A christmas wreath consisting entirely of round ornaments. December 2018

Best new music 2018

2018 was another year full of outrageous distractions, the misconfigurations and abuses of the public sphere relentlessly encroaching on whatever space one tried to carve out for thinking, experiencing beauty or getting some rest. A year to test our commitments, … [read more]

Nathan Phillips Square, Toronto, December 2016

Best new music 2016

As 2016 plowed on, it revealed itself as an annus horribilis. Many of the world’s temporarily dormant or subdued evils really came alive this year, and there’s no need to enumerate them here. Music lost more than a few important … [read more]

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.

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]

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]

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]

Best new music of 2011

Thought I’d get an early handle on my best-of-the-year list this time around. I’ve blogged surprisingly little about music in 2011. That doesn’t mean that I listened any less, or less attentively. In fact, audio-wise, it was just this past … [read more]

Myriam Alter Where Is There

Listening to: Myriam Alter, Where Is There

A review of Myriam Alter’s ‘Where Is There’ (2007) Myriam Alter is one of those musicians about whom the Internet seems to know very little. What Google manages to dig up more or less tells the same story: Alter hails … [read more]