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Iggy Pop – The Idiot 1977 (RCA)

Yielding classics such as “Sister Midnight”, “Nightclubbing” and “China Girl”. Many critics stated that this was really a David Bowie moment with Iggy taking the credit. Whether or not Bowie helped Pop get his career back on track is not the case here as maybe it was back in 77, this record can be seen as the progenitor to what we now know as Post-Punk. Even though a year earlier on Bowie’s very own discordant masterpiece”Station to Station” in the title track itself we were gifted the seed, but The Idiot is the growth and excercise from that very seed. Bowie could be seen as the godfather of Post-Punk but as he visited and touched upon many different genres, this very detail maybe a tad over looked.

Track List

1. Sister Midnight
2. Nightclubbing
3. Funtime
4. Baby
5. China Girl
6. Dum Dum Boys
7. Tiny Girls
8. Mass Production

Rolling Stone Review

The Idiot
Iggy Pop
RCA APL1-2275
Released: March 1977
Chart Peak: #72
Weeks Charted: 13
Iggy Pop has always been the greatest rock comedian. As leader and frontispiece for that most extreme wing of rock nihilism represented by the Stooges, he at once defined and ridiculed the options left to punk rockers after “My Generation.” The nihilist attitude meant plenty when it was a reaction to the pop status quo best exemplified by Dick Clark, but once nihilism itself became the status quo it was trivialized into mere decadence, a fashionable synonym for boredom.

Iggy’s criticism is a brilliant, if depressing, argument in defense of that much debated assertion that rock is dead. The Idiot, recorded by Bowie, sung in a tired growl excoriated from Jim Morrison via Ray Manzarek, and steeped in the so-called “minimalist” ambiance currently so fashionable among young bands who’ve spent too much time listening to Iggy and taking him seriously, is the most savage indictment of rock posturing ever recorded.

Iggy’s point, of course, is that rock is better off dead, but his is not the sentimental, transcendental approach to death. The Idiot is, on the contrary, a necrophiliac’s delight, and Pop’s next move may well go beyond flesh-tearing into live barbecue.

– John Swenson, Rolling Stone, 5/5/77.

Billboard Review

This is the third time around for the father of heavy metal nihilism, and while Iggy Pop sounds no less evil, the album is less frantic than his earlier efforts, moving at a more dirge-like pace. The co-author and producer of this effort is David Bowie, who makes the offerings more commercially palatable. The music sounds a little as if it came from Bowie’s “Aladdin Sane” period. Iggy Pop sings with a rasping rock voice while guitars drone on behind him. Best cuts: “Sister Midnight,” “China Girl,” “Tiny Girls,” “Mass Production.”
– Billboard, 1977.

Robert Christgau 

The line on Iggy is that this comeback album with Bowie and friends proves his creative power has dissipated. I say bullshit. The Stooges recorded prophetic music, but only some of it was great: because Iggy’s skill at working out his musical concept didn’t match his energy and inspiration, the attempted dirges fell too flat and some of the rockers never blasted off as intended. Dissipated or not, the new record works as a record. By now, Iggy barbs his lyrics with an oldtimer’s irony, which suits the reflective tone Bowie has imposed on the music just fine. In retrospect, it will appear that this was Iggy’s only alternative to autodestruct. Not true, perhaps, but retrospect favors artifacts. A-

– Robert Christgau, Christgau’s Record Guide, 1981.

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The Idiot was definitely warm welcomed into the world by various critics as examples show, however the freshness in which is still sounds today and the amount of artists it has inspired along the way is countless. Apart from Post-Punk, the album spawned Industrial elements as well.

For anyone who loves the Bowie version of China Girl, i can agree with you – what a grand slice of pop music. However the original recording found on this element is a raw experience, to which i can’t say which i like better.

The China Girl in question, who is she? Kuelan Nguyen. For a detailed version of how the song came to be go here

https://bowiesongs.wordpress.com/2011/01/26/china-girl/

Two of the key figures in this recording for me apart from Iggy’s powerful display and Bowie’s creative back room role is none of than the guitarists Phil Palmer (nephew of the Kinks Davies bros.) and Carlos Alomar, some best know him for the guitarist who played on most of Bowie’s recordings or the puerto rican maestro who replaced classic rock sideman Mick Ronson. Alomar appeared on Bowie 2 last albums before The Idiot, “Young Americans” and “Station to Station”. However it’s Palmer who gets most of the action throughout the recording, with Alomar hitting the heights with Sister Midnight which is seen to be a sequel of sorts to Bowie’s “Fame”.

