Big Crux - Ponchito (Not Normal Tapes, B
Easy and lazy reviewing comparisons that are none the less true: Big Boys, Minutemen. Sure, it’s there, but so’s the heat, a modern groove, and what I can only call their own life experiences. Also, some of the more epic vocal styles and They aren’t a tribute, but took a message from the bands and people that came before: “shut the fuck up, this life is for living” for whatever fucked up and nasty things are out there, so is comradery and discovery. “Lamento Demente” is my current favorite song on this record. I’m bummed I was sick the night they played Portland.
"Dreams" was made in collaboration with Barry Bermange (who originally recorded the narrations). Thanks Barry! Dreams is a collection of spliced/reassembled interviews with people describing their dreams of running, land, falling, water, and color. It’s dreamy in the sense of surprising and disconcerting, and also how banal they are individually, but collectively add to my sense of awe for content and structure. I’m happy to have this on vinyl.
When I was pissed off this year, which was a lot of the time, I turned to the old favorites for catharsis. However, when Fuck Off came out, and came into my life, it moved right on to the turntable for seemingly months. Stripped down to the basics, clear and loud in their anger at life in general and specifically... the perfect metamorphose of real life bullshit to art. I found much of what I needed this year in this record: expression of feelings and ideas long held, togetherness and joy.
The intro to Exhaustion is one of my favorite musical moments of the year. It just grabbed me and never let go... and still hasn’t. That groovy angry riff is so fuck you in such a gleeful way... the rest of the album is also fantastic, but that part is what makes this launch into the top ten.
The perfect mix of catchy snotty heartfelt noisey deep and real and ragin... what else is there to say?
Mülltüte plays a live version of Exzess, the first song on the single. (Pick out our friends in the audience!)
Not a record, but a double CD packaged in a bible, described as “a musical essay that looks at monotheism, Christianity, Islam, Judaism, neuroscience, suicide bombers, 9/11, colas, war, shaved chimps, and the all-important role played by the human brain in our beliefs.” it’s traditional Negativland, found music, radio recordings, sound collage, amazing mixes, and of course, snotty and fun and smart.
On the Goner website, it says that this record “arrives just in time to land a spot on your Top Ten of 2014.” Which is TRUE. It’s sharp, full of bravado and scars, synth and guitar, driving and moving. Great record for listening to before going out, ups your energy for protests OR parties.
My easiest choice this year, not only the record I listened to the most but also the one that most shared my experiences of 2014. Lots of fucked up shit happens, but you just get through it and then you move on and you’re not ever the same as you were before. Seems to me that Greg Cartwright had this year a few years ago, got to turn the wounds into scars into songs, and then makes a record that provides the perfect soundtrack for my year of loss and love, dead friends, collaborations, new responsibility, changing minds and changing hearts, and now here at the end some settling in and some peace. “If You Gotta Leave” is a great song, and probably the best on the record. My favorite songs on the record still keep changing. “Never Coming Home” is my current favorite. Last month it was “My My” (last month was a sassier month than this one). There is so much here, easily my favorite record of the year.
Callie Danger is a genius, and I’m stoked that I get to follow her radio show, but I’m also stoked she’s making compilations for Mississippi of her radio hits. This record is curated perfectly from her unusual garage and soul records. She makes a scene out of people who have never met, and has great flow that is both deep and encompassing. Some of Callie’s finest work.
Various Artists - Science Fiction Park Bundesrepublik (Cashe Cashe)
This German electronic experimental compilation has taken my radio station by storm, everyone who hears it goes out and gets a copy, and now I’m hearing it on the air all the time. I love it! It’s the fun part of electronica, with weirdo sounds, noise that presses on you, surprises, and humor! The liner notes talk about summing up a time and a place, the bedroom studios of “doomdenken”, early 80’s, as well as so much more. Totally compelling. Thanks Felix Kubin!
CHBB is a band I knew before this comp, but this is their track on it:
The One That Got Away:
Neu Ist Zeit-Augsburg 1979-84 LP
Honorable Mentions - the records that would have made it in if it were an all punk top ten:
Frau - Punk is My Boyfriend
In School - Praxis of Hate
Poison Girls - Hex/Chappaquiddick Bridge
Secret Prostitutes - Punks is Disco
Total Control - Typical System
And hey, if any of you are in Portland on Feb 5th, I’ll be having my 45th birthday party featuring DJs Fredly Weapon, Callie Danger, and Marcel. 45s only! See you there! -Erin Yanke