Thursday, January 15, 2015

My Favorite Films of 2014

My 10 favorite films of 2014 in general release:

  1. Nymphomaniac, d. Lars von Trier
  2. Birdman, d. Alejandro González Iñárritu
  3. Only Lovers Left Alive, d. Jim Jarmusch
  4. The Double, d. Richard Ayoade
  5. Mood Indigo, d. Michel Gondry
  6. Under the Skin, d. Jonathan Glazer
  7. Grand Budapest Hotel, d. Wes Anderson
  8. Boyhood, d. Richard Linklater
  9. Interstellar, d. Christopher Nolan
  10. Inherent Vice, d. Paul Thomas Anderson

My 5 favorite festival films:


  1. Kertu (Love Is Blind), d. Ilmar Raag (Estonia)
  2. Chce sie zyc (Life Feels Good), d. Maciej Pieprzyca (Poland)
  3. Lagerfeuer (West), d. Christian Schwochow (Germany)
  4. Brma paemnebi (Blind Dates), d. Levan Koguashvili (Georgia)
  5. Razredni sovraznik (Class Enemy), d. Rok Bicek (Slovenia)

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

My Favorite Records of 2014

Below are my 75 favorite albums of 2014 followed by my 10 favorite reissues / archival etc. Both lists are in some semblance of order with 1 being the best. They were made completely from memory, so if I forgot something it obviously didn't make enough of an impression on me to make the top 75. Also I decided to start off with my favorite song(s) of the year. Both are from the same artist and one is from a 2 song EP and the other was a digital single. Since they are not on my album lists and they are extremely good (and relevant to today) I decided to include them. And now, the lists.

My favorite song(s) of the year:


Holly Herndon – Chorus and Home



My 75 favorite albums of 2014:
  1. Jenny Hval & Susanna – Meshes of Voice
  2. Angel Olsen – Burn Your Fire for No Witness
  3. FKA Twigs – LP1
  4. Grouper – Ruins
  5. Vicky Chow – Tristan Perich: Surface Image
  6. Klara Lewis – Ett
  7. Inga Copeland – Because I'm Worth It
  8. Carla Bozulich – Boy
  9. Fatima Al Qadiri – Asiatisch
  10. Cœur de Pirate – Trauma
  11. OOIOO – Gamel
  12. Christian Fennesz – Bécs
  13. Ben Frost – A U R O R A
  14. Ian William Craig – A Turn of Breath
  15. Weyes Blood – The Innocents
  16. The Bug – Angels & Devils
  17. Dean Blunt – Black Metal
  18. Nels Cline Singers – Macroscope
  19. Zeitkratzer - Metal Machine Music: First Full Instrumental Version
  20. Nurse with Wound – Contrary Motion
  21. Zola Jesus – Taiga
  22. Marissa Nadler – July
  23. Marianne Faithfull – Give My Love to London
  24. Daniel Lanois – Flesh and Machine
  25. St. Vincent – S/T
  26. Maxwell August Croy & Sean McCann – I
  27. Cibo Matto – Hotel Valentine
  28. Giant Claw – Dark Web
  29. Ginger Baker – Why?
  30. Neneh Cherry – Blank Project
  31. Michael Pisaro – Continuum Unbound
  32. Pye Corner Audio – Black Mill Tapes, Volumes 3 & 4
  33. Oren Ambarchi / Keiji Haino / Jim O'Rourke - Only Wanting to Melt Beautifully Away Is It a Lack of Contentment That Stirs Affection for Those Things Said to Be as of Yet Unseen
  34. Bill Frisell – Guitar in the Space Age!
  35. Aidan Baker – Triptychs: Variations on a Melody
  36. Aphex Twin – Syro
  37. Tiger Village – V
  38. Negra Branca – N B
  39. Beck – Morning Phase
  40. Spoon – They Want My Soul
  41. Ken Vandermark – Nine Ways to Read a Bridge
  42. Peter Buck – I Am Back to Blow Your Mind Once Again
  43. Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra – Fuck Off Get Free We Pour Light On Everything
  44. EMA – The Future's Void
  45. Les Cousins Dangereux – CDX
  46. Thievery Corporation – Saudade
  47. je suis le petit chevalier – Canada Summer Tape
  48. Ninos du Brasil – Novos Mystérios
  49. Röyksopp & Robyn – Do It Again
  50. M. Geddes Gengras – Ishi
  51. The Roots - …And Then You Shoot Your Cousin
  52. Nima – See Feel Reel
  53. Noveller & thisquietarmy – Reveries
  54. Cha Cha Guitri – French Synthwave St. Etienne 1981
  55. Supersilent – 12
  56. Steve Reich – Radio Rewrite
  57. Lumen Drones – S/T
  58. Burial Hex – The Hierophant
  59. Stephen Vitiello & Steve Roden – The Spaces Contained in Each
  60. TCF – 415C47197F78E811FEEB7862288306EC4137FD4EC3DED8B
  61. Vladislav Delay – Visa
  62. Lykke Li - I Never Learn
  63. Mono – Rays of Darkness
  64. Mono – The Last Dawn
  65. Felicita – Frenemies EP
  66. Wadada Leo Smith – The Great Lakes Suite
  67. Carolina Eyck & Christopher Tarnow - Improvisations For Theremin & Piano
  68. Kevin Drumm – Trouble
  69. Ólöf Arnalds– Palme
  70. Lætitia Sadier – Something Shines
  71. James Hoff – Blaster
  72. She & Him - Classics
  73. Cloud Nothings - Here and Nowhere Else
  74. Neil Young – Storytone
  75. Sia Furler – 1000 Forms of Fear

