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.
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.
Next week a series of meetings on the use of technology to tackle global problems will be held in Little Rock by Club de Madrid — a coalition of more than 100 former democratic former presidents and prime ministers from around the world — and the P80 Group, a coalition of large public pension and sovereign wealth funds founded by Prince Charles to combat climate change. The conference will discuss deploying existing technologies to increase access to food, water, energy, clean environment, and medical care.
Sen. Jason Rapert (R-Conway) was on "Capitol View" on KARK, Channel 4, this morning, and among other things that will likely inspire you to yell at your computer screen, he said he expects someone in the legislature to file a bill to do ... something about changing the name of the Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport.
So fed up was young Edgar Welch of Salisbury, N.C., that Hillary Clinton was getting away with running a child-sex ring that he grabbed a couple of guns last Sunday, drove 360 miles to the Comet Ping Pong pizzeria in Washington, D.C., where Clinton was supposed to be holding the kids as sex slaves, and fired his AR-15 into the floor to clear the joint of pizza cravers and conduct his own investigation of the pedophilia syndicate of the former first lady, U.S. senator and secretary of state.
There is almost nothing real about "reality TV." All but the dullest viewers understand that the dramatic twists and turns on shows like "The Bachelor" or "Celebrity Apprentice" are scripted in advance. More or less like professional wrestling, Donald Trump's previous claim to fame.