On (and off) the playlist, or listening since July 2011

It’s two months shy of a year since I last posted an “On the playlist” column. A year!

I’m thinking back to what was happening in my life these past 10 months that would prevent me from posting, and the only thing that comes to mind — aside from moving from one part of the country to another — is work. Did my last job suck so much time and energy that I couldn’t bring myself to write? The answer would have to be yes. The scant entries written after I started that job sure seem to mention as much.

My posting record since moving to Seattle hasn’t improved greatly, although in my defense I did move blogging platforms and redesign the site. The current job is also keeping me busy, but it’s not the firehose of the last one.

So for this first “On the playlist” column in 10 months, I’m listing it all — everything that’s cycled on and off the Winamp playlist since the last column. At least, everything I can remember. And we’ll split it between pre- and post-move, starting with the latter …

After the move

  • ACO, LUCK For LUCK, ACO strips down the acid jazz that started her career to something less electronic and more live.
  • Adele, 21 See Favorite Edition 2011: Quarter Final.
  • Arvo Pärt, Tabula Rasa It took eMusic long enough to get this first installment of the ECM New Series in its inventory.
  • ASIAN KUNG-FU GENERATION, BEST AKG This release is ideal for people who like ASIAN KUNG-FU GENERATION but do not love them. And a digital version is available on Amazon US to boot.
  • Do As Infinity, TIME MACHINE The singles from EIGHT were far catchier, but this third album since the duo’s comeback is no slouch.
  • Explorer Series: Bali, Music for the Shadow Play I’ve got a Balinese gamelan sample library, and I’m listening this album as homework.
  • Emerson String Quartet, American Contemporaries Emerson may not be Kronos in its commitment to modern music — i.e., exclusive — but I have been impressed with the contemporary works in its repertoire.
  • Explosions in the Sky - Travels in Constants, Vol. 21: The RescueExplosions in the Sky, Travels in Constants, Vol. 21: The Rescue This limited edition release makes me wish Explosions in the Sky worked as quickly as they did on this recording — eight days.
  • FLiP, XX Emotion The rough edges of FLiP’s indie days have been polished away, but that doesn’t stop XX Emotion from having teeth.
  • Guided By Voices, Let’s Go Eat the Factory Eh, I think I’ll wait for Class Clown Spots a UFO.
  • Jeremy Denk, Ligeti/Beethoven Yeah, somehow pairing Györgi Ligeti’s Etudes with Beethoven’s final piano sonata works.
  • John Lunn, Downtown Abbey See Favorite Edition 2011: Quarter Final.
  • Various Composers, From Here on Out (Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Orchestra/Edwin Outwater, conductor) Edwin Outwater is hot.
  • Kronos Quartet, Music of Vladimir Martynov Joan Jeanrenaud returns! The pieces on this album seem to channel Henryk Górecki without any of the sonorities that make Górecki interesting.
  • Edwin Outwater/Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony - From Here on OutKrzystzof Penderecki/Jonny Greenwood, Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima / Popcorn Superhet Receiver / Polymorphia / 48 Responses to Polymorphia Edwin Outwater is still hot.
  • Lana del Rey, Born to Die I’ll just quote my Tweet: So this is what it would sound like if Hope Sandoval of Mazzy Star woke up.
  • LOSTAGE, CONTEXT I’ve really been missing out on LOSTAGE, haven’t I?
  • The Magnetic Fields, Love at the Bottom of the Sea The Magnetic fields are hit and miss with me, but this one is a hit.
  • Molotov, Desde Rusia con Amor I don’t think I’ve ever encountered a live album that didn’t crossfade the crowd noise between tracks.
  • OBLIVION DUST, 9 Steps of Bipolar This album seems watered down, but the writing is a lot better than the self-titled comeback in 2008.
  • Rufus Wainwright, Out of the Game This album won’t erase memories of Poses or Want One, but it’s better than Release the Stars.
  • Sacha Sacket, Viscera Sacha Sacket produced 35 tracks in his bid to pull a Jonathan Coulter, and I think it demonstrates there something to the editing process.
  • Santigold, Master of My Make-Believe This album won’t grab you by the throat like her self-titled debut, but it does seep into your consciousness after a while.
  • Sugar, File Under Easy Listening Something of a souvenir purchase after I saw Bob Mould talk about his autobiography.
  • Tokyo Jihen, Tokyo Collection “OSCA” still does it for me.
  • Tokyo Jihen, color bars Not a very triumphant conclusion for the band.

