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Saturday, December 27, 2014



Presented for your approval, in semi-strict alphabetical order so as not to show any undue payola favoritism, is Jeffrey Morgan’s 2014 Top Ten List Of Records as they appear on my official ballot for this year’s Village Voice rock critics poll, which I’ve been voting in annually ever since Robert Christgau was kind enough to give me the nod five decades ago. In other words, and I’ve got a million of ’em, these are my Sizzling Platters Of The Year, all of which deserve repeated spins on your Victrola.

01 :: The 24th Street WailersWicked (self released) :: Four on the floor supercharged rock ’n’ roll? Fused with the power of the blues? The greatest liner notes you’ll read this year? Boy howdy!

02 :: BackhandThrough The Turbulence (Melodic Revolution) :: Tune in and turn on as this trippy synth-soaked progressive rock experiment takes you out of your head and then some.

03 :: The Empty HeartsThe Empty Hearts (429 Records) :: Exuberant old style rockin’ power pop that’ll have you feeling young’r than you’ve ever been.

04 :: Jimmy GreeneBeautiful Life (Mack Avenue) :: Not since John Coltrane’s latter day discs of inner discovery has there been such a heartfelt spiritual saxophonic display of enlightening audible luminosity that’s guaranteed to infuse your heart with hope.

05 :: The Jerry Cans“Aakuluk” (Boycott Northmart Records) :: They state that their sound is a “unique mix of Inuktitut country swing, throat singing, and reggae” so who am I to say nay when this exulting album excels at being one of the greatest avant toe tappers I’ve heard in decades. Were this 1976, they’d be on Island produced by Eno.

06 :: Martha JohnsonSolo
One (Muffin Music) :: You know Martha as the voice of the Muffins, most memorably on their “Echo Beach” single, but this new intelligent and elegant album elevates her already iconic voice into an even more resonant state of sublime emotive evocation that’s full of verve and swerve.

07 :: Marco MinnemannEEPS (Lazy Bones Recordings) :: Marco Minnemann plays the drums like Jeff Beck plays the guitar, which pretty much tells you all you need to know about this unreasonably hypersonic session that sounds like a kinetic cross between Todd Rundgren and Frank Zappa performing their most visionary and volatile audio pyrotechnics.

08 :: Betty MoonAmourphous (Evolver) :: Years ago I pegged Betty as a “heavy hard rockin’ revolutionary hellion who’s got a slinky ’n’ sly predatory eye on your dangling prize” and this new long player of hers more than ably props up that profile by producing an even more swaggering shot of style, if that’s possible—and it most certainly is.

09 :: Mr. Airplane ManLong Lost! The Unreleased Fat Possum Sessions (Moanin’ Records) :: Wherein my two favorite blues-beltin’ babes are back with a forty minute ten tracker that should’ve come out eons ago but is well worth the wait. If you only listen to one snaky slide guitar session while waiting for your midnight crossroads appointment to arrive, make sure it’s this one.

10 :: Various Artists24 Classic Blues Songs From The 1920s Volume 11 (Blues Images) :: For years I’ve been bending your ear about John Tefteller’s annual Blues Images calendars, each one of which is accompanied by a long player of vintage historical 78 rpm tracks. Well, consider this a friendly reminder that it’s high time you went to and found out for yourself why the 2014 edition made my Top Ten list. Better yet, go there now and start the new year right by buying their 2015 wall calendar and getting a head start on hearing why the accompanying Volume 12 disc is bound to be glorified on next year’s Top Ten list!

Be seeing you!

Sat, December 27, 2014 | link 

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