Explosions: Music and Viruses – 65 Solid Platters to Spin or Stream, and You Have Time (January 1 – April 1)


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You may be staying in for a spell, but very good records are coming out–by the bazillion. If your income stream has not been pinched or cut off entirely, try to support your favorite record stores, most of which are thrilled to conscientiously ship items to you, and Bandcamp, where you can help music makers much more directly and often at bargain prices by purchasing their work. Yesterday, I spent $50 with one of the best shops I know of, Lafayette, Louisiana’s Lagniappe Records, and a few weeks ago I dropped $100 with Bandcamp on a day that 100% of consumer cash was being directed to artists represented there. I also hope to assist Columbia’s own Hitt Records in continuing to be Mid-Missouri’s finest. I know I am fortunate to be able to do so.

I’ve listened to 55 releases of fresh music I know I will listen to again with pleasure; call them B+ or 8.5s/10 or better. In addition, 10 reissues of previously hard to find old releases and new issues of music recorded in olden times have convinced me to buy or download them. Enjoy the slideshow of album covers above and imagine your flippin’ through the stacks; try the YouTube “store jukebox” below to sample some of the music I’m touting. Here’s my list, and I’ve checked it thrice. Keep calm, carry on, take care of yourself and those around you, and make time to apply sound salve to your soul at least once a day.

Items in bold are new to the list.

2020 (January 1 – April 1): A Bad Time for Most Anything But Music

  1. Gil Scott-Heron and Makaya McCraven: We’re New Again–A Reimagining
  2. Kesha: High Road
  3. Princess Nokia: Everything is Beautiful
  4. Various Artists: New Improvised Music from Buenos Aires
  5. Chicago Underground Quartet: Good Days
  6. Body Count: Carnivore
  7. Irreversible Entanglements: Who Sent You
  8. The Good Ones: RWANDA, you should be loved
  9. Cornershop: England is a Garden
  10. The Third Mind: The Third Mind
  11. Shabaka and The Ancestors: We Are Sent Here By History
  12. Princess Nokia: Everything Sucks
  13. Gard Nilssen’s Supersonic Orchestra: If You Listen Carefully, The Music is Yours
  14. Danny Barnes: Man on Fire
  15. Jeff Parker: Suite for Max Brown
  16. Grimes: Miss Anthropocene
  17. K Michelle: All Monsters are Human
  18. Fat Tony and Taydex: Wake Up
  19. Mr. Wrong: Create a Place
  20. Bad Bunny: YHLQMDLG
  21. U. S. Girls: Heavy Light
  22. The Necks: Three
  23. Sunflowers: Endless Voyage
  24. Moses Sumney: grae
  25. Swamp Dogg: Sorry You Couldn’t Make It
  26. Jan St. Werner and Mark E. Smith: Molocular Mediation
  27. Lyra Pramuk: Fountain
  28. Megan Thee Stallion: Suga
  29. Mythic Sunshine: Changing Shapes–Live at Roadburn
  30. Denzel Curry & Kenny Beats: UNLOCKED
  31. Kefaya + Elaha Soroor: Songs of Our Mothers
  32. Jennifer Curtis & Tyshawn Sorey: Invisible Ritual
  33. Shopping: All for Nothing
  34. Katie Shorr: Open Book
  35. The Neptune Power Federation: Memoirs of a Rat Queen
  36. Dua Lipa: Future Nostalgia
  37. Darragh Morgan and John Tilbury: For John Cage (composer: Morton Feldman)
  38. Onipa: We No Be Machine
  39. Evan Parker and Paul Lytton: collective calls (revisited) (jubilee)
  40. Fire! Orchestra: Actions for Free Jazz Orchestra
  41. Natural Child: California Hotel
  42. Childish Gambino: 3.15.20
  43. Etran de L’Air: Music from Saharan WhatsApp, Volume 1 (EP)
  44. MONO: Before The Past
  45. Tamikrest: Tamotait
  46. Colin Stetson: Color Out of Space (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
  47. Lakecia Benjamin: Pursuance—The Coltranes
  48. Wayne Phoenix: Soaring Wayne Phoenix Story The Earth
  49. Moses Boyd: Dark Matter
  50. Kassa Overall: I Think I’m Good
  51. Oumou Diabate et Kara Show Koumba Frifri: Music from Saharan WhatsApp, Volume 2 (EP)
  52. Dogleg: Mellee
  53. Jays Electronica and -Z: A Written Testimony
  54. Luke Combs: What You See Is What You Get
  55. Jeich Ould Badou: Music from Saharan WhatsApp 03


