Here is part 2 of my top 30 favorite musical moments of 2015.
Next up is Dinosaur Jr. This was another date show, and the two of us had both been long time fans and were first time seeing them live. Even the shitty sound system at Black Cat couldn’t ruin the night.
Yvette at Metro Gallery was inspiring to me to see how the frontman manipulated noise and sound and played his pedals like an instrument.
This was Faith no More. I had been a casual fan since the early 90s, and got a ticket for cheap off of Stubhub and had a blast rocking out to their classics, and new material. This was the show of the year for me.
Next up was another 90s favorite, Hum. The highlights for me were Suicide Machine and I Hate it Too.
Birth (defects) is my next choice. I am friends with the singer and this was my first time seeing them. Their noise-rock was right up my alley and I would describe it as killer.
Pill, was one we decided to randomly catch after another show. This was the NYC band’s first out of town gig, and they are the SECOND sax mention on my list. I wish I would have also did the Psychedelic Furs…
I am so glad Locrian include Baltimore when they do these short tours, as this was my second time to see them. The new album is worth grabbing.
Thrushes are back. This was one of the two shows of theirs that I saw this year (for the release of their excellent new album, which is on my Best of Baltimore list).
The last one of this bunch was Celebration at Bombadillo Festival. Celebration has long been one of my favorite bands, and this performance gave me what I needed.
My favorite heavy albums of 2015. In order of the mix I made of one track per release:
Noisem – Blossoming Decay
Genocide Pact – Forged Through Domination
Cult Leader – Lightless Walk
Corrections House – How to Carry a Whip
Kowloon Walled City – Grievences
Fight Amp – Constantly Off
Kylesa – Exhausting Fire
The Body and Thou – You, Whom I Have Always Hated
Locrian – Infinite Dissolution
Liturgy – the Ark Work
Noisem – Graining Enamel
Genocide Pact – Experiments In Nihilsm
Cult Leader – Sympathetic
Corrections House – Hopeless Moronic
Kowloon Walled City – Your Best Years
Fight Amp – Happy Joyful Life
Kylesa – Lost and Confused
The Body and Thou – Her Strongholds Unvanquishable
Locrian – Arc of Extinction
Liturgy – Kel Valhaal
photo of Kowloon Walled City at Metro Gallery by me
For the 45th edition of Dragged to Hell, I decided to share a mix of some of the various metal that I have been rocking out to 2015. Most tracks are new, but there are a few from the last couple years also sprinkled in. The tracks run the metal spectrum from death to grind to thrash to doom. One hour, 13 tracks. Enjoy.
Kylesa – Crusher
The Body and Thou – Manifest Alchemy
Cult Leader – A Good Life
Noisem – Trail Of Perturbation
Genocide Pact – Desecration
Ilsa – Pandolpho
Neurosis – We All Rage In Gold
Empty Vessels – Lamplighter
Killing Joke – Big Buzz
Locrian – An Index of Air
Unearthly Trance – Sleeping While They Feast
Exodus – Wrapped In The Arms Of Rage
Full of Hell & Merzbow – Burst Synapse
Photo of Noisem at CCAS 2015 by me
Dragged to Hell 19 is hip hop heavy. Commercial and underground are mixed in this mix, side by side. Most of the popular tunes are slowed down.
This mix also features a little bit of noise and experimental music at the end. (originally released a couple months ago. Volume 20 coming soon)
Force Publique – Sacrifice
Milky Chance – Stolen Dance
Ami Dang – Kissed by the Fire
Tinashe – 2 On (feat. Schoolboy Q)
Abdu Ali – Shiva (prod. by B L A C K I E)
Shabazz Palaces – …down 155th in the MCM Snorkel
Waka Flocka – Move That Dope (DatPiff
clipping – guns.up
Atari Teenage Riot – We Are From the Internet
Puerto Rico Flowers – After The Weekend
Ellah A. Thaun – K I L L YouR F R I E N D S
Locrian – Triumph of Elimination
York Factory Complaint – Loved
cover/picture by me
In chronological order, one image for each of my 20 favorite live music sets of 2013. All images are from my Instagram account.
