Best music of 2015

Metz (photo from radio1190 ) Another year, another batch of new toons to love. As always, discovering new music never gets old, the endless digging for new sounds continues to be one of my favorite things. Let’s rock! Courtney Barnett “Sometimes I Sit and Think, Sometimes I Just Sit” Built To Spill “Untethered Moon” Deerhunter “Fading Frontier” Hop Along “Painted Shut” Jason Isbell “Something More Than Free” Jamie xx “In Colour” Metz “II” Refused “Freedom” Sleater-Kinney “No Cities To Love” Supersuckers “Holding the bag” Waxahatchee “Ivy Tripp”

Mogwai, Helicon 1

One of my all time favorite bands Mogwai (still #2 on my listen list) is releasing a career spanning 3 CD / 6 LP set called Belters Box. For the occasion they’ve released a new video, for an old song, Helicon 1. Directory Graig Murray has this to say about it, “The film you see is made from 100% 35mm stills which I shot off the screen: I used about 100+ rolls which were all individually scanned. All effects you see in the film are physical workings of the negatives (scanner compositing, scratching, liquids etc). Given the logistics of shooting everything discreetly and also in the sea, the original footage was all shot on an iphone and a go-pro, with some addition animation using 35mm.”

Best music of 2012

![Tame Impala rocking it in New York (photo from Pitchforkmedia)]( year of fun discovering new toons, what's not to like? This year took on a more guitar friendly indie sound than past years, a trend I fully support. While there are some comebacks there are more than a few new entries, which again, is that discovery that keeps me going. If I had to pick one disk that I listened to most it'd probably be Swearin', the fine outfit from Brooklyn that I got to see open for the Japandroids this year; what a fun, unexpected bunch of songs.

Best music of 2011

This best of list has taken time to compile, all year I guess, and some of fallen off as the year has moved on, as it should be. I still need to put up slicks to look at and sample tracks to listen to, but I haven’t had the time or motivation, so until then Now that I’ve gotten the slicks and sample tracks all lined up, here are the ones that I think are the best from 2011.

HOWTO make a DIY Record Store Day sign

UPDATE: My wife got a great picture of me enjoying myself at Euclid Records (see it at the bottom of this post) celebrating Record Store Day 2011 - such a great day! Thanks again to all at Euclid, thanks toDave the St. Louis PBR rep and to RSD organizers everywhere! BONUS: I’ve got a shot of the finished sign, installed in my yard, at the end of the post now.

Best music of 2010

[caption id=“attachment_2581” align=“aligncenter” width=“545” caption=“Sleigh Bells”][/caption] As always, this was a big music year for me, while attending less live shows I think I’ve bought and listened to more music to (sort of) make up for it. I’m also enjoying the home stereo even more now with my early 70s McIntosh MA-6100 pre-amp/amp, and now even some respectable headphones for work, the Grado SR60i. This year bands introduced via Twitter from other music freaks have greatly helped diversify my palate.

Best music of 2009

[caption id=“attachment_2036” align=“alignright” width=“300” caption=“live photo of Part Chimp courtesy of Last.FM “][/caption] Well 2009 was another stellar year for music if you ask me, and as usual, my yearly ‘top’ list is going on a month late. I always have these grand designs of writting a short paragragh about each selection, why I picked it, how I first heard it, etc, but you know how that goes. I will say that this year, while I’ve gotten into many bands the way I have in years past (trolling record stores, randomly listening to anything I can find online), I’ve also found things I wouldn’t have found thanks to my Twitter account.

Upcoming live release from Mogwai

This year Mogwai will release a live cd and album, Special Moves, and a dvd, Burning, covering a three night set during the 2009 shows in Brooklyn. Here they are doing Mogwai Fear Satan, which while from the same tour, is not from the film, but is shot by the same people (thanks for the info Stuart, pictured above) so it’s a good look into what to expect. If it’s all like this it looks like the perfect live film in my opinion, focused on the band interactions and movement, not the audience.

Record Store Day - April 18, 2009

UPDATE: read Euclid Records excellent post from last year by the owner Joe, “Record Store Day: What It Means To You and Me” for some insight into why you should care and participate in RSD If you’re like me, you can’t wait for Record Store Day 2009. If you were with me last year, you’ll recall that I blogged about it and gave my review of it afterward - I really enjoyed walking up to Euclid Records where I saw the same old staff I’ve seen for years, along with people from the neighbor hood, a local(ish) band play (which my kids said were too loud (win!

Mick Harvey quits the Bad Seeds

Multi-instrumentalist Mick Harvey, who has been a force for decades helping to define and refine Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds sound, has left the band after a string of Australian gigs. His history with Cave started when he played a pivotal role in the Cave-fronted Boys Next Door (1977-1980) before playing in the seminal Aussie punk band, The Birthday Party (1980-1983). I was a big fan of The Birthday Party, and while I’d categorize them as punk, they were unlike any other punk band you’ve heard.

Best music of 2008

It’s time (well, past time, but…) for my yearly list list covering the best music releases of the year, 2008. I continue the trend of discovering more music online through mp3 blogs, and social sites like and where you can not only see what people are listening to, but how their tastes spread out from that certain selection that you like. This kind of RIYL (the old ‘recommended if you like’ suggestion from CMJ Journal) has always helped me jump from band to band and genre to genre, opening up far more than I would have had access to.

Blitzen Trapper Furr

Over the past few days I’ve become quite the fan of Blitzen Trapper from Portland, Oregon. A single on Subpop’s 20 year anniversary CD (which I got in a goodie bag on Record Store DayBTW) led me to this track, which turns out to be NOT indicative of their style. I’m giving their recent release a run now, and it reminds me at times of another Portland band, Menonema which is good.

