Friday, December 26, 2008

Forecastfox says it'll be damn near 40 today and tomorrow, which means good skating weather. Unfortunately, my neighbors belong to one of those religions that don't allow them to shovel or even think about it. Mormon? No, they weren't burning an effigy on our lawn yesterday while dancing naked and biting the heads off of chickens, so that must mean they're Catholic. As such, there's a pile of snow that's over a foot high and is rock hard. You'd think their low to the ground Pontiac wouldn't be able to clear that pile, at least I would, but you'd be as wrong as I was. Turns out when you get that baby up to 88, you see some serious shit.

So to celebrate the fact that I'll be breaking my back tonight and tomorrow so that I can drive my car to get groceries and to celebrate that this'll be the slowest, longest workday ever, let's do that top fives of the year. I bet this will make you check these bands out, because you really give a shit what some aging punk rocker who has a decent job thinks of music.

Top Five Records of the Year
There may be some glaring omissions, I don't have Gordon Gano's Army's new one yet. Their set at Fest was pretty great, they were the only band whose t-shirt I bought that weekend. They also reissued Replacements' albums this year. Do yourself a favor, if you've never heard of them, find a way to do it. Parts & Labor put out a new one this year, I haven't pick it up yet. I hear Jenny Lewis put out a new one this year, I'm not gonna buy it because she won't make out with me. Lemuria put one out, but putting it on the list won't convince Sheena to make out with me either.

5. Kepi Ghoulie - Hanging Out If the girl won't slow dance with you to the song Kiss For You then you get rid of her quicker than the girl who doesn't reach over to unlock the door after you open the car door for her. And that song, Friend of Mine, is the sweetest song ever.
4. Chuck Ragan & Austin Lucas - Bristle Ridge Okay, call me a sellout, call me an asshole, call me Ishmael, call me a namby-pamby bitch. This one's incredible. It's not punk rock, it's not loud. It's folk. It's bluegrass. It's country. If you hate it, I posit that you hate your ears.
3. Teenage Bottlerocket - Warning Device From the ashes of The Lillingtons, Teenage Bottlerocket picks up right where they left off, singing Ramones-esque(I think Joey would have loved these guys) punk'n'roll tunes about the basement and nuthouses.
2. Dillinger Four - Civil War After a too many years long wait, D4 finally got around to another record. Their lyrics are just as piercing about an unsatisfying government, a zombified, retarded public, and a disaffected generation of kids who think punk rock is $50 uncomfortable shoes produced by nike or $100 plaid pants. From Patty in February this year(paraphrased):The reason punk rock kids wore those years ago wasn't because they weren't cool. They wore them because they were cheap because nobody want them. Go ahead, spend $100 on pants and then ridicule your friend, but stay the fuck away from us.

1. The Gaslight Anthem - '59 Sound It was a toss up between Dillinger Four and this one. This one spent more time, by far, on my turntable. Truth be told, with its soaring highs and its crushing lows, this was the soundtrack to The Year of Tumult.

Worst Record of the Year
The Ergs! - That's It...Byhe This is the worst record of the year not because it sucks. It doesn't, it's an Ergs! record. It's the worst record of the year because it's their final record, unless you count the posthumous split 7" where they cover a Devo song. I don't.

7"'s of the Year
I listen to punk rock. If you're into punk rock for more than probably two months, you'll realize that you're gonna need a turntable because punk rock bands put out a lot of vinyl. Jello Biafra tells us that the downfall of music came with the death of the 7" single because they're a good teaser to get you into the band. If they suck, you aren't out much. They're cheap, they only hold a few songs, and they easily fit into a USPS mailing envelope.

5. Kepi Ghoulie/Flav Giorgini split I don't know that I've even listened to the Flav side, the Kepi side is that good.
4. Mustard Plug/Bomb The Music Industry! split Mustard Plug covering Fugazi could go one of two ways, really good or disastrously bad. Seeing that it's #4, you should be able to tell that it went really good. Not as good as Slingshot Dakota's version of the song at Fest, but still pretty good.
3. Cheeky - Freedom School I would have put their 7" on Art of the Underground's monthly 7" series, except that's probably way out of print. This one's got Get Outta Here on it anyways, which was their best, most pissed off song at Fest. Love it!
2. Gaslight Anthem - Senor & the Queen EP Yeah, they had the album of the year this year and last year, but this came out before '59 Sound as kind of a teaser to show that they weren't just a one trick pony. Double 7", or single 10" if you're in Europe, there isn't a bad song in the mix. Tracks 3 and 4 were anthems for a couple months of drinking, rejection, and sleep. I gave my mp3 download from the 7" to a few friends. If you passed up on it, you're a chucklehead.
1. Cloak/Dagger - Kamikazees Lo-fi punk rock, the way it was meant to be done. Get this one while it's still in print. For reals. And a fucking Modern Lovers cover on the b-side that blows away the original, and The Modern Lovers fucking rule.

Best Shows of the Year
I can't count Fest in this, because Fest would always be #1, it can't possibly be bad, even if it had a few shitty shows, there's still the drinking with friends and the awesome bands.

The Weakerthans - It only took ten years for me to get the chance to see them live. I know I pissed of the douchebag hipster next to me when I yelled out for them to play One Great City! and then sang along when they played it, making sure to point at my Jets jersey for the line The Guess Who sucked, The Jets were lousy anyway.

Dillinger Four - A free show in Madison? Rock! Taking my friend Parviz from Tajikistan to his first show stateside? Even better. And a band named Garrison Killer(best name based off of an NPR personality ever) opens for them? Fucking awesome!

The Pine Hill Haints - I saw them in a basement, the best place to see any band that isn't going to draw a hundred or more people. I drank with them beforehand on a porch while it was raining buckets. Nato Coles and I think Danny who used to be in The Modern Machines but are now The Used Kids were also there. Good times.

The Used Kids - Same basement as previous. Same Used Kids as previous, only I got to meet Mikey Erg for the first time. We ate hamburgers from Tom's Drive-In next door and drank cheap beers.

said Tommy T. at 12:24 PM - #

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