The Best Of 2014! On Second Thought…Nah.
Might as well get this out of the way. I have maintained a music blog, in one form or another, since 2008, and every year come December I compile and publish a “Best Of” list. That list has always included new releases, and over the years I have added other categories such as “Best Reissues”, “Best Rediscoveries” among a few others. It’s a list I have always looked forward to compiling. This year I have been dreading it. In preparation I glanced back at prior lists, and was shocked at how crappy they were, in general. Most of my choices have been collecting dust on the shelf, or have been “recycled” via my friendly neighborhood record joint. That was a disappointing revelation. Secondly, and perhaps just as disappointing, was the fact I really haven’t had the drive to purchase and dedicate myself to new music in 2014. I think I may have purchased 10 or so new releases in the last 11 months, so, I mean, what’s the point?
My music fund this year has gone towards the purchase of box sets, deluxe reissues, and music literature (in addition to a few horror and sci-fi books/movies/anthologies, but those are tales from another crypt!). And you know what? I’ve been extremely happy with the choices I’ve made this year, have had no regrets whatsoever. Diving head first into Underworld’s incredible electronica classic Dubnobasswithmyheadman, or discovering the sheer rock and roll exuberance and poetry of the music of Thin Lizzy, or changing my opinion on the early discography of Hall and Oats, in addition to dozens more rediscoveries, is how I spent my year. And I am happy and content and most of all totally fulfilled by my choices. I’m sure I am happier with my new Led Zeppelin reissues than I would have been with a new New Pornographers CD, although I hear it was pretty decent.
Most of you reading this maintain blogs, and have inspired a lot of my bin-diving excursions, and to you I owe a great big “Thank You!” You know who you are. Keep doing what you do. Please. What are some of the new disks I did buy that I thought were pretty good? The War On Drugs, Robyn Hitchcock, the new Simple Minds, The Woodentops, Todd Terje (album of the year, ties with the Woodentops, if you ask me), Spoon, Elbow, The Horrors…couldn’t be bothered with the new one’s by Beck, or Temples or Pixies. Was 2014 a crappy year for new music? I really couldn’t tell ya. Sorry if that disappoints, but it is what it is.
Happy Thanksgiving, though!!