This year, I'm keeping the top tens to a real minimum. There will only be a few. Erin Yanke is up first. This is her 4th year in a row on the top tens for the blog! Erin spends her time managing the station at KBOO, playing drums in the seasonal punk band REMNANTS, looking after Knuckles (the cat), randomly working the counter at Mississippi Records and reading more books than you (debatable), among many other things. Here goes....Shopping – Why Choose (Fat Cat) and Consumer Complaints
WOW. This really blew my mind on first exposure, and continues to delight and amaze me. Danceable and smart, anticapitalist postpunk that doesn’t hold back on creativity. Whenever I play it at the record store someone buys the copy straight off the turntable. This is powerful art. Lively. Great. (ed. note: astute readers will note that Consumer Complaints came out in 2013,but, as Erin noted to me, it didn't get an American release until 2015)
This cassette only release will eventually be their new record.. I'm glad we got a sneak peak because its Amazing! They bring the noise and static and franticness and pulsing pace and paranoia and the cold edge of electronics in water. They are a Portland treasure!
I love this band, and love how prolific they are! Two high quality full length records. A few years back I said they were everything good about punk, and now they’ve gone deeper. They’ve slowed down a little bit, added a bunch more instruments, but still manage to be unpredictable while keeping it rockin!
This made me so incredibly happy. To live in such a harsh world that wants the best people dead, and to hear the art that hate can be turned into, it just makes me proud of G.L.O.S.S. as a band and as people, and even a little bit proud of humans in general. This is perfect, so ragin and so alive. Such a gift to the world.
Dead Moon – Live at Satyricon (Voodoo Doughnut Recordings)
The best band ever in the history of the world reminds us of their amazing live energy in the days when fewer folks cared. It’s also funny to me that Going South didn’t start out the set, but that’s total nerdcore from a super fan. Pure Love.
CCTV – CCTV ep (Lumpy)
Treble heavy, frantic, and fun. The vocals are distanced and yet present, engaging and suspicious, laying just above the musical whirlpool. Plus the record has the personal touch that I love.What does CCTV stand for on your record?
Vexx – Give and Take (Katorga Works)
I like this record mostly because it reminds me of their amazing live shows, the honesty and raw (really raw, not just a lot of distortion and effects style) possibility that Mary Jane brings to all moments. Live she is incredible, as is the band who rage along. But this record gives me time to slow down a little and take in what they are saying and doing, not just be swept up in it. Walking in the Rain is standout.
Flesh World - The Wild Animals In My Life (Iron Lung)
I save this record for certain moods, when you want to really sit and listen and go somewhere else. This record opens portals. Lots of fuzz and feedback to lull you, but underneath there are noise moments and other sharp barbs to keep you on your toes as the mind wanders to new worlds. This record is a soundtrack to longing: personal, political, artistic.
Andy Human and the Reptoids – Andy Human and the Reptoids (SS Records)
The band that, when I’d DJ parties, or play on the radio, got the most head swivels the most “who’s THAT?!!” asked with excitement and curiosity. AHatR sure know how to get past the “I’ve heard it all” fortress and break into it with a 70’s Ohio sense of creativity, urgency, fun, and experimentation without sounding like anyone of those bands, and without sounding like retro hack. Modern sounds for modern times.
Susan Vaslev - Music from Enchanted Forest (Wyrd War)
You may have gotten a taste from last year’s comp WHISPERS THROUGH THE BLACK VEIL, but here’s more of the soundtrack to the fantasy amusement park! Not only a great record, but this calls to the higher purpose of making records, documenting our unique corners of the world and bringing them into new worlds.