  1. Ranil: Stay Safe and Sound!
  2. Lee Scratch Perry with Seskain Molenga and Kalo Kawongolo: Roots from the Congo (reissue)
  3. Milton Nascimento: Maria Maria (reissue)
  4. Jon Hassell: Vernal Equinox (reissue)
  5. Bryan Ferry: Live at the Royal Albert Hall, 1974
  6. Pharoah Sanders: Live in Paris 1975
  7. Yabby You & The Aggrovators: King Tubby’s Prophecies of Dub (reissue)
  8. Various Artists: Léve Léve – Sao Tomé & Principe Sounds ‘70s-‘80s
  9. Various Artists: Soul Jazz Records Presents Black Riot—Early Jungle, Rave, and Hardcore
  10. Various Artists: Jamaican All-Stars (Studio One)


I Got Hitt (February 7th, 2018, Columbia, Missouri)

If you’ve been following my blog, you know I’ve been divesting myself of non-essential CDs. I finally reached the end of my task, and brought the fourth and final box in for trade yesterday, to the patient folks at Columbia’s very essential Hitt Records. Taylor and Kyle, the store’s heart and soul (I am not sure which is which–kinda like Mick and Keith in that regard), are patient, knowledgeable, funny, and extremely enthusiastic. Taylor, two of whose siblings I’ve had the pleasure to teach, is one of several “Swiss Army Knife people” in the Ragtag Cinema complex; I knew him first as a local musician, but when I think of him I think of Brazilian music, something we share a passion for. Kyle is remarkably kind and thoughtful–not that Taylor isn’t–and for some reason reminds me of what Gram Parsons must have been like (without the substance abuse issue): lanky, Southern, and laid-back. They are the kind of people you want to meet when you enter a record store.

As usual, they were rockin’ a great record when I showed up with that last box. I had intended to, um, dump and run (parking in Columbia sux), but…this record began kicking my ass when I opened the door to enter, then just kept kicking it, then starting moving it, then the fever spread into the rest of my body, and my mind. What is this beast? It is Sabu Martinez’s Sabu’s Jazz Espagnole.

“Is that for sale?” I asked, pointing to the album’s cover, which they had on display.

“It’s yours,” Taylor grinned (you can grin a declarative sentence).

You see how they operate! Click the link above, and you’ll also see how I was rendered so vulnerable to his salesmanship. Jazz Espagnole is one of the best Latin jazz recordings I’ve ever heard, primarily because the balance between the two elements is so precise, and because the playing is so hot: Sabu, of course, making the congas holler and moan, and his alto saxophonist Bobby Porcelli lacing most tracks with fiery figures. Each side opens and closes with a brash Martinez flurry; side A’s dominated by originals, side B by expert be- and hard bop covers (a “Woody ‘n’ You” that Dizzy would laud, a “Nica’s Dream” moodier than Horace Silver’s own). I’ve played the thing thrice since I exited Hitt with it.

I also picked up a vinyl copy of Eddie Palmieri’s classic Molasses, and Taylor further taunted me by showing me a slab he’d picked up for a dollar: a live Harlem River Drive album, recorded at Sing Sing! This time I fooled him by being to dumbstruck to ask if it were for sale!

Please visit Hitt if you’re in Columbia, Missouri. You will leave with a record.

Short-shrift Division:

Roy Eldridge: Little Jazz, Let Me Off Uptown, and Little Jazz: The Best of The Verve Years