Friday, April 3, 2015

Best of 2014: Music That Moved Me

Let me preface this post by saying I wrote it in January, then totally forgot about it, then found it in draft. Is April too late to share? Well, we've been talking music quite a lot here at Donuts and Desires, so I'm going with the better late than never approach.

Best of 2014: Music That Moved Me 

Last year I did a Best of 2013 post about the best movies I'd seen that year, the best music I'd heard that year, and the best books I'd read.  This year I read a lot of books but the only one that wowed me was Bonfire of the Vanities. I can't name a single movie I'd go out of my way to tell you about.

(EDIT: I was wrong. XXY. See this movie. See it. This one:

All that's left is the music.

And, let me tell you, it was SOME music!

Strangely (or not), the best albums I bought last year correspond exactly with the best live performances I saw. Here's a countdown of my top three:

3. Rufus Wainwright

The album is Vibrate. It's everything I want a Rufus Wainwright record to be--mostly because it's got all my favourite songs on it. It's a bit of a best-of dealie and I got it for $8, so kick-ass, I decry! I was a little gun-shy after feeling slightly let down by "Out of the Game," which I found a little lacking in substance. Or, maybe not substance, but lacking in that special something you're looking for when you listen to Rufus. I think I heard him say or read in an interview or telepathically drew out of his mind (? Way to cite your sources, Giselle) that he was going for a more mainstream audience with "Out of the Game," which is, I suppose why it didn't work for me. "Vibrate" did.

The live performance is... okay, I'm not going to lie to you. I couldn't afford a ticket for the concert I really wanted to see this summer.  It was an all-male love duets! Mens singin' to mens and whatnot. I would have died and gone to heaven... if I'd bought a ticket, because I wouldn't have been able to eat that month. So I didn't get to see it, though I heard it was amazing. BUT I did catch Rufus in concert a couple years ago at Luminato. Thank goodness for free concerts!

2. St Vincent

The Album is St. Vincent. I bought it solely because I loved her collaboration with David Byrne, "Love This Giant" (I did love that giant! I did!). "Love This Giant" is an outstanding album. I wanted more. "St. Vincent" IS that more. It picks up where "Love This Giant" leaves off.

The live performance was an outdoor NXNE concert.  I even skipped out on the Toronto Pride Opening Ceremonies in favour of St. Vincent, so that's commitment. (Also, they were like a block away from one another so... yeah). NXNE makes me feel old because I don't understand how to buy tickets (luckily this concert was free) and the other concertgoers in attendance are, on average, 57 years younger than me (which is incredible because I'm only in my thirties) but I just hang out by the police officers and all is well with the world. Highlight of the concert was "Prince Johnny," which intrigued me on the album. Live, that song was sooo and moving. I couldn't get enough.

1. Tanya Tagaq

The album is Animism, which has gone on to win awards because it's amazing. I'm gonna be Douchey Doucherson here and point out that I've been a fan of Tanya Tagaq since waaaaay before all yous guys were even born. So there! I never thought any album could compete with Auk/Blood, but this one does. I'm so delighted for her that she's received wide recognition for Animism. It is SO well-deserved.

The performance was her reclamation of Nanook of the North via throat-singing. I saw it at Luminato this summer and, my god! Talk about a life-changing experience. She had me mesmerized. I've wanted to see Tagaq live for years and I never thought it would happen. Listen, people, this is a show you NEED to see. Tagaq's concert was not only the top performance of the year, but without a doubt THE BEST thing I've ever seen on any stage anywhere at any time. Ever.


So that's me. How about you guys?  Got a year in review for me, music-wise?  I found a new music service through the Toronto Public Library, so I'm hungry for recommendations. What was your favourite album of 2014 (doesn't have to be new, just one you bought or listened to this year)? What great concert did you attend?

I'm often hesitant to write about music because I'm no expert (one of my sisters has like a PhD or something in music, so I'm the blathering idiot of every conversation), but don't you be shy. I took a chance. So can you!

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