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Showing posts from July, 2012

Favorite Albums of 2012 (so far)

This post has been in the forefront of my mind, but somehow didn't get posted before July 1st. As I have been mining through my seemingly endless archive of new music, it is evident that 2012 has already been a fantastic year for music.  I have narrowed it down to fifteen records that made the cut so far, and I have only represented albums that were released from January through June. Unfortunately, this meant that certain albums like Aesop Rock Skelethon, Beak-S-T and Mission of Burma Unsound didn't make the cut, but they will more than likely have a spot on the year-end list. This list is also not comprehensive, as it does not feature singles, compilations or reissues that were released this year.  What I am featuring here is a distillation of the year's full-length records according to my taste, so this will not necessarily appeal to everyone, though it does feature a diverse assortment of hip-hop, garage rock, shoegazer rock, psych-folk, jazz and African-folk.


Favorite…

Concerts from the Vault: Rashaan Roland Kirk

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Summer has been in full bloom in Portland since the first week of July, so my time on the computer has been sporadic at best. Recently, I caught Bettye Lavette at the Riverfront Blues Festival, and witnessing this soul diva groove to the music and belt out old and new tunes with such enthusiasm was an awe-inspiring experience. I left feeling that there are artists out there who really feel each and every note that they are singing, who live and breathe each chord progression as it unfolds in front of the audience. They aren't in it for the money, fame or adulation, though I'm sure they aren't going to turn it down.  This is simply a passion that runs deep in their blood and surges through them, never letting up until they have created music that resonates in their soul.

This is why I am so passionate about live music. There is something about the sound, the vibrations, the groove, the beats, the melodies and the chord progressions that keep me coming back for more. I firm…