1/29 – Quicksand at Black Cat
2/9 – the Evens at 2640 Space
4/18 – Dead Mellotron at Club K
4/25 – GOAT at Black Cat Backstage
5/22 – Future Islands (mainly unreleased songs 90 minute set) at Metro Gallery
5/29 – Roomrunner (record release show) at Metro Gallery
6/7 – Celebration at Metro Gallery
6/30 – Locrian at Metro Gallery
7/27 – Potty Mouth at La Casa
9/1 – the Art Department (surprise set) at ScapeScape
9/5 – Pharmakon at Hopscotch
9/5 – Merzbow and Wolf Eyes (surprise collab set) at Hopscotch
9/6 – Magik Markers (improv set) Three Lobed Records Day Party at Hopscotch
9/7 – Wing Dam SPAZZSCOTCH Day Party at Hopscotch
9/7 – BAMBARA DAY-DREAM Day Party at Hopscotch
9/7 – Matmos at Hopscotch
10/2 – Dan Deacon (brand new songs set) at the Crown
10/11 – Neutral Milk Hotel at 2640 Space
11/13 – Chelsea Light Moving at the Ottobar
12/1 – Animal Collective at 930 Club
I am going to keep the descriptions short and sweet. These 20 releases made up my other favorites that aren’t from Baltimore, or dark/electronic. A very East Coast heavy list, with Massachusetts having a strong showing. In no particular order, the rest of my favorites (and a mix).
1. ovlov – am: catchy noise rock is what these brothers deal in
2. Exit Calm – The Future Isn’t What It Used To Be: second album of soaring British shoegaze; vocals are up front unlike a lot of their peers
3. The Courtneys – The Courtneys: probably what I sang along to the most this year in traffic was from these Canadian Keanu Reeves enthusiasts
4. BAMBARA – DREAMVIOLENCE: noise powered pedal theatrics from this NYC band; their day time set at Hopscotch this year was easily among my top five favorite for the year
5. The Polyphonic Spree – Yes, It’s True: the only kickstarter project I supported this year; I have drank their Kool Aid for over a decade, and this one didn’t let me down
6. Sebadoh – Defend Yourself: one of my favorite bands of the 90s return to form; I am glad I was able to see them on tour for this
7. Locrian – Return To Annihilation: I was lucky enough to see them on their short tour for this album; their set’s mix of ambient metal synths and guitars let me wanting more
8. Wolf Eyes – No Answer: Lower Floors: I always thought I wouldn’t like them because they would be too harsh; this release is just the right combo of noise and songs (also another killer band I was able to catch this year)
9. Weekend – Jinx: beat driven shoegaze release
10. Veronica Falls – Waiting For Something To Happen: pop from London; another sing along fest
11. The Stargazer Lilies – We Are The Dreamers: ethereal shoegaze release from Soundpool alums
12. Placebo – Loud Like Love: another strong release from a mainstay in my favorite list; I am not sure if this will convert anyone, but is a treat for fans of the band
13. Chelsea Light Moving – Chelsea Light Moving: I like all the post-Sonic Youth bands but only wanted to include one; CLM made the cut since I listened to this the most, and also really enjoyed the tracks when I experienced them live
14. Kal Marks – LIFE IS MURDER: Guitar heavy Boston band featuring a vocalist with one of the most unique voices I have heard in rock music in a long time
15. Paint Branch – I Wanna Live: the only DC based band on this list; which is sad, I spend a lot of time every week in that city; smart, vocal driven pop from ashes of Q and not U
16. Krill – Lucky Leaves: another reason Massachusetts kicks ass with its music scene
17. Palehound – Bent Nail: another release that has a 90s vibe to it; nice mix of acoustic and electric parts and also singing about a range of topics including pet carrots
18. DJ Dog Dick – The Life Stains: NYC based noise artist releases a instant noise pop classic; beats, singing, basslines, and melodies abound
19. PERFECT PUSSY – I have lost all desire for feeling: probably the noisiest of all of these releases, shoegaze ones included; too short at four songs and they leave you wanting more
20. Potty Mouth – Hell Bent: this band of punk rockers put on one of the funnest sets that I attended this year at an all ages event at an alternative worship place; much ass was kicked
the image of Locrian synth player/singer Terence Hannum at the Metro Gallery in Baltimore was taken by me
Locrian return with an absolute masterpiece of an album. I was fortunate to be able to catch them on their short tour to promote it, at the excellent Metro Gallery show in Baltimore. I waited to listen to this album until after i saw them, so all of the new songs were completely fresh. I was blown away for the keyboard tones and the metal guitar, beautiful and heavy, droney and metal (and great drums too, and light show, and crowd). Toss them a few bucks and be prepared to be annihilated.