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 owner of The Gun Cave Indoor Shooting Range in Hot Springs, Jan Morgan, announced yesterday that she is banning the presence of Muslims in her business. Her reasoning: "Why would I hand guns and ammunition to people whose religion commands them to kill me and my non-muslim patrons?" OK, let's get that lawsuit rolling.
North Carolina's ABC affiliate reports on hundreds of thousands of mailers with false information about voter registration sent by Americans for Prosperity, the right-wing advocacy group backed by the Koch brothers. The official-looking mailers gave the wrong deadline for voter registration and told people to sign up with the wrong state agency. The mailers also gave the wrong office for questions regarding voter registration, the wrong zip code for turning in a voter registration form, and inaccurate information about how people would be notified of their precinct.
Good piece in Politico from Stanford sociology professor Doug McAdam on the roots of our modern partisan divide. McAdam tells the familiar story of how the South flipped, as yellow dog Democrats in the old Confederacy abandoned the party in the wake of the Civil Rights movement.
The Pulaski sheriff's office reported early this morning that the body of Beverly Carter, the real estate agent apparently abducted while showing a home near Scott Thursday evening, had been found in a shallow grave near Cabot. The charges against Arron Lewis, her suspected abductor, have been upgraded to capital murder.
Sen. Mark Pryor today began what the campaign is dubbing a "Women for Pryor" statewide tour. Pryor is highlighting Cotton's votes against paycheck fairness legislation and the Violence Against Women Act (all together now: the only member of the Arkansas congressional delegation to do so). Pryor was joined by his mother, the former first lady of Arkansas Barbara Pryor, at this morning's event at the Fresco Cafe in Fayetteville. Events will be held across the state to mobilize women in support of Pryor to vote.