2nd Quarter Top 15, 2014

You get too far into the 3rd Quarter of a year before you settle on 2nd Quarter picks and you look like a nut. So, even though I’m not quite ready with what I have to say about these, here’s the list. Affections vary from platonic to irrational, but these are albums I play all the way through, one or two lesser tracks at most. Release dates are not exact — these are albums I assimilated in the second four months of this year, and they are at least close to release and some came out maybe a bit earlier. And of course no opinion is fixed — indeed, Miles To Go regulars will immediately note that I proclaimed one the these picks a “bummer” not that long ago. Shows why, sometimes, you need to keep re-listening.

1. Dave Alvin and Phil Alvin, Common Ground — Dave Alvin & Phil Alvin Play and Sing the Songs of Big Bill Broonzy (Yep Roc)

2. Clarice Assad, Imaginarium (Adventure Music)

Assad

3. Bahamas, Bahamas Is Afie (Brushfire)

4. Benyoro, S/T (Benyoro)

Benyoro

5. Boris, Noise (Sargent House)

6. Eno/Hyde, High Life (Warp)

7. Golem, Tanz (Corason)

8. Fred Hersch Trio, Floating (Palmetto)

Hersch

9. Miranda Lambert, Platinum (RCA)

10. Arto Lindsay, Encyclopedia of Arto (Nspy)

11. Parquet Courts, Sunbathing Animal (What’s Your Rupture)

12. Juanito Pascual, New Flamenco Trio (self-released)

13. Sharon Van Etten, Are We There (Jagjaguwar)

14. Wray. S/T (Communicating Vessels)

Wray

15. Neil Young, A Letter Home (Reprise)

4 thoughts on “2nd Quarter Top 15, 2014

  1. Stunned, staggered and bestartled at your revision of the Alvins. Very cool. I find it to be the kind of record where more is definitely better. They take small quality tools (Dave’s voice + Phil’s voice too + mostly acoustic guitar + harmonica + not anywhere close to the greatest songs in the world) add a few embellishments, pack/repack/and repack again and end up with great variety where there really shouldn’t be much at all. I would be curious to know what your initial reservations were and what was it about the record that overcame them. Since you have nothing else to do.

  2. Well, that’s the target for tomorrow — start going through the alphabet, no promises how many I’ll cover, and try to give an explanation of my opinions ….

  3. That Neil Young is a grower for me too. The choices of songs makes it top notch the audio (the gimmick) docks it several notches backwards. If only they’d “discover” the alternate tapes they made with twenty first century equipment and release them NY Archives Vol. 20.

  4. No denying that it’s a stunt. And a perverse one, at that — coming from Mr. Hi Fidelity. Still, Young has been obsessive/meticulous about sound for as long as I can remember. (The precise blur on “Tonight’s the Night” remains a wonder.) So I got agnostic about it and, as you say, went with the songs. I mean, who the hell else is gonna cover “Needle of Death” nowadays?

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