Sorry I’m late; life is interfering. Not for the first time has a family (or other loved one’s) health crisis interrupted my much less important obsession with documenting my favorite records of the past days, weeks, months, and years–and with me, it seems, when it rains, it’s like a cow pissin’ off a cliff onto a flat rock. I’m truly multiply occupied (I am also teaching a brand-new class on groundbreaking women in this country’s music that is requiring regular and very exciting hard work), so I am behind in some ways. But I just turned 60, I feel like I’m 35 in a sea of stress, so it must be real love…and the music.
- What I’m really waiting for are the new albums by Wet Leg (can the whole album be that good?) and Rosalia (the flamenco touches seem to be wafting away, but on the evidence of the singles, she remains a force). The former’s out soon; the latter will require enduring a multi-month tease.
- I often check things out on a whim. Joy Guidry’s new album’s cover and title had me thinking a very interesting rap album–but it’s improvisational jazz, and good stuff at that.
- Superchunk’s never been one of my top faves, but their classic What a Time to Be Alive dragged me kicking and screaming into a state of deep admiration and a practice of repeat plays. Their new record is almost a companion piece, but from a completely different and powerful emotional direction–I just listened to it for the first time today and, in the state I’m in, it killed me.
- One of the world’s greatest rock and roll deejays, Whitney Shroyer, a longtime friend and advisor, implored me to sample Lady Wray, whom I’d not heard of (it happens–a lot). Though I like its predecessor a little better, from a singing, songwriting, and production standpoint, Piece of Me is a solid pleasure.
- Did I tell ya to read Tanya Tagaq’s Split Tooth and check out her new album Tongues? Yes, I did. I was fucking serious. They go together, and they deliver.
- It’s not every late winter that you can buy two classic creations by a known wizard reissued from those too-halycon-from-a-preservationist-perspective Seventies. This is one of them. They also call him Hermeto.
- High on the “appreciation” scale but wavering on the “diggit” scale: the new offerings by Big Thief and Black Country, New Roads.
- Lavender Country is a gay and politically smart-ass country outfit dating back to 1972. Their album in the archival digs category is only three years old, but it might as well have come out today. It is NOT simply a novelty; it’s well-played, wittily sung and written, and will cattle-prod you out of the corner of your ear.
- I feel like I’m experiencing an explosion of sharp country music women coming from tantalizingly marginally differentiated viewpoints (JUST IN TIME FOR MY NEW CLASS). Priscilla Block’s the latest, and I’ll let you discover the viewpoint.
- Gonora Sounds’ Hard Times Never Kill is a beautiful-sounding album from Zimbabwe.
- I wish I had heard Adeem the Artist‘s Cast-Iron Pansexual (like about 20 other 2021 albums) when it came out. Great songs, one of which made me tear up, and he wished me a happy birthday on Twitter!
- (Hidden track)(Whispered to avoid having things thrown at me, but…) I’ll say it: Spoon’s never really done it for me. I’ve learned never say never–but my first listen was at 5:15 this morning and it livelied me up. Could have been the Death Wish coffee pods my brother left at my mom’s house, though.
Newbies (new items are bolded):
75 Dollar Bill: Social Music at Troost, Volume 3–Other People’s Music (Black Editions Group) (left off my original post unaccountably!)
Tanya Tagaq: Tongues (Six Shooter)
Superchunk: Wild Loneliness
Gonora Sounds: Hard Times Never Kill
Amber Mark: Three Dimensions Deep (PMR / Interscope)
Javon Jackson & Nikki Giovanni: The Gospel According to Nikki Giovanni (Solid Jackson)
Etran de L’Air: Agadez
Morgan Wade: Reckless (Deluxe) (Ladylike)
Lady Wray: Piece of Me
Mark Lomax II: Prismatic Refractions, Volume I
Anna von Hausswoolff: Live at Montreaux Jazz Festival (Southern Lord)
Various Artists: Lespri Ka—New Directions in Gwoka Music from Guadeloupe (Time Capsule Sounds)
Joy Guidry: Radical Acceptance
Spoon: Lucifer on the Sofa
OGJB: Ode to O (TUM) (Note: Band name – O = Oliver Lake, G = Graham Haynes, J = Joe Fonda, B = Barry Altschul / Title – O = Ornette)
Andrew Cyrille, William Parker, and Enrico Rava: Two Blues for Cecil (TUM)
Luke Stewart’s Silt Trio: The Bottom (Cuneiform)
Priscilla Block: Welcome to the Block Party
Immanuel Wilkins: The 7th Hand (Blue Note)
Earl Sweatshirt: Sick! (Tan Cressida / Warner)
Big Thief: Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe in You
Fulu Miziki: Ngbaka (EP)
Black Country, New Roads: Ants from Up There
Hurray for The Riff Raff: Life on Earth
Rokia Koné and Jacknife Lee: Bamanan
Marta Sanchez: SAAM (Spanish American Art Museum)
Tomas Fujiwara: Triple Double
Junglepussy: jp5000 (EP)
Kahil El’Zabar Quartet: A Time for Healing
Pete Malinverni: On the Town—Pete Malinverni Plays Leonard Bernstein (Planet Arts)
Chief Keef: 4Nem (Glo Gang / RBC)
The Weeknd: Dawn FM (XO / Republic)
Martin Wind: Air (Laika)
Space Afrika: Honest Labour
Natsuki Tamura: Summer Tree
Cecil Taylor: The Complete Legendary Live Return Concert at the Town Hall
Albert Ayler: La Cave Live 1966 (Ezz-Thetics)
Neil Young: Carnegie Hall 1970 (Reprise)
Various Artists: Summer of Soul
Lavender Country: Blackberry Rose and Other Songs & Sorrows
Hermeto Pascoal: Planetário da Gávea
Hermeto Pascoal: Hermeto (not out yet, but fuck it–it’s worth planning for!)