Saturday, February 13, 2016

2015: Musical Top Tens etc.

What can I say? It's been another good year as far as music was concerned. Tons of great shows at the Esquire Tavern, Plan B, Claude's House and the Tide And Boar with all venues hosting touring bands as well as perennial familiar faves. Free all-ages in-store shows at Spin-It Records and if you drove 30 minutes out of town, Sackville had been putting great shows at Thunder & Lightning on Bridge Street. Legendary veteran bands such as the Dayglo Abortions, the Ripcordz, Sloan and Voivod made the trek to our beloved little city. Amazingly, there was always a decent beer selection at the liquor store. Life was good. On the downside, our currency wasn't very good against the US dollar which made buying records more expensive and frustrating. 2016 looks promising with lots of shows and local releases coming down the pipe. Stay tuned.
A little late on the draw, but we've again asked some friends and acquaintances to name us some of their favourites of the year. Some comments have been edited due to space...

Ray 13 (rover boy, raconteur, bon vivant, street walker, archivist, armschair anarchist, AKG editor)
Best long players in no particular order...
The Sonics - This Is The Sonics  LP
Queen - A Night At The Odeon  2LP
Sleaford Mods - Key Markets  LP
Killing Joke - Pylon  2LP
Tau Cross - s/t  LP
Outtacontroller - Television Zombie  LP
Motorhead - Bad Magic  LP
Napalm Death - Apex - Predator  LP
The Sadies - Archives Vol. 1  LP
Real McKenzies - Rats In The Burlap  LP

Best live performances in no particular order...
Voivod  @ Tide and Boar Ballroom, Moncton
Alvvays @ Tide and Boar Ballroom, Moncton
Hard Charger @ Esquire Tavern, Moncton
Steeleye Span @ Stan Fest, Canso NS
Impulse Items @ Esquire Tavern, Moncton
Towanda @ Claude's House, Moncton
Sintax Error @ Aberdeen Cultural Centre, Moncton
Fred Eaglesmith @ Tide and Boar, Moncton
The Sadies @ Boardwalk Stage, Saint-John NB
Don't Surrender @ Esquire Tavern, Moncton

Best magazines...
Ugly Things
Vive Le Rock

Kyle McDonald (promoter, engineer, producer, sound tech, bassist at Zaum)
1)  Ghost - Meliora  LP
2)  Kamasi Washington - Epic  LP
3)  Lightning Bolt - Fantasy Empire  LP
4)  Failure - The Heart Is a Monster  LP
5)  Torche - Restarter  LP
6)  Thee Requiems - Awkward Gold  CD
7)  Flowers For Bodysnatchers - Aokigahara  CD
8)  Joshua Abrams -  Magnetoception  LP
9)  Goatsnake - Black Age Blues  LP
10) Council of Nine - Dakhma / Diagnosis  LP

Gavin MacNeil (box maker, pedal creator, gig goer)
Top Ten Live Shows:
Voivod / Zaum / Hardcharger - Tide and Boar Ballroom - July 25, 2015
Alvvays - Tide and Boar Ballroom - October 22, 2015
Noveller - Trinity Church,  Halifax NS -May 23, 2015
Jealous Mountain Duo - Aberdeen Cultural Centre - May 15, 2015
Life Chain -  Halifax Memorial Library, Halifax NS - May 22, 2015
Outhouse Phantom / Sam Shalbi  - Aberdeen Cultural Centre - May 30, 2015M
Most Ghost - Aberdeen Cultural Centre - May 29, 2015
Impulse Items - Esquire - August 22, 2015
FLQ - Claude’s House - September 12, 2015
Neighbourhood Watch / Warsick - Plan B - October 10, 2015

Mark McGrath (creature of habit, runner, smiler)
1)  Beach House - "Depression Cherry" LP
2)  Swervedriver - "I Wasn't Born To Lose You" CD
3)  The Decemberists - "What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World" CD
4)  Oh Pep! - "Living" CD EP
5)  Great Lake Swimmers - "A Forest of Stars" CD
6)  High on Fire - "Luminferous" CD
7)  Lamb of God - "VII: Sturm Und Drang" CD
8)  MGLA - "Exercises in Futility" CD
9)  Tribulation - "The Children of the Night" CD
10) Adversarial - "D.E.N.A.T.B.K.O.N." CD  (Death, Endless Nothing and the Black Knife of Nihilism.... long title!)