Morrissey turns 49

[caption id=“attachment_792” align=“alignright” width=“240” caption=“Morrissey”][/caption]I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Morrissey’s Birthday today, he turns 49. It was one year ago tonight that I saw him play here in St. Louis for his 48th…time flies. Over the weekend my wife and I watched a dvd of a rebroadcast concert from Madrid in 1984 of The Smiths, and the songs still stand. Here’s hoping many happy returns to the man whose music has stuck with me now for more than 20 years!

Radiohead was freaking fantastic

We saw Radiohead last night, and they did not disappoint. My wife and I weren’t looking forward to the venue, a big shed and lawn ‘pavilion’ that everyone has now, but in the end it turned out to be a great night, with the location not being bad at all. We last saw Radiohead at the same venue twelve years ago during their tour for The Bends, but it wasn’t until just after that with the release of OK Computer that I went completely ga-ga for them for life.

Reviewer makes *educated guess* that new Black Crowes album blowes

While I don’t look to Maxim for advice on buying music, it seems hilarious that one of their writers slammed the upcoming Black Crowes’ release, giving it only ** 1⁄2 stars out of *****, without even hearing the full album. That’s cold. “_The band posted an exasperated statement on its Web site last week, saying the Maxim writer hadn’t heard the entire album because advance copies were not available. The Cro_wes’ manager, Pete Angelus, said the magazine explained that its review was an “educated guess.

An historic auction of millions of records, cds, etc

With a starting bid of US $3,000,000.00 this is one crazy eBay auction. Described as “The World’s Greatest Music Collection (3 Million Records, 300,000 CDs, 6 million+ Song Titles)”, you’re ostensibly buying a record store. In an interview, “Paul Mawhinney, owner of the Record Rama Sound Archives in Pittsburgh, Penn., is selling off what he calls “The World’s Greatest Music Collection” — as a whole — with a starting bid price of $3 million US ‘I want the history of American popular music to be available for future generations.

Amy Winehouse to perform at Grammys via satellite

**UPDATE: **So Amy took 4 of the 5 awards she was nominated for, Mark Ronson, the producer of Back To Black took Producer of the years, and most importantly she tore it up on a medley of I’m no Good and _Rehab _from London. Good for her. While I can’t think of a time I looked forward to the Grammys, this year is the exception. After getting approval from the rehab center she’s currently staying in, she was still denied a visa to travel to the US to attend the Grammys, but Amy Winehouse will perform via satellite for the show.

Do the collage - the art of Bob Pollard

On December 9, 10 Robert Pollard had his debut art exhibit called Do The Collage (a play on the title of Guided by Voices 1999 release, Do The Collapse) at Studio Dante. in New York City. Now the entire exhibit is online (but note the person pictured at that link is not Bob), and it displays the talents of Bob’s cut and paste collages, much like the sound of his band’s early recordings.

Radiohead coming to St. Louis next tour

**UPDATE: **according to a Pitchfork post, 05-14 St. Louis, MO - Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre So it’s been confirmed, Radiohead **will **play St. Louis on this tour; what incredible news. I last saw them during the tour for The Bends, far, far too long ago. “St. Louis is confirmed as a stop on British rock band Radiohead’s upcoming North American tour. Exact dates and venues are to be announced. The tour will be broken down in two parts – a first leg prior to a European summer tour, and another leg after the European tour.

Best music of 2007

It’s that time again, our annual list of our favorite music from each year. New for 2007’s best of list is far more detail and interactivity than before, and it’s even linked to the fak3r’s aStore at Amazon in case you want to pick up any of the recommendations from the page, how convenient!. As always, scroll to the bottom for picks from years past. Leave comments here if you have ones you disagree with, or ones we missed.

Neko Case on NPR

Damn, it seems that NPR has a continuous thing for Nico Neco (uggg, I still spell her name wrong), I mean Neko Case, as they have gone out of their way to showcase her most recent album, Fox Confessor Brings the Flood, Her continued recording and touring work with The New Pornographers and now even boasts a full concert of her playing the Disney Hall in LA from November 16th (props to scooter b for the original tip).

They Might Be Giants

Last night at Dinner, my son, soon to be 5, let it be known that his favorite They Might Be Giants album is Flood. My kids got into TMBG after we got them the band’s first kids cd, NO!, followed by the amazing Here Come The ABCs on both cd and DVD (highly recommended if you have kids). A greatest hits compilation, A User’s Guide… rounds out the bunch which gives them a wider swath of material to judge TMBG, who now perform family shows, as well as the traditional 21 and over shows, while on tour.

Music that stands the test of time

Carrie Brownstein (former Sleater-Kinney guitarist) now has a great blog on NPR called _Monitor Mix__. _A recent post talked about her learning what bands were important to her father over the years, and it leads to a question I’ve always wondered, what music that is important to us be as important for our kids when they grow up? In other words, what will make the jump. I posted a comment, and the submission form wouldn’t let me post it!

Paul Raven dead of a heart attack

Wow, here’s an unexpected blast from the past, Paul Raven, bass player for industrial bands that I used to love like Pigface and Murder, Inc., as well as Killing Joke and Ministry contributer, has died in his sleep of a heart attack in France at the age of 46. “MINISTRY bassist Paul Raven was found dead yesterday (Saturday, October 20) in a private home in a small French village on the Swiss border after suffering an apparent heart attack.