Monday, February 14, 2022

Music Week

February archive (in progress).

Music: Current count 37322 [37256] rated (+66), 141 [142] unrated (-1).

Rating total probably reflects fixing some bookkeeping errors, but still list 62 records below, so I kept busy. Spent some time adding to the EOY Aggregate, picking up a pretty good country list from The Boot, and a bunch of lists from Bandcamp, where links to music were especially handy. Also got some fresh suggestions from Robert Christgau's February Consumer Guide (although the Yard Act EP was in Jason Gross's Ye Wei Blog list). Still confused whether it's Iamdoechii or just Doechii, and what the labels are (if any). Then there's another album I didn't get from anyone: Bean on Toast. But he's put out a record every year for quite some time, so I wondered whether he had another one -- and lo, he did.

Note that Saturday's Speaking of Which has an extra PS I wrote Sunday and posted today. I responded to a reader letter, and thought it made most sense to share what I wrote there rather than saving it up for a Questions & Answers.

I actually wrote a bit more at the time, but was satisfied with my ending as presented. Still, here's another useful iteration:

There is a much-commented on "blame America first syndrome," which I also don't think applies to me, but some of what I write can be read that way. I'd say it's not an irrational first approximation. I have a rather extensive catalog of American offenses at my disposal, including things like the CIA efforts to rig elections in Italy and France. The US took a monstrous wrong turn in starting the Cold War, and we've been paying for that mistake ever since -- Donald Trump being just one of many manifestations. It doesn't mean that I hate America. But it does mean that I think a little humility is in order. There are no humanitarian wars. To think otherwise is not only counterfactual, it's unspeakably arrogant.

It should be noted that the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft is one of the few media outlets doing consistently good work on Ukraine, and not just their area specialist, Anatol Lieven (though I'll point out that he's not nearly as critical of NATO as I am). His latest pieces are: Russia sanctions bill is a 'single barrel sawed-off shotgun', and Why are we evacuating diplomats from Ukraine? You might also scan through Branko Marcetic's interview with Volodymyr Ishchenko: A Ukrainian Sociologist Explains Why Everything You Know About Ukraine Is Probably Wrong.

They also have an important article on Biden's $7 billion Afghan heist. In the years right after WWII, America developed a reputation as a generous victor, investing money and (more importantly) allowing political freedom to its vanquished enemies in Germany and Japan (while turning on US allies in the Soviet Union, and leaving a mixed legacy in colonized Asia and Africa). In the years since, the US has rarely prevailed in wars, and has often held long and bitter grudges against those who had defied us and the people we once claimed to support. The US debacle in Afghanistan was so total that the only decent thing left to do would be to provide the new government of Afghanistan the means to help its people, but once again we see bitterness getting the upper hand.

Like many people, I wish American foreign policy could be a force for good in the world, but all we ever see is the bullying, cajoling, arrogance, and petty-mindedness. This calls for a time out. (Still, story after story rolls in showing the US military trying to flex its muscles: e.g., Israeli jets escort US bomber to Gulf in fresh show of force to Iran; also: Israeli offiials rushing to evacuate citizens from Ukraine by Tuesday, where by "citizens" they mean an estimated 10-15K Ukrainian Jews they're hoping the Russians will drive into their arms.)

One last thing I should note is that this marks my 3000th blog post, going back to when I initially set up Serendipity (aka s9y) -- was it 2003? I haven't used Serendipity for quite some while, but kept the numbering scheme when I started hand-crafting blog posts (at the time, I called it my "faux blog"). That would work out to 3/week, a rate I have rarely hit over the last 5-10 years, but there was a patch early on where I tried to post something new every day. Not all of those posts are available in the current archive (which starts at 2156), but the redundant copies in the notebook have survived, and I've compiled most of them into a number of book files. There's a lot of writing: a quick wc on the notebook shows 14,820,257 words. Too bad my sloppy organization makes them so hard to find.