Keltie Harding (consumer of quality meat, gig goer)
1 - Ghost BC - Meliora  LP
2 - Bob Dylan - The Cutting Edge , The Bootleg Series Vol. 12. (I bought the 2 Disc "best of" & downloaded the complete 18 CD set. )
3 - Outtacontroller - Television Zombie  LP
4 - Zaum / Shooting Guns - Split LP.
5- Moonsocket - Eurydice  LP
6 - Chris Page - Volume vs. Voice  CD
7 - Elvis Presley - My Happiness / That's When Your Heartaches Begin  10" (Third Man replica of his first acetate)
8 - Daniel Romano - If Ive Only One Time Askin'  LP
9 -  The Weather Station - Loyalty  LP
10 - The Beach Boys - Live In Chicago 1965 (digital download only)

Eric Neurotic (Upper Canadian Light-Weight Champion, Feral Trash, Cheap Whine, Chiller)
#1 Vacation - Non-Person (Don Giovanni)  LP
#2 Red Dons - Dead Hand of Tradition (Taken by Surprise)  LP
#3 Black Tower - The Secret Fire (No Idea)  LP
#4 Video - The Entertainers (Thirdman)  LP
#5 Nervosas - S/T (Dirtnap)  LP
#6 Radioactivity - Silent Kill (Dirtnap)  LP
#7 Outtacontroller - Television Zombie (P.Trash/Southpaw)  LP
#8 The Stops - Nameless Faces (Dirt Cult)  LP
#9 Screaming Females - Rose Mountain (Don Giovanni)  LP
#10 Mike Krol - Turkey (Merge)  LP

Mark Eveleigh (champion of local music)
1-  local h-hey killer LP
2 - sleater-kinney-no cities to love deluxe LP
3-  outtacontroller-television zombie LP
4 - night birds-mutiny at muscle beach LP
5 - teenage time killers-greatest hits vol 1 CD
6 - clutch-psychic warfare CD
7 - eagles of death metal-zipper down CD
8 - the sadies-the sadies archive vol 1. LP
9 - faith no more-sol invictus CD
10 - the dead weather-dodge and burn CD

top 8 reissues
1 - sheavy-the electric sleep LP
2 - sheavy-celestial hi-fi LP
3 - eric's trip-love tara LP
4 - fu manchu-king of the road LP
5 - fu manchu-daredevil LP
6 - fu manchu-kept between trees 10"
7 - metallica-no life till leather cassette
8 - the underdogs-the underdogs 1987-88 bandcamp download.

top 3 live shows
1 - voivod, zaum and hard charger 07/25/2015
2 - the monoxides and outtacontroller 10/10/2015
3 - public animal, shevil and mistreater 03/21/2015

Marc Doucet (drummer man extraordinaire at nerve button and the robins, epicure of the bottle toke)
1) Voivod / Napalm Death split 7"
2)  Sloan - Neither Here Nor There  12" EP
3)  UFO - UFO 1 LP  (reissue)
4)  Jarvis Street Revue - Mr. Oil Man  LP (reissue)
5)  Driller Killer / Simbiose split 7"
6)  Tomorrow - Tomorrow LP (reissue)
7)  Wire - Wire  LP
8)  The Fall - Sub Lingual Tablet  2LP
9)  Various Artists - Bloodstains Across Canada  LP
10)  B-52's - Live 8-24-1979  LP
11) Warsick - 7" inch Flexi disc
12) Rainbow Ffolly - Sallies Fforth  LP (reissue)

