Wow, wonderful musical things have been raining all over me. First, a discounted subscription to Amazon Music (for 3 months, I think). Also, Peter Jackson’s amazing Get Back documentary which I’m in the middle of.
To my shock and delight, rateyourmusic has improved their website considerably. They have new put together a music genre list which contains all sorts of subcategories and lists of examples in that genre.
Articles and Interviews
I’ve been relying on beehy’s end of year list of world music to help me discover new things. (Note that I limit my interest mainly to bands on emusic and on Bandcamp). Wait, looks like there’s a Beehype best of 2021 as well.
My big emusic purchase needs to be spent by mid December. Hurry! Labels: Barbes Records (which seem to consist of American performers who love Latino or European musical styles).
- Panamerica by Las Rubias Del Norte. 6.99, 45 minutes. Early 2006 album by NY-based Latino art folk group with amazing classically trained female vocalists. The tracks are all upbeat and delightful (and apparently classical tunes from Latin America). The backing band sounds terrific as well. (See this NPR article about the group).
- Marte y Jupiter by Sara Ontaneda. 18 minutes, 5 tracks. 99 cent EP by Lovely and dreamy Ecuadorian aoustic pop singer who moved to NYC in the mid 2010s.
- Slight Disconnect by Bis. 4.49 10 tracks, 32 minutes. Absurd offbeat style reminds me of B-52s.
- s/t by Granula Grace. 99 cents, 5 tracks, 19 minutes.
- Meçhul: Singles & Rarities by Erkin Koray. 4.99, 11 tracks. 70s Turkish electronic rock. Surprisingly Pitchfork has a review.
- Hey Genius by Oh Baby. 19 minutes, 1.99. Retro techno-disco music. Also, another EP Art of Sleeping Alone for the same price.
- s/t by Mellows. 27 minutes, 12 tracks, 5.49. Texas rockabilly band whose lead singer Colton Turner sings like Buddy Holly. Also I ended up getting Need You (30 minutes, 5.49, 12 tracks as well). (Reviews of the Mellows).
- Lonesome Road by Mitch Polzak. California Country music. 2.99, 7 tracks, 23 minutes.
- Девушки фабричные by Fabrika. 45 minutes, 12 tracks, 45 minutes. Female Russian pop band from the 2000s. Also bought Мы такие разные by Fabrika. 16 tracks, 58 minutes, 4.99. Guilty Russian pop pleasure, but these songs are hummable.
- Trio II by Dolly Parton, Linda Rondstadt, Emmylou Harris. Sequel to a famous live performance 20 years after the fact.
- Various EPs by Nazca: Covers, Away, Cowboy’s Secrets. All 99 cents. Dreamy acoustic group with ethereal Latino sound.
- Babes in Arms by MC 5. Compilation of classic hits by a 60s/70s bluesy rock band.
- Extra-Deluxe-Supreme by Hazmat Modine. 51 minutes, 6.99, 10 tracks.
- Overwinter by Grasscut. 9 tracks, 3.99, 41 minutes. Everyone was a Bird by Grasscut.
- Erotic Reruns by Yeasayer, 3.99, 29 minutes, 9 tracks. Fun, taut and peppy rock songs with clean harmonies, unpredictable sounds and original melodies.
- Yves Montand Collection. 2 hour collection, 6.49, 40 songs. Great classic French songs.
- There will never be another you by George Benson. 4.99, 12 tracks. 130 minutes. Hip all jazz instrumental with Benson on piano — surprisingly he doesn’t sing at all! Allegedly a live 1973 performance, so pretty rare too.
- 2 Albums by Tülay Nedret Baran: Huriyem and Zühtü – Dımbıllı. Both are 4.99, 15 tracks and 1 hour. (BC here and here). Lively 1970s Turkish funk/soul, with a hard beat, guitar. She’s a great singer with interesting vocal qualities too.