New records reviewed this week:

Adeem the Artist: Cast Iron Pansexual (2021, self-released): "Seventh-generation Carolinian, a makeshift poet, singer-songwriter, storyteller, and blue-collar Artist." Was born Adem Bingham, songs signed Adeem Maria, uses they/them pronouns, has a wife named Hannah, picks and sings country, minus any of the conventional tropes. Mostly songs about gender, but more firmly rooted in humanity. Notable lyric: "everyone's looking for Jesus/ or anyone else they can hang." A- [bc]

Adia Victoria: A Southern Gothic (2021, Atlantic): Singer-songwriter from South Carolina, last name Paul, third album, T-Bone Burnett listed as executive producer, more atmospheric than rootsy. B+(**)

Arca: Kick II (2021, XL): Alejandra Ghersi, born in Venezuela, studied in NYU, based in Barcelona, albums since 2013, Kick I appeared in 2020, this is the first of four additional volumes that appeared in late 2021. Has a flair for the dramatic. B+(*)

Arca: Kick III (2021, XL): Second of four albums released in quick succession, after an initial album in 2020. Not without interest, but on the cusp of becoming really irritating. B

Arca: Kick IIII (2021, XL): Artwork progresses from a big surrounded by mechanical interventions to a machine shaped like a body with bits of skin suggesting sex. The music is less irritating, but coud be that Ghersi is working too fast to notice. B

Arca: Kick IIIII (2021, XL): Starts with a slow one, a bit of ambient music neither here nor there. It's not that a change of pace isn't welcome -- it could even lead to something substantial, as the artwork has shifted from mechanistic to monumental -- but it's hard to start caring once you don't. B

Angela Autumn: Frontiers Woman (2021, self-released, EP): Country singer-songwriter, from Pennsylvania, based in Nashville, Bandcamp page shows 2 singles and 2 EPs, although this one is getting close to album length (7 songs, 28:08). Plays banjo as well as guitar. B+(*) [bc]

Beans on Toast: Survival of the Friendliest (2021, Beans on Toast Music): British folksinger-songwriter Jay McAllister, has released an album every December 1 since 2009, except for 2020, when he figured we needed two. He loves "This Beautiful Place" and the "Humans" that inhabit it. His rues the loss of "The Commons" (wasn't that 19th century?), but insists "Not Everybody Thinks We're Doomed," and prescribes: "if you want to be happy/ you're going to have to learn to be kind." B+(**) [sp]

Leah Blevins: First Time Feeling (2021, Crabtree): Country singer-songwriter, first album after an EP. Boot review says: "voice reminiscent of Dolly, the eye for storytelling of Prine, and the caustic wit of fellow Kentuckian Kelsey Waldon." Doesn't quite live up to any of those plaudits, except maybe the voice. B+(*)

Andrew Boudreau: Neon (2021 [2022], Fresh Sound New Talent): Pianist, originally from Nova Scotia, grew up in Montreal, studied in Boston, based in New York. Debut, leads a quartet of his Boston chums, with Neta Raanan (tenor sax), bass, and drums. Nicely paced postbop. B+(***) [02-28]

Big Chief Monk Boudreux: Bloodstains & Teardrops (2021, Whiskey Bayou): From New Orleans, joined the Wild Magnolias in 1970, parted company in 2001, first album in a decade, fairly straight blues. B+(*)

Bo Burnham: Inside (The Songs) (2021, Imperial Distribution): Comedian, started in stand-up, expresses himself through songs. Fourth album, first three released through Comedy Central. This was a lockdown project, solo, with video if you care (I don't). Tackles some burning subjects, as well as some silly ones, but isn't that funny, nor all that musical. One line I jotted down: "I am a special kind of white guy." Not really. B-

Chapel Hart: The Girls Are Back in Town (2021, self-released): Two sisters, Danica and Devynn Hart, and cousin Trea Swindle, from Poplarville, Mississippi, a country vocal group who happen to be black, but have so much fiddle, twang, and yee-haw they couldn't be anything else. Second album, imbued enough in the culture to write a credible answer song ("You Can Have Him Jolene"). I doubt they'll enjoy singing "Grown Ass Woman" forever, but they can turn a phrase: "so stand up for what you believe on/ just don't stand up on me." B+(*)

Circuit Des Yeux: Io (2021, Matador): Alias for singer-songwriter Haley Fohr, born Indiana, based in Chicago, seventh album since 2008. Heavy, arty, operatic. C+

Crazy Doberman: "Everyone Is Rolling Down a Hill" or "The Journey to the Center of Some Arcane Mystery and the Entanglements of the Vines and Veins of the Cosmic and Unwieldy Millieu Encountered in the Midst of That Endeavor" (2020 [2021], Astral Spirits): Collaborative improv group, started as a quartet in Indiana but metastatized around 2017, with Discogs listing 38 albums since then. B [bc]

