December Listening

Alison Cotton – Behind The Spiderweb Gate (2019)

I get a lot of these reco’s from The Wire, and by the time they make it to my ears I’ve kind of forgotten what the reviewer had to say about them, or sometimes the context in which they’re recorded. True also for this one, although I remember liking another recent release of hers as well. I remember that one being somewhat Americana-focused, while this one is more of a long, sad, reverbed-out solo violin affair. It’s beautiful music.

David Granström – A Distant Color, Secluded (2019)

Another instrumental banger from the XKatedral label, a personal fav of mine. Good tunes to get lost in. Funny how it becomes harder to get lost in music as you get older, busier.


  • Lee Gamble – Exhaust (2019)
  • Maria Chavez – Plays (Stefan Goldmann’s ‘Ghost Hemiola’) (2019)
  • Pan American – A Son (2019)
  • Pancrace – The Fluid Hammer (2019)
  • People Like Us – The Mirror (2019)
  • Vaura – Sables (2019)
  • belltonesuicide – Non-Conformist (2019)
  • Lake Mary & the Ranch Family Band – Sun Dogs (2019)
  • Mount Eerie – Lost Wisdom, Pt. 2 (2019)
  • Have a Nice Life – Sea of Worry (2019)
  • Malibu – One Life (2019)
  • United Waters – Coma to Coma (2019)
  • Wobbly – Monitress
  • Empath – Active Listening: Night on Earth (2019)
  • Special Request – Offworld (2019)
  • Special Request – Vortex (2019)
  • Sunn O))) – Pyroclasts (2019)
  • Aphex Twin – Peel Session 2 / WXAXRXP30 (1995)

Dysrhythmia – Terminal Threshold (2019)

Fireworks and acrobatics. But that’s the point!

The Flying Luttenbachers – Shattered Dimension (2019)


OK but in all seriousness there is a problem that plagues almost 100% of heavy music, which is that it stays equally heavy from beginning to end, so your ear gets numb to it. You know? I want some dynamic range, or at least some songs.

drab – digging a hole to fill a hole (2019)

My dude Andrew from Lesser Glow doing some super nice trip hop / downtempo beats. Stoked to hear more of this.

American Football – eponymous (2019)

Wow, this one’s much nicer than the 2016 release. That seems to be the consensus too. It does actually feel like the emo dude talking about his grownup problems, the way that Blink album missed the mark.


I think I’m logging off with this one. Those first couple EPs sounded so exciting to me, and then over time her stuff has felt more and more like coasting, creatively. Plus all the ads for the first LP, and then the next time I see her she’s trying to sell me an Apple computer or something? Idk. High society shit.

Claire Rousay – Several Erasures (2019)

Damn, still not listening right. Excellent percussion. Real just-mic-in-a-room mix.

Shira Legmann (performer) + Michael Pisaro (composer) – Barricades (2019)

I feel like I heard another Pisaro piece a while back that was a lot of field recordings stitched together in various ways. This one is some nice mostly-solo-piano pieces.

Shasta Cults – Configurations (2019)

This was a really nice modular record, god damn it. Goes a few different places but you can listen with the same ears throughout. That’s important for instrumental music.

Reinier van Houdt – Lettres et Replis (2019)

Some solo piano pieces, drops in a pond. Lovely.

Lightning Bolt – Sonic Citadel (2019)

This is the only album I’ve heard of theirs since Ride the Skies back in ’01. Really holdin’ it down, this band! I wonder if they’re still based in PVD. This is such the Providence sound to my ears. I bet the live situation still rips real hard.

Claire Rousay – It Is Just So Much More Difficult (2019)

Nice EP-sized solo percussion release. Wish I’d listened closer tbh! Will likely come back to this on a day when I have less going on.

Caroline Polachek – PANG (2019)

Damn, really good pop songs! Damn!! New favorite.


