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Some 2010 Favorites

Monday, December 27th, 2010

OK folks – a (very) few have been asking, so it's time again for my annual end of year record list…

[My mid-year list, 2009 list, 2008 list, 2007 list]

 

By far, the two albums I listened to most in 2010:

The (Royal) Baths – Litanies LP [Woodist]

This is dark, brooding, sexy, psychedelica at its best. Debut album featuring Jigmae Baer (ex-Oh Sees, The Perverts) and Jeremy Cox both of the under-rated Tea Elles. There are far too many San Francisco bands on this list, so please start with this one…

Big Blood – Dead Songs LP [Time Lag]

Excellent husband/wife folk psych duo from Maine. Plus, they give away a ton (all?) of their music on the Free Music Archive, so you really have no reason not to check them out. If you're into the more drone-y side of things see "Dark Country Magic," which just came out…

 

And in no particular order (let's get the San Francisco stuff out of the way first):

(Charlie & The) Moonhearts – Moonhearts [Tic Tac Totally]

These guys finally got a full-length LP out after a batch of solid 7inches and splits. This year, their garage-goodness tops Ty Segall and Thee Oh Sees in my book. Thankfully they're all friends and play together so often that a diagram would be necessary to sort things out

White Fence – White Fence LP [Make A Mess]

I spun this one quite a bit in '10 as well. More classic lysergic pop from San Fran, this sounds like it was recorded in 1969 (minus the drum machines)…

Ty Segall – Melted LP [Goner] & San Francisco Rock Compilation or Food or Weird Beer From Microsoft CS [God?]

"Melted" is another strong release by Ty Segall and "My Sunshine" was definitely a '10 favorite. However, I think "Lemons" is still my favorite Ty LP. On the other hand, this little cassette, "San Francisco Rock Compilation", finds Ty venturing to an even heavier, noisy, experimental audio-collage territory and I like it. I like it a lot.

Thee Oh Sees – Warm Slime LP [In The Red] & Quadrospazzed '09 12" [Castle Face]

What would a list be without Thee Oh Sees? I liked "Warm Slime," especially the 10+ minute Side A, which quickly became my summer jam. But to me, it was just not as strong as the back-to-back greatness of "The Master's Bedroom…" and "Help" LPs. But I'll take any Oh Sees I can get and luckily these guys and girl work fast  — there is a new album slated for a spring release on In The Red records.

"Quadrospazzed '09" came and went quickly but it was a nice little Oh Sees release for us completists. A one-sided 12" 45rpm release featuring a live jam, Side B had only a sprawling etching.

Sword & Sandals – Good and Plenty LP [Empty Cellar]

Yes, I know, more John Dwyer. But this free-jazz project of his turned out much better than I expected. Worth a mention at least…

Patrick Mullins – Don't Go To Sleep LP [Yik Yak]

(Relatedly and also worth a quick mention): quite literally, early Oh Sees (OCS) minus John Dwyer

Various Artists – In A Cloud: New Sounds From San Francisco LP [Secret Seven]

A little compilation which pretty much sums up why the SF scene is awesome: Sonny & The Sunsets, Fresh & Onlys, Thee Oh Sees, Grass Window, Ty Segall, Kelly Stoltz, Donovan Quinn. Check these mostly mediocre cuts, then go seek out further (better) cuts…

Dan Melchior und das Menace – Visionary Pangs LP

Blistering scornful garage

Sun City Girls – Funeral Mariachi LP [Abduction]

This came kind of unexpectedly, a beautiful swan-song for the SCG

David Cross – Bigger and Blackerer LP [Sub Pop]

Precautionary tales from Mr. Cross

Mark Sultan – $ LP [Last Gang]

Noisy doo-wop garage

The Fall – Your Future, Our Clutter LP [Domino]

This guy is still doing it and doing it well…

Pocahaunted – Make It Real LP [Not Not Fun]

Pocahaunted no more. When Best Coast took off, I pretty much called this one…

Paul Cary – Ghost of a Man LP [Stankhouse]

I think this may be the most underrated album of the year. More mellowed blues from The Horrors (U.S.) leadman.