Peter Leger (Tantramar correspondent) 
1) Bob Dylan - Bootleg Series Vol 12: Best of The Cutting Edge  2CD
2) Devarrow - The Great Escape  CD
3) Todd Rundgren -  Global  CD
4) Tony Banks - A Chord Too Far Anthology 4CD Box
5) John Lodge - 10 000 Light Years Ago  CD
6) Sarah Cracknel - Red Kite
7) The Zombie - Still Got That Hunger
8) Kappa Chow - I Want Out cassette???
9) Alex Thomas - Cold Water
10) Frank Zappa - Transmission Impossible  3CD

Sonia Noel (Keltie's shotgun driver, gig goer)
Outtacontroller - Television Zombie  LP
Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds - Chasing Yesterday (LP/CD)
Vanessa Carlton - Liberman (CD/LP)
Moonsocket - Eurydice (LP)
Coeur De Pirate - Roses (CD/LP)
Brian Jonestown Massacre - Mini Album Thingy Wingy (CD/12"EP)
Gaz Coombes - Matador (CD/LP)
Joel Plasket & the Park Avenue Sobriety Test (CD/LP)
Ryan Adams - 1989 (CD/LP)
Brian Jonestown Massacre - Musique de Film Imagine (CD/LP)

- Eric’s Trip - Love Tara (LP)
- Supergrass - I Should Coco (CD/LP with bonus 7”)
Best Show of 2015
The Shats / Crossed Wires / FLQ @ Claude’s House - September 12, 2015

Tyler Boutelier (rock and roll guitarist, copywriter)
Teengenerate - Live At Shelter LP (Ugly Pop vinyl reissue of 2001 live CD by the coolest band of the '90s.)
The Sonics - This Is The Sonics  LP
Kappa Chow - Tour Demo Cassette
Outtacontroller - Television Zombie LP
NECK - Hate To Read LP
OBN III's - Worth A lot of Money LP
Penetrators - She's The Kinda Girl/Take A Stand 7'' 
Cal and The Calories - Bastard in a Yellow Suit/Pain In My Ass 7''
Line Traps - s/t  LP
Deamons - Best Outta You demo
Fav show:
NECK - Claude's Show. Shitty freak snowstorm. Prince Igor vodka in my bloodstream, horrible snowman, and Ottawa band risks their life to play a Thursday.  Dec 3, 2015

Mark Gaudet (the robins, frank's music, purple knight, parlour tricks)
1. Van Halen - Tokyo Dome Live In Concert  CD
2. The Dickies- A Night That Will Live In Infamy  LP
3. The Fall - Sub-Lingual Tablet  2LP
4. Blackmore's Night-All Our Yesterdays  LP
5. Neil Young & Promise Of The Real -The Monsanto Years  2LP
6. Leadbelly - Smithsonian Folkways Collection  CD
7. Rainbow - A Night In The Black  CD
8. Grusome - Savage Land  LP
9. Motorhead - Bad Magic CD
10. Wire - s/t  LP

Remi Vienneau LeClair (Comic Hunter)
1.  Between The Buried and Me - Coma Eclectic LP
2.  Sumac - The Deal LP
3.  Faith No More - Sol Invictus LP
4.  Intronaut - The Direction of Last Things LP
5.  Locrian - Infinite Dissolution LP
6.  Baroness - Purple LP
7.  Clutch - Psychic Warfare LP
8.  Steven Wilson - Hand.Cannot.Erase. LP and blu-ray audio
9.  The Dear Hunter - Act IV: Rebirth in Reprise LP
10. The Sword - High Country LP

Grant Forsythe (capital city rocker)
1.  Mad Parade - The Fool 7"
2.  Mad Parade - Underground 7" 
3.  Mad Parade - God Bless America LP (reissue) 
4.  The Lewd - American Wino LP (reissue) 
5.  Acousma - 2nd EP 7" 
6.  Grump - North End Generic 7" EP 
7.  Bone Crusher - Whiskey Nation/Gotta Revolution 7" 
8.  The Erections/Who Killed Spikey Jacket? split 7" EP 
9.  Wretched - Libero Di Vivere - Libero Di Morire LP (reissue)
10. Rectum Of Pain - Dickered, Dinked, And Derelict CD 

