We’re Halfway There–But to Where?: 100 New Records I’ve Enjoyed (June 27th, 2018, Columbia, MO)

 

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Good golly, folks–it’s a good year in pop music when after 12 months you can get behind almost a hundred records you’ve enjoyed. It’s still a few days shy of July, and I’ve listened to 95 I’d give a B+ (or 7.5–grade inflation if that’s equivalent!) or better. It would have been 96, but somehow I lost one in the text transfer that I cannot ferret out. The bold-faced albums are in priority order from the ones I love most to love a whole lot; 25-50 are jockeying for position; and the rest are kind of in grab-bag, I’m-too-mentally-tired-to-deal formation.

I think I mentioned it last time, but 2018 has been a fantastic year for female artists. Also, guitar bands are starting to wake up (no pun intended) and address the shit-show we have on our hands. The jazz world is asserting itself, especially the free improvisors who have feet inside. Reissues: hard to keep up with, especially Atlanta’s Dust-to-Digital, who just released two terrific and typically well-appointed boxes that repay concentration and multiple listens. Personally, falling under the spell of Apple Music has vastly increased my, um, unique listens (at the expense of old faves I’ve always played a lot), and the exploration of electronic music and r&b fellow fanatics have pushed me to continues to pay dividends as far as picking beauties is concerned.

I wish I could link all these, but goddam you can copy and paste into a browser, can’t ya? Just try to pay an artist as much as possible if you can.

  1. Tracy Thorn: Record
  2. Nona Hendryx and Gary Lucas: The World of Captain Beefheart
  3. CupcaKe: Ephorize
  4. Mary Gauthier and Songwriting with Soldier: Rifles and Rosary Beads
  5. Sons of Kemet: Your Queen is a Reptile
  6. Janelle Monae: Dirty Computer
  7. Bettye LaVette: Things Have Changed
  8. JD Allen: Love Stone
  9. Berry: Everything, Compromised
  10. Joe McPhee: Imaginary Numbers
  11. Chloe x Halle: The Kids are Alright
  12. Superchunk: What A Time to Be Alive
  13. Young Fathers: Cocoa Sugar
  14. Parquet Courts: Wide Awake!
  15. Sly & Robbie and Nils Petter Molvaer: Nordub
  16. Orquesta Akokan: Orquesta Akokan
  17. Sidi Toure: Toubalbero
  18. Quelle Chris & Jean Grae: Everything’s Fine
  19. No Age: Snares Like a Haircut
  20. Grupo Mono Blanco: ¡Fandango! Sones Jarochos from Veracruz
  21. Elza Soares: Deus É Mulher
  22. John Prine: The Tree of Forgiveness
  23. Zeal & Ardor: Stranger Fruit
  24. Dave Holland: Uncharted Territories
  25. Toni Braxton: Sex & Cigarettes
  26. Nidia: Nídia É Má, Nídia É Fudida
  27. Wynton Marsalis & Friends: United We Swing–Best of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Galas
  28. Jonghyun: Poet / Artist
  29. Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever: Hope Downs
  30. Halu Mergia: Lalu Balu
  31. Jeffrey Lewis: Works by Tuli Kupferberg
  32. Bombino: Deran
  33. Idris Ackamoor & The Pyramids: An Angel Fell
  34. Rapsody: Laila’s Wisdom
  35. Sarayah: Feel the Vibe
  36. Anelis Assumpcão: Taurina
  37. Jinx Lennon: Grow a Pair
  38. Nas: Nasir
  39. Speedy Ortiz: Twerp Verse
  40. Courtney Barnett: Tell Me How You Really Feel
  41. Peter Brotzmann and Fred Lonberg-Holm: Ouroboros
  42. Car Seat Headrest: Twin Fantasy
  43. Evan Parker, Barry Guy, and Paul Lytton: Music for David Mossman
  44. Salim Washington: Dogon Revisited
  45. Angelika Niescier: The Berlin Concert
  46. Jon Hassell: Listening To Pictures (Pentimento, Vol. One)
  47. Charge It to The Game: House with a Pool
  48. JPEGMAFIA: Veteran
  49. Various Artists: Girls Just Wanna Have Fun…and Rights!!!
  50. Apolo: Live in Stockholm
  51. Mdou Moctar & Elite Beat: Mdou Moctar meets Elite Beat In a Budget Dancehall
  52. Willie Nelson: Last Man Standing
  53. Wussy: What Heaven is Like
  54. Meshell Ndegeocello: Ventriloquism
  55. Kamasi Washington: Heaven & Earth
  56. Cardi B: Invasion of Privacy
  57. Shopping: The Official Body
  58. Young Mothers: Morose
  59. The Thing: Again
  60. Ebo Taylor: Yen Ara
  61. Alice Bag: Blue Print
  62. Dana Murray: Negro Manifesto
  63. David Murray (featuring Saul Williams): Blues for Memo
  64. Pusha T: Daytona
  65. Shame: Songs of Praise
  66. Low Cut Connie: Dirty Picture, Pt. 2
  67. Henry Threadgill: Dirt..and More Dirt
  68. Hot Snakes: Jericho Sirens
  69. Ceramic Dog: YRU Still Here?
  70. Van Morrison & Joey DeFrancesco: You’re Driving Me Crazy
  71. Various Artists/Sahel Sounds: Field Recordings
  72. Marc Sinan & Oğuz Büyükberber: White
  73. Kendrick Lamar, et al: Black Panther—Music from and Inspired by the Film
  74. Jay Rock: Redemption
  75. MC Paul Barman: Echo Chamber
  76. Kris Davis and Craig Taborn: Octopus
  77. Tal National: Tantabara
  78. Wilko Johnson: Blow Your Mind
  79. Rodrigo Amado (with Joe McPhee): History of Nothing
  80. Rich Krueger: Life Ain’t That Long
  81. MAST: Thelonious Sphere Monk
  82. Silvana Estrada: Lo Sagrado
  83. Big Freedia: Third Ward Bounce
  84. Tallawit Timbouctou: Takamba WhatsApp 2018
  85. Amy Rigby: The Old Guys
  86. Busdriver: Electricity Is On Our Side
  87. Dr. Michael White: Tricentennial Rag
  88. Migos: Culture II
  89. Angélique Kidjo: Remain in Light
  90. Parliament: Medicaid Fraud Dogg
  91. Yo La Tengo: There’s a Riot Goin’ On
  92. The Carters: Everything is Love
  93. The Del McCoury Band: Del McCoury Still Sings Bluegrass
  94. Superorganism: Superorganism
  95. Laurie Anderson and Kronos Quartet: Landfall
  96. Sleep: The Sciences
  97. Teyana Taylor: K.T.S.E.
  98. Ibibio Sound Machine: Eyio
  99. Various Artists: I Only Listen to The Mountain Goats
  100. Princess Nokia: A Girl Cried Red

