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Above: “Blue” Gene Tyranny, whose dazzlingly empathetic and spiritual Out of the Blue is the best album I heard for the first time this month. LOVED: Erika de Casier – Essentials (2020) India Jordan – For You (2020) “Blue” Gene Tyranny – Out of the Blue (1978) Julian Lynch – Rat’s Spit (2019) ENJOYED: Marisa Anderson – Into the Light (2016) Chet Atkins & Les Paul – Chester & Lester (1976) Erika de Casier – Sensational (2021) Celer & Forest Management – Landmarks (2018) Guided by Voices – Propeller (1992) Will Long – Long Trax 3 (2020) Loscil – Clara…

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Above: Julian Lynch. LOVED Bohren & der Club of Gore – Sunset Mission (2000) Celer – Alcoves (2017) Dirty Beaches – Stateless (2016) Julian Lynch – Orange You Glad (2009) Plastikman – Musik (1994) Sonny Sharrock – Ask the Ages (1991) ENJOYED R.L. Burnside – A Ass Pocket of Whiskey (1996) Celer – Vamps (2019) Vladislav Delay – Rakka II (2021) Dry Cleaning – New Long Leg (2021) Field Medic – Plunge Deep Golden Knife (2021) Godspeed You! Black Emperor – G_d’s Pee AT STATE’S END (2021) Anne Guthrie – Gyropédie (2021) Françoise Hardy – Ma jeunesse fout le camp…

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Above: Bunny Wailer, whose Blackheart Man is one of those albums I want the whole world to feel what I’m feeling when I listen to. BLEW MY MIND Bunny Wailer – Blackheart Man (1976) LOVED Björk – Vespertine (2001) Buckethead – Colma (1998) Buckethead – Electric Tears (2002) Lana Del Rey – Chemtrails Over the Country Club (2021) F.U.S.E. – Dimension Intrusion (1993) Nick Lowe – Labour of Lust (1979) Plastikman – Sheet One (1993) Max Romeo – War Ina Babylon (1976) Arthur Russell – Corn (2015) Wolfgang Voigt – Gas (2008) Bunny Wailer – Sings the Wailers (1981) ENJOYED Arca  –…

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Above: Portland punk legends Team Dresch This month I mostly listened to Loren Connors, Larry Heard, and Sade. One development is that I began appreciating Sade’s Love Deluxe even in spite of “Feel No Pain” and “Pearls,” the daft attempts at social commentary that sunk Sade’s most suave and sonically rich album when I first heard it back in 2016 or 2017. They’re still a thorn in the album’s side, but the seven songs that surround it are undeniable. LOVED: Loren Connors – 9th Avenue (1994) Team Dresch – Personal Best (1995) Larry Heard – Genesis (1998) ENJOYED: The Band –…

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Above: Playboi Carti I didn’t listen to much music this month. What I enjoyed was mostly crude and noisy. LOVED: Playboi Carti – Whole Lotta Red (2021) The Reatards – Teenage Hate (1998) Sunroof – Bliss! (2001) ENJOYED: Frank Bretschneider & Taylor Deupree – Balance (2002) The Caretaker – Everywhere at the End of Time Pt. 3 (2017) John Coltrane – Last Performance Newport 1966 (1966) Joel Shanahan – Frozen Clock Hovering (2020) Buffy Sainte-Marie – I’m Gonna Be A Country Girl Again (1968) Frank Sinatra & Hollywood String Quartet – Close to You (1957) Stars of the Lid &…

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Above: Nobukazu Takemura, the Japanese composer behind two of the albums I enjoyed most this month. LOVED 2 8 1 4 – Voyage/Embrace (2020) Bohren & der Club of Gore – Midnight Radio (1995). I’ve fallen asleep to this album many times in the last few years, but never have I sat down and listened to its two-and-a-half-hour entirety. It’s equally enjoyable both ways, and being conscious doesn’t necessarily reward this dark-jazz marvel from 1995, built around sparse plumes of bass and piano and a hi-hat tick that doesn’t keep the beat so much as remind us the music is…

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Best albums of 2020

Joshua Chuquimia Crampton – The Heart’s Wash Adrianne Lenker – Songs/Instrumentals Beatrice Dillon – Workaround Shinichi Atobe – Yes Florian T M Zeisig – Coatcheck Mike Cooper – Playing With Water The Necks – Three Chuquimamani-Condori – 3 Demos Sarah Davachi – Gathers Space Afrika – hybtwibt? Bill Callahan – Gold Record Lindstrøm & Prins Thomas – III King Krule – Man Alive! Ana Roxanne – Because of a Flower The Soft Pink Truth – Shall We Go On Sinning So That Grace May Increase? / Am I Free To Go? DJ Python – Mas Amable Julianna Barwick – Healing…

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Above: Bruce Springsteen in Oslo, 2016. Photo by Stian Schløsser Møller. BLEW MY MIND Magma – Attahk (1977) LOVED Mike Cooper – Playing With Water (2020) review Celtic Frost – To Mega Therion (1985) Ariana Grande – Positions (2020) review Portishead – Dummy (1994) Bruce Springsteen – Darkness on the Edge of Town (1978) Bruce Springsteen – The Wild, The Innocent, and the E Street Shuffle (1973) ENJOYED Teno Afrika – Amapiano Selections (2020) Daniel Avery & Alessandro Cortini – Illusion of Time (2020) Brothertiger – Fundamentals, Vol. 1 (2020) Loren Connors – Unaccompanied Acoustic Guitar Improvisations, Vol. 1 (1979) Field Works – Ultrasound (2020) Leandro Fresco & Rafael Anton Irisarri – Una Presencia En La Brisa (2020)…

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Pictured: William Basinski at the Empty Bottle in Chicago For several years now, I’ve been posting monthly roundups of the music I’ve been listening to to my Facebook account. I’ve had a few friends tell me they’ve found new music through these posts, and by posting them publicly on my site I hope to bring my new discoveries to a broader audience. This is a complete list of albums I listened to the first time this month. A note for anyone coming here for scathing takedowns of terrible music: you will rarely see anything in the “Disliked” category, and if…

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Pictured: Harry Nilsson in the 1974 musical Son of Dracula. That’s Nilsson doing the Dracula thing; to his right is Ringo Starr, as Merlin. For several years now, I’ve been posting monthly roundups of the music I’ve been listening to to my Facebook account. I’ve had a few friends tell me they’ve found new music through these posts, and by posting them publicly on my site I hope to bring my new discoveries to a broader audience. This is a complete list of albums I listened to the first time this month. A note for anyone coming here for scathing takedowns…

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