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Favorite Albums & Concerts of 2016

16th Dec 16 (Fri) 1 comment
To my fellow music friends… here are my favorite 25 albums that I heard/purchased in 2016… still more to discover as I dig into 2017 and catch up on 2016 stuff…
  1. Car Seat HeadrestTeens of Denial (lo-fi indie rock) fave song: “Drunk Drivers/Killer Whales” (#6)
  2. Glen Phillips (of Toad the Wet Sprocket) – Swallowed by the New (singer-songwriter) fave song: “Criminal Career” (#3)
  3. SiaThis Is Acting (pop) fave song: “Alive” (#2)
  4. Radiohead – A Moon Shaped Pool (rock) fave song: “Ful Stop” (#5)
  5. WussyForever Sounds (lo-fi indie rock) fave song: “Dropping Houses” (#1)
  6. Holy FuckCONGRATS (groove electronic) fave song: “Tom Tom” (#2)
  7. Elliott SmithHeaven Adores You (indie rock) fave song: “Plainclothes Man” (#6)
  8. Steve Taylor & the Danielson FoilWOW to the Deadness -EP- coffin (indie rock) fave song: “Wow to the Deadness” (#1)
  9. Circle of DustMachines of Our Disgrace (hard industrial) fave song: “Machines of Our Disgrace” (#2)
  10. Lily & MadeleineKeep It Together (singer-songwriter duo) fave song: “For the Weak” (#2)
  11. Charlie Hunter, Bobby Previte, and more – Everybody Has a Plan Until They Get Punched in the Mouth (jazz) fave song: “No Money, No Honey” (#7)
  12. Allison Miller’s Boom Tic BoomOtis Was a Polar Bear (jazz) fave song: “Fuster” (#1)
  13. David Bazan (of Pedro the Lion) – Blanco (indie rock) fave song: “Little Landslide” (#7)
  14. Anna TivelHeroes Waking Up (singer-songwriter) fave song: “Black Balloon” (#2)
  15. The Jelly JamProphet Profit (prog rock) fave song: “Care” (#1)
  16. Dave Douglas’ High RiskDark Territory (jazz with electronics) fave song: “Celine” (#1)
  17. Amendola vs. BladesGreatest Hits (jazz) fave song: “Lima Bean” (#1)
  18. Damien JuradoVisions of Us on the Land (indie rock) fave song: “Exit 353” (#11)
  19. Greydon SquareOmniverse : Type 3 : Aum Niverse (rap/hip hop) fave song: “Defiant” (#5)
  20. Elysian FieldsGhosts of No (sultry indie rock) fave song: “Shadows of the Living Light” (#11)
  21. Steven Wilson (of Porcupine Tree) – 4 ½ -EP- (prog rock) fave song: “My Book of Regrets” (#1)
  22. OpethSorceress (prog metal) fave song: “Will o’ the Wisp” (#4)
  23. ScandroidScandroid (keyboard electronic) fave song: “Aphelion” (#3)
  24. The Claypool-Lennon DeliriumMonolith of Phobos (weird rock) fave song: “Cricket and the Genie, Movement I: The Delirium” (#2)
  25. Kaada & PattonBacteria Cult (ambient experimental) fave song: “Immodium” (#7)
Stand-Out Live Music in 2016: chronological
  • {8 Apr} Peter Mulvey w/ Anna Tivel :: Alberta Rose Theatre :: Portland, OR
  • {22 Apr} Sufjan Stevens, BØRNS, Parov Stelar, LCD Soundsystem & more :: Coachella 2016 :: Indio, CA
  • {23 Apr} CHVRCHES, Guns N’ Roses, Gary Clark Jr., Ice Cube, GoGo Penguin & more :: Coachella 2016 :: Indio, CA
  • {24 Apr} Sia, Kamasi Washington, Wolf Alice, Joywave & more :: Coachella 2016 :: Indio, CA
  • {16 Jun} Holy Fuck :: Doug Fir Lounge :: Portland, OR
  • {25 Jun} Flight of the Conchords with Eugene Mirman :: Keller Auditorium :: Portland, OR
  • {28 Jul} Ozomatli :: HiFi Music Hall :: Eugene, OR
  • {29 Jul} Weird Al Yankovic :: Cuthbert Amphitheater :: Eugene, OR
  • {13 Aug} Buster Keaton’s The General film with live score by Mark Orton, Carla Kihlstedt, Matthias Bossi, Todd Sickafoose :: Bohemia Park :: Cottage Grove, OR
  • {29 Oct} Failure presents Fantastic Planet’s 20th Anniversary :: Star Theater :: Portland, OR
  • {9 Nov} Glen Phillips of Toad the Wet Sprocket :: Alberta Rose Theatre :: Portland, OR
  • {17 Nov} Car Seat Headrest :: The WOW Hall :: Eugene, OR
Looking forward to much more in 2017…
DT
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My Favorites of 2012

