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Musical Discoveries January 2021 #1

See also: Feb 2021

Why didn’t I think of doing posts about music before? I’ll try doing it once per month — see how that goes. This will be an ongoing post, which means that I’ll post it immediately and keep adding to it until the month is over. That means I’ll no longer be including them in my social media dump. At the bottom I’ll include a list of music acquisitions/purchases from Bandcamp, emusic and For completeness I’ll reproduce what I’ve already posted.

Some jazz from Ecuador: Here are 2 nice numbers by a Tropical band Alleguez Son.

Here’s a nice uplifting religious song by two African-American women. Here’s a video of the two actually singing at church (WIllie Mae is the singer, and Sister Fleeta Mitchell is playing piano and also blind ) (The SATAN recording comes from ART OF FIELD RECORDING VOLUME 1 which you can hear in its entirety on bandcamp.

4 fave albums when I was 14: Close Encounters, Are We Not Men?, Tusk, Breakfast in America

4 ALBUM CHALLENGE (faves when I was 14 years old) I always loved Supertramp’s masterpiece Breakfast in America (and not just “Logical Song” — which contained a sampled sound from a handheld football game every boy my age played). DEVO’s Are We Not Men? was the first album to completely blow my mind in the early 1980s — dadaistic, nihilistic, stupid rock (my god, “jocko homo!”). Fleetwood Mac’s TUSK was a very IMPERFECT album by a band I already knew and loved. It had Buckingham’s rowdy rock (What makes you think you’re the one?) and Stevie Nick’s mysticism (Sara, Beautiful Child). Like WHITE ALBUM, it was stylistically all over the map — an amalgam of personal styles that sometimes worked and sometimes didn’t. Finally, CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND soundtrack was an amazing soundtrack I first listened to in its entirety in the 2000s — I knew the music already well, but I had never listened to it start to finish before. Strangely this John Williams soundtrack was nominated for (but did not win) the 1978 Oscar for “Best original score” — losing instead to the soundtrack of Star Wars by — you guessed it, John Williams.

Other albums high on my list: Blondie’s Parallel Lines, Billy Joel’s 52nd Street (It was no “Stranger” but still excellent), Saturday Night Fever Soundtrack (loved Yvonne Ellman and those supercool instrumentals by David Shire), Soundtrack to FM Movie (this 2 record set of pop songs was perfect — and I listened to it 1000s of times). Also, the comedy album, WILD AND CRAZY GUY by Steve Martin, which all jokesters at my age could recite verbatim. I actually started buying albums in 1977 or so; I could only afford TUSK, SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER and FM and (unfortunately) Bee Gee’s SPIRITS HAVE FLOWN and the Bee Gee’s soundtrack of Sergeant Pepper Lonely Heart’s Club Band movie (will defend it to the death!). Later in 1980-3 high school friends lent me heavy metal albums, Led Zeppelin, Blondie, Police.. **

BLONDIE LIVE! While diving into musical nostalgia, I found a great live 1979 performance of Blondie singing this milestone song Atomic. . Sound quality is not great, but you can hear her vocals very well. “Atomic” seems to be one of those songs that sounds great in the studio, but it is a challenge to sing well in a live performance — indeed, when when she tried singing it live in the 1990s and 2000s, the performance was less than adequate — and sometimes even terrible. But she absolutely nails it here.. Enjoy!

Here’s another very good live performance from 1980 (with excellent sound quality, good vocals, and some amazing embellishments by the band… **

Still catching up on fave music links. First, I highly recommend this Out of Obscurity podcast managed by two US music fans — one of whom lives in Thailand. (Here’s a subreddit devoted to it). The Thailand dweller (Julian Lee) is all over several music forums — especially emusic — and speaks Mandarin, so has a special expertise in Asian music. It’s more chatty than previewing music, and by the way, I might be a guest on this show! (see my one page blog about unusual finds on emusic, bandcamp and freegal). Hmm, now that I think of it, I should start doing posts exclusively about my music discoveries. (I’ve spent years cramming my music discoveries I may start doing that in a month or so (stay tuned).

From this podcast, Dekalb Fucking City by Demons. (free download)

Readers may find this hard to believe, but I’m a huge fan of country music — especially stuff that has a more folk sound. Here’s a great live performance by Leona Williams. (website) from a decade ago.

Here’s a great live performance of British electronic pop band Fenech-Soler singing “Somebody.” (hey, they gotta work on that name!)

Music & Compensation (Chart):

Source: 2019 IFPI Global Music Report Annual Report (PDF)

Also, according to a 2018 Citi analysis summarized by Rolling Stone, total music revenues in the USA are $43 per year, and artists take home $5 billion (i.e., 12%)

To my amazement, video footage of a live performance of the Shaggs is now on youtube. A music critic on youtube has done a video about the “worst album of the world” . Ultimately you should read the original Susan Orleans profile in the New Yorker about the band. (more about Susan Orlean). I could have sworn that I had at least one essay collection by her, but alas, no.

