TABLE OF CONTENTS

MUSIC: BEST OF 2014

Matthew Higgs

Sleaford Mods performing at Hare & Hounds, Birmingham, UK, March 27, 2014. Photo: Simon Parfrement.

1 MAMMAN SANI, TAARITT (Sahel Sounds) This future-thinking, synth-heavy Saharan folk album was recorded in Niger and France in the late 1980s but was only released this year. It’s hard for me to remember what life was like without Sani’s exquisite music in it; Taaritt is possibly the greatest record ever made.

2 SLEAFORD MODS, DIVIDE AND EXIT (Harbinger Sound) On the verge of becoming a household name in their native UK, the Sleaford Mods (Andrew Fearn and Jason Williamson) are essential listening for fans of early Schoolly D, the Stooges, and Mancunian poet laureates John Cooper Clarke and Shaun Ryder. It will be interesting to see whether the US can resist their vernacular charms.

3 JONATHAN RICHMAN, NO ME QUEJO DE MI ESTRELLA (Vapor) Speaking of poets: My (admittedly lapsed) affection for Richman’s wayward genius was rekindled after seeing him play last year at Louisville,

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