OLD MUSIC NICELY REPACKAGED

  1. Sonny Rollins: Way Out West (Deluxe Reissue)
  2. Neil Young: Roxy—Tonight’s the Night
  3. Various Artists: Voices of Mississippi—Artists and Musicians Documented by William Ferris
  4. Various Artists: Listen All Around: The Golden Age of Central and East African Music
  5. Gary Stewart: “Baby I Need Your Loving” / “Yester-Me, Yester-You, Yester-Day”
  6. Various Artists: Outlaws and Armadilloes
  7. The Revelators: In which the Revelators perform live renditions of selections from the Billy Childish songbook
  8. Against All Logic: 2012-2017
  9. Grant Green: Live at Oil Can Harry’s
  10. Entourage: Ceremony of Dreams—Studio Sessions & Outtakes 1972-1977
  11. Kuniyuki Takahashi: Early Tape Works 1986 – 1993 Volume 1
  12. Camarao: The Imaginary Soundtrack to a Brazilian Western Movie
  13. Various Artists: Africa Scream Contest, Volume 2
  14. Wussy: Getting Better
  15. The Beginning of the End: Funky Nassau

WIDE AWAKE!: 85 Decent Records from This Trying Year–an Update (June 1st, 2018, Columbia, MO)

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Time for my end-of-the-month update of records that fly in the face of the commonly heard assumption/argument/untested hypothesis that all the good music’s already been made. Based solely on what I’ve heard–much, but I know ears that have taken in far more–this calendar year’s produced 85 records I’d give a B+ or better to (I’m a teacher–as much as I think grades are institutionalized violence), it’s what I’ve got. By the way, they are ranked in order of most powerful in their effects upon me to least–but even #76 reaches me.

It’s a damn great year, in particular, for creative, outspoken women (no surprise), improvising musicians, artists of color and guitar bands (how ’bout that?). And, as always, plenty of old digs are proving they still got game–including one of the very oldest, and very best.

You’ve got the power at your fingertips to stream any of these, so dig in; do what I made my students do, and just pick 5-10 you’ve never heard of and try two-three tracks from each. But do keep an open mind, and remember what millennium you’re traipsing around in.

