Memorial Mixdiscs, First Half 2018

This is a good time for a listen back. I don’t claim this is comprehensive by any means — just favorites and you have to stop digging through the stacks at some point if you want to finish the collection. As I noted just below, this is a strong year for vets and relative newbies and if those *@!!+% Parquet Courts had allowed their disc to be copied, they would also be included. (Yes, a couple tracks are longtime delights I rediscovered recently.)


Vol One

  1. Trio Da Kali and Kronos Quartet, “Ladilikan”
  2. Gilberto Gil, “Refavela”
  3. Nik Bartsch’s Ronin, “Modul 36”
  4. Bettye LaVette, “Things Have Changed”
  5. Ry Cooder, “You Must Unload”
  6. Tracey Thorn, “Sister”
  7. Superchunk, “Break the Glass”
  8. Yo La Tengo, “Above the Sound”
  9. Lori McKenna, “You Can’t Break a Woman”
  10. Victoria, “C’Est Un Tombeur”




  1. Ben LaMar Gay, “Uvas”
  2. Ana Moura, “Fado Dancado”
  3. Superorganism, “Everybody Wants To Be Famous”
  4. Jon Hopkins, “Singularity”
  5. Laura Veirs, “Seven Falls”
  6. Mast/Monk, “Misterioso”
  7. Anita Harris, “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer”
  8. Low Cut Connie, “Hey! Little Child”
  9. Grant Green, “I Don’t Want Nobody To Give Me Nothing (Open Up the Door I’ll Get It Myself)”
  10. Ana Moura, “No Expectations”
  11. John Prine, “When I Get To Heaven” 


Check the Document, Not Yer Memory

I have to correct an error I made on this list, by not doing what the title of this post says.

The clear high point for the Swedish rocker Gasolin’ was Gasolin’ 3, not the much milder and more tentative debut.


EDIT: Correcting the Correction —


No wonder I got confused … there were two versions of their third release. One in Swedish, one in English. Baker produced both. The one that zammed me so much was Gasolin’ (period), the version with lyrics I understand.

Kronos Quartet/Laurie Anderson/Trio Da Kali

My “Fresh Air” review. Couple points: I meant to review the Trio Da Kali collaboration when it came out last fall, but life got too complicated for a while. Proved to be a good thing, though, because the Landfall pairing is excellent in a quite different way. The triumph of string groups added to diverse modern music is my theme of the year. Carl Craig’s surprise wonder was my first discovery of the series.

R.I.P.: Russ Solomon

The founder of Tower Records. The sad part is that if he had not overextended, the company might not have had such a nosedive finish.

The happy part is that Tower Records taught me how excellent a huge record/music store could be. The Mass. Ave./Newbury St. intersection that included both a three-floor Tower and the lynch pin store of Newbury Comics were my happiest hunting grounds since I discovered Cheapo back before the Earth’s crust cooled. The “World Music” section of the San Francisco store was Heaven incarnated in a forest of racks. I still recall flipping through vinyl and jewel cases for hours with a simmering, dreamy excitement.


PS: I should add that the first time I went into the Tower in Berkeley (I think it was) there was an angry demonstration-line in front of it decrying “corporate music stores.” So I thought, well probably gonna be a Top 40 hellhole. No way. I recall I saw Rock of Ages by The Band, bright and early after release, and snatched it up and have loved it ever since. You protesters are full of the residue from vinyl that they used to dump in rivers.

African Mixdisc 2017


(Includes music discovered, not released, this year)



  1. Vincent Nguini, “Spirit” (2006)
  2. Kasai Allstars, “Quick as White” (reworked by RAMZI)
  3. Oumou Sangare, “Bena Bena”
  4. Alune Was & Harold Lopez-Nussa, “Aminata”
  5. Cheikh Lo, “Jeunesse Senegal” (1999)
  6. Kondi Band, “Without Money, No Family”
  7. Awa Poulo, “Noumou Foli”
  8. Jupiter & Okwess, “Ofakombolo”
  9. Sonia Aimy, “Husband in Canada”
  10. Fabrizio Cassol, “Didodi Horns” (feat. Baba Sissoko)
  11. Bokante, “Jou Ke Ouve”
  12. Seyi Shay feat. Wizkid, “Crazy” (re-mix)
  13. Youssou N’Dour, “Jeegel Nu (Forgiveness)”
  14. Trio-Da Kali and Kronos Quartet, “Kanimba”


First 2017 Year-End Disc — “Related Internationals”


  1. David Lopato, “Ladrang”
  2. Joyce/Dori Caymmi, “Joaozinho Boa Pinta”
  3. Hermeto Pascoal, “Mavumvavumpefoco”
  4. Pandang Food Tigers, “Barely a Breath In Your Parenthesis”
  5. Sabrina Malheiros, “Em Paz”
  6. Miguel Zenon, “Academia”
  7. Lila Downs, “Urge”
  8. Anat Cohen/Marcello Goncalves,“Otra Coisa”
  9. Rudesh Mahanthappa’s Indo-Pak Coalition, “Alap”/”Snap”
  10. Amjad Ali Khan/Amaan Ali Bangash/AyaanAli Bangash/Elmira Darvarova, “Gentle Sunset” (Raga Marwa)