150 Best Albums of 2003

There is no logical reason why this list should seem more presumptuous, self-indulgent and downright ridiculous to me than all the earlier years I’ve catalogued. Just the opposite, really — Given the sheer number of albums released (probably somewhere between 2000’s 35,516 and 2007’s 79,695 according to Billboard), the number that critics in general had… Continue reading 150 Best Albums of 2003

Collage Licks, 2004

18 years later, Department of Eagles is still easily the dullest of these three records (I checked, last week), though 18:51 of Mr. Dibbs’s “Porntablist” is quite the unbearable endurance test. (In immortal words of my friend Michael Hall when he was in Wild Seeds, “I’m Sorry, I Can’t Rock You All Night Long.”) As… Continue reading Collage Licks, 2004

Francophone Lands Licks, 2003

Post-script: Bertrand Cantant was eventually convicted of “murder with indirect intent,” and spent less than four years in prison. Three years after his 2007 release, his ex-wife committed suicide with him in the house. In 2012, he appeared on an Amadou and Miriam album. A solo set he released in 2017 charted at #13 in… Continue reading Francophone Lands Licks, 2003

Science Experiment Licks, 2003

Times change: I’d now take Tom Hamilton and pals over Themselves. Art fades: I see no trace of the middle one anywhere on the Internet. TOM HAMILTON/MIKE SILVERTON/AL MARGOLIS Analogue Smoque For an hour and 40 minutes randomly divided into 15 tracks over two discs, keyboardist Hamilton and multi-instrumentalist “sound fingerpainter” Margolis seemingly leave power… Continue reading Science Experiment Licks, 2003

Teenpop Licks, 2003

Last two times I tried to play the Becky Baeling CD (still in my house somewhere, though maybe not forever) I wasn’t hearing it at all — maybe I’ve gone deaf; more likely I was conned by her cover photo. Cooler Kids are about what I say they are; Kumbia Kings are better. COOLER KIDS… Continue reading Teenpop Licks, 2003

Country Lady Licks, 2004

Fun Fact: The next Elizabeth McQueen and the FireBrands album was an all-pub-rock-covers record, partially inspired by this review! ELIZABETH MCQUEEN & THE FIREBRANDS The Fresh Up Club No confirmation that the two songs addressed to a former love interest no longer in the band concern Asleep at the Wheeler David Sanger, who produced the… Continue reading Country Lady Licks, 2004

Latin Licks, 2003

Zemog El Gallo Beuno’s vocals don’t bother me so much anymore. The El Gran Silencio and Jenni Rivera albums (the latter of which turns out to be a tribute record, which I apparently didn’t know at the time) aren’t quite as great as I suggest here, but they’re not bad. Rivera, it saddens me to… Continue reading Latin Licks, 2003

Eccentric Electronica and Backpack Rap Licks, 2003

Now think I underrated both rap albums. Still love the techno album. PIMP DADDY NASH The New Jazz Science Orlando oddball whose seventh-grade fave rave was “Pop Muzik” by M breaks New Year’s resolutions, bites “Tom Sawyer,” pays blatant homage three times to early-’80s Prince, quotes Götterdämmerung in a film-noir cadence recalling fellow Florida Wagner buff Bob… Continue reading Eccentric Electronica and Backpack Rap Licks, 2003

3 Broklyn Beats 45s

From a column called “Singles Again” (explained here), obscure little vinyl records picked off my shelf and decoded, with years of hindsight. Broklyn Beast: “March of The Oil Barons”/”The Vampire Strikes Back” (2002) Clearly there’s a concept of historical importance here, not to mention a craft project: The label – featuring a photo of George W.… Continue reading 3 Broklyn Beats 45s

1-girl:2-boy Amerindie Trio Licks, 2003

CORDELIA’S DAD “Jane”/”Promise”/“Closing Year” Last year, in “Camile’s Not Afraid of the Barn,” these indie-rock-moonlighting Massachusetts folk festival standbys set mysterious words about beached sharks, pellet guns, Chinatown firecrackers, and the smell of dirtbikes to a riff from “Jane Says” by Jane’s Addiction. Their new three-inch CD EP leads, coincidentally, with a traditional upstate-NY ballad… Continue reading 1-girl:2-boy Amerindie Trio Licks, 2003