  1. Tracy Thorn: Record
  2. Nona Hendryx and Gary Lucas: The World of Captain Beefheart
  3. Berry: Everything, Compromised
  4. CupcaKe: Ephorize
  5. Mary Gauthier and Songwriting with Soldier: Rifles and Rosary Beads
  6. Sons of Kemet: Your Queen is a Reptile
  7. Janelle Monae: Dirty Computer
  8. Bettye LaVette: Things Have Changed
  9. Joe McPhee: Imaginary Numbers
  10. Chloe x Halle: The Kids are Alright
  11. Superchunk: What A Time to Be Alive
  12. Young Fathers: Cocoa Sugar
  13. Jinx Lennon: Grow a Pair
  14. Parquet Courts: Wide Awake!
  15. Sly & Robbie and Nils Petter Molvaer: Nordub
  16. Orquesta Akokan: Orquesta Akokan
  17. Sidi Toure: Toubalbero
  18. Quelle Chris & Jean Grae: Everything’s Fine
  19. Grupo Mono Blanco: ¡Fandango! Sones Jarochos from Veracruz
  20. John Prine: The Tree of Forgiveness
  21. Evan Parker, Barry Guy, and Paul Lytton: Music for David Mossman
  22. Jonghyun: Poet / Artist
  23. Halu Mergia: Lalu Balu
  24. Jeffrey Lewis: Works by Tuli Kupferberg
  25. Willie Nelson: Last Man Standing
  26. Bombino: Deran
  27. Idris Ackamoor & The Pyramids: An Angel Fell
  28. Rapsody: Laila’s Wisdom
  29. Courtney Barnett: Tell Me How You Really Feel
  30. Peter Brotzmann and Fred Lonberg-Holm: Ouroboros
  31. Toni Braxton: Sex & Cigarettes
  32. Car Seat Headrest: Twin Fantasy
  33. Salim Washington: Dogon Revisited
  34. Angelika Niescier: The Berlin Concert
  35. Charge It to The Game: House with a Pool
  36. JPEGMAFIA: Veteran
  37. Various Artists: Girls Just Wanna Have Fun…and Rights!!!
  38. Wussy: What Heaven is Like
  39. No Age: Snares Like a Haircut
  40. Marc Sinan & Oğuz Büyükberber: White
  41. Meshell Ndegeocello: Ventriloquism
  42. Cardi B: Invasion of Privacy
  43. Shopping: The Official Body
  44. The Thing: Again
  45. Ebo Taylor: Yen Ara
  46. Alice Bag: Blue Print
  47. Dana Murray: Negro Manifesto
  48. David Murray (featuring Saul Williams): Blues for Memo
  49. Pusha T: Daytona
  50. Shame: Songs of Praise
  51. Henry Threadgill: Dirt..and More Dirt
  52. Hot Snakes: Jericho Sirens
  53. Ceramic Dog: YRU Still Here?
  54. Van Morrison & Joey DeFrancesco: You’re Driving Me Crazy
  55. Various Artists/Sahel Sounds: Field Recordings
  56. Kendrick Lamar, et al: Black Panther—Music from and Inspired by the Film
  57. MC Paul Barman: Echo Chamber
  58. Kris Davis and Craig Taborn: Octopus
  59. Tal National: Tantabara
  60. Rodrigo Amado (with Joe McPhee): History of Nothing
  61. Rich Krueger: Life Ain’t That Long
  62. MAST: Thelonious Sphere Monk
  63. Tallawit Timbouctou: Takamba WhatsApp 2018
  64. Amy Rigby: The Old Guys
  65. Migos: Culture II
  66. Parliament: Medicaid Fraud Dogg
  67. Apolo: Live in Stockholm
  68. Yo La Tengo: There’s a Riot Goin’ On
  69. The Del McCoury Band: Del McCoury Still Sings Bluegrass
  70. Superorganism: Superorganism
  71. Laurie Anderson and Kronos Quartet: Landfall
  72. Sleep: The Sciences
  73. Ibibio Sound Machine: Eyio
  74. Various Artists: I Only Listen to The Mountain Goats
  75. Afternoon Freak: The Blind Strut
  76. Princess Nokia: A Girl Cried Red

