Category Archives: Obituary

The Best of 2013

After careful consideration, here’s my list of top albums this year, as well as some other commentary on music happenings. Enjoy!

1. Boards of Canada, Tomorrow’s Harvest (WARP)
2. WIRE, Change Becomes Us (Pink Flag)
3. Bombino, Nomad (Nonesuch)
4. Bill Orcutt, “Twenty Five Songs” (Palialia)
5. Run the Jewels, s/t (Fools Gold)
6. Zomes, Time Was (Thrill Jockey)
7. Marisa Anderson, Mercury (Mississippi/Change)
8. Endless Boogie, Long Island (No Quarter)
9. Daughn Gibson, Me Moan (Sub Pop)
10. Anwar Sadat, Gold (Sophomore Lounge)

Honorable mention: Matmos, The Marriage of True Minds (Thrill Jockey); The Dead C., Armed Courage (Ba Da Bing!), Jovonaes, Paranoia Makes a Crazy Gift (Sophomore Lounge); Steve Gunn, Time Off (Paradise of Bachelors); Call Back the Giants, “The Marianne” (Kye); Francisco Franco, s/t (New Images); Circuit Des Yeux, Overdue (Ba Da Bing!); Jaye Jayle, Jayle Time (unreleased); Glenn Jones, My Garden State (Thrill Jockey); Van Dyke Parks, Songs Cycled (Bella Union); Richard Youngs, Summer Through My Mind (Ba Da Bing!); Nathan Salsburg, Hard for to Win and Can’t be Won (No Quarter); Mammane Sani et son Orgue, La Musique Electronique du Niger (Sahel Sounds); Cian Nugent & the Cosmos, Born with the Caul (No Quarter).

Best Shows I Attended in 2013 (that I didn’t book):
1. Cropped Out Festival, Louisville, Kentucky — highlights being Mayo Thompson performing Corky’s Debt to His Father, Borbetomagus, Endless Boogie, The Endtables, Blues Control, Bill Orcutt & Chris Corsano, Superwolf, Montag, lots more.
2. Goblin and Zombi at the Varsity Theater, Minneapolis, MN.
3. Aaron Dilloway, Darin Gray & Raw Thug, Mike Shiflet, Jonathan Wood & Lowe Sutherland at the Louisville Experimental Festival.
4. Blondie and X at the Ryman Auditorium, Nashville, TN.
5. TIE — Run the Jewels and Bombino at Forecastle; Yo La Tengo at the Brown Theater, both in Louisville.

Worst Things to Happen in 2013: The deaths of Lou Reed, Ray Price, Zbigniew Karkowski, Bernard Parmegiani, Jim Hall, Junior Murvin, Richard Coughlan, Cheb i Sabbah, Kalaparusha Maurice McIntyre, Chico Hamilton, Butch Warren, Philip Chevron, Wadih El Safi, Gypie Mayo, Lawrence Leighton Smith, Makoto Moroi, Isamu Jordan, Forrest, Prince Jazzbo, Jerry G. Bishop aka Svengoolie, Jackie Lomax, Mac Curtis, Jimmy Ponder, Lindsay Cooper, Pavlos Fyssas, Zulema, Tim Wright, George Duke, Willie Dunn, Zev Asher, Batile Alake, Eydie Gorme, Aube, Allen Lanier, Eyob Mekonnen, Marian McPartland, Bernard Vitet, T-Model Ford, Steve Berrios, Mike Farren, Joey Covington, Arturo Vega, Darondo, Johnny Smith, Fatai Rolling Dollar, Alastair Donaldson aka William Mysterious, Claudio Rocchi, Slim Whitman, Mary Love, Bobby “Blue” Bland, Puff Johnson, Alan Meyers, Chris Kelly, Jeff Hanneman, Cedric Brooks, Steve Martland, Ollie Mitchell, Ray Manzarek, Andy Johns, Don Blackman, Dean Drummond, Cordell Mosson, Storm Thorgerson, Chrissy Amphlett, Richie Havens, George Jones, Bobby Rogers, Alvin Lee, Peter Banks, Clive Burr, Bobby Smith, Hugh McCracken, Cecil Womack, Donald Byrd, Reg Presley, Rick Huxley, Shadow Morton, Tim Dog, Kevin Ayers, Damon Harris, Magic Slim, Cleotha Staples, Virgil Johnson, Richard Street, Nic Potter, Bobby Bennett, Steve Knight, Gregory Carroll, Leroy Bonner, Butch Morris, Patty Andrews, Ann Rabson, and probably many more that I’m forgetting. Rest in peace.

UPDATE, 12/24/2013: Rest in peace, Yusef Lateef, Diomedes Diaz, Björn J:son Lindh, Lord Infamous, David Richards, Herb Geller, and Ronnie Biggs.

UPDATE, 1/4/14: Rest in peace, David Wertman, Doe B, Benjamin Curtis, Wojciech Kilar, Jay Traynor, Al Porcino, Phil Everly, and Rita MacNeil (thanks to Alexander Campbell for informing me of her music).

Bernard Parmegiani, R.I.P.

