Thursday, December 19, 2013

a slacker's guide to the year's tunes

Very few full-length albums thanks to my lack of Internet connection and trips to Ye Olde Publick Bibliotheque for new tunes and the glut of milquetoast indie "rock" at the radio station. I listened to a lot of previous-year stuff this year, like I always do, but here's some new things I dug.

Subrosa: More Constant Than the Gods

dude. How do I even start with this, or, as I attempt to explain the other night at a party after two drinks, "Uh, well it's like uh PJ Harvey doing doom metal like uh something really heavy but like estrogen heavy not testosterone heavy and uh violins like Godspeed You! Black Emperor and uh they're from Salt Lake City and yeah uh some of the band members are Mormon or something and uh, it really is the best album I've heard this year."  Political, emotional, those damn beautiful violins and harmonies and deep sorrow and long songs and pretty much when people call my show going "WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT IT SOUNDED AMAZING" it's usually this band. Even if you don't like metal, give this a listen.

Throwing Muses : Purgatory/Paradise
I still need to actually pick this up, and given its two-album, bits-and-pieces structure it's not quite that solid halfblast of awesome sugary grungy fury like the 2003 reunion, but Kristin can't seem to put out a bad album, and there's a lot of awesome on here, as her voice gets lower and the catharsis hits in different places. 

Mark Lanegan & Duke Garwood - Black Pudding
I didn't bother with Lanegan's album of standards because standards are boring, but this is a good chill bluesy late night record, good and sparse with that voice and that acoustic guitar.

Palms - (self-titled)
So the Deftones came out with White Pony when I was in high school and the lyrics were creepy and they were one of the few of that batch of late-90's nu-metal bands that had a little more going on with their washes of shoegazey crunch and Moreno's high sweet croon, and I've always loved the sonics of Isis even if the vocals weren't so much my thing. I wish this record had a little more crunch but it's a beautiful listen.
Ummm... and this is where I have to admit I haven't been listening to a ton of new shtuff.

  I really like this song on this album, never got huge into Russian Circles or Chelsea Wolfe more from neglect than anything else but this is gorgeous. I'll have to listen to the whole thing, just haven't yet.
Also, we got the new Superchunk, which on initial listen, is pretty punky and solid for a bunch of older indie folks. I remember when some friends went to see the Getup Kids when I was in high school and they were talking about this band of "some bald dude and some girl" and it was Superchunk. I used to listen to way more of them in the college days, but this little blast of fast is close to my heart.

Also, Tomahawk, because all of the guys in this band are in bands I really like, and there's a couple cuts off here that are awesome in that curmudgeonly my-alt-rock-can-beat-up-your-alt-rock way.
Also, I haven't given the new Monster Magnet the deserved listen it requires, but it's highly recommended, a slightly more mellow but pleasantly psychy return to form.
Vista Chino, or, Kyuss sans Josh, also put out a record this year. What I've heard I liked but I should be spending more time with it too rather than constantly revisiting Welcome to Sky Valley.Also, we drove by the street they named themselves after this weekend and that was cool.


  1. You must be an inspiration Prunella. I see Graves has risen from under his stack of Dolby wax hits and penned some snark. We thought he might have finally gone deaf or something.

  2. Thanks for the recommendations. I've got Palms and SubRosa in my queue now. On Thursday I'll be putting up my own "best music" post - look for it!


  4. Here's the list:

    Kind of depressing that you put Superchunk under Old People Music. Even if it's true I don't need to be reminded of it!