5th Feb 13 (Tue) Leave a comment

Life has been a been busy/hectic lately, to say the least. Not enough time to do the usual extended blogs for best of instrumental, vocal and whatnot with lots of descriptions. And since, hell, it’ll be 2014 before too long; so I figured I’d get out my favorites of 2012 list in some fashion now before it’s officially too late.

Here’s what was my favorite music from last year…

vocal top 10
(in no particular order beyond #1)

O.S.I. - Fire Make ThunderO.S.I.Fire Make Thunder

Damien Jurado - Maraqopa Peter Mulvey - The Good Stuff Fiona Apple - The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do

Ani DiFranco - Which Side Are You On? Bad Veins - The Mess We've Made Ben Folds Five - The Sound of the Life of the Mind

Storm Corrosion (Steven Wilson of Porcupine Tree & Mikael Akerfeldt of Opeth) Sigur Rós - Valtari Aimee Mann - Charmer

instrumental top 10
(in no particular order beyond #1)

Charlie Hunter & Scott Amendola - Not Getting Behind Is The New Getting Ahead

Charlie Hunter & Scott Amendola
Not Getting Behind is the New Getting Ahead

Godspeed You! Black Emperor - Alleujah! Don't Bend Ascend Guillaume Perret - The Electric Epic Buckethead - Electric Sea

Celldweller - Soundtrack for the Voices in My Head, Vol 2 Floratone - Floratone II Cosa Brava (Fred Frith with Kihlstedt, etc) - The Letter

John Zorn / Masada Book Two: Book of Angels, Vol. 18 (Pruflas by David Krakauer) John Zorn / Masada Book Two: Book of Angels, Vol. 19 (Abraxas by Shanir Ezra Blumenkranz) John Zorn - A Vision in Blakelight

ep, internet, etc

Best Novelty: Sufjan Stevens’ Silver and Gold boxset

Best Internet-only releases: Glen Phillips Coyote Sessions,
Greydon Square Type II : The Mandelbrot Set,
Sufjan Son Lux & Serengeti (s/s/s) beak and claw

Best EPs: Levi Weaver’s I Am Only A Tiny Noise
Peter Mulvey’s Chaser (OOP)

Best Vinyl-only: Wussy “Dangerous Highway” 7″
Sufjan Stevens & Rosie Thomas “Hit & Run” 7″

Enjoy! I’ll sort of promise to do better with timeliness on next year’s lists!

~Dan – np: Pinnick Gales PridgenPinnick Gales Pridgen
pinnick gales pridgen

A to Z / Music Packaging Today

3rd Feb 11 (Thu) Leave a comment

Check out this cool article/interview from last Thursday with A to Z Media‘s Sarah Robertson and Scott Pollack to discuss the state of physical media in 2011.  Click here or the pictures below to go to the interview…

John Zorn‘s Interzone

John Zorn‘s The Dreamers with Chippy’s artwork

A to Z Media covers a lot of John Zorn’s Tzadik and other record label releases, which are all quite stunning mini pieces of art.

~Dan – np: Over the RhineGood Dog Bad Dog 

1-Bit Symphony

24th Aug 10 (Tue) Leave a comment

Tristan Perich‘s 1-Bit Symphony is brilliant.  Perfect for the experimental fans, perfect for electrical engineers who also dig music, and perfect for fans of post-modern minimalism.  It is an electronic composition in five movements on a single microchip. Though housed in a CD jewel case like his first circuit album (1-Bit Music 2004-05), 1-Bit Symphony is not a recording in the traditional sense; it literally “performs” its music live when turned on. A complete electronic circuit—programmed by the artist and assembled by hand—plays the music through a headphone jack mounted into the case itself.

