Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Soon The Dawn Will Come,
And You'll Be On Your Way
Hey, welcome back. It's day two (of three) of our rockin' countdown of our fave rave records of 2008. Carson Daley eat your sensitive heart out. But wait, there's more. We're gonna include, over the days, our favorite record labels of the year, our shows of the year, and our super-duperest re-issues, too. Oh, and at the ass-end, we might ramble on about two of our favorite dead people. So, you know, there's that to look forward to.
Here's our favorite record labels of the year. Each one provided a plethora of fantastic albums that kept our ears hummin'. We'd recommend checking 'em out and seeing what goodies they provide.
Record labels of the year:
Voodoo Rhythm Records
Big Legal Mess
And, here's part 2 of our records of the year (20-11). Tracks taken from vinyl when possible.
Big Rock Candy Mountain Favorite Records of the Year (Pt.2)
20. Elmo Williams: American Made E.P.
Blues the way god intended, shouty and raw. We wrote about this record recently, and, if anything, our opinion on how great this record is has only solidified. This is the type of record Fat Possum used to give us on a regular basis, before they went all sensitive on us. Luckily Big Legal Mess (a subsidiary of Fat Possum) has picked up the slack. This is the kind of record that will kick your ass and you'll come back, you masochist, panting for more.
Elmo Williams and Hezekiah Early: Bigged Legged Woman (mp3)
19. Fucked Up: Year of the Pig 7" and The Chemistry of Common Life LP
Well, is it really punk rock? Several of their songs are longer than two minutes, so maybe not. The purists probably don't regard Fucked Up very highly, which is a shame, really, cuz they put out some fantastic records. Better in single or e.p. form, which "Year of the Pig" so amply demonstrates, than in full-length l.p.'s, their long player's are still quite a revelation. Epic in scope, and with the weights of the world, small and large, hung heavy in hangdog glory, Fucked Up make a manic mosh noise guaranteed to clear the floor of all the pussies, and fill it with a cacophony of vile rawk.
Fucked Up: Anorak City (mp3)
18. Jay Bennett: Whatever Happened I Apologize
Available as a free and legal download (click the album link)! Jay Bennett is best known to most from his stint as a member of Wilco, but please don't hold that against him. His solo work, and his album with Edward Burch show a musical sensibility more intimate than the wankery that Wilco became. A largely acoustic affair, seemingly recorded in one take (though we could be wrong), Bennett channels a Country Elvis Costello, with language less pretentious, more human. It's a warm album, recorded close to the mic, and close to the heart. Others have made this observation, so it's hardly only mine, but it's apt: It's a late nite album, to be listened to upon waking in the morning, the sun and the moon both battling, the regret and loss palpable.
Jay Bennett: Another Town Another Ride Another Window (mp3)
17. Quintron: Too Thirsty For Love
The party record of the year. Pull out yr roller skates from the closet, dust them off, and hit the rink, spinnin' and skatin' under the mirror ball, showing off your best moves. Quintron's shtick, of course, is his, ummm, organ. It's a massive organ, and he plays it like a man possessed by the spirit of Jimmy Smith, with sin in his heart and booty in his brain. This record is the culmination of Quintron's dream, a funky, nasty, groove-satured dance party, greasy and sexy with no moral compass whatsoever. 9th Ward New Orleans is alive and kickin', kids.
Quintron: Model Ex Citizen (mp3)
16. Wreckless Eric and Amy Rigby: S/T
Well, the old bugger is back, isn't he? Best known theseadays for his peachy little tune "Whole Wide World", recorded way back when, Wreckless Eric hasn't exactly been a hermit in regards to recording over the years. But it took a little team up with his wife, and no musical slouch either, Amy Rigby to pull the old "merchant of trash" back into the limelight. It's a duet album, but don't run away. Sour and sweet (guess who's who), the record re-positions George and Tammy as lo-fi purveyors of the down and out, where the (not the) jet set fight, fuck and try to figger it all out with the lowest of low expectations.
Wreckless Eric and Amy Rigby: Here Comes My Ship (mp3)
15. Wild Billy Childish and The Musicians of the British Empire: Thatcher's Children
It's Billy Childish, of course. Until anyone else can produce a body of work as brilliant as this man, until anyone else can release album after album that is consistently a great as Childish does, year after year, you will always see a Billy Childish record in our Top Albums list. That said, this record kicks ass. Snarly, blues-punk, pissed off and taking the piss, this record isn't really any different that anything else Childish-related, but it's still better than 99% of anything else you heard this year. I'll make you a deal: start buying Billy Childish records, and I'll stop bothering you about it. Damn, I should have rated this higher...
Wild Billy Childish and the M.B.E.: Loray Head (mp3)
Wild Billy Childish and the M.B.E.: He's Making A Tape (mp3)
14. Magnetic Fields: Distortion
Rumor is that main-man Stephen Merritt can't listen to this record in its finished product, cuz of all the, well, distortion. Besides containing the best drinking song of the year (see below), "Distortion" is an album of extremes. It's not just the sound, which takes Merritt's Noel Coward lyrical sensibilities and layers under shards of Jesus and Mary Chain noise, which fascinates, but the mode of Merritt's delivery which fascinate. Rarely have we seen him this misanthropic, which is saying quite a bit. It's a nasty record, with melodic hooks galore.
Magnetic Fields: Too Drunk To Dream (mp3)
Magnetic Fields: California Girls (mp3)
13. Tindersticks: The Hungry Saw
It's hard to write objectively about this band, we've been an obsessive fan for so long. They're the quintessential late-nite whiskey band, all noir-soul and depraved decadence, delivered in the baritone tones of Stuart Staples. All is muted: the horns, the spaghetti western guitar, the mellotron, the saw. Barry White if he were rejected by all the ladies of the world. A swirling descent into loneliness, felt and barely grasped.
Tindersticks: The Other Side of the World (mp3)
12. Santogold: Santogold
Not much to say about this, really. At least not anything that hasn't been said a million other places elsewhere. It's a really fucking fantastic record, though, isn't it?
Santogold: Lights Out (mp3)
11. Pierced Arrows: Straight To The Heart
Dead Moon's legendary Fred and Toody Cole with a new drummer, Pierced Arrows don't change their sound much on this new project, and that's a very fine thing indeed. Sounding like it was recorded in a tin can, "Straight to the Heart" is everything a rock'n'roll band should be: loud, distorted, shouty and snotty in all the right places. Like The Hell's Angels on a flower power trip, the Pierced Arrows psych garage still put all the pretenders and young whippersnappers to shame with their glorious racket. The rawk album of the year. Raise yr fists and shout at the devil.
Pierced Arrows: Shades (mp3)
We'll be back shortly with the Top 10. Anyone wanna guess what's number 1?