Tuesday, January 23, 2018


Music Week

Music: current count 30993 [30949] rated (+44), 257 [263] unrated (-6).

No real reason I didn't post this on Monday, except it was a rough day and I didn't feel like writing an introduction. Been adding some polls to the EOY Aggregate, and will probably keep doing that until I get to the end of the Metacritic Top-Tens list, decide what to do with the lists on Acclaimed Music Forums bulletin board, and/or the Village Voice's Pazz & Jop critics poll comes out. (No idea when, but I hear that Robert Christgau will have a small piece there. Last year's came out on January 22, but as of this writing it's not there yet.) I can give you a link for the Uproxx Music Critics Poll, which was hastily opened back when nobody knew whether the Voice would do anything. They got "nearly 200 critics" to vote, and the top of the list is (in brackets, first the record's position in my EOY Aggregate list, then my grade):

  1. Kacey Musgraves: Golden Hour (MCA Nashville): [2: B]
  2. Janelle MonŠe: Dirty Computer (Bad Boy) [1: A-]
  3. Mitski: Be the Cowboy (Dead Oceans) [3: B]
  4. Pusha T: Daytona (GOOD/Def Jam, EP) [4: B+(***)]
  5. Cardi B: Invasion of Privacy (Atlantic) [5: A-]
  6. Lucy Dacus: Historian (Matador) [37: B+(*)]
  7. Ariana Grande: Sweetener (Republic) [15: B]
  8. The 1975: A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships (Dirty Hit/Polydor) [40: B]
  9. Boygenius: Boygenius (Matador, EP) [46: B]
  10. Noname: Room 25 (self-released) [9: A-]

Finishing scores for Other records in my EOY Aggregate top 20 (here the bracket number is the Uproxx finish):

  1. Robyn: Honey (Konichawa/Interscope) [14: B+(**)]
  2. Idles: Joy as an Act of Resistance (Partisan) [88: B+(***)]
  3. Low: Double Negative (Sub Pop) [18: B+(*)]
  4. Parquet Courts: Wide Awake! (Rough Trade) [21: A-]
  5. Kamasi Washington: Heaven and Earth (Young Turks, 2CD) [23: B+(***)]
  6. Courtney Barnett: Tell Me How You Really Feel (Mom + Pop Music) [39: B+(***)]
  7. Sophie: Oil of Every Pearl's Un-Insides (MSMSMSM/Future Classic) [26: B+(***)]
  8. Christine and the Queens: Chris (Because Music) [43: B+(**)]
  9. Arctic Monkeys: Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino (Domino) [30: C+]
  10. Kali Uchis: Isolation (Virgin EMI) [22: A-]
  11. Blood Orange: Negro Swan (Domino) [84: B+(**)]
  12. Beach House: 7 (Sub Pop) [15: B+(**)]
  13. Black Panther: The Album (Music From and Inspired By) (Top Dawg/Aftermath/Interscope) [19: B+(***)]

I can't says as I recognize many of the critics who voted for Uproxx. (I wasn't invited, nor was I invited to Pazz & Jop, despite having voted in the latter every year since 2003 -- and a few years back in the 1970s.) I still think Janelle MonŠe's Dirty Computer has to be a pretty solid favorite to win Pazz & Jop. MonŠe leads Album of the Year's Aggregate, with 364 points to 353 for Mitski and 295 for Musgraves. My list had that same order, albeit with a much larger point edge, until this last week, when Musgraves edged into second ahead of Mitski. Metacritic (link above) has Musgraves edging MonŠe out, 98.5 to 97 (with Mitski at 88), followed by Idles, Pusha T, Cardi B, Low, Robyn, Christine and the Queens, and Ariana Grande.

I'm not real sure what's going on with Acclaimed's spreadsheets (they don't seem to be publicly available as such), but the latest summary I've seen lists the top ten as: Janelle MonŠe, Low, Idles, Pusha T, Mitski, Robyn, Kacey Musgraves, Sophie, Kamasi Washington, and Beach House, followed by Rosalia (El Mal Querer), Arctic Monkeys, Cardi B, Courtney Barnett, Parquet Courts, Blood Orange, Christine and the Queens, Jon Hopkins (Singularity), Kali Uchis, and US Girls (In a Poem Unlimited). Acclaimed has less of a US focus, with a lot of non-English lists from Europe and a few from Latin America -- places where Musgraves falls down and Idles (and Rosalia) pick up.

Maybe I'll find time (and inspiration) to say more about this when I wrap up my own little project.


