Snow on branches

Best new music 2020

It’s the morning of Boxing Day, December 26, 2020, and Ontario has been back in full lock-down since midnight. At least we are avoiding the worst possible super-spreader effect of the annual shopping melee. We are ten months into the … [read more]

Instrument of Instruments

Best new music 2019

My 2019 annual write-up of the year’s best new music. I publish this post into the ether once a year to summarize what I’ve particularly liked during the last twelve months, in the hope that you might discover something new.

Courtesy of Jennifer Johannesen via Instagram

Best new music 2017

This year’s best music list comes in the middle of the Great Deep Freeze of 2017, where it’s apparently colder in Canada than at the North Pole. Winter has come. This time, I have no summary words of political, cultural … [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]

Diane Birch Bible Belt

Listening to: Diane Birch, Bible Belt

A review of Diane Birch’s Bible Belt It almost didn’t happen, my finding out about Diane Birch. My friend and coworker P. and I decided to visit our local Sunrise Records yesterday, on our way back from lunch. You know, … [read more]

Simply Red Stars

Today’s desert island disc: Simply Red, Stars

A review of Simply Red’s Stars (1991) British soul pop at its finest. Mick Hucknall came from a reggae and soul perspective, but was really always a crooner first. This is an incredibly strong collection of songs, and it’s still … [read more]

Yazoo Upstairs at Eric's

Today’s desert island disc: Yazoo, Upstairs at Eric’s

What powerful music this was, and still is. Vince Clarke, the original composer/arranger behind Depeche Mode, teams up with blue-eyed soul singer Alison Moyet, and together they create some of the most memorable, path-breaking electronic pop music ever recorded. What … [read more]

ABBA The Visitors

Listening to: ABBA, The Visitors

I’ve had a 26-year love affair with this album. This was one of the first records I bought with my own money. I was 11 or 12 when it came out. ABBA was accessible, wonderfully well-produced, very very catchy yet … [read more]