OLD MUSIC NICELY REPACKAGED

  1. Sonny Rollins: Way Out West (Deluxe Reissue)
  2. Neil Young: Roxy—Tonight’s the Night
  3. Gary Stewart: “Baby I Need Your Loving” / “Yester-Me, Yester-You, Yester-Day”
  4. The Revelators: In which the Revelators perform live renditions of selections from the Billy Childish songbook
  5. Against All Logic: 2012-2017
  6. Entourage: Ceremony of Dreams—Studio Sessions & Outtakes 1972-1977
  7. Camarao: The Imaginary Soundtrack to a Brazilian Western Movie
  8. Various Artists: Africa Scream Contest, Volume 2
  9. Wussy: Getting Better

Short-shrift Division:

Nicole and sailed home from our vacation on the vibraphone mastery of the great Milt Jackson. I put five albums together on a playlist, but these two made leaving Excelsior Springs a shade less painless:

Many Things, Uncompromised–My Favorite Records of 2018, A Third the Way Out (April 28th, 2018)

Damn–50 solid records already and we ain’t half finished? I’d say that’s a solid rebuke to the sourpusses who are ever pronouncing our music a corpse. And I’d go a mite further and say the list also incorporates a rebuke to those knicker-twisted souls who are wondering when our music is gonna take on, you know, the thing–several of the slabs listed below do so and how, without spoiling their sounds (politics can do that, you know). Take a dive into something below that’s mysterious, I invite you.

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  1. Tracy Thorn: Record
  2. Nona Hendryx and Gary Lucas: The World of Captain Beefheart
  3. Jinx Lennon: Grow a Pair
  4. Joe McPhee: Imaginary Numbers
  5. Chloe x Halle: The Kids are Alright
  6. Quelle Chris & Jean Grae: Everything’s Fine
  7. Berry: Everything, Compromised
  8. CupcaKe: Ephorize
  9. Mary Gauthier and Songwriting with Soldier: Rifles and Rosary Beads
  10. Sons of Kemet: Your Queen is a Reptile
  11. John Prine: The Tree of Forgiveness
  12. JPEGMAFIA: Veteran
  13. Superchunk: What A Time to Be Alive
  14. Evan Parker, Barry Guy, and Paul Lytton: Music for David Mossman
  15. Rapsody: Laila’s Wisdom
  16. Young Fathers: Cocoa Sugar
  17. Sly & Robbie and Nils Petter Molvaer: Nordub
  18. Orquesta Akokan: Orquesta Akokan
  19. Jonghyun: Poet / Artist
  20. Halu Mergia: Lalu Balu
  21. Jeffrey Lewis: Works by Tuli Kupferberg
  22. Various Artists/Sahel Sounds: Field Recordings
  23. Toni Braxton: Sex & Cigarettes
  24. Car Seat Headrest: Twin Fantasy
  25. Various Artists: Girls Just Wanna Have Fun…and Rights!!!
  26. No Age: Snares Like a Haircut
  27. Meshell Ndegeocello: Ventriloquism
  28. Cardi B: Invasion of Privacy
  29. Dana Murray: Negro Manifesto
  30. Shopping: The Official Body
  31. Ebo Taylor: Yen Ara
  32. Kris Davis and Craig Taborn: Octopus
  33. Tal National: Tantabara
  34. Shame: Songs of Praise
  35. Hot Snakes: Jericho Sirens
  36. David Murray (featuring Saul Williams): Blues for Memo
  37. Rich Krueger: Life Ain’t That Long
  38. Alice Bag: Blue Print
  39. Bettye LaVette: Things Have Changed
  40. MAST: Thelonious Sphere Monk
  41. Tallawit Timbouctou: Takamba WhatsApp 2018
  42. Amy Rigby: The Old Guys
  43. Kendrick Lamar, et al: Black Panther—Music from and Inspired by the Film
  44. Apolo: Live in Stockholm
  45. Princess Nokia: A Girl Cried Red
  46. Superorganism: Superorganism
  47. Yo La Tengo: There’s a Riot Goin’ On
  48. Laurie Anderson and Kronos Quartet: Landfall
  49. Ceramic Dog: YRU Still Here?
  50. Ibibio Sound Machine: Eyio

OLD MUSIC NICELY REPACKAGED

  1. Sonny Rollins: Way Out West (Deluxe Reissue)
  2. Neil Young: Roxy—Tonight’s the Night
  3. Gary Stewart: “Baby I Need Your Loving” / “Yester-Me, Yester-You, Yester-Day”
  4. The Revelators: In which the Revelators perform live renditions of selections from the Billy Childish songbook
  5. Against All Logic: 2012-2017
  6. Entourage: Ceremony of Dreams—Studio Sessions & Outtakes 1972-1977
  7. Camarao: The Imaginary Soundtrack to a Brazilian Western Movie

A Playlist of the Top 30 or So

Oh…and fuck Kanye West.

