YEAR END! – Top Records Of 2016

tfnr

2016 was on some bullshit, man. I didn’t dedicate a lot of time to the blog because shit just kept happening. I kept running into car related money problems. My personal life kept finding new and exciting ways to be terrible. And everything really kind of stopped after my dad died back in May.

I’m still trying to figure out how much longer I’m going to keep doing things here. I’m leaning more toward keeping up than I was back in October. I guess we’ll see where it all goes in the coming months. Anyway, here are my top 25 favorite records of 2016 in alphabetical order:

  • Angel Olsen – “My Woman”
  • Colleen Green – “Colleen Green”
  • Computer Magic – “Obscure But Visible”
  • Dowsing – “Okay”
  • Flock Of Dimes – “If You See Me, Say Yes”
  • Fucko – “Dealing With The Weird”
  • Frankie Cosmos – “Next Thing”
  • Haybaby – “Blood Harvest”
  • The Hotelier – “Goodness”
  • Japanese Breakfast – “Psychopomp”
  • Kindling – “Everywhere Else”
  • Kowabunga! Kid – “Wasting My Time”
  • Magik*Magik – “MAGIK*MAGIK”
  • Middle Part – “Middle Part”
  • Miserable – “Uncontrollable”
  • Mitski – “Puberty 2”
  • Museum Mouth – “Popcorn Fish Guinea Pig”
  • Nancy Pants – “Vol. 27 EP”
  • Orations – “Incantation”
  • Psychic Twin – “Strange Diary”
  • Sad Blood – “Legion Of Gloom”
  • Save Ends – “Hug Your Friends”
  • Signals Midwest – “At This Age”
  • Slingshot Dakota – “Break”
  • Slow Bloom – “Slow Bloom”

That’s the list. Yes, I know there are some high profile releases that I didn’t include. Most glaringly, I passed on the American Football record and the Jimmy Eat World record. I know I’m supposed to love those records, but I really didn’t.

In the immortal words of the Wu-Tang Clan: if you want beef, then bring the ruckus.

YEAR END! – Top Records Of 2015

trbestof

I’m keeping this list brief this year. Not too many bells and whistles, or whatever. It’s the end of January, so I really need to just post it. 2015 was a weird fucking year, and I didn’t keep up with this stuff the way I should have. 2016 should be better. Anyway, on with the list.

Top Records of 2015. LPs, EPs, and splits. In alphabetical order:

  • Adult Mom – “Momentary Lapse Of Happily”
  • Annabel – “Having It All”
  • Beach House – “Depression Cherry”
  • Big Awesome – “Party On”
  • Blind Mice – “Sunday Songs”
  • Bong Mountain – “You’re Doin’ Great”
  • Drowse – “Soon Asleep”
  • Football, etc. – “Disappear”
  • Haybaby – “Sleepy Kids”
  • Island Of Misfit Toys – “I Made You Something”
  • Jennylee – “Right On!”
  • Kindling – “Galaxies”
  • King Woman – “Doubt”
  • Kind Of Like Spitting / Warren Franklin & The Founding Fathers – “It’s Always Nice To See You”
  • Long Knives – “This Is Your Life”
  • mewithoutYou – “Pale Horses”
  • Pet Symmetry – “Pet Hounds”
  • Sheer – “Uneasy”
  • The World Is A Beautiful Place And I Am No Longer Afraid To Die – “Harmlessness”
  • The Unlovables / Dirt Bike Annie – “Reunion Show”
  • Waxahatchee – “Ivy Tripp”

 

FEATURE: My 2014 In Live Music

I went a little over two years without seeing any live music. It certainly wasn’t something I was trying to do, but it happened. This was pretty unforgivable for someone who blogs about music. This is even more unforgivable given my immediate proximity to Chicago. There were literally bands here always.

But, somehow, I went from July 2011 until November 2013 without seeing any live music. It was a pretty big drought. As is forever the story of my life, it was almost always due to money problems, health problems, or scheduling problems. I work 3rd shift on Wednesday through Saturday nights. This means I end up missing damn near every show. That two year span was a lot of disappointment. I’d see a band was coming, only to see the show was on a Friday or Saturday night. Meaning I had to work.

