Saturday, December 26, 2015

December 26, 2015 CHIRP Radio playlist (Show #278)

This week was part one of my review of my Top 50 favorite albums of 2015. I have put the rank of the selected albums in parentheses. Part two is next Saturday, 9-Noon (CST) at

9:02 AM Low • Into You • Ones and Sixes • Sub Pop (#50)

9:06 AM Pop4 • Beautiful • Summer • self-released (#49)

9:08 AM Wonky Tonk • Saffin Avenue • Stuff We Leave Behind • self-released

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

My Top 40 albums of 2015

I think I listened to more music than any year since my heyday reviewing albums for I listened to at least 175 albums at least once full through this year. Ranking them, even more than usual, was very tough and once you get past the top 14 or so, things get pretty incremental. And past 40, there are another 30 to 40 albums that I really dug. At least.

1. FFS -- FFS: The team up of Franz Ferdinand and Sparks allowed the Scottish post-punkers to expand their stylistic reach while the veteran art-poppers were freed from a singular concept and revisited many of the various approaches they have employed over the past 43 years. They found a common sensibility and knocked out a bunch of knock out songs. Even better, the vocals of Alex Kapronos and Russell Mael meshed wonderfully, and recording the album in just two weeks resulted in lively performances. This is a hook filled, varied pop-rock album of type that you don’t see too often nowadays.

2. Jessica PrattOn You Own Love Again: Pratt is a special songwriter, her numbers going from drony, folky pieces that unfold into unexpected pop songs, keyed by wonderful chord changes and resonant melodies. Her delicate finger picked guitar and reedy, engaged vocals are the best possible vehicle for her songs. The production seals the deal. This is lo-fi with a purpose, as the fidelity of the living room recordings serves to enhance the haunting qualities that these songs naturally had.

3. Kamasi Washington -- The Epic: This triple LP announces Washington and his core of fellow musicians as a major force in jazz. Conversant in both free jazz and more traditional forms, the songs cover a wide swath of sounds and emotions, all played warmly and creatively, with improvisations never overwhelming the song structures. The original compositions are exciting and the outside material is well selected. Washington wholly succeeds in bringing decades of jazz into an effort that is forward thinking and classic.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

December 19, 2015 CHIRP Radio playlist (Show #277)

9:01 AM Sparks • Christmas Without a Prayer • Christmas Without Prayer single • Lil' Beethoven

9:05 AM Sly & The Family Stone • Poet • There's A Riot Goin' On • Epic

9:08 AM Kelley Stoltz • Cut Me, Baby • In Triangle Time •Castle Face

Saturday, December 12, 2015

December 12, 2015 CHIRP Radio playlist (Show #276)

9:02 AM Sam Cooke • A Change Is Gonna Come • Portrait of a Legend 1951-1964 • ABKCO

9:05 AM Erran Baron Cohen • Dreidel • Songs in the Key of Hanukkah • Watertower

9:08 AM Lizzo • My Skin • Big GRRRL Small World • BGSW

Saturday, December 5, 2015

December 5, 2015 CHIRP Radio playlist (Show #275)

9:01 AM Sparks • The Final Derriere • The Forbidden Room •Lil' Beethoven

9:05 AM Sade • By Your Side (Neptunes Remix) • The Ultimate Collection • Epic

9:08 AM Odetta Hartman • Creektime • 222 • Northern Spy