A few album ratings – Spring 2014

********* 9
The War on Drugs – Lost in the Dream (March 2014, neo-psychedelia)

********* 9
Rosanne Cash – The River & the Thread (January 2014, Americana)

********* 9
Nils Frahm – Spaces (November 2013, ambient)

********* 9
Bonobo – LateNightTales (November 2013, electric)

********* 9
Warren Haynes – Live at Bonnaroo [June 15, 2003] (June 2004, acoustic rock)

********* 9
Dada – American Highway Flower (September 1994, alt rock)

******** 8
Tycho – Awake (March 2014, ambient pop)

******** 8
Grace Potter and the Nocturnals – The Lion the Beast and the Beat (June 2012, rock)

******** 8
Ali Farka Touré & Toumani Diabaté – Ali and Toumani (February 2010, Mande folk/Songhai)

******* 7
Beacon – The Way We Separate (April 2013, indietronica)

******* 7
Katharina Franck – Zeitlupenkino (2002, singer/songwriter)
Read more A few album ratings – Spring 2014

Zeppelin update: Spotify, reissues, and session samples

Without fail, every year there are bits of Led Zeppelin news to share. In December, they finally released their catalog to Spotify. In January, Jimmy Page claimed he would start releasing remastered albums this year. This week, you can listen to sample practice recordings made during Physical Graffiti sessions.

Rough mixes from Physical Graffiti sessions
Read more Zeppelin update: Spotify, reissues, and session samples

Best Albums of 2013

My second annual list. This is mostly personal preference, but with an ear to recommend both popular and obscure (mostly rock and jazz) albums to other music lovers.

9-best-albums-2013

Top Picks

  • Bombino – Nomad (Tishoumaren, blues rock; April)
  • Charles Bradley – Victim of Love (Soul, April)
  • Daft Punk – Random Access Memories (Nu-disco, May)
  • Gregory Porter – Liquid Spirit (Vocal jazz, September)
  • Janelle Monáe – The Electric Lady (R&B funk, September)
  • Jim James – Regions of Light and Sound of God (Neo-psychedelia, February)
  • Queens of the Stone Age – …Like Clockwork (Hard rock, June)
  • Tegan and Sara – Heartthrob (Electropop, January)

Second Billing

Most of these are artists I had never heard of or given a second listen before 2013. Good music is alive and well. Read more Best Albums of 2013

BEYONCÉ 2013 video album, YouTube previews (in order)

The official Beyoncé YouTube page has posted these 30-second preview tracks (released Friday, December 13, 2013). Here they are in the order they appear on the DVD; the director(s) are listed after each song title. It’s also worth checking out the “Self-Titled” mini art features that followed the release of the album.

beyonce-sm
Read more BEYONCÉ 2013 video album, YouTube previews (in order)

Watch and share this new Pirate Bay documentary

TPB AFK: The Pirate Bay Away from Keyboard is a fascinating documentary about the three founders of said Swedish file sharing website.

Watch and share the free film on TPBAFK.tv (there’s an interesting annotated version there using LinkLib), or just stream it directly from YouTube.

tpb afk
(CC-BY Simon Klose)
Read more Watch and share this new Pirate Bay documentary