I became insane with long intervals of horrible sanity.
Edgar Allen Poe

The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.
- H. L. Mencken

Many people would sooner die than think; In fact, they do so
-Bertrand Russell

What I have been telling you, from alpha to omega, what is the one great thing the sigil taught me — that everything in life is miraculous. For the sigil taught me that it rests within the power of each of us to awaken at will from a dragging nightmare of life made up of unimportant tasks and tedious useless little habits, to see life as it really is, and to rejoice in its exquisite wonderfulness. If the sigil were proved to be the top of a tomato-can, it would not alter that big fact, nor my fixed faith. No Harrowby, the common names we call things by do not matter — except to show how very dull we are ...
-James Branch Cabell

December 12, 2014 - 12:01 p.m.

Horvendile's Top Ten Countdown

OK OK I'll finally do it. Today I make my list of top albums of 2014. This is so hard so I always weasel it and say not top albums, but great albums that I recommend that were released in 2014 or late 2013. How is that? OK that works for me. But of course it will take a bit to get there.

I was bad yesterday. I didn't do my laundry which I desperately need to do and I didn't go to my PO box. now I'll do them both today. So what did I do? Heather asked me to come over and I did. Then we did what we usually do. I made dinner, kielbasa and hasselback potatoes and we watched TV. I actually watched The Hunger Games. It does not bear analysis so I won't analyze it.

I always check on the MTA website for when the next bus is going to arrive so I don't have to wait long. I can time it to less than a minute wait. There is a GPS in the bus and the website keeps track of where the bus is. But last night something screwy happened. It went in moments from being 1.2 miles away plus a wait in the terminal to being two stops away. It takes me three stops to walk to the stop I use. I ran. It said it was still 2 stops away when I got there. Then it said the next bus was 2.9 miles away. That was crazy as there was a bus less than a half mile behind the first bus. Something was screwed up. So I waited about 10 minutes for the bus. Not a disaster.

OK now on to the albums. This is so tough. I went back and listened to stuff from the earlier in the year and was reminded of how good they were. Otherwise the recent stuff would dominate. There is a twofold purpose, not to just pick the best albums but to tell you about the albums that you should hear but might not know about. I emphasize music that might not be on your radar. The order is simply the order they appear on Windows Media player, alphabetical by title. I'm numbering them just to keep track of the total. This is not in order of preference.

  1. Mya Byrne - As I Am: To the rest of the world and obscure pick, to My Gentle Readers it's "oh Mya." To some it's "Oh Adriene." We all know Mya Adriene. And that might lead us to not realize how good the album is. So listen again and find out.
  2. Bobtown - A History of Ghosts: A departure from their first two albums. It uses a varied palette but somehow holds together as a unified whole. It's one of the two albums I've been listening to the most. of late.
  3. Scott Wolfson and Other Heroes - Life on Fire: How does a complex cynical album come across as danceable infectious rock? I don't know. If I did I'd be making the music instead of writing about it.
  4. Harpeth Rising - Live at the Dreaming Tree: How does this make the list? It's a damn throwaway live album made with no advance notice and soon to be followed by studio album. But I can't stop listening. The other album I'm listening to the most.
  5. The Sea the Sea: I knew this would make the list from the very first listen. No I knew from before it was released when I heard them do the songs live. I can't think of anyone else doing what Chuck and Mira are doing. The folk world belongs to string bands and three party harmony for now but these two voices dancing a pas de deux around each other is not to be missed.
  6. Robert Sarazin Blake - Robt Sarazin Blake: I'm guessing most of My Gentle Reader are not that familiar with Robert. You should be. He's lyric poet. I like John Platt's description, He's "the voice of experience." If you think that backing vocal sounds like Anas Mitchell it's because it is.
  7. Mark Allen Berube - Sticky: I have been listening to most of these songs live for years. they got transformed on the album. The songwriting was always brilliant but here there is so much more. Harmony, vocal and instrumental arrangements. Most importantly they enhance the lyrics not overwhelm them.
  8. Paul Sachs - Survival is the New Success: This is one that listening to reminded me how great it was. I could not leave it off this list. Paul too is the voice of experience. There's so much here. There's world weariness, humor, and rocking out.
  9. Bumper Jacksons - Sweet Mama, Sweet Daddy, Come In: I discovered them at NERFA where they knocked my socks off. They'll knock your off too. In their music everything happens at once but it all fits together. I'm not sure it's possible to sit still while listening to their music. There's a trombone kazoo, do you need to know more?
  10. Haas Kowert Tice - You Got This: Another album I knew would make the list from the first listen. This is another one most of My Gentle Readers won't be familiar with. It's mainly instrumentals nd that's not what gets airplay. They are a string band pressed from a different mode than the others. It's music that you have to listen to attentively to absorb it all. It's worth the effort. There is so much there there. It's serious music but at the same time so much fun.

This is a top ten list and here are the ones that I had to cull to get down to ten. Lake Street Dive - Bad Self Portrait, Joe Crookston - Georgia I'm Here, the Lords of Liechtenstein - Girlz (With a Z), The Kennedys Sing the Songs of Nanci Griffith, Pete Kennedy - Tone, Twang, and Taste

I feel like I just amputated a limb. I didn't want to cut any of those out. Make me feel better and buy them.

Addendum: I just found out that We're About 9's Future Pilot was released in 2014 not 2013 like I had on my computer. Someone must have misentered that on the database. I won't kick anything off my list or say it's better than the honorable mentions. I'll say it belongs somewhere as a top album.

I signed the Pro-Truth Pledge:
please hold me accountable.

Memories: Not that Horrid Song - May 29, 2018
Wise Madness is Now In Session - May 28, 2018
The NFL and the First Amendment - May 27, 2018
On The Road Again - May 26, 2018
Oliver the Three-Eyed Crow - May 25, 2018

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Horvendile December 12, 2014
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