Song Picks – Dum Dum Boys, Mass Production.

Rating – A

I’ll leave you with an article written in 1977 by Kris Needs for ZigZag Magazine.

Iggy Pop: The Idiot, Kris Needs, ZigZag, April 1977

IT’S TWO O’CLOCK in the morning and I’m playing The Idiot for the fifth time running. Can’t stop, it’s so compelling…but very VERY strange.

I wish I’d heard it before seeing Iggy on his recent UK tour. I mean, the last offering I’d heard from Iggy was the Metallic KO live album, recorded when he was still the demented daredevil from Detroit, dodging bottles and getting bashed in the face over high speed, pounding riffing from his Stooges.

On the last tour we got half new music and half new treatments of old faves, performed by a straightened-out Ig with his new band. He concentrated on singing and kept to the arrangements rather than taking off on self-destructive wildman diversions.

First time I saw the revamped Iggy – at Friars Aylesbury on the opening night – I have to confess I was disappointed, along with a number of other people. It was like he was trying to pull something out of the bag with little help from an unbroken-in band. But there was still something great about the bloke, like supressed dynamite.

A week later on the last night of the tour at the Rainbow Iggy was fantastic…the geezer I’d wanted to know and love, (I’d never seen him before this tour). And those new songs sounded much better the second time around, ‘specially the one about “my dead girlfriend”. But that still didn’t prepare me for The Idiot.

This new Iggy is far removed from the screaming demon on Fun House and Raw Power. I love those albums, but a bloke has got to move on, and Iggy has.

“Yeah, I’m almost like him”, he screams in the final seconds of ‘Mass Production’, the closing cut. You sure are, Ig. Very much like “him” – if you take “him” to be David Bowie, the bloke who handled keyboards on the tour. This album half belongs to David – he co-wrote all the tracks, arranged and produced it, as well as being featured on various instruments, (though it don’t say so on the cover).

It’s another Mott The Hoople job. When Bowie wrote and produced ‘All The Young Dudes’ it was like he was projecting himself through Ian Hunter and the group…like he’d sucked them in and spat them out as miniatures of himself.

Same thing’s happened here. Sometimes Iggy sings just like David, especially when he goes down deep. The backings could be straight off Low (which was recorded later at the same studios – The Chateau and Hansa in Berlin). Ain’t nothing wrong with that, ‘cos I think Low is great…I love that dense, pounding, scarey sound which also characterises this album. But it’s Iggy’s show, and I’m glad it’s back on the road.

This is a very strange album, morbid, obscure and unsettling. Like Low it’s aimed squarely at the cold, mechanical future. An attempt to recycle the ‘Search And Destroy’ style on record might have sounded posed and hackneyed in the light of the New Wave. Iggy was unique in 1972. Now he’s moved on.

Wrap your coat around your shoulders, and we’ll take a walk with The Idiot.

Side One pumps into life with ‘Sister Midnight’, a song he did live. Multilayers of overdubbed Ig intone the repetitious lyrics over a hovering stop-go riff which, like many of the tracks, gets more frenzied and swamped in sound as it goes along. Stretched, distorted guitar (a fave sound of Bowie’s) hangs over the top. Ig’s lyrics are like some kind of Oedipal nightmare/plea for help, ‘cept at the end where he’s just mewing and moaning like a tortured kitten. Good stuff.

Strange about lyrics. On many tracks Iggy will sing “we” instead of “I”, which in stark black and white under the co-composers’ credits on the lyric sheet sleeve heightens the feeling of a shared persona. On ‘Nightclubbing’ our heroes are doing the town, learning “Brand new dances like the nuclear bomb”. This is the bleak sound of the 1985 disco, as ghostly electronic washes sky-write phrases over an unsettling, distorted disco pulse.

‘Funtime’ reminds me of ‘White Light White Heat’ with its call-and-response vocals. The metronomic drumming remains unstopping and unstoppable throughout.

‘Baby’ is set to an electronic walking beat and seems to plead for a girl to stay pure and “clean”.

