Tag Archives: year end list

March, April & May: 2017 year-end roundup

It’s that time again, right? 

Below are three un-ranked, un-quantified lists of ten LPs/EPs, songs and live performances that I enjoyed this year. Some of the recordings I listened to almost non-stop for long periods of time. Some of them I only listened to a few times, but they seriously made an impression. The list is not at all comprehensive. There were lots of notable releases this year, including music from A Certain Smile, Lisa Bouvier, The Primitives, The Darling Buds, Makthaverskan, Peaness, Star Tropics, The Luxembourg Signal and Panda Riot, just to name a few. Check out my top picks below.

LPs/EPs

a0330553929_10

» Lilith – Apology Plant (Disposable America)

» Alvvays – Antisocialites (Polyvinyl Record Co.)

» Guggi Data – Pop/Rock (Luxury Records)

» The Courtneys – II (Flying Nun)

» Fazerdaze – Morningside (Flying Nun)

» Mini Dresses – Mini Dresses (Joy Void)

» Sunny Summer Day – Traveled Backwards (Lidia Records)

» The Pains of Being Pure at Heart – Echo of Pleasure (Painbow)

» The Just Joans – You Might Be Smiling Now (Fika Recordings)

» Pale Spectres – Pale Spectres (Cloudberry Records)



SONGS

» Mammoth Penguins – The Child (from John Doe on WIAIWYA)

» Brad San Martin – Song about “Soul Finger” (from Shoot Tomorrow/Learn Tonight on Jigsaw Records)

» Laura K – Apologise (from Art is Hard Records’ Postcard Club series)

» Jens Lekman – Wedding in Finistère (from Life Will See You Now on Secretly Canadian)

» Diet Cig – Maid of the Mist (from Swear I’m Good At This on Frenchkiss Records)

» Frankie Rose – Love in Rockets (from Cage Tropical on Slumberland)

» The Fireworks – Better Without You Now (from Dream About You on Shelflife)

» Last Leaves – The Hinterland (from Other Towns Than Ours on Lost and Lonesome)

» My Teenage Stride – Christopher Come (from Living in the Straight World on Unblinking Ear)

» Girl Ray – Don’t Go Back at Ten (from Earl Grey on Moshi Moshi)



LIVE PERFORMANCES

Screen Shot 2017-12-01 at 2.21.39 PM

» Psychedelic Furs at Paradise Rock Club (Boston) – October 14

» Brian Wilson presents Pet Sounds at The Hanover Theatre (Worcester, MA) – April 30

» Alvvays at Paradise Rock Club (Boston) – October 3

» Belle & Sebastian at Blue Hills Bank Pavilion (Boston) – August 2

Screen Shot 2017-12-01 at 2.23.52 PM

» Jens Lekman at Brighton Music Hall (Boston) – March 15

Screen Shot 2017-12-01 at 2.22.30 PM

» The Pains of Being Pure at Heart at The Sinclair (Cambridge, MA) – June 14

Screen Shot 2017-12-01 at 2.23.32 PM

» Pants Yell (reunion benefit show) at Atwood’s Tavern (Cambridge, MA) – March 26

» The New Pornographers at House of Blues (Boston) – April 25

» Frankie Rose (opening for The Pains of Being Pure at Heart) at The Sinclair (Cambridge, MA) – June 14

» Colleen Green (opening for The Wedding Present) at Great Scott (Boston) – April 16

Advertisements

March, April & May: 2016 year-end roundup

This is not a best-of list. This is not a top-10 list. 

Lately, I’ve had a love/hate relationship with year-end “best-of” lists. I love to read them and, usually, hate the results. Boiling down a year’s worth of music into ten (or 25 or 50 or 100) ranked bands or songs or albums just doesn’t really do the trick anymore. And let’s not even talk about number ratings. 

Below, is a mostly-random, un-ranked, un-quantified list of LPs, EPs, tracks and live shows that I enjoyed this year. Some of these I listened to almost non-stop for long periods of time. Some of them I only listened to a few times, but they seriously made an impression. The list is not comprehensive. There’s a lot I left out and a lot I didn’t get a chance to hear. I also included February Records releases because, let’s face it, I like them and I listened to them a lot.

kr145-flowers-everybodysdyingtomeetyou

[LP] Flowers – “Everybody’s Dying to Meet You” (Kanine) — I love this band. Flowers’ first LP was my favorite album of 2014 and “Everybody’s Dying to Meet You” might be my favorite album of 2016, though I won’t commit to that. Check out track 4, “All At Once.”

