What I Listened To In 2004
A year off is invigorating. I think. Well, I’ll give it a go one more time:
Tinariwen – Amassakoul
A picture of the hopes of the Tuareg people in the Western Sahara. A mix of slinky, raw blues and primal rock’n’roll that stirs the senses (and moves the feet).
Brian Wilson – Smile
OK, so it cannot live up to 30 years of hype. Much better than expected yet much less than earth-shattering. As much as I like it, might it not have simply have been better to let it live as legend and bootleg?
Marah – 20,000 Streets Under the Sky
Philly phaves phind phormer phorm. A return to the promise of albums 1 “& 2.
The Roots – The Tipping Point
Muscular hip hop for us older farts.
Steve Earle – The Revolution Starts Now
Unfortunately, the revolution ended in November. Not Steve’s fault in this not too subtle set. “Condi Condi” is a lustful hoot.
The Songs of Warren Zevon – Enjoy Every Sandwich
Sad, what a song writing (and performing loss). Never thought I could listen to a non-Chanukah Adam Sandler performance but…. Just the right mix of sadness and joy. Does anyone have a copy of the Zevon farewell performance on Letterman – I need to see it.
Ben Harper and the Blind Boys of Alabama – There Will Be a Light
Righteous and rocking. Mostly Harper originals which I though would be a negative but is not. Great pairing. Purest form of soul music.
Iris Dement - Lifeline
A-twangin’ and a prayin’. The ultimate modern hillbilly singer does her favorite gospel tunes.
Elvis Costello – The Delivery Man
By far the best Elvis in years (faint praise). Touches down on gospel and soul, sweet ballads and rollicking rock.
Abayudaya – Music from the Jewish People of Uganda
Bet you did not know there were Jews in the land of Idi Amin. They are descendents of Ugandans who were exposed to the music in 1919 after one of their leaders became disillusioned with the Anglican church (quite a leap!). Some familiar melodies with strange accents. These people remain practicing Jews to this day. Go figure.
Loretta Lynn – Van Lear Rose
It’s the singer, not the song. She cannot write that well but the performances are great.
The Black Keys – Rubber Factory
Blues for the 21st century. A touch of Cream in some tunes.
James McMurtry and the Heartless Bastards – Live in Aught Three
A live best of. Always liked his writing and monotone singing.
And then there were:
Tony Joe White – The Heroine Buy from amazon
Robyn Hitchcock – Spooked Buy from amazon
Prince – Musicology Buy from amazon
Tom Waits – Real Gone Buy from amazon
Wilco – A Ghost is Born Buy from amazon
Patty Scialfa – 23rd Street Lullaby Buy from amazon
Drive By Truckers – The Dirty South Buy from amazon
Dr. John – N’Awlinz: Dis, Dat or D’udda Buy from amazon
Dirty Dozen Brass Band – Funeral for a Friend Buy from amazon
One last question: Why does U2 still get raves?