LATEST ADDITIONS

Malachi Lui  |  Jan 23, 2020  |  4 comments
For this list, there is no introductory statement that won’t come across as overly self-absorbed and politically bitter, so I’ll just indulge: despite barely being 4 years old at its beginning, I acknowledge that the 2010’s were a complete mess. Disastrous elections, racism, religious and regional intolerance, war, and climate change all contributed to our current feeling of impending doom, yet music remained brilliant. As it’s now “best albums of the decade” list season, to retain our reputation as an excellent music criticism website that doesn’t blindly overrate Vampire Weekend, of course we’re joining the action! Each of our two regular writers will post their top 50 albums of the decade lists, potentially followed by an AnalogPlanet team list with annotations. Before the main top 50 list however, there are several honorable mentions that, for one reason or another, aren’t in an AOTD conversation but are nonetheless enjoyable. Below are the honorable mentions listed in order of how their representing songs appear in the attached Tidal, Spotify, and YouTube playlists (sorry, Apple Music users and Endless fans):

Michael Fremer  |  Jan 22, 2020  |  0 comments
R. Crumb’s cover illustration first drew me to this record, which recently arrived with others sent by Third Man Records. It opened to a triple gatefold that provided a fairly complete backgrounder on the folk violinist Alexis Zoumbas who was born in Ioannina, the capital of Epirus the Northern Greece region adjacent to Albania between the Pindus Mountains and the Ionian Sea. The notes by producer Christopher King suggest listening to the opening track “Epirotiko Mirologi” with undivided attention, which means stopping reading the extensive annotation.

Michael Fremer  |  Jan 22, 2020  |  1 comments
SkyFi Audio, located in Glen Rock, New Jersey invites you to the grand opening of their new showroom Thursday February 27th from 5PM-8PM. The address is 479 South Broad Street. So if you are in Northern, New Jersey, it's close by! Please be sure to RSVP. I'll surely be there. Hope to see you.
Michael Fremer  |  Jan 20, 2020  |  18 comments
It takes a rocker with "brass in pocket" to deliver a jazz album. It takes more than that to produce a great one, which is what Hynde does on Valve Bone Woe, the title of which was her trombonist brother's "beatnik haiku" response to hearing about the passing of Bob Brookmeyer. Hynde here is no jazz pretender.

Michael Fremer  |  Jan 13, 2020  |  12 comments
Multi-talented saxophonist Charles Lloyd celebrated his 80th birthday last March at Santa Barbara's Lobero Theater in concert with musical friends including guitarist Juian Lage, pianist Gerald Clayton, bassist Reuben Rogers, and dummer Eric Harland plus special guests Booker T. Jones and bassist and Blue Note President Don Was joining in halfway through the show. Lloyd's new album 8 Kindrid Spirits (Live From The Lobero) documents the show in a limited edition Blue Note Records box that includes the full performance on 3 LPs, 2 CDs and a DVD along with a 96 page hardcover book and 2 photo prints. There will also be a standard LP/DVD, DC/DVD edition containing just the first set.

Michael Fremer  |  Jan 13, 2020  |  6 comments
Unless you are official press, you are not invited to the XVX noon press preview lunch Friday January 17th, but feel free to reserve a seat during one of the hourly "Happy Hour Listening Sessions" from 4PM through 8PM at Innovative Audio by rsvp-ing before limited space is all booked. The website says 5PM-9PM....so better check with Innovative!

Michael Fremer  |  Jan 09, 2020  |  30 comments
At the 2019 Rocky Mountain Audio Show, "Cynthia, the Audio Belle" asked if she could interview me. Of course I said "yes" and that turned into 47 minutes worth that she's edited and split into two parts. I'm posting before watching so I hope it's okay!

Malachi Lui  |  Jan 07, 2020  |  34 comments
I honestly suck at keeping up on new music. Sure, I’m shoving out another mostly negative Review Explosion every three weeks when some artist past their prime pushes out another hour of dreck (or when Earl releases a stupidly annoying, half-baked 15 minute “album”) but I still don’t feel that I spend enough time covering what actually matters. As in, what’s actually good and worth talking about. Unfortunately, one music critic with their own taste and near-daily spins of IGOR can only do so much; no matter how hard I work, there are always a dozen supposedly great albums that I’ve fallen behind on even hearing.

Michael Fremer  |  Jan 05, 2020  |  9 comments
For every reason, from mastering to pressing to packaging and annotation—and pricing, Craft’s 5 LP Chet Baker Riverside box scores the highest marks.

The recent RSD mono release of It Could Happen to You—Chet Baker Sings signaled what this set might and turned out to be. For those fans who might have some of these albums on original or OJC reissues, you can be sure the audio here soundly beats those.

Michael Fremer  |  Jan 03, 2020  |  11 comments
Bob George The Archive of Contemporary Music's founder and director was scheduled to participate in a "Making Vinyl Hollywood" panel discussion I moderated last fall, so to prep for it I called Mr. George and proposed a visit to the Archive during which we'd discuss his participation. As you'll see in the video, by the time I visited last September I'd forgotten the reason for the visit!

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