Dinosaur Jr.: Sweep It Into Space (2021, Jagjaguwar): Venerable indie band, not one I've ever found interesting (although I did like a solo album by leader J. Mascis), debut 1985, 15th studio album. B+(*)

Doss: 4 New Hit Songs (2021, LuckyMe, EP): Aimee Bowen, debut EP 2014, this is her second, nothing in between. Tiny, whispery vocals, big electopop beats. I don't quite hear hits, but "Puppy" comes close, and the rest could float an album. B+(***) [sp]

Rory Feek: Gentle Man (2021, Gaither Music Group): Country singer-songwriter from Atchison, KS. Formed a duo with his second wife, Joey + Rory, which ended when she died of cancer in 2016. First solo album, several touching songs about his late wife, a Dylan cover that sounds richer and more nuanced than the original, and a bit more, just trying to move on. B+(***)

Fiddlehead: Between the Richness (2021, Run for Cover): Indie garage band from Boston, Pat Flynn the singer, teaches high school history as his day job. Second album, dense, 1980s emo feel, short (10 songs, 25:06). B+(*) [sp]

Fred Again: Actual Life (April 14-December 17 2020) (2021, Atlantic): British singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, electronica producer. First album after singles and an EP. B+(**)

Fred Again: Actual Life (February 2-October 15 2021) (2021, Atlantic): Presumably the dates are when these pieces were recorded, so they act as some kind of journal. Probably progress too, but not quite to next level. B+(**)

Mark Fredson: Nothing but Night (2021, self-released): Singer-songwriter, originally from Washington, based in Nashville, sings high and lonesome, drawing more on soul than on country. B+(*)

Dori Freeman: Ten Thousand Roses (2021, Blue Hens Music): Folkie singer-songwriter from Virginia, fourth album. Seems like she's lost some roots. B+(*)

Amos Gillespie: Unstructured Time for Jazz Septet (2021 [2022], self-released): Alto saxophonist, based in Chicago, website claims six other albums since 2012, but some of the credits are unclear. Fair to say he's a composer first, and not afraid to try some unusual twists and turns. Way too fancy for me, though I'm impressed by several stretches, including most of the sax solos. Alexandra Olavsky's occasional vocals are another mixed bag. B+(*) [cd] [02-22]

Corey Harris: Insurrection Blues (2021, M.C.): Blues singer-songwriter, emerged 1995 in a Taj Mahal groove, probably peaked two years later with Fish Ain't Bitin'. I lost track of him after disliking his 2002 album, so I've missed out on a steady stream of albums as he got older and grizzlier. B+(**) [sp]

Iamdoechii: Oh the Places You'll Go (2020, Doechii, EP): Discogs identifies her as Jaylah Hickmon, from Tampa, but hasn't gotten to this 7-track 21:37 album, let alone a 4-track successor I'm having trouble locating. Not interested in Instagram much less Tik Tok, I have to make do with press like: "She is finest identified for her hottest monitor 'Yucky Blucky Fruitcake.'" And: "Iamdoechii's estimated internet price is $10 million." Dubious spot is a lecture on "God" that starts conceited and turns egalitarian. Real reservation is that it isn't real yet, but I wish it were. A-

Iamdoechii: Bra-Less (2021, Doechi, EP): Turns out Spotify filed this under Doechii, which probably makes more sense as artist name, but cover reads as above. Four tracks, 14:25. The harder raps are less distinctive, but remain credible. Wouldn't be a bad idea for some capitalist to combine these two (and possibly some more singles?) into a tangible product. B+(***) [sp]

IKOQWE: The Beginning, the Medium, the End and the Infinite (2021, Crammed Discs): Side project by Angola-born, Lisbon-based producer Pedro Coquenão (aka Batida), with Angolan rapper Luaty Beirão. B+(***)

Jaguar: Madremonte (2021, El Palmas Music): Duo, two Colombians based in Switzerland, Raúl Parra and Paulo Olarte, foundation is probably cumbia but they also "imbibe" salsa, rock, zouk, and champeta in their dance floor fusion. B+(*) [bc]

Darren Johnston: Life in Time (2021 [2022], Origin): Canadian trumpet player, based in San Francisco, albums since 2007, most previous ones on avant-labels. Quartet with Geof Bradfield (sax/bass clarinet), who wrote 4 (of 10) songs to Johnston's 6, plus bass and drums. The interaction of the horns is always fresh and spirited. A- [cd] [02-18]

