Rich Allen Poop 2020


Favorite Things ~ 2020 ALBUMS

Buy Inventions ~ Continuous Portrait New or Used via Amazon    Buy New or Used via Amazon    Rent via iTunes [?]
Inventions ~ Continuous Portrait (Temporary Residence)
Eluvium + Explosions in the Sky = electronic music! Filled with warm timbres and snippets of relatable dialogue, the album offers an essential calm. Choirs, mourning doves, children’s toys and shop door bells make welcome appearances. The scratchy vinyl sample of “The Warmer the Welcome” offers the past as comfort: they got through it, we’ll get through it too.

Buy Botany ~ End the Summertime F(or)ever New or Used via Amazon    Buy New or Used via Amazon    Rent via iTunes [?]
Botany ~ End the Summertime F(or)ever (Western Vinyl)
As political rhetoric overheats along with the globe, Botany turns the fever into the year’s best sonic collage: political commentary dressed in curtains of hip-hop and dance.

Buy Max Richter ~ Voices New or Used via Amazon    Buy New or Used via Amazon    Rent via iTunes [?]
Max Richter ~ Voices (Decca/Deutsche Grammophon)
This elegant suite arrived in the midst of global struggles for human rights, from Hong Kong to Minneapolis. Eleanor Roosevelt leads the listener into waves of strings and multi-language readings of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. An instrumental disc is included in the physical edition. On its own, the music possesses new poignancy, and invites us to listen all over again.

Buy KASHIWA Daisuke ~ program music III New or Used via Amazon    Buy New or Used via Amazon    Rent via iTunes [?]
KASHIWA Daisuke ~ program music III (Virgin Babylon)
program music (2007) remains a classic, so when program music II was released nine years later, many fans were surprised, excited, and ultimately disappointed. But what a comeback Daisuke makes with program music III! Returning to the template of the first album, III is one extended, consistently morphing track, traveling from ambience to breakbeat to fractured rhythm to rap and song.

Buy The Hamrahlíð Choir ~ Come and Be Joyful New or Used via Amazon    Buy New or Used via Amazon    Rent via iTunes [?]
The Hamrahlíð Choir ~ Come and Be Joyful (One Little Independent)
This 52-member choir accompanied Björk on both disc and tour; the teenaged Björk was a member. The new album is comprised of Icelandic folk songs plus two Björk covers. The golden highlight: “Vísur Vatnsenda-Rósu,” last heard on Homogenic Live and (way) before that, Hector Zazou’s Songs from the Cold Seas. Sublime.

Rent VeldHans ~ The Becalming via Amazon    Rent via Amazon    Rent via iTunes [?]
VeldHans ~ The Becalming (Great Waters/One Acre Recordings)
The family in the video is happy; might we be happy too? Maybe by gathering around with a few loved ones and playing our favorite records. It’s not a concert or a festival, but it’s definitely love, and love will see us through ~ love for music, love for each other, love for what we still have, no matter what the circumstances may be.

Buy Joris Voorn ~ Rotterdam: Global Underground 43 New or Used via Amazon    Buy New or Used via Amazon    Rent via iTunes [?]
Joris Voorn ~ Rotterdam: Global Underground 43 (Global Underground)
Over a hundred tunes in a two-disc mix, culled from what would have been a ten-hour mix had all the songs been played back to back. By this time next year, we pray that the clubs will be open again. But for now, this is the next best thing: a DJ at the top of his game, music one can enjoy at home, and a taste of nostalgia from a veteran label.

Buy Martina Testen and Simon Šerc ~ Biodukt New or Used via Amazon    Buy New or Used via Amazon
Martina Testen and Simon Šerc ~ Biodukt (Pharmafabrik)
Recorded in Italy and Slovenia, Biodukt is the aural reflection of a day spent in the forest, distilled to a single hour. The dual citizenship of these recordings reminds us that Gaia knows no borders. The biodiversity is incredible, as is the wealth of sounds. For those who can’t get to the woods, this is the next best thing: forest bathing for the ears.

Buy Rone ~ Room With a View New or Used via Amazon    Buy New or Used via Amazon    Rent via iTunes [?]
Rone ~ Room With a View (InFine)
Room With a View is a life-affirming album whose impact goes far beyond its theme of climate change. The overall impression is that of humans getting together, pooling their resources, working as one in a positive, imaginative fashion in order to better the world. We are each our brother’s and sister’s keepers, and the stewards of the earth.

Rent Olivia Louvel ~ SculptOr via Amazon    Rent via Amazon    Rent via iTunes [?]
Olivia Louvel ~ Sculptor (Cat Werk)
Olivia Louvel‘s first album explored the relationship between Elizabeth I and Mary, Queen of Scots; her second celebrates British sculptor Barbara Hepworth. These works share a colorful tone that tempers their didactic background, calling attention not only to the acts of the women, but to their intellect. Just as Hepworth looks for a stone to carve, Louvel looks at a collection of words to cull and shape: two sculptors linked across time.

Songs

Elevation Worship with Kari Jobe & Cody Carnes, "The Blessing"
JP Saxe and Julia Michaels, "If the World Was Ending" (Original and Marian Hill mixes)
Field Works, "Between the Hawthorne and Extinction"
Jason Mraz, "Look for the Good"
Tasha Layton, "Into the Sea"

Music Videos (in viewing order)

Palace, Blessed Are the Hearts That Bend
Max Richer, All Human Beings
Koki Nakano, Bloomer
Hania Rani, F Major
Rone, Room With a View
Max Cooper, SWARM
ford., fruit&sun
Max Cooper, Spike
Laurence Pike, Nero
Bronson, Keep Moving

Books

Brad Montague, Becoming Better Grownups: Rediscovering What Matters and Remembering How to Fly
Benjamin Grant & Timothy Dougherty, Overview Timelapse: How We Change the Earth
W. Lee Warren, I’ve Seen the End of You: A Neurosurgeon’s Look at Faith, Doubt and the Things We Think
We Know

Katherine May, Wintering: The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times
Jeff Benedict, The Dynasty
Aimee Nezhukumatathil, World of Wonders: In Praise of Fireflies, Whale Sharks, and Other Astonishments
Alice Quinn, ed., Together in a Sudden Strangeness: America’s Poets Respond to the Pandemic
Bonnie Tsui, Why We Swim
Taylor Fuller, The Rainbow Atlas: 500 of the World’s Most Colourful Places
Kobi Yamada & Gabriella Barouch, Maybe: A Story About the Endless Potential in All of Us

Richard Allen
A Closer Listen
www.acloserlisten.com


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