[EP] Strange Passage – “Shine and Scatter” (self-released) — This Boston quartet channels late-’80s/early-’90s UK post punk. The four-track EP is the kind of thing you’ll listen to over and over. Check out track 3, “Shine and Scatter.”

[live] Miracle Legion (with Winterpills) at The Outer Space, Hamden, CT – July 16 — I’m so glad this band got back together. This show was great. It was also nice to get back down to the New Haven area for a show.

[live] Allo Darlin’ (with Simon Love, Chorusgirl and The Spook School) at Baby’s All Right, Brooklyn – NYC Popfest May 20 — I didn’t know at the time that this would be my last chance to see Allo Darlin’ (and possibly the last NYC popfest as it goes on hiatus). It was definitely worth the five-hour bus ride to New York for their set alone.

[track] Peaness – “Oh George” (House Plants Records) — A smart garage-pop anti-love song to George Osborne.

teenagefanclub

[live] Teenage Fanclub (with Skylar Gudasz ) at the Sinclair, Cambridge, MA – Oct. 17 — First time seeing Teenage Fanclub. Did not disappoint.

[LP] Bent Shapes – “Wolves of Want” (Slumberland) — Literate indiepop with a touch of college-rock. From Boston. Check out track 5, “Realization Hits.”

[EP] half sour – “Charm School” (Disposable America/Too Far Gone) — Bratty, punchy “slacker-pop” from Boston. Check out track 1, “Ten Year Tenure.”

[LP] The Very Most – “Syntherely Yours” (February Records) — OK, just a little bit of bias here, but not much. This is a great record. We’d been talking with Jeremy for a long time about teaming up for a TVM release on February and we finally got around to it this year. Jeremy reworked nine TVM tunes into synth-pop songs with guest vocalists. Adriano do Couto of Postal Blue, Colin Clary of the The Smittens, Charles Bert of Math and Physics Club, Lisle Mitnik of Tiny Fireflies and more were featured. The album is still available to download. Check out track 1, “Good Fight Fighting” (featuring Adriano do Couto).

[track] The Monkees – “Me and Magdalena” (Rhino) — That Monkees album (“Good Times!”) that came out this year is actually pretty good. This song is pretty great even if it is written by Ben Gibbard. Gibbard should forget about Deathcab for Cutie and just write songs for Mike Nesmith and Mickey Dolenz to sing.

[EP] The Beths – “Warm Blood” (self-released) — Fun, upbeat New Zealand guitar pop. Check out track 3, “Idea/Intent.”

[LP] Fear of Men – “Fall Forever” (Kanine) — Atmospheric. Ominous. Beautiful. Check out track 6, “Island.”

[LP] The Tuts – “Update Your Brain” (Dovetown) — This album is infectious. Check out track 2, “Tut Tut Tut.”

elvis

[live] Elvis Costello and The Imposters at the Orpheum Theatre, Boston – Oct. 25 — This is the third time I’ve seen EC and the first time I’ve seen him with a full band. Great show.

[LP] Math & Physics Club – “In This Together” (Fika Recordings) — Get some of the band’s best EP tracks, B-sides, rarities and unreleased songs all in one place. Check out track 16, “Weekends Away.”

[track] Dexys – “Both Sides Now” (100% Records / Rhino) — This cover from the album “Let The Record Show: Dexys Do Irish and Country Soul” has been a constant on my YouTube playlist. I want to live inside this video.

[live] The Go-Go’s (with Best Coast and Kaya Stewart) at House of Blues, Boston – Aug. 8 — This show was so much fun. Lots of dancing. Lots of singing along. Lots of beer.

[track] The Pretenders – “Holy Commotion” (BMG/Clouds Hill) — I don’t even want to hear the rest of the album that this track is on — the Chrissie Hynde/Dan Auerbach (Black Keys) team-up that is “Alone.” I enjoy this song, though.

[live] The Cure (with the Twilight Sad) at Agganis Arena, Boston – June 16 — I’m not usually one for arena shows, but I can’t be blamed for sitting in the nosebleeds to see The Cure. Playing a lengthy set and then four encores, I got to hear everything I wanted to.

[LP] V/A – “Constant and True: A Tribute to the Songs of Rose Melberg” (February Records) — Here’s another little bit of horn-tooting. Jeremy Jensen of The Very Most curated this amazing tribute compilation to Rose Melberg and we got the honor of getting to promote it. In all honesty, this album has been consistently playing in my car or in my headphones since it came out. Every one of these 21 tracks is a winner, with covers by The Hermit Crabs, Rocketship, Boyracer, Emma Kupa, Marc Elston, John Girgus, Seapony and more. Copies are still available. Check out track 21, “My Broken Heart,” covered by Rocketship.

