Musoscribe’s Best of 2020
Happy Last Day of 2020. What a strange, unprecedented, generally awful year. But it certainly had its high points, and music is among them. In a year when it soon became reasonable to wonder if we’d have much in the way of new music, we found ourselves with an embarrassment of riches. In years past, I’ve devoted several days’ worth of posts to recounting my year’s faves; this time I’m doing it all in a single day, with links. If you find my perspective on music at all valuable, you’d do well to explore these albums. Support the artists!
Here we go, in no particular order…
New Album Releases
- The Greek Theatre – When Seasons Change
- Smoke Fairies – Darkness Brings the Wonders Home
- Strand – Can’t Trust the Rain
- The Third Mind – s/t
- Explorers Club – To Sing and be Born Again
- Holy Hive – Float Back to You
- Fantastic Negrito — Have You Lost Your Mind Yet?
- Mrs. Fun – Truth
- Professor and the Madman – Séance
- Marshall Holland – Paper Airplane
- Erk – When Night Meets Day
- Johnny Iguana – Johnny Iguana’s Chicago Spectacular! (review coming in January)
- Gretchen’s Wheel – Such Open Sky (review coming in January)
- The Neptunas — Mermaid-A-Go-Go
- Nick Mason’s Saucerful of Secrets – Live at the Roundhouse
- Eleanor Underhill – Land of the Living
NOTE: Two releases this year both deserve placement near the top of my best-of list, but are disqualified on a technicality: they’re EPs, not albums. Nonetheless, I recommend both The Lickerish Quartet’s Threesome Vol. 1 and Semisonic’s You’re Not Alone in the most enthusiastic terms possible.
- Velvert Turner Group – s/t
- Iron City Houserockers – Have a Good Time But … Get Out Alive!
- Marvin Gaye – More Trouble
- Nat Turner Rebellion – Laugh to Keep From Crying
- Little Richard – The Rill Thing (review coming soon)
- Van Duren – Are You Serious? (read more about Van here)
- Doug McKechnie – San Francisco Moog
- Wilco – Summerteeth (feature/interview coming soon)
- Miles Davis — Birth of the Cool OST
- Various Artists — Still Disturbing the Peace (my book about 415 Records is coming in 2021)
- and quite likely the winner: The Krayolas — Savage Young Krayolas
- Ben Sidran – The Ballad of Tommy LiPuma
- David Menconi – Step it Up and Go: The Story of North Carolina Popular Music
- Laurence Myers – Hunky Dory (Who Knew?)
- Andy Neill – Ready Steady Go! The Weekend Starts Here
- Derrick Bang – Crime and Spy Jazz on Screen Since 1971
Best wishes for a happy and healthy 2021. And as always, thanks for reading.