Kalabrese: Let Love Rumpel: Part 1 (2021, Rumpelmusig): Swiss musician Sacha Winkler, credited with "drums, vox, synth" in touring group Rumpelorchestra but group is only credited on one cut here (video available). Touted as "unconventional dance music," which gets it misfiled as electronica. Beyond category, so they invented their own. B+(**) [bc]

Kondi Band: We Famous (2021, Strut): Sorie Kondi, singer and thumb piano player from Sierra Leone, with producers Chief Boima (also from Sierra Leone but based in US) and Will LV (UK-born). B+(**) [bc]

Howie Lee: Birdy Island (2021, Mais Um Discos): Chinese DJ, "future music from downtown Beijing," Discogs lists 5 albums and 7 singles/EPs since 2010. Draws widely, beats better than ambiance. B+(*) [bc]

LNS & DJ Sotofett: Sputters (2017-20 [2021], Tresor): Techno producers Laura Sparrow (from Vancouver, first album after some singles) and Stefan Mitterer (from Norway, prolific since 2011), with a guest shot by E-GZR. Described as "a hybrid of warped electro and psychedelic hypnosis," this reminds me of what I first liked about techno: dance beats, stretched and fucked with without ever losing step or sparkle. A- [bc]

L'Orange: The World Is Still Chaos, but I Feel Better (2021, Mello Music Group): Hip-hop producer Austin Hart, from and based in North Carolina, many albums since 2011, most co-credited with guest MCs. This uses narration by Andreea Dinag & Sora the Troll, and credits nine more for "additional vocals." Scattershot. B+(**) [bc]

Doug MacDonald and the L.A. All-Star Octet: Overtones (2021 [2022], DMAC Music): Guitarist, started in 1981, has been very active of late. Composed all eight pieces. I don't recognize most of the all-stars, but the saxophonists are notable (Kim Richmond, Ricky Woodard), as is pianist Bill Cunliffe. And they do get a big enseble sound with deceptively easy flow. B+(***) [cd] [02-15]

Ava Mendoza: New Spells (2021, Relative Pitch/Astral Spirits): Guitarist, based in Brooklyn, first appeared in 2008, got a lot of attention last year for her work on William Parker's Mayan Space Station. Solo here, metallic, rather brittle. B [bc]

Meridian Brothers/Conjunto Media Luna: Paz En La Tierra (2021, Bongo Joe): Expecting a meeting of cumbia groups, surprised to see this described as a duo of Eblis Alvarez (percussion, bass, vocals) and Iván Medellin (accordion, choir). B+(**) [bc]

Mesh: Mesh (2020 [2021], Born Yesterday, EP): Philadelphia post-punk group, EP has five tracks (12:04), songs like "CIA Mind Control" and "UR Dead." B+(*) [bc]

Mike.: The Highs. (2021, 4TheHomies): As far as I can figure, this is not the rapper Michael Bonema, who has at least six albums since 2016 as MIKE. According to AllMusic, this is Michael Francis Seander Jr., from Providence, RI, formerly known as Mike Stud (or Mike the Stud). At least it's not listed by Wikipedia or Discogs under "Mike(408)," and doesn't appear on Mike's Bandcamp. I suppose the periods (and lower case) are meant as differentiation enough, but since I first ran into him, I've found MIKE the most Google-unfriendly artist ever -- a complaint this only adds to. Still, a substantial (23-track) effort, flows nice, sings more than he raps. B+(**)

The Notwist: Vertigo Days (2021, Morr Music): German rock group, debut album 1991, ninth studio album, probably influenced by classic Krautrock bands but I also hear traces of New Order. B+(**)

Bill O'Connell: A Change Is Gonna Come (2021 [2022], Savant): Pianist, albums since 1978, some Latin-oriented, this one more hard bop, with saxophonist Craig Handy leading the way, backed with bass, drums, and (4 of 10 tracks) extra percussion. Seven originals, plus Coltrane, Cooke, and "My Foolish Heart." B+(**) [cd]

Mathis Picard: Live at the Museum (2019 [2021], Outside In Music): Pianist, French-Malagasy, based in New York, seems to be his first album, venue is the National Jazz Museum in Harlem, likes to mix up classical and stride. Five originals, two pieces by Willie "The Lion" Smith, one by John Lewis, bits by John Williams and Maurice Ravel. B+(**) [cd]

