We asked some of our favourite artists/ musicians about their year. You can see the results below.
An extraordinary year in many ways. How did it affect you specifically?
I quit drinking the day my son’s school was shut down in March.
Where did music fit in during 2020? Does it seem important?
I didn’t much feel like writing any music. Maybe I was in a state of shock. Recently I’ve started writing again.
What albums resonated this year? Can be old or new.
Under normal circumstances, I don’t pay attention, unless it’s my family’s or friends’ music. This year I really liked the YouTube live streaming version of Fleet Foxes’ Shore. Shore is a great album. But the YouTube version with the sound effects is probably one of the best albums I’ve heard in my entire life. Max Richter’s soundtrack to My Brilliant Friend (both seasons) is one of the most moving things I’ve ever heard. That summed up the first six months of the pandemic for me, because my wife and I were really into watching My Brilliant Friend Seasons One and Two during that time. My Brilliant Friend and Sons Of Anarchy are two of the best TV shows as art. They sum up the whole of human experience.
The way to watch My Brilliant Friend is to start with Season Two. Then watch Season One. Then watch Season Two again. With Sons Of Anarchy just start at the beginning and watch to the end.
I can’t emphasize enough how Shore is such a phenomenal album. I wouldn’t have known about it if it hadn’t been mentioned in the New Yorker.
If you had to pick one album to sum up this year, what would it be?
The Residents Metal, Meat, And Bone.
How have you got through the last 7 or 8 months?
Well, I read lots of magazines. My favorites are the Atlantic, Archaeology, Alter Ego, Back Issue, BBC Music, Bird Watching, Biblical Archaeology Review, Consumer Reports, Dissent, Fortune, Foreign Affairs, Harpers, Jack Kirby Collector, Jazz Times, Mojo, Mad Magazine, National Geographic, the New Yorker, the New Republic, Time, and Uncut.
I finished the Mueller Report and started reading the Library of America version of Richard Hofstadter’s Anti-Intellectualism In American Life. I watch movies on the TCM network.
Are you working on any interesting projects?
I recently started writing new songs and the first one was released December 7th, 2020. The song’s called “Love Will Come To Town”. It’s sort of a Christmas song gone awry. I could never write a Christmas song, especially now. This is the best I could do. It was recorded remotely, something we’ve never tried before but it worked out pretty well, I think. It features my sister Petra Haden on violin and backing vocals, my producer Kenny Lyon on guitar, and John Montgomery on drums, in addition to myself. Aside from that, I’m starting to work on songs for a new album. The download link for the new song is here.
Any hopes for next year?
I wish that more people would look at how the world reacted to the 1918 pandemic.
I’m hopeful about these vaccines.
I’m sad about everyone who’s died because of this virus. I feel for everyone. I miss going out. I miss touring.
I hope everything goes back to normal soon. I’d like to see my family without having to wear masks.