Ask a musician - Page 2

The Year in Music 2008: How to cope with musical canon formation in an anti-matter era
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Saint Etienne's revelatory 2004 contribution to the mix series The Trip alone has turned me on to the Left Banke, Gloria Scott's neglected 1974 disco classic What Am I Gonna Do? (Casablanca, 1974) and its arranger, Gene Page, and Serge Gainsbourg's 1970 Cannabis soundtrack (Universal, 2003).

The musician as critic, if not canonist, has a long tradition in the United Kingdom: Stanley wrote for Melody Maker before forming Saint Etienne, for example. Cope might be viewed as the butch authorial corollary of Morrissey, who has waved the banner for such alternate history icons as Sparks, Klaus Nomi, and Twinkle, the latter the subject of a Stanley RPM compilation. The rock star- or DJ-as-curator trend also manifests via compilation series such as Fabric and festivals like All Tomorrow's Parties. When My Bloody Valentine curated the 2008 New York installment of ATP, to some degree the musician-as-canonist idea came full circle, as the most evasive band from the mid-to-late-'80s reappeared amid a flurry of reissues from the era. If you're frozen at the Googleplex crossroads of music circa 2008 and looking for a new old direction, it helps to ask a musician. (Johnny Ray Huston)

JOHNNY RAY HUSTON'S NEW AND REISSUE TOP DOZEN OF 2008 (IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER)

Beach House, Devotion (Carpark)

Coconut, Hello Fruity (Allone Co.)

Cut Copy, In Ghost Colours (Modular)

El Guincho, Alegranza! (XL/Young Turks)

Bruce Haack, The Electric Lucifer (Omni Recording) and "Party Machine" and "Icarus" from Haackula! (Omni Recording)

Tim Hardin, 1 (Water)

Nite Jewel, Good Evening (Gloriette)

The Present, World I See (Loaf)

Michael Rother, Fernwärme, Flammende Herzen, Katzenmusik, and Sterntaler (Water)

Arthur Russell, Love Is Overtaking Me (Audika)

Various artists, Space Oddities: A Compilation of European Library Grooves from 1975–1984 (Permanent Vacation)

Ricardo Villalobos, Vasco (Perlon)

>>MORE YEAR IN MUSIC 2008

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