If ‘Sound And Vision’ was the obvious (only) choice for a single on Low, ‘China Girl’ is the one here. The only really ‘up’ track, it starts off innocently enough as one of those “I’m a mess without you” love songs, but soon degenerates and disintegrates musically and lyrically. Iggy starts singing about “visions of swastikas” in his head, and turns nasty on his little China Girl – “You shouldn’t mess with me, I’ll ruin everything you are”. He displays uncharacteristic emotion before giving way to a long, distended instrumental fade which is pure Bowie – the man’s string synthesiser, electronics and sax building an impenetrable Berlin Wall over the bedrock drumming.

If side one makes you shiver, side two will pop you into the fridge…and you can’t even dance to keep warm.

‘Dum Dum Boys’ opens with a “Whatever happened to me mates” rap before diving into another oppressive riff, which pulls and claws under great slabs of noise for the whole seven minutes.

The words are about Iggy’s old gang – probably the Stooges, although if it is he wants to get playing with them again! “Now I’m looking for the dum dum boys/ Where are you now when I need your noise”.

Draw your own from that, but I think this is autobiographical at least: “They looked as if they put the whole world down…”, “People said we were negative”.

‘Tiny Girls’ is a tiny ballad sandwiched between the other two tracks. If you want to hear Bowie break out on sax and Iggy singing the tune from ‘If You Go Away’, then this is the one. A mystery.

‘Mass Production’ is the closing killer epic. Fun House is a hazy memory by now, obliterated by a malevolent, monolithic riff, teutonic in the extreme. Bowie’s loopy synthesiser break in the middle is how I would imagine a musical police siren in the nightmare of a cold turkey case. It’s almost suicidal – “Though I try to die, you put me back on the line”, and the personality crisis reaches a peak: “And I see my face here/ And it’s there in the mirror/And it’s up in the air/And I’m down on the ground”. Does Iggy know who he is? Out he goes shouting: “Won’t you get me that girl/ Yeah she’s almost like you/And I’m almost like him”, into the chilling air-raid sirens again. BRRR!

I’ve had this album for two days and can’t be bothered to dissect it anymore. I just think it’s great, although it chills me to the marrow. “The walls close in and I need some noise”. I’ll put it on again, like an idiot.

© Kris Needs, 1977

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Does it Still Stand Up?

In the coming months, in an effort to engage more proficiently in the art of music consumption. To attempt to eradicate the click and delete world we currently occupy, will attempt to delve into selected albums of the past and observe how they were received upon release and how they are currently viewed upon in the 21st century.

Top 50 Albums of 2014

Hi there.

What an extremely long task, a one man show – fielding his way through all the bullshit and more to try encapulate the best sounds that 2014 had to offer. Not even getting close to listening to even the short list of everything that was available – with the after thought ringing in upside your mind that their will be more to discover later and more regrets. But hey instinct and opportunity led me to this, so without further ado. Here’s the shit that either impressed me or i found interesting in 2014. Here’s Part 1!

50. Cult of Youth – Final Days (Sacred Bones)

Best Tracks – Down the Moon, Empty Faction, God’s Garden

49. Robert Plant – lullaby and…. THE CEASELESS ROAR (Nonesuch)

Best Tracks – Little Maggie, Rainbow, Pocketful of Golden

48. M. Geddes Gengras – Ishi (Stones Throw)

Best Track – Ishi

47. Perfect Pussy – Say Yes to Love (Captured Tracks)

Best Tracks – Driver, Big Stars, Advance Upon the Real

46. Spoon – They Want My Soul (Loma Vista)

Best Tracks – Rent I Pay, Inside Out, Rainy Taxi, Let me Be Mine

45. Neneh Cherry – Blank Project (Smalltown Supersound)

Best Tracks – Naked, 422, Out of the Black, Dossier

44. ††† – ††† (Sumerian)

