THE HOLIDAY WEEKEND STARTS HERE...
...with FAVES 2022! I occasionally hear from folks who want to know what music -- from among all of the posts I do here -- I recommend. To some degree, I recommend all of it, unless I expressly write otherwise (e.g., it's not my thing, but it might be yours). With the holiday shopping season upon us, I have tried to make a list of reasonable size. It's an unordered list. I likely will have overlooked something that I really dig. Let's get to it.
THE BEATLES: You thought they broke up, and they did. But Giles Martin remixed what many consider their best allbum, Revolver, with assistance from the AI tech that Peter Jackson developed for the Get Back miniseries, and dang if it doesn't sound great, more like a reinvention of the mono mix that the Fabs cared more about at the time than the stereo mix that was more of an afterthought to them but the main way people have heard it in recent decades. Giles Martin also had a hand in CREEDENCE CLEARWATER REVIVAL At The Royal Albert Hall, which is a nifty little set. And as long as I'm htting all the big olden oldies, there's THE ROLLING STONES' Live At The El Mocambo, which features the lads getting sharp on a smaller stage than usual in the mid-70s and is a decent make-up effort for their generally uninspiring Love You Live, which only used four of these tracks.
SPOON: Maybe I missed it before, but the band seems to be getting some overdue recognition as one of the most consistently fine bands of this century. I put their last one on a Faves list, but Lucifer on the Sofa favors their more rawk tendencies and thus ranks even higher with me.
DEHD: They say you can't be a prophet in your hometown, but from here in Chicago comes a trio which on Blue Skies displays a firm grasp of classic pop melodies,with a wobbly sound grounded in post-punk, but filtered through dream pop and a bit of shoegaze to produce something sounding not quite like any of them, but quite arresting.
ANGEL OLSEN goes Americana and outright Country as successfully on Big Time as Dusty did getting Soul in Memphis. Not sure I can praise it more than that.
WET LEG's self-titled debut lives up to the hype; sharp, snotty, ever-so-cool, and full of hooks. They don't make 'em like this anymore... oh, wait.
THE SADIES: Colder Streams is a worthy legacy for the late guitarist Dallas Good, a reverb-laden collection of psych-garage leavened with the occasional dash of Americana.
THE AFGHAN WHIGS continue to enjoy a latter-day renaissance with How Do You Burn?, with haunting backup vocals from the late Mark Lanegan. The various guests also open the band's sound a bit, much like Greg Dulli's side-project, The Twilight Singers.
YARD ACT reinvigorates the classic British post-punk elements on The Overload, where pop and politics are delivered with adenoidal vocals and angular guitar lines.
ALDOUS HARDING remains pretty folky, I suppose, but Warm Chris features more experimental arrangements to compliment her quirky voice and lyrics, by turns funny and inscrutable.
BONNY LIGHT HORSEMAN's second album, Rolling Golden Holy, turns from traditional folk covers to originals with a more contemporary flavor, sometimes sounding less like the stepchild of Fairport Convention and more like a distant cousin of Fleetwood Mac. Whether that represents a sophomore slump depends on the listener, but both modes work for me.
PANDA BEAR & SONIC BOOM built Reset on a foundation of early-to-mid 60s samples, but short enough that only the Drifters and Troggs bytes recall the originals while listenting. And even then, it's a collection that carries an atmosphere more than a raw nostalgia play, as the 60s never sounded quite like this.
WILCO: Cruel Country, recorded live in-studio with minimal overdubs, is really the band's "Get Back" play isn't it? And one heightened by contrast with this year's deluxe re-release of Yankee Hotel Foxtrot.
HORSEGIRL: Speaking again of Chicago bands, VIsions of Modern Perfomance is a debut taking early-to-mid-period Sonic Youth as its most obvious jumping-off point, but through a lens of everything that came after, notably shoegaze.
LEE FIELDS: It wouldn't by one of my Faves lists without some retro-Soul. Sentimental Fool finds Fields back at Dap-Tone with a collection of mostly mid-tempo numbers, but my pick to click would be "Two Jobs." When you're in the mood for psychedelic soul, check into MONOPHONICS' Sage Motel.
THE BETHS: So, I -- and pop culture, let's face it -- have reached the age where even the 90s can pass for a classic sound. The power-pop-adjacent Expert in a Dying Field can seat neatly alongside any Juliana Hatfield or Liz Phair album of the era.
DRUGDEALER, otoh, reaches back to the 70s for their ingredients on Hiding in Plain Sight, with Steely Dan, Van Morrison, and Bill Withers comprising just a few of the many references floating in its gumbo.
ROBYN HITCHCOCK: Normally, I try to avoid the "return to form" trope, but the title of Shufflemania! begs for comparison to Fegmania! -- and if it's not quite that, there's a real vitality to this collection.
ELVIS COSTELLO, meanwhile, has been been on a run since 2018 that continues with The Boy Named If. It's not This Year's Model or Blood & Chocolate,but second-tier EC still rewards a regular rotation.
BLACK COUNTRY, NEW ROAD: I hesitated before putting this on the list, because I have to be in a certain mood for Ants From Up There. What is it? Early Arcade Fire mixed with early Okkervil River? Maybe the ghost of Ian Curtis lurking? Maybe.
Anyway, that's a fairly representative sample. On another day, maybe it would be Big Thief and Belle & Sebastian. Or Beach House and Destroyer. Or Father John Misty and Mavis Staples with Levon Helm. I might be too old for Soul Glo now, but maybe you're not. You get the idea.
A CHARLIE BROWN THANKSGIVING has been relegated to AppleTV+, as the IP gods decreed.
WKRP: "Turkeys Away," in its entirety. And here's the turkey giveaway by itself. There's a WKRP purist backstory for this episode as well.
THANKSGIVING: George Washington's Thanksgiving Proclamation (1789). It was controversial at the time.
HAPPY THANKSGIVING: Doug Sahm & Friends, Austin TX, 1972.
LET'S DANCE like a doggo is watching.
DOG v BUG: Who You Got?
CHILL LEVEL: 100 Percent.
I MEANT to do that.