We’ve gotten word via the internet that Bernard Parmegiani, one of our favorite composers, has passed today.

(Parmegiani on the left, with Christian Zanesi, from Wikipedia.)

We’ll post an official obituary as soon as we find one. In the meantime, enjoy Hors Phase from 1972:

Lou Reed, R.I.P.

Rolling Stone is reporting that Lou Reed has died today, at age 71:

Lou Reed, a massively influential songwriter and guitarist who helped shape nearly fifty years of rock music, died today. The cause of his death has not yet been released, but Reed underwent a liver transplant in May.

Needless to say, Reed’s adventures with the Velvet Underground, as well as his many solo outings after their dissolution, were very crucial to our musical development. Another anti-hero of the 1960s Lower East Side joins Jack Smith, Angus MacLise, Sterling Morrison, and many others on whatever Heaven’s version is of Ludlow Street. (Just kidding, we don’t believe in Heaven.)

John Tchicai, R.I.P.

We’re seeing some unfortunate news today on the internet that Danish saxophonist John Tchicai has died, though so far without any official confirmation. This is terrible news, if true, as Tchicai has been long known as one of the best players, yet he was sort of weirdly unheralded outside the jazz cognoscenti. His discography is long and broad, going back to early 1960s work with Archie Shepp, the New York Art Quartet (with Roswell Rudd, Milford Graves, Lewis Worrell, and Amiri Baraka), and John Coltrane‘s classic Ascension. It should also be said that he continued to play and compose some really great stuff over the past few decades, though the last time we saw him play was in Chicago in the late 1990s. He will be greatly missed.

We’ll update when we find official (or otherwise) obituaries and tributes posted, and hopefully we’ll post some of Tchicai’s music to sample, as well.

UPDATE, 10/7/2012, 9:30 PM: One good place to start in Tchicai’s massive discography is the self-titled debut from 1964 by the New York Art Quartet, his classic group with Roswell Rudd, Milford Graves, and Lewis Worrell (and Amiri Baraka, reciting poetry on the track “Black Dada Nihilismus”). So, for a short time, you can find it here:

UPDATE, 10/8/12: The Associated Press has published an obituary for Tchicai, which has been picked up by several news outlets:

R.I.P. Byard Lancaster and Tom Bruno

Inexplicably, the music world lost two great jazz musicians yesterday. Byard Lancaster, a multi-reedist — who would be revered if the only cool thing he did was appear on Sunny Murray‘s self-titled ESP-Disk album, but managed to also lead and collaborate on some great titles including his own It’s Not Up to Us — died of pancreatic cancer at the age of 70.

Additionally, Tom Bruno, a drummer best known for his work in the quartet Test with Matthew Heyner, Sabir Mateen, and Daniel Carter, died yesterday.

(Photograph of Test by Michael Galinsky — from left to right: Daniel Carter, Tom Bruno, Matthew Heyner, Sabir Mateen.)

They will both be missed.

Jason Noble, R.I.P.

The Louisville musician, artist, collaborator, and all-around fantastic human being Jason Noble died today. Our thoughts go out to his friends and family.

UPDATE, 8/5/2012: A number of tributes and obituaries for Jason have been appearing across Facebook and in other parts of the internet. One of the most moving ones we’ve read is by Louisvillian Syd Bishop, over at the Never Nervous blog. Thanks, Syd.

Official obituaries have been published by Billboard and Pitchfork. A number of YouTube clips from Jason’s various musical projects over the years are available at each.

Also, the web site compiles a number of Jason’s works. And a few of Jason’s columns for LEO Weekly are available at

R.I.P. İlhan Mimaroğlu

One of our favorite composers, İlhan Mimaroğlu, died yesterday at the age of 86. His Wikipedia page offers a short biography:

He was born in Istanbul, Turkey, the son of the famous architect Mimar Kemaleddin Bey depicted on the Turkish lira banknotes, denomination 20 lira, of the 2009 E-9 emission. He graduated from Galatasaray High School in 1945 and the Ankara Law School in 1949. He went to study in New York supported by a Rockefeller Scholarship. He studied musicology at Columbia University under Paul Henry Lang and composition under Douglas Moore.

During the 1960s he studied in the Columbia-Princeton Electronic Center under Vladimir Ussachevsky and on occasions worked with Edgard Varèse and Stefan Wolpe. He is an electronic music composer, and also was the producer for Charles MingusChanges One and Changes Two, as well as Federico Fellini‘s Satyricon. He was awarded the Guggenheim Fellowship in music composition in 1971.

He worked as a producer for Atlantic Records, and created his own record label there, Finnadar Records,and collaborated with trumpeter Freddie Hubbard on a moving anti-war statement, Sing Me a Song of Songmy in the same year.

His notable students included Ingram Marshall.

In tribute to him, we’re making a few of his albums available for download.

İlhan Mimaroğlu & Freddie Hubbard, Sing Me a Song of Songmy, a Fantasy for Electromagnetic Tape (Atlantic, 1971)

Outstanding Warrants
(Southport, 2001)

Missing Pieces (Earlabs, 2003)