Best Tracks – Telepathy, Frontiers, Blk Station, Cross, Option

43. Opeth – Pale Communion (Roadrunner)


Best Tracks – Cusp of Eternity, Eternal Rains Will Come, Goblin

42. We Were Promised Jetpacks – Unraveling (Imports)

Best Tracks – I Keep It Composed, Peace Sign, Night Terror

41. Hamilton Leithauser – Black Hours (Ribbon Music)

Best Tracks – 5am, Silent Orchestra, Alexandra

40. White Fence – For the Recently Found Innocent (Drag City)

Best Tracks – Anger, Who Keeps You Under, Like That, Sandra

39. Cave – Release (Drag City)

Best Tracks – Bobby’s Hash, The Ride, Jim

38. The Hold Steady – Teeth Dreams (Razor & Tie)

Best Tracks – I Hope This Whole Thing Didn’t Frighten You, The Only Thing, On With the Business

37. Hookworms – The Hum (Domino)

Best Tracks – Impasse, On Leaving

36. Blonde Redhead – Barragan (Kobait)

Best Tracks – Lady M, Dripping, No More Honey, Mine to be Had.

35. Ryan Adams – Ryan Adams (Pax-Am)

Best Tracks – Am I Safe, My Wrecking Ball, Feels Like Fire

34. Wye Oak – Shriek (Merge)


Best Tracks – Glory, Sick Talk, Despicable Animal

33. Steve Gunn – Way Out Weather (Paradise of Bachelors)

Best Tracks – Milly’s Garden, Drifter, Tommy’s Congo

32. EMA – The Future’s Void (Matador)

Best Tracks – Satellites, 3Jane, So Blonde, Smoulder

31. Alex G – DSU (Orchid Tapes)

Best Tracks – After Ur Gone, Serpent, Harvey

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30. Freeman – Freeman (Partisan)

Gene Ween himself, Mr Aaron Freeman offers up a fine set of songs.

Best Tracks – Covert Discretion, The English and Western Stallion, (For a While) I Couldn’t Play Guitar Like A Man

29. Damien Jurado – Brothers and Sisters of the Eternal Sun (Secretly Canadian)

Best Tracks – Magic Number, Silver Timothy

28. Thom Yorke – Tomorow’s Modern Boxes (Self-Released)

Surprise release of 2014, not unprecedented however cold reception! There’s a few gems here.

Best Tracks – Guess Again, Interference, The Mother Lode

27. Hiss Golden Messenger – Lateness of Dancers (Merge)

There’s a possibility that “Alt-Country” reared it’s head again in 2014. With MC Taylor, putting forth his two cents.

Best Tracks – I’m a Raven (Shake Children), Lucia, Saturdays

26. Earth – Primitive and Deadly (Southern Lord)

Mark Lanegan and Earth, what an earthly combination!

Best Tracks – Torn by the Fox of the Crescent Moon, From the Zodiacal Light

25. The Notwist – Close to the Glass (Sub Pop)

Not quite Neon Golden, but a nice addition to their catalogue.

Best Tracks – Casino, Seven Hour Drive, Signals

24. Sun Kil Moon – Benji (Caldo Verde)

Like a film with too many adult themes, gains itself a R rating. This album should probably have the same. With such misery there’s beauty to find in this one.

Best Tracks – Truck Driver, Dog

23. Total Control – Typical System (Iron Lung)

TC offer up their sophomore effort. Apart from being a stellar album you get a bit of this and a bit of that here, and whose complaining?

Best Tracks – Bloody Glass, Flesh War, Two Less Jacks

22. Ben Frost – A U R O R A (Mute)

It’s like watching a film you don’t understand but want to, you keep coming back for more. Enthralling stuff

Best Tracks – Nolan, Secant

21. Protomartyr – Under Color of Official Right (Hardly Art)

These dudes from Detroit deliver a hard up belter. Rock and Roll with a touch of that post punk stuff.

Best Tracks – Maidenhead, Aint So Simple, Want Remover, Tarpeian Rock

20. King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – I’m In Your Mind Fuzz (Heavenly)

Australian outfit, bring the fuzz, no literally.

