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Monthly Spins: January 2019

by Joe Surdna in Music

Another year dissolves and we find ourselves delving deep into late November and December releases, as well as a few I just discovered. New Year’s resolutions include possibly finishing the book I’m writing, and joining a gym and cutting out the sweets. What always astounds me at the beginning of the year is knowing that I will no doubt discover 20 or 30 albums that will move, inspire and shape my year to come, because generally I can put something on that I wore out ten years ago and [...]


  • “You’ve never heard of Haruomi Hosono?” With every music review I write, I try to learn something new. It can be anything–something about the artist, something that happened in history during the recording or even the sound of a musical instrument I’ve never heard until that moment. I learned something quite spectacular while tackling these five remastered releases from Japanese pop/rock/electronica pioneer Haruomi “Harry” Hosono. That little morsel of trivia was buried [...]
  • Monthly Spins Best Of 2018

    Best Albums of 2018 | Monthly Spins

    December 31, 2018 // 2 Comments

    I would be lying if I said that the order these albums are in has nothing to do with how many dalmes I played each one. It’s a strange year in music. Take a look at any of the Best Albums of 2018 and you’ll see the usual group think, but also lists that are all over the place. Frankly, when I look at this list in comparison to the others, I think I must be living in a parallel universe. All I know is that there is a lot of flat out brilliant work on this list and I hope you take the [...]
  • Newvelle Records | The Deep End

    December 14, 2018 // 1 Comment

    If you’re a music lover who is older than 35 or 40, you’ve probably joined the Columbia House Record Club at some point in your life. I joined for the first time back in 1976, when I was barely a teen and had just purchased my very first turntable—a Soundesign all-in-one with a BSR changer that cost me a whopping $49.95. I know it was ’76 because my first “Selection of the Month” was Bowie’s Station to Station, and that’s when it was released. To this day it’s still my [...]
  • Monthly Spins: December 2018

    December 8, 2018 // 0 Comments

    Music The Glands: The Glands File Under: Athens Indie rock reissues Released a couple of weeks ago this self-titled album is originally from 2000 and finds a fully-formed Athens, Georgia band that should have had a wider following given the fact that they pretty much define everything that is good about indie rock. A little Modern Lovers, a little American Analog Set. The leader and singer for The Glands is one Ross Shapiro, who passed away in 2016 from lung cancer. The surviving bandmates and [...]
  • by Paul Ashby It’s okay to feel nostalgia for the period that produced the Beatles’ White Album. (isn’t it?) Or maybe I’m searching for a word other than “nostalgia” — it connotes positive memories. But I may not be the best person to ask, having let my subscription to the concept lapse somewhere along the way … because I finally realized even nostalgia isn’t what it used to be. Marketing bastards co-opted it a decade or three ago. 2018-era [...]
  • Monthly Spins: November 2018

    November 22, 2018 // 0 Comments

    Music Harmony Rockets with Special Guest Peter Walker: Lachesis / Clotho / Atropos File Under: psyche, American raga Peter Walker has been playing guitar for 70 years, is a fixture in the Woodstock music scene and here plays with Steve Shelly (Sonic Youth) on drums, Nels Cline (Wilco) and Jesse Chandler and Martin Keith. I’ve now listened to this once a day for the last two weeks especially the 17 minute long Lachesis which manages to conjure a modal Miles and some John Mclaughlin. Julia [...]
  • Eniid and the Timeless Music of Joni Mitchell

    October 27, 2018 // 1 Comment

    by Angel Haggar I first met singer-songwriter Eniid Goodman four years ago at the “Writing a Song That Matters with Dar Williams” songwriter’s retreat in Garrison, NY. I was instantly drawn to her kind personality and blown away by her musical talent. As our friendship blossomed and she revealed more about her life, her story of resilience in the face of a series of tremendous trials was one that I knew would inspire hope for so many people. Likewise, her music has the ability to touch [...]
  • Monthly Spins: October 2018

    October 21, 2018 // 1 Comment

    New Stuff September dissolved so quickly it feels like only last week that I turned in the last column. I’m grateful that I have this digital gig in order to concentrate my tendency to maintain a heavy dose of looking for and discovering great music. Halloween and falling leaves. We have cold mornings on the horizon and I already have a new list started for November. This one is over flowing with astounding music, much of which is filled with surprises, spontaneity and challenging structures. [...]
  • Steve Tibbetts Life Of,  Miles Davis Bitches Brew

    September 28, 2018 // 1 Comment

    –by Paul Ashby Steve Tibbets, Life Of (ECM) Steve Tibbetts takes his time between albums. Life Of (Amazon) is the Minnesota guitarist’s first release since 2011’s Natural Causes. Causes was, and remains, a wonderment, even by Tibbetts standards. The sound? Instrumental, acoustic, free-ranging guitar that rode an impressionistic inner wave. Life Of carries on in that manner, yet extends its reach into something altogether different. It’s one of the first albums [...]
  • Monthly Spins: September 2018