  • The Wire Tapper 51 comp (2019)
  • New Improvised Music from Buenos Aires comp (2019)
  • Shape Platform 2019 – Sound, Heterogeneous Art And Performance In Europe comp (2019)
  • Otomo Yoshihide & Paal Nilssen-Love – 19th of May 2016 (2018)
  • Lil Wayne – Tha Carter V (2018)
  • Afrirampo – Afriverse (2018)
  • Now That’s What I Call Harsh Noise comp (2018)
  • United Waters – The Narrows (2017)
  • Moody Beach – eponymous (2017)
  • Leonard Cohen – You Want It Darker (2016)
  • Kyoka – SH (2016)
  • Aine O’Dwyer – Music for Church Cleaners Vol I & II (2015)
  • Philip Selway – Weatherhouse (2014)
  • Bohren & Der Club of Gore – Piano Nights (2014)
  • Wild Nothing – Nocturne (2012)
  • Alva Noto – Univrs (2011)
  • Baxter – Tell Me Like It Is (2010)
  • A Tribute to Joni Mitchell comp (2007)
  • Afrirampo – Kore Ga Mayaku Da (2005)
  • Rovo – Flage (2002)
  • Baxter – About This (2002)
  • Momus – Ocky Milk (2006)
  • Rovo – Sai (2001)
  • Hugo Largo – Drum (1988)
  • Sixpence None The Richer – There She Goes (1999)
  • Songs in the Key of Z comp (1963-1999)
  • Goldfinger – 99 Red Balloons (1999)
  • Cocteau Twins, Harold Budd – The Moon and the Melodies (1986)
  • SAINT PEPSI – Hit Vibes (2013)
  • Jandek – Later On (1981)
  • Save Ferris – It Means Everything (1997)
  • Pain – Wonderful Beef (1997)
  • Legendary Stardust Cowboy – Paralyzed! His Vintage Recordings, 1968-1981 (1981)
  • Lucia Pamela – Into Outer Space With Lucia Pamela (1969)
  • Raymond Scott – Soothing Sounds for Baby Vol. 1 (0-6 months) (1963)
  • Joe Meek – I Hear A New World (1960)
  • Robert Graettinger – City of Glass (1950)
  • Dexys Midnight Runners – Too-Rye-Ay (1982)

Dexys Midnight Runners – Searching For The Young Soul Rebels (1980)

Now reaching back a little more – post punk or new wave? Hard to say. So many damn horns!! Was honestly kind of expecting a little more grit. Nice tunes tho.

No Doubt – Tragic Kingdom (1995)

Haven’t heard this stuff in forever, was never a fav of mine but still fun to come back to it.

Goldfinger – eponymous (1996)

I went on a pop punk downloading spree, just to see. I still remember a few of these tracks. OK!

Rovo – Pyramid (2000)

One 43 minute dance track played with physical instruments. I think the main writer for this band is the violin player, iirc? File under Boredoms side projects (Yamamotor / guitar guy.) Their album Imago fucked me way up back in the day. P said this one sounds stressful.

Must be hard to do this stuff live, it’s so much energy.

Rodd Keith – I Died Today (1996)

Song-poem extraordinaire altho I still didn’t make it all the way thru the album.

The Cranberries – MTV Unplugged bootleg (1995)

Recorded on valentine’s day! Cute as ever. Good songs. RIP.

maudlin of the Well – Through Languid Veins (1996)

Early demo tape, good transition. Playing and writing is still spotless even way back when.

Sinéad O’Connor – I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got (1990)

Alright Sinéad, I’m ready!

This second track does kinda have a slow Celtic vibe to it, doesn’t it? Plus I Am Stretched on Your Grave is a Celtic as fuck song title.

Oh shit, this fiddle solo! Haha!

I grabbed this album for the Prince tune (haven’t really digested much of her stuff), but I’m down for the ride so far.

Oh damn this is rly good.

Wow, first time hearing her version of Nothing Compares – so different! Using chorus’d vox for the hook in the verse is a strong decision. What a funny bit of alchemy between Sinéad and Prince. Damn.

Heavy Cranberries vibes here too. Which reminds me I gotta catch up with their last album.

Leonard Cohen – I’m Your Man (1988)

Wow the 80’s! This feels like a helluva place to jump in on Cohen’s catalogue (haven’t heard anything of his before this).

This is an album that warrants repeated close listening. I guess a lot of great songwriter albums. My bad but harder and harder to do that in the 21st century!

Thelonious Monk – Solo Monk (1965)

Gotta clean out my ears a bit, plus I’m working on the couch right now and not hooked up to fancy speakers. I downloaded this one after reading a list of things Tom Waits was listening to during the making of… probably Rain Dogs?

It’s just Monk at the piano. Love it. Not much to say that hasn’t already been said about this one. Every note is hit so dang hard, lots of close dissonances, etc. etc. You know the drill. Goes down smooth.

Anthology of Dutch Electronic Tape Music: Volume 1 (1955-1966)

After six hours of ringggggggg ringggggggggggg ringggggggg this felt like whole worlds opening up.

Classic tape noise of the classy variety. Can’t get away with making stuff like this today but it’s still nice to look back.

Harry Bertoia – Sonambient Complete Collection (1970 – 1975)

Went on a concréte / electroacoustic downloading binge over the holiday so “Get fuckin’ ready!!” I tell myself as I queue up this six hour box set of large metal sculptures being played like windchimes.

Listened to a few hours on laptop speakers – man it’s really harsh! I wonder how his hearing fared while he was working on these pieces. Anyway it’s beautiful music. After a few discs my ears got fatigued, but ya inharmonic partials never sounded so good baby!!

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