Luckily that streak was broken. I got back into the swing of things this last year. I got to see a pretty fair amount of bands. Here is my 2014 in live music:

March:
NONA / Pet Symmetry / Meah! / The Valenteens
(@ TOWNSHIP)

April:
Dowsing / Donovan Wolfington / Bluebirds / Per Aspera
(@ TOWNSHIP)

May:
Dowsing / Little Big League / Winter Classic / L. Mounts
(@ TOWNSHIP)

June:
Lemuria / Cayetana / PUP / The Menzingers
(@ BOTTOM LOUNGE)

July:
Braid / Jason Douglass Swearingen
(@ TOWNSHIP)

September:
Empire! Empire! (I Was A Lonely Estate) / Joie De Vivre / Free Throw
(@ TOWNSHIP)

December:
Lemuria / Lifted Bells / Prince
(@ BEAT KITCHEN)

American Football / Braid
(@ BOTTOM LOUNGE)

Ten of those bands ended up on my year end lists.

Hopefully 2015 is as eventful. Though, with the apparent loss of Township, I feel like Sunday night shows are going to fall by the wayside. That is definitely a bummer.

So, bands I like, you are on notice. Please play Sunday shows when you come to Chicago. You will be my best friends, and you may end up on a year end list on a blog that not very many people read. Deal?

YEAR END! – Top Ten Records Of The Year

Here are the best records of the year. Not much label diversity here, but that is just how it goes sometimes.

1) Joie De Vivre – We’re All Better Than This (Count Your Lucky Stars)

2) Dowsing – It’s Still Pretty Terrible (Count Your Lucky Stars)

 

 

 

 

 

3) Dikembe – Broad Shoulders (Tiny Engines)

 

 

 

 

 

4) Dads – American Radass (this is important) (Flannel Gurl)

 

 

 

 

 

5) State Faults – Desolate Peaks (Tiny Engines)

 

 

 

 

 

6) Best Practices – The EP LP (Tiny Engines)

 

 

 

 

 

7) Suis La Lune – Riala (Topshelf)

 

 

 

 

 

8) You Blew It! – Grow Up, Dude (Topshelf)

 

 

 

 

 

9) Beach House – Bloom (Sub Pop)

 

 

 

 

 

10) The Dandelion War – We Were Always Loyal To Lost Causes (Deep Elm)

 

YEAR END! – Best Seven Inches Of The Year

These are the Top ten 7″ releases of the year.

1) Lemuria – Varoom Allure (Bridge Nine

)

2) State Lines – Self Titled (Tiny Engine

s)

3) Snowing – Pump Fake / Scherbatsky (Square Of Opposition)

4) Restorations – A/B (Tiny Engines)

 

5) Dowsing / Parker – Split (Count Your Lucky Stars)

 

YEAR END! – Honorable Mentions

These are the records that were fantastic, but just this side of the top ten.

1) Save Ends – Strength vs. Will (self released)

2) Among Giants – Truth Hurts (self released)

3) Red Collar – Welcome Home (Tiny Engines)

4)The Eeries – Home Alone (Evil Weevil / Burger)

5) La Sera – Sees The Light (Hardly Art)




YEAR END! – Top Labels Of The Year

Tiny Engines:
Seriously, Tiny Engines fucking killed it this year. Eight of my top ten records could very well have come exclusively from this label. In fact, check their history, Tiny Engines have not put out a bad record in their entire four year history. This label is that damn good. I look forward to all the things that come out in 2013

Deep Elm:
This year saw a great number of releases come out of the Deep Elm camp. I tend to be bummed on digital only labels, but I can’t be for Deep Elm. Back before they were digital only (and before I was a vinyl snob), a good portion of my CD collection was Deep Elm. They are home to some of my all time favorite records, and to some great up and coming bands that are going to make a big splash in independent music.

Count Your Lucky Stars:
Perfect Future, Dowsing, and Joie De Virve all put out full lengths this year. That alone puts CYLS right near the top of the list, never mind the rest of the amazing stuff they put out this year. They are also ready to come right out the gates in 2013 with a new Annabel 7″ and the debut full length from Brave Bird. This label is all quality.