My 10 favorite archival / reissues etc. of 2014:

  1. The Beatles – Mono AAA vinyl
  2. Keith Jarrett / Charlie Haden / Paul Motian - Hamburg '72
  3. Henry Mancini – Fear
  4. Mari Kodama – Beethoven: The Complete Piano Sonatas
  5. The Velvet Underground - S/T deluxe edition
  6. Grace Jones – Nightclubbing
  7. Craig Leon - Anthology of Interplanetary Folk Music Vol. 1: Nommos / Visiting
  8. Captain Beefheart – Sun Zoom Spark: 1970 to 1972
  9. CSNY - 1974
  10. Maria Callas – Pure

Thursday, December 19, 2013

2013: The Year in Music

2013 was another epic year for music. This year represented a shift in the way I purchase and consume music. While vinyl LPs still make up a bulk of my purchases and CDs are still a very tiny part, this year I purchased new music on cassette for the first time in ages. Also, downloads are now a more viable option with CD quality lossless and 24 bit becoming more widely available thanks to Bandcamp, HDtracks, Qobuz, and others. I still prefer shopping at traditional brick and mortar record stores and only prefer downloads when it it is the only viable option. Now the download sites and labels need to fix pricing. Something is wrong when the CD costs less than the crappy sounding MP3. Enough ranting. Onto the lists. I have it divided into three sections. The first is the 25 best new releases of 2013 in order, with number 1 being the best. Following that are 75 runner's up, in alphabetical order. Lastly are 20 reissues/archival/etc. releases, also in alphabetical order. A couple 2012 releases might have squeezed in – deal with it. Enjoy.





