Two Sentence Album Reviews: The Ones I Missed Edition


NPR recently released their 50 Best Albums of 2018, and while I reviewed several of the albums on that list, there were four I wanted to hear more of. This will probably be my last album review post of the year UNLESS you have a favorite album of 2018 that I absolutely must listen to and post it in the comments.

Album: Blueprint
ArtistAlice Bag
Release Date: March 15, 2018
Favorite Tracks: Turn it Up, Stranger, White Justice
Thoughts:

Alice Bag is a new discovery to me, but she was a member of the Bags, one of the earliest members of the Los Angeles hardcore punk scene in the 70s & 80s.  She remains an activist as well as a musician, her voice now having the wisdom of age to pair with the punk rock hooks.

Rating: ***


AlbumOrquesta Akokán
ArtistOrquesta Akokán
Release Date: March 30, 2018
Favorite Tracks: Mambo Rapidito, Un Tabaco para Elegua
Thoughts: Daptone Records, who revived classic soul music with Sharon Jones, does the same for classic Cuban music.  I don’t know much about mambo but this is a damned good album.
Rating: ****


AlbumWolastoqiyik Lintuwakonawa
Artist:  Jeremy Dutcher
Release Date: April 6, 2018
Favorite Tracks: Mehcinut, Ultestakon, Sakomawit
Thoughts: Canadian composer and singer Jeremy Dutcher draws upon First Nations’ music for his classical compositions.  The pieces grow from samples of early 20th-century  wax cylinder recordings of Wolastoqiyik songs.
Rating: ****


Album: Siblings
ArtistColin Self
Release Date: October 30, 2018
Favorite Tracks: Story, Quorum, Stay With the Trouble (For Donna),
Thoughts: Composer and choreographer Self mixes classical arrangements, electronic dance music, and a soaring falsetto.  Collectively the songs work toward the idea of creating family for among people who identify as queer.
Rating: ***

 

 

 

 

Podcasts of the Week Ending August 18


This is a particularly fruitful week for podcasts with a bumper crop of excellent episodes!

Afropop Worldwide :: Skippy White: A Vinyl Life

Checking in with a legendary soul & R&B record shop owner and entrepreneur, Skippy White.  His shop is located in Boston’s Egleston Square, not far from where I live, but this is the first I’ve heard of him!

Code Switch :: Behind the Lies My Teacher Told Me

An interview with James Loewen, author of the seminal critique of American history education, Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong.

Hub History :: Folk Magic and Mysteries at the Fairbanks House

Daniel Neff, curator of the Fairbanks House museum in Dedham, talks about the house build by Puritan colonists that contains hidden charms and hex marks meant to ward off evil.

99% Invisible :: It’s Chinatown

The stories behind the origins of the distinctive architectural styles of American Chinatowns and the fortune cookie, neither of which actually originated in China.

Snap Judgment :: Talk of the Town

A local salesman, a fixture of his Oakland neighborhood, goes missing and is believed dead leading to an outpouring of remembrance in the community.  But one journalist digs deeper to find out what actually happened to the mystery man.

Tiny Desk Concerts :: Yo-Yo Ma

The famed cellist performs pieces of Six Suites for Unaccompanied Cello by Johann Sebastian Bach, and talks about learning to play the instrument.

Twenty Thousand Hertz :: Loop Groups

The work of the hidden actors who perform the background sounds of crowd scenes in movies.

 

Podcasts of the Week Ending January 20


Hidden Brain :: E Pluribus Unum?

Democracy is resilient and will buoyed by the conflict of our times.

Slow Burn :: How Watergate Turned America into a Nation of Conspiracy Theorists

Turns out that one, high-level conspiracy is enough to convince people that all sorts of things are plausible.

All Songs Considered :: Our Top Discoveries from globalFEST 2018

Every year I hear the highlights from globalFEST and think “I should try to go next year.” Then I forget.  Until then I can always listen to the great music on this podcast.

Radio Boston :: Accusations Against Aziz Ansari Spur Conversation Around Sexual Misconduct, #MeToo

An interesting conversation about positive consent.