It’s done — a text file listing every single album folder in my Music folder (15,500+ albums worth, 277,660 audio files, 1.42 TB). Here’s the magic Windows command:

C:\Users\idiot>dir /AD /B /ON /S Music* >> robert-music.txt

Here’s a gorgeous song by one of my favorite bands, Many Birthdays (whom I once called the “New Asparagus.” ). You can even download it for pay what you want on bandcamp. John Dixon and Sarah Luce are the duo that creates this lovely ethereal music:

Sun coming up over the mountain
not gonna lie, it’s been a tough year
been a long night, been a long season
sun coming up over the mountain

Bandcamp, Sun Coming Up by Many Birthdays.

I came across Dixon randomly on the Internet and have been following this band since 2003(!). (I tracked Dixon down and had lunch with him and caught him at a Houston concert. I check in every year or few months to see what’s going on with them. Every time I do, I’m happily surprised. John has been writing compositions for movies under the name Bass Earth Sun. I would put this music in the category of Avante-pop with some Japanese mischievousness thrown in (John and his girlfriend lived in Japan for a while). You could put them in the same category as Black Moth Super Rainbow or another British Triphop group I love, Haelos.

I really should posting my Youtube playlists. I don’t belong to a streaming service anymore, so most of my playlists are on Youtube:

  • Dreamy Chillout & Trip Hop from 90s and Beyond
  • Latest Hot Stuff for the World — random non-US recent vids with a power pop/Dance vibe. The more insanely visual, the better! (also, lots of Eurovision songs)
  • Dora’s Love-Disco Rollercoaster — really fun and dance-disco stuff from the 70s or so.
  • KPM Music Gems — KPM was a mysterious treasure trove of “library music” (background tracks owned by labels and lent to TV, radio, film projects and porn), but generally unavailable to the public. KPM has started to be distributed on streaming music channels, so now is the time to discover these things. Generally they sound funky and jazzy, but they are divided by mood and intended use. Look for the Keith Mansfield stuff, which is incredible. BTW, if you have Freegal, they carry almost all the albums for download.
  • Star Band de Dakar. — I found this incredible Senegal band from the 1970s and 1980s. Ostinato Records put out an incredible compilation album called Psicodelia Afro-Cubana de Senegal, but apparently this group has released other albums (great, but not as incredible as the one I just mentioned). Every time I find a new track from this band, I include it here.
  • Intro to Philip Glass. I made this playlist for an immigrant friend who had never heard of this composer
  • Zany/offbeat Eurovision songs. I love everything about Eurovision and the music is even great too. I’ve been collecting lots of favorite songs and performances from previous years.
  • Big Short Soundtrack. Big Short is one of my alltime fave movies, and the music is great too.
  • 1965 was a very good year. I’ve been collecting songs from my birthyear.
  • Pure Poetry in Music Vids. This is more about the music vids than the music itself, but the songs are pretty awesome too.
  • Songs with “Robert” or “Bobby” in the title.
  • CMJ Compilations. In the 1990s my musical tastes emerged from the complimentary CD included with issues of CMJ. Here’s #38 October 1996, #44 April 1997, #46 June 1997. All of these are great compilations.

I actually have posted a lot of things about music on my Emusic purchase page and I keep a Google Docs spreadsheet of occasional reviews I write of albums. Also, I maintain — (seriously!) a text file containing every single text file I have a copy of (coming soon).

Emusic/Bandcamp/etc Acquisitions

  1. Nahoko by Andrew Abboushi. 5 tracks, 99 cents, 17 minutes.
  2. Capim-Cidreira by Rael, 10 tracks. 10 tracks, 34 minutes, 99 cents,
  3. Gloria by Indee , 9 tracks. 99 cents, 29 minutes.
  4. s/t by Drik Barbosa. 11 tracks. 99 cents, 39 minutes
  5. 50 Best Hits by Charlie Rich, 50 tracks, 7 dollars, 124 minutes.
  6. Estado de Poesia by Chico Cesar. 14 tracks, 67 minutes, 99 cents.
  7. Doozicabraba e a Revolução Silenciosa by Emcida featuring Rael, 10 tracks, 99 cents, 33 minutes.
  8. Gente Bonita by Fióti feat. Anelis Assumpção. 6 tracks. 99 cents, 22 minutes
  9. MM3 by Metá Metá. 9 tracks. 99 cents, 40 minutes.
  10. MetaL MetaL by Metá Metá. 9 tracks. 99 cents, 40 minutes.
  11. s/t by Metá Metá, 10 tracks. 99 cents, 43 minutes.
  12. Encarnado by Juçara Marçal. 99 cents, 40 minutes, 12 tracks.
  13. Przypływ by Jazzpospolita 3.49, 50 minutes, 8 tracks.
  14. Mobius Omega by Spice, 8 tracks, 3.49, 37 minutes
  15. X by Merchan, 16 tracks, 113 minutes, 99 minutes
  16. s/t by Nichole Rubira, 5 tracks, 99 cents, 17 minutes.
  17. Matavitela by Juanze, 10 tracks. 4.49, 42 minutes
  18. Narcotic Boys by Winter Boys, 6 tracks, 99 cents, 31 minutes

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