Saturday, 19 December 2020

Musical Highlights : 2020


Ok  it's been a rather crap year with our daily lives transformed by the pandemic, that  continues to  challenge us. But despite the strangeness of 2020 music has continually arrived to give much needed respite.Music acting as a balm and also a mirror, creativity inspiring  people to think differently about the world,
From the Vietnam War, the Civil Rights movement to Black Lives Matter, musicians have heralded major political movements that have helped change the world. In  these troubling  times a lot of the best music of the year responded in one way or another, to the  constant uncertainty we are all now travelling. 
Now is a time to pause and reflect .To all those who’ve grieved the loss of a loved one this year, felt the pain of racial injustice create fresh wounds and open old ones, or lost sleep not knowing how they would be able to protect and care for their loved ones in these uncertain times, I sincerely  hope  music has at least comforted your life as much as mine.
Bandcamp by the way, an artist-focussed platform that allows people to support their favorite musicians and labels under pressure from the COVID-19. continues to support musicians  and artists who have been hit especially hard .Lets  continue to try and support those that continue to enrich our lives.This year’s awesome Bandcamp Fridays initiative has been a huge success, with CEO Ethan Diamond revealing that an incredible $40 million has reached in-need artists and labels in 2020. 
On the first Friday of every month since March, we’ve waived our revenue share to help support the many artists who have seen their livelihoods disrupted by the pandemic,” writes Ethan in a statement as the year draws to a close. Over the course of these nine days, fans paid artists and labels $40 million dollars, helping cover rents, mortgages, groceries, medications, and much more. If you’re among the nearly 800,000 fans who participated, thank you.”
Happily, Ethan continues that Bandcamp Fridays will be continuing next year as things are still looking relatively uncertain right now.
Although vaccines are starting to roll out, it will likely be several months before live performance revenue starts to return,” he adds. So we’re going to continue doing Bandcamp Fridays in 2021, on February 5, March 5, April 2, and May 7. As always, has the details. 
If you’ve started to feel guilty about buying music on any day other than Bandcamp Friday, here’s something to keep in mind: on Bandcamp Fridays, an average of 93% of your money reaches the artist/label (after payment processor fees). When you make a purchase on any other day of the month (as 2.5 million of you have since March, buying an additional $145 million worth of music and merch) an average of 82% reaches the artist/label. Every day is a good day to directly support artists on Bandcamp!” Fuck Amazon.
Seasons greetings, a big shout out to everyone who helped keep funds coming in for those in the music industry in 2020. Reminisce about the good times, respect to the music makers and to the NHS staff who continue their work, which is so admired, working long shifts, saving lives. In these dark days be safe, stay alert, take care. In no particular order here are my musical highlights of the year.
1.  We Are the Cellar Bar Restoration Society - Various
 Cellar bar cd

2. Efa Supertramp - Apocalipstick Blues.

 3. Carla Bley / Andy Sheppard/ Steve Swallow - Life Goes On 

4. Igran  Hamasyan - The Call Within 

5. Cynefin- Dilyn Afon / Following the River

 6. Spurious Transients - The Internal Inferno Of The Nocturnal Mock Turtle

7.Muddy Summers and the Dirty Field Whores - The elegance of Mud

8.  The Cravats – Hoorahland

9. Primitive Ignorant - Sikh Punk

10 Idles - Ultra Mono

11.Asian Dub Foundation -Access  Denied

Bill Fay - Countless Branches 

13. Sean Taylor - The Path into the Blue

 14. Datblygu - Cwm Gwagle

15. Penny Rimbaud - Arthur Rimbaud in Verdun


16. Antibalas - Fu Chronicles


17. Makaya McCraven and Gil Scot Heron- We're New Again


 18. FourTet - Sixteen Oceans


 19. Cornershop- England Is A Garden


 20. JARV IS - Beyond the Pale


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