Like the proverbial peas and mashed potatoes, I have tried in vain to keep them separate.
I have, in years past, done my best to segregate two aspects of my music consuming personality, treating rock/pop and jazz/improvised/whatever as wholly separate entities, affording each their own list, and generally endeavouring to keep each ignorant of the other’s existence. But as anyone who has ever attempted to corral the peas and keep them free of starchy goop knows, you can’t do it; you can’t keep them apart.
So this year’s This is Our Music master list – the albums list – marks my defeat, standing as the first time that I have relented and combined both sides in one unified whole. And the catalyst was Warren Defever.
Defever, headman of His Name is Alive, has made some interesting music over the years, incorporating a wide variety of sounds, and generally displaying a pleasingly restless approach to the conventions of musical genre. But it was still all stuff I would feel comfortable filing in the Rock/Pop section (or possibly the Alternative section, if the imaginary record store in question still had such a relic). But then HNIA went and did this, leaving me with the difficult decision of which list to put it on. And that got me to thinking…
Why not a unified list? Why not the 25 recordings I enjoyed most, regardless of genre, in one complete accounting of my year as a consumer of music? Solidarity!
So that’s what I’ve done, and beginning with the next TiOM post, I’ll dive into that list – a list of pop and indie rock and disco and electronic trickery alongside a Coltrane reissue (shock!), a couple of sets of modern jazz that won’t offend the non-jazz listener, and some downright woolly free improvisation. It’s a list that accurately represents – maybe for the first time – the entire range of my interests.
PS - You feel a little guilty for laughing at that picture, don't you? You should. For more guilt-inducing hilarity, click here!