Tag: Contemporary Folk

1998, Music

Black Music (1998) by Chocolate Genius

It’s pretty hard to talk about this record without talking about the title. Clearly, the title is intended as some kind of statement challenging the tendencies in media to characterize certain music as “black” music, because what’s here is, for the most part, not what would be associated with “black” music in 1998 – except …

1993, Music

Julius Caesar (1993) by Smog

When we were discussing Will Oldham’s debut (as Palace Brothers) on the podcast a few weeks ago, someone said it reminded them of Smog. So I approached this record with a very different idea than what I had when I first marked it down to listen to (I knew nothing about it).

1988, Music

Lucinda Williams (1988)

I was going to say that there’s something about a debut that tempers my expectations in a way that doesn’t happen with other albums. But this record wasn’t her debut; I hadn’t realized she put out two records way, way earlier, in 1979 and 1980. So I guess the positive spin on this is that …

1993, Music

There Is No-One What Will Take Care of You (1993) by Palace Brothers

The impact of this record is dimmed a lot by time and by familiarity with Will Oldham’s career. Apparently this was initially released without credits and the sense of mystery that and the music contained herein created probably has a lot to do with this record’s reputation and the launching of Oldham’s career (as Palace …

1973, Music

Lifemask (1973) by Roy Harper

Lifemask finds Harper pulled in two different directions after Stormcock, which I assume is his best album; on the one hand retreating from its ambitious format on side A but doubling down on side B. The arrangements are also more elaborate, on the whole, than on that previous record.

1968, Music

Did She Mention My Name? (1968) by Gordon Lightfoot

This is my first experience of Lightfoot outside of hearing 5 or so songs of his ad nauseum on Oldies Radio when I was a kid. I guess I associated those songs with my childhood and so I’ve never had an urge to explore his oeuvre. Reading about this record, I was shocked to find …

1987, Music

At My Window (1987) by Townes Van Zandt

Though I know of the legend of Townes, I’ve seen the documentary and I’ve heard a fair number of songs through covers, this is only the second album of his I’ve ever managed to get to. And so I cannot evaluate it against his other records,except for the one I’ve heard. That one, his debut, …

1967, Music

Songs of Leonard Cohen (1967)

I was not alive when Leonard Cohen was a minor Canadian poet and not a singer-songwriter so I don’t know what kind of shock it would have been for us Canadians to hear this record. But I can speculate; I suspect it was greeted in some quarters with sneers though it might be hard to …

1997, Music

Joya (1997) by Will Oldham

Though I have heard far from all – not even half – of Will Olham’s music, I think it’s safe to say that Oldham is one of my favourite songwriters to debut in the 1990s. He may be my favourite. Something about his lyrics connect we me, even though I don’t always recognize his situations, …

1996, Movies

What Would The Community Think? (1996) by Cat Power

This is a solid collection of rootsy indie music. Her songs are strong and the arrangements are idiosyncratic, albeit not anywhere near as idiosyncratic as was becoming common in the indie world. I have always thought I should get into Cat Power but, though I like this record, I find it kind of innocuous. It’s …

1995, Music

Wrecking Ball (1995) by Emmylou Harris

Sometime in the ’00s we became inundated with new releases from established roots and country stars with an alternative take on their music and their legacy, most famously helmed by producers like Rick Rubin and T Bone Burnett. I think this might have been first. (I honestly do not know if it was or not.)