The end of the year is upon us

It’s that time of the year when I frantically try to figure out if I’ve listened to enough new music this year to put together a list of favorites, which is to say I’m worried as usual that I’m finally getting old. It’s also to say that I have three more weeks to sort through other people’s year-end lists to hear what I missed.

Do you know what will top your list? The track above is from a 2012 release, though I didn’t listen to it until summer ’13, when a former student kept nudging me in the band’s direction. A Tampa post-punk group, vocals a swirl of Robert Smith and Morrissey, a Krautrock undertow, especially when this song kicks in with its second act but before it dissolves into cacophonous keyboard madness. According to iTunes on my work computer, I listened to this track as much as anything else this year. You’ll find the whole EP here, along with everything else they released up to 2012. Stay tuned to find out if their 2013 release makes it into my top 10. Is it on yours?


12 responses to “The end of the year is upon us”

  1. Josh K-sky says:

    which is to say I’m worried as usual that I’m finally getting old

    I got old, music-wise, over the last two years. The new music in my iTunes for 2013 amounts to four TGW mixes, three mixes from another friend, two new releases put out by friends (Afropop-via-Appalachia/disco stage extravaganza/both recommended) one new release by Aimee Mann, another by Bleu, Lolita Nation (which I bought after Scott Miller died), and a mix of chidlren’s music. I listen to a bunch of random-ass stuff on Spotify but it’s too diffuse to stick; it feels like forever since I had a new album by a new artist on heavy rotation. Keep up the good work, comrades, you’re all I have left. Except for Spotify and that other dude.

  2. Dave says:

    Yeah, I feel like I’ve gotten old in my music listening over the past few years. But I guess I was never super-with-it to begin with. On the other hand, I do listen to plenty of good music, just not a lot I can tell people about.

    I guess the Yo La Tengo album came out this year. I’d put it at the top of my list. It’s their best since “And then Nothing…”

    I also liked the usual stuff, Vampire Weekend etc. Not much this group hasn’t heard.

    Best live show for the year was probably YLT in Boston at the Paradise. Just this weekend we heard Kronos do “Black Angels,” which was really something.

  3. T-Mo says:

    Oh man, I’ve been old for a few years now. Witness my inability to make a 2012 mix. That holds for this year, too.

    I do quite like the new Wooden Shjips, though it’s pretty much like any of their older records. I have been locked into a groove with a few bands for over 20 years: YLT, Superchunk, and Sonic Youth. Now that Superchunk are making records again, they compensate for SY’s breakup, which I still mourn. None of the individual members’ new projects do it for me (at least yet). The new Superchunk, I must say, is quite good, leaps better than their last.

    There have been a TON of new records this year from bands I love, but I’ve been too cheap or busy to pick them up: Nick Cave, Endless Boogie, The Entrance Band, Bill Callahan, and so many more. I did get the new Sam Amidon when we saw him a few months ago. It’s really really good.

    PS What’s up with Everly Bros tributes this year? I know of at least 3: Bonnie Prince Billy & Dawn McCarthy, The Chapin Sisters, and now Billy Joe Armstrong & Norah Jones. No complaints from me, but why now?

  4. GF says:

    I am hundreds of years old. Dave is my main source for music by non-dead people. I did love the new YLT a lot though I started listening to it on my long train trip and now it feels funny to listen to it at rest. Just to be an ass I’ll say I found “Blurred Lines” catchy as long as I didn’t listen to the fucking stupid lyrics.

  5. Bryan says:

    GF — I mostly don’t listen to lyrics it turns out, unless I’m trying to write about something. I subscribe to a Morrissey bot on Twitter that sends lines of the songs and I’m constantly double-taking, going “*That’s* what that song says??”

    T-Mo: I tried the Nick Cave twice. Just doesn’t seem to have sticking power for me. Sam’s hasn’t stuck yet either, but I’ll give it another shot on your rec. I can vouch for Bill, though. I’ll write that one up.

  6. Farrell Fawcett says:

    Hey Bryan, thanks for the Merchandise tip. They hadn’t crossed my radar. Need to keep up w/ Jenn Pelly’s twitter feeds more often I suppose. This song is really fun. And so shockingly LONG! Who writes 10 minute songs? That start out sounding like a Morrisey pop song? Wow.

    I obviously still keep up with the music machine. And I still love reading music reviews and music stuff. But I have moved so far away from loving albums. I so rarely listen to an album all the way through these days. But there were some lovely exceptional standouts. Really just the normal stuff that will be on all the years-end lists: Vampire Weekend, Arcade Fire, Daft Punk, Yo La Tengo, Foxygen, Waxahhatchee and Jagwar Ma (in that order I suppose). I also really loved After Dark 2 and Phosphorescent.

    I should check out Bill Callahan’s album. But I’m just so content to follow the rabbit holes of music blogs and youtube and 8tracks and itunes. The local Philly college station WKDU is a great song feed. And god bless shazam. I think I use that app more often than my camera.

    I’ll put together another mix soon. Of my favorite songs of Winter so far. I think the seasonal mix is working really well for me. Trying to collect all my faves into a year -end mix feels so unnecessarily restrictive now. What with how easy it is to make online mixes these days. So expect something in a few weeks. More of a round-up of my song crushes over the past three months.

    Thanks for starting off the end-of-year list conversation. I always love seeing your list–and everyone elses. And please, a mix I hope?


  7. jeremy says:

    God. I’ve been struggling with this, as well. Up until the last few years, I was alwaysalwaysalways on top of new music, and now I just couldn’t be bothered. If I listen to something, I mostly listen to Podcasts. It’s so sad. Partly, it’s the fact that Record Club (both of them) has been on hiatus for a while due to busy-ness and/or babies and/or lethargy and/or unwilling hosts.

    I forced myself to buy a few actual records, though, my favorite being The Superhumanoids’ Exhibitionists. The best track is “Geri.” Because I’m lame and don’t know how to embed a proper URL link, here’s this:

  8. GF says:

    I guess the new Mazzy Star is growing on me slowly. All Mazzy Star songs sound alike but it’s a song I’m fond of. It turns out the new album can’t make it 1993 again but it might be good anyway.

  9. T-Mo says:

    This, from Aquarium Drunkard, is my kind of year-end list. It makes me want to go on a spending spree and compile a playlist.

  10. Rachel says:

    Wow, Tim. It’s like you *are* Aquarium Drunkard. Secret identity?

  11. Brooke says:

    What’s up whatsitters!? Long time no comment. Lost of good recos here (totally love Foxygen and Daft Punk and a couple of tracks from Arcade Fire). Lorde, I have to admit, is amazing. Lana Del Ray’s album was quite good. Marijuana Deathsquads is on my headphones now.

    But my big obsession for the last couple of months is this kid King Krule from London. He’s a little 19 year old ginger kid with a growling baritone voice and complex lyrics. Johnny Lydon meets Frank Sinatra. Saw his show this month and it was exceptional.

    Happy new year!