🦃 Happy Thanksgiving

How are you celebrating the holiday?

I’m Jason Boucher, and welcome to Nocturnal, a weekly newsletter about sound + music where I highlight some of the best new music and streaming video. I’ll be dispensing related links about music and film news that I hope you dig. I don’t know about you, but I get excited for new records, reissues, soundtracks, and live music—so I’m sharing with you! My hope is this newsletter increases awareness of the extraordinary music & art communities all over the world, even if it’s just a smidgen. Questions? jason.boucher@icloud.com

Today in the newsletter: one of my favorite contemporary guitar players, new sounds from a German ambient electronic composer, Chicago abstract jazz, a songwriter’s soul, podcasts you can use, holiday films to watch, excellent new documentaries, my latest playlist, and more…

But first, it’s almost Thanksgiving and it’s going to be a very different day in my house. Dinner for two but baking for eight, so we’ll have leftover and food to share and deliver to family and friends during this ongoing pandemic. A year ago, I spent Thanksgiving in Quebec City and walked the annual German Christmas market, enjoyed a lovely Moroccan dinner at La Maison Marocaine, toured the old city, and tasted many crepes, fondue, and plenty of hot coffee, local beer, and even a few donuts from Tim Horton’s. To top it off we had a remarkable experience at Pour Bistro XI before the restaurant closed, sadly. What a difference!

William Tyler is One of America’s Great Guitar Players

Performing with The Silver Jews, Lambchop, and having more than five solo albums, William Tyler is one of America’s great guitar players today. He plays a variety of styles including my favorite — American Primitive, but his latest adventure is being a part of the Big Ears Festival in Knoxville, TN with Marisa Anderson and Yasmin Williams. Here’s a sneak peek of what to expect…

Listen Up!

🎧 Here’s what new music releases, or reissues I’m listening to this week.

Pole Fading (Mute)

Stefan Betke is a German electronic composer who dabbles in dub and minimalism. His latest effort is more approachable for the masses but it continues down the same paths of glitchy but smooth atmospheres with subtle beats and synths. Available now.

Rob Mazurek-Exploding Star Orchestra Dimensional Stardust (International Anthem)

I’ve been a fan of Rob Mazurek since the days of Isotope. His Chicago Underground series was also quite enjoyable. If you’re a fan of jazz and the avant-garde with a story than this album is for you. My favorite track is Parable 3000 (We All Come From Somewhere Else) as it’s a full jazz band with many layers to unpack—it reminds me of another Chicago jazz group—The Modern Jazz Quartet. Mazuerk’s new album is now available.

Moses Sumney græ (Jagjaguwar)

One of my first album purchases of 2020 was this beautiful double LP by Moses Sumney. It’s hard to put this album into one music category—it’s soul, folk, electronic, R&B, and so much more. græ has a lot of emotion and it’s personal, too. Produced by Oneohtrix and featuring collaborations with Thundercat and British sax player Shabaka Hutchings. Available on vinyl, CD, and digital.

This Week’s Reading List

Podcasts To Peruse

The Watch List

Nocturnal: A Sound + Music Experience is delivered fresh each Tuesday evening through an ominous freeform cloud featuring hubbub from then and now. Listen live Tuesday evenings on WSCA, or the next day via Mixcloud.

November 17th playlist:

Phillip Cohran & The Artistic Heritage Ensemble “Malcolm X” Soul Of A Nation: Afro-Centric Visions in the Age of Black Power – Underground Jazz, Street Funk & the Roots of Rap 1968-79 (Soul Jazz)
Gil Scott-Heron;Makaya McCraven “Me and the Devil” We’re New Again: A Reimagining (XL)
Sugoman Seranyan “Eraz” Excavated Shellac: Strings (Dust To Digital)
Lula Côrtes & Lailson “Satwa” Satwa (Time Lag Records)
Samba Negra “Long Life Africa” La Locura de Machuca (Analog Africa)*
Elyse Weinberg “Houses” Greasepaint Smile (Numero Group)
Fairport Convention “Matty Groves” Liege and Lief (Polydor)
Comus “Drip Drip” First Utterance (Pye Records)
Gwenifer Raymond “Worn Out Blues” Strange Lights Over Garth Mountain (Tompkins Square)*
Steffen Basho-Junghans “The Tacoma Bridge Incident” Rivers & Bridges (Strange Attractors)
The Nels Cline Singers “The Pleather Patrol” Share The Wealth (Blue Note)*
Brian Eno “Under – from Cool World” Film Music 1976 - 2020 (Warner)*
Pole “Drifting” Fading (Mute)*
Can “Turtles Have Short Legs” The Singles (Mute)
The Fall “Kicker Conspiracy” Perverted By Language (Castle)
Wire “I Am The Fly” Chairs Missing (Parlophone)

*= new

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See you next week… - JB