Golden Triangle – Double Jointer LP [Hardly Art]

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Looking forward to hearing some X-Ray Eyeballs.

Various Artists – Ecstatic Music of the Jemma El Fna LP [Sublime Frequencies]

Blown-out Moroccan street jams

TV Buddha – The Golden Period [Trost]

Heavy two-piece Israeli psychedelica

Tyvek – Nothing Fits [In The Red]

It took me a while to get into these guys' garage-noise, but I dig this way more than their first LP. I think it must have been that horrific artwork on the first LP.

Sex Church – Six Songs By Sex Church [Convulsive]

Garage-Punk + Kraut

 

Singles:

Night Beats – H Bomb 7" [Trouble In Mind]

Baby Dinosaurs vs. The Soft Spots 7" [Die Slaughterhaus]

Various Artists – Their Hispanic Majesties Request 2×7" [Norton]

A Lost People – Big Booty Bitches digital single [self released]

Drop Z – Tha King of Pop [no label]

 

Vinyl-Geek Reissues/Not New:

Earth – A Bureaucratic Desire For Extra Capsular Extraction 2xLP [Southern Lord]

This one wins the packaging award this year. Beautiful gatefold with full color printed inner-sleeves, full liner notes, and THICK vinyl (some on clear, even). This early doom drone metal is so good I'm embarrassed I didn't know it before. Kurt Cobain's signature vocal-screams don't hurt on the last track either…

Amon Duul II – Tanz Der Lemmerage 2xLP

Krautrock shred masterpiece. Previously a hard one to track down…

Les Rallizes Denudes – Heavier Than A Death In The Family 2xLP [Phoenix]

Since all this stuff is so blown out I'm not so sure how crucial a vinyl release is, but it's fun to finally have my favorite Japanese band finally on vinyl…

Various Artists – Alan Lomax Southern Journey 5xLP [Mississippi]

I'm glad these important southern field recordings are available on vinyl. This was a great opportunity to put together a nice little series with excellent artful packaging. Instead Mississippi failed in the art department (unlike them) and opted for fake typewriter font and some lazy photoshop filters. Boo.

Henry Jacobs – Around The World With Henry Jacobs CD [Important]

"Absurd folklorist Henry Jacobs returns with a selection of rare interviews, odd loops, sales pitches, early
synthesizer demos, an ether-infused evening, and more!" Need I say more?

The Fall – This Nation's Saving Grace LP

Wins the award for cheapest vinyl reissue – I didn't know it was possible to make vinyl so thin. On the other hand, I'm glad to have this without having to pay $30.

The Mummies – The Mummies Play Their Own Records LP [Estrus]

Man or Astro-Man? – Is it Man or…Astro-Man? LP [Estrus]

Since Estrus isn't putting anything out anymore, at least they've started repressing the good stuff…

Lou Reed – Metal Machine Music 2xLP [Sister Ray]

NOISE

Velvet Underground – The Quine Tapes 6xLP box [Sundazed]

Featuring a whole side of Sister Ray recorded at Wash U…

Spacemen 3 – Perfect Prescription LP & Sound of Confusion LP & Performance LP & Playing With Fire 2×10" & Taking Drugs to Make Music To Take Drugs To 2xLP [Fire & Taang]

About time this happened. Still waiting for the "Dreamweapon: An Evening of Contemporary Sitar Music" LP though

Mazzy Star – She Hangs Brightly LP & So Tonight That I May See LP & Among My Swan LP [Plain]

Some of the most beautiful psychedelic music ever recorded

Sonic Youth – Sister LP

My favorite Sonic Youth LP, now back in print (and in purple).

Parson Sound – Parson Sound 3xLP Box [Subliminal Sounds]

Stoned 1960s Swedish grooves. Throw this on the table and let it roll. Can't be beat.

C.C. Hennix – The Electric Harpsichord CD [Die Schachtel]

Praised by La Monte Young and frequently a Henry Flynt collaborator, it's nice to finally see this 1970s material released into the wild.

