Friday, December 19, 2014

Music Library Compilations: Us, Ws, Ys, Zs, and #s

HOLY COW, this is almost the end of this incredibly long journey. I started reviewing everything in my music library in February 2008, when my 9-almost-10-year-old son was a 3-year-old. At that point, my whole library was, as I said at the time, 250 Gigs, 140-odd days, 47,000+ songs. After continuing ripping CDs and vinyl, vigorous music purchasing, and trading music with friends, my library is currently 518 GB, 221-odd days, and 80,000+ songs. And with this post, it is about 98% listened to and reviewed. Following this post, I have to catch up with albums bought over the last 18 months or so, and then I'm done. Coming soon: a book about how an easy-seeming project wound up taking 7 years to complete and drove me stark raving mad. On second thought, that may be a boring book.

The Unaccompanied Voice: An A Capella Compilation (2000). Too much a cappella! But the Richard Buckner/P.W. Long collaboration on "Ain't No Grave Can Hold My Body Down" is fantastic.

Uncut Presents: Highway 61 Revisited Revisited (2005). Solid choices for a Dylan tribute here: Drive-By Truckers, Paul Westerburg, Dave Alvin, Handsome Family, American Music Club.

United States Of Punk (rel. 1998). Cheapo collection of live versions of punk classics. Good songs, though.

Until The End Of The World Original Soundtrack (1991). Soundtrack to a decent Wim Wenders movie with well-chosen music (outside of U2).

Where The Pyramid Meets The Eye: A Tribute to Roky Erickson (1990). Such a great tribute album. This is where I first heard Roky's brilliant songs, and the artists here are very well chosen. I started listing the good ones but realized I was just listing almost all of them.

White Bicycles: Making Music in the 1960s (rel. 2006). Accompanying legendary producer Joe Boyd's autobiography, this compilation features some of the albums and tracks he worked on in the late 1960s, including Pink Floyd's "Arnold Layne" and a boatload of Brit-folk.

White Riot Volume Two: A Tribute To The Clash (2003). This is another Uncut compilation with Stiff Little Fingers, Sparks, Waco Brothers, Cracker, and Billy Bragg.

The Wire: "...And All the Pieces Matter." - Five Years of Music from the Wire (rel. 2008). Soundtrack to the greatest work of television to date.

Works In Progress: Rubber Records Sampler 2007. Another group of inoffensive but uninspiring group of songs from a label I don't know much about.

The World is a Wonderful Place: The Songs of Richard Thompson (rel. 1985). The American tribute album to Richard Thompson had a bunch of dissimilar artists cranking the hell out of some RT songs. This one has mostly polite Brit-folkers mostly politely Brit-folking in the proximity of some RT songs. The saving grace is the previously unreleased eponymous song by Richard and Linda Thompson.

Yo Gabba Gabba! Music Is Awesome (2009). Kinda obnoxious, but one of the better children's show when my kids were preschooling age. I bought the album then and can't quite bring myself to delete it now, although I think the odds that I'll ever listen to it again are nil.

You Thrill My Soul!: Female and Girl Groups from the Early Stax Sessions (rel. 1995). Collection of early Stax singles much more from the girl group genre than Stax's eventual R&B/soul sound.

The 3rd Annual IODA SXSW Opening Day Bash Sampler (2007). Freebie from eMusic with fair-to-middling tracks and one standout.

The 7 Inch Wonders of the World (1986). SST collection of a bunch of early singles and EPs by Black Flag, the Minutemen, Meat Puppets, Husker Du, Wurm, and LA Overkill.

1995 Sugar Hill Sampler. Freebie collection from the bluegrass label.

2006 Pitchfork Music Festival Sampler, 2007 Pitchfork Music Festival Sampler, and 2008 Pitchfork Music Festival Sampler. Since the Pitchfork Festival is generally well-curated, these are also pretty well-curated. Neat, huh?


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