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<< REWIND // Best Albums of 2014

Here it is. My favorite albums and EPs of 2014. Unranked, because playing favorites is way too hard. 2014 brought many good things. As abundant and fulfilling as the year was for me personally, so it was musically. This year brought my favorite Ty Segall album, ever. He just keeps getting better with age and still gives me goosebumps.

The Australian music simply blew me away as well. They’re killing it. And you can see the influence of their prolific music scene in my best of list. With the success of Tame Impala, the Aussie music scene has become the embodiment of psychedelic rock. It has become a signature sound. And it sounds sooo good.

Newcomers Ultimate Painting, Glycerine Queens, Ladada, Billy Changer and Los Angeles Police Department simply delighted me this year and I look forward to hearing more from this talented crop of new artists. But I honor and give thanks to all of the artists on this list for your soul-satisfying musical creations. 2014 maybe coming to an end, but your creations will live on – filling my soul and inspiring me with each and every listen.

Thank you. Onward, 2015.

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Artist: Ty Segall
Album: Manipulator
Hails From: LA, CA (formerly SF)

 

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Artist: The Murlocs
Album: Loopholes
Hails From: Australia

 

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Artist: Amen Dunes
Album: Love

 

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Artist: Real Estate
Album: Atlas
Hails From: New Jersey

 

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Artist: Thee Oh Sees
Album: Drop
Hails From: San Francisco, CA

 

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Artist: BRONCHO
Album: Just Enough Hip To Be Woman
Hails From: Tulsa,OK

 

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Artist: Foreign/National
Album: Foreign/National EP
Hails From: Australia

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Artist:   Courtney Barnett
Album: The Double EP
Hails From: Australia

 

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Artist:   Kevin Morby
AlbumStill Life
Hails From: LA, CA

 

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Artist:   Tame Impala
Album: Tame Impala Live Album
Hails From: Australia

 

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Artist: Glycerin Queens
Album: Sleep Deprivation
Hails From: New Jersey

 

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Artist: Los Angeles Police Department
Album: Forged Artifacts
Hails From: Duh!

 

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Artist: Allah-Lahs
Album: Worship the Sun
Hails From: LA, CA

 

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Artist: King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard
Album: Oddments
Hails From: Australia

 

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Artist: Straight Arrows
Album: Rising
Hails From: Australia

 

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Artist: The Blank Tapes
Album: Holy Roller EP
Hails From: LA, CA

 

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Artist: Billy Changer
Album: Billy Changer
Hails From: LA, CA

 

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Artist: Francisco the Man
Album:Loose Ends
Hails From: LA, CA

 

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Artist: Heaters
Album: Solstice
Hails From: Grand Rapids, MI

 

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Artist: Cool Ghouls
Album: A Swirling Fire Burning Through the Rye
Hails From: San Francisco, CA

 

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Artist: Wampire
Album: Baazar
Hails From: Portland

 

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Artist: Froth
Album: Patterns
Hails From: LA, CA

 

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Artist: Caribou
Album: Our Love
Hails From: Canada

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ArtistUltimate Painting
Album: Ultimate Painting
Hails From: UK

 

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Artist: Angel Olsen
Album: Burn Your Fire For No Witness
Hails From: North Carolina

 

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Artist:Ladada
Album: Ladada
Hails From: Virgina

 

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Artist: Twerps
Album: Underlay
Hails From: Australia

<< REWIND: Best Albums of 2011

December is always a time of reflection and nostalgia for me; some of it sweet, some not so much. But revisiting my favorite music of the year always falls on the sweeter side of the spectrum and inevitably puts a smile on my face as I trace back all the music that moved me through the course of the year. Whether it’s musing over the hype and hyperbole of a buzz band that’s come and gone (ahem, The Vaccines) or rediscovering a gem that time almost forgot (read: Lia Ices), compiling my annual ‘Best Of’ list has become a ritual I cherish.

So, without further ado, here are my favorite albums of 2011. My 2011 rewind. Kinda sorta listed in order but I find the process of ranking music to be like splitting hairs. All that really matters is that this is the music that moved me this year. The albums I came back to again and again. I enjoyed them. Immensely. Hope you will too.

