And so we come to the first album I own but have never listened to. La Gigantona, an obscure album from Nicaraguan guitarist Alfonso Lovo was a blind buy, part of a binge of records from the Numero Group when they had a killer $5 sale on compact discs. And I’m happy to report that the compilation is fantastic, offering a wide range of tracks from solo classical tracks to straight up funk explorations and extended latin jazz jams that cross the universe and back again. All that plus a fat booklet of liner notes that flesh out the extraordinary life of Lovo and the music contained on the disc. Continue reading “Alfonso Lovo: La Gigantona (1976)”
I’m guessing I picked up Time Without Consequence after seeing the film Away We Go with my wife. Alexi Murdoch embodies that soft folk vibe Nick Drake chased throughout his career and became huge again thanks to that Volkswagen commercial. So sure, Murdoch is part of a larger movement that for better or worse spearheaded a massive amount of wispy bearded men plucking acoustic guitars and getting record deals, but there’s still a few gems to be had from Time Without Consequence that I can turn to without cringing. Continue reading “Alexi Murdoch: Time Without Consequence (2006)”
With Kodama, it feels like Alcest finally merged genre they were influenced by into one fully homogenized style, and to be honest I’m not 100% certain I love it. Which is not to say Kodama isn’t a very good album or that I don’t enjoy it; it is and I do. But there was something so pure about the way the earlier albums would juxtapose black metal, post rock, shoegaze and pop into these amorphous pieces that would sometimes touch and overlap, only to pull away again that I loved; in a way it reflected my own fractured way of looking at the world. Continue reading “Alcest: Kodama (2016)”
Considering how much I love music, the memories I can remember around the first time I heard something are few and far between. Maybe it’s age, my poor addled brain taken up with too many other bits to properly remember where I was the first time I heard a band. Point being, I can’t recall the exact moment I first heard Alcest, but I can recall the exact feeling I had, because it hits every time I put on Écailles de lune. Continue reading “Alcest: Écailles de lune (2010)”
If there are better songs in the discography of Al Green I’m unaware of them. That’s not because I think The Absolute Best, a 2-disc compilation ranging the entirety of Green’s stay with Willie Mitchell at Hi Records contains all that is the pinnacle of the man’s career. It’s really (and sadly) because it’s the only music I have from Al Green and everything I’ve heard elsewhere can be found on this compilation. Continue reading “Al Green: The Absolute Best (2004)”
Oh man…almost 30 years since first hearing this and it sounds just as fresh, just as vibrant, just as alive as the first time I heard it. Friday Night in San Francisco is more than just a live document of three guitar virtuosos at the top of their game; it’s a seminal work of music, astounding in its passion, technicality, and execution, and a high water mark for Al Di Meola, John McLaughin, and Paco De Lucia. It’s bar none one of my favorite records of all time, and remains for me the apex of what you can do with a guitar, unadorned, armed with only your love of making music. Continue reading “Al Di Meola, John McLaughlin & Paco De Lucia: Friday Night in San Francisco (1981)”
I knew the second the chaos of “Black Messiah” burst from my speakers Antichrist wasn’t an album I was going to come back to. This was a clear case of sequencing killing an album for me. Never mind that the 2007 album from Akercocke was (outside of the opening track) for the most part similar to the progressive death metal I loved on Words That Go Unspoken, Deeds That Go Undone. I had just discovered that there are some bands I didn’t need to follow throughout their career.
And that’s totally okay. Continue reading “Akercocke: Antichrist (2007)”