Various Artists – Excavated Shellac: Strings [Parlortone]

Guitar, oud, violin and more from the 78rpm era. Excellent.

 

2011 – Everything's going to be alright,

Klax

Some Quick 2010 Favorites

Sunday, July 25th, 2010
A Lost People

So we’re a little past mid-2010 by now. I just hastily put together this list of some of my favorite releases so far. Without a doubt, I’ve forgotten some good ones. Hopefully, I’ll fix this with a more detailed list in about six months. Anyway if you’ve read my lists in the past, there shouldn’t be too many surprises here…

Thee Oh Sees – Quadrospazzed ’09 (Castle Face)
Thee Oh Sees – Warm Slime (In The Red)
Since I last checked in, a 45rpm 12″ single and another full-band psychedelic summer LP.

Ty Segall – Melted (Goner)
Maybe his best yet…

Moonhearts – Moonhearts (Tic Tac Totally)
After collecting a half dozen solid 7 inches, a slight name change (prior: Charlie & The Moonhearts) and a full length debut LP

David Cross – Bigger and Blackerer (Sub Pop)
A little less pissed then his previous two LPs, this one still bites

Mark Sultan – $ (Last Gang)
1/2 King Khan & BBQ (better half?) plus a little noise…

A Lost People – Big Booty Bitches (self-released)
I hate to say it, but I think I like the clean version better (find it on iTunes)

Pocahaunted – Make It Real (Not Not Fun)
Yes, Best Coast is good, but it’s kind of a Pocahaunted side project (well…probably not anymore). This is better.

Golden Triangle – Double Jointer (Hardly Art)
If you like Thee Oh Sees, you’ll like this

Paul Cary – Ghost of a Man (Stankhouse)
Great, great bluesy debut solo album by lead man of The Horrors (the good ones, not the shitty English ones).

International Hello – International Hello (Holy Mountain)
Monoshock is back, albeit a little slowed down…

Abner Jay – Folk Song Stylist (Mississippi)
Keep these coming.

Acid Eater – Black Fuzz on Wheels (Time Bomb)
Given just the band/album name, this sounds exactly like what you would expect. Except Japanese.

AFCGT – AFCGT (Sub Pop)
Is this really on Sub Pop?

The Fall – Your Future, Our Clutter (Domino)
Obviously

Baby Dinosaurs vs. The Soft Spots 7 inch (Die Slaughterhaus)
Been waiting a while for this one on everyone’s favorite ATL label…

Drop Z – “Tha King a Pop”
Catchiest Michael Jackson tribute song of the year (ever?)…
(thanks WFMU Blog)

Water Bears – Misogymnastics (ZAP)
I know this is a little self serving, so I almost didn’t put it on the list. But fuck it, this album is great. I know you guys love ‘em too…

Spacemen 3 vinyl re-issues (Fire & Taang)
Still waiting for the “Dreamweapon: An Evening of Contemporary Sitar Music” LP though…

Mazzy Star discography vinyl re-issues (Plain)
Fucking finally!

The Mummies – The Mummies Play Their Own Records vinyl re-issue (Estrus)
The only garage band Billy Childish name-checks. Need I say more? This is essential. On vinyl.

Lou Reed – Metal Machine Music vinyl re-issue (Sister Ray)
“If you ever thought feedback was the best thing that happened to the guitar, well, Lou just got rid of the guitars” – Lester Bangs

Feel Good Hit of the Summer

Sunday, May 23rd, 2010

Officially my summer jam:

Ty Segall – “My Sunshine”
(off of My Sunshine 7″ on Trouble in Mind + his new LP Melted on Goner Records)

2009 Favorites

Saturday, December 26th, 2009
(Thee Oh Sees at GonerFest 6 – image by Kandi Cook)

Well, we finally (almost) made it through 2009. It was a tough year. As usual, good music kept it interesting. (See my mid-year list — expect some repeats…)