It comes out today (Aug 24, 2010) and is limited edition… http://bangonacan.org/store/product/181

http://1bitsymphony.com/

~Dan – np: John Zorn / Masada String TrioFilm Works XI: Under the Wing

The Eigenharp

9th Oct 09 (Fri) Leave a comment

So, as reported at the BBC, there’s a new musical instrument on the scene, eight years in the making…

There’s also another video on the BBC link above.  It totally puts the keytar to shame.

Find out more about it at Eigen Labs.

~Dan – np: Flat Earth SocietyIsms

* Favorite EPs / Vinyl / Live Albums & more of 2008 *

21st Dec 08 (Sun) 9 comments

Before I start… happy 68th birthday to Frank Zappa.  You are missed.  Ya Hozna!

This is sort of a precursor to my “official” Favorites of 2008 blog.  Up later this coming week or two, I’ll post my favorite vocal and favorite instrumental albums of 2008.  I’m still making my way through the re-listening phase.  Yeah, I know, I’m slow (or dedicated? or certifiable?).  I was waiting on a few to show up in my mailbox.  Anyway, on with the music pimping

My Other Favorites of 2008 Recaps:

  • Fave Concerts of ‘08 are recapped *HERE*

Favorite EPs of 2008 (coincidentally all indie artists)
1 Ellery You Did Everything Righthttp://www.ellerymusic.com/
2 Estradasphere The Pegasus Vaulthttp://www.estradasphere.com/
3 Glen Phillips Secrets of the New Explorershttp://www.glenphillips.com/
4 Kim Taylor The Greatest Storyhttp://www.kim-taylor.net/
5 Wussy Rigor Mortishttp://www.wussymusic.com/

Favorite Vinyl of 2008
1 Holy Fuck Lovely Allen 19″ single (7″+12″) – http://www.holyfuckmusic.com/
2 God of Shamisen The Science Fiction of Ray Bradbury Attack! 7″ single – http://www.godofshamisen.com/
3 Puscifer Dozo 7″ single – http://www.puscifer.com/
4 David Bazan (of Pedro the Lion) Jingle Bells / All I Want for Christmas (Christmas 7″) – http://www.davidbazan.com/
5 Puscifer Queen B 7″ single

Favorite Live Albums of 2008
1 Dave Douglas & Keystone Live at the Jazz Standard, April 2008http://www.greenleafmusic.com/ (this was 4 nights, 2 sets each night, 8 hours of music released as “instant live” within 24 hours of each performance… and fantastic)
2 Porcupine Tree We Lost the Skyline EPhttp://www.porcupinetree.com/
3 David Gilmour (of Pink Floyd) Live in Gdańskhttp://www.davidgilmour.com/
4 Ani DiFranco Hamburg Germany, 10.18.07http://www.righteousbabe.com/
5 Tori Amos Live at Montreux 1991 & 1992http://www.toriamos.com/


Favorite Comedy Albums of 2008
1 Flight of the Conchords Flight of the Conchords
2 George Carlin It’s Bad For Ya
3 Mitch Hedberg Do You Believe in Gosh?


Favorite Reissues in 2008
1 Jurassic 5Jurassic 5 11th Anniversary
2 John Zorn, Bill Frisell & George Lewis News for Lulu
3 John Coltrane The Impulse Albums, Vol 2 (including John Coltrane & Johnny Hartman, Impressions, Live at Birdland, Crescent, and A Love Supreme)
4 Ahleuchatistas The Same and the Other
5 Beck Odelay (deluxe edition)


Favorite Debut of 2008
God of Shamisen‘s Dragon String Attack! -and- Ashes Divide‘s Keep Telling Myself It’s Alright

Favorite Internet Only Releases in 2008
Glen Phillips had his hand in both of them… and they’re both free
PloverPlover -and- RemoteTreeChildrenVeteran of the Loudness Wars

Favorite Internet Leaks in 2008
Ben FoldsWay to Normal (fake version of the album leaked by Ben himself) -and-
Sufjan StevensSongs for Christmas, Vol VIII: Astral Inter Planet Space Captain Christmas Infinity Voyage (he made it for family & friends… luckily one of those also let it loose for the rest of us)

Favorite Artwork in 2008
NINGhosts I-IV each song in the download version had it’s own unique artwork attached to it.  Whether studio or nature or electronic, it worked well with this release.