New records rated this week:

  • Aphex Twin: Collapse EP (2018, Warp, EP): [r]: B+(***)
  • Archivist & Fugal: Undertow (2018, BleeD, EP): [r]: B+(**)
  • Daniel Avery: Song for Alpha (2018, Phantasy Sound/Mute): [r]: B+(*)
  • Daniel Bennett Group: We Are the Orchestra (2018, Manhattan Daylight Media, EP): [r]: B
  • Ran Blake/Clare Ritter: Eclipse Orange (2017 [2019], Zoning): [cd]: A-
  • Samantha Boshnack's Seismic Belt: Live in Santa Monica (2018 [2019], Orenda): [cd]: A-
  • Bruce: Sonder Somatic (2018, Hessle Audio): [r]: B+(**)
  • Dillon Carmichael: Hell on an Angel (2018, Riser House): [r]: B+(*)
  • Extra Large Unit: More Fun Please (2017 [2019], PNL): [bc]: B
  • First Aid Kit: Ruins (2018, Columbia): [r]: B
  • George FitzGerald: All That Must Be (2018, Double Six): [r]: B+(**)
  • Helena Hauff: Qualm (2018, Ninja Tune): [r]: B+(***)
  • Will Hoge: My American Dream (2018, Thirty Tigers/EDLO, EP): [r]: B+(**)
  • Christoph Irniger Pilgrim: Crosswinds (2018 [2019], Intakt): [cd]: B+(**)
  • J.I.D: DiCaprio 2 (2018, Dreamville/Interscope): [r]: B+(*)
  • Michael Kocour: East of the Sun (2018 [2019], OA2): [cd]: B+(*)
  • Adam Kolker & Russ Lossing: Whispers and Secrets (2014 [2018], Fresh Sound): [r]: B+(*)
  • Kukuruz Quartet: Julius Eastman: Piano Interpretations (2017 [2018], Intakt): [r]: B+(*)
  • Kuzu: Hiljaisuus (2017 [2018], Astral Spirits): [bc]: B+(***)
  • Maribou State: Kingdoms in Colour (2018, Counter): [r]: B+(*)
  • Bill McHenry Trio: Ben Entrada La Nit (2015 [2018], Fresh Sound New Talent): [r]: B+(***)
  • Dave Meder: Passage (2018 [2019], Outside In Music): [cd]: B+(***)
  • Miss Red: K.O. (2018, Pressure): [r]: B+(***)
  • Kelly Moran: Ultraviolet (2018, Warp): [r]: B+(*)
  • Whitey Morgan and the 78's: Hard Times and White Lines (2018, Whitey Morgan Music): [r]: B+(*)
  • Greg Murphy Trio: Bright Idea (2018 [2019], Whaling City Sound): [cd]: B+(**)
  • Eva Novoa's Ditmas Quartet: Live at IBeam (2016 [2018], Fresh Sound New Talent): [r]: A-
  • Objekt: Cocoon Crush (2018, PAN): [r]: B+(**)
  • Ross From Friends: Family Portrait (2018, Brainfeeder): [r]: B+(**)
  • Dave Rudolph Quintet: Resonance (2018 [2019], self-released): [cd]: B+(*)
  • Jamie Saft/Steve Swallow/Bobby Previte: You Don't Know the Life (2018 [2019], RareNoise): [cdr]: B
  • Troye Sivan: Bloom (2018, Capitol): [r]: B
  • Sleaford Mods: Sleaford Mods (2018, Rough Trade, EP): [r]: B
  • Caitlyn Smith: Starfire (2018, Monument): [r]: B
  • Walter Smith III: Twio (2018, Whirlwind): [bc]: A-
  • Walter Smith III/Matthew Stevens/Joel Ross/Harish Raghavan/Marcus Gilmore: In Commmon (2017 [2018], Whirlwind): [r]: B+(**)
  • Wing Walker Orchestra: Hazel (2017 [2019], Ears & Eyes): [cd]: B+(*)
  • Ken Vandermark/Nate Wooley: Deeply Discounted II/Sequences of Snow (2018, Pleasure of the Text/Audiographic, EP): [bc]: B
  • Leon Vynehall: Nothing Is Still (2018, Ninja Tune): [r]: B+(**)
  • Jamie Lin Wilson: Jumping Over Rocks (2018, self-released): [r]: B+(**)
  • Peter Zak Quartet Featuring Marcos Varela: One Mind (2017 [2018], Fresh Sound New Talent): [r]: B+(**)

Recent reissues, compilations, and vault discoveries rated this week:

  • Andrť Hodeir: Essais: Complete Paris & New York Sessions (1954-60 [2017], Fresh Sound, 2CD): [r]: B+(*)
  • Sun Ra: Crystal Spears (1973 [2019], Modern Harmonic): [bc]: B+(**)

Old music rated this week:

    Stay Awake: Various Interpretations of Music From Vintage Disney Films (1988, A&M): [r]: B+(*)


Grade (or other) changes:

  • The End [Sofia Jernberg/Mats Gustafsson/Kjetil Moster/Anders Hana/Greg Saunier]: SvŚrmod Och Vemod ńr Všrdesinnen (2018, RareNoise): [cdr]: album title wrong D+


Unpacking: Found in the mail last week:

  • The United States Air Force Band Airmen of Note: Global Reach (self-released)