Thee Oh Sees – Help LP [In The Red], Zork’s Tape Bruise Demos LP & Singles Collection CD [Kill Shaman], Dog Poison EP [Captured Tracks], Tidal Wave / Heart Sweats 7inch [Woodist], Jay Reatard split 7inch [Shattered], Ty Segall split 7inch [Castle Face], In The Shadow of the Giant 7inch [Sub Pop Singles Club], Blood in Your Ear / Friends Defined 7inch [Rock Is Hell], Paul Cary split 7inch [Stankhouse]

Holy shit! This was the year to be an Oh Sees fan. John Dwyer and company took no breaks and consistently delivered new material up until the very end of the year. Plus, I got to see them live three times over a five month period (L.A., Memphis, Atlanta). I like the layered pop oriented direction of their latest EP, Dog Poison (it was, impressively, written and recorded entirely by John Dwyer — i.e. he multi-tracked and played every instrument/performed all vocals). I also like the increasing use of the flute in their songs. Expect some of the tracks from the later seven inches to make their way onto the upcoming Warm Slime, slated for an early 2010 release on In The Red Records. These guys (and girl) aren’t taking breaks. Keep it coming!

Ty Segall – Lemons LP [Goner], Reverse Shark Attack (w/ Mikal Cronin) [Kill Shaman]
The Perverts – The Perverts 7inch [HBSP-2x]

Oh Sees buddy and boy wonder Ty Segall cranked out more blown out garage rock mid-year with Lemons, a strong follow-up to his excellent debut album. We got Reverse Shark Attack, a collaboration with Mikal Cronin of Charlie & The Moonhearts, just a couple of weeks ago. I may like it even better, especially the 10+ minute side B beatles-esque/surf jam.
Also, for an even louder slab, I ended up spinning (another project of his) The Perverts, quite a bit. Throw in the couple of stellar 7 inches he released and you have a strong year. Did I mention this guy is like 22? Keep and an eye on this one. He’s hopefully going to be cranking them out for a while.

Various Artists – RRR-1000 LP [RRR]

A follow-up to RRR-100 and RRR-500, this record contains 1000 locked grooves by twenty artists. A neat record to have in your collection for sure. Since it’s hard to be precise to the groove level on a record, every listen turns out different and provides a little surprise.

The Beets – Spit In The Face Of People Who Don’t Want To Be Cool LP [Captured Tracks]

Some nice minimal yet percussive heavy psychedelic garage-rock. Nice debut LP.

Times New Viking – Born Again Revisited [Matador]

Some of the most abrasive pop music out there. They delivered the goods again this year with a fourth LP of goodness. I also really enjoyed hearing a recording their special Velvet Underground cover set (with guest violinist C. Spencer Yeh — KWUR Week 2007 alum) performed at Ohio’s Wexner Center in February. Download it here.

Mika Miko – We Be Xuxa [Post Present Medium]

Sadly, Mika Miko recently broke up. Luckily, I saw them this summer in their element at The Smell in Los Angeles. I can’t say I was a fan of their west-coast punk style until after the show. That’s how good they are live. Now I listen to their albums all the time.

Mayyors – Deads EP

This is some heavy shit. It’s the guy (Chris Woodhouse) who produces all those other awesome band’s (Hospitals, Coachwhips, Oh Sees) albums. He was also in Karate Party.

Magik Markers – Balf Quarry LP [Drag City]

I think I listened to this album more than any other this year. See my mid-year post.

Yellow Fever – Yellow Fever LP [Wild World]

I love this band. I was glad the Vivian Girls helped get their songs out on vinyl. Mellow mostly bass/drums combo.

Amen Dunes – Dia LP [Locust]

Some pretty weird stuff for just one guy. Again, see my mid-year post.


Predator – Predator EP [Rob's House]

Best band in Atlanta right now. Tight repetitive punk rock. Check out their debut LP coming out on Douchemaster Records in 2010.

