Forever the Falling Stars
  4. Various Artists: Turn Me Loose, White Man
  5. Thelonious Monk: Palo Alto
  6. Peter Stampfel and The Bottlecaps: Demo ‘84
  7. Various Artists: Saint Etienne Present Songs for the Fountain Coffee Room
  8. Milford Graves & Don Pullen: The Complete Yale Concert
  9. King Ubu Orchestru: Concert at Town Hall – Binaurality Live 1989
  10. Luiz Carlos Vinhas: O Som Psicodelico De L. C. V.
  11. Oneness of Juju: African Rhythms 1970-1982
  12. Junior Byles: Beat Down Babylon (Deluxe Reissue)
  13. Various Artists: Soul Love—The Black Fire Records Story 1975-1993
  14. Tony Allen: No Accommodation for Lagos
  15. Various Artists: All Aboard! The CN Express—Rock Steady and Boss Reggae Sounds 1967-1968
  16. Ranil: Stay Safe and Sound!
  17. Lee Scratch Perry with Seskain Molenga and Kalo Kawongolo: Roots from the Congo (reissue)
  18. Hiroshi Yoshimura: Green
  19. Milton Nascimento: Maria Maria (reissue)
  20. Jon Hassell: Vernal Equinox (reissue)
  21. The Awakening: Hear, Sense, and Feel
  22. Bessie Jones: Get in Union
  23. TEST: TEST and Roy Campbell, Jr.
  24. Joe McPhee: Black is The Color
  25. Various Artists: Stone Crush—Memphis Modern Soul 1977-1987
  26. Walter Bishop Jr.: Coral Keys
  27. Observer All Stars & King Tubby: Dubbing with the Observer (reissue)
  28. Roky Erickson / 13th Floor Elevators: You and Me and I (Live)
  29. Bryan Ferry: Live at the Royal Albert Hall, 1974
  30. Fela Kuti: Perambulator
  31. No Trend: Too Many Humans/Teen Love (reissue)
  32. Pharoah Sanders: Live in Paris 1975
  33. Nina Simone: Fodder on My Wings
  34. Yabby You & The Aggrovators: King Tubby’s Prophecies of Dub (reissue)
  35. Various Artists: Léve Léve – Sao Tomé & Principe Sounds ‘70s-‘80s
  36. Various Artists: Soul Jazz Records Presents Black Riot—Early Jungle, Rave, and Hardcore
  37. Lee Scratch Perry: Play On, Mr. Music
  38. Various Artists: Maghreb K7 Club–Synth Rai, Chaoui & Staifi (1985-1997)
  39. Brother Theotis Taylor
  40. Black Ark Players: Black Ark In Dub