Sunday, January 5, 2020

A Music Mash of 2019:

As we ended 2019, a year of some disruption and fluidity, the music industry posted another year of deep sea streaming, while cds continuing to crawl into the past, and the sound of vinyl, showed its buoyancy and had its best year in 30 years--vinyl resurrected outsold the once mighty cd, and continued to pick up sales and loyalists. With streaming and lower cost music production equipment readily available, it was easier to make more types of music accessible both to the maker and the listener, often bypassing the traditional major record labels, and spurring on innovation,
In 2018 and 2019 we honored the 50th and 60th Anniversaries of great music of the 1950s and the 60s, when much of our innovations in genre-bending popular music began. But even Billboard, the so-called music industry bible, now in its 126th year, is changing its tune and adapting its charts of hits to today's way of musicians linking more directly to their audiences. This was a year in which musical styles and genres crisscrossed and were often disrupted, with interesting new faces, voices, and sounds emerging.
A newcomer, Billie Eilish, and her brother worked from their house to de- and re-construct popular music, using the ordinary to create a new sound that popped like magic through the airwaves, sweeping Billie into modern-day fame and fortune. DC area’s own SHAED created an infectious yet elastic “Trampoline” that whistled its way to almost continuous play.
Remixes, mashes, and covers abounded, while new super groups were cleverly founded, like I’m With Her, Better Oblivion Community Center, the Highwaywomen, and Boygenuis--all sounding joyful, playful, and fun. Rap mixed with country, classical with hip hop, jazz and rock melded, breaking down boundaries in salute to the freshness of 2019.
Here are some of the albums and songs that were among the highlights of the year (in no apparent order), and I am honored to share them with you :
Dido -- Still On My Mind
Lana Del Rey | Norman F***ing Rockwell!
Vampire Weekend – Father of the Bride
Angel Olsen – My Woman
Michael Kiwanuka -- Kiwanuka
Sharon van Etten – (Seventeen)/Are We There?
Jenny Lewis – On the Line
Maggie Rogers -- Heard It in a Past Life
Solange -- When I Get Home
Bon Iver -- I,I
Lizzo -- Cause I Love you
Highwaywomen-- The Highwomen/ The Chain
Better Oblivion Community Center -- Better Oblivion Community Center
Purple Mountain—Purple Mountain
Joan Shelley: Like The River Loves The Sea
Jamila Woods (Jagjaguwar) -- Legacy! Legacy!
Wilco -- Ode to Joy
Tyler the Creator-- Igor
Brittany Howard: Jaime
Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds: Ghosteen
Leonard Cohen – Thanks for the Dance
Burna Boy -- African Giant
Weyes Blood | Titanic Rising
Sudan Archives -- Athena
FKA twigs – Magdalene
Selena Gomez –Lose You to Love You
Rodrigo y Gabriela – Echoes
Billy Eilish --When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?/
Bad Guy
I’m With Her — Live at House of Blues (Full Set)/and for their work on Live from Here
SHAED – Melt/Trampoline
The Lumineers -- Gloria

Mavis Staples -- Change
Olivia Chaney -- Who Know Where the Time Goes (Live at Richard Thompson's Albert Hall birthday concert 30/09/2019)