    September 9, 2018 // 1 Comment

    Hamish Kilgour: Finkelstein File Under: barn owls, pudding and other tidbits Of course I’m kidding about this album being all about various puddings. Remember The Clean? Hard to forget the Kiwi sound and even better to realize that this raging geezer is still up to his neck in the pie. Crows hang out on the front lawn. Always talking and chattering in conversation. Social animals, but they’re an untidy lot. There is a ground hugging fog and some lysergic temptations. Probably not profound [...]
  • Monthly Spins: August

    August 12, 2018 // 4 Comments

    July slipped by rather quickly and here we are with a new edition of Monthly Spins for August 2018. A rather light month compared to those recently. Still, a great deal of lovely music for you to check out. Enjoy. Chancha Via Circuito: Bienaventuranza File Under: Cumbia and electronic wizardry This is what you want when someone decides to honor a traditional art form like Cumbia or Andean folk music, not a slavish field recording but bringing to a joyous and upbeat sound and taking it a few [...]
  • Zoho Music, a contemporary jazz record label you've never heard of, is producing some fantastic new music. [...]
  • Monthly Spins: July

    July 8, 2018 // 2 Comments

    A lot of rock this month, in various forms. I have to admit that finding new music each month has been something of a relief, given the relentless onslaught of obfuscation and horror in the news, but the search has given me the calm to face those things I can change and endure those that I cannot. My hope is that you’ll find some things to renew yourself on this month’s list, like the wonderfully upbeat and unique rock sounds of Flasher’s Constant Image. One note of regret is that I [...]
  • Chasing, and Finding, the Dragon in Venice

    June 15, 2018 // 0 Comments

    by Darryl Lindberg Every year-and-a-half or so, Catherine and I retreat to Venice for about a month both to enjoy a significant change of scenery and to recharge our batteries—such are they are. We have no substantive agenda other than to wander around in this fascinating, charming, culturally rich, and timeless city.  Of the few activities we do plan, music events are high on the list.  Venice is a city with a spectacular musical history, a tradition of great music and great music-making [...]
  • By Marc Phillips “The truth is, Andrew, I never really had a Charlie Parker. But I tried…and that’s more than most people ever do. And I will never apologize for how I tried.” –Terence Blanchard By now I assume that most jazz aficionados have watched Damien Chazelle’s 2014 film Whiplash. I’m a fan, especially of the final heart-pounding musical sequence, but after watching it for the first time I came away with a couple of interesting questions. First, are university jazz [...]
  • Monthly Spins: June

    June 2, 2018 // 3 Comments

    by Joe Surdna Quite a list for June. There is just so much amazing new music being made and recorded that it really makes me grateful because I can concentrate on listening instead of watching the steady drip, drip, drip of byzantine mindlessness and nincompoopery coming out of the airwaves and the internet. Take a break from the corporate truth and fascist vaudeville and let the news fade into the background and lose yourself in some amazing music. Enjoy and please leave [...]
  • by Paul Ashby After the piece had been running for about a week, I decided to do a bit of customer research and I went to the park with a translator and asked the old guys how they liked it. One of them said it was possibly a bit too loud. That’s my kind of listener. I turned the [ten CD] players down a little. Another said “I want this to be here all the time.” — Brian Eno Eno has been exhibiting immersive video, light, and sound installations since the mid-80s. Much of [...]
  • Monthly Spins: May

    May 5, 2018 // 13 Comments

    I want to thank Scot for bringing me onboard after having written for Audiostream for a year and a half. I have a simple set-up with a pair of AudioQuest Nightowl headphones and Schiiit DAC and preamp. When I’m out and about it’s Tidal driven iPhone run through an RHA DACamp L1 and a pair of RHA 20i but I’m not really a hardcore audiophile, although I would be if I could afford it. My thing is the music itself. Call me a musicphile and I have been one since I was about ten years old. The [...]
  • This is a monthly series of album reviews I will be doing for DVL Audio here in Canada. I’ll be heading out to a local record store in Vancouver, digging through the bins, and coming up with an intriguing LP to discuss here on Part-Time Audiophile. I’ll never go out with something in mind beforehand, and there is no criteria for whether it’s a new album, an old album, an out-of-print LP, electronic, classical, jazz, punk – whatever – it just has to sound good to me. I’ll come up [...]
  •   This is a monthly series of album reviews I will be doing for DVL Audio here in Canada. I’ll be heading out to a local record store in Vancouver, digging through the bins, and coming up with an intriguing LP to discuss here on Part-Time Audiophile. I’ll never go out with something in mind beforehand, and there is no criteria for whether it’s a new album, an old album, an out-of-print LP, electronic, classical, jazz, punk – whatever – it just has to sound good to me. I’ll [...]