notes and reflections and such below ...
1 "marcy rain" (itasca) - i received this album in the most perfect way; delivered fully-formed, entirely unexpected, directly from the person who made it. feels rare to find minimal psychedelic folk w/ such hard-hitting clarity/feeling and specific downcast mood ... i want to listen to this while riding the jmz in the rain
2 "mirror" (d. vassalotti) - totally blistering guitar work and much brutal emotion laced throughout the writing on this lp. i recently lost power in my apartment and listened to it on repeat w/ candles lit until my laptop died. it felt appropriate seeing as this record is like the sound of an artist draining himself into song til there's nothing left
3 "arm candy" (hysterics) - totally inspired show at stolen sleeves in september, the best set i have seen there in three and a half years. i can really relate to these lyrics, which seem to be about the disturbing notion of girls being condescendingly pushed to the margins of a subcultural scene-- but claiming yourself and combatting that and calling it out. reminds me exactly of the many fortunate/unfortunate ways being involved w/ so-called hardcore impacted me in pre-teen years + changed my life
4 "thick lip" (white lung) best of 2k12. this song is about backwards beauty standards and it will crush you; i previously called it the "most abrasive collective assault" of the white lung >ideal<
5 "with or without you" (blanche blanche blanche) i remember listening to this lp for the first time and thinking it was the most alien-sounding thing i'd heard in so long, i just started laughing at how great and strange it was. i am grateful these prolific brattleboro weirdos have entered my life w/ their music and taught me about their community of songwriters
6 "kenosha" demo (swearin') i will also -never- forget where i was the first time i heard the swearin' demo ... how many times this year have i walked down nassau singing this outloud to myself/looking nuts/etc? i've already spilt much ink on this lp, which will figure very high on my "actual" year-end list
7 "your party sucks" (pygmy shrews) r.i.p. pygmy shrews! i loved playing this band on wnyu ... i also HATE going to parties. i hope they are lying about breaking up and that final show at 285 was a joke
8 "noccalula" (waxahatchee) - this album cuts through me, it is so sad and beautiful. "allison's only calling when her life's falling apart"-- is a terrifyingly resonant line for me
9 "become what you are" demo (merchandise) - this is a glimpse into the process behind my favorite song of the year ... if we are friends in real life then you are definitely fucking sick of hearing me talk about this band. i could write many pages on this one track and i am sure that soon i will
10 "at least it would come out" (patti smith) here is the part where i brag about meeting her this year. at several points i swear she looked me in the e y e s . . . . . .
1 "civil society" (nuclear spring) one of my favorite new NY bands who i saw play many times this year, here is a choice quote the singer offered during a september show: "this set is dedicated to the future tastemakers of america. you're all a bunch of fucking morons." pretty cool
2 "but there has to be more" (lower) there is so much poetry and desperation in their music, they are my favorite band to emerge from the cpn scene and i think this song proves they're not bound by one particular genre or feeling
3 "don't forgive lightly" (siamese twins) best new demo, i have listened to this consistently since last december (and written about it) and grown more in love ... in fact, siamese twins' set is one of the primary reasons i travelled to ladyfest boston in february. too bad lizpelly's parking meter ran out five minutes before their set and we ended up spending an hour bickering in her borrowed car instead of watching them, because liz does not actually know how to drive. SIGH. luckily they played saint vitus this fall and it ruled.
4 "thaw" (laurel halo) forward motion's the only answer
5 "tyjna" (nu sensae) i never listened to much music sung in slavic languages before this year but pussy riot made me more attentive to how amazing it sounds
6 "house of the beating hell" (salvation) appropriately i finally purchased this EP at "heaven street" on halloween... i've spent much time writing at my desk with these four songs on repeat, go figure
7 "atlantico" (pegsvs) i interviewed pegasvs in barcelona after seeing them play primavera and real early in our conversation they mentioned franco battiato and psychic tv. this is the most poppy song on their lp and while i can't understand all the words, i like how they still convey the >sublime< vastness of an ocean
8 "try to make yourself a work of art" (julia holter) very real timeless mantra
9 "garden of delight" (cult of youth) pinnacle of a triumphant record on resistance to this fucked up world, and prevailing love, with some >magic< for good measure ...
and man is an animal that strives to evolve
but there are some people who don’t bear that resolve
and cruelty in nature, a fascism pure
a reflection of man that we’re forced to endure
and angels breed whilst devils kill
we’re left to rot in this human landfill
and left to die whilst lovers kiss
but you and i / an ipsissimus
and devils breed whilst angels die
but you and i (yes, you and i)
we bear their load from start to end
so what’s the use? (yes what’s the use?)
to resist their control and bury their claim
and carry the banners of freedom again
and love will prevail and tend to their flock
and those that oppose us will soon be forgot
and love will prevail since hate was a lie
and those that oppose us.
10 "farewell angelina" dylan cover (marissa nadler) astounding, spellbound cover of one of my favorite dylan bootlegs from one of my favorite contemporary voices; "call me any name you like, i will never deny it / but farewell angelina, the sky is erupting / and I must go where it is quiet."