- Dostum Dostum by Şakir Öner Günhan. 70s traditional Turkish folk-pop. The recording sounds pretty washed out, and sometimes the ballads drag, but there are some great musical moments too.
- Satanic Panic in the Attic by Of Montreal. Very bubbly album by this classic band. One of their best.
- s/t by Yüksel Özkasap. 4.99, 35 minutes, 10 tracks. Probably my favorite Turkish pop discovery.
- Lines Pt 3: Emily Bronte by the Unthanks. (I already bought pts 1 and 2). Great British folk songs (for some sort of theatrical concert).
- Elde Var Hüzün – Handan by Nur Yoldaş, 56 minutes, 11 tracks. 4.99. Well-rated 1980s album by Turkish pop star with songs written with her husband.
- A Sound of the Wooden Fish by Artur Maćkowiak and Grzegorz Pleszyński. 42 minutes, 3 tracks. 2.49. I’d already bought 2 albums by Mackowiak; they are great!
- I was born swimming by Squirrel Flower. 6.49, 35 minutes, 12 tracks. Polyvinyl release of female vocalist who sings gentle soulful rock songs. Slapback is the best song.
- Neura by Juliano Guerra. 99 cents, 12 tracks, 52 minutes. Brasilian folk singer. There are two other 99 albums by the same singer.
- Assim Traduzi Voces by Paulinho Martins. 99 cent, light Brasilian instrumental pieces, with flute, guitar and whatever else.
- Pistola de plástico by Los Ex. (Vol 2) This 2 volume album recalls some of the band’s early fury with fast and punchy one-dimensional songs (Idiota, Hernan, Resbaloso, No Voy a Estar Cuando Te Caigas) with slower power pop (Ando Todo Gris, Lola, Compana, Mariposa). The more restrained songs in Volume 2 have more complex guitar arrangements and show the range and expressiveness of Colombina Parra’s amazing voice (and foreshadow the arty, eclectic style of her later solo efforts). As an album, it’s somewhat hard to listen to from start to finish, but the album still has lots of great musical moments, clever lyrics, a great beat and and a guitar sound which is always fresh, original and powerful.
- Pornsick EP by Femegades. Feminist protest punk from UK.
- Look Homeward Angel Numbers by Doleful Lions. More by that amazing indie band.
- The Mira Variable by San Mateo. Interesting and soaring soundscapes. always pleasant-sounding.
- Mages by Color Theory. Synthesizer-driven pop with nice vocals by Brian Hazard (bio), with some nice minimalist melodies.
- Dynamic Stillness by Steve Roach. More ambient by the master.
- Forever Cascades by Forrest Fang. Ambient composer. Just released.
- Two albums by Kekal: Audible Minority and Autonomy Indonesian Experimental heavy metal. Occasionally it’s too much and too noisy, but this veteran performing group is definitely trying to push the boundaries of what rock music really is. A for effort, unsure if I really sold on it yet.
Serebro‘s Mama Luba is flirty, silly, mindless, but they do it well. I have their acclaimed Opiumroz album which is more of the same (and that’s good, isn’t it?)
The editor of that music video deserves an Academy award — if only for the concept and the switch between studio version and live version. When trying to think of other clever music vids fully inside a car, I can think of Robert Miles’ Children (a personal favorite), Alanis Morissette – Ironic (duh!) and Everyone You Know’s The Drive (very clever) . Also, here’s a nice series of musical impressions of a girls’ group who do lots of numbers in their car. Their other videos are filmed inside cars as well.
Freegal and Library CDs
- Boney M. Singles
- Josephine Baker. Just realized I have nothing by her (practically)
- Serebro. Blatantly commercial Russian girls band formed initially to win Eurovision. (They only got 2nd, but the performance was relatively terrible. Other songs are pretty great though.
- Shangaan Shake. South American dance music.
- Spy OST. US comedy with some hot European pop on the soundtrack.
- Ignorance by Weather Station.
- Lingua Ignota by Wind Atlas
- Billy Preston, Collection
- Dry Cleaning