Unknown Mortal OrchestraSelf Titled


Kurt VileSmoke Ring for My Halo

Mikal Cronin, Self Titled

Washed Out, Within and Without


Widowspeak, Self Titled


Ty Segall, Ty Rex

Abbe Mae, Design Desire


The Sandwitches, Mrs. Jones Cookies


Vetiver, The Errant Charm

Blouse, Self Titled

Fungi Girls, Some Easy Magic

Quilt, Self Titled


Thurston Moore, Demolished Thoughts


Nick Waterhouse, Is That Clear EP

Charles Bradley, No Time for Dreaming

Lia Ices, Grown Unknown

Thee Oh Sees, Carrion Crawler/The Dream

Shannon and the Clams, Sleep Talk

Wooden Shjips, West

Papercuts, Fading Parade

That Ghost, Songs Out Here

Tune-Yards, WHOKILL

Yuck, Self Titled

Jeff the Brotherhood, We are the Champions

Black Lips, Arabia Mountain

Future Islands, On the Water

Radiohead, King of Limbs

Yellow Ostrich, The Mistress

White Denim, D

Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks, Mirror Traffic

Thurston Moore – “Demolished Thoughts”

Thurston Moore’s (of Sonic Youth fame) third solo effort, “Demolished Thoughts”, is simply lovely. Quickly emerging as one of my favorite albums this year. Produced by Beck, the effort is being coined acoustic folk. But don’t let the wimpy genre fool you.  His music still has the same intensity you would expect from a Sonic Youth tune, just unplugged, and dusted with a little Beck fairy dust for ambience. An intoxicating combination.

The album features Thurston on guitar and vocals, Samara Lubelski on violin, Mary Lattimore on harp, Beck on synths, vocals and bass, and Joey Waronker on percussion, among others. Thurston will be stopping through the Bay Area with Kurt Vile for two shows next month. Hello!  Mark your calendars and reserve your seats for July 25 at The New Parish in Oakland and July 26 at Great American Music Hall in SF. In the meantime, enjoy this Take Away show from La Blogotheque.

Bands to Watch 2011 :: Rollo & Grady

LA music blogger and tastemaker, Rollo & Grady, is definitely one of the better music discovery sites out there on the Internets. Prolific too as he lives and breathes indie music. When he’s not sharing his music discoveries on his blog, he’s placing it in films and television through his production company as a music supervisor. It’s the real deal. So check out his picks for bands to watch in 2011.

Lord Huron“The Problem with Your Daughter”

Devin Therriault“Don’t Think I”

Sun Airway“Put The Days Away”

Yuck

Tennis – “Marathon

Hanni El Khatib - “You Rascal You”

Bands to Watch 2011 :: Dodge, My Old Kentucky Blog

If you were a Sirius/XM blog radio show, which would you be? For me, most definitely My Old Kentucky Blog (as well as Aquarium Drunkard). Craig “Dodge” Lile is the founder of MOKB and Roaring Colonel Records, co-owner of Laundromatinee, and – as mentioned – is a DJ at SIRIUS XM Satellite Radio. His music sensibilities have always appealed to me and I’m happy to share his picks for the Bands to Watch in 2011.

Andy D – wild, party starter combining rap, rock, electro, and viking lore.  The latest signee to Roaring Colonel Records.

Dreamers Of The Ghetto – they’re recording now, but these guys make some amazing dream-rock and look like Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome.  I’d love to sign them as well, but I think I have some competition.  Check out their track “Phone Call”:
EMA - Erika Anderson, former one-half of The Gowns, will release her solo project debut through SOUTERRAIN TRANSMISSIONS this year. Another artist I would have loved to sign to Roaring Colonel.  I played her track “Marked” on MOKB SIRIUS XM Blog Radio for much of the year and it always elicited a great response.
Bobby - a new project featuring Molly of the band Mountain Man.  Beautiful, atmospheric tunes.
Julianna Barwick - will release The Magic Place through Asthmatic Kitty Records in 2011. Sure to be a beautiful album if the lead single was any indication.

Bands to Watch 2011 :: Larry Little, Future Sounds

If ever there were an arbiter of indie music, it would be Larry, the co-founder of LA-based Future Sounds. He’s made it his life’s work to help new and unsigned bands get heard and the music world is a much better place because of it. He’s also the creator and curator of The Rumble, a series of free monthly music parties that tours through eight cities – including LA, San Francisco, Seattle, San Diego, Austin, Portland, Vegas and New York – showcasing ‘what’s next’ in music. Suffice it to say that when Larry talks you should probably listen. So listen up. Here are his picks for Bands to Watch in 2011.
THE NAKED & FAMOUS – the 2011 MGMT – from New Zealand
ODD FUTURE - the second coming of the Wu Tang Clan
WYE OAK – Merge about to do it again
LIFE IN FILM – London’s answer to the Kings Of Leon

BRANCHES - Asuza band that runs with the Fleet Foxes, Head & The Heart, Mumford & Sons pack.