Best Tracks – The first 4 = 1

19. East India Youth – Total Strife Forever (Stolen Recordings)

Best Tracks – Glitter Recession, Total Strife Forever

18. Real Estate – Atlas (Domino)

Best Tracks – Had to Hear, Past Lives, Crime

17. Badbadnotgood – 3 (Innovative Leisure)

Best Tracks – Triangle, Can’t Leave the Night

16. Ty Segall – Manipulator (Drag City)

Best Tracks – Manipulator, Feel, The Faker

15. Swans – To Be Kind (Young God)

Best Tracks – Screenshot, She Loves Us

14. Fennesz – Becs (Editions Mego)

Best Tracks – Static King, The Liar, Liminality

13. Cloud Nothings – Here and Nowhere Else (Carpark)

Best Tracks – Just See Fear, Pattern Walks, Quieter Today

12. Beck – Morning Phase (Capitol)

Best Tracks – Morning, Wave, Say Goodbye, Blue Moon

11. Wild Beasts – Present Tense (Domino)

Best Tracks – Wanderlust, Mecca, Sweet Spot, Nature Boy

10. Caribou – Our Love (Merge)

Best Tracks – Back Home, Julia Brightly, Mars

9. Liars – Mess (Mute)

Best Tracks – Mask Maker, VOD, Pro-anti, Mess on a Mission, I’m No Gold

8. Flying Lotus – You’re Dead! (Warp)

Best Tracks – It’s best not to segregate tracks from this album, but for track sake – Tesla, Turkey Dog Coma

7. Damon Albarn – Everyday Robots (Parlophone)

Best Tracks – Everyday Robots, Hostilities, Lonely Press Play

6. Parquet Courts – Sunbathing Animal (What’s Your Rupture?)

Best Tracks – Bodies, She’s Rollin, Black and White, What Color is Blood?

5. Eno/Hyde – High Life (Warp)

Best Tracks – Return, DBF, Moulded Life

4. The War on Drugs – Lost in the Dream (Secretly Canadian)

Best Tracks – Under the Pressure, Eyes to the Wind, An Ocean In between the Waves

3. Mogwai – Rave Tapes (Sub-pop)

Best Tracks – Hexon Bogon, Remurdered, Simon Ferocious, Heard About You Last Night

2. Grumbling Fur – Preternaturals (The Quietus Phonographic Corporation)

Best Tracks – All the Rays, Mister Skeleton, Feet of Clay.

1. Millie and Andrea – Drop the Vowels (Modern Love)

And there it is, a whirlwind of a year, Trying to form some kind of mathematical equation between discovering new artists + paying respect to familiar artists = Not enough time. Andy Stott and Miles Whittaker delivered a spell-bounding effort, something that i kept coming back to time after time and completely got lost in.

Best Tracks – GIF RIFF, Stay Ugly

Philip Seymour Hoffman (1967 – 2014)

I woke this morning like many others to the news that Philip Seymour Hoffman a God of acting was no longer with us. It pains me thoroughly to write this post, but thats the end of that. He was a craftsman of the screen and one of the finest actors I’ve ever had the pleasure of watching on screen.

hoffman

In no particular order here is my favourite performances of PSH.

– Boogie Nights
– Happiness
– Magnolia
– Punch Drunk Love
– Capote
– Synecdoche, New York
– Doubt
– The Master
– Almost Famous
– The Boat That Rocked
– Moneyball

Favourite Albums of 2013 (25 – 1)

#25 Dick Diver – Calendar Days (Chapter Music)

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Song Highlights – Water Damage, Alice, Lime Green Shirt

Copping many comparison to Australian music legends the Go-Betweens,. Calendar Days surely sets them apart from any artist recording music today. A breath of fresh air.

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#24 Anna Calvi – One Breath (Domino)

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Song Highlights – Suddenly, Eliza, Piece by Piece

Easily one of my most favourite female artists. Her second set of songs doesn’t disappoint.

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#23 Blondes – Swisher (RVNG Intl.)

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Song Highlights – Bora Bora, Andrew

Easily some of the most engaging electronic tracks you’d hear all year

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#22 Forest Swords – Engravings (Tri Angle Records)

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Song Highlights – Ljoss, Thor’s Stone, The Weight of Gold

Another set of 2013s best electronic tunes on offer

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#21 The Drones – I See Seaweed (Self-Released)

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Song Highlights – I See Seaweed, How to See Through Fog,  A Moat You Can Stand In

One of the Country’s best bands turns in what could be their best effort yet.

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#20 Sigur Ros –  Kveikur (XL Recordings)

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Song Highlights – Brennisteinn, Kevikur, Isjaki

Last album was a misstep, now down a member but back to searing form.

