Now that I’ve got 2020’s sounds out of the way, time for a post about 2021’s (so far).
After a reasonable start at tracking my listening in the first few months of 2020, things tailed off in lockdown, mostly because my opportunities for music-listening were more limited when I wasn’t riding back and forth to work every day. (As for podcasts, I’m impossibly behind.) For the months of the first lockdown and the summer school holidays I was sharing the flat with everyone else all day and not wanting to impose my tunes on them all the time. After school went back I hadn’t wanted too many musical distractions while working from home.
Still, I managed to keep up with some of the big releases of the pandemic, and made a few deep dives into artists I’d never given enough time before. So before I turn to my favourite music of this year, here’s the best of (the rest of) last year’s. Hey, if Tokyo 2020 can be held in August 2021, so can 2020 Best Ofs.
The other day I mentioned randomly selecting Angel of Retribution on my iPhone and playing it to my daughter, and realising that I had a fellow head-banger in the family. After diving into online writing about Judas Priest and discovering That Hashtag Show’s Judas-Priest-a-thon from last year, sampling their old and new albums as I went, I reminded myself of the extraordinary opening title track of Painkiller, which sounded as fresh as ever; from there, YouTube’s algorithm revealed its standing as one of the best First Listen/Reaction video prompts of all. If anything warranted a Metafilter post, it was this.
Time for a quick update on listening and viewing since part one.
After being so lax with keeping track of movies and music here last year, I thought I’d try posting every month about what’s passed across my audio-visual radar. Then the end of January came and went, and I thought I’d make it bi-monthly instead. Welcome to Conspicuous Consumption, an occasional series for 2020.
Despite never having set foot in a nightclub, Rupa Biswas made a Bengali disco album on holiday in Canada in the early 1980s, which sank without trace. Decades later, her son discovered that copies were selling online for hundreds of dollars and that one track in particular had racked up millions of views on YouTube. Now the singer is receiving proceeds from the Numero Group reissue and corresponding with fans around the world.