A Weird, Liberating, Year



Wadada Leo Smith & Louis Moholo-Moholo

Back when I was living the muso’s dream, twenty-five years ago, I would take pride in delivering to my customers the yearly compilation of my favorite recordings. At the time I was mightily advantaged by my having one foot in the aisle of a record store I managed, and the other foot under the desk of two different radio broadcasting booths. The record and distribution companies loved me inasmuch as they showered me in free recordings. I was set-up nicely and could support the delusion of being up-to-date and in-touch with the sounds of the time, with annualized cornucopia.

Now long past this set-up and my music business tenure, still, given the wild west aspect of the internet and my own prizing of my leisure time, over the past decade or so I managed to be an excellent paying customer of iTunes and eMusic, and, also a mp3 blog leecher. So, I also was able to support year in and year out a contemporary version of the olden delusion. Until this past year when a confluence of grown-up pressures, including having to box and crate the entire collection of vinyl and compact discs in the aftermath of a basement flood, stripped me of substantial chunks of self-indulgently deployed leisure time. This includes disruption of my soundwise creative endeavors–and so all my delusions came to be adjusted.

These pressures are being handled, and nowadays I’m profoundly less inclined to return to the old delusion and time sink.

Still, there was a soundtrack to all this. I remain lucky to be devoted and it also is still the case I listen to more music than 99% of the peeps in the world. (My muso ranking no doubt has collapsed.) But, the consequence of a year of living differently is I am much more keen on recognizing that the guilty pleasures, so contracted, do not result in any claim other than, in the annualized sense, this is what I liked, and this is what I liked irrespective of all contemporary trends and this is what I liked stripped of most pretentions and robbed now of any motivation to put these favorites in a secure, critical context.

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