UPDATE: My Favorite New Records of 2018–Three Months In

Enjoy this playlist, composed of mostly new additions to my 2018 fave-rave list. See my February and January YouTube playlists for a deeper dive.

  1. Sonny Rollins: Way Out West—Deluxe Edition
  2. Nona Hendryx and Gary Lucas: The World of Captain Beefheart
  3. Princess Nokia: 1992
  4. Joe McPhee: Imaginary Numbers
  5. Berry: Everything, Compromised
  6. CupcaKe: Ephora
  7. Mary Gauthier and Songwriting with Soldiers: Rifles and Rosary Beads
  8. JPEGMAFIA: Veteran
  9. Superchunk: What A Time to Be Alive
  10. Evan Parker, Barry Guy, and Paul Lytton: Music for David Mossman
  11. Rapsody: Laila’s Wisdom
  12. Alice Bag: Blue Print
  13. Young Fathers: Cocoa Sugar
  14. Jonghyun: Poet / Artist
  15. Halu Mergia: Lalu Balu
  16. Various Artists/Sahel Sounds: Field Recordings
  17. Car Seat Headrest: Twin Fantasy
  18. ZU & Mats Gustafsson: How to Raise an Ox
  19. Various Artists: Girls Just Wanna Have Fun…and Rights!!!
  20. No Age: Snares Like a Haircut
  21. Camarao: The Imaginary Soundtrack to a Brazilian Western Movie
  22. Tracy Thorn: Record
  23. The Revelators: “In which The Revelators play live versions of selections from the Billy Childish songbook”
  24. Kris Davis and Craig Taborn: Octopus
  25. Tal National: Tantabara
  26. Shame: Songs of Praise
  27. David Murray (featuring Saul Williams): Blues for Memo
  28. Rich Krueger: Life Ain’t That Long
  29. Bettye LaVette: Things Have Changed
  30. MAST: Thelonious Sphere Monk
  31. Tallawit Timbouctou: Takamba WhatsApp 2018
  32. Amy Rigby: The Old Guys
  33. Meshell Ndegeocello: Ventriloquism
  34. Kendrick Lamar, et al: Black Panther—Music from and Inspired by the Film
  35. Yo La Tengo: There’s a Riot Goin’ On

UPDATE: My Favorite Releases of 2018 and the End of ’17

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I had to straaaaain a bit to make twenty albums (the problem with doing a best-of list in a year’s second month), and I can see a couple that will not make the 2018 Top 40 cut, but…I can stand by these.

Among the obsessives who make these kinds of lists, quibbling abounds regarding what belongs to a “year,” arbitrary as that concept is on its own. I give myself the right to count anything from November and December 2017, since a) it often takes time to find these slabs, then b) when you find them, you need time to absorb them, and c) many such items don’t make the big shots’ 2017 list for that very reason, so…it ain’t effin’ fair. I am designating those below with an asterisk. Also, we have the issue of new releases of old material that are significantly different from the original package; my top item is a long-recognized masterpiece, but its 2018 incarnation has enhanced sound, a second LP of alternate takes and chatter that matter, and both original and new notes. Finally–believe it or not–we have releases that might be a bit old, or might not, but that are hard as hell to get a hold of, to the extent that you might have to write the artist to get one (I’ve marked those with a #, but the case in point is really my #13, which was “released,” apparently only to the jazz press, in spring of 2017). So there, I’ve covered my ass.

Also, I haven’t listened to everything, so don’t yell if your favorite is missing (examples: new Migos, Fever Ray, Amy Rigby and so many things I don’t even know about).

  1. Sonny Rollins: Way Out West—Deluxe Edition
  2. Nona Hendryx and Gary Lucas: The World of Captain Beefheart*
  3. Princess Nokia: 1992*
  4. Joe McPhee: Imaginary Numbers
  5. Berry: Everything, Compromised
  6. CupcaKe: Ephora
  7. No Age: Snares Like a Haircut
  8. Superchunk: What A Time to Be Alive
  9. Halu Mergia: Lalu Balu
  10. Various Artists/Sahel Sounds: Field Recordings from the Sahel
  11. Camarao: The Imaginary Soundtrack to a Brzailian Western Movie
  12. The Revelators: “In which The Revelators play live versions of selections from the Billy Childish songbook”
  13. Ernest Dawkins: Transient Takes#
  14. Kris Davis and Craig Taborn: Octopus
  15. Tal National: Tantabara
  16. Ty Segall: Freedom’s Goblin
  17. David Murray (featuring Saul Williams): Blues for Memo
  18. Rich Krueger: Life Ain’t That Long#
  19. Various Artists: Black Panther–The Album
  20. Gorbza: Ain’t That The Way