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#19 These New Puritans – Field of Reeds (Infectious Music)

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Song Highlights – V (Island Song), Organ Eternal

Creative vision here is flawless, my first real flirtation with TNP, what a great ride.

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#18 The Men – New Moon (Sacred Bones)

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Song Highlights – I Saw Her Face, Without a Face, Half Angel Half Light

This Brooklyn rock band continue from strength to strength.

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#17 Blue Hawaii – Untogether (Arbutus)

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Song Highlights – Sweet Tooth, Sierra Lift

Doesn’t get much better than this in terms of perfectly constructed pop songcraft.

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#16 Explosions in the Sky and David Wingo – Prince Avalanche OST (Temporary Residence)

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Song Highlights – Send Off, Can’t We Just Listen to the Silence, Hello is this Your House?

Texas post-rock quartet bring the goods to yet another fantastic soundtrack.

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#15  James Holden – The Inheritors (Border Community)

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Song Highlights – Renata, A Circle Inside a Circle, Caterpillars Intervention

Completely Mesmerising

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#14 Nine Inch Nails – Hesitation Marks (Columbia)

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Song Highlights – Satellite, Copy of A, All Time Low, Find My Way

What a return to the limelight for Mr Reznor. Building on his work on OST’s and with Atticus Ross and his wife of How to Destroy Angels, it was all just leading to this moment, and boy does it fire on all cylinders.

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#13 Kurt Vile – Wakin on a Pretty Daze (Matador)

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Song Highlights – KV Crimes, Snowflakes are Dancing, Never Run Away

A more jammier version of his previous efforts, it gets better every time.

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#12
Braids – Flourish // Perish ( Arbutus)

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Song Highlights – December, Freund, In Kind

Delicately layered and thought out, a record that will reveal something new each listen. A beautiful voice with percussion to match.

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#11 Julia Holter – Loud City Song – (Domino)

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Song Highlights – Maxim’s 1, Horns Surrounding Me, In the Green Wild

An Absolutely stunning record in every way conceivable

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#10 Harper Simon – Division Street (PIAS Recordings)

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Song Highlights – Bonnie Brae, Division St, Just Like St Teresa.

A wonderful singer songwriter record, a good attempt at trying to step out of his fathers shadow.

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#9 Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds – Push the Sky Away (Bad Seed Ltd)

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Song Highlights – Jubilee Street, Waters Edge, Push the Sky Away, Higgs Boson Blues, Wide Lovely Eyes

The Bad Seeds can do no wrong, and as a good friend said to me “This is Mr Warren Ellis’s watershed” to that notion I agree. There’s not a bad moment here. Dark and Sombre, that’s the way we like it.

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#8 My Bloody Valentine – MBV (m b v)

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Song Highlights – New You, Who Sees You, If This and Yes

Holy shit, can My Bloody Valentine ever live up to the masterpiece that way Loveless? Well I happen to think their 1st effort was just as good. So thus proves 3rd lucky and several years later, Kevin Shields and the gang are just as good as ever.

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#7 Queens of the Stone Age – …Like Clockwork (Matador)

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Song Highlights – Vampyre of Time and Memory, I Appear Missing, If I Had a Tail, Smooth Sailing

Easily the surprise delight of the year. I didn’t expect much from this album, boy was I mistaken, Josh Homme puts together the best rock album of the year.

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#6 Youth Lagoon – Wondrous Bughouse (Fat Possum Records)

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Song Highlights – Mute, Pelican Man, Dropla, Attic Doctor

Trevor Powers blends pop and psychedelia in the most wonderful way.

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#5 William Tyler – Impossible Truth (Merge)

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Song Highlights – Nah, impossible task really.

William Tyler is one of the best guitar players I’ll ever see in live performance. The story teller gives a bit of incite to the inner workings of his mind and how his process works. Words are unnecessary when they are painted in every finger pick and guitar stroke.

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#4 Boards of Canada – Tomorrows Harvest (Warp)

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Song Highlights – Reach for the Dead, Cold Earth, Nothing is Real

Welcome back.

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#3 Jon Hopkins – Immunity (Domino)

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Song Highlights – We Disappear, Collider

It was Jon Hopkins who set the tone for my year in music, This effort is one of the finest electronic albums i’ll probably ever set my ears too.

