Posting every other day has been the hardest of the five-six resolutions I cornily made for myself (I’m doing great on the others). Life has happened, and you can’t push that river. Perhaps I should post just when I want to and I have something urgent to communicate? Yes, and that would be today.
TEN OF MY “FAVORITE ALBUMS OF ALL-TIME”
Recently I asked my Facebook friends the impossible: name your favorite album of all-time. I led with my choice (Professor Longhair’s Crawfish Fiesta, which I’ve definitely played more than any other over the past 15 years) and instantly regretted it, not because it isn’t sublime, but someone else listed something more important. So, here aren’t my 10 favorite albums of all-time, in order; here are 10 records I’d list as my very favorite record, based on number of lifetime plays, significance to my development as a human, sparked joy, and facility in connecting me with other humans. I steadfastly avoided trying to have a politically correct representative list; these are the ones my heart reaches for, instantly.
The Minutemen, Double Nickels on the Dime
Professor Longhair, Crawfish Fiesta
Bob Dylan, Highway 61 Revisited
The Flying Burrito Brothers: The Gilded Palace of Sin
Bob Wills and The Texas Playboys: Basin Street Blues–The Tiffany Transcriptions, Volume 3
The Best of Doug Sahm & The Sir Douglas Quintet 1968-1975
The Clash: London Calling
Having a Good Time with Huey “Piano” Smith and The Clowns
MY TEN FAVORITE ALBUMS OF 2019
I don’t know about you, but the offerings thus far have been slim compared to last January. I will stretch to 10, nonetheless, though I may have to lean on reissues of older stuff. There is no serious priority order–it’s too early, and some of these may not end up making my Top 100 in the end. Also: a deep bow of amazement to the ageless Joe McPhee, who’s the star of no less than three of these; an acknowledgement that I have only sampled the glam comp below via YouTube searches; a thank you to my young friend Lucas Fagen, who convinced me that I was not too old and trap-rattle-addled to return to, and enjoy, Bad Bunny; and my apologies if some of these are kinda-’18. I remain needing serious convincing regarding Sharon Van Etten (Remind Me Tomorrow is an “up” album for her???).
Heroes are Gang Leaders: The Amiri Baraka Sessions
Various Artists: Travailler, C’est Trop Dure–The Lyrical Legacy of Caesar Vincent
Greg Ward and Rogue Parade: Stomping Off from Greenwood
Usted Saami: God is Not a Terrorist
Joe McPhee / John Butcher: At the Hill of James Magee
DVK and Joe McPhee: The Fire Each Time
Sir Shina Peter and His Internation Stars: Sewele
Various Artists: All the Young Droogs–60 Juvenile Delinquent Wrecks
Bad Bunny: X 100PRE
I ordered and received a CD recently from the fascinating experimental music label Catalytic Sound (Sweet Oranges, above), and within was a neat little ‘zine-styled “quarterly” with poetry and other neat stuff–especially master free drummer Paal Nilssen-Love’s list of his 100 favorite Brazilian records. Nilssen-Love’s made many sojourns to Brazil in the recent past, and he’s clearly a sharp, indefatigable crate-digger (that describes his drumming, too). What blew my mind is, though I really love Brazilian music, I’d only heard of 10 or so of them, and didn’t own many. Thus–and this is a reason I haven’t posted recently–I’ve been on a grail quest of my own, using his list as a road map. I’ve heard at least 20 of the records he’s listed since Friday; these are my favorites, and I only have 60-70 to go!
Pedro Santos: Krishnanda
Alessandra Leao: Dois Cordoes
Underground Samba Lapa
Ile Aiye: Canto Negro
O Som Sagrado de Wilson Das Neves
Clara Nunes: Esperanca
Tim Maia: Racional, Volumes 1 and 2
Moacir Santos: Coisas
Grupo Fundo De Quintal: Samba E No Fundo Do Quintal
Elis Regina: Samba, Eu Canto Assim