Seeing as how another span of 365.25 days (also referred to as a "year") has ended, and it's kind of a slow week, I thought I'd post some tunes from some of my favorite albums that were released in that span of time. Below is my Top 7, in no particular order.
What about y'all? What were the records that you kept on repeat in 2013?
I listened to Steve Gunn's "Time Off" about a million times this year, especially this summer. It's super easygoing and warm-sounding, yet also intricate and rich with subtly impressive guitar moves.
On a similar tip, Danny Paul Grody's "Between Two Worlds" was another acoustic-guitar-heavy collection that I played the heck out of last year.
Then there was this, which was definitely the punkest thing that happened on network TV in 2013. It's got everything: wigs, leopard-print blouses, severed fingers, loud guitars, a dude playing a Walkman cassette player. I've been a big Deerhunter fan ever since I saw them open for the Liars a few years back. "Monomania" is the best thing they've ever done.
Grumbling Fur's "Glynnaestra" was probably my favorite record from last year. These guys have absolutely nailed a strange, particularly British flavor of psychedelia. I hear a lot of Eno and Robert Wyatt in there. This tune, "The Ballad of Roy Batty," was apparently heavily inspired by the film "Blade Runner" and some very stout, uh, chemicals. So good.
Staying across the pond, I gotta say that I was skeptical at first of Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats, who were hyped last year as being the greatest Sabbath-inspired riff merchants since, well, Black Sabbath (who took them on their U.K. tour last year btw). I mean, there are approximately 700 billion bands that were gonna be the next Sabbath. But Uncle Acid and crew have not only killer riffs on their side, they've also cultivated a deeply paranoid and nasty vibe to the music that very few of their contemporaries can touch. This year's full-length "Mind Control" and last year's "Blood Lust" are some serious bad-trip bruisers for all you riff-addicts.
Speaking of bad vibes, God almighty, The Body released a bunch of quite disturbing songs and quite disturbing-er videos to go along with them last year. The Little Rock natives released "Christs, Redeemers" in October to purt-near universal acclaim. They (and artist Alexander Barton) make the walls bleed in this one.
Another one that sneaked up on me late this year was. Stara Rzeka's "Cień Chmury Nad Ukrytym Polem," released back in April. Kuba Ziołek, of Bydgoszcz, Poland, has created a bizarre and bizarrely compelling mix of acoustic guitar wizardry, delicate folk, noise, harsh black metal and cold electronic haze that is amazingly seamless and doesn't sound like anything else I've ever heard. This track is the first one on the album. His cover of Nico's "My Only Child" is just otherworldly and completely badass.
You've got to figure that a band from frozen-ass Winnipeg is just gonna be way gnarlier and tougher than a band from some sun-kissed tropical clime where people wear tank tops and flip-flops year-round.
Also, KEN Mode at Vinos', Red Octopus' 'Trysts and Turns' at the Public Theatre, Mothwind at Maxine's, Patty Griffin at George's Majestic, "Joe Turner's Come and Gone" at the Weekend Theater and Ash at Juanita's.
It's a quick show, so don't put it off: "An Italy Experience: Reflections on the Past and Present," figurative work by Laura Raborn, is at Boswell Mourot Fine Art Feb. 28 through March 5. March 21-April 2.
"Sharkansas," the new mixtape from Little Rock rapper Lo Thraxx has been one of our most anticipated local releases of the year, and it's out as of this afternoon. It features Two 9's Curtis Williams, Raz Fresco, Houston rappers Doeman and Roosh Williams, plus production by Fresco Grey, Trakksounds and others.