Queen Esther: Gild the Black Lily (2021, EL): Usual sources don't offer a birth name or date or location, but do note that she grew up with gospel, showtunes, countrypolitan, and opera, and has been working since 1996: not just singing but also writing for and acting on stage (including the libretto for The Billie Holiday Project). This is her fourth album since 2004, not counting sidework with James Blood Ulmer, JC Hopkins, Elliott Sharp. I filed her under blues because her first album was called Talkin' Fishbowl Blues, but this album starts with a banjo-driven cowgirl song, followed by an a cappella "John the Revelator," then came close to losing me with an Eagles cover, but won me back with songs like "Lonesome Road" and "She Thinks I Still Care." A-

R2Bees: Back 2 Basics (2021, Ziiki Media): Hip-hop duo from Ghana, where rapping over highlife beats is called hiplife. Fifth album since 2009. B+(*)

Scotch Rolex: Tewari (2021, Hakuna Kulala): Japanese electronica producer Shigeru Ishihara, based in Berlin, has used various aliases including DJ Scotch Bonnet and DJ Scotch Egg, hooks up with an Ugandan label not but similar to Nyege Nyege. Most cuts feature various MCs, meaning hip-hop with metal thrash, or metal tightly bolted to a beat. B [bc]

Shanique Marie: Gigi's House (2021, Equinoxx Musiq): Jamaican singer-songwriter, surname Sinclair, aka Shanz, first album after several singles and an EP, short one (8 songs, 30:18). B+(*) [bc]

Hayley Williams: Flowers for Vases/Descansos (2021, Atlantic): Pop singer, fronted the band Paramore, which released five albums 2005-2017. Second album on her own, solo, produced by Daniel Jammes. Spanish translates as "breaks." Introspective, comforting, seems like it might grow on you. B+(***)

Mars Williams: Mars Williams Presents an Ayler Xmas Vol. 5 (2020-21 [2021], Astral Spirits): Saxophonist, also credited with suona and toy instruments, leads a septet through three pieces (37:10) pieced together from Albert Ayler compositions sprinkled with more/less recognizable Christmas tunes. He's been doing one of these each year. Works because Ayler had a knack for turning free jazz into hymns. B+(**)

Yasmin Williams: Urban Driftwood (2021, Spinster): From Virginia, a "finger-style composer and guitarist," also playing harp-guitar, kalimba, and other instruments, "often with the guitar on her lap." Third album, written during lockdown and "influenced by the Black Lives Matter protests." B+(**)

Yard Act: The Overload (2022, Island): British indie band, from Leeds, first album, vocals declaimed, sometimes reading like a manifesto (not unlike Art Brut), but they're on the right side of politics and, one hopes, history. A-

Yard Act: Dark Days (2021, ZEN FC, EP): Initial 4-song, 13:14 EP, came out almost a year before their debut album, no songs repeated. Expect the title song to lead off a future greatest hits album, while the rest fill up a decent "odds and sods." B+(***)

Recent reissues, compilations, and vault discoveries:

Bush Tetras: Rhythm and Paranoia: The Best of Bush Tetras (1980-2019 [2021], Wharf Cat, 2CD): Repeats 11 (of 14) 1980-83 songs, adds 17-20 (depending on configuration) extra tracks, mostly from reunion bands, with their more conventional crunch. Package comes with a 40-page booklet, but hard to find the dates online. B+(**)

J Dilla: Welcome 2 Detroit [The 20th Anniversary Edition] (2001 [2021], BBE, 2CD): Hip-hop producer James Yancey (1974-2006), from Detroit. Starts with the original album's 16 tracks (40:56), padded out with extra beats, instrumentals, demos, mixes (30 tracks, 77:07). De trop, of course, the beats fading into background and the rappers rarely standing out, but it holds up well enough. B+(***) [bc]

Willie Dunn: Creation Never Sleeps, Creation Never Dies: The Willie Dunn Anthology (1968-84 [2021], Light in the Attic): Canadian singer-songwriter (1941-2013), mother was Mi'kmaq, and much of his work identifies with Canada's First Nations. He released three albums 1971-84, the latter two on the German Trikont label, which also released a live compilation in 2004. Few dates provided here, but 19 (of 22) songs appeared on those three albums, although later versions are possible. Seems like a subject for further research, and better documentation. B+(***)

Ron Everett: The Glitter of the City (1977 [2021], Jazzman): Trumpet player from Philadelphia, also credited with vocals (3 tracks) and piano (2 of the piano tracks). Ultra rare, part of the label's "Holy Grail" series, a mixed bag with Tahira singing the title song over a bossa beat, other pieces freer (or just rougher). Reissue adds three previously unreleased jams (34:58). B [bc]

