This is not a top ten list. It is a disorganized collection of affections for records I didn’t have the time or sense or willpower to properly consider on the site but which left a serious impact on me and which, I believe, you should IMMEDIATELY purchase to make your life just a little more perfect. These records are not ranked nor are they in any particular order and you can bet your sweet ass I’ll be writing about quite a few more before this year closes so, expect another parlay or two soon. Rockit.
Lesser Beings – This Is All There Is – This record’s ramshackle intimacy and tender, straining pleas for hope in the good things that life reveals in its long spinning, strangled pace make Lesser Beings’ debut read like a hope diary written in tea leaves and crackled jars of fingerpaint without ever falling prey to cloying poise or the bullshit masquerade. This is music for dusk on a city bus, going home to the woman and dogs that you love.
Run the Jewels – Run the Jewels 2 – Badass. BADASS! It’s a good thing we didn’t tackle this raging hip hop behemoth in long form because the fucking thing would melt our precious hyperbole machine by the second click and then we’d read like All Songs Considered and Killer Mike, El-P and the crushing swoop of hard-boiled hawks they got to guest on this monster deserve better than the tepid “huzzahs” of white spectacles, post college.
The Ukiah Drag – In the Reaper’s Quarters – You like drug punk? Nah, man. You fucking LOVE drug punk like the real drowning death trip sound of a swamp man swollen up the sanded ground. Pleasure kicks gone sick on the taste of second skin, The Ukiah Drag rage in the deep, deep shit of The Cult Maternal and swing their dicks like the own the red rocket on the long way down.
Flying Lotus – You’re Dead! – If John Zorn had laptop instead of a MacArthur Genius Grant and musique concrète feared no beat nor rhyme nor XXX appeal and jazz was a tailspin, recognized as still present and potent and head-busting as hell then firestorms would be symphonies and the Big Sleep would greet us all as captains of density and Flying Lotus would be the swan song that held our howling maws aloft.
Einstürzende Neubauten – Lament – I wish I were smart enough to write a suitably erudite dissertation on the sonic valleys and verdant conceptual peaks that populate Einstürzende Neubauten’s new magnum, Lament but I’m just some punk with an Industrial Cookbook, a busted drumstick from his youth and a terse knowledge of the extraordinary horrors that made The Great War an unforgivable marvel of modern man as played against himself and so I listen and urge you to, too in the cacophony of your concrete room.
Big Ups – Eighteen Hours of Static – This is a retrofitted entry. Missed this record on its release and pretty much could have given two fucks about Big Ups (no offense) until I saw them burn the death knell at DBA and now I’m all coocoo gaga rara KILL IT! for this balls-deep brat pack because, in a world without Double Dagger, all that’s left is vacant chatter and motherfuckers charging an arm and a cock for puke-stains so…wait, what? Punk is still LIVE! man. Bring the art ruckus.
White Suns – Totem – Holy fuck, this record is a scorching mess of bleak, black, blistered endless hopeless hulks of men. I used to think that I dug noise rock and I suppose that I still do but when the noise employed is such a consternated fury it makes me feel like a pussy for ever thinking Sonic Youth was a challenge to the conspiracies of pop culture. Seriously, dude. This record is MOST BRUTAL!
Jandek – Ghost Passing – Listen, I know that it doesn’t make me any less of an asshole for conceding that I’m an asshole but I do, okay? Because no one but an asshole really needs to spend a full quarter of their day listening to Jandek implore his anti-anti-anti outlier shit on pianistic expressions (plus whistling noise and assorted vibratos) titled “Fantasy” (as six number tracks/CDs) or maybe an albatross, sleepwalking through the blinded abyss.
(this is not Jandek)
Daggers – It’s Not Jazz, It’s Blues – This was a banner year for metal but – sadly – I missed most of those warships drowning my head in the fog of Fahey and the Tacoma cats that done appreciated themselves from his maniac tuning. It’s a sin, dudes. I did dig on some Daggers for my growling crunch and nutkick shred, however because Daggers kinda sounds like Entombed and Entombed fucking RULES!
Wussy – Attica! – Wussy is the greatest band with the most unfortunate name since the Ass Ponys came and went Okra and since Chuck Cleaver has spearheaded both projects, I can only suspect his masonry past has some weird caveat about pop success. That being said, who gives a shit because Wussy is a wonder of understated American hope and subsequent sorrow and – though I prefer the brighter delights of their earlier efforts (“Maglite.” “MAGLITE!”) – Attica! is the magic hour wherein Mr. Cleaver, Lisa Walker, Mark Messerly, Joe Klug and John Erhardt (they all deserve name recognition) shine the black kettle of our young nation’s ribald discretions bright enough to make it feel like a home worth holding.
Adultry Kidding – BINGE – So, I saw this band called ASTR the other day and this young buck with a two thousand dollar lens told me they were gonna be the next big thing and I just wanted to kick him in the dick screaming “FUCK YOU, HOUSTON’S AWESOME!” not because I have any particular ties to that town but I figure if you’re gonna drool over a boy/girl sex beat, you should go in for these agitated (and prolific) Texas weirdos not just because they’re better but because they’re fucking dangerous.