To List or Not to List?

[Updated] I hadn't planned to do a year-end best-of list for a host of reasons. I'm not a list person, and that's not how I think. I know people, sites and magazines that do Top 50 lists, and I couldn't imagine how or why you'd try do decide if Album A is number 42 and Album B is number 43. I'm also not sure what the use is of year-end lists.

Hotel Has a New Halo

Empress Hotel broke my heart. When I saw on their band bio that the New Orleans-based rock band listed Sparks as an influence, I was flabbergasted. Sparks have always been the sort of band that divides people including Sparks fans. Diehards swear by Propaganda, Kimono My House and Indiscreet and give up on anything after those highly eccenctric art-glam albums. I stayed with them through the Giorgio Moroder-produced No.

The Old Music

This week, we have new music from Bob Dylan, Empress Hotel, Ralph Stanley and The XX; and previews of shows this week by Amanda Palmer, The Walkmen, Nasimiyu, Lewis Black and more.