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#2 Factory Floor – Factory Floor (DFA)

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Song Highlights – Turn it Up, Here Again, Fall Back.

Critics everywhere panned it for the lack of energy and emergency of previous material. I can understand that to a point, but in all its infectious glory. What a ride, which gets better and better every time.

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#1  Burial – Truant/Rough Sleeper (Hyperdub)

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Look at this Jerk, listing one of two number ones of 2013. It’s with great disappointment that I will regard this release to it’s proper year of 2012. Having said that, it was released very very late in the year and was first reviewed in early 2013. This E.P clocks in just over 25 minutes and provided me with the soundtrack of 2013. So yeah this doesn’t really count but it was easily the best thing I heard in 2013.

#1 Flaming Lips – The Terror (Warner Bros)

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Song Highlights – You Lust, The Terror, Always There…In Our Hearts

Oh man, the reviews were savage, but I was enthralled from the very first listen. The Flaming Lips kill it on their latest effort. It’s raw, experimental, electronic, hypnotic and at times rocking. To me the complete album of 2013 falls in the hands of Mr Wayne Coyne. Thanks for the trip, man.

Favourite Albums of 2013 (50 – 26)

#50 Palms – Palms (Ipecac)

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Song Highlights – Mission Sunset, Future Warrior

Sensational record from the former members of Isis and Mr Chino Moreno.

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#49 Charlie Boyer & the Voyeurs – Clarietta (Heavenly Recordings)

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Song Highlights – Things We Be, Clarinet

A nice mix of post punk niceties exchanged all over, but where’s the reception?

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#48  Tim Hecker – Virgins (Kranky)

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Song Highlights: Listen from front to back

Mysterious and Awe Inspiring

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#47 Paul McCartney – New (Virgin EMI Records)

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Song Highlights: Queenie Eye, New, Appreciate

A nice return to form.

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#46 Arctic Monkeys – AM (Domino)

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Song Highlights – R U Mine?, Arabella, Snap out of it

Arguably their best release. Clear signs of a young band maturing.

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#45  Deerhunter – Monomania (4AD)

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Song Hightlights – Leather Jacket 2, The Missing

Cox brings back the raw energy

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#44 Beaches – She Beats (Chapter Music)

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Song Highlights – Out of Mind, Dune, The Good Comet Returns

One of the better gazy  releases in 2013 from the Melbourne band.

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#43  Besnard Lakes – Until in Excess, Imperceptible UFO (Jagjaguwar)

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Song Highlights – People of the Sticks, And Her Eyes Were Painted Gold, Colour Yr Lights In

Another fine outing from the Canadian Band

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#42 Marnie Stern – The Chronicles of Marnia (Kill Rock Stars)

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Song Highlights – You Don’t Turn Down, Noonan, Chronicles of Marnia

Guitar Goddess unsurprisingly brings the goods! More razor sharp then ever before.

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#41 Wavves – Afraid of Heights (Mom + Pop Music)

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Song Highlights – Demon to Lean On, That’s On Me, I Can’t Dream

A  surprisingly fresh dosage of garage rock bliss

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#40 Steve Mason – Monkey Minds In the Devils Time (Double Six)

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Song Highlights – Lie Awake, Lonely, Seen It All Before

Former Beta Band frontman, brings us nothing but quality

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#39 No Joy – Wait to Pleasure (Mexican Summer)

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Song Highlights – Hare Tarot Lies, Lizard Kids

A welcome surprise of 2013, they have the sound and tunes to match.

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#38  Toro Y Moi – Anything in Return (Carpark)

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Song Highlights – Harm in Change, Rose Quartz, Cola

Outstanding pop album, not a bad idea here.

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#37 Foxygen – We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic (Jagjaguwar)

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Song Highlights – On a Blue Mountain, Bowling Trophies, Shuggie

A perfect cocktail of the past delivered to our doorsteps in 2013.

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#36 Julianna Barwick – Nepenthe (Dead Oceans Records)

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Song Highlights – Listen from front to back

Glorious Piece of Work, Best heard in a Church.

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#35  James Blake – Overgrown (Polydor)

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Song Highlights – Overgrown, Life Round Here, Digital Lion

Huge improvement on his first outing for me

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#34 Ty Segall – Sleeper (Drag City)

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Song Highlights – The Keepers, She Don’t Care, Come Outside

Ty Segall changes it up form the electric guitar to the acoustic, nice touch.