Favorite Packaging / Design in 2008

  • Sigur RósMeð suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust (deluxe edition)
    Steven Wilson Insurgentes (deluxe edition) – Both Sigur Rós and Steven Wilson came out with lush coffee table-sized books that housed the music. Call it an incentive to somewhat combat the illegal downloaders.  I call it great art.
  • Ani DiFranco Red Letter Year – Always a packaging visionary, this one was more subtle than recent efforts… the glow in the dark moon was a nice touch.
  • Metallica Death Magnetic – Not necessarily breaking new ground musically, their packaging for the return to form metal album evokes digging through 6 feet of fresh dirt to see if Lars Ulrich’s drumming sounds better than beating on a metal folding chair.  Thankfully it does… this time.
  • Secret Chiefs 3 plays John Zorn‘s Masada Book Two: Xaphan – I love what Chippy does for Tzadik Records.  The Masada Book Two series artwork and die-cut Star of David with offset colors that poke through is some of her best work.

Favorite “Local” Album of 2008
OK, they’re from Cincinnati and Portland (respectively)… but local enough for me… I’ve got my ears in two locales (the Cincinnati/Dayton scene will probably always have a shot at winning in this category).
Noctaluca‘s Still the Wicked Rest -and- Talkdemonic‘s Eyes at Half Mast

Favorite Soundtrack or Score
Joss Whedon‘s Dr Horrible’s Sing-along Blog -and- Mike Patton‘s A Perfect Place

Favorite Concept Album
Noctaluca‘s Still the Wicked Rest -and- Zakarya‘s The True Story Concerning Martin Behaim

That’s all for now… more coming in the next week…

~Dan – np: CelldwellerSoundtrack for the Voices in My Head

iRandom {28 Aug 08}

28th Aug 08 (Thu) Leave a comment

Some random listening this morning from the iPod’s shuffle option…

 

  1. Mogwai “Kappa” from Government Sessions

    This was fortuitous, as I’m going to see Mogwai in Portland next week.
    :) The Government Sessions was my first experience with Mogwai.
  2. John Scofield “Whatcha See is Whatcha Get” from Up All Night

    A little bit too hotel lobby jazz for me compared to some of J.Sco’s other stuff… but great for reading through employee benefit audit guidance.
  3. Frank Zappa “The Moon Will Never Be the Same” from Joe’s Xmasage

    More of the avant-garde meanderings from FZ. Short, but not sweet.
  4. Sigur Rós “Bíum Bíum Bambaló” from Angels of the Universe

    This is easily my favorite track from this soundtrack / score.
  5. Silverchair “No Association” from Freak Show

    Ah, from their good ol’ gah-rung-ah era…
  6. The Sheds “Rootwings” from You’ve Got a Light

    Cincinnati quirfolk duo… but one of their more straight forward songs… they haven’t put anything out lately, I don’t think. I may have to poke by their website when I get home tonight.  http://www.theshedsmusic.com/
  7. Tim Sparks “Where Are You My Lover?” from Tanz

    Gentle guitars on this overall beautiful Tzadik release.
  8. Frank Zappa “Flakes” from Beat the Boots #7: Saarbrücken

    Two FZ tunes in the 10-song spin… what are the odds? Well, actually, they are 1,110 available FZ songs out of 14,678 non-replacing permutations (all songs currently on my iPod) would be a 0.57% chance for 2 FZ to land somewhere in the first 10 spins (unless I did the math incorrectly – which is highly likely, as my stats book from last term was borrowed from a colleague). Anyway… fun song, complete with a pretty bad, but funny, Bob Dylan impression.
  9. Caedmon’s Call “I Just Don’t Want Coffee” from I Just Don’t Want Coffee -EP-

    This one has different lyrics from the Warner debut version. It’s one of the more compelling, and thankfully not Jebusy, Derek Webb-penned early Caedmon’s tunes. Derek Webb is a great songwriter. Even though I have philosophical differences with him, I still love him and his music.
  10. Yann Tiersen “Soir de fête” from Rue des Cascades

    Yann, you wiley devil. Great instrumentalism with the grounded feel of folk music, but the fun of a circus parade.

Well, I shant type robustly about the 11th and so on shuffled tune… even thought I want to (#11 was Estradasphere and #12 was Isis). Anyway, that’s just a peak inside my ears this morning… check any of them out on iTunes or the Amazon.

 

~Dan

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