A playlist of the above, with some albums not represented because there ain’t nothing with which to do it and some albums strangely represented because either there was barely anything to do it with or I was feeling mischievous or piqued:

Bedroom-Mirror Air Guitar Classics! (February 1st, 2018, Columbia, Missouri)

Everyone worth his salt has a private pantheon of classics that can only be fully appreciated “performed” on air guitar into his bedroom mirror. Maybe you didn’t need a mirror; I did–I was building myself, sometimes confronting myself. Maybe you lip-synched; I sang myself hoarse. I’m sure we can tell from a long, hard, cold-eyed look at our BMAG Top 10 more about ourselves than we’d really like to know, but I’m gonna roll out mine and cogitate.

1) Manfred Mann: “Pretty Flamingo” (see above)–I related to the yearning in Paul Jones’ singing, the hopelessness of the lyric (in the face of pulchritude), and the slashing, ultra-miked rhythm guitar…perfect for the mirror!

2) Cher: “Half-Breed”–As the result of atrocities committed by my sixth-grade teacher, I had a sensitivity to social justice as a young man. And I had a crush on Cher. In the mirror, I always felt like I was singing to her, not with her. Plus: that husky voice, which has some edge on it here, was perfect for a dude like me.

3) Richard Hell & The Voidoids: “Love Comes in Spurts”–Why couldn’t Hell and Quine be one person, and I be that person? It’s fascinating to observe what the mirror does. This comes out of the gate like Little Richard, and though I now know the facts, it still cuts like an axe.

4) Gary Stewart: “Single Again”–Really, any Stewart classic. Oh, to be able to sell a song this undeniably. What a great actor, or was he?

5) The Ramones: “Questioningly”–Again, a great rhythm guitar song is a great air guitar song for the mirror. Also, it’s great FUN to try to match all of Joey’s wonderful nuances; this is truly a great singer’s greatest singing performance. “Looked at huh cluss / Fahssed huh into view.”

6) Howard Tate: “Get It While You Can”–I wanna be black…let’s see. Mr. Tate was always a top-shelf mask, and the lyric always suited my philosophical disposition.

7) Joe Tex: “Hold What You Got”–Along the same lines, but a guy can get lost in an arrangement and a singing performance of such delicacy. You have to pay close attention to hang in with Jimmy Johnson’s guitar; you can’t forget the bell chimes on “1-2-3”; you have to nail Joe’s sublime falsetto flight. Mirror difficulty level a 10.

8) Richard and Linda Thompson: “When I Get to The Border”–There’s that rhythm guitar again (plus some other impressive stringed instruments). And a fine, fine outlook–for those days when you want to resign from the human race. Or lift a pint or two (I often had when I stepped to the broom handle).

9) Hüsker Dü: “Eight Miles High”–Face it, you didn’t know The Byrds’ words anyway (likely, neither did Mould); just look forward, as we often do, to screaming bloody murder. And dreaming of playing guitar this way.

10) Lou Reed: “Turn to Me”–Perhaps it’s strange that a Reed fan as serious as I am would choose this one to simulate, but, note: the rhythm guitar (I’ve always thought I could play it, maybe that’s it), the humor, the lyrics…and the warmth. Oh yes: the bass playing!

What are your Top 10 songs for yelling and strumming into the mirror?

January Top 10: Best of 2018 So Far

I realize that many of the choices below are actually releases from 2017, but they are fresh enough and so hard to have gotten one’s hands on that I’m-a have to count them. Happy hunting, and enjoy the above playlist of highlight tracks (excluding the Dawkins album, as no video was available.

  1. Nona Hendryx and Gary Lucas: The World of Captain Beefheart
  2. Princess Nokia: 1992
  3. Joe McPhee: Imaginary Numbers
  4. CupcaKe: Ephora
  5. Ernest Dawkins: Transient Takes
  6. Rahim Alhaj: Letters from Iraq
  7. Moor Mother: Fetish the Bones
  8. Joey Badass: All-Amerikkkan Badass
  9. Kris Davis and Craig Taborn: Octopus
  10. Ty Segall: Freedom’s Goblin