Saturday, December 31, 2016

Favorite Songs of 2016

Many of these songs were included on fine albums in 2016, but these stood out particularly (and were not included in my Favorite Albums of 2016 list). Enjoy!

























Sunday, December 18, 2016

Favorite Rock Albums of 2016

Here are some of my favorite albums of 2016. Each of them had a powerful effect on me in one way or another, and I gave them repeat listens. Explore, please, and enjoy:


WIRE Nocturnal Koreans




SPEED OF THE STARS (Steve Kilbey of The Church, and Frank Kearns) Speed Of The Stars




THE JOY FORMIDABLE Hitch




THE LENNON CLAYPOOL DELIRIUM Monolith Of Phobos




BLACK MOUNTAIN IV




BOB MOULD Patch The Sky




SCHOOL OF SEVEN BELLS SVIIB



THE MONKEES Good Times!




DEERHOOF The Magic




MITSKI Puberty 2



MIND SPIDERS Prosthesis




KATE BUSH Before The Dawn




HIGH VIOLETS Heroes And Halos




DAVID BOWIE Blackstar




JON ANDERSON/ROINE STOLT Invention Of Knowledge




Sunday, December 20, 2015

Favorite Albums of 2015

Such a great year, so many great albums! I had to leave quite a few off just to keep this list to a reasonable amount. So here they are, the faves, again in no particular order:

The Decemberists
What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World


One of my favorite Decemberists albums so far! They took a sabbatical, regrouped, and released this beauty.



Gaz Coombes
Matador


Former Supergrass leader with a sumptuous, tuneful outing.



Charlatans UK
Modern Nature


Formed in 1989, catching the tail end of the "Madchester" scene, these Manchester lads have matured nicely.



The Juliana Hatfield Three
Whatever, My Love


A veteran, and survivor, of the grunge/indie rock movements, the spirit of the 90's is alive.



Steven Wilson
Hand. Cannot. Erase


Ex-Porcupine Tree leader releases another sublimely bleak, yet beautiful album, including this jazzy prog-style masterpiece.



Django Django
Born Under Saturn


Catchy as hell, bouncy indie pop/rock goodness.



The Minus 5
Dungeon Golds


Speaking of 90's survivors, Scott McCaughey (of Seattle's Young Fresh Fellows) soldiers on with indie rock side-project (all-star?) band The Minus 5. I think it's my favorite of theirs so far. ("Dungeon" refers to the basement studio in which they record.)



Crocodiles
Boys


What a jammin' band! These guys make music you can dance in your pajamas to, or in my case, running around a track with headphones on.



Zefur Wolves
Zefur Wolves


A rare thing indeed: A Mexican rock band with international appeal. Haunting yet rocking, this song ("No Borders") captures the mesmerizing majesty of their sound, and their message of international peace and cooperation.



Ash
Kablammo


And from Northern Ireland, we have Ash, chugging along since 1992. I saw them in Portland this year, and they are still rocking hard. Kablammo!



Muse
Drones


This band is huge, and deservedly so. Huge choruses, huge hooks, huge musicianship, huge imagery. Mega!



Bill Ward
Accountable Beasts


Former (and original) drummer for metal pioneers Black Sabbath, Bill Ward has been through Hell and back, and lived to tell the tale. His solo albums are a bit quirky, and their heaviness comes from a more personal place than the latter-day Sabbath efforts. I love this album.



The Darkness
Last of Our Kind


When the UK's The Darkness began in the year 2000, people laughed. Well, they're still laughing, but they're also still listening and singing along. Fun stuff! Maybe the last glam rock band, enjoy them while you can.



Pinkshinyultrablast
Everything Else Matters


From St. Petersburg, Russia, this shoegaze band makes beautiful noise.



Veruca Salt
Ghost Notes


One of the first successful grunge bands, formed in 1993, Veruca Salt hadn't released an album since 1996, but 19 years later, they drop this wonderful album. I miss this kind of rock music!



Electric Six
Bitch, Don’t Let Me Die


Detroit's Electric Six, rockin' non-stop for almost two decades now, continue their incredible work ethic (releasing about an album a year for the last 12 years. This is as good as any of their others. I love the way Dick Valentine sings the word "evil." And this song's got whistling, too!