Various Artists – The World Is Lousy With Ideas, Vol. 8 LP [Almost Ready]

For better or worse, this will be the compilation people will look back on when they wonder 20 years from now, what was the music scene like in 2009? Featuring: Vivian Girls, Blank Dogs, Pink Reason, Guinea Worms, Times New Viking, Tyvek, The Intelligence, Sic Alps, Thee Oh Sees

Re-issues/Not New:

The Beatles – In Mono boxset [Apple]

It was nice to finally re-examine all The Beatles albums as they were originally intended. The band didn’t give a damn about the stereo mixes and only closely supervised the mono mixes when originally released. Of course, these had never been released on CD, so many like me only knew the inferior 1980s stereo CD versions. If you know the old stereo versions even remotely well, throw on some headphones and listen to these mono reissues. You will hear a difference and you will like it. It’s only way to listen to the Beatles from now on. Plus, vinyl re-masters are confirmed to be in the works. Hopefully we’ll get mono versions and hopefully early in 2010.

Billy Childish – Archive From 1959 [Damaged Goods]

Since Billy Childish has released a huge amount of material, it’s a little daunting to figure out where to start off your vinyl collection. Luckily this 3 LP collection came out and it features all the best nuggets from Billy Childish’s (non-spoken word) career (up until now). It’s all the Billy Childish vinyl you’ll ever need in one nice package. It’s also very reasonably priced.

Nirvana – Live at Reading [Geffen]

As the Nirvana archives are annually milked, it was nice to see this legendary show officially released. The performance is non-stop one hit after the other and includes all the classics from all the albums.

Gris Gris – Live at the Creamery [Birdman]

I had kind of forgotten about the Gris Gris. They hadn’t released anything since 2005. Then this killer live album came out of nowhere and they started playing shows again. That’s a good thing.

Vaselines – The Way of the Vaselines [Sub Pop]

I’m starting to like these Sub Pop “Deluxe Edition” LP sets. See my mid-year post.

Various Artists – Art of Field Recording, Vol. 2 boxset [Dust-to-Digital]

The last (?) in Art Rosenbaum’s carefully compiled field recordings documenting American country, folk, and blues. The modern Harry Smith Anthology.

Sic Alps – Long Way To A Shortcut 2xLP [Drag City]

Nice to get this odds ‘n’ ends compilation on vinyl as it should be heard.

Vinyl Geek Re-pressings:

Faust – So Far [4 Men With Beards], IV [Virgin]
Sandy Bull - Fantasias For Guitar and Banjo, Inventions For Guitar and Banjo, E Pluribus Unum [Sutro Park]
Peter Walker – Rainy Day Raga [Harte]
Arthur Doyle – Alabama Feeling [Rank]
Terry Riley – Rainbow in Curved Air [Columbia]
Amon Duul II – Yeti [Revisited]
Beastie Boys – Ill Communication [Capitol]

Labels:

Mississippi Records
Galactic Zoo Disk
Trouble in Mind

Festivals:

Gonerfest 6

I know, I never did my Gonerfest recap. Well, let’s just say a lawless city like Memphis plus easy access to cheap beer plus three days of raucous garage rock made for an enjoyable time. Tickets and accommodations were very reasonable too. Will be attending again.

My 2008 List

Bar-B-Q Killers Reissued?

Monday, November 16th, 2009

I’ve spoken highly of Athens, GA based Bar-B-Q Killers before. Well, it seems that someone (Mike Turner and Gordon Lamb) has finally stepped up to get their one and only album, Comely, properly remastered and reissued (with bonus tracks too).

I guess this project is dependent on raising some money first. You can donate/pre-order here. It looks like the goal is to get it out on CD, and if enough money is raised, possibly even vinyl. Vinyl, Vinyl, Vinyl!

Thankfully, I tracked down two original LPs both for extremely reasonable prices. I found one from a seller in Washington state on ebay and one at a used record store in Los Angeles. Both quite far from the Athens/Atlanta homebase. For a while, I even considered reissuing the LP on bootleg cassette. Glad I don’t have to because someone’s doing it legitimately.

KWUR also has the Athens, GA: Inside/Out soundtrack LP. Pretty rad BBQ Killers live track on that one..

And just to get you excited, here’s a clip of the Bar-B-Q Killers from that very film (directed by KWUR alum, Bill Cody)…