Perfect Sound Forever

PSF's 2022 Writers' Poll
Our favorite things

left to right: Rafael Greco, Nurse with Wounds, Jeff Parker, Megan Thee Stallion, Left Banke

Come one and all and see what the Perfect Sound Forever staff loved in 2022. Will you love it? Will you hate it? Will you be amused or confused?
Will you learn about a new favorite? Will you damn us all for making you hear something you hate? Only one way to find out. Read on...

Brett Abrahamsen

David Chirko

This year I purchased the Strangers On A Train CD by the Left Banke. It originally came out on vinyl in 1986 with ten tracks, comprising the Banke's third album, entitled Voices Calling. Later, the moniker and artwork was changed to what is now on the present CD release. There are six bonus cuts on the CD, which would have been integral to a fourth offering.

The Left Banke (1965-1971; 2011-2013), from New York City, I think, is the most underrated group in the annals of rock. They belong right up there at the top of rock royalty—in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame--next to the Byrds, who inaugurated folk-, country-, psychedelic- and other hyphenated rock genres; and the Moody Blues, the bastion of progressive orchestral rock. The Left Banke are the progenitors of baroque rock or baroque pop.

Just about all members who were ever on the Left Banke roster, save for New York psychiatrist Rick Brand, are no longer with us. I had belonged to their National Fan Club back in the day, corresponding briefly with Tom Finn and Rick. The club's press literature (Rubott Management Agency Inc., page 1) at the time asseverated: "The musical efforts of the Left Banke have received praise from many quarters; perhaps the most flattering from New York Philharmonic conductor Leonard Bernstein, who, on his now-famous network T.V. special, singled out the Banke as the perfect example of what rock music could be."

Listen to Strangers and unearth mellifluous rock beauty.

Daniel Barbiero

Brian Cousins

and then 17 more in alphabetical order:

Top shows: Sons of Kemet, L'Rain, Makaya McCraven : Summerstage Central Park; Rage Against the Machine, Run the Jewels : MSG; New Order, Pet Shop Boys : MSG; Ornette Coleman "The Shape of Jazz to Come" Tribute Show : BAM; Kronos Quartet & Sam Green : Prospect Park; Ravi Coltrane : Mama Tried; Fontaines D.C.: Brooklyn Steel; Kamasi Washington : Prospect Park; Sunn O : Pioneer Works; House of Love : Gramercy Theater

Bob Gersztyn

Jason Gross

See my full list about with 60 more albums, 9 hours of singles and a few dozen reissues at my Ye Wei blog

Jim Hayes

Beatles Alive at last
This is a direct copy from the reel to reel of the early 70's boot "Whiskey Flat." This was the first Beatles live boot in the early 70's. In Fall of 64 after two years of touring they're tight. It's really nice to hear the best version of this classic. (Smilin' Ears)

A lost tome from 1994, shards of Stu Spasm solos a top Russell Simins drumming. Kat Bjelland from Babes in Toyland plays bass and contributes some vocals which really helps. It sounds like a missing Lubricated Goat album. (Improved Sequence Records).

Nurse with Wound "Salt Marie Celeste-Salt"
This is a tone that rises and falls with some ominous creaking noises that appear irregularly. It originally appeared in 2003 and this reissue features an additional hour of the piece. It just rises and falls and is beautifully ambient. You don't notice that it's playing but then you DO notice it and it's really beautiful. Nurse with Wound has always been compelling, intriguing and occasionally difficult but this one is beautiful. (United Dirter)

Michael Heath

Tamara Hill

left to right: Pascal Schumacher, Weyes Blood, Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Sofie Birch, Little Simz

Brian McNash

Robert Pally

bart plantenga

As a guy from analog times I get testy when my contemporaries growl & hate on any music since basically 1995 [some are even stuck in the 1970s]. This is wrong. Very wrong. The times have changed. Top 40 has become dispersed & scattered into little nodes of homogenous sounds. Lots of music sucks. But because there is so much music you can still hear plenty of splendid sounds. But it is simply not brought to mass ears in the same way via radio or even MTV. It is dispensed via as many channels as there are genres & so today’s pop music is the worst & most rewarded for that awfulness & ends up representing contemporary music for those elders who justify their disdain for new sounds by admitting they don’t even listen to much music material past their taste-timeline cut off. [in no hierarchical order].

link to the audio version of this list:

Marc Phillips

George Rafael

Leighton-Thomas is a British cabaret singer a la Blossom Dearie/Stacy Kent. Here she performs the songs of Fran Landsman.

Wanted to mention the reissue of Mingus Live at Carnegie Hall, which appeared over here this year but was actually reissued over there last year. Great album, with extra tracks. I had the original LP, which had "C Jam Blues" and "Perdido." Rashaan Roland Kirk rules!

Tony Ruiz

Richie Unterberger

Honorable Mention:

Bert Jansch At the BBC (for the 1966-1971 material only)

The following albums came out in 2021, but I didn't hear them until 2022:

Kurt Wildermuth

Low "In Metal": From Things We Lost in the Fire (2001), this song took on new significances in 2022, the year Low's Mimi Parker died. Here the singer wishes she could wrap a child in protective metal, a sentiment no doubt widespread among the people of Ukraine.

left to right: The Beths, Mahakaruna Quartet, Buddy Guy, Julia Reidy, Marc E. Bassy

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