Sunday, December 27, 2020

December 27, 2020 CHIRP Radio Playlist (Show #546)

9:01 AM Alice Bag • The Sender Is Blocked • Sister Dynamite • In The Red

9:03 AM Close Lobsters • Bird Free • Post Neo Anti Arte Povera in the Forest of Symbols • Last Night From Glasgow/Shelflife

9:07 AM Macie Stewart & Lia Kohl • PERFECT (EVERY TIME) • Recipe for a Boiled Egg • Astral Spirits

9:14 AM Maria McKee • Effigy of Salt • La Vita Nuova • Fire

Saturday, December 26, 2020

December 26, 2020 CHIRP Radio Playlist (Show #545)

9:00 AM Waxahatchee • Fire • Saint Cloud • Merge

9:03 AM Bill Fay • Time's Going Somewhere • Countless Branches • Dead Oceans

9:06 AM Growing Concerns Poetry Collective • Breaking • BIG DARK BRIGHT FUTURES • self-released

9:13 AM Bill Callahan & Bonnie "Prince" Billy • I've Been the One (feat. Meg Baird) • single • Drag City

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

My top albums of 2020

Music was more necessary than ever in 2020, and some albums were prescient, while others were created because musicians were stuck at home and couldn't help but create. I listened to more new releases than ever before, as I was home at my computer constantly. As always, the rankings are looser as the numbers get bigger. Because I listened to so much stuff, I went all the way to 60 albums on this list, and there are at least 20 or 30 that could have made the list had I made it at some other time.

1. Bob DylanRough and Rowdy Ways (Columbia): Much as Dylan’s 2001 album Love & Theft was a salve in the wake of 9/11 (the album came out on that tragic day), this album is just right for 2020. Part of it is because like its 2001 predecessor, this is an album where Dylan hits on a mix of blues, folk, and standards, with a relaxed presence, showing off his sense of humor in spots, and on the powerful “A Murder Most Foul”, an epic sweep that confirms that his artistic powers can still reach the highest heights. This is enduring, classic music, full of feeling, ideas, and empathy.
2. Rina SawayamaSAWAYAMA (Dirty Hit): After a strong EP, this Japanese-British singer hit a whole other level on this superb pop album. Critics took note of the strong ‘90s vibes, from the propulsive pop blended, at times, with metallic guitars. The songs slam and Sawayama is a really strong singer. What really elevates these catchy numbers are Sawayama’s smart, direct lyrics, with her commentaries on racism, community, consumerism, and other topics, consistently sharp on every song.
3. Songhoy BluesOptimisme (Fat Possum): This quartet from Mali is simply explosive, and their third album shows them crossing over into nearly straight ahead rock more than ever. There’s plenty of their blend of sub-Saharan desert blues and Afropop, with a few songs having some straight ahead rock riffing. As the album title indicates, these are songs of hope. The songs move, the performances are passionate, and Garba TourĂ© is a true guitar hero for this age.

Sunday, December 20, 2020

December 20, 2020 CHIRP Radio Playlist (Show #544)

9:00 AM Calexico • Peace of Mind • Seasonal Shift • ANTI-/City Slang

9:04 AM Tasha • Love Song • Simply Having a Wonderful Compilation • Father/Daughter

9:07 AM Ohmme • There Goes a Tenner • Warm Violet: A Compilation for Chicago Community Jail Support • self-released

9:14 AM Sharon Van Etten • Blue Christmas • single • Jagjaguwar

Saturday, December 19, 2020

December 19, 2020 CHIRP Radio playlist (Show #543)

9:01 AM Vashti Bunyan • Coldest Night of the Year • Some Things Just Stick in Your Mind • Fat Cat

9:05 AM Josh Kimbrough • Sledding Down Spring Valley • Yule Chime • Tompkins Square

9:07 AM Jenny Lewis & Serengeti • Unblu • single • Loves Way

9:14 AM Doleful Lions • To All a Goodnight • single • self-released

Sunday, December 13, 2020

December 13, 2020 CHIRP Radio Playlist (Show #541)

9:00 AM Mahalia Jackson • He's Got The Whole World In His Hands • The Essential Mahalia Jackson • Columbia/Legacy

9:03 AM The Clash • The Sound of the Sinners • Sandinista! • Epic

9:07 AM Atmosphere • Blotter Acid Reflux Syndrome • The Day Before Halloween • Rhymesayers

9:13 AM H.C. McEntire • 'Til I Get It Right • single • Merge

Saturday, December 12, 2020

December 12, 2020 CHIRP Radio Playlist (Show #540)

9:00 AM A.C. Newman • Do Your Own Time • Shut Down the Streets • Matador

9:05 AM Rhiannon Giddens • Underneath the Harlem Moon • Factory Girl • Nonesuch

9:09 AM Rob Mazurek & Exploding Star Orchestra • Abstract Dark Energy (Parable 9) • Dimensional Stardust • International Anthem/Nonesuch

9:14 AM Anjimile • Waverly • The Baby Reimagined • Grand Jury

Saturday, December 5, 2020

December 5, 2020 CHIRP Radio playlist (Show #539)

9:01 AM Stevie Wonder • Evil • Music of My Mind • Tamla

9:04 AM Cate Le Bon • Julia • Cyrk • The Control Group

9:07 AM Alayne May • Hold Someone Closely • single • self-released

9:14 AM Death Cab for Cutie • Fall on Me • The Georgia E.P. • Good Music