The 25 Best Records of 2013



1. Lucrecia Dalt – Syzygy

2. Aidan Baker – Already Drowning

3. Jenny Hval – Innocence is Kinky

4. Julianna Barwick – Nepenthe


5. Colleen – The Weighing of the Heart


6. Broken Deer – Polaraura


7. Mazzy Star – Seasons of Your Day


8. Colin Stetson - New History Warfare 3


9. Zola Jesus – Versions


10. Matana Roberts – Coin Coin Chapter Two


11. Félicia Atkinson – Visions/Voices


12. Julia Holter – Loud City Song


13. Grouper – The Man Who Dies In His Boat


14. La Femme – Psycho Tropical Berlin


15. Matmos – The Marriage of True Minds


16. FKA Twigs – EP2


17. Oval – Calidostópia! & Voa


18. Tiger Village – Tiger Village I, II, III


19. Saltland – It Was Us But It Was All of Us


20. Broadcast – Berberian Sound Studio OST

21. Tim Hecker – Virgins


22. Bérangère Maximin -  Infinitesimal


23. Rachel Zeffira – The Deserters


24. Sean McCann – Music for Private Ensemble


25. Camera Obscura – Desire Lines




75 Honorable Mentions



Noël Akchoté – Green Lands

Ólöf Arnalds - Sudden Elevation

Asian Women on the Telephone – hour of Lavsan

Atoms for Peace – Amok

Austra – Olympia

Blixa Bargeld & Teho Teardo – Still Smiling

Baths – Obsidian

Jim Black's AlasNoAxis – Antiheroes

James Blake – Overgrown

Dean Blunt – The Redeemer

Body / Head – Coming Apart

David Bowie – The Next Day

Broken Deer – Unseen World

Harold Budd – Jane 1-11

Shane Caruth – Upstream Color OST

Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds – Push the Sky Away

Chelsea Light Moving – S/T

Circuit des Yeux – Overdue

Coco Rosie – Tales of Grass Widow

Daft Punk – Random Access Memories

Dawn of Midi – Dysnomia

Tanya Donelly – Swan Song Series Vol. 1-4

Dave Douglas – Time Travel

Kevin Drumm – Tannenbaum

Ensemble HD – Live at the Happy Dog

Esmerine – Dalmak

Bill Frisell – Big Sur

Focus Group - The Elektrik Karousel

Foetus – Soak

M. Geddes Gengras – Collected Works Vol. 1: The Moog Years

Glasser – Interiors

Laurel Halo – Chance of Rain

Françoise Hardy - Message personnel

Rene Hell – Vanilla Call Option

Robyn Hitchcock – Love From London

Lonnie Holley - Just Before Music

Je Suis Le Petit Chevalier - Those Vermillion Sands

Jerusalem In My Heart - Mo7it Al-Mo7it

Kronos Quartet – Aheym

Okkyung Lee – Ghil

Local Natives – Hummingbird

David Lynch – The Big Dream

Maharaja Sweets – Cream Juice

Cliff Martinez – Only God forgives OST

Rob Mazurek Exploding Star Electro Acoustic Ensemble - The Space Between

Pat Metheny - Tap: John Zorn's Book of Angels, Vol. 20

Janelle Monae – The Electric Lady

Thurston Moore & Loren Connors – The Only Way to Go Is Straight Through

Thurston Moore & John Zorn - @

My Bloody Valentine – MBV

The National – Trouble Will Find Me

Nine Inch Nails – Hesitation Marks

Noveller – No Dreams

The Octopus Project – Fever Forms

Okkervil River – The Silver Gymnasium

Yoko Ono Plastic Ono Band – Take Me to the Land of Hell

Ashley Paul – Line the Clouds

Lee Ranaldo and the Dust – Last Night on Earth

Elliott Sharp Aggregat – Quintet

She & Him – Volume 3

Matthew Shipp – Piano Sutras

Sigur Rós – Kveikur

Small Black – Limits of Desire

Marnie Stern – The Chronicles of Marnia

The Thing – Boot!

Ken Vandermark's Topology / Nonet – Impressions of Po Music

Tiger Village – Tiger Village IV: Six North

Mick Turner – Don't Tell the Driver

Vanessa Paradis – Love Songs

Max Richter - Disconnect

Washed Out – Paracosm

Weekend – Jinx

William Winant – Five American Percussion Pieces

C. Spencer Yeh / Okkyung Lee / Lasse Marhaug - Wake Up Awesome

Otomo Yoshihide, Sachiko M, Evan Parker, John Edwards, Tony Marsh, John Butcher – Quintet/Sextet





20 Archival/Reissues/etc.



William Basinski – The Disintegration Loops Box

The Conet Project: Recordings of Shortwave Numbers Stations

Miles Davis – Mono reissues

Do Make Say Think – S/T

Nick Drake – Pink Moon

Fleetwood Mac – Rumours 35th Anniversary Edition

Thelonious Monk - Paris 1969

Nirvana – In Utero 20th Anniversary

Oval – Systemische / 94 Diskont

Van Dyke Parks – Song Cycle

Public Enemy - 25th Anniversary Collection

R.E.M. - Green 25th Anniversary

Akos Rozmann – Images of the Dream and Death

Sly & the Family Stone - There's A Riot Going On

Sly & the Family Stone – Higher

V/A - Change the Beat: The Celluloid Records Story 1980-1987

V/A – I Am the Center: Private Issue New Age Music in America 1950-1990

V/A – Kill Rock Stars / Stars Kill Rock / Rock Stars Kill

V/A – No Alternative

V/A - Scared to Get Happy: A Story of Indie-Pop 1980-1989