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#33 David Bowie – The Next Day (Columbia)

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Song Highlights – Love is Lost, If You Can See Me, I’d Rather Be High

Effortlessly solid return from Bowie which no one expected

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#32 Fuck Buttons – Slow Focus (ATP Recordings)

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Song Highlights – Brainfreeze, Year of the Dog

More dark and enchanting sounds from the brit electronic duo provocateurs

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#31 The Appleseed Cast – Illumination Ritual (Graveface)

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Song Highlights – Simple Forms, 30 Degrees 3am

Not since 2006’s Peregrine have I thought much about the post-rock band, but here they are once again at the top of their game.

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#30 Arcade Fire – Reflektor (Merge)

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Song Highlights – Flashbulb Eyes, Afterlife, Normal Person

Another solid release by the not so small Montreal band

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#29
Atoms for Peace – AMOK (XL Recordings)

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Song Highlights – Default, Dropped, Stuck Together Pieces

Another fine side project from the Radiohead frontman.

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#28 The Field – Cupid’s Head (Kompakt)

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Song Highlights – Listen from Back to Front

Nothing but class from the swedish electronic musician Axel Willner.

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#27 Daughn Gibson – Me Moan (Sub Pop)

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Song Highlights – Phantom Rider, Mad Ocean, You Don’t Fade, Won’t You Climb

A nice follow-up from last years fantastic debut.

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#26 John Green – Pale Green Ghosts (Bella Union)

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Song Highlights – Pale Green Ghosts, It Doesnt Matter to Him, You Don’t Have To, Sensitive New Age Guy, Ernest Borgnine

John Green releases his sophomore solo effort, and what an eclectic mix it is!

2013 Wrap up

Before I get started, I just wanted to sum up what has been a brilliant year in music. Does it get better every year or just more accessible? Who knows but as each year goes by we get introduced to essentially 1000s of new artists, re-introduced to past loves and anticipate our favourite artists new releases.

To kick it off I just want to list a few tracks from the year that didn’t get a place in my favourite albums of the year.

*Just wanted to quickly shout out for anyone who discovered Light Up Gold, the wonderful Parquet Courts record, it was released in 2012 not 2013….

Cool Songs released in 2013

The National – Humiliation
Courtney Barnett – Avant Gardner
Kanye West – Black Skinhead
Savages – She Will
Jackson Scott – Evie
Holydrug Couple – Counting Sailboats
How to Destroy Angels – And the Sky Began to Scream
Fidlar – Stoked and Broke
Darkside – Heart
Dean Blunt – The Pedigree
Alex Calder – Suki & Me
Merchandise – Anxiety’s Door
Radar Bros – Reflections
Foals – Providence
Low – Just Make it Stop
Mikal Cronin – See it My Way
Akron/Family – No Room/Holy Boredom
Laura Marling – Master Hunter/Devils Resting Place
Devendra Banhart – Golden Girls/Mi Negrita

Oneohtrix Point Never – Boring Angel/Zebra
Johnny Marr – The Messenger
Hookworms – Preservation
A$AP Rocky – 1 Train
Bill Ryder Jones – The Hanging Tree
Cass McCombs – Big Wheel
BRMC – Let the Day Begin
Deafheaven – Vertigo
Gary Numan – I Am Dust
Ghostpoet – Plastic Bag Brain
Hiss Golden Messenger – Hat of Rain/Devotion
Hooded Fang – Ode to Subterrania
Jagwar Ma – Four
Jacco Gardner – Clear the Air
Jonathan Wilson – Fanfare
King Krule – Lizard State
Kvelertak – Bruanne Brenn
Local Natives – Breakers
Midlake – Vale
Phoenix – The Real Thing
Portugal the Man – Creep in a T-Shirt
Thee Oh Sees – I Came from the Mountain
The Strokes – Welcome to Japan
Bill Callahan – Javelin Unlanding
The Knife – Full of Fire/Wrap Your Arms Around Me
Yo La Tengo – I’ll Be Around/Ohm
Retribution Gospel Choir – Can’t Walk Out
British Sea Power – K Hole/Loving Animals

Sorry about the long list, I just….