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Shfl Update, 12/22: Huge 2022 List Edition
A guide to Blixa Bargeld and new reviews from Jon Dale, Ned Raggett, Phil Freeman, Nate Patrin and Megan Iacobini de Fazio, plus our 2022 wrap-up
The inimitable Blixa Bargeld, by Jon Dale. Sure I love Einstürzende Neubauten and Nick Cave and even Schubert but man, Still Smiling is truly magical. Dale says it’s possible that there’s a highlight on that album but I disagree, I think the entire record is perfect from start to finish, smooth like a melting icicle, vast as a just-built Amazon warehouse.
Philip Freeman with a NY hardcore starter pack
Jon Dale on Scritti Politti, Corsano, Maranha & Youngs, G-Man, Damon & Naomi with Ghost and also with Michio Kurihara, Time is a Mountain and The Humble Bee
Megan Iacobini de Fazio on Safa, Pierre Kwenders, Jeich ould Badu and Ahmedou Ahmed Lowla, Cheb Runner, Naujawanan Baidar, Kwaku DMC, Buruklyn Boyz
Nate Patrin on Sylvester and the Hot Band, Yoko Ono and Lou Reed
Ned Raggett on Scott Walker
2022 Year in Review (so many lists!)
Yep, Shfl’s got a year-end best-of list now. Everything on it is great of course, dive in!
Everybody’s favorites, disaggregated:
Sasha Frere-Jones, Hank Shteamer, Nate Patrin, Rick Anderson, Shy Thompson, Ned Raggett, Harold Heath, Megan Iacobini de Fazio, Phil Freeman, Jon Dale, Joe Muggs, Zev Kane, Jeff Treppel, Chris Catchpole
And just for completion’s sake, here is the list of every single 2022 album added to Shfl over the last year. For the record there’s 1048 of them (so far!), and not all of them made it onto one of our lists but every single one of them was recommended by someone with taste, so maybe your favorite is somewhere in there!
I’m deeply grateful to everyone who has contributed to Shfl over the last year, the project has expanded quite a bit beyond what I had originally envisioned and it’s a much better, more interesting place to get lost in thanks to them. Here’s some links to where you can read more of their work:
Joe Muggs has a fantastic newsletter, where along with much else he posts links to a long-running series of playlists called Soft Music for Hard Times which are always great fun – here’s the 100th one which is quite a milestone.
Ned Raggett has a Patreon where he posts a ton of other music recommendations, absolutely worth a sub, this is where I discovered that we attended the very same Dodger Stadium Depeche Mode concert in the early nineties – reading his recollections of the show was really a blast. He’s got a Mastodon too if you’re trying to sort out the Twitter meltdown fallout.
Rick Anderson has a long-running blog (10+ years!) called CD HotList: New Releases for Libraries, which is full of pointers to great music whether you’re a library or not – many of his recommendations on this site come from there.
Chris Catchpole runs a Substack along with Ted Kessler and Niall Doherty called The New Cue that’s wonderful – along with a ton of interviews and features, every Friday they post a recommender that I love. I pull album recommendations from there for the site but there’s a lot of links to new singles and stuff too, a great resource.
Sasha Frere-Jones has a Substack where he posts a weekly roundup of links to worthwhile music and books and art and all sorts of other stuff, he’s planning on ramping that up next year so you should check it out.
It’s been a great year for Shfl, and thanks so much to everyone who uses the service and especially to you lovely souls who read the newsletter! We’ve got a lot of great stuff planned for the new year, stick around.