The Notwist: The Notwist (1991 [2021], Subway): German group, first album, reissue remastered but no extras beyond the original 13-song album (32:57). Songs in English, written by guitarist-vocalist Markus Acher, with brother Micha on bass and Martin Messerschmid on drums. No Krautrock influence I can detect: post-punk, maybe proto-metal, but ultimately headed elsewhere. B+(*)

Bunny Scott: To Love Somebody (1975 [2021], Freestile): Jamaican singer William Clarke, better known as Bunny Rugs (although he's used other aliases), lead singer-songwriter for Third World -- one of the first wave of reggae groups to get US distribution, but also one of the least impressive. He released this one album as Scott, others after 1995 up to his death in 2014. At this point, reminds me of how fertile that period was, but leans heavily on covers, and I could really do without this "Sweet Caroline." Lee Perry produced, which especially helps with the dub-oriented bonus tracks. B+(*) [bc]

Spitboy: Body of Work (1990-1995): All the Songs (1990-95 [2021], Don Giovanni): All-female anarcho-punk band from (or near) San Francisco, released an LP in 1993, split another in 1995 with Los Crudos, scattered EPs and singles. This gathers up 26 tracks, full of anger and spirit, few if any great, but attitude counts. B+(*) [bc]

Sun Ra: Lanquidity [Definitive Edition] (1978 [2021], Strut, 2CD): Originally released 1978 on Philly Jazz, reissued 2000 on Evidence with the same 5 tracks (43:16). Not much new here, as the original "1978 Philly Jazz Commercial Pressing" is on the first disc, followed by "1978 Philly Jazz Alternate Version" -- main difference there is that "That's How I Feel" runs an extra 4:05. Arkestra with 15 musicians focused more on texture than showing off. B+(***) [bc]

Old music:

Bush Tetras: Boom in the Night: Original Studio Recordings 1980-1983 (1980-83 [1995], ROIR): New York post-punk/no wave band formed 1979 in New York, with Adele Bertei vocalist (soon replaced by Cynthia Sley), debut single "Too Many Creeps," band broke up without an album but reunited in 1995, again in 2005 and 2021. ROIR issued 14 early cuts in 1989 as Better Late Than Never, those same cuts appearing in different order here (coincident with the 1995 reunion). I recall owning at least one of their singles, but never saw them. Not a great band, but I'm finding this holds up quite well. B+(***)

Joey + Rory: The Singer and the Song: The Best of Joey + Rory (2008-16 [2018], Gaither Music Group): Married country duo, last name Feek, Rory had a background as a songwriter, and has a hand on 8 (of 20) songs here. They recorded four albums (one Xmas) on Vanguard/Sugar Hill, four more on Farmhouse/Gaither -- the latter include Country Classics and Hymns That Are Important to Us as time was running out. This compilation favors the latter, perhaps exclusively (a couple early songs are rendered live, leaving only one that appears to derive from their debut). Both have appealing voices, but could use better songs. E.g., "Jesus Lovees Me" shouldn't be sung by anyone over eight, and "The Bible and the Belt" deserves its own place in Hell. B

The Rough Guide to Blues Women: Reborn and Remastered (1920-35 [2016], World Music Network): Twenty-five songs, one each from all the major "classic female blues" stars of the 1920s, starting with Mamie Smith's "Crazy Blues" (1920), plus another dozen or so I've barely heard of. After 1930 their numbers thinned -- I count 4 1931-35 releases here -- as jazz and blues went their separate ways. No view of the booklet, which despite expert selection probably leaves a lot to be desired. A-

Grade (or other) changes:

Al Dexter: Pistol Packin' Mama (1942-49 [1999], ASV): Most people only ever hear his title hit (if that), but you really should hear more. I must have initially knicked this for filler or running out of gas, but it's one I've often returned to, so the grade should reflect that. [was: B+] A-

Unpacking: Found in the mail last week:

  • James Brown: Song Within the Story (NGP) [03-18]
  • Satoko Fujii & Joe Fonda: Thread of Light (FSR) [02-25]
  • Darren Johnston: Life in Time (Origin) [02-18]
  • Mostly Other People Do the Killing: Disasters Vol. 1 (Hot Cup) [02-18]
  • Jared Sims: Against All Odds (Origin) [02-18]

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