Take it or leave it, here’s a list of some interesting records, all released this year and in a particular order, followed by short commentary.
Slackers with guitars AND a Pavement reference
Lauded Sonic Youth guitarist Thurston Moore’s solo effort recorded at the home studio of J. Mascis.
What is there to say? Steve Albini still thinks corporate rock sucks. And he’s right.
With a more expansive sound on this release than previous efforts, this record has been listened to, and relistened to by myself more than any other this year. iTunes can not tell a lie.
It’s worth buying this record for the fuzzy bass sounds alone. Rage in the Plague Age and Scotchguard The Credit Card. It’s like cerebral Polvo, but in 4/4. Won’t you come and meet me in the present tense?
Earlier in the year, I saw these guys play an early Sunday show in Tacoma at Hell’s Kitchen. Yeah, me and like 3 other people. This release is more sparse an pop-oriented than their others, and better for it. Solid rock songs and the recording itself sounds great. Also, the record released in 2007 I listened to second most.
I know they’re all like, popular and stuff now, but, like, um, like, they’re like, good n’ stuff.
Pure twee pop from Chicago statesmen. Putting the C back in Cake.
Carnivalesque Gypsy Punk. This records easily gets the award for worst cover art, but it’s got a fuck all punk rock attitude that’s hard to ignore. I haven’t seen them play live, but I’m certain this is where it’s at when it comes to this band.
J. Mascis and Lou Barlow back together. It’s neither Bug nor Green Mind, but the next best thing since.
By no means the first release from troubadour Bill Callahan, but the first not under the Smog moniker and instead under his given name. Like most of the Smog records that preceded, this is the kind of album good to put on toward the end of the night, when there are a couple of friends around. You usually can’t count to 20 before someone asks “Wait, who is this?”. Try it.
I’ve got pretty much every record this guy has ever made. Some are better than others. This is better than most and marks a return to The Pixies era Black Francis pseudonym.
Scholarly, abstract hip hop. Interesting collaborators on this record, for example John Darnielle of The Mountain Goats.
Nels Cline can beat your ass, just not on this record. But don’t push him. He is however, a welcome addition to the Wilco lineup and adds texture to the seemingly ever evolving Wilco sound. I sorta miss Bennett though. Meh.
Nels Cline does beat your ass on this one, as part of The Million Dollar Bashers — a supergroup featuring Sonic Youth’s Lee Ranaldo and Steve Shelley, Wilco guitarist Nels Cline, Television guitarist Tom Verlaine, Dylan bassist Tony Garnier, guitarist Smokey Hormel and keyboardist John Medeski. Cline and Verlaine tangle on the opener “All Along The Watchtower” in a fresh and frankly, pretty incredible way. This is the soundtrack to the Todd Haynes film I’m Not There which characterizes Bob Dylan with a different approach and poetic narrative.
“Best of” lists at the year’s end are always subjective. If you’re interested in any of these records and you don’t mind helping me out, I suggest you buy them from Amazon.com.
Fuck DRM. There, I’ve said it. If you’ can’t be bothered with packaging, Amazon also offers a ton of