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.
The podcast Design Matters, published by Design Observer, is celebrating its 10th year and they are revisiting some of their best episodes from the last decade. I just finished this week's replay of the interview with the Scottish born illustrator Marion Deuchars. At the end of the wonderful interview, her two young sons are invited into the studio near where they pitch in some of their own thoughts on art and, in particular, drawing in the art books their mother created for children and adults.
by Will Stephenson, Bryan Moats, Kaya Herron and Lindsey Millar
World wide weird duo Rural War Room (Donavan Suitt & Byron Werner) is celebrating 10 years of broadcasting and production here in Little Rock and abroad. RWR Radio on KABF 88.3 FM (10 p.m. Tuesdays or anytime on their website), features the duo alternating records in an effort to surprise one another.
BRASHER: Hello Arkansans, this is the first piece from us, Brasher and Rowe and we are some dudes who work in downtown Little Rock and we eat lunch and just talk about all the exciting things around here.
Sheila Kennedy, a professor of architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and founder of Kennedy & Violich Architecture Ltd., will give the June Freeman lecture tonight at the Arkansas Arts Center, part of the Architecture + Design Network series at the Arkansas Arts Center.
A former mental health agency director has won a default judgment worth $358,000 over a claim for unpaid retirement pay and Sen. Jeremy Hutchinson is apparently to blame for failure to respond to pleadings in the case.
Sen. Tom Cotton, cordial to a fault, appeared before a capacity crowd at the 2,200 seat Pat Walker Performing Arts Center at Springdale High tonight to a mixed chorus of clapping and boos. Other than polite applause when he introduced his mom and dad and a still moment as he led the crowd in a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance — his night didn't get much better from there.