Pirate Nutcracker by Daria Nepriakhina via Realisticshots.com

Best new music 2015

It has become an annual tradition on this blog, a chore, and — increasingly — an unwelcome reminder of how infrequently I blog these days. Life is busy, and my writing energies are differently channeled, for example into academic assignments. But music remains important, and I continue to actively combat the overwhelming taste for nostalgia most middle-aged people apparently develop at some point, by regularly seeking out new recorded music.

Holly Herndon in Metahaven's video for 'Home'

Surveillance in song

Art is not a mirror to reflect the world, but a hammer with which to shape it. This statement is variously attributed to Bertolt Brecht, Vladimir Mayakovsky, Leon Trotsky and Karl Marx, and is probably apocryphal in all cases. The … [read more]

Winter Road by Pavel P. Creative Commons via Flickr

Best new music 2014

Finding the energy to write about the year’s favourite music doesn’t come as easily as it used to anymore. This year, I’ve literally left it to the last hours of 2014 and am now trying to cram it in like … [read more]

Bach Cantatas

Best new music of 2013 — Classical

To round out the year (and in customary fashion), here’s a quick post to list my favourite classical music releases of 2013. The picture above shows the box and looming contents of John Eliot Gardiner’s Bach Cantatas box set — … [read more]

Our front yard after the December 2013 ice storm

Best new music of 2013 – Rock, jazz, world, etc.

I took the picture above in our front yard this morning. Overnight, we got the ‘great ice storm of 2013,’ 12 hours of freezing rain. It downed tree limbs and whole trees, took down power lines, destroyed cars and eavestroughs … [read more]

Freshlyground Radio Africa

Listening to: Freshlyground

One of the things I miss most about South Africa is the music. It’s not that I can’t find South African music here in Canada (or order it online via Amazon). No, it’s more the pervasive musicality of the place: … [read more]

Lights 1 by Mazzarello Media and Arts via Creative Commons on Flickr

Best new music of 2012 – Classical

It’s now February, so obviously this post comes a bit later than I had originally anticipated. I will not bore you with the usual excuses, but I did discover something interesting after I posted my yearly summary of the best … [read more]

christmas stars by Flickr user mararie (Creative Commons license)

Best new music of 2012 – Rock, jazz, country, world, etc.

My listening habits this past year have continued to shift in a decidedly classical direction. Other things—particularly rock—quickly feel like unwelcome distractions now, giving me a kind of ‘instant listening fatigue.’ It’s never just one thing, but often boils down … [read more]