Before the move

  • Björk, Biophilia See Favorite Edition 2011: Quarter Final.
  • Cocco, The Best Ban “Gunjou no Tani” is really essential.
  • CHARA, Utakata CHARA seems to swing between rocking out and drawing in, this releases pulling toward the latter.
  • darren_hayes_-_secret_codes_and_battleshipsDarren Hayes, Secret Codes and Battleships How the hell did I end up being a Darren Hayes fan?
  • Death Cab for Cutie, Codes and Keys See Favorite Edition 2011: Quarter Final.
  • Everything But the Girl, Idlewild A very good entry from early Everything But the Girl, but if you put Amplified Heart on a pedestal, you might not impressed.
  • Fugazi, 13 Songs See Favorite Edition 2011: Quarter Final.
  • Gregory Spears, Requiem See Favorite Edition 2011: Quarter Final.
  • Idle Warship, Habits of the Heart Has Res but does not resemble a Res album.
  • itsnotyouitsme, Everybody’s Pain is Magnificent See Favorite Edition 2011: Quarter Final
  • John Legend, Get Lifted He opened for Sade, and I really liked his show.
  • Jordan Knight, Unfinished It’s not his self-titled solo album from 1999, but it’s a decent companion to Secret Codes and Battleships.
  • Kate Bush, 50 Words for Snow Kate finally gives into her prog rock urges.
  • Matt Alber, Constant Crows See Favorite Edition 2011: Quarter Final.
  • Nirvana, Nevermind (Deluxe Edition) Sometimes these deluxe editions provide insights to the recording, and this one doesn’t quite do it. I did, however, go for the cheapest package that didn’t include Butch Vig’s mixes.
  • NOW Ensemble - AwakeNOW Ensemble, Awake One of four New Amsterdam releases that just grabbed my attention and did not let go.
  • Michael Nyman, String Quartets Nos. 1-3 (Balanescu Quartet) See Favorite Edition 2011: Quarter Final.
  • Paul Simon, Graceland and The Rhythm of the Saints Sony Legacy reissued the remastered versions originally released by Rhino, and I was unaware.
  • Philip Glass, Symphony No. 3 I remember liking this work when I was listening to it, but now I can’t remember what drew me to it.
  • Shiina Ringo, Carnation Did Tokyo Jihen really break up?
  • Simple Minds, Once Upon a Time See Favorite Edition 2011: Quarter Final.
  • Smashing Pumpkins, Gish (Deluxe Edition) See Favorite Edition 2011: Quarter Final.
  • Steve Reich, Remixed 2006 and Sextet/Six Marimbas Yeah, I was trying to burn some eMusic credits.
  • Steve Reich, WTC 9/11 / Mallet Quartet / Dance Patterns See Favorite Edition 2011: Quarter Final.
  • The Drums, Portamento Sorry, sophomore slump.
  • The Smiths, Complete See Favorite Edition 2011: Quarter Final.
  • The Tiger Lilies and Kronos Quartet, The Gorey End See Favorite Edition 2011: Quarter Final.
  • The Young Professionals, 09:00 to 17:00, 17:00 to Whenever I was really eager to hear an Ivri Lider album in English, but I’m not sure this is it.
  • TOUMING MAGAZINE, Bokutachi no Soul Music This band’s resemblance to NUMBER GIRL should annoy me if only I didn’t miss NUMBER GIRL so much.
  • U2, Achtung Baby (Deluxe Edition) See Favorite Edition 2011: Quarter Final.