Daryl Buote (port city miscreant, frequent Moncton visitor)
1. Motorhead - Bad Magic LP (no reason needed)!
2. Norma MacDonald - Burn the Tapes CD (Fantastic album, I cannot say enough good things about Norma or this album).
3. Michael Monroe - Blackout States CD (I knew I would like this album but I had no idea how great it was going to be. Fantastic songwriting and the band really shines through on this album).
4. Shooting Guns/ Zaum split 12" (Not what I normally listen to but damn I love ZAUM. Local lads who continue to get better and better. and the shooting guns side is solid as well. Very impressed.
5. Warsick - 7" flexi (Killer punk noise from local lads, Scandinavian/ Japanese influenced punk done well).
6. Seein' Red - Final Recordings 7" (Raging h/c punk done as only Seein' Red can. Killer package
7. Morbid Vomit - Return To The Crypts  CD (Death metal release that kicked my ass).
8. Tau Cross - s/t  LP (WOW loved this album and am looking forward to hearing more).
9. P.R.O.B.L.E.M.S. - Another Day LP (Killer punk out of Portland. Everything I have heard by these guys rips).
10. Napalm Death - Apex Predator  LP

Top Live Shows
Dan Hayward stand up (Moncton). Very impressed and funny.
Voivod (Moncton)
Neighbourhood Watch reunion show (Saint-John)
Prevenge (Moncton)
Begrime Exemious (Saint-John)
Greg MacPherson (Saint-John)
Warsick (Moncton)
Zaum (Moncton)
Hard Charger (Moncton)

Ken Kelley (writer, blogger, columnist, drummer at Monoxides)
1.  Chris Cornell – Higher Truth  CD (The Soundgarden frontman FINALLY delivers a solo album that eschews bells, whistles and experimental musical pursuits in favour of simple acoustic arrangements with the occasional biting lyric. Although Higher Truth resonated with me on a personal level, there is no denying this is the Cornell’s finest solo record to date).
2.  Chris Isaak – First Comes The Night   CD (Chris Isaak’s continued relevance is capably demonstrated on virtually each moment of his latest studio effort, First Comes The Night. In addition to being one of the most grounded musicians I had the pleasure of interviewing this year, Isaak is clearly still having a blast making music more than 30 years into his career)
3.  Chris Stapleton – Traveller  CD (When Traveller was released this past May, it was evident Chris Stapleton was onto something special with his classic country-inspired ways. Since his monumental Country Music Association Award wins in early November, the rest of the world has finally clued into the fact that the pop leanings of modern country music, “sure is getting old,” just like Moncton band The Divorcees said many moons ago. 
4.  Punch Brothers – The Phosphorescent Blues  CD  (With their fourth full-length effort, Punch Brothers continue bringing bluegrass into the 21st century, delivering one of the broadest, most ambitious efforts of their career. Led by virtuoso musician Chris Thile, this band is one of the most exciting in music today. This is a must for forward-thinking folk fans to seek out.
5.  Rolling Stones – Live At The Marquee Club 1971 DVD  (Recorded in the intimate confines of London’s legendary Marquee Club just prior to the release of Sticky Fingers, this live document is a vivid reminder of what makes the Stones one of the most triumphant rock and roll bands of all time. Chances are you’ll be cheering louder than the audience)
6.  Ryan Adams – 1989 Leave it to Ryan Adams to take Taylor Swift’s 1989 album and turn it into an indie-rock masterpiece, equally inspired by Bruce Springsteen and Sonic Youth, among others. More importantly however, the album serves to highlight just how damn good Swift’s songs are when interpreted through the ears of others. 
7.  Tame Impala – Currents  CD  (From the moments that Currents kicks off with the almost eight-minute long “Let It Happen,” listeners are taken on a journey of heartbreak with a dense, electro-psychedelic pop twist. Free your mind and the rest will follow)
8.  Tobias Jesso Jr. – Goon   CD  (An unflinchingly personal album dwelling on failed dreams, heartbreak and more, Jesso struck critical gold with Goon, a record that harkens back to the songwriting genius of Harry Nilsson and Randy Newman among others).

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