August 7, Rahsaan Roland Kirk’s birthday (by the way), is not a neat place at which to break off a list, but I have time, inspiration, and beer at my behest, so here it is. Some opening comments:
*I stared at that #1 for a long time. But I couldn’t do anything about it. Nothing is wrong with me or my judgment. And She knocked Anna Hogberg (who, right?) out of the top spot.
*I acknowledge that much of my Top 10 is the result of my political biases, as well as the fact that I am very much aware that I, more than usual, am in the midst of a terrible and/or wonderful history being made, or making us.
*My tastes are all over the place, but as Duke said, and I paraphrase, there is just good and bad music. I can’t in good conscience separate, say, septuagenarian free-jazzer Joe McPhee from yearling rock and roller Joe Toledo–it wouldn’t be worthy of my United States citizenship. Plus, I’m sorry, it’s just boring to listen to the same genre or whatever all day–not to mention all year.
So I humbly submit my favorite 25 rekkids–in order of the amount of mental, physical, and spiritual stimulation they give me, from most to least–of this roiling year that’s just gonna burble and bubble and boil more furiously until New Year’s Eve. Each item has a little surprise (sometimes not so surprising) linked to it for your enjoyment, edification, or consumeristic/aesthetic impulses.
- Beyoncé: Lemonade
- Saul Williams: Martyr Loser King
- The Paranoid Style: Rolling Disclosure
- J. D. Allen: Americana
- Anna Hogberg: Anna Hogberg Attack
- Meet Your Death: Meet Your Death
- Car Seat Headrest: Teens of Denial
- Blood Orange: Freetown Sound
- Chance the Rapper: Coloring Book
- Wussy: Forever Sounds
- Joe McPhee and Paal Nilssen-Love: Candy
- Various Artists: Music of Morocco–Recorded by Paul Bowles, 1959
- Bombino: Azel
- Pylon: Live
- Vijay Iyer and Wadada Leo Smith: A Cosmic Rhythm with Each Stroke
- Aesop Rock: The Impossible Kid
- Open Mike Eagle: Hella Personal Film Festival
- Tacocat: Lost Time
- Parquet Courts: Human Performance
- Angry Angles: Angry Angles
- Allen Toussaint: American Tunes
- Jemeel Moondoc and Hilliard Greene: Cosmic Nickolodeon
- Loretta Lynn: Full Circle
- Kel Assouf: Tikonen
- Mexrissey: No Manchester