— Danny

2015 year-end list

a0751451857_10

I wasn’t planning on writing a year end list this year until Danny convinced me to. Being an adult took over this year – I changed jobs, I bought a house, and then proceeded to spend the last 6 months fixing up said house. Suffice to say, I didn’t listen to a lot of new music. There is definitely some overlap between Danny’s list and this one, but I feel that’s to be expected.

In no particular order:

The Arctic FlowThe Luminous Veil

Lost TapesLost in Youth

Owl & MouseDepartures

Postal BlueOf Love & Other Affections

Tiny FirefliesThe Space Between

Funeral AdvantageBody is Dead

Alpaca SportsWhen You Need Me The Most

Tim the MuteWhy Live?

The Spook SchoolTrying to be Hopeful

Thee AHsNames

Share your favorite albums of the year with me! What have I missed out on?

Happy New Year, everyone. We’ll see you in 2016!

— Kristin

2015 year-end list

11109429_10152810270633513_8134070099819021638_o

Every year I waffle back and forth around this time trying to decide if I’m going to do a year-end list. This year, it really wasn’t until I saw Knute’s from Eardrums Music wonderful month-by-month lists that I decided to put one together.

There was a lot more really great music this year than I had originally thought. Some standouts for me were The Go! Team, who I’d never really listened to before this year. Cozy Catastrophes, who we released an EP with last year, put out a great full-length this year on Jigsaw Records. Boston’s own Funeral Advantage had one of my favorite albums this year.

Here, in (mostly) no particular order are fifteen of my favorite releases from 2015. Kristin will be posting her’s later this month. — Danny

The Go! Team The Scene Between
(Check out the track “Catch Me on the Rebound”)

Funeral AdvantageBody is Dead
(Check out the track “You Sat Alone”)

TigercatsMysteries
(Check out the track “Wheezer”)

The FireworksSwitch Me On
(Check out the track “Runaround”)

Mammoth PenguinsHide and Seek
(Check out the track “When I Was Your Age”)

Tiny Fireflies The Space Between
(Check out the track “Youth”)

Lost TapesLost in Youth
(Check out the track “Slumber Party”)

Joanna Gruesome Peanut Butter
(Check out the track “Honestly Do Yr Worst”)

Wild Honey Sleep Through It
(Check out the track “Sleep Through It”)

Space DazeCapture a Thing
(Check out the track “Was Never”)

Cozy CatastrophesHave You Ever Heard of Cozy Catastrophes?
(Check out the track “Hideaway”)

Big Quiet Big Quiet
(Check out the track “Punk Floyd”)

Alpaca SportsWhen You Needed Me the Most
(Check out the track “Just Like Them”)

Virgin SuicideVirgin Suicide
(Check out the track “There is a Glace Over my Eyes”)

SeaponyA Vision
(Check out the track “Everyday All Alone”)

Best of 2014

We almost totally flaked out on year-end lists this year. But, here they are, for what they’re worth.

MI0003785050
 
DANNY
I listened to a lot more new music in 2014 than I usually do, but I know I still barely scratched the surface of what was out there. Some of these albums I liked instantly and listened to them over and over. Some of them took a while to grow on me.

10. Fear of Men – Loom
9. Fireflies – In Dreams
8. Martha – Courting Strong
7. Ex Hex – Rips
6. Allo Darlin’ – We Come From The Same Place
5. Dum Dum Girls – Too True
4. The Hobbes Fanclub – Up At Lagrange
3. Alvvays – Alvvays
2. Withered Hand – New Gods
1. Flowers – Do What You Want To, It’s What You Should Do

MI0003720345
 
KRISTIN
Per usual this year, I tried to steer perfectly clear of all the hype bands. Yes, that’s right, I still have not heard the Alvvays record. Nor do I plan to, regardless of how many times someone tells me I “need” to hear it. Sorry, folks!

I also don’t think this year was extraordinarily great for albums. Singles and EPs, perhaps, and I still have every intention of writing about those elsewhere, but I had trouble coming up with 10 albums I absolutely loved this year. I have instead settled on five. Three of these five albums really had to grow on me before I began to fully appreciate them and I’m awfully glad they did:

1. Withered Hand – New Gods
2. Martha – Courting Strong
3. Glamorous Life Savers – Resurrected Elsewhere
4. Allo Darlin’ – We Come From The Same Place
5. The Hi-Life Companion – Our Years in the Wilderness